Guide to Driving In Namibia - Drive Safe in Namibia

Are there any special requirements for driving or hiring a car in Namibia?

Driving in Namibia can be a wonderful experience, giving you the freedom to explore the vast and beautiful country. However driving in Namibia is different from driving in the UK or other developed areas such as Europe and the United States, so take care and take the time to understand how to drive safe in Namibia. 

The major national roads:

The national roads of Namibia are all labelled with the letter ‘B’. These will take you to the major destinations throughout the country. For example:

B2 from Walvis Bay to Okahandja – 285km 

The major roads are tarred and in good condition for driving. 

The secondary roads:

The secondary roads are mostly un-tarred, gravel or dirt roads and best avoided unless you really need to use them. Secondary roads are identified with a ‘C’ or ‘D’ prefix. A 4x4 vehicle or similar is advisory is you are planning on using the secondary roads. 

Driving Laws

Seat Belt Laws

All passengers should wear a seat belt when travelling in a car in Namibia. 

Drinking and Driving

The permitted blood alcohol limit is the same as the UK – 0.05%. Alcohol is best avoided all together when driving. 

Must Have Documents

  • Insurance documents
  • Identification documents
  • Equipment for in the event of a flat tyre (punctures are probable on gravel roads)
  • Roadside emergency kit
  • Basic first aid kit
  • UK photo card driving licence
*It is advisable to always carry water and snacks on you. It is possible to drive for very long distances in the heat without any stopping/refreshment points. 

Speed Limits

Maximum Speed Limit Type of Road
120 km/h Tarred Roads
80 km/h Gravel Roads
60 km/h In built up areas

Minimum Driving Age

You have to be 18 years or older to drive in Namibia. You need to be 23 years of age to hire a car. 

Safety Camera Warning Devices

On the Spot Fines

Child Safety Rules

Insurance

Fully comprehensive insurance is strongly advised (as opposed to third party). Unfortunately accidents do happen quite frequently in Namibia due to the condition of the roads you will likely drive on and the large number of animals and livestock in the roads. Check your insurance policy carefully to see if you are covered in the event of such an accident in Namibia.   

Rules of the Road

  • Driving is on the left hand side of the road
  • Observe road signs, especially those indicating a curve ahead or warnings of animals ahead.
  • In dusty conditions drive with your lights on
  • Drive carefully when entering villages or towns
  • If you drive through any farm gates, ensure you close them behind you. 
  • Don’t hail taxis from the streets
  • At an intersection with ‘stop’ signs the person arriving first has right of way. 

Towing Regulations

Speed Cameras

Using Mobile Phones when driving

It is not permissible to use a mobile phone whilst driving. 

Parking

Red and white signs on the road signal ‘no parking’. Yellow and white markings signal short-term parking. Diagonal white lines are for motorcycles only.

Motor Way Signs

Road signs are in English in Namibia. 

Phrases

Traffic Lights

Toll Roads

The motorways are toll roads and you are charged at each section depending on how far you have travelled. It is recommended to have change on you at all times for such roads. 

Emergency

What to do in an emergency

The police phone number is 1011

Fuel Costs

There are several fuelling stations along the national roads in Namibia, but it is a vast and sparsely populated country so always ensure you have enough petrol or diesel in your car to get you to your next stopping point. 

Many of the petrol stations do not accept card payments, so ensure you always carry cash with you. 

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Hiring a Car

With our Drive Smart guide you're fully prepared to hire a car in Namibia and stay safe on unfamiliar roads.