MONEY AND SPENDING
Namibia’s national currency, pegged to the South African Rand, is the Namibian Dollar but travelers who have combined South Africa with Namibia can use either currency in shops, lodges, markets and restaurants throughout the country. Note however that the Namibian Dollar is not accepted in South Africa.
Visa and Mastercard credit cards are generally accepted throughout Namibia though holders of other credit cards are advised to check whether their card is acceptable. Self-drivers should note that credit cards are not accepted at petrol stations.
Banking hours: 9am to 3:30pm Monday to Friday and 8am to 11am on Saturday.
Tipping for good service is only expected in upmarket tourist establishments but is officially prohibited in national parks and reserves. A service charge is included in many restaurant bills – if not, and the service was satisfactory, a tip of 10% is standard.
During your trip it is likely that you will come into contact with tour guides, game rangers and trackers who depend largely on their tips for their income. Tipping in this instance ranges between $10 and $15 per person per day. Tipping is only recommended if you are satisfied with the service you have received and is entirely at your own discretion. Tipping at lodges in the bush us usually a communal box which is divided amongst the “back of house” staff, ask the lodge manager where this is if you would like to leave a gratuity on departure.
Average summer temperatures: 15°C to 40°C
Average winter temperatures: 0°C to 23°C
Rainy season: October/November to April
WHAT TO PACK
Temperatures in Namibia vary depending on the region and season but in general days are hot and nights can be unexpectedly chilly, so layering clothing is your best bet on a Namibia safari. Opt for cool, cotton fabrics in neutral colours for the daytime and a fleece or jacket for morning and evening game drives. Comfortable walking shoes or hiking boots are a must.
FLIGHTS AND GETTING AROUND
Hosea Kutako International Airport: Windhoek’s major airport is the international gateway but to get to the country’s far-flung destinations by air you’ll be transferring to the capital’s second airport – Eros – for charter flights on light aircraft.
Walvis Bay Airport: located 15km east of Walvis Bay, Namibia’s second largest airport is well located for easy access to Swakopmund and the Skeleton Coast.
Transfers and game drives in Namibia are usually conducted in open-sided 4X4 vehicles.
The country’s good infrastructure means that many visitors to Namibia hire a car for a self-drive holiday which makes for independent, flexible travel within the ambit of a pre-planned itinerary. Self-drivers staying at private reserves join the other guests for guided game drives in 4X4s.
VISA AND PASSPORT REQUIREMENTS
Every visitor to Namibia must be in possession of a passport that is valid until six months after the initial date of travel; however no visas are required for citizens of the USA, UK, most European countries (including France, Germany, Italy, Austria, Belgium, Spain and Switzerland), Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Malaysia, Japan and Singapore. Travelers receive entry for 90 days and visas for onward travel can be obtained in Windhoek.
For visitors from other countries, please check with your nearest Namibian Consulate about obtaining a visa.
Tap water is perfectly safe to drink almost everywhere – but check with campsites and in extreme north/northwest before using the water there.
Most of the country is malaria free, with the exception of the far north and Caprivi.
There are plenty of good pharmacies in the main towns, and decent hospital facilities in Windhoek. The food is of high quality and varied. Be careful of temperature extremes: very cold winter nights and extreme heat during day. Keep kids well hydrated, and request a cool box in your vehicle for drinks. Even in cooler temperatures it is easy to burn fast – always cover up, and wear a hat and sunscreen.
Purchase comprehensive travel insurance which includes any activities you will be participating in. Ensure this covers emergency medical repatriation, you may have to be evacuated if local hospitals are unable to provide adequate care.
Please Note: Whilst we have made every effort to ensure the information provided in this document is accurate, African Safari Experts is in no way responsible for the information provided. We will endeavor to communicate any amendments to the information in a timely manner.