Namibia — Transportation
Namibia Taxis and Car Rental
The major cities of Windhoek, Walvis Bay and Swakopmund have a number of private taxi operators taking visitors to the different destinations around town. Whenever possible, visitors are advised to call cabs by phone rather than hailing them on the street, as criminals have been known to pose as taxi drivers. The Namibia Bus and Taxi Association (NABTA) grants legitimate cabs registration numbers, typically consisting of one alphabetical designation followed by a two-digit number. These registrations are prominently displayed on doors and rear windows. Two legitimate companies are Sprint Shuttle Services (+264-61-307-854) and Lima Transfers (+264-81-127-3232).
Like South Africa, Namibia has a fairly established shared taxi system which run to and from townships, commercial and industrial areas. Routes are very flexible, and passengers can get out anywhere. Traveling this way simply involves hailing down a bus and informing the driver where you're going. If your destination is not on the route, the driver will refuse you, and you will need to hail another one.
Renting a car is also possible in Namibia. Traffic is light, and most of the country’s attractions can be reached easily by driving. Roads within and around the main cities are generally good and well-maintained, but visitors venturing away from built-up areas may encounter gravel and dirt paths. Driving can be a little bit tricky in Africa, as vehicles tend to compete with people and animals for road space. Therefore, driving at night can be quite dangerous. Gas stations are few and far between so those traveling long-distances should plan ahead and fill up whenever possible.
Namibia Trains and Buses
City buses are not available in Namibia, but getting around town is easy with taxis and shared taxis. Those traveling long distances to and from major destinations can take a coach. One company offering coach services throughout all of Southern Africa is Intercape Mainliner. Prices are quite reasonable for routes to and from Windhoek, Swakopmund, and other cities. Tickets can be booked in advance via the company’s website (http://www.intercape.co.za), the office on Galilei Street (0861 287 287) or via any of the booking agents in hotels and travel agencies.
Rail travel in Namibia is not as developed as visitors might hope, with much more of a focus on freight than passenger services. The network is limited, so connectivity is not especially reliable. Trains are quite slow, and most routes run overnight. The main rail operator is Transnamib Starline (http://www.transnamib.com.na/starline). Trains run from north to south, dissecting Namibia in two and passing through Windhoek. They then branch off to major destinations east and west, including Luderitz and Walvis Bay along the coast, as well as Gobabis in the heart of cattle country along the Trans-Kalahari Highway.
Transnamib’s Desert Express is a train specifically geared towards tourists. It passes through all the major destinations along the line, which begins in Windhoek and ends in Swakopmund. The Desert Express provides luxury services such as air-conditioned sleeping cars complete with en-suite toilets and showers, a full bar with exquisite wine list, a gift shop, three-course meals, and excursions en-route.