8 Things to know before Camping in Namibia
1. Great infrastructure.
The camping infrastructure in Namibia is excellent. All around the country you will find managed campsites that are clean and affordable with good amenities. Out of the about 20 campsites we stayed at only one was truly terrible (run down place between Walvis Bay and Swakopmund). All the others were ranging from okay to amazing. Our favourite camping experience was sleeping directly next to the Okavango river and waking up to the sound of hippos grunting in the early morning.
Be aware that wilderness camping is more or less frowned upon in Namibia. With all the great managed campsites, you won‘t miss out too much though.
2. Many campsites are fenced.
In contrast to Botswana, a larger number of campsites in Namibia are fenced. This mostly applies to the campsites in Etosha National Park. With plenty of wild animals roaming around, the fenced-in-campsites allow you to move around freely during night without fearing to be devoured by a lion.
3. Red Floodlight
Several campsites in Etosha National Park grant you a very special experience. Viewing platforms equipped with red floodlights allow visitors to catch a glimpse of the waterholes at night. That way your chances of catching one of the more elusive creatures, like rhinos or the nocturnal spottet hyena, significantly rises. We were incredibly lucky in seeing five black rhinos congregate around a waterhole at night.
4. Pre-book some of your campsites.
We never pre-book any of our accommodation, however, in Etosha National Park this is advisable. The park is popular and there are only a certain numbers of campsites available. If you want to secure a specific campground for the night, a booking is the safe option. Keep in mind: without a booking, you will not be allowed to enter the park after lunchtime.
5. Bring an extra blanket and warm clothes.
Despite daytime temperatures regularly rising above 40°C (104°F), it is advisable to bring an extra blanket and warm clothes for your camping trip in Namibia. With nightfall the temperatures begin to plummet, sometimes even ending up below the freezing point. Days in the desert are hot, while the nights are cold. Be prepared for this rapid change of temperature.
6. Lüderitz is windy.
If you intend to camp in Lüderitz, there is a beautiful campsite directly on the seashore. However, be advised that it gets extremely windy there on a regular basis. During our stay filming our Namibia travel documentary the wind was so strong that we were hoping that the rooftop tent would not collapse on us during the night.
7. Rooftop versus ground tent.
Before embarking on your trip, you‘ll have to make the decision if you want to sleep in a regular tent on the ground, or staying on top of a car in a roof-top tent. Generally speaking, most people on a self-drive camping safari through Namibia opt for the second choice. Sleeping atop a car gives you an added sense of security in the wilderness.
Generally speaking, camping is safe, even on the non-fenced campsites. Most animals do not perceive tents as tents with people inside, but interpret them as large animals or objects, hence an attack is very unlikely.
8. Don‘t leave your shoes outside.
If you do not want to step into a scorpion or a spider in the early morning, we recommend to not leave your shoes outside. Scorpions and spiders appreciate the warmth of shoes and hide in them during the night, so the first thing for you to do in the morning is to properly shake out your shoes. Alternatively, wear flip flops before sleeping.
Watch our Namibia travel documentary on Youtube!