We have put together a comprehensive self drive safari helpful information below.
Ensure you have your driving licence with you in your vehicle.
If you’re driving licence is not printed in English, you must have travel with an International Driving Licence.
KEEP YOUR LIGHTS ON AT ALL TIMES:
The dust clouds on gravel roads can obscure vehicles, so please keep your lights on.
DO NOT TAKE A ROAD IF YOU DON’T KNOW WHERE IT GOES:
Even if you have GPS, make sure you know before travelling how long that stretch of road will take.
ONLY USE WELL MARKED TRACKS:
And never make new ones. This prevents ecological damage.
TAKE REGULAR BREAKS:
As some of the distances can be very long, ensure you take regular breaks.
Always have loo roll in your vehicle for the Namibian “Service Stations”.
Save your change as there can be a N$2 charge to use the loo at Namibian “Service Stations”.
ALWAYS HAVE PLENTY OF WATER:
Remember to carry lots of water. Namibia is a hot and dry desert country – keep hydrated.
MEDICAL EMERGENCIES OR ACCIDENTS:
Your Safari customers are automatically covered by our Emergency Medical Evacuation Insurance Cover. The cover provides Emergency Medical Evacuation cover for emergency transportation by road ambulance or air ambulance to the nearest medical facility sufficiently equipped to attend to the sick or injured person. Please read the Emergency Medical Evacuation Policy.
If you are unlucky enough to have an accident please call our help lines 081 924 (within Namibia) or +264 61 411 600 (International).
You will be personally responsible (or your Travel Insurance) to pay any and all costs after you arrive at the facility and any and all on-going costs.
ALWAYS HAVE PLENTY OF FUEL:
Always fill up whenever you can. Fuel is available in every major town, however it is advisable to always fill up at each fuel station on a long journey in case of shortages in remote areas. We recommend that you carry about N$ 1,000 cash with you just in case the mobile / WiFi system is down at a remote filling station and you cannot use your credit card.
RETURN YOUR VEHICLE WITH A FULL TANK:
Almost all vehicle rental companies expect the vehicle to be returned with a full tank of fuel. Please check when you collect your vehicle.
Do not take oranges into wild elephant country. Elephants adore oranges and have been known to break into tents and vehicles to get them!
POLICE CHECK POINTS:
There are police roadblocks 10 km outside Windhoek and on all main roads. These are just to double check licenses, road worthiness etc and most tourists are just simply waved through. You should have your documents to hand should they be asked for. ALWAYS remove your sunglasses when talking with local Police Officers – eye contact is considered important.
Most Namibian towns have a car guard scheme where someone will offer to look after your vehicle while it is parked on the street, both overnight or for just an hour. A tip of N$5 will be much appreciated for their services.
SAFE DRIVING ON GRAVEL ROADS:
Most of the gravel roads are well maintained, but some become badly corrugated. Always expect the unexpected and drive accordingly – a good road may suddenly deteriorate. Give yourself time to travel safely and enjoy the experience. Although the speed limit is 60 km/h sometimes road conditions will mean you will need to travel considerably slower than this. Too much speed will cause your vehicle to drift – driving over corrugated roads requires a balance between control, speed and comfort.
Every large town has a police station and on the main roads there are often speed traps, so keep to the speed limits!
Within cities and towns – 60 km/h
On tarmac roads in rural areas – 120 km/h
On Gravel roads – 60 km/h
DO NOT DRIVE AFTER DUSK:
Large animals are on the road: avoid driving after dark.
It is your responsibility to ensure you are fully and adequately insured for the duration of your holiday.
TAKE ALL RUBBISH WITH YOU:
Leave the wilderness as you found it.
ASK PERMISSION BEFORE PHOTOGRAPHING LOCALS:
Gifts such as sugar, maize meal and tobacco are accepted as payment.
IF YOU ARE LUCKY ENOUGH TO SEE WILD ELEPHANTS:
Stay in your vehicle at all times and be quiet.
Try & Stay downwind and at least 100 metres away, to leave both yourself and them ample space to prevent confrontation.
If they start to turn or move away, do not follow or chase them.
Elephants may charge if agitated. They often worn you by shaking their heads. Breeding bulls in ‘musth’ are especially unpredictable and aggressive.
Always ensure you have an escape route. It is easier to drive forward than reverse.
Please remember that you are the visitor here – the wildlife has priority.
There is a speed limit of 40 km/h to 60 km/h in the National Parks. If you drive faster than this, you will not be able to see any wildlife! Reduce your speed and use all your senses, not just your eyes!
REMAIN IN YOUR VEHICLE:
Remain in your vehicle at all times except in areas clearly demarcated with permission to leave your vehicle. Keep vehicle doors closed. Only head and shoulders are permitted outside the vehicle. If an animal approaches your vehicle, we strongly suggest you close all windows.
RIGHT OF WAY:
All animals have right of way.
The shops within the National Park camps have intermittent stocks. It is best to buy everything you think you will need before entering the National Park. Please use reusable shopping bags to avoid using plastic bags while shopping for in-country.
Every evening, look at the sightings book at reception to plan your following days’ game drives.
GET UP EARLY:
Carnivores are active early in the morning. You will increase your chances of seeing carnivores if you are ready to leave the camp at sunrise.
Don’t be selfish!! Please remember everyone in the park is there for the same reason as you are. Approach waterholes slowly and quietly. Find a position that enables you to view the waterhole without obscuring the view of a vehicle that is already parked. Do not disturb the animals while trying to get a better view.
TURN OFF YOUR ENGINE:
Wild animals are sensitive to noise. Turn off your engine as soon as you can!
When you arrive at a waterhole and there is nothing to see immediately, pick a position, stop the vehicle and turn of your engine. Get your binoculars out and start looking beyond the waterhole – you never know what may be walking in!
ETOSHA NATIONAL PARK GATE ENTRY PROCEDURE:
You may be asked for your passports so have them to hand.
Fill in a park entry form with details such as the lead name / nationality / car registration / number of passengers and ages of children if applicable / date of departure / whether you are carrying any meat on board.
You will then be handed a form which should be handed to the Park Receptionist at your first camp
ETOSHA CAMP CHECK IN PROCEDURE:
You will need to register at each camp upon arrival. There are two receptionists: one for the camp and accommodation and one for the National Park.
Please hand your voucher to the receptionist who will ask you to fill in a visitor registration book. They will ask you for a N$500 key deposit which will be returned when you hand back the keys on departure day.
They will then give you your keys and a map of the camp showing your accommodation. On the back of the map are emergency numbers as well as camp opening and closing times. You cannot leave the camp before sunrise and must return before sunset. The sunrise and sunset times are on the park entrance gates as well each camp gates. Restaurant – you will need to book your table for dinner daily. The form can be found on the counter or in the restaurant.
Upon arrival at your first camp, hand in the form you received at the gate to the person on duty who will process your park fees. This can be paid in cash or by card.
Keep the receipt in a safe place as you will need to produce this in order to leave the park at the end of your time in Etosha National Park.
There is a sightings book in reception which gives up to date information. This will help you plan your first game drive!
LEAVING DAY AND GATE EXIT PROCEDURE:
On your leaving day you will need to take your keys to the reception who will return your key deposit.
When exiting the National Park via the park gate, hand in your entry form and receipt showing you have paid your park fees and then you are ready to start the next part of your adventure.
DO NOT SLEEP IN RIVER BEDS:
This may disturb wildlife and could be hazardous due to flash floods.
ONLY CAMP IN DESIGNATED AREAS:
The local people have accepted that they live in close proximity to potentially dangerous animals. Help support these communities to benefit from tourism by paying campsite fees.
DO NOT CAMP WITHIN 2 KM OF ANY WATERHOLE:
This may stop wildlife from visiting. It may also put you in danger.
GET TO YOUR CAMPSITE BEFORE DARK:
Do not walk around at night for your own safety.
TAKE YOUR OWN FIREWOOD:
You must purchase your fire wood from shops. You are not permitted to chop down any trees or pick up fallen logs.
ALWAYS COVER YOUR ASHES FROM THE FIRE:
Do this with a shovel to reduce chances of bush fire.
Do not leave shoes outside your tent – they make perfect hideouts for small creatures!
Lock away all foodstuffs at night and always clear up after meals.
If you have any further questions on our self drive safari helpful information page or need any help please contact us here.