traveltips

Travel Tips - Namibia

Arrival and Departure Formalities

On 1 September 2020, Namibia reopened its borders to International Travellers. Entry into Namibia will only be allowed through Hosea Kutako International Airport in Windhoek.

COVID-19 protocols & Entry Requirements

  • All passengers arriving on international flights must present a negative COVID-19 PCR test result, conducted within 72 hours of boarding the plane.
  • All visitors must be available for a swab test on day five (5) of their trip. Visitors must then be reachable / contactable on day seven (7) to receive the results of the swabbing. If the results are negative, you may proceed with the rest of your itinerary. If the result is positive, you will be treated at isolation facilities authorized by the Ministry of Health and Social Services at their cost, and according to national case management guidelines.
  • We will be able to arrange a private and reputable health service provider to go to the guests (pretty much anywhere in Namibia) on day 5 to conduct the tests in the comfort of their Lodge / Hotel room. Afterwards, the health service provider will be transported back to Windhoek where the tests will be analyzed. A Guest Liaison will then ensure that the test results are communicated to the guests on ‘Day Seven’, regardless of where they are on that day. If the tests come back negative, guests can continue with their safari arrangements as before. However, in the unlikely event that a test comes back positive, we will collect the guests from where they are staying and transport them to an isolation facility of their choice in Windhoek where there are a number of good private hotels on the ‘approved list’ to choose from. If the guests experience serious symptoms or become sick, we will take them to one of the world class private hospitals in Windhoek that are taking in COVID-19 patients where they can receive appropriate treatment. Whether in an isolation facility or in hospital, our Windhoek based Guest Liaison team will be on hand to look after guests.
  • Social distancing of 1.5 meters has to be adhered too and wearing masks at all times are compulsory. 

Please check with your nearest Namibia Consulate for up to date information.  All visitors are required to carry a passport that is valid for six months beyond the intended length of stay. There should be sufficient blank pages for entry stamps upon arrival.   Please contact your local Namibian Embassy to establish whether a visa is required.

Travelling With Children

Regulations aimed at improving the safety of children travelling in and out of Namibia and Botswana have been implemented. All children under the age of 18 will require an unabridged birth certificate together with a valid passport when travelling to or from any of the above-mentioned countries, as well as travellers in transit with a transit visa. The following documents will be required when travelling:

Child and both parents
• An unabridged birth certificate (UBC)
• A valid passport for the child

Child and one parent
Parent must produce
• An unabridged birth certificate (UBC)
• A valid passport for the child
• A court order (where applicable) / death certificate (of any deceased parent reflected on the UBC) / affidavit confirming the absent parent has given permission for the child to travel.
• Certified copies of both parents’ ID / passport.

Child and guardian
Guardian must produce
• An unabridged birth certificate (UBC)
• A valid passport for the child
• A court order (where applicable) / death certificate (of deceased parent/s reflected on the UBC) / affidavit confirming the parents have given permission for the child to travel.
• Copies of parents / guardian ID / passport.
• Contact details of parents / guardian

Child unaccompanied
• An unabridged birth certificate
• A valid passport
• A court order (where applicable) / death certificate (of deceased parent/s reflected on the UBC) / affidavit from both parents or legal guardian confirming permission to travel.
• A letter from the person who will receive the child including their full contact details and residential address and a certified copy of their ID / passport.
• Contact details of parents / guardian.

Time Zone

Namibia follows West Africa Time, or WAT, the time zone used in west-central Africa. The zone is one hour ahead of UTC, which makes it the same as Central European Time when CET is not observing daylight savings.

Currency

Both Namibian dollars and South African Rand are equal in value and are accepted as legal tender anywhere in Namibia. When departing Namibia, we recommend that any cash you take with you is in South African Rand as Namibian dollars are generally not easily exchanged outside of Namibia.

Money Matters

Banking hours
Weekdays: 09:00 – 15:30
Saturdays: 09:00 – 11:00
Sundays & public holidays: Closed

Credit cards
Visa and Master Card are usually accepted throughout Southern Africa, but American Express and Diners Club are not as widely accepted.

Tax & Customs
Value Added Tax (VAT) in Namibia is 15% all round. Bona fide tourists to Namibia are exempt from paying sales duty or excise duty on luxury items such as jewelery or Swakara (fur) garments.

Weather

Best time to go to Namibia

Namibia can be visited throughout the year. The climate is generally dry and pleasant. Namibia only receives a fraction of the rain experienced by countries further east. Between December and March, some days will be humid and rain may follow, often in localized, afternoon thunderstorms. Wildlife viewing in all parks, but especially in Etosha, is best in the dry season from June to October. In the wet season, animals move away from the waterholes and scatter around the park. The recommended time to visit Namibia is from March to October.

Summer (October – April) Average temperatures range from 20C to 35C during the day and temperatures above 40C are often recorded in the extreme north and south of the country. At the coast, the temperature is generally much cooler, ranging from 15C to 25C, and fog is common. Early rains may occur from October onwards and the main rainy season falls between January and April. During this time, flash floods are common.

Winter (May – September) Temperatures range in the interior from 18C to 25C during the day. Below freezing and frost are common at night.

Clothing

Comfortable clothing is suitable throughout the year. It is certainly not necessary to bring a separate change of clothing for day and evening, and it is recommended that you keep luggage to a minimum for your own comfort and ease of transport, especially if you are using light aircraft transfers. The most practical items to pack for safari are:

  • Blouses with long sleeves (even in summer, they will protect you from the sun and the mosquitos)
  • Cotton t-shirts and tops
  • Shorts for the day. Jeans or chinos for evenings and cooler days
  • Fleece, sweater or warm jacket for game drives
  • Comfortable walking shoes (hiking boots are not necessary)
  • Sun block, sunglasses and hat
  • Camera, binoculars
  • Swimwear, as most hotels/lodges have swimming pools
  • A small alarm clock

Layers are most practical for the fluctuating day/night temperatures of Namibia. It is advisable that your clothing be as neutral as possible in the bush (beige and khaki is ideal). If you wear prescription glasses or contact lenses, we recommend that you bring an extra pair of glasses or a copy of the prescription. Please note that all luxury hotels and most game lodges offer a same-day laundry service (some at additional charges). This is a good reason not to pack too many clothes!

Health

It is important that you check with a qualified health professional for the most current information concerning your travel itinerary and personal health history.

Anti-Malarial precautions are an absolute necessity when visiting the game parks in the region. It is important that you check with a qualified health professional for the most current information concerning your travel itinerary and personal health history.

The sun in the southern hemisphere is extremely strong - do wear an effective sunscreen and hat during the summer. It is advisable to avoid the noonday sun. Recommended SPF is 30.

Throughout Southern Africa it is safe to eat all foods and drink tap water in cities and towns. Purified water in flasks or bottled water is provided at game lodges throughout the region. It is also suggested that you bring a smaller traveler's kit with remedies for minor stomach ailments or motion sickness. You should include an adequate supply (in your hand luggage) of any prescribed medication you may require while traveling.

Travelers with physical disabilities and those who require frequent or on-going medical attention should advise us of their health situation at the time of booking (or at the time such a situation occurs should this be after the reservation is made).

We do recommend that you take out comprehensive travel insurance to cover you in the event of a medical emergency.

Tipping

Tipping is not compulsory. You are travelling on an independent itinerary and the cost of your program does not include gratuities. Tipping is a very personal matter and should only be considered when the staff have gone above and beyond for you. Should you feel you would like to acknowledge their service, please consider the following as a rough guide, per day.

Tour Director - 15
Driver / Guide (Half day) - 8
Driver / Guide (Full day) - 12
Hotel Porters - 5
Professional Guide -  15
Ranger - 15
Tracker - 8
Lodge staff - 12

Please note: Currency is in USD

The above tipping guidelines are recommendations only and are not compulsory. Please use your own discretion in tipping, based on quality of service.

Restaurants 
It is customary to add 10% to the bill in restaurants, if the service has been satisfactory.

Taxis
Taxi drivers do not expect to be tipped but they appreciate the fare being rounded up.

Porterage 
If you are being transferred by our representative from the airport to a hotel, then porterage and tipping of porters is already included. You are not expected to tip our representative. Porterage and tipping of porters for transfers from one hotel to another is as above.

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