Always good to know:
I know you will find lots of useful information in the following:
Pack a torch, only a small LED one is sufficient, you will be amazed how handy a small torch can be here.
Keep your binoculars handy with you in the car at ALL times, very often animals can be seen close to the roads.
Always take a fleece or jumper with you on nature drives, no matter how hot the afternoon is. It can cool off suddenly here, and then it is much better to have it with you when you do need it. Fleeces are perfect, as they are light and comfortable.
Please be careful not to “create beggars”. Try not just to “give money away because you feel sorry”. This will encourage a beggar, (also small children) to come back and keep begging from tourists. He/she might be successful in begging, and bring a friend next week, and perhaps in 3 months time there could be 5 or more beggars. How safe would you feel if 5 people are begging at the same time? If you really want to help someone, find out if they have a shop and buy something from them.
Please do not give sweets or money to small children, apart from creating a “begging problem” like above, often these children will be bullied around the next corner by larger children, and their “present” will be taken away from them forcefully. A good idea years ago was to give children pens, pencils, books etc. so that they could help their education, but these were too often sold for sweets, or forcefully taken by larger children and - yes - sold for sweets. OUR CHILDREN IS OUR FUTURE, PLEASE HELP THEM BY NOT CREATING BEGGARS!
If you meet a “Kalahari Ferrari” or donkey cart along the way and you want to photograph it, most people welcome the attention. But please look at the condition of the animals FIRST, and if they are in a poor condition: DON’T take any photo’s, and tell them that the animals are in a poor condition and DRIVE ON! In this way we have already quite successfully curbed animal abuse a lot - take into consideration: sometimes these donkeys are driven up and down on the same road all day purely to attract tourists. N$10 is a good idea for photos, if you pay too much, this can be used for strong alcoholic beverages, but less could be used rather to buy a bread to share. Always keep the “beggars” in mind...
Keep a 5 litre bottle of mineral water in the car, with water here you cannot be too careful. Most lodges use ground water, and in MOST areas the water has been filtered and is safe to drink, but ALWAYS ask at reception if this is the case.
Buy a bottle of AMARULA CREAM, with some small glasses/cups. Use this when you get a flat tyre - it makes the experience much more fun: there can be no better way to finding “The middle of nowhere” and enjoying some Amarula next to the road with a flat tyre, but please: DRIVER: Don’t consider it, you still need to drive!
Recharge batteries when you can: please note that some lodges make use of generators, or solar power, therefore the luxury of recharging your batteries or using a hair dryer depends on the lodge. Enquire at reception when checking in. Our standard wall plug holes are 3 ROUND pins. Some lodges will lend you an adaptor for a small deposit.
Due to the above, often rooms will not have a small refrigerator, so if you have medication that needs keeping cold (like insulin) supply a SEPARATE (preferably lockable) cool box with some freeze bricks and hand these in at reception. I really suggest a lockable cool box. This gives peace of mind that NO ONE can tamper with your medicine.
If your room is equipped with a safe, I strongly suggest you make use of this. Most lodges now have electronic safes, please do not forget to leave the safe door open upon your departure. (I worked with the logistics of these safes, and often the spare keys are kept at a completely different premises, causing a lot of unnecessary driving around later).
Drivers in Namibia can be very aggressive, (although not really at the gunpoint part) if you are driving 100km/h (which is the recommended speed for tourists) in a 120km/h zone, and you find more than 3 cars struggling to pass you (often because of blind areas in the road due to bends, hills and mirages) rather pull off for a moment and let the cars pass. If you are driving directly behind a truck, but feel reluctant to overtake it, give enough room for the cars behind you to overtake you, and let them get behind the truck so that they can overtake it.
NEVER slow down on a road suddenly if you have seen wild animals: unless you are 100% sure that there are no cars directly behind you. This situation has given me cold blood too many times, especially just north outside Windhoek where giraffes often stand close to the road. Main roads are NOT game viewing roads!
Take care not to park your vehicle on tall dry grass, your vehicle’s underbody is hot after driving, and this could be a potential fire hazard if for example your exhaust pipe touches the grass under your vehicle, that grass can catch fire.
Treat people how you want to be treated, remember that in Namibia not every person has had an advanced psychology lesson included in school, and merely work for a salary. The easiest way (in my experienced opinion) to release any built up stress is by trying to blame someone else for anything. If you use an attitude like this on most Namibians, they will return it blankly and try not to be helpful. By remembering this in stressful situations, you will be able to achieve much better results much quicker.
Expect bad weather, and take the weather as it comes! By accepting the weather you are already much more relaxed than most other guests! Take a re-sealable plastic bag with you to put your camera into, if there is sand blowing around. I have seen many guests stressing so much over the weather, that they tend to forget to enjoy their trip! Please visit the weather page.