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Road conditions and traffic rules in Namibia



There are some rules that differ from Europe, I have listed the most important rules and information here to make it easier for you.


The most important rules in brief:

  • In Namibia, driving is on the left, i.e. right before left and the steering wheel is on the right side of the vehicle.

  • The speed limit is 120 km/h on paved roads, 80 km/h on sand and gravel roads and 60 km/h in built-up areas.

  • Seatbelts are compulsory at all times!

  • Drinking and driving is strictly forbidden, there is a 0.0 tolerance!

  • At intersections you will often see a 4 or a 3 under the stop sign, which means that the person who arrives first at the intersection is allowed to drive first, etc.

  • It is better not to drive at dusk or in the dark, the risk of a game accident increases extremely.


The roads in Namibia are actually in quite good condition. The main roads inside and outside the cities are mostly completely tarred. All other roads are gravel or sand roads, which is usually not a problem.

It is very important to drive on the left side of the road, often the passenger is on the driver's side and the other way round when getting into the car. After two days, however, it is absolutely no problem, you quickly get used to driving.

The most important highways from north to south and east to west have two lanes and can be compared to motorways in Germany. These are A and B roads. You are allowed to drive at a maximum speed of 120 km/h on these roads.


As soon as you leave these roads, you reach C, D and P roads. C and D roads are sand or gravel roads. C are major roads, D are often the smaller connecting roads. There is a limit of 80km/h sometimes 100km/h. Signs are all clearly legible. P roads are hardly ever found on maps; these are private access roads to farms that tourists do not usually use.









You can get a road map at the airport or at many petrol stations; navigating through Namibia does not necessarily require a navigation device.

In the rainy season, the roads can be washed out and large holes form in the tar, but the gravel roads can also be in a much worse condition than normal. Also, these roads lead through dried up riverbeds that could carry water again due to the rain. If you come to such a river, see how much water it has. A rule of thumb is that if you can walk through it, you can drive through it. But don't get reckless now! If it doesn't look safe, wait and take a short break. Usually the water sinks at least as fast as it came.


In any case, plan enough time for your routes; Google Maps and other navigation devices will usually show you a shorter journey time. Take it easy and enjoy the ride. Otherwise, you can plan several stops and take a day off from driving in between. It's definitely good for you.


If you are driving on deserted roads, don't forget to check your speedometer regularly, you will lose a sense of speed and the roads in Namibia are definitely not designed for speeding. Wildlife can also jump onto the road at any time, this is not that rare and can be very dangerous!

It is also important to drive carefully at dusk or in the dark, or even not at all.


But you also have to be careful within the cities, many locals drive without consideration for others, take the right of way or drive faster than 60 km/h. Many of these vehicles are not insured and it is easy for people to hit and run even if they have an accident. If this happens to you, stop, call the police and let them help you. Take photos and write down the road, because sometimes the police don't come to you at all, but you have to go to the nearest police station.


An international driving licence is also recommended. You can get one for a few euros at the town hall in your home town in Germany. There are so-called roadblocks, where the licence disc (in the lower left-hand corner of the windscreen) and the driving licence are usually checked and your lights should always be turned on!


I hope these tipps help you to be a bit more relaxed about your trip to Namibia. Enjoy it, the scenery is beautiful!

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