Namibia Info

About Namibia

The Republic of Namibia is located in south-west Africa. Namibia has a population of about 2.6 million inhabitants and an area of 824 292 km² ; about 4 inhabitants per square kilometer. After Mongolia Namibia is considered the most sparsely populated independent country in the world. The population is concentrated in a few cities and the fertile north of the country. Around 44 percent of the population lives in the central north of the country. One third lives in central Namibia, with more than 400,000 people residing in Windhoek alone. The southern part of the country houses 7% of the population, while the west and the Namib Desert, with the exception of port cities, is almost deserted. Approximately 57% of the population live in rural areas. Namibia has one of the best medical systems of the African continent with the best doctor-inhabitant ratio. In 2004 Namibia featured 30 doctors per 100,000 residents.

Namibia is one of the most fascinating and diverse countries to travel to with, amongst others, some of the world’s highest sand dunes at Sossusvlei and the Etosha National Park, one of the largest protected areas worldwide. The country has a stable parliamentary democracy. The Namibian economy is heavily influenced by the sectors of agriculture, tourism and mining, in particular of marble, granite, diamonds, uranium, copper, gold, silver and other metals. The largest employer in Namibia is agriculture and mining. The fastest growing sector is tourism.

The average climate in Namibia can be described as hot and dry. The, to a large extend, arid climate, is subtropical-continental with relatively large differences between the various parts of the country.

We are grateful that we may introduce our beautiful country to you!

Namibia

Travel Information

Here is some useful travel information when planning your holiday in Namibia.

No vaccinations are required when travelling to Namibia as the country is generally disease free. Malaria occurs in the summer and rainy months but is largely confined to the northern part of Namibia. In local pharmacies and supermarkets stock very effective sprays against mosquitoes. People with allergies (e.g. bee stings, gluten intolerance etc) or other health problems (e.g. heart problems, asthma, diabetes, etc.) must have the relevant prescription medicines in their hand luggage and inform fellow passengers or guide accordingly. The next doctor or clinic is usually far away.

Persons having traveled to or through other countries where yellow fever or other epidemics occur must, at entry to Namibia, present the vaccination certificate. Hepatitis and tetanus vaccinations are recommended; detailed information from your doctor or the Tropical Institute in your area.

The climate in this country is very dry and therefore 2-3 liters of water should be consumed per day. Insufficient fluid quickly leads to dehydration which in turn can result in having to lodge an unscheduled hospital visit. The first signs are usually headache and abdominal pain and are therefore often confused with ‘indigestion’.

In the event of an accident, the policy number of your travel insurance must be specified and also the contact details of the insurance company. Without this you will in all likelihood not be taken up at a private hospital and not be transported by Emergency Evacuation flight or private ambulance companies. A copy of your travel insurance details should be secured in the car or carried on the person so that can go fast in an emergency.

Namibia is one of the safest countries in Africa, without war, civil war or other unrest. However, just like in other countries of the world, there are pickpockets. One should always be on guard and protect themselves, because as they say ‘opportunity makes thieves’!

Always keep the doors of the car locked. Never leave items lying in the car, like coins, sunglasses, jackets and of course no bags. Valuables left unattended in a car tempt a car break-in.

It is not recommended to stop along the roadside in a radius of about 40 km before or after a town since thugs may linger around.

Never leave your bags, photographic equipment and the like out of sight, let alone placing it behind you. Backpacks and bags should always be carried in front; never at the back. Avoid areas with no people around or large crowds, because there a tourist is an easy target. Do not engage in unwanted conversation as this may serve to distract. Do not open your filled wallet in sight of others. All this leads to temptation!

Wildlife, like the name indicates, is wild and normally shy too, so also the reptiles. They are not known to attack people if they do not feel threatened in any way. One should avoid any contact without having thorough information on animal behavior of the species with which one wishes to make contact.

220/240 volt electricity is available throughout the country. At some lodges and guest farms located in very remote areas, electricity may be generated by solar energy and is available sporadically only. A three-prong adapter, as in South Africa, is required. Adapters are available at major airports and almost all shops. Electrical appliances required during the day should be charged at night since charging during the day may not be possible.

Currency
Namibia uses the Namibian Dollar (N$) which is linked on a one to one exchange with the South African Rand. The Rand is legal tender in Namibia, but the N$ cannot be used in South Africa. If you wish to purchase currency before arriving in Namibia, it is best to buy South African Rand, as the Namibian Dollar is seldom available at banks outside of Namibia.

Banking
Banks are found in most towns, and are generally open from 09h00 to 15h30 on weekdays and 08h30 to 11h00 on Saturdays. Closed on Sundays and public holidays. Most of them offer foreign exchange services – with cash, bank and credit cards as well as travelers cheques.

You can also obtain cash from many of the ATMs. Several international banks have branches in main city centres. As at all countries world-wide, ensure that nobody looks over your shoulder or offers to assist you. Also hold your hand over the hand that enters the PIN so that no one can copy your details.

Credit Cards & Debit Cards
Most Shops and accommodations accept Master & Visa Credit Cards and Debit Cards. Before paying please enquire if the banking fees are to your account or included. These fees are usually around 2-3% of the amount.

Most fuel stations do not accept credit or debit cards, only cash Namibia Dollar or South African Rand in equal amount.

Always advise your bank that you are traveling outside of the country as they might block your purchases if they have not been informed.

Please have your PIN handy because this is needed for all card transactions.

Citizens of most European countries do not require a visa to enter Namibia for a holiday. US citizens can obtain the visa on arrival. Every traveler is however responsible to check with the travel agency or the nearest Namibian embassy if any changes to this ruling were made at short notice. The passport must be valid for at least 6 months.

Children traveling alone or with only one parent, should have a certified copy of the consent of the other parent authorizing the travel. It is not mandatory, but may be introduced at short notice.

Public transport in Namibia is geared towards the needs of the local populace, and is confined to main roads between major population centres. Although cheap and reliable, it is of little use to the traveler as most of Namibia’s tourist attractions lie off the beaten track.

It is easy to travel around Namibia by car, and a 2WD vehicle is perfectly adequateadaquate for most journeys. However, long distances, poor mobile phone coverage outside of main towns and infrequent petrol stations that only accept cash mean that planning ahead is vital.

There are major airlines that fly into Windhoek and Swakopmund. Other destinations are reachable by car or charter flight.

Namibians drive on the left and all signposts are in English. Seat belts must be worn at all times and talking in a mobile phone while driving is prohibited. The general speed limit is 120km/h on tarred roads outside of towns and 100km/h on gravel roads. In built up areas, the speed limit is 60km/h.

Traditional Namibian cuisine is rarely served and so the food at restaurants tends to be European in style and is, generally, of a very high standard.

Namibia is very meat-orientated, and many menu options will feature steaks from various animals. However, there is usually a vegetarian and seafood section offered at most restaurants in town. Vegetarians, vegans and travelers with other preferences or allergies must inform us at booking, since it is not a given that otherwise alternatives might not be available, especially in remote areas.

Supermarkets in towns usually carry a variety of fresh fruit, vegetable and other foods (though the more remote the areas you visit, the smaller the choice) Most of this is imported from South Africa, but also from Europe.

The water in Namibia’s main towns is generally safe to drink, though it may taste a little metallic if it has been piped for miles. Natural sources should usually be purified, though water from underground springs and dry riverbeds seldom causes any problems. Filtered and bottled water is readily available in most towns and all camps, lodges and hotels.

The Namib is one of the driest deserts in the world with very little rainfall. Therefore the climate in Namibia is generally very dry and bearable which makes it pleasant throughout the year to travel.

Between October to March it should usually rain, and if so it is often localized with thunderstorms in the afternoon. These are mostly of short duration and almost never an effect on the day’s program. After the rains the air is clear and substantially free from dust, the landscapes transform to green and the first baby antelopes are born.

From June to August it cools down considerably and the temperatures at night may fall below freezing point in some desert areas . All buildings are neither heated nor well insulated. The landscape is dry and tone-in-tone with the surrounding nature. Wildlife are then seen almost exclusively at man-made water holes. From September it warms up again and the next rainy season is longed for by human and animals alike. – If you are lucky to experience the first rain of the season, you will never forget this natural spectacle.

Sunscreen and hat are also needed in winter. It is advisable to also have a good lip balm and moisturizing nasal spray.

Namibians have a somewhat relaxes attitude to dress codes. A jacket and tie is very unusual. In fact, long trousers and a shirt with buttons are often quite adequate for a formal occasion or work wear. A pair of sensible shoes, jeans and a t-shirt is recommended.

During the day it is generally hot, so pack light weight loose fitting clothes in natural fabrics, such linen or cotton, that will keep you cool and are easy to wash and dry.

Avoid blue clothing – the tsetse flies are drawn to the colour blue, and their bite can give you African Sleeping Sickness.

Long sleeved shirts and long trousers will protect your against mosquitoes at night.

Travel Tips

Here is some useful travel information when planning your holiday in Namibia.

  • It is recommended to wear sun block at all times.
  • Bring a hat and sunglasses – Namibia has sunshine through out the year.
  • As Namibia has a typical semi-dessert climate with hot days and cool nights, warm clothing is necessary no matter what part of Namibia is visited.
  • When visiting during the summer it is advisable to pack cotton clothing.
  • Points for electric shavers (electric current 250VAC) are available at most hotels, rest-camps and resorts
  • Hand guns are not permitted in Namibia
  • Declare all firearms and ammunition irrespective of where the permit was obtained
  • Northern Namibia is a Malaria-endemic zone. Travelers should have the necessary medication/prophylaxis, insect repellent lotions or sprays.
  • It is advisable to sleep under a mosquito net at night when visiting Northern Namibia
  • If windows and doors are not screened with mosquito netting, keep the windows and doors closed.
  • Keep film in a cool box especially while traveling.
  • It is advisable to have all lenses fitted with UV or have filters due to harsh light.
  • When traveling by road keep your vehicle locked at all times.
  • Visible articles in the car should be placed out of sight so as not to tempt petty “thieves”.
  • Lock valuables in a safe place
  • Be aware of handbag snatchers, pick pockets or suspicious looking persons.
  • Extreme caution should be exercised when considering bathing in African rivers. Most rivers carry the Bilharzia patho-gene and harbour dangerous crocodiles and hippos.
  • When traveling by road keep your vehicle locked at all times.
  • Visible articles in the car should be placed out of sight so as not to tempt petty “thieves”.
  • Lock valuables in a safe place
  • Be aware of handbag snatchers, pick pockets or suspicious looking persons.
  • Extreme caution should be exercised when considering bathing in African rivers. Most rivers carry the Bilharzia patho-gene and harbour dangerous crocodiles and hippos.

A foreign/international driver’s license is invalid, unless:

  • The license has been issued in English; or
  • A certificate of authenticity or validity relating to the license issued in English by a competent authority (Embassy, High Commissioner); or
  • A translation of that license in English by a sworn translator, is attached thereto; and The license contains a photograph and signature of the holder thereof.

Please note that BOTH the national and international driving licenses (if needed) have to be brought along at all times. The international driving license is valid ONLY in conjunction with the national driving license!

Kindly make sure that these requirements are adhered to, in order to ensure that the insurance takes affect in terms of the rental agreement. Vehicles can not be handed over to clients who do not comply with the above regulation. (from the Namibia Insurance Association)

  • Water is Namibia’s scarcest commodity. Tourists can contribute positively to water-saving efforts.
  • Where possible take a shower rather than a bath.
  • It is illegal to wash a car using a hosepipe. Use a bucket of water and cloth instead.
  • Minimize on leaving water running while shaving, brushing teeth or washing hands.
  • Tap water is drinkable in Namibia unless you are advised otherwise concerning a particular location.
  • When traveling by road ensure you have adequate drinking water.
Travelling with Children

Travelling with Children

Namibia introduced new immigration rules in 2016 relating to travel with children. In addition to valid passports, parents travelling with children (under 18) should at all times carry the original or certified copy of the unabridged birth certificate. The full unabridged birth certificate should list the child’s details and both parents’ details. The abridged (short) birth certificate which only lists the child’s particulars won’t be accepted by the Namibian Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration.

Adults travelling with children where they are not the biological or legal guardians of those children, should be in possession of an affidavit statement from the child’s parents giving consent for their travel. If a child is travelling with only one parent, the other parent should give consent for travel in the form of an affidavit.

Unaccompanied children may be required to provide in addition to a valid passport:

  • Proof of consent from one or both parents/legal guardians in the form of an affidavit.
  • A letter from the person receiving the child including their residential address where the child will be staying.

Contact your nearest Namibian High Commission if you have any specific questions about your trip.