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Digital Subscriptions > Travel Africa > October-December 2019 > THE ULTIMATE NAMIBIAN ROAD TRIP

THE ULTIMATE NAMIBIAN ROAD TRIP

Namibia is renowned as one of the world’s great self-drive destinations, with adventurers lured by its vast, open landscapes, unique wildlife sightings and a sense of escape. But what is it really like to travel around? What are the secrets you need to know before you leave, and what is the best route to take?

The starting point for any road trip in Africa has to be a good spreadsheet. That may sound unlikely but entering your chosen way-stops into Excel will be a sobering experience if, like us, you have visions of driving over 4500km in just three weeks. Achieving such an undertaking in many African countries would be lunacy; the infrastructure simply wouldn’t allow it.

But Namibia, after Mongolia, has some of the straightest and most deserted roads on the planet. Planning your trip from the UK, you will find it difficult to imagine that after a few days of driving in Namibia you will be talking about driving 200km to the next turning as if it were a trip to the local shop to buy milk. But you will be.

PHOTOGRAPHS: MARK AND TAMSIN SHELTON

One thing you almost certainly don’t need for a Namibian road trip (but which may be difficult to resist purchasing) is a road map. In Namibia, you have to try really hard to be on the wrong road. Signposts are plentiful and alternative routes to the same place don’t really exist. True, there’s unlikely to be anyone within 100km to ask if you are suddenly gripped by uncertainty. But even negotiating the capital, Windhoek, without a map is perfectly feasible.

You should, however, check your proposed route on Google Earth. It will take your breath away. Every notion of what a country looks like from space will be shattered, because satellite images of Namibia must be the closest thing we have to looking at the surface of uninhabited planets.

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About Travel Africa

Our love for lions - why are they so captivating? • Reza Pakravan, crossing the Sahel • Lower Zambezi Valley accommodation guide • Planning the ultimate self-drive trip around Namibia • Route 62, in praise of Padstalle • Plus Botswana behind the pics; Family safaris; Tipping; Chimps in Tanzania; Zakouma; Uganda adrenaline and much more!