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Practical information about Namibia

On this page you will find answers to frequently asked questions about Namibia. Read about weather, visa, language and much more. See also our selection of Namibia Holidays.

Practical information about Namibia

Practical information about Namibia

On this page you will find answers to frequently asked questions about Namibia. Read about weather, visa, language and much more. See also our selection of Namibia Holidays.

1. The climate in Namibia

On average, Namibia has 300 days of sunshine each year, making this country one of the sunniest in the world. Namibia is situated south of the equator in the sub-tropical climate belt. This means that the climate is generally hot and dry, and even after rain, the humidity doesn’t get too high. There are relatively big differences in climate from area to area, however.

  • In the central highlands, where you can find the capital Windhoek among other things, which is located at about 1,700 metres above sea level, the temperatures are moderate, and there is more rain than in the surrounding desert areas.
  • In the desert regions, the Kalahari Desert in the east and the Namib Desert in the west, rain falls very rarely, and temperatures may shift significantly from day to night.
  • Along the Atlantic Ocean coast, where you can find the coastal town of Swakopmund, the climate stands out from the rest of the country. Here, unique current and wind conditions produce a blanket of sea breeze and fog in over the land, which can feel cold at times.

Namibia has two seasons, although it is a very sunny and dry country. These seasons are defined as summer and winter, but because Namibia is located south of the equator, the seasons are the opposite of the British:

Winter (the dry season) is from around May to September.

It basically does not rain in this season, so the nature is dry. The driest months are July and August, and generally the entire period is characterised by comfortable temperatures, lots of sunshine and blue skies.

The winter period is one of the best times to go on safari in Etosha National Park, as water is in short supply, making the animals gather around the watering holes that remain.

Over the course of September, the temperatures quietly rise as the summer heat approaches.

Summer (the rainy season) is from around October to April.

At the beginning of the period, it practically does not rain, and the temperatures are at their peak. During November and December, the rain begins to pick up, and the most rain falls between January and March. The rain rarely comes in the form of powerful showers that last all day, however, but more commonly as mild showers.

What the entire period has in common is that the humidity and the temperatures are higher than in the winter period. There is also a risk of thunderstorms. On the other hand, the rain also means that the otherwise dry landscape becomes green and more lush.

Weather statistics for Windhoek: JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
Average maximum temperature 31 29 28 26 24 21 21 24 28 30 30 31
Average minimum temperature 18 17 16 13 10 7 7 9 13 15 16 17
Rainfall mm 91 87 70 32 6 1 0 1 4 11 26 33
Weather statistics for Swakopmund: JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
Average maximum temperature 20 19 20 19 20 19 18 17 16 17 18 20
Average minimum temperature 15 14 15 13 12 11 11 10 10 12 12 14
Rainfall mm 1 1 4 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
Weather statistics for Fish River Canyon: JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
Average maximum temperature 35 34 32 29 25 22 21 24 27 30 32 35
Average minimum temperature 19 19 18 14 10 7 7 8 11 14 16 18
Rainfall mm 24 42 36 15 5 2 1 1 3 6 11 13
Weather statistics for Etosha National Park: JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
Average maximum temperature 31 30 29 29 27 24 24 27 31 32 32 31
Average minimum temperature 19 18 17 14 10 7 7 10 14 17 18 18
Rainfall mm 142 127 100 30 4 0 0 1 5 22 52 17
2. Form of travel

On our trips, excursions and transfers are in small international groups with English-speaking guides. Groups may have up to 16 members. On self-drive trips, you are left to your own devices on a route with planned overnight accommodation.

3. When is it best to travel to Namibia?

Namibia is a year-round destination, one of the best in Africa!

The weather and seasons:

  • December to March: warm, with thundery showers from January; vegetation becomes lush and green
  • April to May: rain eases off and temperatures fall
  • June to September: winter: temperatures comfortable (although on the cool side in some areas) with no rainfall; nights are cold, with frosts in the deserts; vegetation turns brown
  • October and November: temperatures rise and heat makes itself felt again; some showers; vegetation starts to become green
4. Terms and conditions of travel

Please read our booking terms and conditions carefully. These terms and conditions constitute the basis of your package purchased from africasafari.co.uk. Click here to read our terms and conditions.

All the flights and flight-inclusive holidays on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. When you pay you will be supplied with an ATOL Certificate. Please ask for it and check to ensure that everything you booked (flights, hotels and other services) is listed on it. Please see our booking conditions for further information or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to: www.atol.org.uk/ATOLCertificate

5. Assistance with taking out travel insurance

We are an ATOL protected agency giving you complete peace of mind. It is a condition of booking that the sole responsibility lies with the guest to ensure that they carry the correct comprehensive travel and medical insurance to cover themselves, as well as any dependants/traveling companions for the duration of their trip.

In cooperation with our partner we can offer advantageous travel insurances. Learn more here.

6. Language

The official language is English. German and Afrikaans are widely spoken (by 32 per cent and 60 per cent of the population respectively), as Namibia was first a German and then a South-African colony for many years. However, Namibia is made up of many ethnic groups and a large number of languages are spoken, such as Oshiwambo, spoken by 48 per cent of the population, and Herero (10 per cent). The languages of the San people, such as Naro, !Xóõ, Kung-ekoka and ǂKxʼauǁʼein (all of which feature click sounds), are also spoken in Namibia.

7. Vaccination

We always advise that you contact a specialist, your GP or an authorized vaccination clinic. You can also read more about the rules for travel & vaccinations at the central NHS Fit for Travel website: here

The authorities do not require you to get vaccinated, unless you have visited areas with yellow fever within the last six months. We recommend that you contact a medical specialist, your GP or an authorised vaccination clinic. Visit nhs.co.uk for more information about vaccinations and Namibia.

8. Your Luggage

We use many different airlines to Namibia, therefore it may vary how much baggage and hand luggage you can carry on the aircraft. Find more information about this on your ticket or contact us if you have any questions.

We recommend that you pack your things in soft bags when going on a safari holiday. It’s easier to pack the safari cars with soft bags than suitcases. Hardcase suitcases are particularly difficult to fit in to the safari car. So, if possible, avoid using suitcases with hard edges.

You should also make sure you carry all your important and indispensable things in your hand luggage. This applies to items such as passports, visas, airline tickets, insurance documents, credit cards, money and cameras, as well as information about your health and vital medicines.

The air-conditioning on board the aircraft can be cold, so maybe take a jacket inside your hand luggage.

9. Visas

UK citizens can travel to Namibia without a visa for trips of up to 90 days. You must bring a valid passport, which must not expire for at least six months after the date of your return from Namibia.

The rules on visas can be checked on the Foreign Ministry’s website.

Namibia – travelling with children under the age of 18
Namibia has tightened its rules for travelling with children under the age 18 and has implemented the same rules as South Africa. This means that children under the age of 18 must bring their birth certificate translated to English. This applies even if the child is travelling with both parents.

If the child is travelling with just one parent, then the written consent of the absent parent must be included in the form of a legalised power of attorney, as well as a signed copy of the passport. This also applies regardless of shared custody. The child must always bring their birth certificate. If one of the parents has passed away, their death certificate must also be brought.

If the child is travelling without either parent, the same rules apply as mentioned above.

Please note that a letter of attorney is only valid when legalised by a public authority. In the UK, this can be done by the Legalisation Office. You can contact Citizen Services in your district or the local church office to get a birth certificate.

We recommend that you contact Namibia’s embassy, if you are travelling with children under the age of 18 and have questions about the process.

10. Flight reservations and airline tickets

We will send you your flight reservation as soon as you book your trip. You can see times and routes on the itinerary. It is important to check your name for spelling mistakes. The name on the reservation must be exactly as in your passport.  If you find any mistakes in the names, please contact us immediately.

Today, there are only electronic airline tickets (e-tickets), so you do not receive a physical ticket for use at the airport check-in. When you check in at the airport, you use your passport and a booking reference. The booking reference is on your itinerary.

11. Service letter

Once you have purchased a tour through us, you will receive our service letter before your departure. The service letter contains important information about online check-in, what to do in the event of a delay, our agreed guidelines for tips, etc. In addition, you will find important telephone numbers for our local agents as well as our emergency telephone number.

So it is important that you print out the service letter and bring it with you.

12. Seat reservation, upgrades and extra legroom

The airline will assign you a seat on board the aircraft upon check-in. If you have specific wishes, you can make a seat reservation via the airline’s website. Most airlines have an area on their website named “manage my booking” or similar. Please note that most airlines require payment for a seat reservation, so it’s a good idea to have your payment card ready when starting a seat reservation. Airline seat reservations vary from company to company, but as a general rule, you can book seats from around 48 hours before departure.

Many airlines also offer upgrades with extra legroom or comfort seating, such as Economy Comfort with KLM and Premium Voyageur with Air France. You can check these details through the airline’s own website, along with payment information.

Please kindly note that airlines have full access to all seats on the aircraft and therefore always reserve the right to alter a reservation.

If you do not make a seat reservation before departure, the airline will issues your seating upon check-in at the airport.

13. Currency

The currency in Namibia is the Namibian dollar. Visit www.xe.com/currencyconverter to see the current exchange rate in both US dollars, GBP and South African rand. Standard credit cards such as Visa and MasterCard are generally accepted, and there are cash machines (ATMs) in all cities. You can use credit cards in hotels, restaurants and shops, but not in small local markets.

14. Driving distances

Namibia is a very large country, more than twice the size of Germany, and travelling around therefore involves covering long distances. On the round trip “Highlights of Namibia” the driving schedule is as shown below:

Day 2: 100 km

Day 3: 350 km

Day 4: 250 km

Day 5: 530 km, including safari in Etosha. From lodge to lodge it is about 380 km

Day 6: 150 km safari in Etosha

Day 7: 150 km safari in Etosha

Day 8: 340 km

Day 9: 50 km

Day 10: 350 km

Day 11: 90 km

Day 12: 450 km

Day 13: 130 km

Day 14: 310 km

Day 15: 100 km

15. Vehicles

The round trip “Highlights of Namibia” involves road travel in the following vehicles:

Groups of up to 6: Toyota Quantum minibus.
Groups of 6–9: 10-seater Mercedes-Benz Sprinter minibus.
Groups of 9–12: extended Mercedes-Benz Sprinter minibus.
Groups of 12–16: 20-seater Oryx midibus or Fuso bus.

toyota-quantum1 bil-1 bil-2b bil-3b

16. Tipping

Tipping is appreciated and usual practice. It is generally accepted that the tip you leave corresponds to the service you have received. The following suggestions are indicative only:

  • Guide: NAD 30–50 per person per day
  • Local guide: NAD 10–20 per person for a half-day trip; NAD 30–50 per person for a full-day trip
  • Hotels/lodges: There is a “tips” box in reception. All amounts placed in the box will be equally distributed among all service staff (excluding safari and activity guides)
  • Restaurants: A service charge is not included unless clearly stated on the bill. If you are happy with the service and no service charge has been added to the bill, a tip of 10 per cent should be added.
17. Public holidays

It is always special to experience the traditions and celebrations of other countries. Below is a list of public holidays, important festivals and other special occasions.

Please note that some museums and attractions may be closed on these days.

18. Time difference

The time difference between the UK and Namibia depends on the time of year, due to Summer Time arrangements in both countries. From April to mid September, there is no time difference. (The exact date of time change in September changes each year.) From October to March Namibia is 2 hours ahead.

19. Electricity: charging mobile phones, cameras, etc.

The electricity supply in Namibia is 220 V. The plugs have three round pins – one thick one and two narrower ones. Therefore, make sure to bring a travel adapter with you if you will need to recharge your laptop, phone or camera.

20. Telephone and Internet

The international dialling code for Namibia is +264. It can be expensive to make or receive calls while you are in Namibia. Check with your mobile service provider about coverage and call charges. Wi-Fi is available in most hotels. Due to the long distances, the connection can sometimes be poor or non-existent. Twyfelfontein Country Lodge does not offer Wi-Fi.

21. Food and drink

Namibian cuisine is strongly influenced by German and South-African cooking. Game is often served, as is beef, which is of very high quality here. Thanks to the many herbs and spices used, local dishes are very flavourful, although rarely “hot”. There are also a number of tribal specialities, such as mielie pap (maize porridge) and mopane worms. Beer is brewed locally – try a Hansa or a Camelthorn. Only small amounts of wine are produced in Namibia, so most wine available comes from South Africa.

22. Travellers with reduced mobillity

Please note, our tours are generally not suitable for persons with reduced mobility. Please contact us for information about the possibilities according any specific needs.

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