English is the official language. German and Afrikaans are widely spoken.
Standard Time runs from the first Sunday in April to the first Sunday in September and is GMT+1. Summer Time is from the first Sunday in September to the first Sunday in April and is GMT+2.
Electrical plugs are 220 V and are the old round 3pin 15amp type. Adaptors are required and can be purchased at Heathrow or in Windhoek. Not all lodges and camps have power 24 hours a day, so take spare batteries. For those on a mobile safari, some campsites have facilities to re-charge batteries, or there may be an option to charge items from the safari vehicle’s cigarette lighter socket.
Mobile Phone Coverage & Wi-Fi
You will have reasonably good phone coverage in Namibia within populated areas. However you should not rely on your cell phone in national parks and on safari.
For your free baggage allowance on international flights to Namibia please consult your own travel itinerary.
If you are travelling on internal flights, you must use a soft, carry-all style bag, not a hard suitcase. Some baggage allowances may be less than 20kgs and you will need to check your travel itinerary.
A guest travelling alone who weighs 200lbs or more, or two guests travelling together whose combined weight is 390lbs or more, must advise us. All weight limits are due to safety factors, and should these limitations be exceeded, it may be necessary to charge for an additional aircraft.
If you are joining a camping safari your luggage allowance is 15kgs, not including a small carry-on bag to take with you in the vehicle and camera equipment
The local currency is the Namibian dollar which is fixed to the South African Rand at a rate of N$1=ZAR1. The South African Rand and Namibian dollar are both accepted in Namibia but the Namibian dollar is not accepted in South Africa.
Visa and MasterCard are widely accepted, but not at petrol stations, which only accept cash. Visitors may bring any amount of foreign currency into the country. You can use debit cards at ATMs and cash machines in Swakopmund and Windhoek.
Travellers Cheques and foreign currency can be exchanged at any of the commercial banks, but this is a time consuming process and is not advised. Banks are generally open during the following hours:
Monday–Friday: 09h00 to 15h30
Saturday: 09h00 to 11h00
Tax & Customs
General Sales Tax (GST) in Namibia is 15%. Bona fide tourists to Namibia are exempt from paying sales duty or excise duty on luxury items such as jewellery.
Park Fees & Deposits
Park fees are payable for entrance into most national parks in Namibia. When staying at one of the government rest camps in Etosha, the Waterberg or Sossusvlei, entrance fees are additional to the room rates, and a CASH deposit of N$500 is payable per room. This is a fixed charge, regardless of how many nights you are staying. It is a returnable deposit, but if there are any breakages or missing items, the cost of these will be deducted.
Malaria - Malaria is widespread in Africa, although Namibia’s arid climate means it has a low incidence of malaria in the mid-to-southern regions. Etosha, Damaraland, the north and north-east are however considered as malaria areas, and we recommend the use of Malaria prophylactics.
Water – It is very important that you drink plenty of water especially during the warmer months. It is generally recommended that you drink at least 2 to 3 litres of water a day to limit the effects of dehydration. This excludes tea, coffee and alcoholic beverages, which act as diuretics and contribute to dehydration.
Water from hotel taps is purified and visitors need have no hesitation in drinking it. Water from boreholes in camps is also good, but may be brackish.
All visitors must have a passport with at least six months validity for after the time of departure from the country. Visitors must also have proof of onward travel.
The temperature in Namibia varies depending on the region. Generally days are hot and nights can be chilly, making layered clothing is a sensible option. Cool clothing in neutral colours is your best bet for a Namibia safari. Remember to pack comfortable walking shoes and binoculars.
Photography & Binoculars
A camera with a telephoto lens is useful on safari as this will help you to get better photographs of birds and animals. Wide- angle lenses are ideal for capturing the vast panoramic landscapes. Take a spare memory card if you are a keen photographer.
Good quality binoculars can hugely enhance your safari experience and are highly recommended.
Tipping is customary in Namibia. A standard tip in a restaurant would be 10%, and you would usually tip a hotel porter about N$5.
In the major centres, such as Windhoek and Swakopmund, many shops specialise in attractive local products such as diamonds, semi-precious stones, curios of all types, including dolls dressed in the traditional Herero style (these are made by Herero woman), hand-carved wooden objects and beautifully fashioned jewellery.