Electricity

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

Language

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.

Money

The official currency is the Namibian Dollar (NAD), which is divided into 100 cents. Its value is equal to the South African Rand, which is accepted as legal currency in Namibia. Major credit cards are accepted, while foreign currency can be exchanged at any bank or bureau de change. ATMs may not be available in remote areas.

Tipping

Tips of 10 percent 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.

Health

Typhoid, hepatitis A, and hepatitis B vaccinations are recommended for travel to Namibia. Safety regulations in Namibia require all visitors who are over the age of nine months to have a yellow fever certificate if they're arriving from a country with a risk of transmission. There is a malaria risk in the northern region of Namibia during the rainy season (January to April).

There has been an increase in the cases of rabies among dogs in Windhoek, so travellers at risk of animal bites should consider a rabies vaccination; everyone five years of age and older should get fully vaccinated for COVID-19 before visiitng. HIV/AIDS is prevalent and precautions are essential, although travellers are seldom at risk unless engaging in unprotected sex. Cholera outbreaks do occur, so visitors should drink only boiled or bottled water, avoiding ice in drinks.

There are good medical facilities in Windhoek, but medical insurance is essential as treatment is expensive. Outside of the main cities, medical treatment may be hard to come by. Travellers to Namibia should seek medical advice at least four weeks prior to departure. For peace of mind, it is best to take prescription medications along when travelling. Medicines should be kept in their original packaging and accompanied by a signed and dated letter from a doctor, detailing why the medication is needed.

Safety

The majority of visits to Namibia are safe and trouble free, but muggers in Windhoek sometimes target foreign tourists. Theft from vehicles does occur, especially at service stations, so valuables should be kept out of sight and cars should be locked. Travellers should avoid using taxis if possible and should never take one alone. It's best to be especially careful when travelling in the Caprivi Strip; drivers should use it during daylight hours only, both for general safety and to avoid livestock, which wander onto roads causing accidents. The terrorism threat in Namibia is very low, with no major incidents of violence against foreigners reported.

Local customs

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. Some sexual relations between men are criminalised in Namibia, although these laws may not always be enforced.

Doing business

Business in Namibia is somewhat formal, although drinking and socialising are an important part of building good working relationships. Standard business etiquette applies. Dress tends to be formal, though lightweight materials tend to be worn in the hotter seasons, and punctuality is important. People shake hands on greeting and leaving, and are generally 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.

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 NAD 1,250.

Communications

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). Large parts of the country are not covered by the mobile network, so a satellite phone is a good backup option for those heading off the beaten track. WiFi is increasingly available in hostels, hotels, lodges and guesthouses; travellers can purchase local prepaid SIM cards for unlocked phones.

Passport & Visa

All foreign passengers to Namibia must have confirmed return or 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. A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required to enter Namibia if visitors are arriving from or have transited through an infected area. All travellers must have a passport that is valid for at least six months beyond the period of intended stay in Namibia.

Entry requirements

US citizens citizens must have a valid passport, but no visa is required for tourist or business-related stays of up to three months.

British citizens citizens must have a valid passport, but no visa is required for tourist or business-related stays of up to three months.

Canadian citizens must have a valid passport, but no visa is required for tourist or business-related stays of up to three months.

Australias must hold a valid passport, but no visa is required, for tourist or business-related stays of up to three months.

South Africans must hold a valid passport, but no visa is required for tourist or business-related stays of up to three months.

Irish citizens must hold a valid passport, but no visa is required for tourist or business-related stays of up to three months.

New Zealand citizens must have a valid passport, but no visa is required for tourist or business-related stays of up to three months.

Useful contacts

Namibian Tourist Office, Windhoek: +264 (0)61 290 6000 or info@namibiatourism.com.na or www.namibiatourism.com.na

112 (fire and rescue, police, medical emergencies)

Embassies / consulates in other countries

Embassy of Namibia, Washington DC, United States (also responsible for Canada): +1 202 986 0540.

Namibia High Commission, London, United Kingdom (also responsible for Ireland): +44 (0)20 7636 6244.

Namibia High Commission, Pretoria, South Africa: +27 (0)12 481 9100.

Embassies / consulates in Namibia

United States Embassy, Windhoek: +264 (0)61 295 8500.

British High Commission, Windhoek: +264 (0)61 274 800.

Canadian Consulate, Windhoek: +264 (0)61 251 254.

Australian High Commission, Pretoria, South Africa (also responsible for Namibia): +27 (0)12 423 6000.

South African High Commission, Windhoek: +264 (0)61 205 7111.

Irish Embassy, Lusaka, Zambia (also responsible for Namibia): +260 211 291 298.

New Zealand High Commission, Pretoria, South Africa (also responsible for Namibia): +27 (0)12 435 9000.