FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT NAMIBIA
This information is intended as a guideline only. It is accurate to the best of our knowledge. Please note that we are providing links to external websites as guidelines for more information only. Karell Africa is not responsible for the content thereof.
WHAT ARE THE VISA REQUIREMENTS FOR NAMIBIA?
Passports are required by all foreign visitors to NAMIBIA and must be valid for at least 6 months after the intended length of your trip. Visitors to NAMIBIA who also intend visiting South Africa should be advised that It is essential to have at least two blank, consecutive visa pages for each time entry to South Africa is sought. This excludes Amendment and Endorsement pages.Otherwise, the traveler, even when in possession of a valid South African visa, may be refused entry into South Africa, fined, and returned to their point of origin at the traveler’s expense.
Visas may be required for NAMIBIA depending on the nationality of your passport. It is is your responsibility to check the entry visa requirements with the individual embassy of each country you intend visiting prior to departure.
If you are a parent / guardian traveling with a minor (aged 18 or younger), you must be in possession of a certified letter of consent from the non-accompanying parent or guardian.
VISA STAMPS IN PASSPORTS UPON ARRIVAL IN EACH COUNTRY:
PLEASE CHECK THE DATES THAT THE OFFICIALS STAMP IN TO YOUR PASSPORTS TO MAKE SURE THE ALLOTTED TIME FOR YOUR STAY IS CORRECT BEFORE YOU WALK AWAY FROM THE COUNTER.
ON OCCASION PEOPLE HAVE BEEN GIVEN INCORRECT INCREMENTS OF TIME TO STAY IN THE COUNTRY CONCERNED CREATING A LOT OF UNNECESSARY AGGRAVATION AND INCONVENIENCE.
We also suggest that before you depart on any international trip that you take a photo of the information page of your passport as well as any visas on your cell phone and share with a family member or friend via text or email in case you lose your passport!
WHAT IS THE WEATHER/CLIMATE LIKE IN NAMIBIA IN WINTER AND IN SUMMER?
The seasons in southern Africa are reversed from those in the US.
NAMIBIA’s climate is typically semi-desert with hot days and cool nights. The cold Benguela Current keeps the coast cool and free of rain most of the year. In fact, NAMIBIA averages about 300 days of sunshine annually. The rainy season lasts from October to April, while the rest of the year is dry and cloudless.
JANUARY – MARCH
Peak of Summer & Rainy Months – Hot days with afternoon cloud build up and possible showers (generally short-lived) Wildlife can disperse during this time in search of new grazing. Northern NAMIBIA and the Caprivi usually receive most of NAMIBIA’s annual rainfall.
APRIL – MAY
Morning temperatures start to drop and the evenings become cooler. Rainfall is limited and wildlife start to congregate more at perennial water sources.
JUNE – AUGUST
The early part of June sees very cold mornings and evenings, occasionally even dropping below zero, continuing through the end of winter in August. Days are typically sunny and pleasant. Warm clothing is recommended for the evenings and early mornings. Game viewing can be excellent in the dry winter months in some areas.
Spring starts in September. Days are much warmer with occasional cool evenings and mornings. From October we experience very warm sunny days with warm evenings. Sporadic rain does occur, though larger showers are usually limited to around December. Wildlife sightings vary depending how early the rains have started.
December is the hottest months of the year, averaging 95°F to 105°F in the shade. Cooler temperatures occur along the coastline thanks to the ocean breeze, with low rainfall and fog prevailing from late until mid-morning.
Make no mistake, in the winter months the evenings and early mornings can be bitterly cold. If you are on safari during this time, you will need to take very warm clothing especially for early morning game drives.
For more information please visit : WEATHER.COM
WHAT IS THE CURRENCY OF NAMIBIA?
The currency in NAMIBIA is the Namibian Dol
lar (NAD), which is the equivalent value of the South African Rand (ZAR).
1.00 USD = 15.5722 NAD (As of Jan 1st 2022)
The Namibian Dollar and South African Rand are the only legal tender in NAMIBIA and can be used freely to purchase goods and services.
Credit Cards :
Visa and Mastercard are widely accepted throughout NAMIBIA
American Express and Diners Club – not so much!
Credit cards are not accepted at fuel filling stations.
Most safari camps in NAMIBIA also accept US dollars, Euros and British Pounds as payment for curios, drinks, etc.
PLEASE NOTE: The Namibian Dollar is not legal tender in South Africa.
For up to dates rates of exchange click on the following link : WWW.XE.COM
WHAT IF I HAVE DIETARY REQUIREMENTS?
Most dietary requirements (kosher, vegetarian hindu etc) can be organized provided we request them well in advance. This is particularly important if you will be visiting game lodges. You must remember that many of the game lodges you may be visiting are in isolated areas so if you are not very specific in advance you may just go hungry! You cannot just pop out to the nearest restaurant or 7-11 – you are in the African bush.
We need to know about allergies too – gluten -lactose – peanuts etc.
WHAT IS THE LANGUAGE IN NAMIBIA?
The official language of NAMIBIA is English however Afrikaans and German are widely spoken.
WILL I BE ABLE TO DO LAUNDRY DURING MY NAMIBIA TOUR?
Limited laundry service is available at most camps in NAMIBIA due to limited water supplies.
If washing is done, it is done by hand, therefore underwear (bras, panties and men’s underwear) are not included in this service.
This is due to prevailing local traditions in the country.
WHAT ARE THE LUGGAGE RESTRICTIONS FOR A NAMIBIA SAFARI?
RULE OF THUMB – IF YOU WANT TO SEE IT AGAIN DO NOT PACK IT IN YOUR CHECKED BAGS!
Medications, eye glasses, sunglasses, wallets, passports, computers, iPads, cell phones, cameras, binoculars, jewelry etc should be carried with you at all times. And why are you taking that expensive jewelry with you anyway? NOT A GOOD IDEA!
Do not take anything with you that is not replaceable or anything that you would be devastated to lose!
Most airports today do offer plastic wrapping of bags for a small fee. Luggage restrictions vary between airlines / countries and aircraft. Please check with your travel consultant with regard to weight restrictions and quantity / size of bags permitted.
If you will be traveling in vehicles and small aircraft with limited luggage capacity, it is a requirement that you have a SOFT BAG without WHEELS, however, our brand new “wheeled” Karell safari bags which are made exclusively for us are unique as they have wheels but no solid frame which make them ideal for light aircraft transfers to and from camps/lodges.
Ideal travel bag example:
The Karell Duffel bag pictured above has been selected specifically for use on safaris utilizing light aircraft. It measures 26” x 14” x 12”, a perfect size and dimension for this type of travel.
NO HARD SUITCASES WILL BE ALLOWED!
Wilderness Air Weight & Luggage Restrictions for chartered aircraft in Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe and SOUTH AFRICA
- Luggage, including camera equipment and hand luggage, is restricted to 20 kg (44 lb) per person
- Only soft bags will be accepted – no wheels, frames or rigid structures can be transported as they physically cannot fit into the aircraft!
- Maximum dimensions of the soft bags are as follows: 25 cm (10 inches) wide x 30 cm (12 inches) high and 62 cm (24 inches) long.
- If guests weigh more than 100 kg (220 lb), an additional weight allowance on the aircraft must be purchased for safety and comfort. The cost for this is calculated on request according to specific region and routing, and provides for a maximum of 70 kg (154 lb) excess weight and will be at the passenger’s expense.
- If guests need to bring luggage in excess of the stipulated allowance, they have the option of purchasing additional weight allowance allowing for a maximum of 70kg (154lb) with the proviso that the excess bags conform to the maximum dimensions listed above. The additional cost of this varies depending on the flight schedule and routing and will be at the passenger’s expense.
These strict weight restrictions apply to any itinerary which includes light aircraft transfers for the following reasons:
- The aircraft are designed with a maximum bodyweight and luggage weight allowance.
- The aircraft have physical space restrictions. Please refer to the images below for an indication on the cargo hold compartment limitations.
SHOULD I TAKE A CAMERA? SHOULD I TAKE BINOCULARS?
Yes, You are going to a photographer’s paradise wherever you go in Africa so do take plenty of memory cards to record your trip. They will not always be readily available everywhere you go. So to avoid disappointment take a lot with you as well as spare batteries for flashes etc.
Yes, A good pair of strong binoculars is a must on safari, ESPECIALLY IF YOU ARE A KEEN BIRDER OR “TWITCHER”. Trust us, we know.
For everything you need to know about buying cameras and binoculars we invite you to visit : http://www.bhphotovideo.com
Or if you prefer to rent before you go: http://optics4rent.com/index.html
Camera equipment and lenses are so heavy and are included in hand baggage allowances so for your convenience, there are certain game lodges that rent equipment for the period of your stay.
We have provided these websites as guidelines for further information, Karell’s African Dream Vacations is not responsible for the content thereof.
WHAT IS THE ELECTRIC CURRENT IN NAMIBIA?
Namibian electrical appliances run on 220/240v with round 3-pin outlets taking 15 amp plugs. Although adaptors are available at most camps, we highly recommend taking your own.
If you are taking electric hair styling tools in any shape or form flatirons, curling irons, hairdryers etc. or any other electrical appliances, you should make sure they are dual voltage and remember to change the voltage if necessary when you get to NAMIBIA or you can undoubtedly kiss them goodbye!
Due to their remote locations, many camps/game lodges in Namibia generate their own electricity by means of generators. Generators run for about 6-7 hours per day providing power in the rooms/tents for lighting and possibly ceiling fans.
Not all camps provide plug points in the rooms/tents so if you have equipment that requires charging such as camera batteries the camps will often have charging facilities in the main areas.
Sooooooooooo…………….you may as well face it ladies, you will be having some bad hair days as at most camps no hair dryers, flat irons or the likes allowed!!!!! Just go with the flow and enjoy.
WHAT TIME ZONE IS NAMIBIA IN?
Local time in NAMIBIA is GMT +2
Which means it is always 6 or 7 hours ahead of us in the eastern United States depending on the time of the year and daylight savings time.
So, if it is 8PM in WINDHOEK OR SWAKOPMUND then it is 1PM the same day in NEW YORK !
Hope this helps. Probably won’t – you will be more confused than ever and will more than likely call home and get it all mixed up.
The following link may help: WORLDCLOCK.COM
WHAT ARE THE TIPPING AND GRATUITY GUIDELINES FOR A NAMIBIA SAFARI?
TO GIVE OR NOT TO GIVE, THAT IS THE QUESTION! AND IF SO HOW MUCH.
This is one of the questions we are asked most often prior to departure: How much should we tip?
THE FOLLOWING IS A GUIDELINE:
Safari Guide / Game Ranger at Camps & Game Lodges : US$ 10 per guest per day.
Trackers at Camps & Game Lodges : US$ 5 per guest per day.
General Staff at Camps & Game LodgeS : US$ 5 per guest per day.
Porterage : US$ 1 per person per movement.
Restaurants / Hotels : 10% is customary.
DO I NEED ANY VACCINATIONS FOR NAMIBIA? IS NAMIBIA A MALARIA FREE AREA?
There is no formal requirement for any shots for entry into NAMIBIA however, we highly recommend that you do take precautions against MALARIA particularly in the NAMIBIAN summer months.Your physician will be able to assist you with a prescription for prophylaxis for malaria prior to your arrival in the malaria infested area.
Tips on avoiding Malaria:
Take a prescription antimalarial drug.
Use insect repellent liberally and wear long pants and sleeves to prevent mosquito bites.
Sleep in air-conditioned or well-screened rooms or use bednets.
To maximize the benefit of inoculations/immunizations we suggest you see a health-care provider at least 4–6 weeks before your trip to allow time for your vaccines to take effect.
Please consult with your physician for recommendations regarding inoculations/immunizations.
For further information please click on the following link CDC.gov
CAN I DRINK TAP WATER IN NAMIBIA?
Although tap water may be fine in most areas for bathing and brushing teeth, we recommend that you drink bottled water at all times.
WHAT SHOULD I PACK FOR A SAFARI IN NAMBIA?
WHAT TO PACK FOR NAMIBIA SAFARI (OR NOT) – RULE OF THUMB – DON’T PACK TOO MUCH
The other most frequently asked question.
As a general guideline, comfortable casual wash and wear clothes are recommended.
If you are going on safari, the less you take the better as most camps lodges and hotels do offer laundry service if you are staying at least two days.
Muted colors such as stone, khaki, beige or brown are recommended when you are on safari.
Game drives in the early morning and evenings can BE VERY COLD especially in winter so you must pack accordingly.
“BUT WE ARE GOING TO AFRICA- WHY WOULD IT BE COLD?” Trust us, we know!
The key is to dress in layers in the early morning and strip down layer by layer as it gets warmer as the sun rises. Vice versa for evening game drives.
ClothingLight weight shirts/blouses with long sleeves as protection from the sun and mosquitos
Jeans or safari trousers
A light weight water-proof jacket
Comfortable walking shoes/sneakers
Comfortable walking sandals or flip flops for warmer days
A wide brimmed hat with under-chin tie to prevent it from flying away
A WARM WINDPROOF jacket (winter)
A fleece jacket that will go under the warm jacket (winter)
A warm polo neck shirt (winter)
A beanie (winter)
A warm scarf (winter)
Equipment & OtherSunglasses
Spare prescription eye glasses/contact lenses
Cameras and related paraphernalia like lenses etc and plenty of memory cards and spare batteries
A small powerful flashlight and extra batteries
Travel alarm clock
Small purse size umbrella can come in handy
Small lint roller
A light packable backpack or tote to carry equipment and stuff on game vehicles
A supply of Ziploc bags in different sizes may come in handy for dust or water proofing cameras , wet bathing suits etc.
Chargers for cell phones, iPads, cameras, computers and you may want to invest in a mini travel charger surge protector with dual USB ports and five charging outlets.
Personal First Aid KitBand aids
Itch spray for bug bites
Sunscreen with high SPF factor
Purse size kleenex packets
”make you go ” pills “make you not go” pills as well as any prescription medications that you rely on on a daily basis.
WHAT ABOUT NAMIBIA VALUE ADDED TAX (VAT)?
VALUE ADDED TAX (VAT) IN NAMIBIA – YAY! – GET MONEY BACK AT THE END OF YOUR STAY! WHOA – NOT SO FAST – BRACE YOURSELF….THIS CAN BE A LONG LABORIOUS PROCESS!
A VAT rate of 15% is levied on most products and services.
To qualify for a refund, you must be in possession of a valid passport, valid tax invoices, and goods purchased.
Visitors to NAMIBIA may reclaim VAT on their purchases at the Hosea Kutako International Airport, Eros Airport and Walvis Bay Airport.
This can be a lengthy process so make sure you allow enough TIME and PATIENCE to obtain your refund.
It can be so stressful that you may just land up throwing in the towel!