Namibia Travel Guide
Namibia is a barren land, as if it were another world, but it is inviting and strangely familiar. It is a paradise for photographers – a land of contrasts and clear colours. Those who are looking for peace and stillness and enjoy mesmerizing landscapes and wide desert expanses, are going to fall in love with Namibia, one of the least populated countries in the world. Namibia is Africa at its best, with friendly, natural people, endless savannah and bushland. It is also home to an amazing selection of wild animals, protected in the vast Etosha National Park and other smaller nature reserves and ranches. Namibia is an adventure, but one doesn’t need to be an adventurer to experience this country.
Before you set out to explore Namibia, it’s a good idea to acquaint yourself with some basic facts and information to navigate this vast land. Our destination experts have put together all the essentials for you in our Namibia travel guide.
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Visa and entry
The Namibian Government requires all visitors to have at least three full blank pages in their passports upon arrival into the country and also that your passport be valid for at least six months beyond the intended date of departure from Namibia. Documents that prove onward travel are also required. Citizens of USA, UK and Australia may enter the country without a visa for a period of 90 days.
Malaria is encountered mainly in the northern parts of the country. It is important to bear in mind that malaria may be contracted despite chemoprophylaxis, especially in areas where chloroquine resistance has been reported. Both chloroquine-resistant and normal strains of malaria are prevalent in Africa. Malaria transmission is at its highest during the warmer and wetter months of November to April. From May to October the risks of acquiring malaria are reduced. There is also less prevalence of Malaria in remote areas where our camps are situated.
It is very important that you drink plenty of water especially during the warmer months. It is generally recommended that your drink at least two to three liters of water per day to limit the effects of dehydration. This excludes tea, coffee and alcoholic beverages, which act as diuretics and therefore can actually contribute to dehydration.
If you are on an overland tour, please exercise caution when crossing river beds and camping during the summer months as flash floods can occur from the sporadic rain. It is perfectly safe to travel by road at this time, though a 4×4 or vehicle with high ground clearance is recommended. The rest of the year is dry and cloudless.
Currency and cards
The currency in Namibia is called the Namibian Dollar (N$), which is fixed and therefore equivalent to the South African Rand (ZAR). The Namibian Dollar and South African Rand are the only legal tender in Namibia and can be used freely to purchase goods and services. The Namibian Dollar, however, is not legal tender in South Africa. You can carry an unlimited amount of foreign currency and Travelers’ Checks with you and the latter can be exchanged at any commercial bank throughout the country.
International Visa and MasterCard are generally accepted throughout Namibia. Safari camps however, are mostly unable to accept American Express cards. Credit cards are not accepted at some gas stations either.
Do bear in mind that ATM frauds have recently increased in larger Namibian cities. We advise you to settle your bills via credit or debit cards whenever possible.
Namibia has a fully developed modern mobile network which works in the bigger towns. We advise our guests to obtain a local SIM card on arrival at the airport from an MTC shop. MTC has the widest network coverage across Namibia.
Namibia Emergency Hotlines
Namibia Police Emergency: +264 (61) 10111
Fire Brigade (ambulance, accidents and injuries): +264 (61) 211 111
Most hotels offer internet and/or WiFi services to guests (usually subject to a charge). Many airports, restaurants, cafés and shopping centers offer WiFi. Broadband internet is slower than in Europe.
Driving around Namibia
In Namibia one drives on the left hand side of the road. The speed limit is usually 60 km/h in urban areas, 80 km/h on gravel roads, 40 to 60 km/h in the national parks and private reserves and 120 km/h on the main highways. Safety belts must be used at all times. The driver or any authorized co-driver must produce a valid unendorsed driver’s license at the time of rental. The driving license must be in English and must include a photo. Otherwise, an international driving license will be required.
Avoid driving longer distances at night or at twilight, because wild animals crossing the road are a real threat in Namibia. Most of the farms are fenced, but kudu can easily jump over two meter high fences.
Namibian roads are generally in good condition and well maintained. Please make sure to fuel up at each town and always keep a full tank since there aren’t many fuel stations on the highways between destinations.
Travel in all national parks requires a permit, which can either be obtained at the gate or at an MET (Ministry of Environment and Tourism) office in the closest town – these include Dorob (Swakopmund MET or Sesriem), Namib Naukluft (Swakopmund MET or Sesriem), Sossusvlei (Sesriem), Etosha (at the gate), southern Skeleton Coast (at the gate), Fish River Canyon (at the gate) and Khaudum (gate). The process requires that you complete a form and pay an additional fee.
Planning a trip to Namibia? Our destination experts are happy to share further information and plan a private and obligation-free itinerary for you. Get in touch with us today!
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