Booking campsites in Namibia was a bit of a process, especially when you want to be inside their National Parks. The process was a little frustrating, and we want to save you from having to go through the same hassle we did. There are several steps involved in getting exactly what you want when booking your accommodations. Let’s get started!
Seasonality and how far in advance you book will play a great role in whether or not you can get into the campsite you want. Namibia is more in the public eye now, and things start booking up six months in advance or more. This is especially true for the dry season – April through October. We are going to be there in July.
At two months out, we are just starting this process of booking campsites. Luckily for us we were able to get into our most important National Parks: Etosha and Sossusvlei. However, we missed the boat on the more prime locations in Etosha, so we will have to do a lot more driving in the park. As for Sossusvlei, we really lost the chance to stay at the only campsite in the park, Sesriem. However the park is opening up a second park in July, and we were able to book that instead. Woohoo!
Lesson Learned: Book as early as possible!
The Booking Process
Now here comes the fun part: the actual booking of these campsites in the parks. We started by trying to find a way to book online, which is the usual path we are used to. But no, this is Africa and they aren’t as into online booking systems as much as America. Instead you land on a page where you can see the availability and dates, and it has a cart to add bookings. Unfortunately there is no actual way to add anything to the cart.
Instead of booking online, you have to email them directly with your dates and times. They will then email you back a confirmation link to a payment portal. This took too much time to figure out. With a lot of back and forth, we finally got our bookings completed.
Lesson Learned: Just send the email, the customer service reps are very friendly and responsive. Use the booking sites to get the dates of availability and then send them by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will also ask them how to add to the cart on the booking site.
From what we’ve read, camping in Namibia is somewhat cushy, much like Norway. Many campsites have showers available, a lodge with food, and sometimes even a pool. It is not like wild camping, as most things you need will be available. Despite this, it is a good idea to bring plenty of food and water with you. Knowing this, we’re glad to know we got spots!
We consider it a win that we were able to get into both parks without (m)any issues. Now onto the rental vehicle, which is the next big nugget for this trip.
Have you had a difficult time booking lodging in another country? What happened?
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