Not everybody likes travelling by themselves, but for others there is nothing better than taking overseas trip alone. If you are predisposed to give solo travelling a shot and you haven’t done it before, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure that you have a safe trip. Many holidays can be taken alone if you sensible about it.
- Money. Save up more than enough well in advance and calculate your budget. You don’t want to spend months or years financially recovering from your solo vacation after you’re back home.
- Destination. Decide on your destination. How you decide is up to you, but if you’re reading this, it is probably Africa and, more specifically, Namibia. And what a place for travelling solo!
- Arrive during the day. Plan your flights and other transport so you arrive at your destination during the day and not at night. It is always safer.
- Accommodation. There are many places to stay in Namibia. If you choose Ohorongo Safaris, you have a choice between a lodge and a luxury tented camp for a true African experience. What’s more, we’re close to the Skeleton Coast and Etosha.
- Travel insurance. Take out travel insurance or you might be exposed to significant risk and debilitating expenses if something goes wrong, like if you’re in an accident, lose your glasses, miss a flight, or need a doctor or dentist. This is especially important when travelling solo.
- Stay in touch. Read up on your destination beforehand and determine how you will stay in touch with the outside world and with family and/or friends following your travels and looking out for you. Give them copies of your itinerary and places to which you will be travelling alone.
- Plan. Never arrive unprepared. Study your destination. Know the map and know where to go and how to get there. Looking like a lost tourist makes you more vulnerable. It must never be obvious to an observer that you are taking your trip all alone.
- Your security. Be sensible and vigilant – and protect yourself and your identity. Don’t tell everybody where you are staying, hold on to your documentation, don’t get yourself incapacitated at parties with strangers, and don’t flaunt your money or possessions. Don’t use your money belt as a purse because you’ll draw attention to yourself having to reach under your clothes for money all the time. Rather opt for a theft-resistant purse or bag. Leave your valuables at home.
Travelling on Your Own to Namibia
Namibia is a safe country to travel to, even alone, but there are certain things to keep in mind because of this country’s unique features.
- Crime is rare. Namibia is one of the safest destinations for lone travellers, thanks to the low crime rate. Getting lost or stranded is a far bigger concern than crime! You will be pleased to learn that travel blogger The Blonde Abroad has identified Namibia as one of the 10 safest places in the world for a single woman to travel to.
- Don’t go places alone after dark. Even though crime is rare, you should not be all by yourself after dark when travelling solo. Try to meet up with people, stay in public places, or join groups for after-dark activities for that extra layer of safety and security.
- Plan every journey. Namibia’s population density is the second-lowest in the world and distances between cities and towns are vast. Driving at night is also not recommended, as wild animals crossing the road might not be spotted in time. Most car accidents in Namibia are, therefore, of the single-vehicle variety due to these reasons. Travel during the day only and be prepared when on the road. You should be able to change a tyre and leave plenty of time and fuel in the tank to reach your next destination. And you should know where the next filling station is.
- Plan B. Be sure to have backups and a Plan B in place, so you’re covered when things don’t go to plan. Have an app on your phone with offline maps and that work with satellites and is not dependant on the GSM network for getting by in those remote areas. Pack car chargers to charge your GPS and/or phone. Know your area and where you can divert if you have to cut your journey short of something happens that changes your plans.
- Don’t rush. Tying in with the previous point, having to race to be somewhere before sunset is a terrible idea, especially if you take a trip alone. It means you are stressed and exposed to more danger on the road, with more things that can go wrong. And it leaves no time to stop, smell the flowers, and take those amazing photos. After all, travelling solo is all about doing what you want and not be constrained by anything or anybody.
- Check in with someone. Whether it is an occasional fellow traveller you’re meeting up with, the lodge where you are staying, or someone else, try to let someone know where you are and how long you are going to be there. You don’t want to be stuck in the middle of nowhere with nobody knowing about your whereabouts. Keep in touch with people back home and avoid complete radio silence.
- Practise common sense. Just being sensible about your safety as a lone traveller goes a long way. Remember, you don’t have a companion to look out for you. You have to do it yourself. Lie if you have to. As a woman, you might be asked where you husband is. Don’t let on that you are completely alone and when leaving a place and someone asks, say you have to meet someone. This is good advice in any country.
Ohorongo Safaris is centrally located in the Kunene Region and quite close to attractions like Etosha and the Skeleton Coast – destinations that can easily be experienced as part of day trip. Book with us today, alone or with a companion, and see the wonders of the land of a thousand horizons.