Namibia

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Flag of Namibia Namibia
Information
Language: English, German, Afrikaans, Oshiwambo
Capital: Windhoek
Population: 2,108,665
Currency: Namibian Dollar (NAD)
Hitchability: <rating country='na' if you stick to the main roads 'gr' if you try to go on the off-road />
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<map lat='-22.67484735118852' lng='17.841796875' zoom='4' view='0' float='right' country='Namibia' />


Namibia is a country in Southern Africa.

Namibia is a big but very sparsely populated country in Southern Africa. Hitchhiking is pretty common simply because the public transport network is not very efficient and many places are accessible almost exclusively by thumb or your own vehicle. Having that said many hitchhikers actually hitchhiking as buses and pay for the ride. So bear in mind that some drivers might expect money but a quick question such as "is this lift for free" clarifies things. Normally most people will take you anyway, especially if you look like a western backpacker.

When hitchhiking in Namibia the distances are huge and towns as well as villages are generally small and very far in between which means that getting a short lift is very rare and a "average" lift is going to be something like 300-400 kilometers.

Getting in

When coming from Botswana or South Africa border procedures are generally quick and painless. If you arrive from Zambia or Angola they might check you more cautiously though.

In general most nationalities are allowed a 90 day visa to the country upon arrival to any landborder but bear in mind that at some border (such as the border with South Africa close to Upington) they will actually ask you for how long you intend to stay in Namibia and then give you a visa valid for the number of days you request. Just say your intending to stay for longer than your actually intending to stay so you have the opportunity to prolong your stay if you would like to later.

Generally a lot of the traffic at the border is heading to Windhoek or past Windhoek en-route to the un-official German colony of Swakupmund so you are likely to get a long and direct lift from the border.

Getting around

Basically the road-network works like this;

  • B-roads are good quality asphalt roads.
  • C-roads are well-maintained gravel roads where many locals will go in up to 130 kilometers per hours (although tourists tend to go slower)/
  • M-roads are sometimes as good as C-roads although sometimes a bit bumpy.

On some gravel roads there is quite a steady amount of traffic and people always seem to stop on those roads while some asphalt roads (such as the B4) has very little traffic so just because it's asphalt does not mean that its easy. However Namibian roads have the advantage of having very few intersections which makes hitchhiking signs abundant unless you want go a short distance (anything shorter than 100 kilometers) as people who are going short distances generally dont stop for hitchhikers unless they think you'll be going short distance as well.

Health

  • Distances are big
  • It's sunny and warm 300 days per year
  • Almost no conveniant hitchhiking-spots have any shadow
  • Sometimes there seems like there are no vehicles

As an effect of these factors you should;

1 Bring plenty of water.

2 Beware of the sun.

Cities