What to know before you leave…
Namibia is GMT+2.
No visas are required for visitors from Australia, New Zealand, France, Germany, the UK, Ireland, Canada or the USA. Travellers receive entry for an initial 90 days (free). It is imperative that there be at least two blank pages in the passport for the visa stamp and that your passport is valid 6 months after you leave Namibian territory.
Useful contacts In France
Embassy of Namibia: 80 avenue Foch, 75016 Paris.
Tel: 01-44-17-32-65. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Open Monday to Friday from 9am to 13pm and from 2pm to 5pm.
Honorary Consulate of Namibia: 11 rue du 17-Novembre, 68100 Mulhouse.
Tel: 03-89-40-58-14. Email: email@example.com.
Embassy of Namibia (providing consular functions):
Avenue de Tervuren, 454, 1150 Woluwe-Saint-Pierre (Brussels).
Tel: 02-771-14-10. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Open Monday to Friday from 9am to 13pm for submission of visa applications, and from 2pm to 4pm for withdrawals. Closed on Belgian and Namibian public holidays.
The vaccine against yellow fever is not required to enter Namibia.
It is recommended to follow an anti-malarial treatment if you are visiting the area north or north east of Etosha.We advise you to consult your doctor or an approved centre who will indicate the most appropriate prophylaxis to take. This is a zone 3. We also recommend that you bring mosquito repellent ointment and/or sprays (Malaria is transmitted by mosquito bite).
Your vaccinations against diphtheria, polio and tetanus should be kept updated.
We encourage you to get inoculated against yellow fever, typhoid and hepatitis A and B. This recommendation applies to all destinations worldwide.
Tap water is generally safe throughout the country. Bottled mineral water can be purchased almost anywhere. Food purchased in shops and restaurants can generally be consumed without fear of contamination.
Namibia uses the Namibian Dollar (N$) which comes in notes of N$10, N$20, N$50, N$100 and N$200, and coins in values of 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents, and N$1 and N$5. The N$ is linked on a one to one exchange with the South African Rand. The Rand is legal tender in Namibia. But the N$ cannot be used in South Africa. N$ can also be changed to Rand without commission in Namibia, but the same transaction in South Africa will attract a fairly hefty commission (about 25%).
If you are wishing to purchase currency before arriving in Namibia it is easiest to buy Rand as the Namibian Dollar is seldom available in banks outside of Namibia.To summarize visit Namibia with Rand in your pocket, and make sure you exchange any N$ you have back to Rand before you leave the country.
Credit cards are accepted at most supermarkets, restaurants and accommodation establishments in urban Namibia (Visa and Mastercard are most commonly accepted) but outlets in rural areas are more likely to only accept cash payment.
Credit cards can NOT be used to buy petrol.
Banks can exchange travellers cheques into N$ but this will attract commission, only a few establishments accept travellers cheque, so it’s best to cash some travellers cheques whenever you find a bank. Larger Namibian Hotels will exchange money, but rates are generally not favourable.
Banks are open from 9am-3.30pm on weekdays and from 9am-11am on Saturdays.
You will find ATM’s only in the main towns
Stamps can be bought either at the same time as postcards or at the post office. Mail posted Windhoek or Swakopmund takes between 10 and 20 days to reach Europe or America.
Cost of living
- Guided 4×4 safari (morning or afternoon), 500 N$ per person
- Guided 4×4 night safari, 600 N$ per person
- Guided excursion to Ai Ais Hot Springs, N$400 per person
- Entrance fee for Etosha National Park, Namib Naukluft Park, Waterberg Plateau Park, Ai Ais & Hobas, Fish River Canyon, Sesriem & Sossusvlei, Skeleton Coast Park : 80 N$ per person / per day + 10 N$ per vehicle
- Entrance fee for Cape Cross, Welwitschia Mirabilis : 40N$ per person / per day + 10 N$ per vehicle
- Price per litre of petrol: approximately 14 rand (1 euro)
- Average price of a meal in a restaurant: N$ 150 for dinner and N$70 for lunch
- Average price for a bottle of wine in a restaurant: N$ 80 to N$200
- There are street venders no small huts, or peddler to eat cheap. Outside of the towns you won’t find anything where you can stop for refreshments and snacks or refuel so plan your trip carefully and take picnics with you if travelling long distances.
Tips are not mandatory but are of course much appreciated when justified. The amount varies depending on the quality of the guides’ and staffs’ service but generally between 10% and 15% of the bill.
In a restaurant / bar – between 10% and 15% of the bill
In a spa / hairdresser – between 10% and 15% of the bill
Guide / chauffeur – for a full day excursion N$ 50 per person and per participant
Porters – N$ 5 per piece of luggage
Car guards, window cleaners, petrol attendants – N$ 5 to N$ 10
On Safari (depending on the level of accommodation):
Your guide (Ranger) – Approximately N$100 per person per day
Your tracker – Approximately N$ 50 per person per day
Lodge staff – Approximately N$ 50 per person per day
English is the official language, although this has only been the case since independence in 1990. Prior to independence English & Afrikaans both held ‘official language’ status, although in reality the majority of communication on an official basis was conducted in Afrikaans. German is still very present