Every year Namibia is becoming more and more popular for travellers, and it’s no surprise! It’s one of the most incredible and beautiful countries I have visited. From the Big 5 Etosha National Park to the incredible sand dunes around Sossusvlei. Namibia is an incredibly diverse country. For me, there was no better way to experience this country than by Zambezi Car Rental. It was truly a once in a lifetime experience, that I will never forget.
I started planning this trip months in advance, as knew I wanted to get the most out of it and that I wanted to drive into Botswana too. There was no hesitation that I wanted a reliable, fully equipped 4WD for my 12 night road trip. It was an easy decision to go with Zambezi Car Rental – and I could not have been happier! Zambezi Car Rental have the highest rating, with a rating of 5/5 for their 4WD rentals, and it’s no surprise after renting with them.
Best Time Of Year To Travel Namibia?
The best time to visit Namibia ultimately depends on what you are wanting to do and see. There are two seasons, wet season and dry season. However as Namibia is a semi-arid country possessing a climate generally characterised by low rainfall and low humidity, it is a year-round destination.
Peak season is during dry (winter) season. June to September sees virtually no rainfall and clear skies, perfect for night photography and glistening days. During these months, it is also prime time for safaris and game drives as wildlife is concentrated to the waterholes, making it a lot easier to spot big game. Temperatures are pleasant, however at night it can reach single figures and even below zero in the desert! The downside of visiting in the Namibian peak season is that lodge prices and visitor numbers are often higher, although, since the country is so vast, only Etosha, Swakopmund and Sossusvlei get really crowded.
Low season is during wet (summer) season. November is usually the start of the wet season, which transforms the landscape into a lush green haven. Storms and heavy rain are more consistent and temperatures are higher meaning humidity is present. However, tourists numbers are a lot lower and prices are cheaper.
I road tripped through Namibia and Botswana with Zambezi Car Rental in February and had incredible weather throughout the whole trip! Crowds were non existent and we didn’t have to book any campsites ahead of time meaning we had a lot more flexibility on our trip!
This all depends on what your road trip plans are. Whether you are just wanting to road trip through Namibia, venture into Botswana or even start from South Africa! One thing that I love about Zambezi Car Rental is that you can start your road trip in South Africa, drive into Namibia, throughout Botswana and there is even a possibility to drive into Zambia! However, most people pick up their 4WD in Windhoek and return in Windhoek.
If you’re wanting to get the most out of Namibia I suggest a 10-14 day itinerary. If you’re wanting to add Botswana, anywhere between 12-21 days will do the trick! However, 12 days I suggest is the minimum for doing both Botswana and Namibia if you want to experience is properly.
Zambezi Car Rental Review
Zambezi Car Rental are a family run 4WD camper rental company, owned by the awesome Jacques! Jacques expertise are second to none on all things Namibia, road trips and 4WDing! All of their campers come fully equipped and you have the choice of three different set ups.
The first set up is a 4WD without a roof top tent, perfect for those wanting a 4WD but the comfort of staying in lodges. The second is a 4WD with one roof top tent, perfect for solo travellers, two friends or a couple. The third is a 4WD with two roof top tents, perfect for families or groups!
All 4WD campers come with a fridge/freezer which can be used up to 9 hours without charging and charges when driving and at campsites. All cutlery, pots, pans, gas stove and utensils for braai barbecues. Table and chairs, a shovel incase you get stuck in sand. PSI gauge for your tyre pressure (very important for when driving on gravel and sand roads) and storage boxes to keep everything in order.
One addition that I love about Zambezi Car Rental is the dual fuel tank and dual batteries. Having a dual fuel tank means that you can travel much longer distances without having to worry about fuelling up! This was so handy, as Namibia especially can get very rural! Having a dual battery was great as well for the fridge/freezer.
First impressions are always a make or break situation, and once you arrive into Windhoek International Airport, Jacques team are waiting for you at arrivals to transport you to their depot. Pick up and drop off is free too. The whole process was such a breeze, and if you have any questions what so ever about anything Jacques is always on hand 24/7 to answer them!
Just 20km from the airport, you’ll be on the road in no time, starting your own road trip adventure!
Everyone was so friendly, knowledgable and professional. Once we arrived at the depot, I couldn’t believe how brand new our Nissan NP300 Double Cab 4×4 was! In fact, it was serviced the day before we hired it! All the tyres were brand new, no scratches or anything! What a great first impression!
Before you set off, Jacques explains everything you need to know including how to set up and close the roof top tents, what to do if you get a flat tyre (there are two spare tyres incase), how to let down your tyres for sand, where everything is located on the car and what everything is used for. Do listen carefully and make sure to write stuff down! If you do have any questions during your trip make sure to get his WhatsApp number.
Nissan NP300 Rooftop Tent 4WD
Once Jacques had explained everything to us, we were off in no time on our 12 night road trip through Namibia and Botswana! We chose the 4WD with one roof top tent, and it couldn’t have been more perfect for our needs! Every evening the tent was so easy to set up, and cooking was great too! The first few nights took a while to get into the routine of it all, but within a few days we were professionals at all things road tripping!
Our 4WD was faultless during the whole 12 nights! We had no problems with tyres, or anything! We kept up to date with Jacques during our trip and he gave us tips along the way.
The Nissan NP300 is the perfect off road car to tackle gravel roads, sand roads, small river crossings and when it did rain at night the roof top tent kept us fully dry and was completely waterproof!
The storage space was ample in the trunk. However, I would suggest bringing a soft suitcase or backpack with you, as a large hard shell suitcase would take up a lot of space in the car!
Inside the rooftop tent it’s like a tardis (if you know Doctor Who!). It comfortably fit two of us without being squashed. You can rent pillows and a sleeping bag directly from Zambezi Car Rental or you can bring your own. There are also ventilation nets which you can keep open during the night if it gets too warm. Overall, we were comfortable every night of our trip. Even in summer the temperature wasn’t too hot at night!
Do note: All of Zambezi Car Rental 4WDs are MANUAL. You will need a drivers license in English or an International Drivers License. If you’ve never driven a manual before (as I know a lot of Americans and Canadians haven’t), then either have a few driving lessons before you arrive or bring a friend that can drive one!
Camping Equipment Included in rate:
Rooftop tent(with mattress), camping chairs, camping table, 50ltr fridge, camping light, gas bottle & cooker, braai grid, water kettle, wash bowl, dinner plates & soup bowls, cups & wine glasses, cutting knife & board, bread knife, pots & pan, egg lifter, braai tong, forks/knives/teaspoons, serving spoons.
Toolbox, jack & wheel spanner, warning triangle, spade, jump leads, tow rope, tyre pressure gauge, compressor, fire extinguisher, spade.
- Steel Canopy
- 2 Spare wheels
- Double Fuel Tank
- Double Battery
- Manual Transmission
- Radio/CD Player
- Power Steering
Now to the slightly more dull stuff…Insurance! Although probably the most important decision you will make is to whether you take out full cover or not, and this is completely up to you.
Another great thing about Zambezi Car Rental is that all 4WDs come with standard excess, which is N$25,000 (US$1670). However, at minimum I would recommend taking out tyre and windscreen cover which is N$100 per day (US$6), as it’s so easy for other drivers kick up bits of gravel and damage your vehicle on the road or your get a flat tyre.
There is also a Reduced Excess N$7000, which is N$150 per day (US$10) or Zero Excess which also includes the tyre and windscreen cover of N$300 per day (US$20) – which I recommend if you want piece of mind!
Campsites are fairly easy to find throughout Namibia and Botswana, and there are a number to choose from, so you’ll never be in short supply if you decide to change your route or get delayed on your trip. During the high season, in popular areas you should book in advance, especially in Etosha National Park and Sossusvlei. However, since we travelled in low season, we didn’t book anything in advance and every campsite had space for us! In a few places we were either the only ones camping or only had one other camper with us!
Campsites aren’t as cheap as you may think however, prices range from anywhere between N$180 – N$360 per night. However, all campsites are very well equipped with power, hot showers and some camp spots each have their own toilet, shower and washing area.
Our favourite campsites were:
Zambezi 4WD Top Tips
- Plan out a rough flexible road trip itinerary before you leave.
- Check the 4WD of any scratches, dents or bumps before you leave and take photos.
- Don’t wear dirty shoes in the roof top tent, and take your shoes off at the bottom of the ladder!
- Before you arrive in Namibia, check the weather forecast and bring clothes accordingly.
- Don’t try and cook anything too fancy, simply meals are enough and it’ll be a lot cheaper.
- Try arrive to campsites before sun down, driving at night is a no go.
- Create an epic road trip playlist, you might be driving a long way! We drove over 4000km!
- Drive slower on gravel roads, kicking up gravel may damage other vehicles.
- Don’t forget to let your tyre pressure down on sand!
My Overall Experience With Zambezi Car Rental
I know this probably sounds such cliche but I honestly couldn’t have asked for a better rental company or 4WD camper, it’s hard to say anything bad in this Zambezi Car Rental review! In my opinion, they truly are the best 4WD rental company in Namibia!
Hiring a 4WD with a roof top tent gave me the freedom to discover Namibia and Botswana at my own pace, in my own time without the crowds. I’m sure that is something everyone would love when travelling to this magnificent country.
From booking the 4WD, to staying in contact with Jacques before my trip and greeting him on arrival, he was always there to help when he could!
Overall, I want to say a massive thank you to everyone at Zambezi Car Rental and especially Jacques for making my trip to Namibia and Botswana so memorable, I honestly can’t fault anything in my Zambezi Car Rental review! So as I’m sure you’re aware, I cannot recommend enough booking your Namibia road trip with Zambezi!
So what are you waiting for? Get booking!
Have you been to Namibia or Botswana? Are you wanting to rent a Zambezi 4WD camper after reading my review? Would love to know in the comments below!
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Zambezi Car Rental Review Disclosure: Zambezi provided me with a free rental. I covered fuel, campsites, food, flights etc.
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