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Namibia Travel Tips

Climate

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, all the rain falls in summer (November to April). January and February are the hottest months, when daytime temperatures in the interior can exceed 40°C (104°F), but nights are usually cool. Winter nights can be fairly cold, but days are generally warm and pleasant. Light cottons, with slightly heavier cottons or light woollens for evening. Inland, shoes are essential during the day as the ground is very hot.

Languages

English is the official language but is the first language of only 7% of the population. Afrikaans, the lingua franca, is the first language of most of the white population. German, Herero, Kavango, Nama and Ovambo are also spoken.

Currency details

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 acceptable as currency in Namibia. American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard and Visa are accepted. Credit cards are not usually accepted at petrol stations. To avoid additional exchange rate charges, travellers are advised to take traveller´s cheques in US Dollars or South African Rand

Social Conventions

In urban areas, western customs prevail; normal courtesies should be shown when visiting someone´s home. In rural settlements, visitors should follow the advice of a local guide.

Electricity

220 volts AC, 50hz. Outlets are of the South African three-pin type (2 small round pins over 1 larger round pin).

Security Tips

Most visits to Namibia are trouble-free but you should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate international terrorist attacks, which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by foreigners. If travelling along the Caprivi Strip, travellers should stick to the well-travelled routes. Wildlife and livestock pose a serious hazard; travellers should avoid driving at night. Travellers should carry some form of identification at all times. A photocopy of the relevant pages from your passport is sufficient. This advice is based on information provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK. It is correct at time of publishing. As the situation can change rapidly, visitors are advised to contact the following organisaions for the latest travel advice.

Tipping customs

10% is customary.

Health Precautions

Health insurance is essential. It is advisable to consult your doctor well in advance of travelling about immunisations and assembling a first aid kit.

Tourism Attractions

Africa's gem! From the desert country with its endless sand dunes and a desolate coastline to crystal-clear channels of the Linyanti Delta in the Caprivi Strip. Namibia offers an extraordinary wilderness experience. Flocks of flamingos and colonies of seals dot the coastline. Move inland and you will find an arid and rocky wilderness which is home to the desert elephant. To the north is the country's best-known wildlife reserve "Etosha."

Getting around Towns and Cities

There is a local bus service in Windhoek, and taxis are available in all Namibian towns. The luxury Desert Express runs between Swakopmund and Windhoek, a 19-hour 30-minute journey which includes several stops which give travellers the opportunity to watch lions feeding, see the Namib Desert, walk in the sand dunes and admire the stars

Visa Requirements

Nationals from the from the following countries entering Namibia as bone fide tourists are exempted from visa requirements: Angola, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Botswana, Brazil, Canada, Cuba, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Lesotho, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malawi, Malaysia, Mozambique, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Republic of Ireland, Russia, Spain, (South Africa *), Swaziland, Switzerland, The Scandinavian countries, Tanzania, UK, USA, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

* Non South African passport holders living in South Africa must travel with a valid passport displaying a permanent resident stamp