Driving Tips - Namibia
Namibia is a widespread country. However, cars are used more often than planes in getting around to different areas, though you can also take minibuses or trains. Away from the main roads many visitors to Namibia opt for 4x4. Nonetheless, the guide below will help you become acquainted with the driving laws in Namibia if you want to explore by any vehicle.
You will need the following documents when driving in Namibia:
- A valid driver’s license from your country.
- International Driver’s Permit, particularly if your license isn’t in English. Purchase it in your home country.
- Official photo ID (passport).
- Proof of Insurance if driving a rented car. Call to make sure you are covered.
- Car Insurance Certificate: If you are crossing into Namibia in your car, you can get one at the border (free).
- Ownership papers for the car you are driving or a letter from the owner.
You must be 23 to rent a car (with a year of experience), though the legal age to drive is 18.
Driving Rules, Laws, and Regulations
- Drive on the left hand side of the road; pass on the right.
- Road signs are similar to most European systems.
- Everyone in the car must wear a seatbelt.
- Use a hands-free set if you want to talk on your cellphone.
- Gas stations generally only accept cash. Fill up when you can, as gas stations can be infrequent and fuel shortages do happen.
- Main roads will be paved, while some other roads will be gravel. A few roads will be dirt. Be aware that you may not be able to do the speed limit on dirt or gravel roads. On a gravel road, you can flip the car if you have to swerve to avoid livestock or take a curve too fast.
- Don’t overestimate how much you can drive in a day; most likely, you won’t be able to drive as far as you think you can due to road conditions.
- Rain can cause flooding on some roads.
- Be ready for abundant wildlife on the roads.
- You will run into toll roads.
- Don’t follow other cars too closely on gravel roads, as your car can be damaged.
- Pay attention to your engine’s temperature, as it can overheat.
Speed Limits and Fines
Speed limits will be posted in kilometers per hour. Generally, they are as follows:
- 60-80 km/h (37-50 mph) on Urban roads
- 120 km/h (75 mph) on Paved freeways
- 100 km/h (62 mph) on Gravel freeways
Fines range from about 500 Namibian dollars to 3,500 Namibian dollars, depending on how fast you are going and in what speed zone. Cameras and radar are both used to catch speeders.
The legal Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) limit in Namibia is 0.05g/100ml. Police can set up roadblocks to check for drunk drivers. You can face hefty fines or even significant prison time for driving above the legal limit. Remember, 0.05 is the equivalent of about one drink an hour.
- Don’t park in zones marked with red and white.
- You can only park for a little bit in yellow and white zones.
- Motorcycle parking is marked with diagonal white lines.
- You can be fined or your car can be clamped if you are parked too long in the wrong spot.
Traffic isn’t a huge problem in Namibia, so you’ll likely have more trouble with livestock than with cars. In rural areas, in fact, it may be several hours before you see another car, human being, or gas station. Always be prepared with enough gas and water when traveling long distances.
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