Prepare for your Namib Experience
FAQs: Before Departure
The desert may seem a place of mystery to you right now, as might the technicalities of desert dune driving. Please go through the question and answer section below to learn more about the Namib Desert, desert camping, dune driving and the Faces of the Namib tour infrastructure and logistics.
Q: Are you allowed to take fire wood across the border from South Africa?
A: It is preferable to buy wood in Namibia.
Q: Can I put together my own group?
A: It is possible for clients to custom-make a tour group, selecting participants of their choice. Family members, friends, acquaintances or colleagues can get together to do a tour without other people joining them, as long as our minimum number of participants is met. The minimum number of people and vehicles required for a privately organised/custom-made group is 20 persons/10 vehicles.
Q: Can tour routes be tailor-made to meet my specific requirements?
A: Depending on the request, routes can be tailor made, as long as there are enough people available to do such a tour. Currently, there are also shortened versions of the Faces-tour available with 2, 3 and 4-night options for those clients who may face time constraints, as well as longer versions. For special interest groups, such as photographers or birders, the Faces tour can also be custom-designed to shift emphasis, say, from (less) dune driving to (more) photography. These needs should be specified when booking your tour.
Q: Do I need a passport to visit Namibia?
A: All non-Namibian citizens need a passport to visit the country and this includes South Africans. According to Namibian customs, a passport must be valid for at least six months after entry. Visas and international driver’s licenses are not required for South Africans.
Other nations exempt from visas are:
Angola, Austria, Australia, Belgium, Botswana, Brazil, Cuba, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Japan, Kenya, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, UK, USA, Mozambique, New Zealand, Portugal, Iceland, the Netherlands, Malaysia, Singapore, the Scandinavian countries, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Q: How many vehicles participate in a tour?
A: The ideal number of vehicles for a Faces-tour is ten. This is to ensure that clients receive excellent service and attention at all times. We limit each tour to a maximum of twelve vehicles and in very special cases may stretch this to 14 vehicles (on special request). The minimum number of participants for a scheduled tour is 14 adults/7 vehicles, worked on an average of two people per vehicle. (Numbers for private tours are slightly higher-see below).
Q: Is it necessary to take malaria medication when doing a desert trip?
A: Please consult your doctor or travel clinic.
Q: Is it necessary to take out travel and medical insurance?
Travel insurance is insurance which covers things like cancellations of trips, lost luggage and so forth. This kind of insurance is very much an optional extra on a tour of this nature. Medical insurance however is very important in the event of a serious accident or medical emergency. If someone is injured or becomes ill in the desert it can be a costly procedure to transport them to the safety of a hospital, as chances are they may have to be airlifted. For this reason it is very important to have adequate medical cover when embarking on a desert 4×4 safari.
Q: Is it possible to leave the tour a day earlier or to join it a day later?
A: No, unfortunately not. The route does not follow a specific road but is driven between specific GPS points, across the dunes. It is not safe to allow clients to drive unaided in the desert to join up with or leave the tour group because the desert terrain is too unpredictable.
Q: Is this tour child- and family friendly?
A: Yes. Very much so! The Faces of ther Namib Tour is definitely not designed only for testosterone-driven adrenaline junkies! If you enjoy five days of pure dune driving (with as many risks as possible) the Faces tour is not for you. The focus of the Faces of the Namib tour is to offer a truly unique experience to clients- a one of a kind desert adventure safari. Our emphasis is inclusivity-that means a family-friendly atmosphere to suit adults and children alike, all activities taking place in the world’s oldest desert.
Our tour is geared towards combining the thrill of dune driving with an exploration of the Namib Desert’s uniquely adapted ecosystem, as well as re-visiting sites of historic and cultural interest and spectacular scenic beauty. As a family bonding experience, this tour is an absolute MUST. Your children will spend five days playing in and exploring the world’s largest sandpit. Many kids have described the tour as their best holiday ever!
Q: What are the differences between the Faces of the Namib tour and the Luderitz – Walvis Bay trip?
The Luderitz to Walvis Bay route is one day longer and 100km further. It follows a route that is predominantly along/near the coast. The Faces of the Namib tour is the ONLY tour available that traverses the Namib Desert from East to West, as well as South to North. This means you experience much more variety in terms of terrain and landscape.
The desert’s topography changes daily, as you drive from the interior towards the coast. It is breathtaking to witness this transformation. The Faces tour also visits the unique Kuiseb River canyon, petrified dune formations and the southernmost examples of the Welwitschia plant.
Both tours allow participants access to and tours of the sand-blown, derelict and abandoned diamond mining villages such as Holsatia, and the wreck of the Eduard Bohlen, but the Faces tour is far more relaxed and has less of an emphasis on dune driving alone.
The Faces-tour is very much about the many different aspects of the Namib- which definitely includes dune driving thrills but also considers places of historical, cultural and natural (geological, biological) interest. All these are combined to create something unique and the tour’s focus is on good, clean family fun.
Q: What camping equipment do I need to bring?
- Tent, folding chair & sleepwear (bedroll, tent etc.)
- Eating utensils (cutlery, plate, bowl, glass & mug)
- Own snacks & refreshments (alcoholic beverages, cool drinks etc.)
- Torch & batteries
- Camera (extra films & battery)
- Sunglasses & sun tan lotion
- Clothing (very hot and very cold), toiletries & towels.
- Prescribed medicine
- Small bowl or collapsible wash basin
Q: What does your company supply on tour?
A; Communication radios for all participating vehicles
Meals (Only Tea/Coffee and fruit juices supplied with meals)
“Communal” camping equipment (e.g. braai grid, cooking facilities & equipment, tables, wash-up facilities, shower, toilet etc.)
Q: What is Namibia’s unit of currency?
A: Namibian Dollars are used throughout Namibia. South African Rands are also widely accepted. Credit and petrol cards are also accepted at most shops and service stations. Fuel prices are similar to those of South Africa.
Q: When does the wind blow most?
A: During the winter months (June-August) you may experience a warm east wind blowing in the desert. The prevailing wind is a south-westerly which begins in September and blows in from the chilly ocean until December.