Heading to Namibia and wondering what to pack and wear for your trip to this country?
Then you’ve come to the right place!
No matter whether you’re planning on an epic safari, an adrenaline-filled activity, a photography excursion, a sightseeing adventure, or all of the above, I’ve got you covered with this complete Namibia packing list.
So let’s dig deep into the details now and start getting you prepared for the trip of a lifetime to this southern African gem!
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Keep Luggage Weight Down!
Before I get onto the actual checklist of what you should pack for your trip to Namibia, I wanted to write a quick few tips to cover some specific questions you might have.
First up, this packing list is designed to be lightweight i.e. it’s ideal for anyone heading to this country who doesn’t want to haul massive suitcases around!
If you’re moving around Nambia (which you definitely should by the way!), then lugging massive bags on and off buses or flights is simply no fun, so this packing list is designed to make sure you have everything you need, for every inch of this country, without being too weighed down!
And if you manage to condense your stuff down well, then this whole Namibia packing list below should fit into a 50l backpack (or a medium suitcase).
I never take anything bigger, even when I’m travelling for 6 months at a time, so you’ve got no excuse!
This 50l Atmos backpack from Osprey makes a great option and would be brilliantly accompanied by some good packing cubes!
Yes these guys are the answer to all your packing problems my friends, and if you want to compress your gear to take up less space, as well as have it nicely organised, I highly suggest you get some!
I absolutely love packing cubes and personally would never consider heading off to Africa, or indeed anywhere, without them!
Packing for a Nambia Safari
So while we’re on the subject of keeping the luggage weight down, it’s worth pointing out that the main checklist below does detail everything you need if you plan to safari in Namibia too, which I highly suggest you do!
The main overall advice is to bring layers that are thin, but that still protect you from the humidity, harsh UV rays and insects that can affect your trip here.
Neutral, coloured and plain clothes are also the advice to help you blend into the background and allow animals to get closer.
A thin, light windproof jacket will be very handy when packing for a safari at dawn or dusk and you may even want to think about a warm hat and socks too.
As always, when it comes to safari travel, I recommend garments with lots of pockets so you have easy access to things like tissues, camera, sanitiser, snacks etc.
A silk sleeping bag liner will also be useful, especially if you enjoying any multi-day safaris on a budget, most of which involve camping.
Packing for an Adventure Trip in Nambia
And no matter whether you’re tackling a big adventure safari like Etosha, or an adrenaline activity like quad biking from Swakopmund, don’t forget an active camera like a Go Pro will be ideal thanks its waterproof, compact and durable attributes.
You’ll also want an activewear outfit to ensure you’re comfortable for any outdoor adventures you might be planning to enjoy, be that hiking in Fish River Canyon or camping in Spitzkoppe.
For this, I recommend a pair of leggings or sporty, thin trousers, along with a singlet or T-shirt, a thin long sleeved top, a buff, a cap and some sunglasses.
Some sunscreen is also required to protect you from the harsh UV rays in this desert country.
Finally, a good day pack, some decent trainers and a filter water bottle, will also be helpful in keeping you hydrated and happy!
Packing For Your Flight to Namibia
It’s also worth taking some time to think about what to wear on a flight over to Namibia.
Making sure these items tie in as much as possible with the checklist below will help you keep your packing light, as you won’t be doubling up or carrying unnecessary items you won’t wear again until the flight home.
Quite simply, layers are key.
You never know how hot or cold a plane might be and if you want to get some sleep, comfy clothing is key!
This is especially true given flights to Namibia from North America, Europe or Australia / New Zealand are long haul, so I’d certainly advise wearing things you feel at ease in.
I always wear leggings on long-haul flights and love these natural bamboo fibre ones from Boody, which I now never travel without.
I pair them with either a thin cotton top or dress (depending how much coverage you want) and then also take a sweater and a scarf on the plane for extra cosy layers.
The travel wraps from Sholdit, which have hidden security pockets are perfect for travel adventures and I love mine!Compression flight socks are also a must in my book when it comes to long haul flying as they help you avoid the possibility of DVT and I pair these with a lovely eye mask and ear plugs to ensure I get some good zzz.
A travel pillow will also help you here and I love this one from MLVOC, thanks to its memory foam, high-sided design.
FYI, a travel pillow will also come in handy if you’re taking any long vehicle journeys in Namibia too… which you definitely will!
Otherwise, if leggings aren’t your thing, then loose-fitting trousers or comfy cargo pants might be a good option.
Pair these with a T-shirt and thin sweater on top.
Small Essentials Kit for Travel Days
I always travel with a small bag of essentials when I take long-distance flights.
Normally this is a small, plastic ziplock bag (so it passes airport security liquid checks) with a toothbrush and tube of travel toothpaste, plus floss, small facewash, small moisturiser, lip balm, tissues, wet wipes, hand santisier, spare underwear and compression flight socks all tucked inside.
But it’s not just on the flight to Namibia I would use this.
Nope, given the long-distance vehicle rides which are a fundamental part of travel in this country, I found it very handy to keep this small essential kit packed and ready to go with me throughout the trip.
Instead of packing it away, as I normally do when I arrive in a destination, keeping this small pack of essentials constantly topped up and included as part of my hand luggage in Namibia was so handy for when I had to travel long distances.
Knowing I could always brush my teeth, or have toilet paper handy, was a game-changer and I strongly recommend you have a similar, essentials kit with you in Namibia too.
Ultimate Namibia Packing List
And so finally here it is – my item-by-item checklist for exactly what to pack and wear in Namibia…
1x Thin Windproof Jacket
Because it’s a desert country, temperatures can drop at night in Namibia and the wind can really pick up.
As such, taking a thinner jacket to protect you from the wind, and that you can layer on or off when being active, makes a lot of sense.
I love the North Face Venture 2 which is also ideal for any outdoor adventures you might want to enjoy in this country.
2x Thick Hoodies / Sweaters / Fleeces
Again key to keeping warmer at night in this country, especially if camping, as well as on any dawn or dusk safaris, you’ll definitely want some thick, cosy sweaters on your Namibia packing list.
A good thermal one, like this Columbia thermal fleece is well suited to the job, as it is designed for active travel and is perfect for hiking and camping.
2x Thin Long-Sleeved Tops
Good for cooler days or when camping / hiking / travelling, thin long-sleeved tops are also good – especially if you need extra protection from the sun.
Choosing a good natural fibre like cotton or bamboo is a good choice for budget vs wear, as these fabrics are more durable and garments made from them won’t have to be washed as much.
Choosing dark colours will be better for safaris too and they won’t show up the dirt as much!
7x Singlets / T-Shirts
Choose tops that match the trousers / leggings / shorts you choose to pack and consider quick-dry options.
T-shirts are good for covering shoulders and offering more sun protection in the harsh heat that you’ll find in Namibia pretty much year-round.
2x Pairs Long Pants / Trousers
Great for camping or wandering around cities, a couple of pair of versatile trousers are a must when it comes to what to pack for Namibia.
I think 2 is a good number to cover a wide range of activities from city strolling to nature time.
2x Pairs Leggings / Hiking Pants
One of my travel essentials, leggings are so helpful for putting under trousers if cold, for hiking or exercising, for being comfortable, for extra nightwear or for under a casual dress.
If you have room, my advice is to take 2 pairs and make them bamboo fibre ones if poss, as these guys are soft, light, comfortable, breathable and hypoallergenic… what’s not to love?!
If you don’t like leggings, hiking trousers or loose-fitting pants will do instead, as they are also good for travel days or if you plan to undertake any safaris or active adventures.
3x Pair Shorts
You’re going to need something to wear during those hot days in Namibia!
I always recommend a couple of scarves whenever I travel because they are so versatile.
Great for hiking or trying to keep your neck protected from the sun or sweat out of your eyes, the list goes on and on!
Buffs are also ideal for any active adventures.
Beanie / Warm Hat
Great for when you’re camping, a warm hat will keep you amazingly snug in Nambia at night.
During cooler safari rides, say at dawn and dusk, (because don’t forget those vehicles are open-sided!) you’re also likely to appreciate one too!
Cap / Sun Hat
Something to shield your face, neck and ears from the strong UV rays that are very prevalent in Namibia.
Swimwear & Sarong
Namibia has some great accommodation options with pools.
Make sure you come fully prepared with a swimwear option and a sarong or 2 for a quick dry, lightweight option!
Small and compact, 7-8 pairs will save you a lot of handwashing!
Bras + Sports Bras
Small and great for hiking, sports bars can also be useful on bumpy safari rides!
I really love this black, padded one from Nike.
Make sure you take socks of various lengths / thickness, including ankle socks for city days and good, anti-blister over-the-ankle socks for hiking / adrenaline activities.
Make sure the sunglasses you travel to Namibia with offer good UV protection.
You can always double up on your daywear here to save room!
Trainers / Runners
In general, safaris in Namibia can be enjoyed with just trainers.
Boots aren’t really necessary unless you’re undertaking some seriously big walks.
These New Balance black trainers are great all-rounders.
Flip Flops / Sandals
Essential! Personally I’d never travel anywhere without my Arizona Birkenstocks!
Thin Toiletries Bag with Hook
A light and thin wash bag is essential for keeping the weight in your luggage down.
Hooks are handy for hanging up your washbag in a bathroom – especially if it’s shared.
Shampoo & Conditioner Bars
I also go for shampoo and conditioner bars when I travel to save the plastic and keep the space down.
Although they are a bit pricey, they last for ages.
Say goodbye to mid-travel spillages and bulky bottles people, this is the eco-friendly future!
Keep your soap in a ziplock bag to prevent soap slime from leaking on everything you own!
I suggest an anti-bacterial bar, as they are great for keeping you clean in tropical climates where you’re likely to be sweating a bit!
I always pack a natural crystal deodorant as they last forever (great if you’re travelling for a few months) and are free from many nasty chemicals.
They are also the only thing that stops me from sweating in the African heat!
Face Cleanser, Serum, Toner & Moisturiser
Great for bringing your skin back to life after any strong sun or dry desert days!
Choose a 30 SPF or higher for those hell-strong rays in Namibia and go natural if you can to keep the chemicals out of your skin.
Natural Bug Repellent
See my post about how to make your own DEET-Free insect spray, or else there are plenty of ready-made, great products on the market – like this plant-based one.
This doubles as a great moisturiser, soother and aftersun.
Buy some here.
SPF Lip Salve
Very important for those strong UV conditions if you want to keep your lips healthy and happy.Burt Bees are always my go-to, as they never dry out my lips.
Tea-Tree Essential Oil
A powerful antiseptic, anti-mould and anti-fungal treatment.
Also great to throw in a few drops with your washing and ideal for freshening up smelly bags / laundry etc.
Get an organic tea-tree oil if you can.
An ideal remedy for headaches, sore muscles and insect bites, tiger balm is super versatile and a must on my Namibia packing list, especially if the mosquitoes love you as much as me!
Paracetamol, Antihistamine, Antiseptic Cream & Band-Aids
The only medicine you need to take!
Most other things you might need can easily be bought in major towns in this country.
The best way to deal with your time of the month when travelling ladies.
Check out the best prices for them here.
Toothbrush, Toothpaste, Floss
Razor & Spare Blades
Nail Scissors, Nail File & Tweezers
Cotton Buds / Pads
Hair Bands & Hair Brush
Safety Pins & Tweezers
Glasses / Contact Lenses if you wear them
Eye Mask & Earplugs
Key for sleeping in hostels, when camping and on those long Namibia travel days.
This eye mask from Alaska Bear is super comfy… go on treat yourself!
I recommend Latrek when it comes to the best travel towel because they are cheap, compact, soft and don’t smell.
Love, love, love mine! Read my full review here.
Definitely needed for hiking, sightseeing and safari days, this Kompressor from Marmot is perfect for the job, as it’s super featherweight, water-resistant and packs down to nothing.
Very useful for locking up bags and valuables when staying in hostels, these don’t have to be expensive, just reliable!
Best to get a TSA-approved one in case of any hassle at the airport.
Filter Water Bottle
Try not to add to the world’s plastic problem and consider travelling to Namibia with a filter water bottle.
Not only does this mean you can safely and easily drink the tap water here (or anywhere!) but it will also save you the money and hassle of having to buy bottled water.
Much cheaper and more environmentally friendly, the LifeStraw Go Water Filter Bottle has amazing technology that filters out 99.9% of harmful bacteria and the filter lasts for 4000 litres, which means you’ll likely only have to replace it once a year!
Travel Handwash & Travel Washing Line
Great for doing emergency washing, such as underwear in a sink, travel handwash is always a must when I travel anywhere.
It’s a given on this Namibia packing list when it comes to rinsing your sweaty undies after a good day in the heat – yum!
So useful in Namibia for adventures when sand seems to get in everything!
Dry bags are small, compact and great for protecting electrical equipment such as cameras.
Check out this top-rated one for ideas.
Silk Liner & Sleeping Bag
If you’re planning on any camping in national parks or during safaris in Namibia, a silk liner will come in very handy.
Great at keeping you sweat-free on hot nights, a silk sleeping bag liner can be paired with a Snugpak sleeping bag, which packs up really small and is perfect for travel during the cooler months in this country.
Smartphone & Bluetooth Headphones
Taking your smartphone to stay in touch with those at home, check maps, book accommodation and upload some pics while you’re in Namibia is a great idea.
I also download some audiobooks and music onto my phone before I Ieave home – a great tip for journey days especially.
I recommend Amazon Audible and Spotify Premium for these purposes and wouldn’t travel without either these days.
Bluetooth headphones are the best because you don’t have to deal with all the wires!
Portable chargers are great when travelling, especially if you’re out sightseeing all day and worried about your phone or camera battery lasting.
I recommend the Anker Powercore, it’s light and can charge my iPhone 12 Pro around 3 times!
I love my Sony A6000 mirrorless camera, which I used throughout my travels in Namibia and beyond.
Light, compact and sturdy, it’s perfect for Africa travel.
A GoPro Hero is also a great idea to help capture the more active adventures you might have in this country such as hiking or duning.
Change of Lens, Spare Battery, Spare Lens Cap, Memory Card, Chargers & Cleaning Cloths
All essential items for your camera and / or GoPro.
Namibia uses European and British style outlets, so come prepared with a Skross World Adapter that won’t fail you!
Headlamp & Spare Batteries
I never travel anywhere without a headlamp and recommend you choose a product that 1) uses commonly found batteries and 2) has a red night light function to avoid the bugs!
I love my Black Diamond Storm. which has served me very well across Africa, especially during those occasional power cuts!
You can easily get an affordable pair like these Binoteck ones, which are ideal for first-time safari-go-ers.
Documents & Paperwork
Passport & Photocopies
Definitely take a colour copy of your passport with you to Namibia and keep it with you at all times.
Taking a photo of your passport and storing it safely in your email / cloud account is also a good idea.
Depending where you’re from, of course, you may or may not need this for Namibia.
Always good to have with you wherever you travel.
Travel Insurance Policy
World Nomads offers simple and flexible travel insurance. Buy at home or while travelling and claim online from anywhere in the world.
Alternatively, if you’re a long-term traveller, digital nomad or frequent remote worker seeking travel health cover, check out Safetywing’s Nomad Insurance policies.
Credit Cards and Debit Cards
Make sure you have a current account and debit card that doesn’t charge you for transactions or ATM withdrawals in Namibia no matter how much you spend.
The easy way to pay abroad with real exchange rates, no markups and no sneaky transaction fees, I always travel with my Wise card.
It works just like a debit card and links easily with Google and Apple pay. Grab yours here.
Hidden Cash in Small Thin Purse
Take some USD, as well as South African Rand, with you to Namibia.
Sadly, at some point, it’s going to be time to go home *sob sob *
Mini Travel Guide to Namibia
How Long to Spend There?
I’d suggest at least 7 days in Namibia to ensure you have the chance to visit all the main highlights including Etosha, Swakopmund and Sossusvlei.
When to Visit Namibia?
The best time to visit Namibia is definitely during the cooler, dry winter season, which runs from May to October.
Top Namibia Tours
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And there it is, my ultimate Namibia packing list and the only one you’ll ever need!
Designed to be practical, while keeping things light, I hope I’ve covered all eventualities with this item by item checklist
Have any questions about what to wear in Namibia?
Did I miss anything out on this packing list?
Please drop any comments into the box below and I’ll get back to you…