Thinking of joining one of our upcoming Solo Travellers trips to Namibia? Or maybe you’ve already signed up… either way, here is some useful information to know before you go!
You can expect to see a whole range of animals whilst visiting Namibia, most of these will be found in Etosha National Park, which is home to 4 of the big 5 (that’s Lions, Elephants, Rhinos and Leopards). We advise you bring a pair of binoculars with you. If you don’t have any, it’s definitely worth investing in a pair. Long range camera lenses will also come in handy for you photographers, as the animals are not always right there in front of you.
The campsites are all equipped with western-style toilets and showers, and some even have the luxury of a swimming pool! My advice would be to pack a micro-fibre towel, as these are quick drying and fold up small.
You will be provided with a 5cm thick mattress and a 100% bug proof tent. You will have the same mattresses and tents throughout the trip, so it is up to you to make sure you keep the tents zipped up, to negate any unwanted visitors! The tents are incredibly easy to put up and take down, and your guide and camp assistant will always be on hand to help with this. The tents, which are big enough to stand up in, are also very spacious and have plenty of room for you, you’re roommate and all your luggage.
Sleeping bags can be rented (depending on the time of year you may not need one), but you will need to bring a pillow with you. We suggest buying a blow-up pillow to save space in your case.
Whilst you are on the road, all your meals will be prepared for you by your camp assistant. You will stop to pick up supplies most days, so this is a good opportunity for you to re-stock on water, snacks, beers, etc. For dinner, you can expect delicious BBQ’s (or braai as they are known in Southern Africa), pasta salads, stews, curries, and spaghetti bolognaise. For lunches, you can expect sandwiches and salads. Vegetarians will also be catered for; just let your camp assistant know!
The vehicles you travel in will depend on the size of the group. For larger groups, you will travel in a 14-seater Toyota Dyna with pop-tops, which are excellent for game viewing. For groups of 6 or less, you will either travel in a minibus or Land Cruiser. Both vehicles have large windows which roll all the way down, so that you can get those all important wildlife photos!
The currency used in Namibia is the Namibian Dollar. This is permanently linked with the South African Rand which is also considered legal tender in Namibia. You might find that when you take cash out of a cash machine in Namibia it will even give you South African Rand, so don’t panic – you can still use this!
Whilst you are camping, all your meals are included. Therefore you will only need money for water, soft drinks, alcohol, and snacks day-to-day. For this I would budget around £10 a day, depending on how many beers you want to buy! To give you an indication of costs, we have included some essential items below:
- Local beer. This will cost between 15 – 25 NAD, depending on whether you buy them from a bar or supermarket.
- Wine. Namibia imports its wine from neighbouring South Africa, so you will be able to get a decent bottle in the supermarket for around 60 NAD.
- Soft Drinks. A 500ml bottle of water, a can of coke, or other branded fizzy drinks, will set you back about 10 NAD each.
- Restaurants. During your time in Windhoek and Swakopmund, where meals are not included, you will obviously need to visit some restaurants! Most starters and desserts will be in the region of 30 – 70 NAD, whilst main courses will be around 90 – 150 NAD per dish.
There are no direct flights from London to Namibia. But don’t let this put you off, as there are many alternative routes. For example, you can fly into Frankfurt and then fly direct to Windhoek with Air Namibia. You can also fly to Amsterdam, and then fly direct to Windhoek with KLM. Another option would be to fly direct from London to Johannesburg with South African Airways, and then fly up to Windhoek. See… I told you there were options.
During your time in Namibia you will experience very hot days with cooler nights. The climate will also depend on where you are in the country. Along the Skeleton Coast, the Atlantic Ocean brings cool, and sometimes damp, air so bring layers with you.
When travelling anywhere outside of Europe we always recommend visiting your doctor or travel nurse a minimum of 8 weeks before your departure date, as they will be able to give you an up-to-date idea of any inoculations you may need. Most of Namibia is a low-risk malaria zone, however areas in the north of the country, including certain parts of Etosha National Park, are considered to be at higher risk. The risk of malaria is also higher during the rainy months through December till May. Make sure you bring plenty of mosquito repellent with you and wear it both day and night. Prevention is the best form of attack.
UK Passport holders do not need a visa to enter Namibia. If you hold a passport from anywhere else, please get in touch and we can find out for you.
So the all important question, ‘what shall I pack?’ HELP. Don’t worry, we will. See our list below of the most important things to take with you.
- Comfortable, lightweight clothing, for those hot days.
- A jumper or sweater for evenings around the campfire.
- Comfortable walking shoes as well as sandals – trust us when we say you do not want to be walking across desert sand in flip flops. Burnt. Toes.
- Sun protection. Sunscreen, hats, sunglasses, lip balm, after-sun, etc.
- Flashlight or head torch – this will come in handy when you’re staggering to find the bathroom in the night.
- Good camera with long lens and extra film or memory cards.
- Travel adapter suitable for South Africa – it’s a 3-pin plug.
- Swimsuit, as we mentioned before, most campsites have pools.
- Flip-flops that you can use whilst showering in the campsites.
- Insect repellent, rehydrating solutions, diarrhoea medication (just in case), plasters or bandages.
- Camping or travelling pillow. Whilst mattresses and sleeping bags (at a cost) will be provided, you will need to bring your own pillow. We recommend one of the blow-up ones, to save space in your case.
We would also recommend keeping your bags as small/light as you can. It’s never fun lugging around a huge suitcase and it’s much better if the vehicles don’t have to endure the extra weight!