How to Travel Around Namibia on a Budget
If you’re planning a Namibian vacation, you’ll be delighted to know that there are several ways you can travel on a budget. Here are some of them:
Tipping is expected everywhere in Namibia
The locals in Namibia are used to tipping. While there is no universal tipping practice, most lodges recommend a certain amount per day for their staff. Usually, a 10% tip is sufficient, and even more is acceptable if you feel the service has exceeded your expectations. If you are going to tip a bartender, remember that you can only tip a small amount, and that you can’t expect your waiter to give you a full tip.
Despite the relatively cheap prices, tipping is still customary everywhere in Namibia, including taxis and tour guides. While you can drive on the roads, be aware that they’re often narrow and unpaved. Also, drivers are likely to ask you to give them money or food in exchange for holding the door open. If you want to avoid paying a large amount, remember to take small notes with you. You can also tip men who guard your car or drivers who help you find a place to stay.
It’s common to tip a guide for a wonderful day, but there are several reasons why tipping isn’t appropriate in Namibia. First, frequent tipping can negatively impact the relationship between guide and guest. Second, frequent tipping can place too much pressure on the guide and the other guests, making them work harder to provide services that are worth less than they are paid. Fortunately, most Namibia safari lodges have a tip box, and you can tip through it or directly to a guide or tracker. Other staff share the proceeds of the general tip box.
Using a 4×4
Using a 4×4 to travel across Namibia on a budget can be a great way to see the country on a budget. The country is sparsely populated, and most places to stay feel like they are in the middle of nowhere. There are no major cities, and the best places to stay are miles away from the nearest civilisation. While there are several budget options, using a 4×4 is the most convenient and cheap way to get around Namibia.
Using a 4×4 is an ideal way to see the beautiful landscape and explore the local culture. You can visit the Himba village, and visit the stunning Epupa Falls, one of the most impressive waterfalls in Southern Africa. Once you’ve explored Koakoland, you can continue your trip to Etosha, one of the most beautiful national parks in the world.
Although you can travel around Namibia on a budget without hiring a 4×4, using a vehicle with a 4×4 is safer and more convenient. The main road through Namibia is tar, but it only passes through the major cities, game parks, and other tourist destinations. Otherwise, you’ll have to travel hundreds of kilometers on gravel roads. In addition to this, it can be hard to keep a focus when driving on these bumpy roads. It can also loosen your tent bolts and lug nuts.
Using a campervan
If you’re on a budget and want to travel Namibia independently, a campervan rental may be the way to go. Renting a car is much cheaper per person than joining a tour, and you can easily drop it off at Windhoek airport. While driving across the desert can be lonely, you’ll likely be able to meet other people in hostels and other groups.
Renting a campervan is one of the most cost-effective ways to see Namibia. You can visit national parks and reserve a campsite near your destination. Campervans are flexible and affordable, so you can sightsee at your own pace and meet new people along the way. And, since you’re not bound by schedules, you’ll have more time to spend with family members.
If you’re planning on camping in Namibia, it’s essential to pack hand cream and moisturizing lotion. It’s extremely dry in Namibia, so you’ll need to keep a supply of these items handy. You can also pack a hand cream or a body lotion, as it gets chilly at night. For the best results, bring almond oil, which you can apply under the shower.
You’ll need to budget well for your trip to Namibia. The biggest expense you’ll encounter is the price of accommodation. If you’re travelling on a tight budget, you should camp and hike. You’ll save money by camping in national parks. If you don’t mind the long drive, you can opt for a budget camping tour, which can be completed in a single day.
In the far south of Namibia, you can hike Fish River Canyon, which is the world’s second largest canyon (after the Grand Canyon). This 86km long trail is considered one of the most difficult in Africa. Hiking here will allow you to appreciate the country’s landscape and wildlife. It’s an unforgettable experience and a great way to get to know Namibia’s people. However, it’s best done with the assistance of local guides.
While you’re hiking, try to be alert for any signs of wildlife. Namibians are extremely friendly and will usually try to stop and pick you up. If you’re lucky, they’ll offer food or water. You can also try to be as honest as possible and give them some money, as well. In return, you’ll be helping locals by sharing the road. The road is often bumpy, so be prepared for that.
Renting a car
When traveling in Namibia, you’ll most likely need a car. It is important to remember that crossing the border with your car is relatively simple. You should inform the rental car agency that you plan on crossing the border, so they can prepare the appropriate paperwork. Then, pay the border-crossing fee on arrival. The amount varies depending on the country you’re entering, but typically starts at about $500 NAD (35 USD).
Depending on where you’re staying, you may want to consider driving to your destinations in order to save money. It’s also a good idea to bring a portable charger and a GPS so you can keep track of your mileage. It’s possible to rent a car in Windhoek and avoid paying extra for the rental car. It’s also possible to get carpooling services, which are popular among backpackers.
However, if you’re traveling on a tight budget, you might want to opt to rent a car. This will allow you to travel at your own pace and save money on fuel. A car rental will also allow you to take the time to explore Namibia’s national parks and other attractions. However, if you have limited time to spend in Namibia, a shared vehicle might be a better option.
In Namibia, camping is an affordable option. Government campsites are usually NAM 200/pp (US$14) per night. Most private lodges have campsites on their property that are also affordable. Private guest farms also have campsites. These are a bit more expensive, but they’re worth the extra cash for the ease of use and convenience. Many have a restaurant on site.
If you have a lot of time, renting a car to get around is a great option. Namibia is a fairly compact country, but there are some remote areas that only a car can get to. If you’re traveling in a group, consider renting a car and using it for your accommodations. Renting a car can be more expensive than camping. If you’re travelling on a budget, renting a car and camping gear will save you money.
Opting for camping can help you save money in other ways. You can stay in a hotel or lodge near the falls for the night, but you won’t have the privacy of a campground. You can even get a good night’s sleep and enjoy the view from above. Camping is also a great option for scouting and exploring the area. You’ll feel like a true Namibian while you’re on a budget.
Worldpackers is a community for travelers and volunteers. This website connects volunteers with travelers, offering free accommodation in return for volunteer hours. The benefits of volunteering in Namibia are many. You will be surrounded by like-minded travelers, participate in interesting projects, and meet new people. And what’s more, you can get your membership for free during a summer promo! To get started, create a profile. You can then search for projects and hosts that best suit your budget and travel style.
Using a shared car is an option for budget travellers. You can organise shared rental cars with other travellers. If you have limited time, renting a car is not practical. If you’re going on a backpacking trip, you’ll be able to get around on public transport. However, if you’re visiting a remote area, renting a car isn’t always an option. You can get around on the bus or train and use the car to go on safari.
If you don’t speak German, try to learn the local language. In Namibia, you’ll see a number of German speakers and beer halls, and you’ll be able to chat with them. You can also try to learn some of the local language, Oshiwambo, while traveling. Although reception isn’t the best in Namibia, you’ll be able to communicate with other travelers.