The cold Benguela current keeps the coast of the Namib Desert
cool, damp and free of rain for most of the year, with a thick
coastal fog. Inland, rain falls in summer. Summer temperatures are
high while the altitude means that nights are cool. Winter nights
can be fairly cold, but days are generally warm and pleasant.
Winter (May-September): Temperatures in the
interior range from 18C-25C during the day. Below freezing
temperatures and ground frost are common at night.
Summer (October-April): Average interior
temperatures range from 20C-34C during the day. Temperatures above
40C are often recorded in the extreme north and south of the
country. The coast influenced by the cold Benguela current, boasts
a relatively stable range of 15C-25C. Heavy fog is fairly common at
PASSPORTS & VISAS
Depending on nationality and country of origin, a visa may be
required to enter Namibia. Visas cannot be obtained at port
The Namibian Dollar (NAD; symbol N$) is in note denominations of
N$200, 100, 50, 20 and 10. Coins are in denominations of N$5, N$1,
50 cents, 10 cents and 5 cents. It is linked to the South African
Rand (R) on a 1:1 basis (South African Rand = 100 cents). The South
African Rand is also legal tender in Namibia, although the N$
cannot be used in South Africa.
The Namibian Bank allows you to exchange all freely convertible
currencies and traveller's cheques into Namibian Dollars. At bigger
branches you find ATM's, where you can draw money with a credit or
Maestro (the former EC) card. The banks are usually open on
weekdays from 9:00 to 15:30. Some are closed at midday between
13:00 and 14:00 pm.
Credit/Debit Cards: American Express, Diners
Club, MasterCard and Visa are accepted. Check with your credit or
debit Card Company for details of merchant acceptability and other
services which may be available. Credit cards are not usually
accepted at petrol stations
Travellers Cheques: To avoid additional
exchange rate charges, travellers are advised to take traveller's
cheques in US Dollars or South African Rand.
Medical services in Namibia are of a very high standard.
However, the availability of most services is restricted to the
main towns. Emergencies and accidents that occur in remote areas do
attract a high cost when transport to the main towns is required.
Host establishments should be able to organize these services when
There are no mandatory vaccinations for travellers from Europe.
If you arrive from a country where yellow fever vaccinations are
mandatory you need to produce proof that you have been vaccinated.
Take the usual precautions: ask your doctor whether you should
renew your vaccinations against polio, diphtheria and tetanus. S/he
might also advise to take precautions against Hepatitis A and B.
Unfortunately there is no vaccination against malaria.
DOCTORS AND HOSPITALS
Medical care in towns and cities is excellent, especially in the
capital city, Windhoek. There are several private clinics which
maintain international standards. Most remote towns have a modest
hospital or first-aid-clinic. Since Namibia is scarcely populated
and the distances between towns and villages are vast, bear in mind
that in some places it may take the majority of a day to reach a
doctor or a hospital
Before Independence, English and Afrikaans had been the only
official languages. Now they are also Herero, Ovambo, Damara and
Nama. The white population mostly speaks Afrikaans (60%) and German
(35%). You can manage well with English and German.
As Namibia has a typical semi-dessert climate with hot days and
cool nights, it is recommended that you pack both summer clothing
as well something warm for the evenings. It is advisable to pack a
sweater and/or jacket as it becomes quite cool in the evenings and
WHAT TO PACK
- First-aid kit containing, amongst others, insect repellent,
possibly a malaria prophylaxis, bandages, diarrhoea medication and
painkillers; sufficient supplies of your regular medicines
- Sunglasses, sun protection and a hat (year-round sunshine)
- Moisturising lotion and lip balm
- Comfortable walking shoes
- Battery-operated or conventional razors (if visiting remote
- Travel insurance policy and repatriation insurance
- Telephone list with all the emergency numbers, including the
numbers of family and friends.
- Rehydrate solutions or concentrates.
FLIGHTS AND TRANSFERS
Check-in is one hour prior for domestic departures and two hours
prior for international departures. Many scheduled regional flights
booked may involve multiple stops before reaching final
Maximum of 20kg (44 lbs), including hand luggage
The voltage in Namibia is 220-230 V, AC (identical to South
Africa). Adapters are for sale at most supermarkets. Farmers often
generate their own electricity with a diesel generator, which they
usually only run during the day. At night it's candlelight or light
from a 12 Volt battery.
Groceries are available in any urbanised village or town. A
wide, and in places, excellent variety of goods is offered in
Windhoek, Swakopmund and Otjiwarongo. In rural areas, however, and
especially in the north, fresh produce like vegetables and fruit is
scarce. The quality of Namibian meat is excellent because the
animals feed in natural pastures and no chemicals are added to
their food. The meat available is usually beef, and venison from
kudu, Oryx, springbok and ostrich. Fresh fish, crayfish, mussels
and oyster are highly recommended in Swakopmund, Luederitz and
You can buy film in many towns at good prices. There are also a
couple of shops that offer a 1-hour photo service. Slides can only
be developed in Windhoek. For good wildlife photos, a
light-intensive tele-lense and autofocus are usually required. You
are allowed to take photos anywhere. If you want to photograph
people, it is polite to ask their permission first.
It is customary to give a tip of 10% of the bill in restaurants.
Porters receive N$2 to N$5 and a petrol station attendant about
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