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FAQ Namibia


Area: Namibia covers 824,292 sq km (318,259 sq mi)
Location: Situated on the southwestern coast of Africa, Namibia borders Angola and Zambia in the north, South Africa in the south and Botswana in the east.
Population: Slightly more than 2.2 million.
Capital City: Windhoek
Language: English, German, Afrikaans, Bantu and Khoisan
Literacy: The current literacy rate in Namibia is about 83%, one of the highest in Africa.
Religion: Freedom of religion was adopted through Namibia's Bill of Fundamental Rights. About 90% of the population is Christian.
Electricity: 220 volts AC, 50hz. Outlets are of the round three-pin type.


The Namibian Dollar (NAD)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 (ZAR) on a 1:1 basis (1 South African Rand = 100 cents).
The South African Rand is also acceptable as currency in Namibia, however NAD is not in South Africa so insure to exchange local before crossing the border as exchange in South Africa is at a lower rates that 1:1.


Summer time: GMT + 2 hours from the 1st Sunday in September to the 1st Sunday in April.
Winter time: GMT + 1 hour from the 1st Sunday in April to the 1st Sunday in September.


Partially covered by the Namib, one of the world's driest deserts, Namibia's climate is generally very dry and pleasant. The cold Benguela current keeps the coast cool, damp and free of rain for most of the year. Inland, all the rain falls in summer (November to April).
January and February are hot, when daytime temperatures in the interior can exceed 40ºC (104ºF), but nights are usually cool. Winter nights can be fairly cold, but days are generally warm and quite nice.
The bottom line: Namibia is a year-round destination. Just pack accordingly.

Although temperatures may vary from region to region, in general days are hot and nights can be surprisingly cool. It’s best to layer clothing. Cool, cotton fabrics are recommended for daytime, and a sweater or jacket in the evenings and mornings.
Essential items:
* A First-Aid Kit with insect repellent, malaria prophylaxis, bandages, diarrhea medication, etc.
* Sun block, moisturizing lotion, lip balm and a hat
* Comfortable walking shoes or hiking boots
* Swimsuits
* Binoculars
* Battery-operated or conventional razors if visiting remote areas
* Flashlight
* Emergency numbers and contacts
* A good camera
* Rehydrating solutions or concentrates  


All visitors require a passport for entry into Namibia, which must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the intended stay in the county, and have sufficient pages for entry and exit stamps. All visitors must also have a valid return ticket.

Visas are valid up to three months from the date of issue for stays of up to three months from date of entry. Extensions for a further three months are available from the Ministry of Home Affairs in Windhoek.  


Windhoek has a small number of private medical hospitals and clinics capable of providing emergency care and performing many routine procedures.  Doctors, both general practitioners and specialists, as well as dentists, generally have training and facilities that are comparable to European standards. 
Facilities outside the capital vary widely. Several large towns have well-equipped facilities similar to those available in Windhoek, while smaller towns generally do not.


If you're an adult, you won't need any inoculations unless you're travelling from a yellow-fever endemic area (the yellow fever belt of Africa or South America), in which case you will need certification to prove your inoculation status when you arrive in South Africa.
It is recommended that you have the required inoculations four to six weeks before you travel to Namibia (a yellow fever inoculation certificate only becomes valid 10 days after inoculation - after which it remains valid for 10 years).

Hepatitis B inoculations are recommended for children up to the age of 12 who have not completed the series of injections as infants. Booster doses for tetanus and measles can also be administered.


Summer - mid-October to mid-February
Autumn - February to April
Winter - May to July
Spring - August to October


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, the 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 10C-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 night. Humidity is generally low in Namibia, but can reach as high as 80% in the extreme north during summer.

The rainy season is from October-April. The average annual rainfall varies from less than 50mm along the coast to 350mm in the central interior and 700mm in the Caprivi. The sporadic rains do not affect road travel significantly, however, tourists should exercise caution when crossing or camping in riverbeds during the rainy season, as flash foods are a common occurrence.

Visitors should pack both warm and cold weather clothing for any visit to Namibia.  Windhoek boasts a number of excellent safari outfitters and tourists are advised to shop for clothing upon arrival.


Tipping is common practice in Namibia for a range of services. In restaurants the accepted standard is around 10% of the bill, although sometimes a gratuity will be included (often in the case of a large party). Barmen are tipped a similar percentage.

Petrol stations are manned by attendants who will expect a tip of two or three rands for filling up with petrol, checking oil, water and tyre pressure and cleaning windscreens. Hotel porters should be tipped two to five rands. It is also appropriate to tip taxi drivers, tour guides and even hairdressers.

If you park a car in a populated area such as near a shopping centre, street security guards will usually ask whether they can watch over your car and in return should be paid a small fee - anything from two rands upwards.


The law prohibits smoking in most public spaces, including airports and railway stations. Most restaurants have designated smoking and non-smoking areas.


Should you lose your passport, report the loss as soon as possible to your country's embassy or consulate, and to the local police.


Crime is a concern in Namibia like any other country, but visitors who employ common-sense and preventive measures normally enjoy an incident-free stay.  Incidents of violent crime directed specifically against foreigners are rare. The most common crimes are property-motivated crimes of opportunity, including pick pocketing, purse snatching, vehicle theft, and vehicle break-ins.  If taxis must be used, radio taxis that display the NABTA logo (Namibia Bus and Taxi Association) are the most reliable. Common sense measures such as being alert to one's surroundings, avoiding isolated areas of town, not leaving valuables in parked cars, keeping car doors locked and windows up while driving, safeguarding purses, wallets and especially cellular phones are the best deterrents against becoming a victim.

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