Welcome to Namibia!
Climb the highest sand dunes in the world and descend to the floor of the deepest canyon in Africa. Immerse yourself in the past at one of Africa’s richest rock art sites, and watch wildlife shimmer against one of the most spectacular pans on earth. Explore the oldest and driest desert in the world and take time to listen to the silence and to your soul.
Namibia is home to vibrant cities where people are excited about the future, while remaining deeply connected to their rich, cultural past. A stable, democratic government, infrastructure that allows guests to move confidently off the beaten path and endless horizons that beckon you to explore, define this country and its people.
This is Namibia, where you are sure to find adventure, and you may just find yourself.
USEFUL TRAVEL INFO
Best time to visit
Namibia’s climate is generally hot and dry. Rainfall occurs exclusively in the summer months, between November and February, when some humidity and heavy thunderstorms can be expected. The best time to visit is during the winter months from March to October: April and May are green and fresh months in Namibia; June and August are the best for game viewing as animals tend to congregate around waterholes, making them easy to spot; September and October are also fantastic for game viewing, but it can be very dry and dusty.
Current is 220 volts, 50Hz. Round three-pin plugs are standard.
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), equal in its value to the South African Rand, which is also accepted as legal currency. Major credit cards are accepted. Foreign currency can be exchanged at any bank or bureau de change. ATMs are available in larger towns only.
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.
Health & Safety
Typhoid, Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B vaccinations are recommended for travel to Namibia. Safety regulations in Namibia require all visitors to have a Yellow Fever certificate if arriving from an infected area. There is a Malaria risk in the northern region of Namibia during the rainy season (January to April). Cholera outbreaks do occur and visitors should drink only boiled/bottled water and avoid ice in drinks.
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 no major incidents of violence against foreigners have been reported. Travellers should always carry identification.
Visa & Passports
No visas are required, for touristic or business-related stays of up to 3 months for USA, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland and South African Nationals.
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. All travellers must have a passport that is valid for at least 6 months beyond the period of intended stay in Namibia.
Airports in Namibia
- Hosea Kutako International Airport (WDH)
The airport is situated 45 km (28 miles) east of Windhoek.
- Eros Airport (ERS)
Located 5 km (3.1 miles) from Windhoek’s city centre.
- Walvis Bay Airport (WVB)
The airport is located 15 km (9 miles) east of Walvis Bay.
- Ondangwa (OND)
Serving Ondangwa, a town in the Oshana Region of Namibia and situated about 5 km (3.1 miles) northwest of the centre of Ondangwa.
- Oranjemund (OMD)
Serviced by Air Namibia, the airport is a 10 minute drive from the centre of town.
- Lüderitz (LUD)
Situated among the dunes and close to the ghost town of Kolmanskop, a prominent tourist destination.
- Rundu (NDU)
Serving the capital of the Kavango Region in Namibia. The airport is 6 km (3.7 miles) southwest of the center of Rundu.
- Keetmanshoop (KMP)
Serving Keetmanshoop, a city in the Karas Region of Namibia. The airport is located about 5 km (3.1 miles) northwest of the town.
TOP REASONS TO VISIT
Adventure & Activities
Land, air and water-based adventures include quad biking, 4×4 trails, hiking, birding, skydiving, kayaking, windsurfing and kite boarding along the coast.
Getting introduced to indigenous people whose cultures are unrecognizable to most of the world, eating mushrooms as they emerge from termite mounds, being mesmerized by ancient rock art work at Twyfelfontein, Namibia’s only World Heritage Site, and taking time to listen to the silence are amongst the adventures of the mind, body and soul awaiting you in Namibia.
Namibians like to display their craftsmanship in the form of baskets, wood carvings, embroidered materials, sculptures and paintings. You will find many along your way of travels to take home as a reminder of a holiday of a lifetime.
Wildlife & Safaris
Namibia provides the visitor the opportunity to escape stress, experience peace and freedom, sit and admire the breathtaking landscapes and reflect. From game-packed parks to the silence and spectacle of the desert, this incredible country, its landscapes, people and wildlife are waiting.
Namibia offers an endless variety of safari options. Experience the haunting silence of the Kalahari Desert and spot one of 430 bird species in the Caprivi Strip, search for Elephants in Damaraland and have a chance to see Africa’s Big 5 and numerous endemic species against the backdrop of the country’s unique landscape. Namibia is the last place on earth where Black Rhino roam free across communal land, and is one of two countries in the world that are home to desert-dwelling Elephants. The country holds the largest free-roaming population of cheetahs in the world as well as animals such as Gemsbok (Oryx), Springbok, Bat Eared Fox, Ostrich and Black Backed Jackal can all be seen on a regular basis making a Namibia safari different than any other wildlife country in Africa.
A wide variety of safaris can be organised, ranging from self-drives, fly-ins, guided overland tours, camel safaris, horseback riding safaris, walking safaris, and privately guided safaris, just to name a few.
Community Based Tourism
Namibia is the first country in the world to incorporate environmental protection into its Constitution. From this commitment, many Community Based Tourism options have sprung forth, each providing real monetary and social benefits to the local communities who provide them, and ultimately a more authentic Namibian experience to the visitor. Discover local habitats and wildlife or celebrate traditional cultures, rituals and wisdom. Your tourism contribution will have a real, sustainable impact on environmental and wildlife conservation.
A Photographer’s Paradise
Namibia holds many visual treasures for the photographer, with spellbinding scenic locations and an abundance of wildlife. A destination not to be missed!
Namibia has some of the world’s most spectacular desert ecosystems and contains a wide range of landscapes, wildlife and people. Its magical beauty and virgin landscapes make it one arid, expansive paradise. Between the hospitable Namib Desert lining the Atlantic coast and the escarpment of the interior plateau hides a panorama of richly coloured sand dunes, vast plains, savannahs teeming with African game and rugged brown mountains.
Namibia is home to 11 Ethnic Groups of evident diversity. These are namely: Herero, Damara, Nama, Coloured, Baster, Owambo, Ovahimba, Kavango, Caprivian, San and White Namibians. Each of the varied cultural groups have their unique traditional traits that contribute to the richness of the Namibia’s cultural heritage and unity. People like the San (or Bushmen) in the east and the Himba in the north, keep to their age-old nomadic lifestyles. Among the San, men still hunt with bows and poison arrows, while women forage for edible plants, roots, wild fruits and berries across the Kalahari. Himba men herd cattle and goats across the dry Kaokoveld region. In clothing and decoration, the Himba are very distinctive, where they often wear animal pelts and the women adorn their hair and bodies with an ochre powder.
Khoekhoe is one of the Khoisan languages, characterised by their clicking sounds, spoken by around a quarter of a million Namibians.
A Year-Round Destination
Namibia boasts an impressive 300 days of sunshine each year. This makes it a great destination at any time of year with reliable game viewing regardless of the season.
Whether you’re doing a self-drive holiday or a pre-packaged tour, Namibia is a fun destination for families thanks to the wealth of experiences and outdoor activities available. Here you can go in search of Elephants in the national parks, somersault down the side of a sand dune, gaze at the constellation-strewn night sky and kayak beside Pelicans, Seals and Dolphins. There’s something for everyone and of all ages, especially active teenagers.
Top Adventure Activities
WHERE TO GO
The small, Germanic capital of the country, is an attractive city situated in the Central Highlands and surrounded by hills and mountains, occupying the geographical and economic heart of Namibia. Windhoek makes a great place to begin a journey through Namibia or rest at journey’s end. The accommodation choices, food variety, cultural sights, shopping and African urban buzz give it an edge not found anywhere else in Namibia.
Most of eastern and southern Namibia is covered by the Kalahari Desert, which stretches over 7 different countries in Southern Africa.
It cannot be classified as a true desert due to the amount of rain it receives. It has also been called a fossil desert and truly one of the world’s most fascinating landscapes.
The Kalahari Desert has been home to the San people known as the Bushmen of the Kalahari Desert for over hundreds of years. They live in and around the desert and are still traditional in their lifestyle.
The Namib Desert is the oldest and most arid desert region in the world, having been around for more than 80 million years and one of the top travel destinations in Namibia.
The desert boasts the dauntingly desolate landscapes of the Skeleton Coast, some of the biggest sand dunes in the world, some unique wildlife, and various natural attractions.
Fish River Canyon
Africa’s largest canyon, and one of the largest in the world, the Fish River Canyon is in southern Namibia in the eastern Namib Desert.
The main attraction is the 85 km (53 mile), 5-day hiking trail and can only be undertaken during the winter months, and requires a high level of fitness and good health. There are no facilities, so hikers must carry all they need. The canyon comes to an end at Ais-Ais where one of the most famous hot spring resorts in the country is located, and hikers can look forward to a relaxing soak in the therapeutic hot water after completing the trail.
A coastal town known for its German colonial buildings, including the art nouveau Goerke Haus, built into the rock face on Diamond Hill. Apart from its architecture the town also boasts various other must-see attractions and activities, from the ghost town of Kohlmanskop and dolphin cruises, to the growing waterfront next to the port. The Lüderitz Museum has displays about the town’s diamond-mining past as well as local and natural history. A number of restaurants and cafés provide hearty meals of local and German cuisine and is especially known for its Rock Lobster and Oysters.
The rocky coastline of the Lüderitz Peninsula harbours Flamingo flocks and Penguin colonies, while the adjacent Sperrgebiet National Park is arguably the country’s wildest and most pristine landscape. A photographer’s dream!
Kolmanskop – A Ghost Town
It was in 1908 when the first diamond was found here. This caused a diamond rush and sparked life in the little town. Today it lies at the mercy of the Namib Desert, threatening to engulf the grand old buildings. Town tours can be pre-booked to visit.
An intensely mysterious, inhospitable area with treacherous rocks and sand banks, dry gravel plains and isolated, flat-topped mountains. The entire coastline of the Namib Desert is known as the Skeleton Coast, named for the hulls of wrecked ships found washed up along the shore. Many wrecks have been destroyed by the sun, sea and wind but a few are still visible which makes for good photographic opportunities.
The National Park has some interesting attractions, including the Agate Mountain Salt Pans, the clay castles of the Hoarasib, and the large Cape Fur Seal colony at Cape Fria. Skeleton Bay is known to be a great surfing destination and the inland riverbeds are home to a variety of wildlife, including Giraffe, Lion, Baboon, Rhinoceros, Springbok and Elephant.
Possibly Namibia’s most spectacular and best known attraction, characterized by the large red dunes that surround it and its large, white, salt and clay pan. Several attractions can be found around Sossusvlei including Sesriem Canyon, Dune 45, Hiddenvlei, Big Daddy and Deadvlei. The interesting landscape makes this area one of the most photographed in the world. For those travelling to Sesriem by road, the little settlement of Solitaire is not to be missed as Big-Moose, the local baker, makes delicious world-famous Apple Strudel!
Accommodation around Sossusvlei ranges from camping through self-catering and mid-range lodges to luxury lodges.
This pleasant port city offers tourists a variety of urban entertainment options that complement its many natural attractions such as a natural harbour and a Flamingo filled lagoon. Walvis Bay appeals to sports enthusiasts interested in kayaking, fishing, and kitesurfing as well as dune boarding and golfing in the desert.
Nestled on Namibia’s Atlantic coast and surrounded by sand dunes, this resort town enchants visitors with its distinct German colonial architecture and pleasant climate. Known as Namibia’s adventure sports capital, everything from sandboarding and quad biking on the desert dunes, to surfing, golfing, and helicopter rides, Camel safaris and nature walks are available. You’ll find plenty of lodgings, restaurants, and lively entertainment spots in the town.
Spitzkoppe is a group of bald granite peaks or bornhardts, millions of years old, located between Usakos and Swakopmund in the Namib Desert. If you are a climber, a geologist, a rock hound, or a star gazer, Spitzkoppe is an Eden. Many examples of Bushmen artwork can be seen painted on the rocks in the Spitzkoppe area. The Spitzkoppe Mountains were also the filming location for 2001, A Space Odyssey in the “Dawn of Man” sequences.
THE KUNENE REGION
Located in the far northwest, is one of the most pristine regions in Namibia. Also known as Damaraland and Kaokoveld, the almost inaccessible terrain, south of the Kunene River and north of Sesfontein, can only be travelled in fully equipped expedition vehicles and, if possible, in the company of an experienced guide. There are hardly any signposts on the rough tracks which are often rocky, deep or soft sand. Accommodation is not available en route with only a few campsites. Many travellers just sleep out in the wilderness.
The Kaokoveld is home to about 15 000 semi-nomadic Himba people, who have largely kept their ethnic individuality and culture in the seclusion of Kaokoland. The friendly people breed cattle and goats and their clothes, hair style and ornaments have a special meaning and are part of their tradition and culture.
Twyfelfontein, which translates to uncertain springs, is a place where you will find ancient rock engravings in abundance. The place has been a home to stone-age hunters and gatherers for over 6 000 years.
The White Lady
The White Lady is only one of the famous pre-historic paintings found in abundance in Damaraland. If you want to relive thousands of years old version of Earth, Damaraland will not disappoint you.
An astonishing finger like structure made of limestone and stands a staggering 35 m from its base.
Is one of the most mesmerizing places of Damaraland. Its name comes from the effect of a setting sun, which endows the dying rays of sunlight upon granite massif causing it to seem alight with a captivating red glow. Anyone who wishes to visit Damaraland, cannot miss this beautiful sight since it is one that leaves you spellbound.
As the name suggests, is an enthralling dive down the historic times. The forest is basically a collection of many tree trunks which are over 200 million years old. They are large and well preserved and are said to have been washed off down a river during ancient times, somewhere around the time the Ice Age ended.
ETOSHA NATIONAL PARK
A vast area of shimmering mirages and saline desert, savannah and scrubby woodlands, situated 435 km (270 miles) north of Windhoek. Its unique landscape is characterised by an immense, flat white salt pan, a shallow depression that is dry for the greater part of the year, but fed by moisture from perennial springs on the fringes. The pan covers about 25 percent of the park.
The temporary water supply attracts thousands of water birds, including flocks of pink Flamingos, during the rainy season, but the best time for viewing animals in Etosha is the cool dry season, between May and September.
Etosha has a network of roads linking its three rest camps. Visitors can expect to see many species of Antelope, Wildebeest, Zebra, Lion, Leopard, Cheetah, Giraffe, and some of Africa’s tallest Elephants. Several of the animal species are endangered, including the Black Rhino.
Bordering Angola, Botswana and Zambia, the Caprivi region is a mosaic of woodlands, forests, swamps and rivers and home to an abundance of game and birds. It consists of a 450 km (280 mile) strip of land from Rundu to Katima Mulilo in Zambia and Chobe on the Botswana border. The wildlife is protected by several reserves: Mamili, Bwabwata, Lizauli and Mudumu. There are no fences, therefore the animals roam freely across the borders of Namibia’s neighbouring countries, Botswana and Zambia.
Travelling through the Caprivi, you will come across many villages where children herd Goats, women sell fruits, carvings, pots and pans from makeshift stalls and everywhere you will be warmly welcomed.
AFRICAN OUTPOSTS PACKAGES
3 Days Sossusvlei Desert Adventure
2 Nights from R7 500 pps
Experience the astonishing contrasts of the Namib. Visit top desert attractions and enjoy sightings of the unique desert-adapted animals that roam the dry valleys and dunes.
4 Days Etosha Safari
3 Nights from R13 600 pps
Experience Etosha National Park, evocative and exciting! This unspoilt park with its striking seasonal salt pan and wide variety of wildlife offers one of Africa’s greatest safari experiences.
7 Days Northern Odyssey
6 Nights from R29 800 pps
Venture into Namibia’s wild heartland. Travel north from the desert coast to the rugged Damaraland, then explore the world-famous Etosha National Park with its abundance of animal and bird life.