Self-Drive vs Guided Namibia Safari - Which One is Best for me?
Over the last couple of decades, the popularity and appeal of a safari trip to Namibia has risen exponentially. Thousands of visitors from Europe, the US and Asia are each year drawn to the allure of spectacular landscapes, majestic wildlife, incredible cuisine, and adrenaline-inducing thrills.
For some would-be Namibia safari goers, the true appeal of a safari lies in jetting off to an isolated location and embarking on a game drive with professional guides that are able to provide expert knowledge of the local area. For others, self-driving through incredible landscapes, setting your own pace and being master of your own destiny is far more appealing.
Whatever your preference, here at Secret Namibia we’ve got you covered. Our Namibia safari holiday specialists offer both self-drive safaris and private-guided safaris, both of which can be tailored to your exact requirements and preferences.
However, if you’re stuck between deciding whether a self-drive adventure or guided safari is best for you, read on below as we outline the benefits of both:
Self- Drive Safari Benefits
Freedom and flexibility
Namibia boasts endless horizons, a magical coastline and amazing game reserves, so you may decide that the best way to explore everything this enchanting country has to offer is by hiring a car and hitting the open road.
If you decide to embark on a self-drive safari in Namibia then you truly are a master of your own destiny. It may go without saying but you can essentially travel whenever, and wherever you want, and you won’t be constrained by getting up at a certain time to head out on pre-arranged tours.
All of our self-drive safari holidays include vehicle hire, a meet and greet service, as well as in-country support so fear not you won’t be entirely abandoned!
Depending on who you choose to book with, and the type of accommodation you opt to stay in, the price of a self-drive safari holiday generally tends to be cheaper.
This doesn’t mean you have to compromise on your safari experience either. You can still discover the giant sand dunes of the Namibia Desert in Sossusvlei or explore Swakopmund on the Skeleton Coast, and typically you’ll only have to pay a small admission fee to enter the national parks.
Peace and space
Although some of us may prefer the company of like-minded strangers when embarking on a safari adventure, for others that sense of peace, quiet and tranquillity is valued highly. If you’re jetting off on a self-drive safari, you are the only one in control. Play your own music, control the air conditioning temperature, and eat all of your own snacks!
Although you’re almost guaranteed to capture perfect wildlife snaps whether you’re on a private guided safari or self-drive, driving your own vehicle gives you more opportunity to stop, take in the scenery, and wait for that killer photo of a zebra circling a waterhole!
Private Guided Safari Benefits
Your vision of the perfect Namibia safari adventure may encompass total relaxation and for many this means no driving! Driving a car, particularly in a foreign place, can be really tiring- and that’s before you take into account that you may have to avoid wondering elephants and giraffes on the road.
By booking a guided safari, the pressure of navigating a totally new environment is completely removed, leaving you to sit back, relax and take in the scenery. Private guided safaris have been operating for years and you can rest assured that your driver will be safe and professional at all times.
Knowledge and Expertise
Undoubtedly, one of biggest reasons many people decide to opt for a private guided safari is to learn from the experienced and knowledgeable drivers and tour operators. Sit back in your vehicle and immerse yourself in a detailed history of Namibia and all its attractions, from the origin of native animals through to the formation of some of the country’s most iconic landscapes.
Many drivers speak English, as well as a variety of different languages, and the very best drivers will guarantee you have the safari experience of a lifetime.
Private guided safari drivers also constantly communicate with other drivers in the local area, passing on vital knowledge about the best place to spot some of the most elusive animals on any given day.
It’s also worth noting that if you embark on a self-drive safari you may not have the knowledge, or even know where to drive, to access some of the best sites for game viewing. Experienced and professional safari guides can take you in to some of the more remote regions of the national parks, giving you the best chance to spot some amazing mammals and birds.
Although hiring your own car may be more comfortable, there’s nothing quite like sitting in a purpose-built safari vehicle as you explore the incredible Namibian landscapes. Guided safari tour vehicles tend to ride higher and the higher up you are the better chance you will have of spotting some amazing wildlife, include most of Africa’s iconic ‘big 5’.