Renting a Car in Namibia: Complete Self-Drive Guide

Known as a country with a variety of landscapes, from wide spread out savannahs in Damaraland filled with unique wildlife to places where the ocean meets the tall sand dunes at the Skeleton Coast. Namibia is a true jewel in Africa and not yet discovered by the majority of tourists. This complete guide covers all you need to know for renting a car in Namibia to make the process a whole lot easier.

Being located in the southern part of Africa, a trip to Namibia guarantees adventure, rawness and authenticity – safe to say, a trip of a lifetime.

renting a car in namibia
campsite rental car

Driving in Namibia

Public transport is not really a thing in Namibia and most highlights are located hours away from each other. Which causes a rental car to be essential on your Namibian road-trip. Whether you decide to explore the country camping or staying in lodges.

Driving in Namibia is quite an adventure on its own and requires some more pre-planning than usual. With more tourists making their way to Namibia every year, roads are being renewed to make it even more enjoyable for travelers to travel through Namibia with their own rental car.

camping in namibia

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Rental Car Companies in Namibia

Namibia is getting more and more popular during the last few years, so new companies are joining the party every now and then. Some more luxurious than others, fitting every budget. We decided to rent our 4×4 car in Namibia with Advanced Car Hire. Their cars are in an average price range, have great service, good quality cars and pick-up service to and from the airport!

We booked the single cab and this made our experience a little more complicated and I don’t recommend renting these if you decide to go camping, even though you’re with 2 people. The car itself was amazing, only not really suitable for camping. Their double cab cars fit perfectly for camping with all the specifications I’ll mention later below.

Many car rental companies won’t cover you for off-road driving.

campsite in namibia

What kind of car do I need?

While renting a car in Namibia, the best (and for me the only) way to go is by 4×4. Considered the roads in Namibia, you don’t want to settle with less. Many of the main highlights are accessible with a normal car, but we’ve seen many situations where we felt very fortunate with our 4×4. Car rental companies often give the option between a Toyota Hilux (the one we had as well) or a Nissan Navara, both great options.

Learn how to change a tire, you’re going to want to have this skill in Namibia.

What to look for in a car?

Before renting a car in Namibia, make sure your car has the underneath specifications.

Spare Tires

Getting a flat tire is rather usual than unusual when driving in Namibia. Therefore, prepare yourself well and get 1 or even 2 spare tires.

Double Cab

Double cab means you have a backseat (suitable for 4 persons) and even though you’re traveling with 2 people, the backseat is key to store your sleeping bags, pillows and possible backpacks/suitcases.

This way you’re saving a lot more time every morning and evening setting up your tent. Unfortunately we had to learn the hard way of missing this option as we chose the cheaper version with single cab which was a big no.


Having a fridge is a necessity for keeping your food cold with the hot climate in Namibia. Be aware that you need to plug your fridge in a plug when arriving on your campsite as otherwise you might run low your car’s battery.

Camping Equipment

Traveling with a rooftop tent and camping your way through Namibia is the most popular and budget-friendly way to explore the country. This is of course a personal choice whether you decide to only stay in lodges/hotels or having night where you’re planning to camp. The 4×4 cars with camping equipment will come with all the necessities for your Namibian camping trip.

Second fuel tank

With a country as big as Namibia, you know you’ll make a lot of kilometers during a self-drive road-trip. You’re going to want that extra fuel tank. Luckily most 4×4 cars have this, but make sure to check it.

Air conditioning

When spending hours upon hours on the road in the heat of Namibia you have to make it as comfortable as possible. Air conditioning is a must, but luckily often included in 4×4 cars.

Truck opens from the sides

A must when renting a car in Namibia is to be able to open the trunk not only from the back but also from the sides. Perfect to fold out your kitchen utensils or to grab stuff quickly and easy without crawling through the back of your truck. Most double cab cars come with this option automatically.

camping equipment rental car
car view africa

Car rental camping equipment


  •  Roof Tent(s)
  •  Mattress + sheet
  •  Gas Bottle (full)
  •  Cooker Top
  •  Braai Grid and Braai Utensils
  •  Cutlery
  •  Plates + bowls
  •  Mugs and glasses
  •  Cooking pots and pans
  •  Camping lamp
  •  Table Chairs (one for each person)
  •  Table
  •  Wash Basin
  •  First Aid Kit
  •  Car tools
  •  Namibian Road Map

To rent

  • Sleeping bags + pillows
  • GPS
  • Fridge (sometimes included)
  • Satellite phone
  • Jerrycan
  • Cooler box (often free upon request)
  • Ground tent

These are the most important, the full equipment are mentioned on the car company’s website, those from Advanced Car Hire here.

renting a car in namibia toyota

What to bring/buy yourself when renting a car in Namibia

  • Cleaning equipment (soap, drying towel, sponge)
  • Lighter
  • Extra batteries
  • Firewood + firelighters
  • Toilet paper
  • Sanitizer

Things you can’t forget to bring from home 

  • Microfiber towels
  • Headlight with red light option
  • Binoculars for spotting wildlife
  • Strong power bank (look up the max mAh of your airline)
  • Medicines
  • Car charger
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Camera with zoomlens
sossusvlei blog

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camping equipment cooking

Costs of renting a car in Namibia

4×4 rental cars with camping equipment range between N$1000 (€50) and N$2750 (€135) per day depending on the company, the model, excess waiver, the equipment, the specs and more.

For our 4×4 Toyota Hilux Single Cab (manual) from Advanced Car hire with camping equipment we paid N$26,500 in total for 16 days including bedding, a fridge, the tyre & glass insurance and excess waiver.

Budget Tip! Renting a car in Namibia during low season will save you a noticable amount of money.

roads namibia

Insurance for your rental car

Excess waiver

Keeping yourself safe and covered is most important while your travels and make sure to protect yourself well in advance. While renting your car most companies have an excess waiver. Which means, if something happens to your car, you have to pay that amount of money yourself and the rest will be covered by the car company. Getting a higher excess waiver means the rental car will be cheaper per day instead of the ones with a reduced excess waiver. This is a personal choice and also depends on your own travel insurance. We decided to have an excess waiver of N$30.000 but you can also choose to have N$0.

No plastic bags are allowed in Namibia.

Tyres & Glass waiver

I highly recommend adding this insurance to your quote as getting a flat tire or cracks in your front window is not something rare in Namibia. This insurance is a small extra fee per day, with Advanced Car Hire this is N$200 per day (€10).

tyres rental car namibia
rental car namibia

Essentials for renting a car in Namibia


Valid for at least 6 months upon arrival

Drivers License

Language on license in English

Credit Card

For excess on your rental car

Do I need an international drivers license?

No, an international drivers license is not necessary if your own drivers license is in English. Our dutch/Belgian ones are in English, but we had our international ones with us just to be sure. Often these only cost a few euros or in some countries even free.

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drone view namibia

Watch out for wildlife

While driving through Namibia you’re going to see many different road signs with animals on it, which means these animals and others are able to cross.

Don’t forget you’re in an African country where animals roam around freely in most places, so keep your eyes out during your roadtrip. We’ve come across many wild animals outside of national parks like giraffes and springboks, but you may come across any other animal while driving.

Therefore please keep your eyes on the road all the time!

wildlife namibia
road signs namibia

Gas stations

Some days you’ll drive for hours upon hours with nothing in sight, let alone seeing a gas station up in sight. Therefore fill up whenever possible is highly recommend. While getting gas, it’s usual that someone will be fueling for you and to tip the gas attendant around N$5/10.

Every morning, check if the bolts of the tires are still fastened. Due to the road conditions these tend to loosen with time.

gasstation car

Don’t trust navigation 100%

Take the time Google Maps and other navigation services say for a specific route in Namibia with a pinch of salt. If it said 4 hours, we drove at least 6 or more due to road conditions, where you need to drive slower.

And of course, you will be stopping frequently and you need to enjoy the landscapes too as they’re among the best and truly unique! Keep this in mind and make sure to start a long driving day as early as possible.

No signal

We’ve experienced quite some areas where we didn’t have any service or let alone 3G, causing a problem if you rely on your service for Google Maps. Make sure to download the map you’re going to need beforehand or rent a GPS with your car rental company.

sunset africa

Driving rules on the road


Your lights must be on all the time while driving in Namibia. We didn’t know about this and figured it out by the end of the trip when a nice police officer told us during a random road check.

Driving on the left side of the road.

It takes up some getting used to during the first day, but you quickly get used to this! For people not driving on the left side already at home, please make sure to enter the roundabout to the left side as well 😉

desert car roadtrip
zebra africa

Speed limits

are well visibly marked on roads but here are the general rules: 120km/h on highways, 100km/h on gravel roads and 60km/h in towns, unless told otherwise.

Some companies have their own limits on specific roads, for example max 80km/h instead of 100km/h on gravel roads, so check these while reading through the contract to stay protected by the insurance.

On top of that, our car started beeping when we exceeded a speed limit suitable for the road condition.

Seat belts

This one speaks for itself I guess.. 😉


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spitzkoppe arch sunset

Road conditions

Roads in Namibia are in relatively good condition as more and more roads are being newly paved which make your roadtrip through Namibia only more enjoyable.

However keep in mind that Namibia is still a wild country that requires some driving skills, but most touristy spots in the country are accessible by paved or tarred roads.

Not all of them though, for example, Deadvlei. To reach Deadvlei, located in the Namib Naukluft National Park, you must drive through loose sand which requires a 4×4 and some more driving skills than usual.

Road-Trip Tip! Everything will be covered with dust in your truck – don’t bring your fanciest stuff.

roads in namibia africa

If you’re visiting more raw and remote areas of Namibia you can come across some challenging roads along the way. Try to research the routes beforehand to prepare yourself on the road conditions along the way.

Tips for on the road:

Adjust the tyre pressure – When driving through loose sand deflate your tires to 1.2/1.4 bar (depending on your car) and switch to your 4×4.

Don’t drive at nightMost importantly as this increase the risk of hitting wild life. Animals are often seen crossing or resting on the road at night and there aren’t any street lights in most parts of Namibia which makes it hard to spot them in time.

Download entertainment beforehand – As I said earlier, service isn’t guaranteed everywhere and internet connection is rare so download playlists on Spotify or podcasts to entertain yourself during those road-trip hours.

Keep snacks and water as back-up in your car for emergencies – When you find yourself in a situation when you need to wait for help or along a journey that takes up more time than expected it’s nice to have some more food and water in your car. Normally we had plenty of road trip snacks in our car and packed up at almost every fueling station.

footsteps sand dunes
rental car view

Safety in Namibia

As 2 young female travelers, we felt absolutely safe during our self-drive trip in Namibia (beside the first night when I thought people were walking around our tent, which ended up being a curious jackal eating our food from the bin lol). Beforehand we did some general research on the most common scams and mostly only came across stories of car break-ins or petty theft in urban centres.

With only a population of 2.5 million in a country 7 times bigger than the whole state of New York – which has a population of almost 20 million. Namibia is a country that’s widely spread out and among one of the safest countries in Africa. Even safer than it’s popular neighbor South Africa.

Have no fear when renting a car in Namibia and camping in remote areas of the country, even as female travelers. We had an amazing experience without issues! The people are very friendly and happy to help you out when you’re having problems with your rental car or anything else!

windhoek city safety namibia

Safety Precautions & Tips for renting a car in Namibia

Research areas.

As I do in every city/country, research the area’s you should stay away from, especially in bigger cities. Townships could be a bit sketchy.

Leave no valuables in your rental car.

Never leave any valuables visible in your cars as this may attract thiefs when you’re parked somewhere.


Along the way you may come across many hitchhikers and even though you may want to help people, never take anyone with you. You never know who you end up bringing with you, so rather stay safe than sorry.

Locking doors.

Make this a habit every time you start driving. Locking the doors is something we start doing while road-tripping in South Africa and since then doing so basically everywhere we rent a car. Especially when you’re having important bags on your backseat.

Parking attendants.

At most parking lots you’ll see people keeping an eye on the cars to keep them safe. We highly appreciated this in certain areas and always gave a little tip to the attendant. Usually N$5-10 is considered normal depending how long you’ve parked there. 

lion safari namibia
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Simone Vromans

Simone is the owner and writer of Travel With Simone! By sharing these travel guides, she hopes to help you plan your epic adventures and inspire you to go on that long-overdue trip! 💛

travel with simone

About Simone

Hi there, I’m Simone and the writer behind this travel blog. By reading my guides, I’m hoping to inspire you to travel more mindfully and have epic adventures all over the globe!

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