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You can not totally enjoy Namibia without spending a night camping in one of its beautiful campsites under its starry skies and preparing a hearty dinner on your camping gas stove.
There are plenty of campsite options which go from basic sites with pit toilet to fairly luxurious camps with swimming pool and restaurants. Some campsites host wild animals such as cheetahs and you can participate to their feeding, some other have a pretty stunning setting in the middle of the desert, other campsites are amongst trees and scrubs where baboons roam freely in search of food scraps.
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Our house on wheels during our road trip in Namibia
Based on our experience and having camped in many countries around the world, we found that camping in Namibia is rather expensive, ranging from USD30 to USD50 or more per night per tent (depending on the season and amenities onsite). Sometimes it’s the price to pay to stay in the middle of the desert with running water and electricity and a guarded campsite.
GEAR UP FOR CAMPING WITH THESE SIMPLE CAMPING TIPS HERE
It is very difficult to find free camping in Namibia. Firstly, it is not encouraged by the government and by local communities as it can be dangerous not only for campers (because of free roaming wild animals and nearby villagers, usually coming from a poor background) but also for wild animals themselves, which might leave an area because of human presence, or for local communities too, which would not profit from tourism, sometimes their only source of income.
NEVER CAMPED BEFORE OR SIMPLY WANT A REFRESHER?
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Another reason is the presence of fenced private land or farms or national parks. It’s not a good idea to camp along the road – have you ever wondered what impact this may have? Maybe collisions with livestock, wild animals or other vehicles? Contamination by your waste? Bush fires started by your fire? Even if you are a well behaved camper, there is no reason why you shouldn’t stay in a regulated campsite.
Fenced private land for miles and miles in Namibia
You can rent a car and bring along your own tent but best of all, it’s to rent a sturdy 4WD vehicle with a pop-up tent on the roof. The rental usually includes all the necessary gear to survive on your own for a couple of days as there might not be electricity or water in some campsites – depending on the vehicle model and the company, most vehicles of this kind has a small 25l fridge, a camping table with chairs, a gas stove with two gas bottles that will last you more than a week each, and other essential equipment such as shovel, double full-size spare tires, double fuel tank and a 40l water tank for washing and cooking.
We used Asco Car Hire and we really liked their vehicle and their services overall.
Here we go with our favourite campsites in Namibia!
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Camping life in Namibia - Enjoying a sunset at Brukarros Community Campsite in Namibia
The lack of a swimming pool and this campsite’s basic amenities were strongly counterbalanced by the extreme beauty of Spitzkoppe campsite and its movie-like setting.
Waken up by a timid sunrise we were in awe until the evening when the sky came alive with a vivid sunset. We watched the sunset from the top of one of the surrounding rocky hills or simply from the comfort of our camping table enjoying a simple dinner and tea until the sky turned into a starry ceiling.
HIKING IN THE SPITZKOPPE? FOLLOW OUR TIPS HERE
Just be ready for basic toilets, water was available only at reception and the restaurant menu was particularly poor. Other than that, this campsite is our Number One. More here: Spitzkoppe Campsite
SETTING OFF FOR A LONG TRIP? STAY SAFE ON THE ROAD WITH OUR TIPS HERE
TIP – To find our way around the city we have used Maps.me, an offline map which gives you both driving and walking directions
Spitzkoppe at sunset - Can you spot the Dassie on the rocks? - Namibia
After many desert setting Naukluft Campsite surprised us with its shadowy forests and its freshwater rivers and natural rock pools. Every night we were in the company of an armed ranger who made sure the troops of hungry baboons around the area kept clear from our food and garbage. They can be pretty aggressive and are not easily frightened by humans.
LOOKING FOR A NATURAL SWIMMINGPOOL IN NAUKLUFT PARK? HERE IS HOW TO FIND IT
Kitchen and toilets were well kept and clean and the campsites were under the shadow of the trees pretty much all day, which is always great in Namibia. There is plenty of hiking in Naukluft National Park (more on our hikes here) – don’t miss the natural “swimming pools” of this campsite!
Having fun in the natural swimming pools of Namibia Naukluft National Park - Namibia
The only downside is probably the location of the campsite which is not exactly walking distance from the main restaurant/reception, however, this ensures the campsites are in the middle of the nature and along the river. More information here: Naukluft Campsite
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A bonfire under the stars - Naukluft Campsite and its beautiful night sky (Namibia)
This campsite is, first of all, great for its location, just few minutes from the South Entrance of Etosha National Park. This makes it a perfect base if you want to drive through the whole park, from one end to the other, and break up this long drive in two days.
CHECK OUT THE MOST BEAUTIFUL SPOTS IN NAMIBIA HERE
This campsite was also great for its amenities – we had the luck of having a huge site (usually for groups) only for ourselves with beautiful bathrooms and a cooking area with barbeque, everything designed to blend in the surrounding natural environment.
We also spot some wild animals from up close, such as huge kudus feeding from the tree branches, a bright green snake sneaking through the bush and wild rabbits crossing our path.
We loved the swimming pool, perfect for a refreshing swim after a hot day spent in the car. If you want to take a break from camping food, there’s a sumptuous buffet ready for you at the onsite restaurant or you can just join for a complimentary coffee or tea. More here: Etosha Village
PROBLEMS WITH PACKING FOR A WORLD TRIP? GET SOME IDEAS IN OUR POST HERE
I almost pet this kudu - Taleni Campsite in Etosha Village, Namibia
TIP – We recommend to spend at least one night inside Etosha National Park. We choose to stay at Namutoni Campsite, which was a great spot to meet other travellers coming from the opposite direction and exchange experiences.
You can drive out at sunrise before the main gates of the park opens or at sunset after the main gate closes, so you can get better chances of seeing wild animals around water holes during the coolest hours of the day and you will share these moments with only few people instead of a huge crowd of cars.
A refreshing swim at Taleni Campsite in Etosha Village, Namibia
BRANDBERG WHITELADY CAMPSITE
This campsite is how we imagine an oasis in the desert – two swimming pools surrounded by a lush green lawn, palms and native trees with a red barren mountainous backdrop.
Hike up the hill close to the main complex to enjoy the sunset and you will have the same feeling. The campsites are a 10 minute walk from the lodge and the showers have no roof and are heated by coal-fire – have an evening shower under the stars!
We have not met wild animals in this campsite, however, we became friends with three adorable kittens and their mummy, which joined us for dinner and breakfast and this made our stay! More here: Brandberg Whitelady Campsite
Golden hour at sunset at Brandberg Whitelady Campsite in Namibia
Who doesn’t love a free, safe and remote campsite? This was our only chance for free camping in Namibia after rather expensive campsites, still in a safe site. It used to be a community campsite – we were almost ready to pay after passing the main gate, however, we noticed this campsite is now rundown and abandoned.
The amazing sunset over the Brukarros mountain made up for the lack of toilets or amenities. Plus, the hike up the crater of Brukkaros was a great exercise and rewarded us with beautiful views of the surrounding area from the top.
DON"T MISS THE HIKE UP BRUKARROS CRATER - LEARN MORE IN OUR BLOG POST HERE
Amazing sunset sky at Brukarros Community Campsite in Namibia
DRIVING DIRECTIONS – If coming from south, reach the town of Berseba and from here take the 98 and turn left into DR390. Pass the campsite gate (there’s an old sign reminding you to pay, however, the campsite is now abandoned) and keep driving until you reach the ruins of some previous camping shelters. You can drive up the road towards the crater if your vehicle can handle it and you can find more camping spots at the top with even more beautiful views of the mountain.
Entrance to Brukarros Community Campsite, now abandoned - Namibia