With its well-developed infrastructure, some of the best tourist facilities in Africa and an impressive list of breathtaking natural wonders, touring Namibia is truly a pleasure. Visit the capital of Windhoek and the lovely coastal town of Swakopmund to discover remnants of the country’s German influence, reflected in the architecture, culture, cuisine and the annual Oktoberfest celebrations. To properly appreciate this extraordinary country, you will have to venture out of the cities to explore the remarkable natural landscapes Namibia has to offer. These include: the impressive Fish River Canyon Park; the vast Etosha National Park teeming with local subspecies, such as desert lions, desert elephants and the Hartmann's Mountain Zebra; the hauntingly beautiful Kalahari Desert; and of course the Namib Desert stretching for nearly 1000 km along the magnificent Atlantic coastline. Namibia is an ideal destination for travellers seeking an unforgettable African experience in a uniquely beautiful untamed wilderness.
International visitors require a valid passport together with onward travel documents. Your passport should have a minimum of 3 (but we recommend 4 if you are travelling through more than one country on your journey) blank VISA pages (not endorsement pages) in it because if there is insufficient space in the passport then entry into a country could be denied.
All passport holders should verify with their travel agent or relevant consulate concerning visa entry requirements. If you are extending your journey to other countries, please establish entry requirements for those countries as well. Please ensure that you have all the necessary visas prior to departure (unless available on entry). TERRA NOVA, THEIR STAFF, THEIR AGENTS AND THEIR OPERATORS CANNOT BE HELD LIABLE
Banking and Currency
Namibia uses the Namibian Dollar (N$) this is linked on a one to one exchange with the South African Rand. The Rand is legal tender in Namibia, but the N$ cannot be used in South Africa.
If you are wishing to purchase currency before arriving in Namibia, it is easiest to buy Rand as the Namibian Dollar is seldom available in banks outside of Namibia.
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 travellers cheques.
You can also obtain cash from many of the ATMs. Several international banks have branches in main city centres. Always advise your bank that you are travelling outside of the country as they might block your purchases if they have not been informed.
Travel, Transport and Getting Around
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 traveller 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 adaquate 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.
Food, Drink and Cuisine Advice
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 by most camps and restaurants.
In the supermarkets you'll find pre-wrapped fresh fruit and vegetables (though the more remote the areas you visit, the smaller your choice), and plenty of canned foods, pasta, rice, bread, etc. Most of this is imported from South Africa.
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. However, filtered and bottled water are readily available in most towns and all camps, lodges and hotels.
Climate and Weather
Namibia’s climatic variations correspond roughly to its geographical subdivisions. In the arid central Namib Desert, summer daytime temperatures may climb to over 40°C, but can fall to below freezing during the night. Rainfall is heaviest in the northeast, which enjoys a subtropical climate, and reaches over 600mm annually along the Okavango River. The northern and interior regions experience ‘little rains’ between October and December, while the main stormy period occurs from January to April.
Clothing and Dress Recommendations
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.
Telecom Namibia offers a service called wi-space. You purchase a wi-space voucher that allows you to connect to WiFi wherever you see the wi-space logo (about 40 locations in Namibia).
Alternatively good WiFi access is available at most holiday accommodation venues across the country (free / paid).
Electricity and Plug Standards
Current is 220/240 volts at 50 cycles per second. A three-point round-pin adapter plug should be brought for your electrical appliances. Such adapters are also available at major airports.
Cancellation or curtailment of trip, plus
Damage/theft/loss of personal luggage, money and goods.
Terra Nova, including their representatives, employees and agents will take no responsibility for any costs, losses incurred or suffered by the guest, or guest’s dependents or travelling companions, with regards to, but not limited to, any of the above mentioned eventualities. Guests will be charged directly by the relevant service providers for any emergency services they may require, and may find themselves in a position of being unable to access such services should they not be carrying the relevant insurance cover.
Tipping in Namibia is widely practised. Here is some information on tipping in Namibia.
In restaurants and bars, 10% to 15% is the accepted tipping standard.
Parking attendants and security guards are common in parking lots and at roadside bays. They generally ask if they can watch your car while you are going about your business - if you agree, a tip of NAD2 and up should be offered, depending on the length of your stay.
In Namibia we still have the luxury of petrol attendants at gas stations to fill up our vehicle tanks, check oil, water and tyre pressure, and clean the windscreens. How much to tip for this special service? From NAD2 up.
The going rate for porters at airports is between NAD5 and NAD10 per piece of luggage.
Hotel porters usually expect a tip of R10 to R20 per porter service.
Tour guides, drivers and safari guides also hugely reply on their tips a part of their income. You will find a guideline on tipping them in out terms and conditions