The Namibian Dollar is the official currency of Namibia since 1993 and is equal to the South African Rand. Both these currencies can be used freely in Namibia for purchases. But the Namibian Dollar is not legal tender in South Africa.
The currency code is N$. The Namibian dollar has denominations of 200, 100, 50, 20 and 10 dollar notes, 5 and 1 dollar coins and 50, 10 and 5 cent coins.
You will need some cash while travelling the country either to pay for your petrol if you are on a self drive, to tip your guide, buy some food or even on parking areas. Tipping is appreciated wherever you go in Namibia and expected in restaurants.
Therefore, it is recommended to travel with some cash in hand.
American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard and Visa are accepted and commonly used at shops, hotels and restaurants. However, service stations do not accept credit for petrol.
Foreign currency can be exchanged at the airport, at local banks or licensed currency exchange shops across the country. Currency can also be exchanged at hotels, although rates might not be the most advantageous.
ATM machines can be found across the country within the main towns and can be used for cash withdrawals. Ensure you let your bank know you are travelling to Namibia. Normally there is also a limit of $2000 max a day that can be withdrawn.
Monday to Friday: 09:00 - 15:30
Saturday: 09:00 – 11:00
The medical services in Namibia are of a very good standard. However, the availability of most services is restricted to the main towns. If an emergency or accident happens in remote areas, it does attract high costs, when transferring injured people to the main towns. And this is where a good insurance is always necessary and important when going anywhere on vacation.
No special vaccinations are required for Namibia and it is not necessary to bring along the vaccinations card. It is, however, recommended to have all vaccinations that are needed in your home country, e.g. Tetanus, diphtheria, polio and hepatitis A and B. For special groups (hunters, adventure travelers) it is also recommended to have an anti-rabies vaccinations.
Malaria is one of the most feared illnesses worldwide and Namibia is recognized as a low prone country. Malaria is transmitted through the bite of a female Anopheles mosquito, which has previously bitten a person infected with malaria. If there are no mosquitoes, there is no malaria either.
Since Namibia does not have much stagnant water the risk of contracting malaria is minimal in most parts of the country or limited to a specific time of the year. High-risk areas are the river meadows in the north, northwest and northeast. If this is where you will travel, you are advised to take the necessary precautions.
Kaokoveld, Etosha National Park, the Otavi Mountains and the east including Bushmanland are areas of medium risk. Precautions are strongly recommended during the rainy season (November to April). The risk is small in the area between Otjiwarongo and Windhoek. This does not mean, however, that you should not use mosquito repellent. The coast, the Namib Desert and the south are regarded as almost risk-free.
Precautions include using an insect repellent, wearing long sleeves, long pants, sleeping in a mosquito-free setting or using an insecticide-treated bednet.
There is no risk of yellow fever in Namibia.
However, as precaution and prevention, the government of Namibia requires proof of yellow fever vaccination if you are arriving from a country with risk of yellow fever. You can check the list of countries to see if you require to get the yellow fever vaccination before travelling.
You are in a country which is mostly desert and where there is sunshine for 300 days a year. So we can rightly say that the sun is powerful there. Be sure to always wear sun cream with a high factor sun block and a hat to protect yourself from the rays. Even if you are in the shade or on a cloudy day, you can still get sun burnt by the sun rays through the clouds. Never leave your hat, sunglasses and sun cream.
Always hydrate yourself to avoid heatstroke as this can be dangerous as well.
Tap water in Namibia is clean, good and drinkable, unless otherwise stated by the accommodation venue. However, when you are on the road, it is advised to always drink bottled water, so please do take lots of bottled water along. Mineral water and ice for cooling are available at most petrol station and in shops.
The voltage in Namibia is 220-230 V, AC (identical to South Africa).
Adapters are for sale at most supermarkets. Farmers often generate their own electricity with a diesel generator, which they usually only run during the day and some lodges switch off their electricity generators at night. At night it's candlelight or light from a 12 Volt battery. It is advised to charge your appliances the moment you get to the lodge.
Internet & Communications
Namibia Internet connectivity stands at 78 percent nationally, making internet connection firmly established, widely available, and speed fairly stable, however rural Namibia remains largely left out with only 13% coverage. This implies that while you travel outside town, internet and wifi is fairly limited.
Namibia is considered to be one of the safest countries in Africa which is politically and economically stable. It has a low crime rate although many articles, blogs on the web make mention of some possible dangers in the cities. As with travel anywhere in the world, there is a minimum safety that you must personally take, like always keep your belonging with you, lock the car, do not venture into uncertain places, look around you at ATM machines among others, specially if you are on a self drive in Namibia. If you are in an organized or private tour, risks are low.
Also consulting your government's travel advice for Namibia is a good place to gather official information.
It is advised to always take a travel insurance whenever you go on holidays. Ideally travel insurances should cover:
Some side tips when buying your insurance:
Before you go:
As you venture out of town, it is important to have some cash to spend at local shops, markets, petrol station if you are self driving. Otherwise credit card are widely accepted in hotels and restaurants. Ensure with your credit card company that your card can be used in Namibia before travelling.
Clothes and shoes
Visitors to Namibia need to obtain a visa to enter the country. Since June 2019, Namibia has started issuing visas on arrival for a selection of countries. There is also a list of countries which are exempted from visa requirements when travelling to Namibia for tourism purposes for a maximum of 3 months within a calendar year.
It is therefore important to check your eligibility before travelling. Normally it is quite easy and straight forward.
Documents required are:
Cross border with a car rental
On top of the above mentioned, if you travel from Namibia to South Africa, Botswana, Zambia or Zimbabwe in a rented car, you need a written permit by the car rental company.
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