Informations for your stay in Namibia
Please check with your travel agent and/or the Consulate of Namibia.
Due to the dry climate, most tropical diseases are virtually non existent in central and southern Namibia; however we suggest preventative measures be taken against Malaria when visiting the northern part of the country, particularly in the period between October and April. It is advisable to consult with your physician to be on the safe side.
Health Prevention for Travel to Namibia:
There are no obligatory vaccination shots for travel to Namibia (the only exception is people entering from countries with yellow fever risk - they have to provide proof of yellow fever vaccination).
However, it is generally a good idea to update the following vaccinations for travel to any part of the world (including Namibia):Polio, Tetanus, Hepatitis A and B, Pertussis, Hib; for travel to risky destinations (tropical regions) additional vaccination to prevent Diphtheria and Meningococcus-Meningitis, Brucellosis, Bilharzias, Sleeping Sickness and Pestilence is also advisable. If you plan to visit the Caprivi Strip with close contact to local people and/or pets and livestock, swimming (especially in lakes, ponds and other standing waters), camping or consuming food of questionable origin, we recommend contacting the”Reisemedizinische Zentrum des Tropeninstituts Hamburg” (Travel Center of the Tropical Institute in Hamburg/Germany) in Seewartenstrasse 10, 20459 Hamburg/Germany, Tel.: +49-40-42818800 (fax -340) for further advise. However, with cautious and adequate behavior, risks are usually small.
Malaria risk (particularly of the more dangerous Malaria Tropicana) is prevalent during and shortly after the rainy season (November through June), especially in the Northern parts of Namibia depending on the amount of precipitation. Unfortunately, the malaria virus has become resistant against most preventive medications and different specialized institutions recommend different prophylaxes. The WHO, for example, recommends Chloroquin plus Proguanil, the DTG Mefloquin-Lariam. However, these substances have substantial side effects (drowsiness, headache, etc.) that may sincerely affect the travel experience. From our point of view, it is most important to avoid insect bites and stitches. This is done best by wearing long-sleeve shirts and pants, especially from late afternoon until morning, by using anti-insect repellant, in riskier regions also by wearing a mosquito net. Additionally, there are so-called stand-by medications like Lariam or Mefloquin. It is also very important to consult a physician or a pharmacy for a Malaria test as soon as any sign of drowsiness or fever occur. Malaria is easily and immediately testable and every physician is able to provide care.
Finally, a couple of tips to avoid health injuries: Extreme caution has to be taken during sexual contacts with the local population, not only because of the high risk of Gonorrhea/Chlamdies, but also because an estimated 40% of the local population is infected with HIV/AIDS. A very important source of danger is the gravel and sand roads. Driving here poses a risk comparable to driving on icy or snowy roads. Please drive very carefully!
To avoid trouble and if all these preventative measures fail, we highly recommend a good travel health -insurance. There have been a couple of bad experiences reported with”no-name” insurance providers on the Internet.
We suggest that you check your personal travel insurance to ensure it is complete and contains a travel health insurance. The health care in Namibia is good; however, your health insurance at home might not pay for expenses occurred in Namibia
English is the official language; nonetheless, Afrikaans and German are widely spoken.
Time Difference: Normally there is no time difference between Greenwich World Time (GMT) and Namibian time.
Normally the voltage is around 220 V alternating current. There are different plugs in use. Adapters are most probably difficult to buy in your country, but most hotels in Namibia lend them out and they are easily available for purchase in Windhoek and/or Swakopmund.
The seasons are contrary to those in the northern hemisphere, however, the mostly dry and warm climate allows for pleasant travelling throughout the year. During the months of October to April it might be rather warm even during the nights, but typically it is warm during the day and cools off in the night - occasionally in the mountains, to light frost.
Average temparatures in Windhoek during the day are as follows:
All indications are in Celsius in the shade.
Casual, summer clothes are adequate throughout the year, however, when staying in the larger cities like Windhoek and Swakopmund or should you have business meetings you might choose »smart casual«. For the early and late hours of the day, you may need a sweater. Due to the really very strong sun we suggest long trousers and long-sleeved shirts. Please use strong, but comfortable shoes and never go outside without your hat or cap. Also, please bring a strong sun lotion - at least factor 20 - sunglasses, lip-protection lotion, swimming suits, and photo equipment - if possible with telephoto lense - Video camera, your field-glasses and/or night glasses.
1 US-$ equals more or less 7 Namibia $s, 1 EURO about N$10. You are not allowed to bring large amounts of Namibia $s into the country. There are no difficulties in exchanging traveller’s cheques and major currencies upon arrival at the airport and in all banks throughout the country. In towns and most restaurants etc. credit cards are also accepted.
Safari clothes are relatively cheap and of good quality. Precious stones are said to be cheap. When buying animal products you should consider that export from Namibia and import in most countries is restricted.
An international and your national driver`s license are necessary should you wish to hire a car. Driving is on the left hand side. Car hire is rather expensive, but petrol is cheap. Maximum speed outside of towns is 120 km/h, within towns 60 km/h. Driving, especially on gravel roads, should be done most carefully as there are game, cattle, children on the roads and stopping the car takes time. Many tourists have experienced difficulties when driving vehicles in Namibia!
Gifts up to a value of N$ 500 are duty free. Vacuum-packed food may be imported up to 1 kg, 2 l of wine, 1 l strong spirits, 400 cigarettes, 50 cigars or 250g tobacco are allowed per person.
Public means of Transport:
Very limited in Namibia. Trains travel overnight only and are mostly restricted to the transport of goods. There is, however, a bus connection between several main centers of the country and the South African Republic.
Hotels etc.: There is almost never enough hotel accommodation available. Therefore an early reservation is advisable, especially during the main travel seasons and in the main tourist centers.
Last but not least:
All valuables should be kept in the safe of your hotel. Never leave valuables visible in the car, especially in the towns. Keep your car locked and its windows closed, when leaving the car. Namibia is not a dangerous country; however, there is unemployment and poverty.
For more Information:
Contact the Embassy of Namibia in your country, your travel agency or us. There is a lot of literature available about the country - your local book shop will help you.
No responsibility is taken for the accuracy of the above information.