Traveling to Namibia – Frequently asked Questions

Traveling to Namibia – Frequently asked Questions

Where is Namibia?

Namibia is found in the South West of Africa. Angola borders it to the north, Zambia to the northeast, Botswana to the east and South Africa to the south. The Atlantic Ocean borders Namibia on the western side.

How big is Namibia?

825,418 sq km (318,696 sq miles). It is the second least sparsely populated country in the world (after Mongolia). Namibia’s landmass is the equivalent to that of Spain and Germany combined!

What is the Population?

Namibia has an estimated population of about 2,300,000.

What is the time zone of Namibia?

GMT +2.

What is the Capital of Namibia?

Windhoek is Namibia’s capital and is centrally situated.

What is the weather and climate like?

Namibia has a subtropical climate, characterized by hot and dry weather with little rain along the coast. Periods of winter drought alternate with summer rainfall between October and March with the interior having higher rainfall.

When should I visit Namibia?

Namibia is a year round destination but Peak season is from July to November. Bear in mind that if you are planning to visit in December/January it gets very hot!

Do we need a 4×4 vehicle to drive in Namibia?

Yes it is recommended to hire 4×4 to tour in Namibia. It however depends on which areas in Namibia you would like to see. Areas such as the Kunene Region it is advisable to hire a car with high ground clearance and 4×4. The National parks in the Zambezi (Caprivi) you will require a 4×4. It will also depend on if you are planning on traveling to Namibia during the rainy season. Remember that 80% of roads in Namibia are gravel and if you are traveling in a normal sedan car you will be required to travel slowly to ensure your safety. Speak to a vehicle rental company about your travel requirements in Namibia and they will advise you accordingly.

Where does one find out about what Activities are available in Namibia?

One can find out all the information you need about what kinds of activities in Namibia are available. 

What currency should I use?

The official currency of Namibia is the Namibian Dollar (N$), divided into 100 cents. The Namibian Dollar and South African Rand are the only currencies accepted in Namibia. Traveler’s cheques in Rands are accepted. Foreign currency can be converted into Namibian Dollars or South African Rands at commercial and bureau de change.

Can I use my credit card?

Major credit cards are widely accepted, including Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Diners Club. Cards can also be used to withdraw cash from ATM’s. Filling stations do not accept credit cards.

How much should I Tip?

It is customary to give 10% of the bill in restaurants if service received is of a good standard. Porters should receive about  N$5.00 – N$10.00 and a petrol station attendant about N$10.00.

Is Namibia a safe destination?

Namibia is a peaceful country overall…it is considered to be one of the most stable and safe countries on the African continent. However like any country tourists can be targeted. Pickpockets can be a problem and don’t make yourself a target i.e. have your camera hanging around your neck – rather place your goods in a secure bag or back pack. Be alert and use some common sense and you should be fine. If you want to visit a township, do so in a group and with someone who is familiar with the area. Driving under the influence of alcohol is also a problem, so when driving and walking over the weekends, be alert.

Where is one able to find out about accommodation options in Namibia?

One is able to find out all about the various types of accommodation in Namibia that are available.

Is Namibia a child and family friendly destination?

Yes, Namibia is a safe country and often regarded as a great place not only for first time travelers to Africa but also for families. Most of the accommodation establishments cater for families and a lot of the activities on offer cater for families and children. The infrastructure is good, water is generally safe to drink and there is plenty to keep everyone of all ages occupied.

What is the Country Dialling Code of Namibia?

The Namibian country dialing code is +264. Each city or region has a 2 digit area code.

Can I use my Cell/mobile phone in Namibia?

Mobile phones are common in Namibia and use the same frequency as Europe and the rest of Africa. One is able to purchase a starter kit from the local Cell phone service provider. These are widely available from supermarkets and fuel stations. You would then need to purchase air time as and when you need it.

Is there internet connectivity?

Most of the accommodation establishments now offer free WI-FI for their guests. There are also internet cafes in Windhoek, Swakopmund and other towns.

What plugs and power voltage is used in Namibia?

The voltage in Namibia is 220-230 V (identical to South Africa). Most supermarkets sell adapters. Many farmers generate their own electricity with a diesel generator, which is only run during the day.

Are there airports in Namibia?

Yes most definitely.  The largest and only international airport is Hosea Kutako International Airport located about 45km east of Windhoek, the capital of Namibia There are smaller airports located all over the country.

What is the food like?

Namibia does have a few strange items on the menu as with many countries in the world. Don’t worry too much though, those are not the only options available. Namibia offers a great selection of steaks and game dishes and hamburgers are widely available. A wide variety of seafood is also available as Namibia borders the Atlantic Ocean which is rich in sea life. If you are vegetarian you will be pleased to know that more and more of the local restaurants and accommodation establishments cater for vegetarians.

Which side of the road do you drive on in Namibia?

On the left hand side of the road. Please fasten seat belts when driving. Avoid driving at night as this is often when cattle and wild animals move about and cross roads.

What are the Rules of the Road?

It is illegal to drive while speaking on a mobile phone. Speed limits are sign posted. It is particularly important to adhere to the speed limits when driving on gravel roads.

What are the Road Conditions like?

Highways exist from Windhoek to all major towns. Asphalt roads extend to most of the borders (except Mata Mata, Klein Manasse, Velloorsdrift and Tsumkwe). Main roads are in good condition and are maintained to all weather standards. At least 80% of the roads in Namibia are gravel roads and are generally very well maintained. Please always remember to stay within the speed limit on gravel roads.

Travel at low speeds when on gravel roads in order to minimize the danger of skidding and overturning. Please exercise caution when overtaking other vehicles as dust reduces visibility.

Keep headlights on during the day and night. Salt roads are slippery in foggy conditions. Keep a lookout for road signs that warn of wild animals, as Kudu and Warthog often run across the road without warning. Avoid driving at night or drive slowly as wild animals are dazed by headlights.

Towns are far apart so guests are urged to fill up appropriately at filling stations. Keep in mind that distances given on maps are estimates. The further north you travel, the fewer filling stations there is.

Most filling stations are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, but smaller places may close for the night and even over the weekend, so fill up at every opportunity and carry extra fuel and oil just in case if you plan to travel to remote areas.

What are the Drivers License Requirements?

A drivers license from any country with a photograph and that is in English or has an authentic English language certificate attached to it is accepted in Namibia. If your driver’s license does not meet these requirements, an international driving permit may be used.

What are the Vehicle Registration Requirements?

Visitors should produce their vehicle registration documents if asked for it or a letter of authority from the owner of the vehicle, giving permission to use the vehicle as well as a copy of the registration documents. Alternatively, if you are renting a vehicle the car rental company will provide you with all necessary documentation.

Visit our website for all the Namibia travel information you require. Happy travels.

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