Namibia offers a fascinating and varied landscape – from the red dunes of Soussusvlei to the rich Etosha National Park, the impressive mountain landscape of Damaraland and the picturesque, historic quarters of Swakopmund.
On this page you will find practical information and facts about Namibia.
PRACTICAL INFORMATION ABOUT TRAVELING IN NAMIBIA
Climate and best travel time
Namibia has 300 days of sunshine a year and is dry and pleasant in principle all year round. Desert landscapes can give hot days and chilly nights. At the coast it is cool and foggy and in the north hot and humid. The rains come between December and March, sometimes starting in November. The coolest months are between June and August. The absolute best time for a safari is during the dry period September-October when the animals flock to the water holes. Visit healthinclude.com for Namibia known for its safari destinations.
The local currency is the Namibian dollar (NAD) and is pegged to the South African rand. The exchange rate is exactly the same and you can use both currencies on site. Just remember that if you have money left over in NAD, you must exchange it before you leave the country as you cannot exchange NAD outside Namibia.
You can withdraw money at ATMs in the larger cities and villages, but plan carefully because it can be a long way to the next place you can withdraw money and it is not everywhere you accept cards.
Swedish citizens can visit Namibia for 90 days without a visa, provided that the passport is valid for 6 months and has at least two blank pages. You must also be able to show a return ticket.
If you travel with children under the age of 18, you must bring a birth certificate (in English). If the child travels only with one or without both parents, his / her written consent to the trip is required.
NOTE! The visa rules can be changed at short notice, so We recommend that you check the current conditions at the country’s embassy as the information here may change.
There are few domestic flights in Namibia – however, you can fly a few times a week from Windhoek to Luderitz, Oranjemund, Ondangwa, Rundu, Katima Mulilo and Walvis Bay.
There are buses to almost all cities in the whole country. However, you should arrive early at the bus station as the buses quickly become overcrowded.
The most common way for tourists to transport themselves in Namibia. The quality of the roads differs a lot depending on where you go. You should always have a four-wheel drive car and you must be able to change tires yourself. If you are planning a road trip around the country, make sure that there are at least two spare tires. There is a long distance between car repair shops and petrol stations so good planning is required. The country has left-hand traffic and an international driving license is required.
In most countries, tips are part of the salaries of employees in the service industry. Therefore, it is good practice (and sometimes directly necessary) to give tips to, for example, cleaning staff, waiters, guides, drivers, etc. depending on the country you are visiting. Therefore, we recommend that you familiarize yourself with how much is normally given in tips and to whom before you embark on your journey. Find information on tips in Lonely Planet’s guidebooks.
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH IS THE OFFICIAL LANGUAGE BUT ONLY 3% OF THE POPULATION HAVE IT AS THEIR MOTHER TONGUE. 49% SPEAK ONE OF THE OSHIWANBO DIALECTS, 11% SPEAK NAMA / DAMARA DIALECTS, 10% SPEAK AFRIKAANS, 9% SPEAK KAVANGO AND 9% HERERO. OTHER LANGUAGES AND DIALECTS ARE THE BANTU LANGUAGES TSWANA, GCIRIKU, FWE, KUHANE, MBUKUSHU, YEYI AND THE KHOISAN LANGUAGES NARO, ǃXÓÕ, KUNG-EKOKA, ǂKXʼAUǁʼEIN AND KXOE.
CURRENCY: NAMIBIAN DOLLAR (NAD)
RELIGION: 75% CHRISTIANITY, 20% INDIGENOUS RELIGIONS AND 5% OTHERS
Namibia is best known for its desert landscape which covers about 40% of the country’s area. It is the two mighty deserts Kalahari and Namib that surround the forest and plains that are found in the central parts of the country. In addition to the desert, in Namibia you can also experience an incredibly rich wildlife in Etosha National Park or enjoy the beautiful sunsets in Fish River Canyon, Africa’s largest valley and the next largest in the world after the Grand Canyon.
Namibia is perhaps best experienced by driving alone, but can of course be enjoyed in groups for those who do not want to drive themselves.
Sossusvlei and Deadvlei
Is part of the Namib Desert which is the world’s oldest desert. The area is best known for its huge, red dunes, including Dune 45 and Big Daddy which with its 325 meters is one of the highest dunes in the world. It is possible to climb up for them, all but need is a little fitness and perseverance to continue upwards when the shoes sink into the sand. The most beautiful is to climb up at sunrise or sunset. Next to Big Daddy is Deadvlei, which is known for its white, dry ground and beautiful, dry and dead trees for many hundreds of years.
Etosha National Park is the most famous national park in Namibia when it comes to safaris and wildlife. Here you see zebras, giraffes, elephants, jackals, hyenas and you are lucky also lions and the rare leopard. Usually, rhinos are rare and difficult to see, but in Etosha there are good opportunities to see both white and black rhinos. The best time for safaris here is during the dry months between August and October when the water holes attract the animals.
Fish River Canyon
In the southern parts of Namibia, which borders South Africa, Fish River Canyon is Africa’s largest ravine and the next largest in the world after the Grand Canyon. There are many hikes to do in the area, some with hot springs. The sunsets and sunrises are spectacular and there are plenty of vantage points to enjoy them from. However, the wildlife here is limited due to the dry surroundings.