Officially known as the Republic of Namibia, this unique and untouched country largely comprised of desert and salt pans, has some surprisingly beautiful features due to its location. A western border dominated by the cold Atlantic Ocean, northern land borders with wild Angola and Zambia, Botswana to the east with its flood plains, and South Africa to the south-east. Although it does not officially border with Zimbabwe, less than 200 metres of riverbed separates them at their closest points. Its capital and largest city is Windhoek, also home to Hosea Kutako International Airport. Due to the vast expanse of Namibia, many visitors travel the country via light aircraft as almost all parks and towns have their own airstrips. Self-driving is possible and a great way to experience the landscape.
Namibia has a rich history with much of that past still kept alive in the present day. The dry lands were inhabited by nomadic tribes such as the Bushmen, for centuries. In modern times, it became a German protectorate and remained so until the end of World War I. In 1920, it was mandated to South Africa which it gained independence from in 1990. Interestingly, visitors will find many parts of the country still have a strong German heritage.
This landscape is the setting for truly incredible natural events that have become must-sees on buckets lists for the adventurous traveller. The most visited places include the capital city of Windhoek, Caprivi Strip, Fish River Canyon, Sossusvlei, the Skeleton Coast Park, Sesriem, Etosha Pan and the coastal towns of Swakopmund, Walvis Bay and Lüderitz to name a few.
Sossusvlei and Sesriem are home to the world’s tallest dunes, while Caprivi strip is a lush wildlife-rich area, and Etosha was once proclaimed as the largest game reserve in the world. Swakopmund is the adventure capital and offers extreme sports such as sandboarding, skydiving, hot-air ballooning, and quad bike trails into the surrounding dunes. Visitors will also have a chance to explore the oceans during their stay. Seal and dolphin spotting trips are a must, while the south boasts the beautiful and rugged Fish River Canyon, as well as the staunchly German town of Lüderitz, home to a legendary “ghost town” claimed by the sand, nearby.
Among the unique wildlife to see are the populations of desert elephant—which are incredibly rare and only found in Namibia and Mali, and desert-adapted Black Rhino and lions. Namibia’s most rewarding wildlife experiences include tracking these giants. Those looking for rare antelope species can expect to find picturesque sights of the Oryx or Roan antelope galloping across the dunes. But the desert areas are not the only offering. Stretching along the Skeleton Coast is one of the world’s biggest Cape Fur seal colonies. Additionally, an unusual wildlife highlight of southern Namibia is the herd of over 150 wild horses that roam freely.
As Namibia is still growing as a tourist destination, the accommodation options, particularly outside of the towns, are not as varied as in neighbouring countries. On one side, there are incredibly luxurious, high-end camps with some even rated the best in Africa. The rest of the lodging options are generally mid to lower range, catering to the rough-and-ready self-driving market, adventurous campers, or overlands. In the towns, travellers will find a more even spread of hotels and B&B’s.
For shopping and curios, the main markets are in Windhoek and in the town of Okahandja in the north. However, there are many informal road-side markets too. In the major centres, such as Windhoek and Swakopmund, visitors will find more comprehensive shopping.
The best time to visit is from July to October, the dry Winter season when the temperatures are just above 20°C and the chance of rain is nil. This weather also makes for the best time for wildlife viewing. Travellers shouldn’t be fooled by the desert, however; as winter nights can get below freezing.
|Time Zone||GMT +2 (CAT)|
|Language||English, German, and Afrikaans|
|Power||Plug D and M & 230V/50Hz|
|Dress Code||Neutral for Safaris|
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The best time to visit Namibia is from July to October, the dry season, when the temperatures are just above 20°C and the chance of rain is nil. This weather also makes for the best time for wildlife viewing. Travellers shouldn’t be fooled by the desert, however; as winter nights can get below freezing.
There are various accommodation options in Namibia. However, these are sprawled across the country. Accommodation options range from hotels in the cities to rustic camping, guest houses, and lodges in and around rural areas.
Not all visitors travelling to Namibia require a visa. However, those that do should consulate the embassy or consulate in their country of origin to submit a visa application before travelling.
Routine vaccinations, along with yellow fever, are required before travelling to Namibia. Additionally, the CDC recommends the following vaccinations: hepatitis A, hepatitis B, typhoid, rabies, meningitis, polio, measles, mumps and rubella (MMR).
Typically, tap water is filtered or purified in hotels and lodges across Namibia. However, if you are uncertain, bottled water is readily available.
Namibia is a family-friendly destination and offers an array of recreation for the entire family to enjoy.
Depending on the type of safari you opt for you, will depend on the level of fitness you’ll need. Walking safaris require a certain level of fitness, while guided game drives are perfect for any discerning traveller.
Most tour operators and travel agents will recommend purchasing travel insurance before arriving. Most plans include emergency air evacuation if visitors are travelling to remote areas of the country. We advise that visitors talk to their travel consultants before travelling.
Travellers opting for a self-drive experience in Namibia require a valid driving licence from their home country. However, if the licence is not in English, travellers are required to carry an international driving permit with them.