When you arrive at the neat and tidy Hosea Kutako International Airport, pick up your rental right there in the modern facility. The half-hour drive into town is interesting as you may spot some local wildlife like warthog and antelope. Once you reach the city, visit the main Post Street Mall, and find the Namibia Tourism Board on the 1st Floor of Channel Life Tower. The staff at the Board go out of their way to offer advice and suggestions to help you plan your trip according to your interests and preferences. Alternatively, tips for exploring Namibia come through talking to people. Locals and fellow travellers hang out at coffee shops and restaurants and can be a valuable source of information about Windhoek. When you rent a car in Windhoek, you'll find unusual places like the Ministry of Mines, where detailed displays present information on geology, the main income source for many self-employed Namibians.
Near central Zoo Park, pavement vendors display beautiful carvings and a wide range of gemstones for sale. It's a short walk to the Gibeon meteorite, and the downtown revamped Old Breweries Complex is a must-visit. Craft shops are great to visit for souvenirs and to support local artists. For more culture, visit the Old Fort Alte Feste, now the national museum. Discover Namibia's rich history and learn about German colonization, the people and the culture across European and local influences. As you drive around Windhoek, look out for the gothic-style Christuskirche German Lutheran church, which presents a photo opportunity. For nature photos, head for the National Botanical Gardens, or, rent a car in Windhoek and get a taste of Namibia's wildlife by driving to the Daan Viljoen Game Reserve. The reserve has hiking trails with birds and antelope, just 24km west of Windhoek.
Smartphones work in Namibia and sim cards may be purchased at the main airport - you may need to show your passport for registration. Top up with prepaid vouchers at service stations and supermarkets. At the supermarkets, many locals provide services to visitors by assisting with grocery shopping or by directing you in car parking areas. Make sure to tip them some coins for their assistance. If you're dining in restaurants and malls, tipping 10% of the bill is recommended. Other occasions when you'll tip for services include fuelling up your hire car at filling stations. In Namibia, drivers don't fill their own vehicles as employees do it for them. You can also ask them to check your oil level and clean your windscreen, but note that it's customary to give them a small tip in local coins.
|Currency||Namibian dollar/ South African Rand|
You will pass through checkpoints when driving from Windhoek to the coastal town of Swakopmund and several other destinations. Traffic police may ask for your driver's license and vehicle papers. The police display a professional approach. Be polite and respectful and don't offer them bribes and be sure to wear your safety belts. Dive on the left-hand side of the road and yield to vehicles on the right. If you usually drive on the right-hand side, pay particular attention when entering roundabouts. At the all-way stop intersections, the first vehicle to arrive goes first. All-way stop rules also apply when the traffic lights present no lights or flashing red/amber lights. Drink driving laws allow for 0.37mg/l alcohol so ensure a sober driver takes the wheel if you drink alcohol. Also, keep to the speed limits. In Windhoek, it's generally 60km/h.