Travel Diaries

Florence’s tips to Camping in Namibia

March 21, 2018 Facebook Page Twitter Page
Olifantsrus camp is probably Etosha's best-kept secret!
A rhino and elephants drinking right in front of us is unforgettable.
Olifantsrus camp is probably Etosha's best-kept secret!
A rhino and elephants drinking right in front of us is unforgettable.

Hi Florence!

Tell us a little about yourself and your latest trip to Namibia.

I'm a 30 years old travel enthusiast, married to an equally curious and adventurous partner. We live in Barcelona, and feel grateful we can enjoy the Mediterranean sea throughout the year, so we wanted to enjoy some quiet time while traveling independently last summer. We set off for Namibia in August for just under 3 weeks.

Did your trip go the way you expected it to?

Yes, Namibia is a relatively easy country to go around. People are welcoming, sights are unique and roads are overall very well maintained. But Namibia also requires early planning. August is peak season in Namibia, and we had had to postpone our trip 3 years ago as we just couldn't find a car. The best located campsites or lodges are also booked well in advanced. This time, we thus hesitated to outsource the whole planning to an agency, but were put off by the prices. The key was to find a 4x4 and from there, we were able to build the itinerary on our own. So do not underestimate the planning part. In fact, some agencies will rather not work with you unless you contact them 4-6 months ahead of departure!

What was your favorite moment from your trip?

There are definitely a few, as Namibia offers a lot to see and experience. If I had to pick one though, I'd say our night within Etosha at the Olifantsrus camp - it’s probably Etosha's best-kept secret!! We had not managed to book ourselves a night inside Etosha ahead of time. We tried our luck and asked if there'd be any free spots for the next night, and luckily there was one. The camp features a viewing point built over a water hole. It’s lit with red light at night so as not to scare off the animals. Coming back on the observation deck at night to watch a rhino drinking was already mesmerizing. But the then quiet arrival of 3 elephants, drinking right in front of us, is unforgettable.

What was your least favorite moment?

9am, 28 degrees, scorching sun and a flat tyre on a secondary road (D2303) between Cape Cross and Uis. We had seen no one since we had left Cape Cross at 7:30, and would not see anyone until we finally reached Uis! Yoann was thankfully prepared for this possibility (thank you, youtube)! So an experience in itself, rather than a bad moment really :) Flat tyres are bound to happen in some parts of the country, especially as you head north. The roads are well-maintained, but you will have to deal with rocks!

What mode of transportation did you find most effective?

The 4x4 with a roof tent is definitely a top choice. We rented it fully equipped with camping gears and sat nav straight from the airport. Of course most itineraries won’t take you to bad gravel roads so some might say you can chose cheaper cars. But I would not recommend it. First because C-roads can be bumpy, and you will spend A LOT of time in your car (we drove close to 5,000km across the country!). Second because the 4x4 with roof tent leaves you full flexibility to adapt/change your itinerary on the go. Renting a 4x4 is not cheap, but in turn, you avoid pricey lodges. Campsites are usually well-run across the country (in the top range of campsites, I'd recommend the Onguma Tamboti Campsite, at the border of Etosha). Generally, camping is also how you'll enjoy most quiet, at night, when preparing your braai (bbq/fire) and fixing diner! We rented through Namibia 4x4 hire, who found for us an available 4x4 from Bidvest (a leading south African car rental agency). I would warmly recommend them (good car, good support).

Namibia is known for their nature reserves, what was your favorite one?

Nature reserves do not necessarily equal animals, and just driving through Namibia reveals a lot of unusual sights to the European traveller. Namibia's deserts will show different aspects, forms and colours. Now If I had to chose one, I would say Sossusvlei was among the best. First for the experience: in order to catch the sunrise, we woke up in the middle of the night, packing our roof tent in a freezing wind, then driving off to the reserve. And then of course for the site itself: this is simply the desert as you would picture it :) endless, red dunes. It's an amazing experience to walk on the dunes, especially if you can walk away from the crowds and enjoy the silence of this place (which you can easily do nearer to the Deadvlei).

Are there any places in Namibia that you would go for relaxation?

When you sleep out under a tent, your whole day routine is challenged. You'll wake up (early) with the sun, and head to bed (early) with the night. So once you're comfortable assembling and packing the tent quickly enough, you definitely feel more relaxed when camping in the wild! There are plenty of campsites across Namibia. While some run by the NWR are the best located spots, very close to some reserves, some farms also feature very well-run rest camps that will save you from the crowds and offer a real off-the-beaten tracks experience (e.g. Tsauchab River Camp, 70 km east from Sesriem).

Thank you Florence!

Interested in learning more? Check out her itinerary on wOndary.

Breathtaking NAMIBIA&nbsp;🇳🇦
Breathtaking NAMIBIA 🇳🇦
Travel Diary: Nicole
Travel Diary: Nicole