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Camping or lodges - Looking for Advice

Tucson
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Camping or lodges - Looking for Advice

We are going to Namibia in about 4 weeks. We have just booked the flights, so everything else is still up in the air. I searched the forum for answers to my questions, but still wanted to post my own questions. We are indecisive wether we should rent a 4x4 with camping equipment and stay at campsites or just rent a regular car and stay in lodges, B&B's or hotels. We are only two people. Does anyone have experience what might be a cheaper way? We don't need luxury, just simple places to sleep. We would opt for the camping just to be more flexible and not to be worried where to stay the next night. Might it be too cold to camp in June? We don't have a detailed itinerary yet, but are thinking of going to Botswana and Victoria Falls as well. We are also considering to book the self-drive with a tour operator. I read that it could be more cost efficient as well, but I don't know. I am grateful for any advice. Thanks!

Central Portugal...
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1. Re: Camping or lodges - Looking for Advice

we drove through Namibia in February, all camping was amazing , and it wasnt cold then , would definately reccomend it , not sure about June , also Feb was very quiet , so no problem just turning up, hope this helps a bit .

Slovenia
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for Costa Rica
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2. Re: Camping or lodges - Looking for Advice

I have still to make my first trip to Namibia, in about a week. Yet extensive research was already done. Hiring a 4x4 with roof tent and camping is surely less expensive then staying at lodges. Mainly because it is hard to find an inexpensive accommodation out of larger towns, and there are only a couple of those in Namibia. Places like Sossusvlei, most of Damaraland, Etosha are lodges only; and they come with full board and a price around 100US$ per person per night. However, although driving with a regular car is possible, it is also much less comfortable then driving a larger SUV as many kilometeres will be on gravel roads. So the price difference comes closer. In my case, for 2 weeks camping was 30% less expensive (no food was calculated in camping price). Bear in mind that June is start of winter season, and night time temperatures can fall down close to zero (and that is why my wife declined to go camping ;)) )..

Using a tour operator is highly recommendable. Not only you are in a serious time constraint, and some lodges run by NWR are seriously unreliable when booked on-line, it is also less stressful having most of your expenses paid with only one or two bank transactions thus no worries about where to withdraw or exchange for local currency.

If going with a local tour operator several of them are regular contributors on this forum.

Tucson
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3. Re: Camping or lodges - Looking for Advice

Thank you very much for the replies. It helps me a lot in making a decision.

Tucson
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38 posts
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4. Re: Camping or lodges - Looking for Advice

Thank you very much for your reply. It was very helpful. I wish you a great trip.

Tucson
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5. Re: Camping or lodges - Looking for Advice

Thank you very much!

Kungalv, Sweden
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6. Re: Camping or lodges - Looking for Advice

We stayed in lodges, and it was earlier, Feb/March, but one thing you might want to think about is that it can be very hot at night, and difficult to sleep. We forgot to leave the windows wide open at one place and it was terribly hot. I don't know how a roof tent works with the heat?

/Neil

Cumbria, United...
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7. Re: Camping or lodges - Looking for Advice

We have camped 5 years ago in June and plan to do again this year. It cools at night but we never had major problems just put extra fleece on. It is amazing camping under the African skies and seeing the stars and Milky Way especially if you have a remote campsite and no light pollution. It is very special cooking your dinner on the braii and enjoying it with a glass of good wine. Enjoy.

London, United...
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8. Re: Camping or lodges - Looking for Advice

A camper van with a roof tent is the best of both worlds. It is certainly the most economical option, and the big roof tent can be opened/closed in a matter of minutes and makes a very comfortable sleeping place. Having a combination of transport and accomodation gives you a significant degree of freedom. You also have the option of sleeping at the odd lodge if you want a bit of luxury every now and then. Most companies who rent such vehicles will also be able to help with any campsite and lodge bookings, offer free airport transfers and will be able to offer suggestions for itineraries as well - you do not really need a separate tour operator.

You should not worry about temperatures, evenings will be pleasantly warm, and a light jacket/fleece in the morning will do until the morning chill is dissipated by the sun. A medium-range sleeping bag (good down to 8-10C) will be more than enough to keep you warm in the tent.

For an idea on this style of traveling, see our 2005 & 2012 trip reports;

fjexpeditions.com/expeditions/…namibia05.htm

fjexpeditions.com/expeditions/…may12.htm

Edited: 26 April 2014, 09:50
Tucson
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9. Re: Camping or lodges - Looking for Advice

Thank you very much for your response. It is very helpful!

10. Re: Camping or lodges - Looking for Advice

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