Several weekly Intercape Mainliner buses make the seven-hour trip between Windhoek and Rundu (fares from N$780). Book your tickets in advance online, as this service continues on to Victoria Falls and fills up quickly.
Combis connect Windhoek and Rundu with fairly regular frequency, and a ride shouldn’t cost more than N$600. From Rundu, routes fan out to various towns and cities in the north, with fares costing less than N$60 a ride. Both buses and combis depart and drop off at the Engen petrol station.
Car & Motorcycle
Drivers will need to be patient on the road (B8) to Rundu from Grootfontein. It’s in good condition but passes by many schools where the speed limit drops suddenly – fertile ground for speed cameras.
Border Crossing: Rundu-Angola
The border crossing here is almost one-way traffic, with plenty of Angolans coming into Namibia to purchase goods from the shops, seek medical help and visit relatives; however, we heard reports of Namibians getting a lot of hassle when they try to enter Angola. As for tourists, they are seen as easy pickings for the Angolan authorities, and you may be asked for a bribe or even arrested. Basic Portuguese-language skills would be a huge bonus, as English is not widely spoken. Getting an Angolan visa (US$100) in Windhoek is very difficult, and you need time and patience (one traveller we heard about waited for months with no success). It may just depend on who you deal with at the Angolan embassy and, of course, your nationality. For one thing, you need a letter of invitation from somebody in Angola as part of your visa application, as well as a copy of their ID. At the time of writing, Oshakati in Namibia was the best place to try and lodge an Angolan visa application.
There are a few travel agents running basic organised trips into Angola, which consist of you and your guide, your vehicle and all your own camping equipment; Namib-i in Swakopmund is a good place to make enquiries. The bonus here is that they will organise your visa, including the letter of invitation.
Some lodges, such as N’Kwazi Lodge in Rundu, run boat trips along the Okavango River and will dock on the Angolan side to give you a chance to get some Angolan soil on the soles of your shoes.