A Guide to Namibia for the First Timer


In a country with so much to do, and so much to see it can be difficult to know what you want to do on your first visit to Namibia. This post is aimed specifically at the traveller visiting our beautiful country for the first time, but even the most seasoned Namibia explorer could benefit from reading on.

What to do

First, you have to decide what you want to get out of your holiday. If you have a limited amount of time it is probably best to try and not do everything Namibia has to offer since there is simply too much to do in a short period of time.  

Namibia, namibia tourism, self drive namibia, flying safari, etosha, namibia safari, na'an Kuse

Enjoy the hustle and bustle of Windhoek.

 
Ask yourself, are you looking for a high-octane adventure holiday?

Namibia, namibia tourism, self drive namibia, flying safari, etosha, namibia safari, na'an Kuse

A climber scales a cliff face.
(Image courtesy of Element Riders)

Or perhaps you would like to take it a bit slower and build your travelling plans around photographing the stunning landscapes and wildlife on offer.  

Namibia, namibia tourism, self drive namibia, flying safari, etosha, namibia safari, na'an Kuse

Namibia’s wide open spaces are perfect for panoramic photographs.  

If, on the other hand you like nothing more than relaxing in a sun drenched dipping pool overlooking the wilderness and not doing much else, there is something for you in the land of the brave.  

Namibia, namibia tourism, self drive namibia, flying safari, etosha, namibia safari, na'an Kuse

Have a soak whilst taking in a view of the Fish River Canyon.

 
Below, in no particular order, are some of our travellers’ favourite spots and activities in Namibia. Click on the images for more information.

 

Bird Watching Namibia The Waterberg Namibia Experience Sossusvlei Namibia
Meet the himba Namibia Track desert rhinos namibia Etosha Namibia
Katutura township tour Namibia Adventure Camping Namibia Hiking in the Fish river canyon
Explore ghost towns Namibia Flying safaris Namibia Volunteering in Namibia
Adventure Activities in Namibia Windhoek Namibia Meet the San Namibia


The basics  

Click here and have a look through our travel guides. The most important thing is to make sure that you have all the necessary documentation to ensure that you can enter and travel freely through Namibia. To check if you need a visa, visit Namibia's Ministry of Foreign affairs here and click on the visa link on the right hand side.  
Namibia is a country of contrasts, and its weather is no exception. In the summer expect hot days with very rare thunder storms in some of the regions. Winter nights meanwhile can get very cold, so if you are in the desert regions of our country then be sure to pack some warm jackets as the temperatures drop with the sun.  

Namibia, namibia tourism, self drive namibia, flying safari, etosha, namibia safari, na'an Kuse

Always remember to pack according to the activities you have planned.        

Getting around

By train

Namibia is a big a country, vast and largely uninhabited so there isn’t a vast public transport network. There are tourist trains like the Desert Express, but most travellers get around by either driving or flying.  

Namibia, namibia tourism, self drive namibia, flying safari, etosha, namibia safari, na'an Kuse

The Desert Express.
(Image courtesy of Rail Tours)  

By car

Many tourists drive their own vehicles or hire one from a company to get around the country. Driving is very manageable in Namibia as the national road network is easy to navigate and is well maintained.

Below is a list of some car-hire companies in Namibia: **Note make sure you have a driver’s licence that is valid in Namibia as the penalties for unlicensed driving are severe, and there are several police checkpoints on the national roads that will ask you to display a valid licence.**  
When driving always make sure you have enough petrol in your car and be certain that you have planned your trip so that you are never out of reach of a petrol station. Also, make sure you have enough hard cash to pay for petrol as many of the more remote service stations do not accept cards for fuel.  

Namibia, namibia tourism, self drive namibia, flying safari, etosha, namibia safari, na'an Kuse

A car stopped on the side of the road in Etosha National Park.  

Another option is to enquire about hiring a driver for a few days, although this can be expensive. You can always use the local taxis in whichever town or city you find yourself in, and check with your hotel or lodge reception to know the going rate.  
As with driving anywhere the same rules apply, be cautious, alert and considerate. Note, in Namibia we drive on the left.

By plane

Something that many people do not know about Namibia is its extensive network of private and public airports dotted around the country.

Namibia, namibia tourism, self drive namibia, flying safari, etosha, namibia safari, na'an Kuse

An Air Namibia plane at Luderitz airport. 

The three major airports can be found in Windhoek (including Hosea Kutaku International) and there are several domestic airports around the country. If you want a full listing of airports run by the Namibia Airport Company here.  

Namibia, namibia tourism, self drive namibia, flying safari, etosha, namibia safari, na'an Kuse

Hosea Kutako International.

There are also many private airstrips at several of the game lodges, national parks, and secluded areas in Namibia with landing strips for light aircraft. There are chartered plane companies and if you are able to pilot a craft you can even hire a plane.  
And if it's a scenic flight or flying safari that you're after, here are just some of the operators you can get in touch with:

Namibia, namibia tourism, self drive namibia, flying safari, etosha, namibia safari, na'an Kuse

A map of many of Namibia’s airport.
(Map courtesy of Maps of the World)

Here is a detailed list of airstrips and information you will need if you wish to fly yourself around Namibia. There is no exhaustive list of landing spots, so always remember to check wherever you go to see if they have a nearby airstrip if you require one.  

Namibia, namibia tourism, self drive namibia, flying safari, etosha, namibia safari, na'an Kuse

Have aircraft will fly!
(Image courtesy of the Namibian)

 

Photography guides

We have several photography tips from professional photographers for those of you who would like some advice on taking photographs of this beautiful land. Below is a list of some of the people who spoke to us about snapping the perfect shot in Namibia, and shared the amazing images they managed to capture. 

Namibia photography, photos Namibia, Africa photography, Marsel van Oosten, photography tips, photography in africa, photographs of namibia, photographs of africa Namibia photography, photos Namibia, Africa photography, Christopher Rimmer, photography tips, photography in africa, photographs of namibia, photographs of africa Namibia photography, photos Namibia, Africa photography, Paul van Schalkwyk, photography tips, photography in africa, photographs of namibia, photographs of africa, hasselblad masters

Marsel van Oosten

Christopher Rimmer

Paul van Schalkwyk

Namibia photography, photos Namibia, Africa photography, photography tips, photography in africa, photographs of namibia, photographs of africa, Bill Gozansky Namibia photography, photos Namibia, Africa photography, photography tips, photography in africa, photographs of namibia, photographs of africa,

Namibia photography, photos Namibia, Africa photography, photography tips, photography in africa, photographs of namibia, photographs of africa, Hougaard Malan

Bill Gozansky

Roy van der Merwe

Hougaard Malan

Namibia photography, photos Namibia, Africa photography, photography tips, photography in africa, photographs of namibia, photographs of africa Namibia photography, photos Namibia, Africa photography, photography tips, photography in africa, photographs of namibia, photographs of africa, Ted Alan Stedman Namibia photography, photos Namibia, Africa photography, photography tips, photography in africa, photographs of namibia, photographs of africa, Skyhawk photography

Matthew Hood

Ted Alan Stedman

Jan & Jaye Roode

 

Come and visit

The people of Namibia are friendly and welcoming and if you arrive adequately prepared there is no reason why you won’t enjoy your first (and definitely not only) trip to Namibia.  

 

Namibia, namibia tourism, self drive namibia, flying safari, etosha, namibia safari, na'an Kuse

Namibia is waiting to welcome you!

 

Download our Travel Planning Guides

Click hereto download our planning guides about traveling to Namibia, adventure, photography, self-drives and wildlife.

describe the image

    There is no comments yet. Be the first to post a comment!