Travelling from Cape Town to Windhoek by aeroplane may be a convenient and speedy way to get from A to B, but it does seem a waste to spoil this scenic route by taking a (rather distant) bird’s eye view of it at hundreds of kilometres per hour.
The West Coast of Southern Africa is filled with quaint towns, unique landscapes and abundant activities that deserve closer inspection, so, in this series we explore the proverbial ‘road less travelled’ by embarking on this 1448.3 km journey by car, to see what we can discover along the way.
There are a number of reputable tour operators who will take us along for the ride, offering packages in either a 4-day or 16-day bundle, depending on preferences, but we are going to go it alone, hoping to discover some lesser-known treasures as we begin to make tracks.
The Red Tape and The Formalities!
The journey from Cape Town to Windhoek may not be quite a 1000 miles, but it does begin with one big step, and that is ensuring that we have all the right paperwork.
A passport, which is valid for six months or more with at least one blank page, is required for all visitors to Namibia, but citizens of a number of countries, including South Africa, do not require a Visa, unless travelling for business purposes.
We can then stay in Namibia for up to 90 days on our passport, and apply for an extension once we have fallen in love with this fascinating country, but will need proof of our intention to leave – either a return plane ticket or other means of leaving the country.
The Papers – Car and Driver’s License
Since we will be embarking on a road trip from Cape Town to Windhoek, we also need a valid driver’s licence, a ZA sticker if driving a South African car, a certified copy of the car’s license papers and a certified letter from the relevant owner of the car, rental company or bank through which it is financed, acknowledging that we will be travelling in Namibia for a specified time with the vehicle. At present a road user’s fee of R220 per car is payable at the Namibian border with an additional R140 for a trailer or caravan. Payment can be made in Namibian dollars or by credit card if preferred, but bearing the iniquities of Africa technology in mind, cash is preferable. An International Driver’s Permit is not compulsory but recommended, especially if the driver’s license is in any language other than English.
And Not Forgetting
Other standard travel essentials include copies of all these documents, comprehensive travel insurance, a mobile telephone, emergency first aid kit, flashlight, water, spare tyre, and tool kit, in case of mishaps along the way. A guidebook, road map and GPS will also come in handy, and don’t forget the camera and binoculars whatever you do. A laptop or similar device for storing all the memories and keeping a journal will come in handy, and naturally all the relevant chargers and back up sources to go along with these items are a must.
With the admin out of the way, all that remains is to make sure the car is serviced, pack the bags, secure some snacks for the first leg of the journey (along with plenty of water), get a good night’s sleep and hit the road!
Click here to read Cape Town To Windhoek One Day At A Time – Part 2.