African Travel Tips When Visiting Namibia

Namibia’s name is derived from the Namib Desert, which is believed to be the oldest desert in the world. This unique geological feature is recognized for the pristine and haunting quality of its landscape. It is this feature that most characterizes the country and is home to some of the country’s top tourist destinations, notably Sossusvlei, Sandwich Harbor and Skeleton Coast Park.

Far from being lifeless and barren, the desert features an unusual variety of desert-adapted flora and fauna, including a large number of endemic species of plants, birds, reptiles, and insects. Many of these species are of particular scientific interest and attract scientists from all over the world.

CAPITAL: Windhoek

WEATHER: Namibia has a dry climate typical of a semi-desert country where droughts are frequent. Days are mostly warm to very hot, while nights are generally cool. Average daytime temperatures in the summer range from 20°C to 34°C and average nighttime temperatures in the winter range from 0°C to 10°C. There are big differences between the arid southern desert and semi-desert areas and the tropical northeast with its abundant summer rains. The best time to visit Namibia is from April to October.

CURRENCY: 1 Namibian dollar = 100 cents. Rands are accepted as legal tender. Traveler’s checks are accepted almost everywhere. Traveler’s checks in German Marks, USD or Swiss Francs are recommended. In general, most hotels accept credit cards, as well as at Namibia Wildlife Resorts, where MasterCard, Visa (not always Diners Club and Amex), Namibian dollars, Rand traveler’s checks and guaranteed bank checks are accepted. Credit cards are not accepted for fuel.

ELECTRICITY: 220 volts, 50Hz. Plugs are round 3-pin.

HEALTH: A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required for travelers over 1 year of age coming from infected areas. Visitors are advised to take pre-arrival precautions against malaria (there is a risk from November to June in the northern regions, such as Ovamboland and Caprivi Strip, as well as in Omaheke and Otjozondjupa and throughout the year throughout the Kavango and Kunene rivers), hepatitis A, poliomyelitis and typhoid fever. Tap water is safe.

LANGUAGE: English is the official language. In shops, hotels and restaurants, Afrikaans and German are often spoken.

HOLIDAYS: New Year’s Day (January 1); Independence Day (March 21); Good Friday (April 9); Easter Monday (April 12); Labor Day (May 1); Cassinga Day (May 4); Ascension Day (May 20); Africa Day (May 25); Heroes’ Day (August 26); Goodwill Day (October 7); Human Rights Day (December 10); Christmas Day (December 25); Boxing Day (December 26).

SHOPPING: wood carvings; basketball; ceramics; fur coats and jackets, especially Swakara; gold jewelry; individually designed hand-woven rugs and karakul wool rugs; semi-precious stones and diamonds from Namibia; Herero dolls.

SOCIAL CONVENTIONS: There is a Christian majority. Western customs and courtesies are observed. Business suits are worn in winter; in summer, safari suits are accepted.

TIME DIFFERENCE: GMT +2 (GMT +1 during April-August)

TIPS: 10 percent of the bill is customary.



The capital; a bustling small town with a ‘continental’ feel; many places of interest, such as the Gibeon Meteorite Fountain, the National Art Gallery of Namibia, Tintenpalast, the Namibian Craft Center and the National Botanic Garden; shopping.

Fish River Canyon:

One of the most spectacular geological phenomena in Namibia; contains the hot springs of Ai-Ais, rugged mountain lands, the Fish River Canyon (the second largest gorge in Africa) and the Huns Mountains with an isolated and otherworldly landscape and a host of interesting xerophytic plants; the 4-5 day trail is considered by experienced trekkers to be one of the main challenges in southern Africa.


Naukluft Park The monumental dunes are located at the end of an erosion channel formed by the Tsauchab River; they are star-shaped.

Etosha National Park:

Namibia’s first conservation area and one of the largest game reserves in Africa; its defining feature is the Etosha Pan, a vast shallow depression approx. 5000 km²; the elephants here are reputed to be the largest in Africa; of the 114 species of mammals found in the park, several are rare and endangered; bird life is interesting during the rainy season.

Skeleton Coast Park:

An aura of mystery and impenetrability surrounds this park with its many shipwrecks, dense coastal fogs and cold sea breezes; Of special interest are the clay castles of Hoarusib, the salt flats near Agate Mountain, the seal colony at Cabo Frio, and shipwrecks along the coast.

Caprivi Strip:

Lush riparian forests and seasonal floodplains; some of southern Africa’s top birding spots, notably the Caprivi Game Park; also known for its arts and crafts, for example, pots and baskets with their distinctive beauty and symmetry; shop at Lizauli Traditional Village and a variety of craft centers; Other activities include angling, for example, tiger fishing, and wildlife viewing on boat cruises.


The most famous ghost town in Namibia, located in Sperrgebiet, approximately 10 km from Lüderitz; the museum tells the story of this abandoned mining community.


Popular for its old-world charm and laid-back atmosphere; distinctive German colonial character; historic buildings and modern aquarium; renowned for kudu leather shoes.

Cape Cross Seal Colony:

Home to the largest and best known of the 223 Cape Fur Seal colonies that breed along the coast of South Africa and Namibia; during the November/December breeding season up to 150,000 seals gather here; off the coast are protected bird islands.

Epupa waterfalls:

One of the main tourist places in Namibia; a series of waterfalls where the Kunene River falls 60 m over a distance of about 1.5 km, dividing into a multitude of channels and forming a myriad of rock pools; It is possible to swim in these pools, but be on the lookout for crocodiles.

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