Namibia, the fifth largest country in Africa, is one of stunning contrasts with two great deserts – the Namib with its seas of red sand that runs along the entire Atlantic coast line and the Kalahari with its sparsely vegetated savannah that sprawls across the border into Botswana and South Africa. In between lays the central region with open plains and rugged mountains.
The country is famed for its huge landscapes, vast clear blue skies and amazing night skies.
Namibia has a colonial past having been administered by Britain, German and until relatively recently by South Africa. The capital of Namibia is Windhoek whilst Swakopmund is the largest coastal town.
For entry into Namibia visitors from EU countries will need a full passport valid past their date of departure. Visas are not currently required.
Driving in Namibia
In Namibia they drive on the left hand side of road (as in the UK) with right hand drive vehicles. The speed limits are currently 75mph on major tarred roads, 40mph on gravel roads and 35mph in built up areas. The wearing of seat belts is compulsory.
A valid driving licence (or International Drivers Permit), in English, must be carried by all those intending to drive the vehicle.
The official language is English but with Afrikaans and German both widely spoken.
Namibia operates on daylight saving time as follows
Summer (September to April) – GMT + 2 hours.
Winter (April to September) – GMT + 1 hour
The climate is Namibia is generally very pleasant throughout the year with warm to hot days (in excess of 40C) and cool to warm nights. It is usually cooler at the coast due to the influence of the Atlantic Ocean. Rainfall is concentrated during the summer months (November to March).
During the winter months (May to September) it can get really cold at night and remain so until the sun-rises, so you need to dress accordingly.
Temperature (C) – average daily lows / highs
Currency & Credit Cards
The currency in Namibia is the Namibian Dollar, which is fixed to the South African Rand with which is shares parity – however if you pay for anything in South African Rand, any change will be in Namibian Dollars which are not widely exchangeable outside the country. Most lodges and camps accept major credit cards but sometimes with a surcharge. Diners Club is not generally accepted in Namibia.
Most of the camps in Namibia are in remote areas and have to generate their own electricity, either by generator when guests are out of camp to charge a bank of batteries that then provides 220v power to each accommodation unit, or by solar power.
Guests are asked to be sensitive to this and not to run lights or other appliances unnecessarily.
Tipping / Gratuities
Tipping is not compulsory. If, however you would like to tip because you have received good or exceptional service, we would suggest the following as a guideline to assist you.
Generally speaking tips should be in cash in the local currency but US Dollars are widely accepted throughout southern Africa. South Africa and Namibia the, South African Rand is the dominant currency.
Primary Guides/Specialist Guides and Butlers – about US$10 per person per day
Mokoro polers and trackers – about US$5 per person per day
General Safari lodge/camp/hotel Staff – about US$10 per room per day places in the communal tipping box that most lodges and camps have on reception or on the bar.
Transfer Drivers & Porters – about US$2 per transfer
We would emphasise that tipping is not a definite requirement and should be undertaken by choice dependant on the service received.