African Travel Advice When Visiting Namibia

African travel advice when visiting Namibia

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

Far from being lifeless and barren, the Sahara features an extraordinary variety of desert-adapted flora and fauna, including a large number of endemic plant, bird, reptile, and insect species. Many of these species are of special scientific interest and attract scientists from all over the world.

Capital: Windhoek

Climate: Namibia has a dry climate typical of a semi-desert country where droughts occur regularly. The days are mostly warm to sweltering, while the nights are generally cool. The average daytime temperatures in summer range from 20°C to 34°C, and the mean night temperatures in winter range from 0°C to 10°C. There are vast differences between the arid southern desert and semi-desert regions and the tropical northeast with its summer rains. The best time to visit Namibia is April-October.

Currency: 1 Namibian dollar = 100 cents. The rand is accepted as legal tender. Traveler’s checks are accepted almost everywhere. It is recommended to use German marks, US dollars or Swiss francs with traveler’s checks. In general, credit cards are accepted by most hotels as well as at Namibia’s wildlife resorts where MasterCard, Visa, (Diners Club and Amex not always), Namibian dollars, Rand traveler’s checks and bank guaranteed checks are accepted. Credit cards are not accepted for fuel.

Electricity: 220 volts, 50 Hz. The plugs are round 3-pin.

Health: A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required from travelers over the age of one year coming from endemic areas. Visitors are advised to take pre-arrival precautions against malaria (risks are present in November-June in northern regions such as the Ovamboland and Caprivi Strip as well as in Omaheke and Otjozondjupa and throughout the year along the Kavango and Kunene rivers), hepatitis A, polio and typhoid. Tap water is safe.

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

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

Shopping: wood carvings. Baskets. Pottery. fur coats and jackets, especially Swakara; gold and jewelry; individually tailored handwoven rugs and caracol wool wall hangings; semi-precious stones and Namibian diamonds; Herero dolls.

Social Conventions: There is a Christian majority. Western customs and courtesies are observed. Business suits are worn in the winter; In summer, safari suits are acceptable.

Time difference: GMT +2 (GMT +1 during April-August)

Tipping: 10 percent of the bill is customary.

Description of the main attractions:

Windhoek:

Capital; a bustling little town with a “continental” atmosphere; many attractions including the Gibeon Meteorite Fountain, the National Art Gallery of Namibia, the Tintenpalast, the Namibia Crafts Centre, and the National Botanic Garden; the shopping.

Fish River Valley:

One of the most amazing geological phenomena in Namibia; It contains Ai-Ais hot springs, rugged mountain lands, Fish River Valley (the second largest gorge in Africa) and Huns Mountains with isolated and cosmopolitan landscapes and a wealth of interesting dry flora; Seasoned trekkers consider the 4-5 day trail to be one of the main challenges in South Africa.

Sossevli Namib:

Naukluft Park Huge dunes are at the end of an erosion basin formed by the Tsauchab River. They are star shaped.

Etosha National Park:

Namibia’s first protected area and one of the largest game reserves in Africa; Its final feature is the Etosha Pan, a vast shallow depression of approx. 5,000 square kilometers The elephants here are reputed to be some of the largest in Africa; Of the 114 species of mammals found in the park, many 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, thick coastal fog and cool sea breeze. Of particular interest are the mud castles at Hoarusib, the salt pans near Mount Agate, the seal colony at Cape Frio and the remains of shipwrecks along the coast.

Caprivi sector:

lush river forests and seasonal floodplains; some of South Africa’s best birding sites, especially Caprivi Game Park; Also known for its arts and crafts such as pots and baskets with their distinctive beauty and symmetry; shop in the traditional village of Lizauli and a variety of craft centres; Other activities include angling such as tiger hunting, game viewing on boat trips.

Luderitz Kolemanskop:

The most famous ghost town in Namibia, located in Spergepet about 10 km from Lüderitz; The museum chronicles the history of this abandoned mining community.

Swakopmund:

It is popular for its old world charm and relaxed atmosphere; distinct German colonial character; Historic buildings and a modern aquarium. Famous for Kudu leather shoes.

Cape Cross Seal Colony:

Home to the largest and most famous seal colony of 223 Cape seals that breed along the coast of South Africa and Namibia; During the breeding season in November/December, up to 150,000 seals congregate here; Off the coast are protected bird islands.

Ibuba Falls:

One of the main tourist sites in Namibia; a series of waterfalls where the Cunene River falls 60 meters over a distance of about 1.5 kilometers, divided into many channels and forming countless rock pools; It is possible to swim in these pools, but watch out for the crocodiles.