Getting Around Namibia
Covering 824,292km² (318,261mi²), Namibia is almost twice the size of California. Accordingly, flying is the quickest way to get around the country.
There are domestic flights from Hosea Kutako International Airport in Windhoek to the coastal cities/towns of Walvis Bay, Lüderitz, and Oranjemund.
From Eros Airport in Windhoek, you can fly to Ondangwa, Rundu and Katima Mulilo, among many other towns and safari destinations.
Namibia has a good network of tarmac and gravel roads connecting cities, towns and attractions, making self-driving a popular option favoured by adventurers. Apart from main highways, all roads are either gravel or sand, so hiring a four-wheel-drive vehicle is recommended as it has good ground clearance and comes with tyres more suited to 'off-road' driving. Petrol stations are available in all towns and some rural areas, but you're advised to fill up whenever you have the opportunity.
One of the most popular routes is to start from Windhoek to Etosha National Park, a vast salt pan rich in wildlife in north-western Namibia via the Central Highlands, then onwards to Twyfelfontein (for ancient rock art), Skeleton Coast (for seals and shipwrecks), Walvis Bay (for wetlands and water adventures), and Sossusvlei (for spectacular sand dunes), before returning to Windhoek.
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Roads are generally well maintained but away from the highways, surfaces are gravel, not tarmac.
Tarmac roads are marked with the prefix "B". Gravel roads are marked "C" or "D" – the difference between the two is the width, with "C" roads being wider than "D" roads.
Two-wheel and four-wheel-drive vehicles, with or without camping equipment, can be hired in Windhoek.
Taxis are common in Windhoek.
Bicycle rentals are available in Windhoek, Walvis Bay and Swakopmund. Keen cyclists can join multi-day bike tours and discover the vast landscape on two wheels.
Intercape (www.intercape.co.za) operates limited bus services in Namibia. The main routes are from Windhoek to Swakopmund, Walvis Bay, Grootfontein, Rundu, Katima Mulilo, Keetmanshoop and Oshikango.
In addition, there are combis (minibuses) that run between towns – drivers only start the journey when all seats are filled.
Foreign drivers must be at least 23 years old and have held the license for at least one year. Speed limits are 60kph (38mph) in urban areas, 80kph (50mph) on gravel roads and 120kpk (75mph) on tarmac roads. Seatbelts are compulsory.
Call your car hire company in the event of a breakdown.
Foreign drivers must have a valid driver's licence, car hire documents and insurance. An International driver's licence is also required if your driving licence is not in English.
TransNamib (www.transnamib.com.na) runs passenger services to Windhoek from Keetmanshoop, Swakopmund and Walvis Bay, as well as connections between Tsumeb and Ondangwa, and between Keetmanshoop and Karasburg.
TransNamib also runs the Desert Express (www.desert.express), a luxury service between Windhoek and Swakopmund, with excursions to the south and the north (including Etosha National Park).