We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Self-drive or safari tour?

Which Namibia hotels are on sale?
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
See hotels
Dublin, Ireland
posts: 3
reviews: 3
Self-drive or safari tour?

We are planning a trip to Namibia in April (first time in Africa) and I would like to get some opinions on what is better: self-drive or take a tour. I found one local tour operator THE CARDBORD BOX offering range of tours and it all sounds pretty good. Has anybody have any experience with this tour operator?

Also if self-drive, is camping safe, are campsite numerous and in good locations and can we drive in the parks?

Appreciate any advise,


Kigali, Rwanda
posts: 7
reviews: 1
11. Re: Self-drive or safari tour?

I am interested in getting opinions about a three week self drive starting in Windhoek. There will be four of us, one child, one teenager and two adults.We are meeting up with my daughter who is currently spending a semester in Windhoek. I have done a self drive in South Africa so I am comfortable with driving and self directed touring. We are comfortable finding our way and with adventure. We are on a budget. Any advice on renting 4x4? which routes to cover and places to stay. What is the most "not to miss" "once in a lifetime" experiences? We will arrive late May and are so excited. Thanks

Isle of Man, United...
posts: 32,271
reviews: 199
12. Re: Self-drive or safari tour?


With your daughter on site you are well placed.

Get her to visit several 'safari operators/booking agencies' offices and form an opinion on the spot.

She will also get armfulls of Tourism Literature for all the 'sights'.

Are you talking 2008 or 2009? April is 'quiet' for game viewing as it may ge greener than usual and the animals will not need the waterholes so regularly. (This is of course relative as it rarely rains in the Desert.) There will be lots of new born animals taking advantage of the new growth.

I am fearful of re-starting the 4x4 versus Sedan debate so will say only two things:-

1. I have never had any problems whatsoever in using a standard sedan. You do not really NEED a 4x4 but lots of folk think they do!

2. Unless your driver is skilled at using a 4x4 where they are NEEDED you should stay away from those places. You risk getting into something serious. There is no AAA in Namibia. You will be stuck until some else comes by which may not be for some hours or days.

South Africa
posts: 43
reviews: 3
13. Re: Self-drive or safari tour?

Hi there!

Just thought I would have my quick two cents worth!!

We have just arrived home from a month long self-drive holiday in Namibia. It was awesome!!!!

We took my 1.4 Corsa Lite (with aircon for this time of year) and we went from the South - Fish River Canyon right up to Etosha. No 4x4 was needed. The rains followed us, always a day behind us and even the wet mud in Etosha did not deter our little car. Mfuwe is correct - you can get so much free info and with your daughter already there you could easily arrange a self-drive. Its great to be able to do your own thing. We noticed a lot of tourists on various tours having to get up at 4-5am in the morning to start their travels (It was not just for Sossusvlei!!). Where are you wanting to visit?

Brisbane, Australia
posts: 9
14. Re: Self-drive or safari tour?

Hello we have only just arrived home and if you do not mind sitting on a truck overland bus a tour is better as the guides know the land the animals etc, I was constantly askign what this is and that etc.

Try not to go on a large bus trips or a small van trip you will miss to much the trucks are great good seats lots of room and windows are huge.

We wet with wilddog safari's intrepis use to conduct to Wild dog to conduct their trips as does Cardboard Box, Call them or email them and tell them Corinne and Brett from Australia went on their Early Feb trip recommended them, we had 5 different guides over the two different trips we did when them and they where all great.

Corinne & Brett

Dublin, Ireland
posts: 3
reviews: 3
15. Re: Self-drive or safari tour?

Hi, great to hear all the opinions. Hope to share my own with others in future, especially on the hot topic of vehicles as we decided for the luxury of renting 4x4...

There is one more practicality though about places to stay. The operator in Namibia made an impression that it is quite important to have all campsites booked in advance and whole route planned. That takes off the hassle looking for a spot on the day but also means that one has to move on to the pre-booked place even when we may rather feel like staying somewhere another day. Is is difficult to find a place in a campsite not booked in advance? (I'm not talking about Ethosa now but elsewhere.)


Isle of Man, United...
posts: 32,271
reviews: 199
16. Re: Self-drive or safari tour?


It is not so much booking all your sites before you start. There is capacity. It is just prudent that your next stop is pre-arranged rather than just rolling up and expecting space. It may be many miles to the next one if they are full and going off in the dark to seek it is not recommended.

17. Re: Self-drive or safari tour?

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 2:20 pm, September 21, 2009