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Namibia general information

Namibia general information

General info about Namibia

What time is it in Namibia? What is Namibia's currency? How can I make a call to or from Namibia? These are just some of the questions travellers have, when going on holiday to Namibia for the first time. Below we've tried to answer the most frequently asked questions.

Know before you go

As you plan your trip, and before you travel, we recommend that you check the latest Foreign Office advice on the places that you're going to - regardless of where you are travelling to, or how you are travelling. See FCO's Namibia advice here, or its info on other countries here.
We urge you to do this, as we recommend that all our travellers keep themselves up to date with the current foreign office advice on their destination countries.

Time in Namibia

During the winter months, lasting from the first Sunday in April to the first Sunday in September, Namibia is one hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+1), and one hour behind the time of its neighbouring countries South Africa and Botswana. During the summer month, from the first Sunday in September to the first Sunday in April, Namibia is two hours in advance of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+2); Central African Time applies for Namibia in summer. The exception to this is the Caprivi Strip, which is two hours ahead of GMT all year round.

Currency in Namibia

Namibia's currency is the Namibian Dollar (NAD), and this has been interchangeable with South Africa's Rand for many years. Note that South African Rand notes can be used in Namibia at face value; whereas in South Africa Namibian Dollar notes are worth fractionally less than Rand notes.

At the time of writing the exchange rate is currently (Feb 2011) £1 = N$11, but see for the latest rate. Foreign currency may be exchanged at banks; most shops, hotels and restaurants take credit cards (Visa & M/card), although petrol stations require cash. Credit and debit cards can also be used to withdraw cash at bank ATMs.

Namibia's International Dialling Code

The International Dialling Code for Namibia is +264; area codes are also used (e.g. (0)61 for Windhoek, or (0)64 for Swakopmund). Calling from Namibia, you dial 00, followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 0044 for the UK, or 001 for the USA). Calls from Namibia to UK landlines with Telecom Namibia currently (Feb 2011) cost N$4.31 (peak time) or N$3.57 (off-peak) per minute (to UK mobile: N$5 and N$4.20 per minute).

Food in Namibia

In Namibia, high-quality food is inexpensive – steak and seafood (oysters on the coast!) are particularly good. National specialities include Biltong (air-dried meat), Rauchfleisch (smoked meat), Potjiekos (one-pot bush stew), and game meat cooked on a braai (e.g. antelope, zebra or ostrich) – although many restaurants serve international cuisine. Local beer (Tafel or Windhoek lager) and South African wine are cheap and excellent.

Driving in Namibia

Distances are great, but the region has some of the finest roads in Africa. Traffic is light; driving is on the left and normally a pleasure. The main roads are tarmac and the gravel roads in more remote areas are well maintained. Expert Africa includes route maps, directions, general information and full itineraries with your travel documents.

Health in Namibia

Namibia is generally a healthy country to visit. Several vaccines are sensible (typhoid, polio and tetanus), though none is required. Malaria is not widespread, but if you are travelling to the north of the country, or from December to March, then take a course of anti-malarial tablets. Always check the latest recommendations with your doctor or travel clinic before you travel. (The Scottish NHS site is a useful resource for travel info on Namibia.)

AIDS is prevalent in Namibia; HIV infection rates are high. For travellers, this is usually not an issue, but they should always be aware of the situation, and take similar precautions to avoid infection which are wise in most countries. We understand that private hospitals have been screening their blood supplies carefully for many years.

Language in Namibia

English is the official language, but German, Afrikaans, Oshiwambo and many tribal languages (including Kwangali, Lozi, Nama and Tswana) are also spoken. About half of all Namibians speak Oshiwambo as a first language; most of the white population speaks German or Afrikaans as a first language.

Visas for Namibia

Travellers with British passports (as well as visitor from the USA), staying less than 90 days, do not currently (2011) need a visa when travelling to Namibia – but check with the Namibia High Commission for the latest info.

Weather and climate in Namibia

Namibia's climate is generally very hot and dry, with little rain, so it's good to visit all year round. Please see our separate weather and climate in Namibia page for more information.

Our top picks for holidays to Namibia

We'll always tailor-make your Town for you. Here are some of our favourites to inspire you.

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Chongololo Self-drive Safari

21 days • 11 locations

This self-drive safari focuses on the best walking experiences in Namibia. Get your boots ready for the apricot dunes of the Namib Desert and the ancient hills of Damaraland.

US$7,370 - US$9,920 per person

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Hartebeest Self-drive Safari

16 days • 8 locations

This self-drive safari focuses on the best cultural experiences in Namibia. Visit a Himba village and enjoy three days living with the San Bushmen interspersed with some excellent wildlife watching.

US$3,530 - US$4,320 per person

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Rock Hare Self-drive Safari

20 days • 12 locations

An in-depth look at Namibia from the Namib Desert to the Caprivi, with additional stops in Botswana and Victoria Falls. This three-week adventure includes an unrivalled mix of environments and is great value.

US$5,230 - US$7,440 per person

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Caracal Self-drive Safari

14 days • 8 locations

The quintessential Namibian self-drive adventure exploring the highlights from Sossusvlei and the Namib Desert to Damaraland’s wilderness and a safari in Etosha. A great mix of accommodation and excellent value.

US$2,700 - US$4,130 per person

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Dune Lark Fly & Drive Safari

14 days • 8 locations

A combination fly-in self-drive exploration of Namibia, with quick, easy and scenic flights in and out of Sossusvlei before a classic road trip adventure of the country’s rugged north.

US$4,710 - US$5,770 per person

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Brown Hyena Self-drive

14 days • 8 locations

The perfect trip for those who want to mix the adventure and freedom of a self-drive with some of our favourite luxury camps in Namibia and a great mix of activities.

US$7,850 - US$9,900 per person

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Quiver Tree Self-drive Safari

14 days • 7 locations

An offbeat Namibian self-drive adventure exploring the epic Fish River Canyon and fascinating Kolmanskop ghost town in the south, before turning north via the classic highlights of Sossusvlei, Swakopmund and Damaraland.

US$2,380 - US$3,280 per person

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Black Wildebeest Self-drive Safari

19 days • 10 locations

Journey from South Africa’s cosmopolitan Cape Town to central Namibia’s Okonjima Nature Reserve during this self-driven safari. The route passes through a stunning variety of landscapes, offering access to this beautiful continent’s rich diversity.

US$3,310 - US$3,800 per person

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Cape Fox Guided Safari

13 days • 7 locations

A classic clockwise circuit around Namibia’s northern highlights with a private guide and vehicle. We can’t think of a better way to see more in this timeframe.

US$8,400 - US$10,710 per person

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Black-faced Impala Guided Safari

13 days • 6 locations

A unique mix of luxury and adventure in our original, and perhaps most varied, destination on a privately guided Namibian overland safari. Perfect for families, friends or couples travelling together.

US$9,780 - US$12,880 per person

Inspire me

Need inspiration?

Let our trip chooser narrow down the options for you

Inspire me

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