Travel guide to Namibia

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» Namibia
Namibia is the place to go for travellers who want to avoid being overrun by other tourists, and who also want to experience beautiful landscapes with fantastic deserts and national parks. What's more this African country offers sunshine 300 days a year.

Facts

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Local name
Namibia
Capital
Windhoek (161.000)
Size
824.292 km2
Principal Languages
English. Afrikaans, German, Herero and Owambo are also widely spoken.
Principal Religion
Christianity
Inhabitants
1.643.000 (1999)
Government
Republic
Geography
A great deal of Namibia consists of desert with endless sandbanks. Nevertheless, there are also lush areas in Namibia. Amongst other places, the capital Windhoek is quite like an oasis because it rains regularly here. During the summer it can be scorching hot in the desert. The country lies on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean and borders with Angola and Zambia to the north, Botswana to the east and South Africa to the south.

Travel preparation

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Best time to visit

The most pleasant time to visit Namibia is definitely during the dry winter season, which is from May to October. From December to March it gets extremely hot, and it can be unbearable to spend time in the national parks, which are normally some of the most popular attractions.

Literature

Lonely Planet Zimbabwe, Namibia, Botswana Footprint Namibia Handbook: Travel Guide Insight Guides Namibia

Local conditions

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Currency

Namibian dollars (NAD)

Net cafes

Internet cafés are not exactly in abundance in Namibia, however, it is possible to find Internet cafés both in Walvis Bay and in the capital of Windhoek.

Tipping

Tips are only given in extremely touristy areas, where a 10 percent tip is what is normally given.

Timezone

When it is noon in the UK (12:00), it is 14:00 in Namibia.

Weight and Measures

Following weight and measurement units are used in Namibia: Length: the metric system Weight: kilos

Photography

You can take pictures everywhere in Namibia, however you should be aware of specific rules that may apply when taking pictures in nature reserves. You should ask permission before taking a picture of a person.

Drinking water

It is inadvisable to drink tap water in Namibia.

Electricity

The following power source is used in Namibia: 220/240 volts AC/50 Hz

Behaviour

Western norms are prominent in Namibia, which means that you can behave as you would at home. This includes visiting private homes.

Food and drink

The colonial era has left a mark on Namibian cuisine. This is why the food in restaurants and in cafés is largely inspired by Germany. Schnitzels and beer are widely available, but local Namibian food includes biltong, which is air-dried flesh, or ausfleisch, which is smoked flesh.

Disabled travellers

Disabled travellers will find few facilities in Namibia. The Namibian people are very friendly though, and are often willing to help out. However, it is not recommended that you travel alone if you are disabled and require special aid or installations.

Holidays

New Year's Day, January 1st Independence Day, March 21st Worker's Day, May 1st Cassinga Day, May 4th Africa Day, May 25th Heroes' Day, August 26th Goodwill Day, October 7th International Human Rights Day, December 10th Christmas Day, December 25th Family Day (Boxing Day), December 26th

Accommodation / Hotel

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Camping

There are camping sites in Namibia's nature parks. Etosha National Park in particular has very good facilities.

Hotels

In Namibia there are hotels within all price ranges. They range from one star to five star hotels. However, luxury hotels are found mainly in the capital.

Bed og breakfast or guesthouse

B&Bs can be found in Namibia, but mainly in the larger towns. It is possible to rent huts in the national parks.

Hostels

There are few hostels in Namibia.

Other Accommodation

You can rent huts in nature reserves and parks in Namibia. Etosha National Park in particular has very good facilities.

Local transport

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Planes

Air Namibia has daily flights between the large cities in the country. Domestic flights are very cheap.

Bus

Buses are practically non-existent in Namibia. However there are luxury buses which go from Windhoek to other large cities in the country.

Trains

The railroad is quite extensive, and there are different classes on which you can travel. Trains connect large and medium sized towns, but it takes a substantial amount of time to travel by train here.

Taxi

Taxis are accessible in Namibia's larger cities. This is a cheap method of transport.

Car rental

Cars can be rented in the large cities and in airports.

Boat or Ferry

There are no large ferries in Namibia. It is possible to go for a sail on small boats from Lüderitz.

Other Transport

The Desert Express is a luxury train that goes between Swakopmund and Windhoek. The train is aimed at tourists, and the trip includes several stops in areas where you can see lions and take a walk in the desert sand.

Special conditions

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Some places in Namibia offer balloon safaris. This is a very special way of experiencing the desert landscape.

Find your travel arrangement to Namibia here

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