We are on our 6th month traveling around the world. At the end of each leg, we compare our rankings of experiences from the trip. For both, our two week Namibia Roadtrip ranks at the very top. Click Here to see our video/comedy routine of our own Kristen Bell and Dax Sheppard’s Africa video from our 2 weeks in Namibia as well as our week in Botswana and Zimbabwe.
Desert landscapes, red rock canyons, and wild animal encounters made this a truly memorable trip. We were both surprised and in awe of the vast beauty of Namibia. It seemed that the sky was a brilliant cerulean blue every single day. Deserts offer some of the most vivid sunsets. Namibian deserts may be the very best of the lot. Here is a video we did of the first week of the trip!
Whether young or old, we would highly recommend taking this trip. The roads are well marked and safe to drive. The campsites are state of the art. They are perhaps some of the best in the world: clean and filled with amenities (every campsite had a pool!)
There is no corruption from the police. We were stopped several times at checkpoints. Each encounter with the police was always brief and professional.
There are several rental agencies in Namibia that provide fully loaded 4-wheel-drive vehicles. Amenities include: double gas tank, car top tent, camping equipment (chairs, tables, cooking equipment). With this set up it is very feasible to arrive to Windhoek and take off on your Namibia Roadtrip after a quick gas stop. If you opt for this option, take into account that the pick up process can take 1-2 hours.
First they will need to show you the equipment. Then you’ll need to inventory all the items as part of the rental agreement. Additionally, you will want them to show you how to open and close your rooftop tent.
Be sure to give yourself enough time to navigate out of the city and to your first stop before dark. Most rental agreements have restrictions on driving after dark as animals like to sleep on the warm tarmac road at night.
Namibia Roadtrip: What to Bring / Buy
First, our RTW Minimalist Packing List served us well on our Namibia roadtrip. The only additional purchase we made was a safari hat which came in handy during the hot afternoons!
Before taking off we would highly recommend getting a good roadmap:
Our rental agency provided a great map which included maps specific to Sossusvlei and Spitzkoff. These are also available at most gas stations. We were able to navigate our entire trip using the roadmaps. The highways are very well marked and there are petrol stops at frequent intervals. During our two week Namibia roadtrip we never had problems finding petrol.
We would also recommend getting a local sim card from MTC. There are several companies that offer local SIM card, but MTC has the best coverage in remote regions including the national parks. The card cost $10 Namibian ($0.80 USD) and you can top up on minutes. For us, this gave us great peace mind so we could contact our rental agency should we encounter any car problems. Note: You do not need to buy this in Windhoek. We found MTC stores in almost every mid sized town. A good rule of thumb to follow is if the town appears as a solid black dot on the road map, it will be big enough to have a petrol station and an MTC store.
Namibia Roadtrip: Grocery Planning
Finally, one of the items that most perplexed us was what groceries to buy for the trip. The car came equipped with a refrigerator (pay extra for this!), gas stove, and cooking utensils. In the end, planning groceries for the Namibia roadtrip was no different than planning for a camping trip. We typically cooked all three meals and would be able to replenish groceries every 2-3 days. All campsites offer food onsite, but we found that they were generally buffets and expensive. In the mid size cities (solid black dots on the map) we would often find cute cafes for lunch.
We paid an extra $5/ day to have a fridge. This was the best decision we made. First, the fridge runs on the car battery so you have to turn it off at night. Remember this for grocery shopping. Lastly, anything that requires 24/7 refrigeration is not a good idea.
Grocery Shopping List
Here are some general items to consider for your grocery run. During a two week Namibia roadtrip, you will make a grocery run every 2-3 days:
- 3-4 liters of water per person per day, plan to buy 2-3 days worth
- Road snacks: bag of apples, cheese (only buy enough for the day), crackers, chips
- Non perishable items great for camp cooking: cans of tuna/ sardine, cous cous, pasta, instant noodles
- Perishable items that can keep under low/ no refrigeration: If you keep the fridge on all day and keep the lid closed after you turn off the car, you can keep eggs, milk, and alcohol.
- Alcohol: Sipping beer/ wine by the water hole is the absolute best
- Ziplock bags: We often cooked a large dinner and packed leftovers in ziploc bags to have for dinner. Often you are racing for sunrise so a fast, easy breakfast is key.
- Plastic utensils and paper plates: Though our car was equipped with eating ware we found it useful to have a set of disposables. On the road trip you are often up early chasing sunrises or back late after an epic sunset. A quick clean up is key on those days!
- Matches and fire starter: You’ll need this to start your gas stove or to build a camp fire at night. Most sites are equipped with a braii (barbecue pit) and fire wood is sold at campsites.
Two Week Namibia Roadtrip Itinerary
Below is an outline of our two week Namibia roadtrip itinerary. More detailed information about each stop is linked below.
- Okinjimo Afri Cat Foundation
- Etosha National Park
- Damaraland: Grootberg Lodge & Camping in Spitzkoppe
- Coastal Namibia: Swakopmund, Walvis Bay, & Luderitz
- Fish River Canyon
- We extended our rental and drove across the border to Maun, Botswana for the next leg of our trip. The one way rental fee was much cheaper than two plane tickets to Botswana. Many opt to continue into Botswana after a Namibia roadtrip. We chose to end our trip in Botswana as we had read that the roads are not as easy to navigate and not as well marked as Namibia.
Our Top Picks
We genuinely loved every stop so it is hard to pick a favorite. Here are Jesse’s top 3 favorites from our 2 week Namibia Roadtrip:
- Sossuvlei – This place was like nothing we’ve ever seen before: peaceful, quiet, and incredibly unique.
- Etosha National Park – Our self drive safari brought us up close and personal with lions, zebras, and giraffes. This was an unforgettable stop.
- Walvis Bay– Jesse loves seals!
Here are Quan’s favorite stops from our 2 week Roadtrip in Namibia:
- Sossuvlei – The combination of landscapes: sand dunes & petrified trees; along with the contrasting colors makes this the most sureal place we have ever been!
- Spitzkoff in Damaraland: This was the most beautiful and solitary campground set inside a National Park. We saw a rainbow and a glorious sunset on our evening in Spitzkoff.
- Fish River Canyon: On a trip filled with amazing sunsets, Fish River Canyon wins for best sunset of our two week Namibia roadtrip.