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Is Travel Possible to Principal Sites if Not Vehicle Driver?

San Francisco...
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Is Travel Possible to Principal Sites if Not Vehicle Driver?

Am hoping to plan trip to Namibia for June 2014. Single US guy. Vehicle rentals are the ideal way to go. But left shift and all things reverse makes planning that unwise.

Is it possible to find a way to visit some of the most interesting sites in the country without being the driver of a vehicle? I can manage a budget of up to about $150 US/day, to include lodging, food, fees, transport while there.

Would wish to visit a selection from the following prime sites: Etosha, Damaraland, Swakopmund, Kunene, Bushmanland, Fish River Canyon, and possibly other areas of interest in its direction.

I know that "getting there", and getting around to see and enjoy things while"there" is the big hurdle. I'd like to do this for about 10-14 days.

Does anyone have solutions how to achieve at least part of this on my modest budget?

Many thanks, Jim L.

Naracoorte
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1. Re: Is Travel Possible to Principal Sites if Not Vehicle Driver?

You may have to look at a budget tour. Self drive is the best way but your budget could at times be a squeeze to cover everything even if you were more open to tackling the driving challenges. There are a number of operators who do a northern and southern loop. I don't think it is realistic to expect to see all of these areas in that time frame - at least not if you want to relax and take anything in. I would choose a tour that hits fewer places with more time rather than one which rushes around staying one night at each destination. Good luck with your research. I am sure a few other regulars here will have some great suggestions.

Hermanus, South...
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2. Re: Is Travel Possible to Principal Sites if Not Vehicle Driver?

Travelling about Namibia without a vehicle is quite tricky, as we have very little in the way of public transport.

Take a look at Wild Dog Safaris. They are a good operator and run good budget trips that cover the highlights. I can recommend them. This would be a good way to see the main sights without having to have the worry about how to get there and back.

With Fish River Canyon, Kunene River, Bushmanland and Swakopmund you have pretty much picked the 4 extremes of the country...so for the amount of time you have you will need to decide if you want to head north or south...otherwise you will be travelling non stop.

Stanley, Falkland...
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3. Re: Is Travel Possible to Principal Sites if Not Vehicle Driver?

I doubt you'll find a better country to find out how easy it is to drive on the "other" side....

How do others manage when they hire cars in the UK, which a much much more traffic than Namibia?

Windhoek, Namibia
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4. Re: Is Travel Possible to Principal Sites if Not Vehicle Driver?

I can second Gemma's suggestion of Wild Dog Safaris. They have camping safaris on which you can also choose to upgrade to budget (but very comfortable) accommodation if you prefer. They have a 7 day north, 7 day south, 10 day desert combined with the north and then a 14 day north and south which would cover mos of what you want to see with the exception of Kunene and Bushmanland.

If you do decide to consider self-driving then there are some companies here offering automatic vehicles, and as Peter says, Namibia is one of the quietest and easiest countries in the world to try driving on the 'wrong' side of the road! Automatics are more costly to hire than manuals as there is less choice and they cost more for the car hire companies to buy, and I would still recommend a 4x4 automatic rather than a sedan for comfort and safety, but it is something to perhaps consider as an option.

All the best,

Charlotte ATI Holidays

Adelaide, Australia
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5. Re: Is Travel Possible to Principal Sites if Not Vehicle Driver?

As the other very knowledgeable posters have said I think your choice is to either join an organised tour or hire a car. I do not drive a manual and was worried about this when travelling to namibia in May 2012 however the country is so sparsely populated traffic is not an issue so even I felt OK getting on with the manual driving and driving quite slowly to get the hang of it. You will drive for ages and not even see another car. I think you might be better with a tour given your budget..

San Francisco...
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6. Re: Is Travel Possible to Principal Sites if Not Vehicle Driver?

The posters are very helpful, and thanks. The most difficult aspect of the manual shift comes across as being the completely unaccustomed shifting with the left hand, when added to the focus required to drive on that "wrong" side of the road. Any comments on that?

Jim L.

Aarhus, Denmark
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7. Re: Is Travel Possible to Principal Sites if Not Vehicle Driver?

@Jim L

I - older woman, is used to drive in the right - but with manual shift, have planned a selv drive on my own, and I do not think there will be major difficulties. Ayway for me this is the way to explore the country.

By the way, I travel on a lower budget than yours since I camp part of the trip and only stay in lodges in

Etosha - so go for it.

Safe travel

Adelaide, Australia
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8. Re: Is Travel Possible to Principal Sites if Not Vehicle Driver?

The roads are so quiet you'll have plenty of space and no pressure to adjust and get used to it. Re the driving on the other side make sure you make lots of rest stops do you're nice and fresh for the driving. If you're really not confident then an organized tour is your other option. Either way have a wonderful time in namibia!

9. Re: Is Travel Possible to Principal Sites if Not Vehicle Driver?

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