Driving tips?

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Nov 13th, 2005, 05:38 PM
  #1
adeewebstr
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Driving tips?

We're doing a self-drive trip next summer: Windhoek - Sussosvlei - Swakupmond - lower part of Skeleton Coast - through Damaraland - Etosha. Any words of wisdom, tips, etc.? There are 5 of us, so we will be a Toyota Condor type of vehicle - not the best for security, but - hopefully - no children will be murdered! Thanks...
 
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Nov 14th, 2005, 08:46 AM
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spare tyres, emergency kit and an accurate fuel guage. Ensure you know where the next can of gas is coming from and carry exess water.

I drove that section a couple of years back, good dirt roads, plenty hard stones, you can't rush it, Not much gas road side.
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Nov 14th, 2005, 09:20 AM
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Try to avoid driving from dusk onwards. Game like kudu are a problem at those times. 1st hand experience.
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Nov 15th, 2005, 11:14 AM
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adeewebstr
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OH dear! Problems with a kudu does not sound good!

Thanks for the advice!
 
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Nov 15th, 2005, 11:34 AM
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I have driven these locations and here are a few recommendations:
(1) Watch your speed on gravel roads, I heard of many overturned vehicels
(2) It's easy to puncture tyres so if you could have 2 spares it is safer.
(3) If you make it to Palmwag in Damaraland and drive in their reserve make sure you have GPS it is easy to lose your way.
(4) For dinner, Joe's beer garden in Windhoek is the best game meat.
(5) If you have the time, head further north to Purros where you will see Desert Elephants and amazing scenary on the way (the track is slightly worse than anything you would have encountered by then but really no big deal).

Enjoy.

YY

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Nov 22nd, 2005, 02:18 PM
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We did most of that same route this past summer in a small Toyota Corrola. Advice - it will take longer than you estimate (granted we had to go slower since we were in a 2WD); bring lots of water and toilet paper. Have at leat two road maps with you - between Sussovlei and Windhoek, two of our maps had a road we needed in the wrong place and we missed it! Always have your camera ready to go - especially near Etosha. We were driving up the western side of Etosha to Opuwa and a panther crossed the road - we didn't even see a panther in Etosha.

Oh - and pack food for lunch. We didn't really hit places to eat between any of these destinations. We snacked on dried fruit and crackers during the drives. Have you tire pressure checked each time you stop for gas and stop for gas almost whenever you see it.

If you have more questions let me know. If we did it (two females) in a 2WD, then you should have a decent time in a larger 4WD.

Oh - and we didn't get a flat tire. The car rental agency just stared at us when we reported no flats because he didn't believe us.
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Nov 23rd, 2005, 11:58 AM
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Why you don't drive at night in Namibia. From "The Namibian".

Five people were involved in a car accident on Friday, after the Toyota
Land
Cruiser they were travelling in hit a kudu and overturned.
The accident happened on Friday between 00h00 and 01h00 about 65
kilometres
from Otjiwarongo.
One of the passengers died on the scene, while four suffered serious
injuries.
Police believe the travellers come from Angola.


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Nov 28th, 2005, 03:07 PM
  #8
adeewebstr
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Luangablondes - you're preaching to the converted! After reporting your last post to my husband, he said he had NO problem with not driving at night!

hlsam - I would really like to hear about your trip: what you did, where you ate/stayed, driving times and routes, etc.
 
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Nov 28th, 2005, 04:22 PM
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I've been to Namibia at least a 1/2 doz times. I self drive with a rooftop tent, frig/freezer in the back of the landrover, long range fuel tanks and all the necessities that makes one self sufficient. Cook over an open fire many days if not eating at a lodge. Namibian meat including game like Kudu is excellent and inexpensive. Places I like to go to are not on the typical tour-Skeleton Coast(north), Marianfleuss-Hartmanns Valley, Epupu Falls, Kaudom, Mamili-across from Kings Pool- in the Caprivi for instance. The best of Namibia and few people go to these places. I'll go through Damaraland to look for the desert ellies-last time I bush camped and they came right into camp, and make a tour of Etosha going to the 3 camps in the park along the way typically.
Its a very safe country(security wise) to drive in as long as you are prepared(H2O,food) and the vehicle is reliable.
Theft-lock the doors and leave nothing in sight inside the vehicle. Just like at home.
Now what will really hurt if I told you that even when I spurge once in a while, I never break into averaging triple digit expenses per day if there for say a month. Not even close.

The southern part of Namibia like Sossosvlei, Swakupmund, and nearby Skeleton Coast is good once, but I like to stay away from all the tourists. Roads are either paved or graded and well maintained where it sounds like you are going.Sussosvlei is busy so make reservations at someplace in advance. Probably just about anyplace you are going if on the popular routes. Camping is only a problem at Sussosvlei and sometimes Etosha. You are going at our summer I assume, so just make reservations for everything to be safe. You can do this on the internet for nearly everything after you have decided a route and time frame.
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Nov 28th, 2005, 04:43 PM
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By the way, if you are paranoid about safety, there are the usual hi tech solutions. Sat phone-might be able to rent for your trip. If you have the right cell phone, all you need to do is buy a sim card to get service in country.Phone might be for rent at the airport or your car rental place may know. And stay in the service areas. I do this as soon as I arrive in South Africa, my base. I recommend this for you.Anything else is in addition to. Last, an interesting piece of equipment, a personal locator beacon registered in the USA to you, which you register your contacts at home who have all the details of your trip including itinerary. You can also I understand register current itinerary on the net with the authorities. IF you have an emergency and need rescue-not anything minor- you activate the plb. The signal will be received at any number of stations,but probably in Capetown. They will then relay to USA authorities the emergency and it begins. Basically, you have given a save your own rear plan that can be acted on. I have no idea how effective or quick response would be in Africa. The system is normally used in maritime and aeronautical rescues worldwide. Australia and the states have used it for several years-especially skiers. It has made thousands of land based rescues in the US alone. You would think I was a salesman or had stock in a company.

I will admit, haven't heard of a rescue or anyone overlanding carrying one yet in Africa. I maybe the 1st.
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Dec 1st, 2005, 04:23 AM
  #11
adeewebstr
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You are much more adventurous than I am at this point in my life! We're renting a 2 WD and staying at lodges - just planning to have picnic lunchs, apart from Etohsa. This is our first trip to Namibia, and the first trip to Africa in 30 years for my husband and myself and the first ever for the boys. We're really looking forward to it, apart from the flight over and back!
 
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