If you are planning your Namibia self-drive safari, booking campsites and getting park permits are a necessary evil in your pre-trip planning process. Luckily it is not that complicated! That said, we wish there were a few things that someone had told us as we were planning. With this in mind, we’ve put together a few tips – including what you need to know to book campsites in Namibia National Parks and how to obtain National Park Permits in Namibia – in the hopes that it makes your trip planning a little easier.
OTHER NAMIBIA SELF-DRIVE RESOURCES
Campsites Through Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR)
Namibia Wildlife Resorts is the state-run enterprise that has been mandated to manage tourism facilities within the 22 protected areas of Namibia, including Etosha, Waterburg, Skeleton Coast, Ai/Ais & Namib Naukluft. See a list of NWR camps and lodges.
If you are interested in staying at any of the Namibia Wildlife Resorts campsites or lodges, you will first need to make a booking with NWR before obtaining your permit.
Namibian Wildlife Resorts secures bookings via email and phone or on arrival if there is still space available. Note that there are a few campsites (including Kuiseb & Tinkas) where NWR does not employ permanent staff so bookings must be made in advance either through their reservations office or preferably at the NWR office within the country where you can also obtain your MET permit.
Cost of NWR Campsites
Most NWR campsites cost between 180NAD and 220NAD per site per night.
Know Before You Go
NWR Campsites do book out months in advance during high season (May – August) and it can take some time to get a confirmation on availability of sites from the NWR staff. So best to email or call ahead as far in advance as possible to secure your space. We were unable to stay at any of the NWR campsites in Etosha National Park because they were completely booked out one and a half months ahead of time.
NWR Central Reservations
Tel: +264 61 2857200
Address: Erkraht Building, 189 Independence Avenue, Windhoek, Namibia
NWR Cape Town Office
Tel: +27 21 4223761
Fax: +27 21 4225148
Address: Pinnacle Building, Ground Floor, Burg Street, Cape Town
Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET) Park Permits
To enter any national parks, a permit must be obtained through the Ministry of Environment and Tourism. MET permits can only be purchased in Namibia – they cannot be purchased prior to your arrival. Most permits also must be paid in cash, though some parks, like Sesriem at Sossusvlei, do accept cards.
MET permits are typically issued at the park gates by MET staff. The NWR staff person usually is located directly next to the MET person so you can confirm your campsite booking with the NWR representative than move next door for your MET permit. It is a very seamless process.
Cost of MET Permits
A national park permit will cost 60NAD per person plus an additional 10NAD per vehicle per day. This includes the following campsites: Etosha National Park, Soussusvlei region of Namib-Naukluft, Skeleton Coast and Ai/Ais.
Kuiseb and Tinkas permits in northern Namib-Naukluft cost half that at 30NAD per person plus 10NAD per vehicle per day. However, there are no staff at these campsites so you must purchase your permits at an MET office head of time at the Sesriem/Sossusvlei, Swakopmund or Koedoesrus campsites.
Mahango, Susuwe Triangle, Nkasa Rupara, Khaudum and Waterberg in Northern Namibia are all also 30NAD per person per day plus 10NAD per vehicle.
If you want to explore the Namib desert or visit Terrace Bay along the Skeleton Coast, you will have to join a guided tour with a private operator. Tours must be booked in advance and require a minimum number of people.
MET Office Windhoek
Address: Levinson Arcade, Capital Centre Building, 4th floor, Windhoek
MET/NWR Office Swakopmund
Address: Corner of Bismarck and Sam Nujoma Avenue, Swakopmund
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