Travel info

General information about Namibia

The Republic of Namibia is situated in Southern Africa with an area over 825.000 Sq Km divided into 14 regions and borders with South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Angola and a coast line to the Atlantic Ocean of 1570 Km.

The population is  2.2 million from which 320.000 reside in the capital and largest city, Windhoek.

There are many tourist attractions in Namibia, the most important are Etosha National Park, Skeleton Coast, Sossusvlei, Fish River Canyon, Kalahari and Caprivi Strip.

Time

UTC/GMT + 2 hours – All year

Currency

The Namibia currency is the Namibian Dollar although the South African Rand can also be used in any transaction with 1 to 1 value on exchange rate. No other currency is accepted in Namibia. The Namibian Dollar can be obtained at authorized bureaus of exchange and local banks.

Credit and debit cards are accepted at major establishments, outside town  networks issue can happen. Some business, like service stations, charge a fee for card use, so please ensure that you have enough cash for your daily expenses to avoid disappointment. ATM machines are available at all towns of Namibia.

The Namibian Dollar has no exchange value outside the borders of the Republic of Namibia, please exchange any cash that you have left before you leave the country.

Safety

Namibia is a country with a very small crime rate but there are necessary precautions to take to avoid the “opportunity”:

  1. ATM machines, please check if there are no attached items to the machine, do not accept help from strangers;
  2. When paying with card do not allow the card to get out of your sight;
  3. When walking, place your hand bag in front of you and do not allow strangers to walk side by side with you, pick-pockets are often in big cities;
  4. Avoid walking after sunset;
  5. Use radio-taxi (with stickers and company name on the front doors) instead of municipal taxis (with numbers on the doors);
  6. Do not leave valuables in the vehicles;
  7. Lock your valuables at your hotel room’s safe, in case is not available ask the reception to keep your valuables and get a receipt of the goods/cash delivered;
  8. Lock the doors of your vehicle while driving in Windhoek;
  9. While driving, do not entertain strangers alerts for your vehicle, it can be a trap for you to stop and be robbed.

Other safety measures:

  1. Always have enough drinking water for the entire day;
  2. Do not drink water if you are not sure if it is proper for human consumption;
  3. Save water, Namibia is a dry country
  4. When walking in the desert be aware of snakes and scorpions, use trousers and place the socks over it;
  5. If you get bitten by a snake look for immediate assistance, try to get as much elements as possible to describe the snake, the antidote is available at most National Parks and it is important to apply the correct one;
  6. If you hit an animal on the road call for assistance or leave the animal, it is not allowed to transport wild animals without a valid permit;

Please read the page “Travel Info” for safety tips on driving in Namibia

Safety on the road

Namibia offers one of the most beautiful landscapes in the World, respect the rules on the road and leave with unforgettable memories of a great journey!

Basic Safety tips

  • Plan your trip a day in advance, consider kilometers, road condition and weather
  • Do not drive after sunset or before sunrise, please be aware of the Namibian time
  • Check your tire pressure and condition before you start your journey
  • Ensure the fuel is more than enough until the next service station
  • Wear seat-belts at all time
  • Respect the speed limits marked on the roads and all the road signs
  • Do not overtake on blind spots
  • Be aware of animals, even on the side of the road, they can cross at any time
  • Drink water while driving, dehydration affects the driving senses
  • Make a break every 2 hours to avoid tiredness
  • Stop only at authorized parking areas

Gravel roads

  • DO NOT DRIVE OVER 80 KM/H this is the maximum speed recommended in optimized driving conditions
  • Be soft with the steering wheel, the wrong movement can drive you out of the road
  • Avoid the brakes, slow down the vehicle releasing the foot from the accelerator or changing to a lower gear
  • Slow down before a curve, do not break on the curves, this will enable you suspension to remain balanced and drive you smoothly
  • Do not drive behind another vehicle, stones can be thrown to your windscreen making you lose the control of the vehicle and the dust will shorten dangerously your visibility
  • Chose a comfortable driving line to avoid unnecessary vibrations and far enough from the left end of the road, normally with a fair inclination that can push your vehicle out of the road
  • Don’t cross rivers with water level above the middle of your wheel, the current can push your vehicle into the river

National parks

  • Respect the speed limit, 40Km/h or 60Km/h, depending the areas
  • Drive only through authorized roads, don’t use service tracks and do not create your own track, this can cause you a fine from the authorities, you may see your vehicle stuck in quick sand or you can damage the landscape for thousands of years
  • In wildlife National Parks do never step out of your vehicle (1 second can be fatal), keep windows at least half way closed and keep a safe distance from big mammals like elephants, rhinos and buffaloes
  • In case of mechanical breakage or a flat tire at wildlife National Parks, Please call the park management

Gravel roads

  • DO NOT DRIVE OVER 80 KM/H this is the maximum speed recommended in optimized driving conditions
  • Be soft with the steering wheel, the wrong movement can drive you out of the road
  • Avoid the brakes, slow down the vehicle releasing the foot from the accelerator or changing to a lower gear
  • Slow down before a curve, do not break on the curves, this will enable you suspension to remain balanced and drive you smoothly
  • Do not drive behind another vehicle, stones can be thrown to your windscreen making you lose the control of the vehicle and the dust will shorten dangerously your visibility
  • Chose a comfortable driving line to avoid unnecessary vibrations and far enough from the left end of the road, normally with a fair inclination that can push your vehicle out of the road
  • Don’t cross rivers with water level above the middle of your wheel, the current can push your vehicle into the river
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