General information for the
Tourist in Namibia

Updated 17 February, 2012




Namibia Tourism offices
WINDHOEK Namibia Tourism,
Private Bag 13244,
Windhoek,
Namibia
Tel +264-(0)61-290 6000
Fax +264-(0)61-25 4848
info@namibiatourism.com.na
www.namibiatourism.com.na

Britain
(Official Agent)
AMG,
200 Parkway House,
Sheen Lane,
London SW14 8LS,
Britain
Tel +44-(0)87-0330 9333
Fax +44-(0)20-8878 9124
info@namibiatourism.co.uk

France
(Official Agent)
LS Tourism Services
20 Avenue du Recteur Poincare,
75016 Paris,
France
Tel +33-1-405 088363
Fax +33-1-405 088363
namibie-tourisme@laposte.net

Germany Namibia Tourism,
Schillerstrasse 42-44,
60313 Frankfurt-am-Main,
Germany
Tel: +49 - (0)69 - 1337 360
Fax +49 - (0)69 - 1337 3615
info@namibia-tourism.com

Italy
(Official Agent)
Airconsult
Via Adolpho Rava 106,
00142 Rome,
Italy
Tel +39-06-452 30032
Fax +39-06-541 0608
namibiatourism@airconsult.it

South Africa

Cape Town >

Namibia Tourism,
P O Box 739,
Cape Town,
8000 South Africa
Tel +27-(0)21-422 3298
Fax +27-(0)21-422 5132
namibia@saol.com
 

Johannesburg >

Namibia Tourism Board
Bryanston Gate Office Park
170 Curzon Road
Bryanston West
Johannesburg
Tel: +27 (0)11 702 9602
Fax: +27 (0)11 463 4830
chantal@lloydorr.com


Entry requirements

Foreign nationals must be in possession of a valid passport to visit Namibia. The validity of the passport must extend for at least six months beyond the date of entry. A return or onward air, bus or train ticket and proof of adequate financial means are also required.

No visa is required for bona fide tourists and business visitors from Angola, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Botswana, Brazil, Britain, Canada, Cuba, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Lesotho, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malawi, Malaysia, Mozambique, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Tanzania, United States of America, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Entry into Namibia is permitted for a maximum duration of 90 days for tourists and 30 days for business visitors with possible extension on application to the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Certificates of vaccination are not normally required, except in the case of travellers from, or who have passed through, countries where yellow fever is endemic. Air travellers in transit are exempted from the latter requirement. Inquiries about the necessity for visas and health certificates should be directed – well in advance of a visit – to Namibian diplomatic missions abroad or the Ministry of Home Affairs in Windhoek.

Visitors from other countries in the Southern African Customs Union are exempt from paying import duty. Personal effects such as clothes, jewellery, binoculars, cameras and sports equipment are duty-free for visitors from elsewhere. ln addition all visitors are given a duty-free allowance of 1 litre of wine, 1 litre of spirits or another alcoholic beverage, 300 ml of perfume, 400 cigarettes, 50 cigars, 250 g of tobacco and other new or used goods to a total value of N$500,00

Trophy hunters are required to obtain a temporary import permit for their rifles on entry. Only hunting rifles with magazines not exceeding a five-round capacity may be brought into the country. The importation of handguns is prohibited.



Restricted areas

Entry into the diamond area known as the Sperrgebiet is restricted and requires prior permission from the concessionaires, Namdeb Diamond Corporation, as well as security clearance from the Namibian Police. Such permits are only issued to tourists when they accompany an authorised operator on a guided excursion.

A permit is required for entry into conservation areas, except in the case of transit through them on public roads.



Health & Safety

Gravel roads
Visitors risk serious injury or death if they fail to drive defensively on gravel roads. It is foolhardy to assume that a gravel surface is little different from ice or snow.

Malaria
Visitors to the northern and eastern parts of the country are advised to take prophylactics against malaria, preferably throughout the year but especially during and immediately after the rainy season. It also helps to take special precautions at night. Apply an insect repellent to exposed skin and wear a long-sleeved shirt, long trousers and closed shoes with socks. Sleep under a mosquito net if possible.

Bilharzia
Bilharzia occurs in rivers in the north-east. The parasite is found in stagnant, still and slow-moving water, especially downriver from human settlements. It is therefore wise to avoid swimming or washing in rivers and dams in Caprivi and Kavango.

HIV/Aids
The incidence of Aids and HIV-positive cases is high in Namibia.

Blood transfusions
Blood and blood products used in Namibia are routinely screened for transmissible diseases such as Aids and viral hepatitis in strict compliance with international standards.

Wild animals
Perennial rivers in the north are infested with crocodiles. It is extremely dangerous to swim in them or camp on their banks.

It is also risky to camp in or beside ephemeral rivers in the Kaokoveld as elephant and rhinoceros move along the rivercourses when they feed and drink. Waterholes are particularly dangerous places. To disturb elephant and rhinoceros in any way whatsoever is to take a potentially fatal risk.

Visitors to Etosha National Park are forbidden to get out of their motor vehicles because of danger from large predators such as lion. While the rule is not enforced in wilderness parks, it is sensible to be alert to such danger at all times, especially at night when predators hunt.

Drinking water
Tap water in proclaimed towns is purified and may be consumed without fear of ill effects. In rural settlements it is just as well to exercise caution and drink bottled water. If the use of river water is unavoidable, it should first be thoroughly boiled.

Creepy crawlies
Wear boots or closed shoes in the wilds in case of encounters with snakes or scorpions. When you return from a hike or walk, thoroughly check clothes and socks for ticks.

Sunburn
Hikers and backpackers are advised to wear sun hats and use block-out lotion to prevent sunburn both in summer and winter. On the Namibian coast visitors need to take such precautions even in overcast weather as the sun is much fiercer than it seems.

Medical rescue
Medical rescue and evacuation services with intensive-care facilities in their aircraft and ambulances are available in Namibia. It is advisable to obtain insurance cover timeously.



Transportation  

Air -

Hosea Kutako International Airport is situated 42 km outside Windhoek and the smaller Eros Airport in the city. International and regional flights are available between Windhoek and Germany (Frankfurt-am-Main, Munich & Düsseldorf), Britain (London/ Heathrow), South Africa (Johannesburg, Cape Town), Botswana (Maun), Zimbabwe ( Victoria Falls) and Angola (Luanda). Domestic destinations are Katima Mulilo, Lüderitz, Mokuti, Ondangwa, Oranjemund, Rosh Pinah, Sesriem, Swakopmund and Walvis Bay.

Road -

Motor coaches operate between Windhoek and Swakopmund/Walvis Bay & Tsumeb as well as South Africa (Johannesburg, Cape Town) and Zimbabwe (Victoria Falls via Rundu & Katima Mulilo.


Border posts
Border with Angola - Oshikango (open 08:00 -18:00).
Border with Botswana - Buitepos (open 07:00 - 24:00).
Ngoma (open 07:00 -18:00).
Mohembo (open 07:00 - I8:00).
Border with South Africa - Ariamsvlei (open 24 hours a day).
Klein Menasse (open 08:00 -16.30).
Noordoewer (open 24 hours a day).
Velloorsdrif (open 08:00 -16.30).
Border with Zambia - Wenela (open 06:00 -18:00; ferry crosses Zambezi River).



Camping Hire Namibia

Motoring

Driver’s licence
A driver's licence from any country bearing a photograph of the holder will be accepted in Namibia, if the licence is in English or has an English-language certificate of authenticity attached to it. Alternatively, an international driving permit, obtained prior to arrival, may be used.

Vehicle registration
Visitors are required to produce their vehicle registration documents if so requested, or alternatively a letter of authority to use the vehicle -- from the owner -- with a copy of the registration documents.

Third-party insurance
A third-party insurance premium is built into the price of fuel in Namibia and no additional charges are payable. Tokens are not provided for display on vehicles.

Rules
Drive on the left-hand side of the road. It is a legal requirement to fasten seat belts. The use of a cellphone while driving is illegal.

Speed limits
Speed limits are 60 km/h in towns and 120 km/h on asphalt roads outside towns. A limit of 80 km/h applies to gravel roads.

Roads
Highways from Windhoek to all principal towns are paved. Asphalt roads also extend to the South African, Botswana, Zambian and Angolan borders.

Main roads topped with gravel are maintained to allweather standards. District and farm roads vary from very good to very bad. “Salt” roads on the central coast are soaked with brine and compacted to form a hard and smooth surface.

Minor roads and tracks are stony in the Kaokoveld and sandy in Caprivi, Kavango and Owambo. A 4x4 is recommended for travel on them.

Hazards
Low speeds are essential on gravel roads in order to minimise the danger of skidding and overturning. It is also necessary to exercise care when you overtake other vehicles as dust reduces visibility. Keep headlights on even during the day.

"Salt” roads on the coast are slippery in foggy conditions.

It is important to heed roadsigns that warn against wild animals. Kudu and warthog in particular run across the road without warning. Avoid driving at night or drive slowly as wild animals are dazzled by headlights.

Fuel
Visitors are urged to embark on journeys with fuel to spare as distances given on maps are approximate at best and towns are far apart. The further north you go, the fewer the filling stations. Fuel pumps in most towns remain open around the clock seven days a week, but in smaller places may close for the night and even part of the weekend. Fill up at every opportunity. Carry extra fuel and oil when you travel off the beaten track.

Repairs
Off the beaten track, it is advisable to carry spare tyres, tyre-repair materials, basic tools, a spare fan belt, sealants for radiators and fuel tanks, a tow rope, spade, axe and torch. Motor workshops close over weekends.

Emergency supplies
Take a first-aid kit. Always carry sufficient water and food in case of a breakdown. It may take hours – even days in isolated places – for help to arrive.

Restricted areas
Entry into the diamond area known as the Sperrgebiet is restricted and requires prior permission from the concessionaires, Namdeb Diamond Corporation, as well as security clearance from the Namibian Police. Such permits are only issued to tourists when they accompany an authorised operator on a guided excursion.

A permit is required for entry into conservation areas, except in the case of transit through them on public roads.

Border posts
Noordoewer and Ariamsvlei, the principal points of entry from South Africa, and Buitepos on the border with Botswana are the only border posts that remain open around the clock. All the others close for the night.


Public holidays
New Year's Day (January 1)
Independence Day (March 21 )
Good Friday
Easter Monday
Workers' Day (May 1)
Cassinga Day (May 4)

Ascension Day (May 9)
Africa Day (May 25)
Heroes' Day (August 26)
International Human Rights Day (December 10)
Christmas Day (December 25)
Family Day (December 26)
When a public holiday falls on a Sunday, the next day - the Monday - becomes a holiday as well.


Money

Namibia dollar
The national currency is the Namibia dollar (N$), divided into 100 cents, which is on a par with the South African rand (ZAR). N$10, N$20, N$50, N$100 and N$200 banknotes are issued, while coins come in denominations of 5c, l0c, 50c, N$1 and N$5. The face shown on the notes is that of Hendrik Witbooi, a liberation icon and guerilla leader who resisted German colonial rule. The Namibia dollar is not accepted in other countries.

Legal tender
Only the Namibia dollar and South African rand are legal tender in Namibia. No foreign currency except the rand can be used to purchase goods and services. Travellers’ cheques in rands are readily accepted.

Foreign currency
Foreign currency in the form of banknotes and travellers' cheques can be converted into Namibia dollars or South African rands at commercial banks and bureaux de change. Banking hours are from 09:00 to 15:30 on weekdays and 08:30 to 11:00 on Saturdays. A currency-exchange facility is located at Hosea Kutako International Airport. Its business hours are adjusted to arrivals and departures of international flights.

Credit cards
Payment with the major credit cards -- Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Diners Club -- is accepted for most goods and services. The cards can also be used to withdraw cash from ATMs subject to daily and monthly limits.

Filling stations do not accept any credit cards except Petrocard and Autocard. Some only accept cash.

Swift transfers
The service is available from commercial banks in Namibia.

Value-added tax
Value-added tax (VAT) is levied at a rate of 15% on goods and services at the point of sale. Foreign nationals are entitled to claim a refund of VAT paid on purchases of goods in excess of N$250, prior to departure from Hosea Kutako International Airport or the Noordoewer and Ariamsvlei border posts. It is necessary to display the goods and produce the VAT invoices. Refunds are made by cheque in South African rands.


Time
Namibian Standard Time is two hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time in summer, from the first Sunday in September, and one hour ahead of GMT in winter, from the first Sunday in April.



Accommodation Directory