Guide to driving in Namibia

Driving in Namibia can be a wonderful experience, giving you the freedom to explore beautiful country. However driving in Namibia is different from driving in the UK or in Europe, so take care and take the time to understand how to drive safe. 

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Renting a car in Namibia was not such a problem. We have chosen 4×4 car with insurance. And we had informations how to drive:-) However, the theory is different from practice:-) What should you know about driving in Namibia?

The major national roads

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The national roads of Namibia are all labelled with the letter ‘B’ and they connect main cities. These will take you to the major destinations throughout the country. The major roads are tarred/asphalt and in good condition for driving. Speed limit is 120 km/h. The danger on these type of roads are animals, which are in a whole country. Tarred roads are also in cities and speed limit is 60 km/h.

The secondary roads
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Salt road on the coast, from Cape Cross to Swakopmund.
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Gravel road.

The secondary roads are mostly non-tarred, gravel, dirt or salt roads. Secondary roads are identified with a ‘C’ or ‘D’. A 4×4 vehicle or similar is advisory if you are planning on using the secondary roads. Speed limit is 80 km/h, but sometimes you have to drive slowly. The condition of these roads is generally good. Most gravel roads are easily wide enough for two vehicles to pass, but you should always wise to slow down when passing another vehicle, for two reasons. First, because you may encounter flying stones, which can damage your vehicle if they hit at speed. Second, immediately after passing the other vehicle you’re likely to drive into a dust cloud, which can drastically reduce visibility. Typical gravel road is between Swakopmund and Solitaire, which is the only way from the coast to the south.

Salt roads are found exclusively by the coast and should be treated in much the same way as gravel roads. Their surface is a mixture of salt water, sand and/or gravel that is then baked in the sun. The result can often look like broken or old tar roads, and while it isn’t loose, it can be bumpy. Furthermore if these roads are wet, such as after rain or in a heavy fog – which is a frequent occurrence near the coast – they can become slippery.

Seat Belt Laws

All passengers should wear a seat belt when travelling in a car in Namibia.

Drinking and Driving

The permitted blood alcohol limit is 0.05%.

Must Have Documents

Insurance documents

Identification documents

Equipment for in the event of a flat tyre

Roadside emergency kit

Basic first aid kit

International driving licence

Water and snacks. You will drive for very long distances in the heat without any stopping/refreshment points.

Minimum age for driving a car

You have to be 18 years or older to drive in Namibia. You need to be 23 years of age to hire a car.

Rules of the RoadDSC06186
  • Driving is on the left hand side of the road.
  • Observe road signs, especially those indicating a curve ahead or warnings of animals ahead.
  • In dusty conditions drive with your lights on.
  • Drive carefully when entering villages or towns.
  • If you drive through any farm gates, ensure you close them behind you.
  • At the junction with STOP sign, cars are driving according to which has arrived earlier.

Road signs in Namibia are really good, and sometimes funny:-) IMG_3685 IMG_3637 IMG_3641 IMG_3679 DSC06043 IMG_3899

Do you have any questions? Don’t hesitate to contact us for more informations or itinerary of your travel. Or see our 9-day road trip itinerary.

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