7 of the Most Unique Places to go Camping In Namibia

Table of Contents

Introduction to Camping in Namibia

Recently, we spent just over a month camping in Namibia, and were amazing to discover that it actually had some of the most beautiful and unique campsites we’d ever visited. There seems to be a misconception that Namibia is difficult to travel without a group tour, but this actually could not be further from the truth.

As a self-drive itinerary, Namibia really does have it all. From the natural beauty of the Namib desert to the striking nature of Etosha National Park, Namibia has something to suit every traveller, especially those with a love of wild and rugged nature. This makes it a camper’s paradise, and hikers won’t be complaining either. If you’ve ever dreamed of grabbing your tent and heading off into the wilderness, Namibia should be at the top of your bucket list.

This post is best read together with our Namibia guide, which you can purchase here. This guide focuses on a two week itinerary in Namibia but has the option to extend or decrease the trip length. If you’re looking for the campsites only, then you’ll have everything you need below.

This article may contain affiliate links. There is no additional cost to you and they are often discounted, but we may receive a small commission if you use them to book.

Route map of campgrounds in Namibia

To hit all of the below campsites, you could take the below route (in either direction). Drives between each location should be between 3 and 6 hours each time. As you can see, this route has you starting in either South Africa and finishing in Botswana (or vice versa). You could start in Cape Town, and finish in Victoria Falls (which would take you around 3-4 weeks, depending on speed of travel) or fly in and out of Windhoek and plan the route accordingly.

Safety and logistics of camping in Namibia

General safety

In general, Namibia is an extremely safe country and there are very few causes for concern. Since we understand that safety is determined by each individual, we tend to look to government websites for advice. The UK government website, for example, stated that Namibia has no safety concerns at all for tourists, except some petty pickpocketing in Windhoek occasionally.

Driving

In terms of driving, the roads are easy and often quite empty. We suggest hiring a sturdy vehicle, good for off-roading, since some roads can be uneven. You can hire cars with a tent on top, and these look perfect. Though we didn’t use one ourselves, we saw lots of other people with them and they were a great option.

Camping in Namibia in National Parks

People often worry about camping in National Parks in Africa in case they encounter dangerous animals. This is a valid concern and wildlife does roam free in most of the National Parks in Africa. This is also the case in Etosha, the Park we have suggested on this route. Some simple rules to follow:

  • Don’t approach wild animals if you see them. Instead stay still, in your vehicle if possible, and let them be. If you are with a guide, listen to their advice at all time.
  • If camping in a national park, remove food from your tent. You should be fine to leave it in a car if you are not sleeping in the car, otherwise remove it entirely. Some campsites have communal fridges for you to store food. The worry otherwise is animals like baboons or elephants can come to your tent in search of the food.
  • Some campsites will have viewing spots for the animals. Make sure you stay behind marked fences and don’t bother the animals.

If you follow these steps, the campsites are extremely safe and many people stay in them.

Best 7 campgrounds in Namibia

Giraffes standing by a lake in Etosha National Park. One of the giraffes is drinking
The watering hole at Okaukuejo Camp

1. Okaukuejo Rest Camp

Without doubt, this was our favourite place for camping in Namibia. What is seriously amazing about this camp is that it is directly situated on the edge of one of the most active waterholes in Etosha National Park. This means that every night you can sit behind a fence and watch the watering hole. You never know of course which animals might show up, but you’d be unlucky not to see anything. On our first night, we saw a giraffe and several rhinos, and another group who arrived just after us, saw FIVE LIONS!

It’s worth waiting a little while at the watering hole, since patience really is key here, and you might get some amazing sightings. The watering hole is even floodlit, so you should be able to take some fantastic photos. The camp itself is fine and has great facilities, but if you fancy being flush for the night, you can book a watering hole view chalet, and watch the animals from the comfort of your own room.

How to book: Fill out an enquiry form here, and select the accommodation you want. As far as we’re aware, this campsite is not available on any booking platforms.

FIND OUT MORE INFORMATION HERE.

The picture shows a sunrise behind several sleeping bags of people camping in Namibia. The landscape is rocky and arid.

2. Spitzkoppe

Visiting Spitzkoppe is amazing in itself, but without doubt, the best way to enjoy it is by camping. The scenery is jaw-dropping, and waking up in the middle of it in time for sunrise is an experience that’s hard to beat. Spitzkoppe, also known as ‘The Matterhorn’ of Namibia, is a moon-like landscape full of climbable rocks and challenging hikes. It’s a nature-lover’s paradise, full of photogenic vistas.

Spitzkippe campsite is right in the middle of the site. The landscape is so arid and the weather generally so mild, that you can actually sleep outside under the stars (without a tent, just your sleeping bag) without fear of rain or bugs. It’s a once in a lifetime experience to do this and one that we certainly weren’t going to pass up.

How to book: on Spitzkoppe’s website.

FIND OUT MORE INFORMATION HERE.

A sunset view over Fish River Canyon in Namibia. There is a horseshoe bend style river

3. Fish River Lodge and Campsite

Fish River Canyon is a little known canyon, but one of the largest in the world. It is absolutely breath-taking and a must-see in Namibia. Fish River Lodge prides itself on being the only lodge directly on the edge of the canyon. This means you’re guaranteed some absolutely incredible views, no matter what time of day it is.

You can actually hike down into the canyon if you’re looking for a day time activity or, if you’re just visiting on the way elsewhere, you can take a drink and picnic up for sunset.

How to book: you can book the lodge or campsite here on Booking.com.

FIND OUT MORE INFORMATION HERE.

A campsite at sunset with a mountain in the background

4. Sesriem Campsite NWR

Sesriem is about a 45 minute drive from the infamous Dune 45 and Deadvlei. Dune 45 is a hike-able dune in the Namib desert, from where you can see one of the most beautiful sunrises in Namibia, and Deadvlei is a totally unique site, full of petrified ancient trees. It’s one of those things you have to see to believe!

Sesriem campsite itself is set in a beautiful location where, as you can see, you can also catch a lovely sunset. They have a vegetable garden on site, which is honestly impressive for such an arid desert, and some gorgeous views out over the nearby mountains.

How to book: You can book the campsite here.

FIND OUT MORE INFORMATION HERE.

A pint of beer on a railing. The view behind it is of a sunset over a lake.

5. Rainbow River Lodge Bagani

This is the sweetest little unassuming campsite, but with so much to offer. Sadly, few people will stay in Bagani, as it’s mostly a waypoint to the Okavango Delta or Chobe National Park. However, we would honestly say that those who skip it are missing out!

Though there isn’t too much in Bagani, it is home to the very fun Popa Falls and it is abundant with hippos! If you are lucky, you can even watch hippos strolling around the river islands from the campsite. Upgrade options here are available and the chalets are clean and comfortable.

How to book: You need to call them.

FIND OUT MORE INFORMATION HERE.

A tiny dik dik antelope at a campsite in Namibia.
A dikdik at Roy’s Rest Camp

6. Roy’s Rest Camp Grootfontein

Apart from being on the edge of Etosha National Park (the other edge from Okaukuejo!), Grootfontein is also home to the Ju/’Hoansi San Living Museum. This is a group of San people who have generously opened up their village to tourists to gain an interest into their live and traditional way of living. Roy’s Rest Camp is a sweet little stay near the village, which has a great pool, and really nice facilities.

You can also take several walks around the camp and you might even have the chance to spot some wildlife, such as impala, dikdiks, kudu and other antelope. They have two main walking trails, and both are very safe and give a good chance to spot wildlife.

How to book: You can book Roy’s Rest Camp here on Booking.com.

FIND OUT MORE INFORMATION HERE.

flamingoes in Swakopmind in Namibia
Flamingos on the beach in Swakopmund

7. Swakopmund Municipal Rest Camp

In fairness, perhaps the best thing about this rest camp is the destination it’s based in, and its price! However, what I do love about the camp is the set up of lots of spaces to barbecue. In Namibia, a barbecue is a braai, and it’s an absolute must when you’re in the country!

The camp is also right next to the beach in Swakopmund, where if you get lucky, you can even see flamingos! Swakopmund is also one of the most lively spots in Namibia, and from there you can visit the desert, where you can take part in plenty of interesting desert activities, such as sandboarding, dune bashing and desert walking tours.

FIND OUT MORE INFORMATION HERE.

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    Written by Emma

    Emma

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