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Planning any trip to Namibia can be intimidating, but if you are going to be self-driving and camping in this vast country, then it is best to prepare properly. Luckily, with a little bit of preparation, Namibia is one of the easiest and best places in the world for an adventurous camping trip. I’ve put together a list of everything you need to pack for a road trip in Namibia, including everything to add to your Namibia packing list, something you definitely want to know before visiting Namibia.
Before you dive into this Namibia packing list, I’ve highlighted a few of the most popular tours in Namibia.
Popular tours in Namibia
What to pack for a road trip in Namibia
- Tupperware – cooking every night when you’re camping can be a hassle. Having a few tupperware packed allows you to prep and store a few items such as cooked rice, extra produce from open cans, or leftovers. Stojo bowls are a great option that collapse to take up minimal space
- Stasher Bags – not only are these another great option for storing leftovers, but Stasher Bags are also perfect for packing lunches. We admittedly had a lot of peanut butter and jelly lunches while road tripping in Namibia, so this allowed us to prep out sandwiches ahead of time while we were driving or out hiking.
- Garbage bags – having both small and large garbage bags is a great way to stay organized and keep things (somewhat) dust-free.
- Warm blankets – Much of Namibia is the desert, which means the temperature drops at night. It can be blistering hot during the day, but at night you may even see frost on your windshield. If you are camping then it is so important to prepare for the cold. If you are renting from Savanna then you have the option of renting pillows and sleeping bags for an additional 50 NAD per day, however you need to secure these in advance. We forgot to do this, so they didn’t have any left when we arrived. Instead we bought 2 pillows and a few blankets from a local shop, which we supplemented with our pillow cases (Bliss pillowcase) and our favorite Sea-to-Summit sleeping bag liners.
- Toilet Paper – some campsites have it, some don’t. It’s always better to be prepared.
- Quick dry Travel Towel – my microfiber towel is by far one of my favorite items that I travel with.
- 2 Spare tires – obviously this isn’t something you can pack ahead of time, but when you head out on your road trip it is important to make sure that you have at least 2 spare tires. You should also make sure that you have rental insurance that covers tire damage and damage to the front windshield. Unfortunately flat and destroyed tires are incredibly common in Namibia.
- Flashlight/Headlamp – if you’ll be camping then a flashlight is super important for navigating your campsite at night and in the early evening.
- Battery pack – some campsites have electricity and others do not. A battery pack is a great way to keep your electronics charged while you’re out in the desert.
- Rubber bands – a great way to close food items that you may have opened but not finished, such as a bag of rice.
You will be moving around a lot, and carrying your luggage in your car, so avoid overpacking. Most days I was hiking, camping, or driving – so I didn’t need anything fancy. The sun is also super strong so it is easy to wash clothes along the way.
In general I love traveling with technical shirts that are lightweight and breathable, and take up practically no space in my bag. I have a number of them from Patagonia in my t-shirt rotation.
Our rental came with the following:
- 1 table
- 2 chairs
- 2 gas cooking tops
- a set of mugs, bowls, plates, and cutlery
- all cooking utensils (wooden spoon, peeler, sharp knife, can opener, bottle opener, spatula, grilling tongs, cutting board)
- soap, sponge, and rags
- basic spices
- camping lantern
- a large bottle of cooking water
If any of these items are not included in your car rental, I highly recommend packing them or picking them up in Windhoek before you start your drive.
Here is what I would pack for clothing for Namibia
- 2 pairs of comfortable pants, I like to wear flowy linen pant that are breathable in hot weather
- 1 pair of jeans or cargo pants
- 1 pair of leggings or workout shorts
- 1 sports bra, 1 regular bra
- 4-5 shirts, a mix of tanks, tees, and long sleeve
- 1 light jacket, I love my NanoAir
- 1 sweatshirt
- 1 dress
- 7-10 pairs of underwear
- 1 rain jacket, if visiting during the rainy season
- 1 set of pajamas
- 1 pair of hiking sneakers
- 1 pair of active sandals, I wore my Tevas literally everyday
- 1 beanie, especially if you’re traveling during African winter
There really isn’t any specific food that I would recommend packing prior to arriving in Namibia, as I found everything I needed was easy to find.
Here is our sample Namibia grocery list:
- Assortment of fruits and veggies (spinach, spring lettuce mix, peppers, onions, tomato, cucumber, potato, sweet potato, celery, bananas)
- Beans (black beans, chickpeas)
- Local spices and chicken spice marinade, cinnamon
- Peanut Butter
How to get to Namibia
If you are planning a trip to Namibia, you will likely be flying into one of two main airports: Hosea Kutako International Airport in Windhoek or Walvis Bay Airport in Walvis Bay. Flights to Windhoek tend to be a bit more affordable, but it really depends on where in the country you’re trying to go.
To find cheap flights from your city, use the form below:
Best time to visit
The great things about Namibia, is that it is a year-round destination. That said, a trip during Namibia’s winter, which lasts from April to October, will be considerably more enjoyable. During these months the weather is still hot, but much more manageable.
You will find more crowds during this time, however we still found that the sites never felt super crowded, even during the busiest season. You will, however, need to make sure to book your campsites or lodges in advance, especially if you are trying to stay within the parks.
Where to stay
There are some many incredible places to stay during a trip to Namibia, whether you are planning to camp, glamp, or stay at luxury lodges. I have added links to a few of my favorite, top-rated lodging options below for each destination.
Best things to do in Namibia
- Hike Dune 45 in Sossusvlei
- Wander the trees of Deadvlei
- Enjoy the seaside in Swakopmund
- Go on a self-drive safari in Etosha
- Sleep under the stars in Spitzkoppe
- Enjoy a night with the animals at We Kebi Lodge
Visiting Namibia? Here are some other articles to check out:
- Everything you need to know about Sossusvlei
- Planning a self-drive in Etosha
- Camping in Spitzkoppe
- Visiting Deadvlei, Namibia
- 35+ Things to know before visiting Namibia