From far away, planning a trip to Namibia may seem daunting. But, we want to help make it easier by giving you some advice for planning your travels, and what to consider before arriving as well as during your stay. The topic for our first blog post is: Getting Around in Namibia!
Namibia is a BIG country. Fortunately, there are several options for transport when travelling around Namibia.
Getting around in Windhoek, the capital of Namibia.
First, you need to consider that Windhoek’s airport, Hosea Kutako International Airport, is about 40 kilometers outside of Windhoek itself. So, it’s important to arrange transport from the airport into town. There are numerous shuttle services available that do airport transfers to Windhoek, which makes it simpler to find and book your transfer. Otherwise, you can rent a car at the airport from one of the several car rental companies. You can easily find these and book online.
Once you’re in Windhoek, getting around isn’t too difficult. Popular international companies like Uber aren’t available in Namibia, but we have our own version called LEFA. LEFA is the Namibian Uber, and it is a very new, exciting and convenient method of transportation in and around the city. It works the same way that Uber does, you download the LEFA app from the App Store or Google Play, register with a cellphone number, and voilà, you are ready to request your lift. And, you do not need to stress about always needing WiFi connectivity to be online in Namibia, because SIM cards are easily and cheaply available, and data prices are comparatively low. But do take note, LEFA rides have to be paid in cash at the end of your trip, because the app does not yet accept cashless payment methods. Another cab company is called Dial-A-Cab, which works exactly as its name describes, you phone them and they send you a cab.
There are also a huge amount of public taxis in windhoek, and they are easily recognisable because of the large numbers on their cars, in order to identify them. These taxis are cheap and easy to come across, but it is important to have your wits about you in terms of safety, and they may not always drive very responsibly. Namibia is a safe country, but it always helps to practise caution and be alert when travelling in a new place.
[Sun Karros Lifestyle Safaris’ Daan Viljoen Lodge and Daan Viljoen Campsites also offer transport services into Windhoek, to take guests to and from the most exciting and popular local spots and activities.]
Public transport in towns and cities, such as busses, are purely catered to local commuters and would not be of much service to tourists and travellers.
And there you go! Now you know how you would get from place to place in Windhoek, whether you are dining out in one of Windhoek’s many restaurants, going to a Windhoek city market, or just generally want to get out of the hotel. You can almost always be guaranteed of good weather in Windhoek, so you might as well make the best of the visit!
Getting around the rest of Namibia.
If you are planning on travelling extensively throughout Namibia, the easiest way is to have your own rental car. However, the more remote you go, the more things you need to take into consideration and plan for. Many of the smaller, less used roads will only be accessible with a 4 wheel-drive car, either a Land Cruiser SUV or a pick-up truck (known locally as a bakkie). You would also need to be prepared with extra fuel, in case you get lost or reach a place that is too remote, and may not have fuel available. In Namibia, it’s very easy to drive for hundreds of kilometres and not reach any towns!
If you do not want to hire a car to travel around Namibia, the other option would be to take a bus. There are several bus services, the most popular being Intercape MainLiner which has routes from Windhoek going to all of the major towns in Namibia, as well as through to Cape Town, South Africa. To get the most of a Namibian safari experience, we recommend that you gear up, rent a car, and explore this beautiful country in its entirety. The most prominent feature that you should be setting your sights on is Sossusvlei. This beautiful pan is located in the Namib Naukluft National Park, one of the biggest national parks in the world. It is known for its majestic red dunes and vast open expanse, and you can experience this either by camping at Sesriem Oshana Campsites, or you can live it up in luxury at our Dead Valley Lodge. The Dead Valley Lodge also offers scenic drives into the national park, giving guided tours of Sossusvlei and the not-to-be-missed Deadvlei.
Between Windhoek and Swakopmund, the easiest way to travel is a shuttle bus. There are numerous easy, reliable and inexpensive shuttle bus services that run daily between the two towns. You would definitely want to make the trip through to Swakopmund, Namibia’s picturesque coastal town. It is about a 4 hour drive away from Windhoek, and when you arrive, you will immediately notice the vast expanse of sand dunes to your left as you enter into the town. Although Swakopmund weather is slightly less predictable than Windhoek weather, with the sun shining bright on some days and the mist hanging low and thick on others, there are always things to do in this little town.
Outdoor adventure activities include beach days, catamaran tours, visiting the iconic Swakopmund Jetty, quad biking tours through the dunes, and dining out at the locally beloved Windpomp 14 restaurant, known for its seafood and live music. Indoor activities are also numerous, such as a visit to the aquarium or museum, or browsing the quaint and quirky shops and restaurants in the Swakopmund town centre.