Namibia trip: support vehicle or not?




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  1. #1
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    Default Namibia trip: support vehicle or not?

    Disclaimer: Although I currently live in SA I have lived in Nam for several years and I am aware of the roads and spares availability. The following question mainly concerns the pros and cons of 2 vehicles over long distance, remote travel.

    We are planning a trip to Nam which will entail long distances through remote parts of the country - 70% gravel and the occasional bush track. We are also expecting some rain and perhaps flodding in December, so consider tricky conditions throughout.

    The conundrum: since there are 4 of us travelling and we will not be camping we would all be able to fit into my 3.0D4D Fortuner. The other vehicle option is a well kitted LC 105 (BFGs, Ome suspensions, x2 spare tyres, on board ARB Compressor etc). The reason we initially chose to ONLY take the Fortuner is fuel consumption. The 4.5 on the 105 plus the extras give a consumption figure of well over 20L/100km. The Fortuner sits well below half of that in terms of consumption.

    We are now considering ignoring the fuel consumption factor and double down on the advantages linked to 2 vehicles travelling together through remote areas. What do you guys think? We have always travelled with one vehicle and have been lucky so far - but now my hunch is to travel in tandem for peace of mind...

    What do you rate?

    One Tuna?
    One 105?
    Tuna105?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Namibia trip: support vehicle or not?

    Two vehicles - the positive is obviously that you have a plan B in case of problems with one vehicle (obviously you know this); the negative is two vehicles' worth of fuel (you know this too). There are other aspects however these are the key aspects.

    My take is that provided you are careful, that the vehicle is serviced prior to the trip, and you have good communications (satphone and/or HF/VHF) then a single vehicle is the better option.

    Our last Africa trip (45,000 km in 10 months) was done with two of us in one vehicle, including some remote areas, although to be fair we never went anywhere where there would have been no-one else passing in the next week or so.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Namibia trip: support vehicle or not?

    4 adults in a Tuna, no thank you and many more advantages doing it two vehicles too.
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  5. #4
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    Default Re: Namibia trip: support vehicle or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by alannymarce View Post
    Two vehicles - the positive is obviously that you have a plan B in case of problems with one vehicle (obviously you know this); the negative is two vehicles' worth of fuel (you know this too). There are other aspects however these are the key aspects.

    My take is that provided you are careful, that the vehicle is serviced prior to the trip, and you have good communications (satphone and/or HF/VHF) then a single vehicle is the better option.

    Our last Africa trip (45,000 km in 10 months) was done with two of us in one vehicle, including some remote areas, although to be fair we never went anywhere where there would have been no-one else passing in the next week or so.
    The problem with radio communication and sat phones is the obvious problem of having to wait for assistance whereas a second vehicle can provide instant assistance or transport to the nearest hospital for medical care. Touch wood it never happens, but ambulances or even air support can take hours to reach you in some places.

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  7. #5
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    Default Re: Namibia trip: support vehicle or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by swakop_toe View Post
    4 adults in a Tuna, no thank you and many more advantages doing it two vehicles too.
    It's not that bad!

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    Default Re: Namibia trip: support vehicle or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Schambies View Post
    It's not that bad!
    I am being facetious. I am sure it can be good.
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    Default Re: Namibia trip: support vehicle or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by swakop_toe View Post
    I am being facetious. I am sure it can be good.

    Ive spent some time in a tuna on Namibian roads. I’m still pushing teeth back into my gums.

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    Default Re: Namibia trip: support vehicle or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by heyyahhey View Post
    Ive spent some time in a tuna on Namibian roads. I’m still pushing teeth back into my gums.
    Hahaha.

    Ya, no, I was more thinking back to a time as student I volunteered to chauffeur my father, my godmother and her husband zigzagging the South of Namibia up to Swakopmund.

    The Prado was not big enough for the four of us by day three. Admittedly, the combined age of the three of them was 160 and it was just very difficult to please them all.
    10 days of teeth grinding.
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    Default Re: Namibia trip: support vehicle or not?

    Schambles, what area are you travelling in?

    If you aren’t camping where are you staying?

    Just trying to get a feel for how remote?

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    Default Re: Namibia trip: support vehicle or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by RobH View Post
    Schambles, what area are you travelling in?

    If you aren’t camping where are you staying?

    Just trying to get a feel for how remote?
    Was thinking the same thing, if not camping and staying at lodges it can't be all that remote. 90% of the lodges are on main tourist routes etc and are often not more than say 350km from each other.

    When I do a remote trip it means often not seeing another person or vehicle for a few days at a time.

    Give us an idea on where you plan to travel?
    Last edited by AboutAfrica; 2021/10/06 at 08:12 PM.
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    Default Re: Namibia trip: support vehicle or not?

    Chalet to chalet doesn't need a backup vehicle.
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  18. #12
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    Default Re: Namibia trip: support vehicle or not?

    Haven't confirmed the route yet - but I can guarantee that some of the lodges being considered are quite remote

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    Default Re: Namibia trip: support vehicle or not?

    Could you give an example or two of the spots being considered?

    Not trying to put you down or so, just trying to help answer your question. There are many tourists doing self drive lodge tours traveling 4 pax in a rental hilux with a sat phone and they do just fine. I just cant think of any lodges which are so out of the way that you would be in serious trouble if you had a breakdown type scenario.
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  20. #14
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    Default Re: Namibia trip: support vehicle or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by AboutAfrica View Post
    Could you give an example or two of the spots being considered?

    Not trying to put you down or so, just trying to help answer your question. There are many tourists doing self drive lodge tours traveling 4 pax in a rental hilux with a sat phone and they do just fine. I just cant think of any lodges which are so out of the way that you would be in serious trouble if you had a breakdown type scenario.
    One of the lodges being considered is the Shipwreck Lodge as well as another one closer to Purros. There are also options of the type and location closer to Sera Cafema. Point is - there is not a fear of dying but rather in case of an accident being able to make a faster recovery, whether that means being able to continue the trip in one car while the other is being repaired or being able to drive to the nearest town 300km to get a spare part for the Tuna or the Cruiser. It's the sort of insurance that makes it that more comfortable to travel. I also never claimed that I was going to wild camp in the Damaraland - it's a matter of convenience not necessarily survival. As I said, I have travelled most of the country with one vehicle and apart from a 110 giving up on us we never had other issues. We can afford another vehicle to tag along, question is: would you do the same?

  21. #15
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    Default Re: Namibia trip: support vehicle or not?

    We’re a family of four and quite regularly take 2 vehicles - more space, more comfort, more options.

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  23. #16
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    Default Re: Namibia trip: support vehicle or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Schambies View Post
    it's a matter of convenience not necessarily survival. As I said, I have travelled most of the country with one vehicle and apart from a 110 giving up on us we never had other issues. We can afford another vehicle to tag along, question is: would you do the same?
    Pretty much answered your own question here. If you had to do the trip with one vehicle it would be fine, but if you can go with both the cars to improve the convenience and comfort factor, go for it. Take the two vehicles and get radio comms between them if they dont already have, adds to the fun.
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  25. #17
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    Default Re: Namibia trip: support vehicle or not?

    One should be ok I think but not if you are venturing into Kaokoland….. Definately a back-up then with a Fortuner. Need good tyres on the latter.

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  27. #18
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    Default Re: Namibia trip: support vehicle or not?

    David Canterbury always refers to; ''2 is 1 and 1 is 0'' regarding redundancy.

    Given your vehicle choices and routes, consider/list what could possibly go wrong and plan from there. It appears that you have already and a 2nd vehicle is the solution. Run with that.
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  29. #19
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    Default Re: Namibia trip: support vehicle or not?

    2 Vehicles.....write off the extra fuel from your mind and see it as insurance
    Don’t blame yourself over past mistakes. It’s like driving down the N1 while looking in the rear view mirror only.

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    Default Re: Namibia trip: support vehicle or not?

    "It's not that bad!"

    And then it gets worse.
    Two vehicles.

    If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you'll most certainly be right. SJ

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