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Namibia: Top tips for a self-drive trip

Dune in Namibia. Picture: Gary Noakes
Dune in Namibia. Picture: Gary Noakes

Self-drive holidays to Namibia are perennially popular, with travellers continuing to discover the country’s astonishing landscapes by road. 

The Toyota Rav 4 is a hefty vehicle, but it T bounces like a football as we head along the Namib Desert dirt road.

Eventually I snap, shouting "I can’t take much more of this!" moments before a car more suited to trips to Asda tears past us.


Something is very wrong, but we don’t find out what until we reach our destination that evening, shaken to our bones.

I had deflated the tyres a little to smooth the bumps, but clearly not enough – it turns out the previous driver had pumped them way beyond the recommendation even for tarmac roads.


With our tyres and my Jeremy Clarkson ego massively deflated, I remember Namibia self-drive rule number one: check tyre pressures when hiring vehicles.

Self-drive trips to Namibia remain hugely popular, with a range of operators offering diverse itineraries.


Rainbow Tours’ product manager reveals that 90% of clients opt for Namibia self-drive trips.


She adds: "Namibia is so incredibly scenic and vast that driving is an amazing experience, coupled with the fact that you are completely independent and flexible to do more of what you enjoy. The roads are well maintained and straightforward, making it easy for just about anyone."

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