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4x4 required for Sossusvlei/Namib Rand/Swakopmund?

Melbourne
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4x4 required for Sossusvlei/Namib Rand/Swakopmund?

Hi all.

I know choice between 2wd and 4x4 for self-driving tours of Namibia has been heavily debated previously, but I was hoping to get an opinion about this specifically related to our trip to Sossusvlei and either Namib Rand or Swakopmund (haven't decided yet). If we visit Namib Rand we were considering staying at Wolwedans Dune Camp and I've read the road from Sossusvlei to the Dune Camp is very rocky and requires a 4x4. Can anyone confirm this? Can someone also tell me what the road condition between Sossusvlei and Swakopmund/Windhoek is like? My girlfriend can get a bit carsick on really bumpy roads (gravel would be ok I think), so an opinion about whether the road travel would be significantly more comfortable/less bumpy in a 4x4 would also be much appreciated.

Thanks all in advance.

Stanley, Falkland...
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1. Re: 4x4 required for Sossusvlei/Namib Rand/Swakopmund?

AFAIK, Any lodge that has a road that requires a 4x4, will meet you at the main road if you drive a normal car, and take you to the camp/lodge. Your car is left at the roadside during your stay. Its not a problem.

Sossussvlei -> Swak, good gravel.

WDH -> Soss, good gravel.

WDH -> Swak. good tar. (although there are gravel alternatives.)

Have only used a 2x4. Never get carsick, though.

Melbourne
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2. Re: 4x4 required for Sossusvlei/Namib Rand/Swakopmund?

thanks peterscot, exactly the sort of info i was after.

Have you been on or heard about the road between sossusvlei and wolwedans dune camp?

Cary, North Carolina
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3. Re: 4x4 required for Sossusvlei/Namib Rand/Swakopmund?

You don't need a 4x4 on all these roads. What you need is a vehicle with good ground clearance. The public roads between Sossusvlei and Swakop are good well maintained roads with some "corrigated iron" at places. You could drive 100-120km/h on these wide, long straight roads, BUT you must drive much slower. The reason is that the small gravel used for building the roads can be slippery especially if your tyres are pumped hard.

Werner

Eko Tracks

Stanley, Falkland...
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4. Re: 4x4 required for Sossusvlei/Namib Rand/Swakopmund?

www.wolwedans-namibia.com/directions.htm

These are some of the most detailed directions I've read forany camp. It says a 4x4 is not required (only advised).

As I said on another of your posts, I think the roads in Namibia are amongst the best in Africa, so I'm not sure how your gf will cope in Kenya/Tanzania/Botswana.

As said above, every so often there are corrugations on some gravel roads, and sometimes it can be fun trying to find the optimum speed to go over them at.

There are usually only 3 warning road signs on the roads - corners (SLOW DOWN!); dips (usually dry river beds - SLOW DOWN!) and a kudu (wild animals possibly crossing. Kudus can jump game fences and are not fun to hit).

Whether your gf would be more comfortable in a 4x4 is difficult to guess. Why not drive into the outback to see how she reacts? :-)

USA
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5. Re: 4x4 required for Sossusvlei/Namib Rand/Swakopmund?

A lot depends on when you are traveling..I drove 2x4 in the dry season, and still had to cross some random flooded out spots! The 2x4 did the job, but I have to say we were on edge on the whole time! If it was any wetter, we may have gotten stuck... I've also done 4x4. You just have to drive slow, as mentioned above.

Car sick--doubtful. The roads aren't really windy, just rocky at times. I get car sick, but never did in Nam unless I was in the back of a mini-bus. Either car should be fine.

Melbourne
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6. Re: 4x4 required for Sossusvlei/Namib Rand/Swakopmund?

After everyone's advice, i had settled on a 2wd car, but my girlfriend has revealed she would really prefer a 4x4 because she would feel safer in it (regardless of road conditions). So given this Africa trip is mainly for me, going with a 4x4 was the least i could do =) Thanks again for everyone's help; I'll let you guys know how it all pans out in Namibia.

Berks UK
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7. Re: 4x4 required for Sossusvlei/Namib Rand/Swakopmund?

You made a good decision...you'll enjoy a lot more fun with the 4x4, and it opens up opportunities you wouldn't undertake in a 2wd.

Cape Town, South...
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8. Re: 4x4 required for Sossusvlei/Namib Rand/Swakopmund?

The road between Wolwedans and Sossus yes is gravel road but I drove it with Toyota Yaris last year! THe best 4x4 is a rental 4x4, haha! If you do rent a 4x4 make sure you have some training driving it. Many drivers underestimate the danger of driving it. I had few clients from Holland that underestimaed and 'rolled' the car. Insurance doesn't cover all of that, make sure to read the fine print when renting 4x4, it almost always has a high access. We aware of that. But sounds like your trip is going to be a beautiful one! Make sure to go ballooning over the Namib and have the champagne brkfst. Very very special!!

9. Re: 4x4 required for Sossusvlei/Namib Rand/Swakopmund?

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