Welcome to Namibia!
GENERAL
Surface area: 824 268 km2
Capital: Windhoek
Independence: March 21, 1990
First President: Dr. Sam Nujoma
Current President: His Excellence Mr. Hage Geingob
Multiparty Parliament
Democratic Constitution
Division of power between executive, legislative and judiciary
Secular state - freedom of religion (90% Christian)
Freedom of the press / media
Namibia is divided in 13 Regions administered by Regional Councils
 
ENVIRONMENT
Overall, 42% of Namibia's landmass is under some form of conservation management including private game parks and nature reserves, tourism concessions, communal conservancies, community forests and freehold conservancies
Highest mountain: Brandberg (Königstein 2573m)
Other prominent mountains: Spitzkoppe, Moltkeblick, Gamsberg
Perennial rivers: Orange, Kunene, Okavango, Zambezi and Kwando / Linyanti / Chobe
Ephemeral rivers: Numerous, including Fish, Kuiseb, Swakop and Ugab
 
ECONOMY
Main sectors: Agriculture (mainly stock farming), Mining, Fishing, Tourism
Mining: Diamonds, uranium, copper lead, zinc, magnesium, cadmium, arsenic, pyrites, silver, gold, lithium minerals, dimension stones (granite, marble, blue sodalite) and many semiprecious stones.
Agriculture, Mining and Fishing account for more than 25% of the GDP, while tourism contributes nearly 4%
Biggest employer: Agriculture (46%)
Fastest-growing sector: Tourism
 
PHYSICAL INFRASTRUCTURE
5 450 km tarred roads
37 000 km gravel roads
Harbours: Walvis Bay, Lüderitz
Main Airports: Hosea Kutako International Airport, Eros Airport
Rail network: 2 382 km narrow gauge
 
SOCIAL INFRASTRUCTURE:
Every larger towns  have medical practitioners and good hospitals
Four  privately run hospitals in Windhoek with intensive-care units
Medical practitioners
24-hour medical emergency services
 
POPULATION:
+/- 2 800 000 million
Density: 2.6 people per square kilometre
240 000 inhabitants in Windhoek (15% of total)
Official language: English
13 regions, 13 ethnic cultures
16 languages and dialects
 Population growth rate: 2.9%
Schools: 1450
94% of children attend school
Namibia's people: Himba, San, Herero, Owambo, Mafwe, Masubia, Caprivi, Basters, Tswana and people of European descent
 
 
FAUNA:
Big game: Elephant, lion, rhino, buffalo, cheetah, leopard, giraffe
20 species of antelope
240 species of mammals (14 endemic)
250 species of reptiles
50 species of frogs
±800 species of birds
Endemic birds: Herero chat, Rock runner, Damari tern, Monteiro's hornbill, among others.
 
FLORA:
14 vegetation zones
120 species of trees
200 endemic plant species
100 plus species of lichen
Living fossil plant: Welwitschia Mirabilis
The Kalahari in the east of the country accounts 22% of the country
Savanna –type vegetation types are characteristic of 58% of the Namibian Landscape
Remaining 22% is represented by the forest savanna and woodlands of the far north and northeast
 
CLIMATE:
More than 70% of the countries rainfall is recorded between December and March
The summer months are hot with temperature of 35C, or higher, are common in the south and north.
The winter days are pleasant, but minimum temperature can drop to below freezing in mid-winter.
Fog is common occurrence along the coast, but usually lifts about mid-morning and settles again in the afternoon.
 
TAX AND CUSTOMS:
All goods and services are prices to include value-added tax 15%.
Visitors may reclaim VAT on goods, not sevices.
 

 

MONEY MATTERS:
  • Currency: The Namibian Dollar (N$) is fixed to and equals the South Africa Rand. The South African Rand is also considered legal tender and is accepted most everywhere in Namibia.
  • Credit cards/Travelers Cheques: Traveler's cheques, International Visa, and MasterCard credit cards are widely accepted. Holders of other cards are advised to clarify whether their card is acceptable in Namibia with Their  commercial bank. American Express and Diners Club credit cards are not accepted in Namibia.
WHAT TO PACK:
Cotton rather than synthetic clothing is recommended for Namibian summers. Winters are usually mild to warm, which calls for light clothing in the middle of the day and a sweater or jacket for evenings and early mornings when it can become quite cold. It is often cold and windy at the coast, for which warm clothing, including a windbreaker, is necessary. An important item is comfortable walking shoes. Essential items are binoculars, a sun hat, sunglasses, sun block, bathing towel, moisturizer, lip balm and mosquito repellent. Points for electric shavers (electric current 250 V AC) are available at major hotels and most state- owned resorts. It is advisable to bring battery-operated or conventional razors when visiting remote areas.
 
HEALTH AND SAFETY:
  • We strongly recommend that visitors carry all their prescribed medication in their hand luggage.
  • If travelling to Zambia and returning or transiting via South Africa, you will be required to show a yellow fever vaccination certificate.
  • Malaria medication is recommended
  • If you suffer from motion sickness we advise taking the necessary precautions before and when travelling by light aircraft.
  • A first aid kit is always available in Namibian lodges. However, we recommend that you have the following available for personal use: aspirin, laxative, Imodium, antihistamine pills and ointment, band aids, electrolyte sachets and wet wipes.
  • For up to date information, visit the WORLD HEALTH ORGANISATION website www.who.int 
MALARIA:
While malaria is found mainly in the north of Namibia, it has also been reported in other areas. Visitors can reduce the risk of malaria by wearing long sleeves and long trousers, applying mosquito repellent on a regular basis to exposed skin, and where possible, by sleeping under a mosquito net.
 
BILHARZIA
This disease is caused by a parasite which lives in slow flowing water. Only travelers to the Caprivi and Kavango areas need be aware of bilharzia. Tourists should avoid drinking, swimming or washing in rivers.
 
DE-HYDRATION
This is one of the most common problems in Namibia, especially in the hot summer months. Because of the high evaporation rate one seldom notices water loss - perspiration evaporates almost immediately!.
WATER
Tap water is safe to drink  throughout the country, except for isolated rural areas, where the consumption of filtered or bottled water is advised.
 
NOSE BLEEDS
The dry climate has been known to cause nose bleeds for the first few days after arrival.
 
SNAKES, SCORPIONS & SPIDERS
Although there are many species of snake in Namibia, they are seldom seen. Most snakes are timid and will disappear long before they're noticed by humans. Nonetheless, we suggest bush walks are undertaken with good walking boots, preferably with thick socks covering the ankles.  Be sure to check your legs and clothes for grass ticks – especially in the rainy season
Scorpions and spiders are also seldom seen. They are more active in the rainy season, during the cooler evening and early morning hours. The best way to avoid being stung is to wear shoes.
 
VACCINATIONS
If guests have visited or have been in transit in Zambia (this includes Livingstone and surrounds), a yellow fever vaccination certificate will be required on entering or transiting through South Africa and/or Mozambique. The certificate may be requested by customs and immigration officials.
 
SAFETY
Namibia is a peaceful, democratic, and relatively crime free democratic country and it is safe. However, as in any other place in the world, there are undesirable elements. Please take following precautions to ensure a safe and pleasant stay:
Do not leave valuables in the car, especially not in full view. Lock luggage out of sight in the boot.
  • Be on the alert for handbag snatchers and pick pockets.
  • Make sure that the numbers of travellers cheques are kept in a safe place – separate from the cheques.
  • Make copies of travel documents and keep these in a safe place - separate from the original documents.
Stolen Items: Should you be so unfortunate as to have a personal item stolen from your person or vehicle, please report to the nearest police station, where you will receive a claim number, and which can be used for insurance purposes.
 
 
GENERAL
  • Wear a hat and sunscreen at all times. Never go walking without a supply of water.
  • Credit Cards: Although we have very limited criminal activity in Namibia, please take precautions with cash and your credit card. During any credit card purchase, including those in restaurants, the merchant will bring the credit card machine to you. Please be sure to have your credit card in sight at all times.
  • Cash withdrawal: Namibia has ATMs (Automated Teller Machines) available in most of the bigger towns
  • Banking hours: vary from 08h00/09h00 - 16h00 on weekdays, and Saturday mornings to around 11h00.
  • Cell phone coverage is largely restricted to towns and cities with irregular coverage in-between.
  • Business hours: Monday to Friday, 08h00 – 17h00. Saturdays' most shops close around 14h00; Sundays and Public Holidays shops are usually closed with a few exceptions for bigger grocery stores.
  • Time changes: Namibia has a twice-yearly time change, from winter to summer and vice versa:
  • Summer time: GMT + 2 hours = First Sunday in September to first Sunday in April
  • Winter time: GMT + 1 hours = First Sunday in April to first Sunday in September
CHARTER FLIGHTS
Charter flights afford travelers the ability to reduce travel time, access remote locations and experience Namibia's spectacular landscapes from above. Many lodges are so isolated they can only be reached by plane. Fortunately, Namibia is blessed with plenty of good landing strips. Almost every lodge and location has one nearby. Charter flights might be a more expensive option but are perfect for group travels, VIP safaris or simply as an add-on 'flight-seeing' day trip. The aircraft vary in size but most air charter companies us the Cessna 210. With an air taxi, the flight departure and drop off times are scheduled by the air charter companies the day prior to departure, to fit in with their flying schedule, therefore travel times cannot be advised in advance. In chartering a private aircraft, departure and drop-off times are scheduled to suit the client.
 
LUGGAGE RESTRICTIONS ON CHARTER AIRCRAFT
  • For safety reasons light aircraft transfers have a restriction of 15kg luggage plus 5kg of hand luggage (20kgs total) per person, packed in SOFT bags.
  • Please note that if your luggage is overweight or in the incorrect bag type – you may be asked to re-pack and/or you may have to book additional seats or a private charter at extra cost to accommodate your luggage.
  • Please do not bring hard suitcases or suitcases with wheels as they will not fit on a light aircraft.
It is of particular importance to advise your agent if one of your travelling party is over 100kg as this information needs to be passed onto the light aircraft company whilst making your booking, for safety and logistical reasons. There may be additional charges levied, depending on the policy of the individual charter company.
 
BORDER CROSSINGS
You will need to present your passport at border crossings, and some passport holders may require a Visa to enter prior to arrival. Check with your local embassy/consulate requirements.
 
SEASONS IN NAMIBIA
Namibia displays weather typical to that of a semi desert country with days hot and evenings cool. During the winter months days can be quite mild but night times bring fiercely cold temperatures. Travellers to Namibia are advised to pack for both scenarios with layering being the best choice. Dress warm for chilly mornings in such a way that you can peel off later to enjoy the warm sunny days. The best times to visit Namibia are June to October. Weather is fair and with the dryer conditions wildlife tend  to congregate around the waterholes as supplies slowly run dry. This also beats the immense heat of the summer days
  • Winter (May-September) During the day the mercury tends to hover between 10oC and 25oC, making the days pleasant and warm. Frost is not very common although Namibia has been recorded. The evenings can be quite chilly with temperatures coming to rest at about -1oC to 5oC.
  • Summer (October-April) Rainy Season
Namibia offers visitors an incredible variety of biomes to visit. From the Namib Desert to the lush green areas of the north, the country is an all-in-one experience. Due to Namibia's desert climate of hot days and cool evenings, visitors are encouraged to pack for both scenarios.
 
ELECTRICITY
Many safari camps and lodges run on generators and few have 24 hour electricity. Some camps will not have plug points in guest accommodation but will generally have power points in the main camp area for charging batteries. The most commonly used systems in Namibia are a round, three-pronged plugs and European two-pronged pin plugs. To be on the safe side, we suggest purchasing an international adaptor before travel.
 
FAMILY TRAVEL
Namibia offers wonderful safari experiences for families. Wildlife activities may be restricted and are at the discretion of the guide. Conditions such as private vehicles and limited activities may apply depending on the camp or lodge. Some properties will require that children under the age of 12 years share with an adult..
 
FOOD AND DIETARY
You will enjoy a wide variety of meals during your stay and all camps attempt to include an "African" flavour in their menus. On safari, many camps and lodges are booked on a fully inclusive basis, however please note that with respect to drinks this is based on local beverages and not premium brands. Specific dietary requirements are catered for provided you notified this at the time of your booking. Please note, Guests need to disclose their particular requirements and any food allergies need to be notified well in advance.
LANGUAGE
English is the official language of Namibia and widely spoken with all guides and general staff in camps and lodges having a good command.
 
PHOTOGRAPHY
  • You may not take photographs or use video equipment near military and government institutions, borders and/or airports. Always ask for permission before taking photographs of people.
  • If you are travelling with a significant amount of photographic equipment (large lenses, tripods etc.) you may need to pay for an additional seat on
  • any charter flights to accommodate the equipment. Please advise your travel professional.
SHOPPING
They are many places to purchase souvenirs like crafts, including baskets, beadwork, masks and woodcarvings. There are shops in most of the towns, which sell local crafts and many camps and lodges also have small curio boutiques.
 
TIPPING
While tipping is not a requirement, it is a generally accepted form of saying "thank you" throughout the world and highly appreciated by all levels of staff. Tipping should reflect the level of service you have received throughout your trip and if you are dissatisfied with the level of service, it is not compulsory. On the other hand, if you have received exemplary service from your guide, housekeeper or general hotel/camp staff, you may wish to give more than usual. Tips in USD or Euro are generally accepted
 
VISAS & TRAVEL DOCUMENTS
The following documents should be with you during travel:
  • Airline Tickets and/or any e-ticket references for your commercial flights
  • A certified colour photocopy of your passport and other important documents for use in case of lost or stolen originals (kept separately from the originals).
  • Valid passport – with at least 6 months validity and six empty pages.
Citizens of certain countries are required to obtain visas well in advance for travel to Namibia. Please note that certain visas can take up to 3 months to be processed so please consider this when booking.
NB: It is the responsibility of the visitor to check visa regulations and restrictions as applied to their passport before final confirmation. For up-to-date Visa requirements please check with your local embassy or consulate.
 
PERSONAL EQUIPMENT
  • Waterproof/zip lock bags for storing personal items and memory cards to keep dust free and/or dry
  • Torches/flashlights
  • Camera equipment, binoculars, batteries, spare camera batteries and spare memory cards for digital cameras are essential as the opportunity to download photos is limited
TRAVEL INSURANCE

 

  • We strong suggest that visitors take out travel insurance prior to visiting Namibia. Camps and lodges in Namibia have strict cancellation charges and travel insurance is therefore recommended to recoup expenses in the event of unforeseen circumstances.
  • Cover for cancellation and curtailment, medical insurance lost or damaged baggage and emergency evacuation is highly recommended for all safaris.
  • Namibia, the smile of Africa, is still one of the safest
    Countries in Africa to visit
 
 
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