Namibia - Abbey Travel, Ireland

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Welcome to Namibia


Since Namibia has one of the most uninviting and desolate coastlines in the world, it was neglected by European explorers like the Portuguese, who limited their activities to setting up navigational crosses along the desert shoreline. Today visitors have discovered the vast potential of a country rich in natural resources, with desert landscapes, sunshine, wildlife and a rugged, barren beauty.

It was only later, during the last half of the 19th century, that the race for colonies among the world powers began, and so ensued the German control that became Namibia's colonial reign of terror. The indigenous tribes tried vigorously to retain their independence, and in 1904 a major uprising by the Herero and Nama people resulted in massive genocide retaliation by the colonialists, with an estimated 60 percent of the native population in the south being wiped out. Today the population consists of 11 main ethnic groups, and the towns still reflect the influence of German colonisation evident in the architecture, food and language, particularly in the capital city of Windhoek.

Namibia has a diversity of natural habitats: the rugged coastline and haunting beauty of the Skeleton Coast, the endless stretch of undulating ochre-coloured sand dunes at Sossusvlei, the impressive gorge of the Fish River Canyon winding through the arid landscape of the great plateau, and the vast salt pan of Etosha National Park, one of the world's greatest wildlife viewing venues. These are the attractions that draw travellers to one of Africa's more intriguing destinations, the unspoilt wilderness of Namibia.

With a total population of just over two million, a holiday in Namibia is the opportunity of a lifetime to experience the beauty of a pristine natural environment teeming with wildlife.

Information & Facts


Business in Namibia is conducted somewhat formally, although drinking and socialising are an important part of building good working relationships. Standard business etiquette applies; dress tends to be formal with more lightweight materials worn in the hotter seasons, punctuality is important, shake hands on greeting and leaving and in general be polite and professional. English is the language of business, though German and Afrikaans are widely spoken. Business hours are usually 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday.


Rainfall occurs exclusively in the summer months, between November and February, when heavy thunderstorms can be expected. Summer is very hot and the Namib Desert should be avoided at this time as temperatures are often above 104ºF (40ºC). The coast is cooler and often foggy. The best time to visit is during the winter months from March to October (April and June are preferable) as days are warm and dry, and wildlife easier to spot as they tend to congregate at waterholes. Nights can be very cold with frost.


The international access code for Namibia is +264. The outgoing code is 00 followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 0027 for South Africa). City/area codes are in use, e.g. (0)61 for Windhoek. Most towns are covered by a GSM 900/1800 mobile network. Internet access is available from some hotels and Internet cafes are available in Windhoek and Walvis Bay.


It is best to check before taking pictures of State House or properties where the President is residing, as well as any buildings guarded by the army or police.

Duty Free

Travellers to Namibia over 16 years do not have to pay duty on 400 cigarettes, 50 cigars and 250g of tobacco; 2 litres wine and 1 litre spirits or liquor; 50ml perfume and 250ml of eau de toilette; and gifts to the value of N$50,000.

Electrical current is 220 volts, 50Hz. Round three-pin plugs are standard.

Safety regulations in Namibia require all visitors to have a yellow fever certificate if arriving from an infected area. Travellers should ensure their polio vaccinations are up to date. There is a malaria risk in the northern region during the rainy season (January to April). HIV/AIDS is prevalent and precautions are essential. Cholera outbreaks do occur and visitors should drink or use only boiled or bottled water, and avoid ice in drinks. There has been an increase in the incidence of rabies among dogs in Windhoek. There are good medical facilities in Windhoek, but medical insurance is essential as treatment is expensive. Travellers to Namibia should take medical advice at least four weeks prior to departure.

English is the official language, but many people also speak Afrikaans and German. There are also several indigenous languages spoken, mainly in the rural areas.

The official currency is the Namibian Dollar (NAD) divided into 100 cents. Its value is equal to the South African Rand, which is also accepted as legal currency in Namibia. Major credit cards are accepted. Travellers cheques and foreign currency can be exchanged at any bank or bureau de change, though cash is more expensive to exchange than travellers cheques. ATMs are available in larger towns only.

Passport Visa

All foreign passengers to Namibia must have confirmed return/onward tickets, and the necessary travel documentation for their next destination. Additionally, visitors should ensure that they have at least two blank pages remaining in their passports, for entry and departure endorsements from the Namibian Immigration Service. Note that a yellow fever vaccination certificate is required to enter Namibia, if arriving within six days of leaving or transiting through an infected area. NOTE: It is highly recommended that your passport has at least six months validity remaining after your intended date of departure from your travel destination. Immigration officials often apply different rules to those stated by travel agents and official sources.


The majority of visits to Namibia are safe and trouble-free, but beware of street crime and pick-pockets in the town centres. Theft from vehicles, especially from service stations, is common and valuables should be kept out of sight and the car locked. Avoid using taxis if possible and never take one alone. Care should be taken when travelling in the Caprivi Strip; travel in daylight hours only (livestock wandering onto roads at night cause many accidents), and stay on the main tarred highway as there is a risk of landmines remaining from the Angolan civil war. Namibia is considered at very low risk of terrorism, and there have been no major incidents reported of violence against foreigners.


Tips of 10% are expected where a service charge has not been included in the bill. Tour guides, game rangers and trackers rely on tips for their income and should be tipped accordingly.

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