Namibia is a country with a very low population density. As is the case in most African countries, we do not find a sufficiently developed public transport network to be able to travel around the country by bus, train… Therefore, one of the best recommendations we can make if you want to travel to Namibia, Botswana or the two countries together is to rent a car.
Renting a car gives you complete freedom to travel around the country without having to wait for bus, taxi and road connections that will surely take you a long time. In addition, Namibia is a very safe country to travel by car. Now, what kind of car to take? Which company can you recommend? What procedures need to be handled? We will then try to resolve all these doubts.
Namibia is a country that can be traveled safely with a rental car (a 2×4). You will only need a 4×4 to travel in the north of the country (Opuwo and Epupa Falls area), in the northwest area of the Skeleton Coast, in the Namib Desert (Dune 7, Pelican Point) if you want to travel for free, and also in the Mahango Natural Reserve area of Caprivi. The rest can be done with a non-all-terrain vehicle as the Etosha NP or access to the Namib Desert via Sesriem are ready to travel with a touring car. In Botswana, things are different, as you can read in this link.
We booked a 4×4 because we traveled to Namibia and Botswana, and also because we had a roof tent in the same car, making this our home during our month of travel. In addition, in Namibia there are many roads (C and D) that are gravel, and therefore with a 4×4 travel in a faster and more comfortable way than a car, as you can go further speed on dirt roads and you don’t feel as much of the rattle of the suspension as you pass on roads full of constant bumps for long miles.
To drive in Namibia and Botswana you need to apply for an International Driving License at the General Directorate of Traffic (DGT) in your province. In Spain, this card costs 10.40 euros and a non-extendable duration of 1 year.
In Windhoek you will find different car rental companies. They rent cars, 4×4 (Toyota Hilux, Nissan) with single cabin of two doors, double cabin of four doors and option also to have a tent in the ceiling.
Before renting any vehicle, you need to consider the issue of insurance. We decided on a total vehicle insurance to go calmer and to avoid any scares during the trip, but you can choose from different types and insure what you deem appropriate. You also need to consider how many drivers you will be, as many companies charge a plus for wanting to authorize more than one driver. Finally, if you are crossing into Botswana, you should apply for a border paper that sometimes has an extra cost and allows you to cross the land border to the neighboring country without any problems. Aside from that, many offer different rates depending on the days you rent the car and how many people you are.
In addition, it is recommended to read the car rental contract carefully, as many car insurance policies do not cover damage caused if you drive at speeds higher than those set by the companies themselves. In the event of an accident, the tenant of the vehicle would have to pay the full amount of the car repair as it is considered negligence on his part.
With all this data, we came across an Excel that we attach to the following table with different Windhoek companies:
|COMPANY||VEHICLE TYPE||NºPERSONS||WITH ROOF TENT?||PRICE PER DAY||INSURANCE||BORDER||EXTRA DRIVER|
|CAMEL CARE HIRE||TOYOTA HILUX 4X4||4||NO (with roof tent cost 450 NAD per day)||1.200 NAD (29 days)||INCLUDED (to 40.000 NAD), 430 NAD (to 1.500 NAD)||0 NAD||20 NAD|
|ASCO CAR HIRE||TOYOTA HILUX 4X4||4||SI||2.350 NAD (30 days)||INCLUDED (40.000 NAD), 430 NAD (1.500 NAD)||625 NAD||0 NAD|
|AFRICAN SUN||TOYOTA HILUX 4X4||4||SI||1.500 NAD||350 NAD Tyre and Windscreen included (2.000 NAD)||0 NAD||0 NAD|
|PEGASUS||NISSAN 4X4||2||SI||1.340 NAD||320 NAD (0) – 180 NAD (20.000 NAD)||500 NAD||Windscreen and tyre 200 NAD per day|
|ADVANCED CAR HIRE||TOYOTA HILUX 4X4||2||SI||1.510 NAD (30 days)||INCLUDED (0), TO INCLUDE TYRE and WINDSCREEN 120 NADxday||0 NAD||0 NAD|
|CAMPING CAR HIRE||NISSAN 4X4||4||SI||1.040 NAD (25 days)||270 NAD (0) -no tyres and windscreen-. If you want to include it, 200 NAD more||500 NAD||10 NAD per day and extra driver|
It is important that once you are at the rental company to pick up the car, check the condition of the car (scratches, bumps, tools…) to avoid misunderstandings when returning the vehicle. And above all, the best prevention to avoid any incident with the vehicle is to drive safely, without going too fast and by regularly checking the condition of the wheels and engine oil.
Now that you know all this information, we encourage you to rent a car so you can travel around these countries. It is totally a wonderful experience and the best of transportation to get to know Namibia and Botswana!