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How to Plan a Budget Backpacking Trip to Namibia

Updated: 4 days ago

In this post I will give you a run down on how much things cost in Namibia, to help you plan budget travel to the most unique country on Earth!


We loved Namibia, and if you'd like to know how we spent our time there, check out my post: A 2-week Namibia Road Trip Itinerary.


I have also published a post about The Best Way to See Sossusvlei, Deadvlei and the Dunes for those interested – this was in fact our favourite thing to do in Namibia!


By the time we arrived in Namibia, Joe and I had been travelling for 15 months already, so it was very important to us to be careful with our budget. So here is everything we spent (with no regrets) to help you plan your budget backpacking trip to Namibia.



CONTENTS




Sunrise over the dunes at Sossusvlei
Sunrise over the dunes at Sossusvlei

 


How to Plan a Budget Backpacking Trip to Namibia



When to Go to Namibia


Summer


October – March (with hopefully some rain coming from mid-December, but January onwards gets excruciatingly hot.)



Autumn


April + May



Winter


June - September (August can see insanely strong winds which bring sandstorms, the sand particles “hit you like bullets”.)



Peak Season in Namibia is July to October - which means during these months you will need to book accommodation and rental vehicles in advance.


Never one to enjoy the prices and crowds of peak season, I would MUCH rather travel in a shoulder month and risk some uneven weather. For that reason, in my opinion, the best months to visit Namibia are MAY and NOVEMBER.



The stars in Namibia are unreal - this was taken on my iphone
The stars in Namibia are unreal - this was taken on my iphone

 

FOR TRAVEL INSURANCE for Namibia, do what I do, and have a browse on Travel Supermarket - choosing a cheap policy with a high Defaqto rating.


 


Getting to Namibia


Flying to and from Windhoek is going to be one of the biggest expenses on your trip to Namibia, however, this was not applicable to us as we hitch-hiked into Namibia from Botswana – and then we left Namibia a few weeks later by Intercape bus to Cape Town (£50).


If you are looking for flights, I always use Skyscanner to compare deals 11 months before I fly. If I don't know my plans that far in advance, I check 90 days before I fly - and then book directly with the airline.



I Dream of Mangoes Hitch-hiking into Namibia from Botswana
Hitch-hiking into Namibia from Botswana

 


This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may get a commission if you make a purchase through this website, at no cost to you. I only link to products I use and love.


Getting Around in Namibia


The cheapest way to get around would be to hitchhike, a method we have used a few times across Africa. However, I would not recommend it in Namibia, as the traffic is so few and far between, you may be waiting for hours to get picked up.


There are now Gondwana shuttles between all the major tourist spots, which is helpful for people who do not drive. They are a little pricey and limited in where they go, so I still think the best way to get around Namibia is by renting a car.


You do not need a 4x4 or SUV, a small car will be just fine (in the dry season), albeit a bumpy ride!


We paid £350 for 2 weeks including full insurance, this was from Hertz Rental with the deal found on Kayak. 


For our 2-week road trip around Namibia, we used 3 full tanks of petrol at £40 each.


If you would like a 4x4 with a roof tent, this is going to be in the range of £1200 for 2 weeks, probably more. With both of these rental options, you can share the vehicle with other travellers and split the cost.



Camping in the desert with a silver car
These two got us through our entire trip across Namibia

 


Where to Stay in Namibia


Everywhere we stayed in Namibia charged a nightly rate per person - which is great for solo travellers. When planning a budget backpacking trip to Namibia it's worth thinking about bringing along your own ground tent (or renting a car with a roof tent) as camping will save you a lot of money.


The campsites are all really well equipped as well, most sites we pitched at had electric hookups, running drinking water, a fire-pit, private toilets and showers and solar lights, and a lot of them had bars and swimming pools.


The average nightly rate we paid for camping was £12 per person per night. This went up to about £30 a night if the campsite was inside a National Park e.g. Namib-Naukluft or Etosha.


Our favourite campsites were Urban Camp in Windhoek, Brandberg White Lady Lodge, and Etosha Trading Post.


The tent we use is the Robens Boulder 3 - and we love it. It is super-easy to assemble, it is reliable in strong winds and heavy rains, and it only weighs 3kg!



Joe climbing Big Daddy Dune at Sossusvlei
Joe climbing Big Daddy Dune at Sossusvlei

 


Other Expenses when Travelling in Namibia


  • Apart from a couple of great meals out, notably at Joe's Beerhouse in Windhoek and The Tug in Swakopmund, we cooked our own food over the fire. Checkers supermarket in Windhoek had the freshest stuff, and for 2 weeks we spent about £80 on groceries for the 2 of us.

  • A meal for 2 with a bottle of wine at both the Tug and Joe's was around £30.

  • A very large glass of wine or beer in a bar is about £1.50.

  • National Park fees are relatively cheap on the scale of Africa – in the region of £5 - £10 per person per day.

  • In terms of activities, driving and looking at the landscape is the main event!



Other things we did in Namibia:


  • Sossusvlei - (£15 each for shuttle and park fees)

  • Walking tour to cave paintings – (3 hours, 10km, £6 each)

  • Game drive to see Desert Elephants - (£20, 2 hours)

  • Etosha self-drive safari - (£6 each, half-day)



The friendly rescue Meerkats at Brandberg
The friendly rescue Meerkats at Brandberg

 


Budget for 1 Person Travelling in Namibia for 2 Weeks

(based on 4 people sharing a car)


Accommodation: £200

Food: £70

¼ Car: £80

¼ Petrol: £30

Activities: £50 - £200

Hitchhike in: Donation

Intercape to South Africa: £50


Total = £600 (ish)


So as you can see, it is possible to plan a lower-budget backpacking trip to Namibia without feeling like you're missing out on anything!



I Dream of Mangoes at The white cracked earth of Deadvlei
The white cracked earth of Deadvlei

 


Thank you for reading my post on planning a budget backpacking trip to Namibia! If you enjoyed the read, please consider subscribing to my blog where I post articles every week about mine and Joe's current travels.


If you liked this article, or have any questions, please leave me a comment!


Looking for more Africa inspiration? Check out my post: Hippos, hitch-hiking, and halloumi – A 10-day itinerary through Zambia.


Happy Travels

xx



START PLANNING YOUR NEXT TRIP




 


Disclosure:
I Dream of Mangoes is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. That being said, I only link to products I use and love.

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