Namibia is the 34th largest country in the world and after Mongolia it is the second least populated country.  So it stands to reason that in many areas infrastructure like roads will not be what tourists coming from places like Europe, Japan, America and even South Africa are used to.  The country has a total of nearly 7 000kms of tarred road and over 35 000kim of gravel or earth graded road.  If you are planning to do your own driving on your trip to Namibia you need to be prepared. 

To help you equip yourself effectively for this adventure we have divided this blog post into three sections, the Namibian rules of the road and what you need to know, a section on what to do to ensure your safety, and that of your fellow passengers and a paragraph on wildlife on the roads. 

If you are an experienced Namibian driver please comment on our blog to let us know if we missed anything, or have more helpful tips.

The Law

First and foremost in Namibia you drive on the left hand side of the road.  Seatbelts must be worn at all times by all passengers, including those in the back seat and the driver must carry his/her driver’s license at all times when driving. 

If you are stopped at a road block the first thing the police will check is the driver’s license.  If your license is in a foreign language make sure you also have an international license to accompany your own. 

Ensure that your vehicle is roadworthy; check it before you take it out, this is not only to abide by the law but also for your own safety.

Your Safety

Due to the country’s low population density if you do breakdown or get stuck somewhere it could be a very long time before potential help passes you, it is important to be prepared for this. 

Ensure that you have spare tyres, preferably two, as well as a tyre repair kit.  Also considering the sparse nature of the country carry a sizeable amount of water along on the trip, enough to keep you going if you break down for a few hours. 

In the same vein try to carry some extra fuel along as well.  It is wise to drive a vehicle that can handle the Namibian terrain, preferably a 4X4.

If you plan on going off the beaten track, leave your itinerary with somebody that you trust so if you do not arrive at your destination somebody will know to go looking for you.

The Wildlife

Try to avoid driving at dusk and at night when animals are more active and you are more likely to have a collision.  Keep the speed of your vehicle down so you can stop in time if animals cross the road.

Finally, and this should go without saying, if you are in a nature reserve with dangerous wildlife, do not leave your vehicle.

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