Before you go

Fast Facts before you go to Namibia


Best time to visit

Covering 824 268 square kilometres (318 250 square miles), Namibia is a country of contrasting landscapes ranging from the world’s oldest desert to rugged mountains, dense woodlands to windswept beaches, shimmering pans to gentle waterways.  Namibia’s name was derived from the Namib Desert, a unique geological feature renowned for the pristine and haunting quality of its landscapes.
There are certain seasons such as the months November to March for birding with the migratory birds visiting.  
December to May is good for botany, when the vegetation is green and when most plants are in flower.  June to October period is probably the best overall time to be in Namibia, especially from a game viewing perspective. 
Namibia is an all-year-round wilderness destination. 

Passports & Visas

A passport and visa are normally required. Bearers of regular and official/diplomatic U.S. passport holders who plan to visit Namibia for tourism for less than 90 days can obtain visas at the port of entry and do not need visas prior to entering the country. Passports must have at least six months of validity remaining beyond the traveler’s planned date of departure from Namibia. 
We strongly encourage all travelers to or from Namibia via South Africa to have six or more unstamped visa pages in their passport. Travelers merely transiting South Africa (those not stopping over or exiting the international terminal in South Africa) may require fewer blank pages for travel. Visitors who do not have enough blank visa pages in their passport risk being denied entry and returned to the United States at their own expense.  
As a general precaution, all travelers are advised to carry a photocopy of the photo/bio information page of their passport and keep it in a location separate from their passport.

Malaria Prophylaxis

Due to the hot dry climate Namibia is virtually free of tropical diseases, therefore health certificates are not normally required. Malaria exists in the northern area throughout the year, you can reduce the risk of malaria by using prophylactics, which should be started before arriving in Namibia and under your doctors guidance.

Health Requirements & Innoculations

While Namibia is not designated a yellow fever country, travelers who intend visiting countries where yellow fever is endemic after their travels in Namibia, (for example Zambia) are required to provide a valid yellow fever vaccination certifictate at a South African port of entry, upon their return to South Africa. A visit to Namibia only with return transit through South Africa, does not require a yellow fever certificate.
Southern Africa has some of the highest skin cancer statistics – a high protection factor sun block is recommended.  

Medical Care

Windhoek has a small number of private medical hospitals and clinics capable of providing emergency care and performing many routine procedures. Doctors – both general practitioners and specialists – as well as dentists generally have training and facilities that are comparable to U.S. standards. Facilities outside the capital vary widely. Several large towns have well-equipped facilities similar to those available in Windhoek, while smaller towns generally do not.


Travel insurance is highly recommended and can be purchased through South African Airways Vacations or your travel agent. It  can be used to cover baggage & personal item loss as well as trip cancellations.  Tour operators will not be held responsible for any loss or damage to passenger’s belongings.  Travel Guard is the (travel) insurance carrier that is offered through South African Airways Vacations. For additional information, please inquire. 


Clothing & Necessities

Cotton rather than synthetic clothing is recommended for Namibian summers.  Winters are usually mild to warm, which calls for light clothing in the middle of the day, and a warm sweater and jacket for the evenings and early mornings when temperatures can hover around 0 degrees Celsius (32 degrees F) during mid-winter.  The temperature at the coast is moderated by the cold Benguela current and it is often cold and windy, for which warm clothing and a windbreaker/jacket are necessary.   Comfortable walking shoes (with ankle support) are essential for the rocky terrain and a light pair of sandals suitable for driving days.  Essential items to pack are binoculars, a sun hat, sun block, bathing towel, moisturiser, lip balm and mosquito repellent.  Points for electric shavers (250 V AC) are available at most hotels and state-owned rest camps.  It is advisable to bring battery operated or conventional razors when visiting remote areas not connected to the national grid.


Mobile phones, Land lines & Internet access

Within the Southern African Development Community Namibia has direct fibre-optic cable links to Botswana and South Africa as well as satellite links. The rest of the world can be reached from Namibia through direct-dialing facilities to 221 countries.  Full internet facilities are readily available in the main centres.  Namibia’s cellular operator, Mobile Telecommunications Ltd (MTC) offers coverage to more than 45 towns and 100 000 customers.  MTC has entered into roaming agreements with 55 countries and 115 different mobile telecommunication networks.  This means that visitors from these countries are able to use their phones in Namibia.   It should be remembered however that many of the country attractions are located in remote areas that do not as yet have coverage.  Land and satellite lines are available in the more remote parts of the country.
Internet is available at most large hotels and towns, but not in smaller towns or rural areas.  Telephone is available everywhere, code 

is + 264 


Credit Cards

Most hotels and shops commonly accept major international credit cards but not at most service station and small towns – cash is better. 
DO NOT bring travelers cheques.  Visa and Mastercard are more widely accepted than Diners Club and American Express.
It is advisable to notify your credit card company that you are traveling out of the country.  


Banking hours are 8:30 am to 4 pm during the week, and on weekends 9 am to 12 pm.
Automated teller machines (ATM’s) are readily available in cities and towns.   



All tips can be paid in South African Rand or Namibian Dollars. We recommend you converting some US dollars upon arrival at the airport. Some restaurants do include service charges.



Tap water is safe to drink throughout the country, except for isolated rural areas, where the consumption of filtered or mineral water is bottled recommended.


The official language is English but German and Afrikaans are widely spoken and understood.  Namibia has 15 ethnic groups with some 27 languages and dialects being spoken.


Namibia’s abundant wildlife is one of its greatest assets.  Large game species found in the country include elephant, rhino (black & white), giraffe, buffalo, lion, leopard and cheetah.  There are eight endemic mammal species while the Namib Desert is well known for its large number of endemic dune-dwellers, especially lizards, of which there are 30 endemic species.  Endangered mammals include wild dog, black rhino, lion, puku, oryx and waterbuck. 
Namibia has over 20 species of antelope, ranging from the largest, the eland, to the smallest, the Amara dik-dik.  The gemsbok (oryx gazella), a striking antelope with long, symmetrical horns and distinctive black and white markings is the national emblem of Namibia.  A wealth of smaller mammals ranging from mongoose to jackal and antbear to honeybadger are also found across the country.  On the birding front over 630 of the 887 bird species listed for Southern Africa have been recorded in Namibia.  Eleven species are endemic, meaning that 75% of their total world populations are found in Namibia.  Special endemics are the Herero chat, Rockrunner, Monteiro’s hornbill and Damara tern.  


The following table shows the proper adapters for South Africa and neighboring countries, as well as the voltage and other necessary information.  This information was retrieved from  Feel free to visit the website to get further information, or to see pictures of the listed items. 




Plug and Socket Type

Plug Adapters

Power Cord

South Africa

220/230 V

50 Hz

M,  D

WA-10L,  WA-10

WE-110L,  WE-110


220 V






231 V

50 HZ

M, D, G

WA-10L, WA-10, WA-7

WE-110L, WE-110, WE-107


230 V


C, G, D

WA-9C, WA-7, WA-10

WE-109C, WE-107, WE-110




G, D

WA-7, WA-10

WE-107, WE-110

Metric Conversion

To convert Celsius into Fahrenheit = double then add 32
.62 miles = 1 kilometer
3.3 feet = 1 meter
1 acre = .405 hectare
1.05 quarts = 1 liter
2.2 pounds = 1 kilogram


In Namibia, driving is done on the left-hand side of the road. Many of Namibia's rural roads are gravel. Although these roads are generally well maintained, controlling a vehicle on gravel is significantly more difficult than on pavement. Drivers should not drive in excess of 80km per hour (45 mph) on gravel roads, should reduce speed significantly for curves or turns, and should heed all warning signs.

Souvenirs & VAT

Crafts & Souvenirs in Namibia are mainly handcrafted wood and stone products. Most of the carving work is done in the Caprivi Region.
VAT is charged at the rate of 15% on services and goods in Namibia.  Keep valid VAT receipts and items with you and you will be able to claim when you depart.  

Travel Emergencies

If you have lost your passport or wallet, please contact the local police department and file a report.  
U.S. Embassy Namibia
14 Lossen Street
Tel.: + 264 61 295 8500
Fax:  + 264 61 295 8603
American Cultural Center
Third Floor Sanlam Building
Independence Avenue
Tel.: + 264 61 22 9801
Fax: + 264 61 23 2476 
Although every effort has been made to ensure the content accuracy, travelers are urged to check independently on matters of specific interest.  SAA Vacations, its associates and/or affiliates will not accept any responsibility or liability for any losses or damage resulting from the advice given.