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general driving through southern africa

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general driving through southern africa

Visiting Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Botswana

Africa is undoubtedly the most scenic and exciting continent in the World, with its vast open spaces, variety of Fauna, Flora, with its very impressive variety of birds, reptiles, wild and marine life and the place to visit on the African continent is - Namibia.

Many tourists visiting our beautiful Namibia often find themselves short of money, because they have not been informed correctly of the extra costs when deciding to visit the neighbouring countries in the north- eastern part of Namibia, being Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Botswana. I have outlined each country separately, as each country has different fees and charges.

All countries require your vehicle papers and proof that you are either the owner or have permission to take the vehicle out of the country. To help you budget for your hassle - free holiday, I have put together some important information.

To enter Namibia from South Africa, Zambia, Botswana, and Zimbabwe:

(1) All foreign registered vehicles entering into Namibia must pay cross border charges obtainable at all Borders

(2) Keep the CBC voucher in your car at all times

(3) When you depart from Namibia hand in your CBC at your exit border post

(4) Costs: N$ 120 per vehicle, N$80 for trailer - one way only

(5) Should you wish to re-enter Namibia you will have to pay again

To depart from Namibia to a neighbouring country with a Namibian registered vehicle you require the following:

(1) Namibian registered vehicles leaving Namibia require a valid police clearance, valid for 3 months. Cost N$ 30, even if your vehicle is a hired Namibian registered vehicle. This is obtainable at a police station (if in Windhoek) go to traffic office (Mon to Fri) at least two weeks before departure. The office is not open weekends or public holidays.

Car hire vehicles:

It is important that you inform your car hire dealer that you wish to travel out side the country with their vehicle, so that they can give you all the necessary papers for your travel. Please state that you wish to visit all countries in case you should want to visit another country which is near by.

To enter Botswana you require the following:

When you enter Botswana either from South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe or Namibia and wish to re-enter again into Botswana, Please ask for a double entry, as the single entry is for one way.

(1) Costs: double entry Pula 90, single Pula 50, insurance P 20, valid for a year

(2) Should you wish to cross from Zambia into Botswana with the ferry at Kazangula

(3) The ferry costs are extra: U$ 25 or Pula 125 per vehicle and 2 Pula per person

NB: No meats, dairy products, tined meat, tin fish, egg, poultry etc. are allowed into Botswana - from - Namibia - Zambia or Zimbabwe, unless a permit is obtained before entry. Only certain products may be brought in from South Africa, but again these laws could change as well. It is far better to buy what you require once you are in the country that you are visiting and support the local market, than to try and obtain a permit, an original must be produced at the point of entry. To be quite honest most big towns that you are visiting will have all the stocks you require, and there is not much difference with prices, if you think of all the hassles of trying to get a permit. Permits are only available from their offices in Botswana. So in other words you must first go to Botswana or have them courier the permit as a faxed copy is not acceptable. Should you buy groceries in Botswana, and then visit Namibia or Zambia or Zimbabwe and wish to go back via Botswana, you may not take these groceries back into Botswana even though they were purchased in Botswana, unless you have a permit for them. So the bottom line is: finish everything that you have bought.

To enter Zimbabwe you require the following:

All foreign passport holders except SADC require a visa which is obtainable at their borders. Costs in foreign currency - not in Namibian dollars:

U$ 30 single, U$ 45 double

Euro 25 single, Euro 40double

British P 55 single, British P 70double

Rands 210 single, Rands 390 double

All foreign registered vehicles to pay the following:

Carbon Tax: Rand 140, Pula 90, U$ 15, valid one month

Toll Fee: Rand 60, Pula 50, U$ 10, one way

Insurance: R150, valid one month

Hired Vehicle: R200, valid one month

Commercial - T/0: R300, valid one month

To enter Zambia you require the following:

All vehicle papers same as above. Visas required the same as Zimbabwe and obtainable at their borders.

Insurance for all vehicles: N$ 250

Local road tax: N$ 75

Please make sure that your vehicle has red triangles in the car in case you break down, they are required by law in Zambia. Should you not have them you could pay a spot fine of R 100. If you should be fined for anything in any country, always ask for an official receipt. Fines are sometimes payable in the currency of the country, so ensure that you always have some cash in the country's currency on hand.

Use of credit cards:

It is advisable to use your credit card where possible. Petrol stations in Namibia only accept Garage Cards, Botswana (big towns) accept your master/visa cards at petrol stations. Always keep some cash in the local currency on hand. Credit cards can now be used to enter Chobe National Park, at SEDUDU. Main entrance in Kasane, but not at the other park entrances.

In Zambia most hotels accept master/visa cards. It is not advisable to use your credit card in Zimbabwe, rather change your forex at the local Banks. Never change money in any country off the streets - it is illegal and you could end up paying for fake money.

Please make sure that your passports are valid of six months or more. Never leave your passports or car papers in your vehicle, and try and park your vehicle in view of all. Never walk alone at night in any country.

NB.Some countries' driver's licences have expiry dates - please check that your licence has not expired. Namibians, please check yours.

Visas:

Should you require a visa to enter Namibia:

(1) You must obtain the Visa before you leave your country

(2) If you plan to leave Namibia and re-entry Namibia you require a double-entry, as these Visa's are only obtainable outside of Namibia otherwise you will not be allowed back into Namibia, as no visas are available at Namibian borders

(3) This applies to Botswana as well

(4) Visa for Zimbabwe and Zambia are available at all their borders

Currencies that can be used:

Namibia dollars N$ can only be used in Namibia. U$ dollars can be used in all countries, but make sure that you have some. Small notes available, as many places do not have change in the Currency that you are using. Euro, Rands, Pula can be used as well, but are not as popular as the U$ note.

Borders do not take traveller cheques. These can be used at holiday resorts and at some shops. Always ask before you purchase something.

Roads:

All roads from Cape Town to Lusaka are in good condition and fully tarred. Precaution should always be taken when travelling on gravel roads in any country.

Should you require further information for latest updates on border charges - or any other information on the Caprivi or other Regions - please feel free to email us a This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Please note that the above prices are subject to change.

Compiled by Valerie Sparg

Kalizo Lodge

Caprivi, Namibia

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