Namibia is a fascinating country that boasts an array of cultural and natural experiences for people to enjoy. It's one of the largest countries in Africa and contains some of the most spectacular landscapes on the continent. It is world famous for the highest dunes in the world at Sossusvlei and the Namib Desert and for the Etosha National Park, one of world's greatest conservation areas. Namibia is also one of the most sparsely populated countries in the world.
Your passport should be valid for a minimum of 6 months beyond the date of departure from Namibia. You will need up to 6 clean, consecutive pages in your passport. Please be sure to fill out the "Emergency Next of Kin" section in your passport. It is the law in Namibia that you must carry photo ID at all times.
British, EU, US and Canadian Citizens: British, EU and Canadian Citizens can enter Namibia for a holiday or private visit of up to 90 days without a visa. However, there have been cases where visitors have only been given permission to stay for periods much shorter than 90 days, sometimes as short as only 7 or 10 days. Before leaving the immigration desk in the airport arrivals hall, you must carefully check that you have been given permission to stay in Namibia for the duration of your intended visit up to the maximum allowable of 90 days and that you have been given a correctly dated entry stamp by Namibian Immigration officials, as this will be checked on departure.
US Citizens: A visa is required to enter Namibia for all U.S. citizens. You must obtain a tourist visas if you're staying for less than 90 days. Overstaying the time granted or an incorrect or missing entry stamp could lead to detention, arrest and a fine.
Other Citizens: A visa may be required to enter Namibia for citizens of other countries. You may need to obtain a tourist visas if you're staying for less than 90 days. To apply for this visa, you will need a recent passport-style digital photo taken within the last six months, size 5cm x 5cm wearing no glasses, hat etc. You will also need proof of travel: only some individuals are asked for proof of travel, but just in case have your purpose of your trip prepared and proof of your ability to pay for the trip. The Namibian government sets visa fees and these are subject to change. Please check here for the most up to date visa information for Namibia- https://www.namibia.org.za/visa-requirements
• Consular Information
There are a number of major international embassies located in Windhoek, including those for the US and UK. However, embassies for other countries, including Canada, Australia and New Zealand are located in Pretoria and other African cities, offering coverage to Namibia. Please check with your relevant government for the relevant contact details.
British High Commission Windhoek
116 Robert Mugabe Ave, P.O. Box 22202, Windhoek
Enquiries Telephone +264 (61) 274800
U.S. Embassy Windhoek
14 Lossen Street, WindhoekTelephone: 061-295-8500
Consulate of Canada, Windhoek
4 Eadie Street Klein Windhoek Namibia
Tel: local: (061) 251.254 International: +2188.8.131.52
N.B. Please note, visa and entry requirements, regulations and restrictions can vary on a regular basis. Please ensure you check in good time prior to travel the current requirements applicable to you.
HEALTH, INSURANCE AND SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS
• Travel Insurance
It is company policy that all passengers must have valid travel insurance prior to travelling, to include but not limited to health insurance and cancellation insurance. It is vital that ALL members of the travelling party are fully insured for the dates of travel. All pre-existing medical conditions must be declared to the insurer and the correct cover must be taken in regard to the specific type of holiday you are taking.
The details of your insurance must be advised to The Big Journey Company at least 6 weeks before your departure date. Please make sure to write down important information from your insurance policy, such as the company’s 24hr emergency telephone number (including dial code from abroad) and your policy number and take these with you on tour.
• General Health
Please talk to your doctor or travel health clinic in person at least eight weeks before you travel, where a health professional can provide you with the necessary health information for your personal needs. Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation.
Wearing sunscreen, drinking plenty of water, washing your hands properly before eating and avoiding insect bites should keep you healthy on tour. Insect bites have been very minimal within previous groups, however please come prepared with your insect repellent spray/plug-in just in case.
We recommend you carry a simple travellers’ first-aid kit containing any basic items that you feel may be required, including remedies for minor stomach complaints, but please note, whilst in rural areas, doctors and medical supplies are few and far between. If you do need to see a doctor during the tour, please speak to your Big Journey Company tour escort.
• Passengers with Disabilities or Reduced Mobility
The Nambia Tours are an Activity Level 1 and will require moderate physical activity over short periods of time and include various forms of transport. Please check our Activity Levels description page to see if this level is suitable to you or contact us if you require further information on the activities involved in the tour.
If you or any member of your party has any medical problem or disability which may affect your holiday, please provide us with full details before we confirm your booking, or as soon as possible at the time they occur, so that we can try to advise on the suitability of your chosen arrangements. Please note, we may require you to produce a doctor’s certificate certifying that you are fit to participate in the tour.
• Medical Conditions and Personal Medication
Please advise us prior to travel if you have any medical conditions requiring special attention during your trip. If you have a specific medical condition, it is wise to carry the relevant doctor’s prescription with you. Important:
- Pack a sufficient supply of any medications you are taking, copies of the prescriptions and the telephone/fax numbers of your doctor.
- Please note, some countries require that prescription drugs be carried in their original container, with the label clearly visible. In the event of you losing your medication, a qualified pharmacist should be able to source a replacement.
Prior to travel, please consult your doctor to discuss the destinations you are visiting, the latest immunisation information and requirements as well as advice according to your unique medical needs.
There are currently no specific certificate requirements under International Health Regulations however please take note of the malaria information below:
• Malaria: Namibia is a low-risk malarial destination, but we recommend that you seek professional medical advice to enable you to make decisions on personal malaria protection. Generally Northern Namibia, including Etosha National Park, is considered to be higher Malaria risk than the Southern Parts of Namibia. The old adage ‘prevention is the best cure’ holds true. Use repellent and cover up at dawn and dusk when the mosquitoes are most active by wearing long trousers, long-sleeved shirts, shoes and socks, if possible. If you develop a bad headache, have aching joints, and recurring fevers and chills after your trip, advise your doctor that you have been in a malarial area. Malaria symptoms can sometimes be confused with flu symptoms.
• Yellow Fever Certificate. Depending on the area you are visiting and areas you have previously travelled to, you may need a Yellow Fever Vaccination certificate to show you have received said vaccination prior to travel. Check whether you need a Yellow Fever certificate by visiting the National Travel Health Network and Centre’s TravelHealthPro website.
Travellers should be up to date with routine vaccination courses and boosters as recommended. These vaccinations include for example measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine and diphtheria-tetanus-polio vaccine. Vaccinations for Tetanus, Hepatitis A, Typhoid, Cholera, Hepatitis B, Tuberculosis, Rabies and Yellow Fever may be recommended depending on the tour you are taking and your medical history. For further information, please see: wwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations
You should follow the advice of the National Travel Health Network and Centre and discuss your travel plans with your healthcare provider, particularly if you're pregnant or planning to become pregnant. Any feverish illness during or after returning from travel must be reported to a doctor immediately.
• Travelling with CPAP or other Medical Machines
Please inform The Big Journey Company that you are travelling with such a device as early as possible, and well before you travel. This is especially important in places where there may be issues with power supply, such as on safari or smaller cruise ships. Also,
- Check that you have the correct electrical and voltage adapters for the country and accommodation you are visiting;
- Check with your airline that they allow your device to be carried as additional hand luggage and ensure that your device is easily accessible and properly labelled as medical machinery;
- Always carry a letter from your medical practitioner prescribing its use for you;
- Ensure you have details of your machine separately in case of the need to secure repairs/replacements whilst you are travelling;
- Check with your medical practitioner about the use of tap or bottled water in the event that distilled water cannot be sourced in the country you are travelling to.
Please note, if you require distilled or ionised water, you must inform The Big Journey Company of this at least two weeks ahead of travel, so we are able to make preparations with our ground agents. There will be an additional charge for this.
• Special Dietary Requirements
Please let us know in good time prior to travel if you have any special dietary requirements (e.g., vegetarian, vegan, diabetic, gluten-free, etc.). We will make every effort to accommodate your request with the resources available to us.
• What to Pack and Wear
You can expect warm and sometimes hot weather during the day and cooler nights which may drop below freezing in desert areas. You will need clothes for hot weather as well as a warm, waterproof jacket and some layers for the colder evenings. For the safaris it’s wise to pack khaki-coloured clothing as it blends better into the bush. Pack light and remember the basic essentials. We would also recommend a good pair of lightweight binoculars, insect repellent and sun cream. Don't forget your camera, with charger/spare batteries and memory cards and a travel pillow might be useful.
• Luggage Allowances
International airlines are often strict about the size and weight of checked in baggage and carry-on luggage. Prior to your departure, please contact your airline or visit their website for specific luggage requirements, as size and weight limitations may vary according to the airline and destination. Please pack light in soft, holdall style bags. There is a 20kg luggage allowance for this tour.
Luggage handling is included on this Namibia Luxury Safari.
Laundry services may available in some hotels on the tour. Ask your Local Guide for more information during the tour.
English is the national language in Namibia. Other languages spoken in Namibia are mostly Afrikaans, German and Oshiwambo (a native language).
The time zone in Namibia is GMT+2, 2 hours ahead of London GMT. There is no daylight-saving time.
Namibia is in the southern hemisphere, so it is summer there when it’s winter in Europe and North America. Namibia is one of the sunniest countries in worldwide, with around 300 days of sun per year! In general, the climate is arid with a very low humidity. Though given the size of the country and varied landscape, from desert, to plains and coast, it can vary considerably.
In Namibia, the standard voltage is 220V and the frequency is 50Hz. They use two types of plugs - Type D (three round pins, used in India and some African countries) and Type M, (similar to type D, but with thicker prongs). You will need to bring an adaptor and/or converter depending on which electrical appliances you bring with you.
MOBILES & INTERNET COMMUNICATION
Much of Namibia has no mobile telephone network coverage. It is very likely that your phone will not work in Namibia, although coverage is improving all the time. The Namibian fixed-line phone system, run by Telecom Namibia is very efficient, and getting through to fixed-line numbers is extremely easy. If you wish to contact people at home this may be the easiest way to do so. Internet access is firmly established and widespread in Namibia, and connection speeds are fairly stable. Most of the accommodation on this tour provide Wi-Fi for guests.
Please remember to check data roaming and other charges for Namibia with your service provider before leaving home as these can quickly become very expensive.
The Namibian Dollar (N$) can only be purchased in country and is interchangeable with the South African Rand. The South African Rand is legal tender in Namibia, however, the N$ cannot be used in South Africa.
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-only payments.
Important Note - A prepaid currency card, used in the same way as a standard credit card can be a good idea. You can load it with money in the currency of the countries (more than one is possible) you are travelling to and has the advantage of not being linked to your bank account in case of loss/theft.
Due to the nature of the tour, a large number of meals, as well as transport and entrances are already included in your holiday price. As each traveller’s spending habits are different, you should bring an amount with which you are comfortable. As a guide, you might expect to pay N$20-40 for a coffee or tea, N$100 per person for a starter and N$150+ for main meals in a restaurant. A bottle of wine will generally cost from around N$175 and N$40+ for a beer in a restaurant.
• Bank Opening
In the larger towns, banks are usually open between 09:00 and 15:30 Monday to Friday and between 08:30-12:00 on Saturday.
After feedback from previous guests, we offer a group tipping package for this tour. Look out for more information in your pre-tour emails.
Most meals are included as part of your tour – please check your individual departure for the relevant meal inclusions.
Namibia offers a wide variety of local and international dishes and you can be assured that your taste-buds will be well looked after this safari! The cuisine of Namibia is a combination of traditional methods of cooking alongside German and South African influences. Corn is the most frequent ingredient used in Namibian dishes. The country is known for having some of the best free-range beef in the world because farmers allow cattle to roam freely. Most restaurants offer a good variety on their menus, ranging from everyday favourites such as hamburgers and pizza, to some of the best steaks in the world. A popular choice for game steak is oryx, kudu or springbok, and all are highly recommended, especially when washed down with a local beer or some of the fantastic wine that’s imported from South Africa!
It’s very important to stay hydrated when on safari in Namibia. Tap water in Namibia is either purified or comes directly from boreholes and is therefore generally safe to drink. Bottled mineral water is readily available at shops and rest camps. On the rare occasion that tap water is unsafe to drink, your guide will always advise the group before you arrive in the area.
If you prefer not to drink the tap water, bottled water is available to purchase throughout Namibia. A more environmentally sound option for you to research from home would be to find and purchase a good quality water bottle that contains one of the carbon-type filters to remove microbiological contaminants and bring that with you on holiday.
Shopping is one way you can make sure that when you travel, the money you spend benefits the local community that you are visiting. Think sustainability - buy locally produced items for souvenirs, don’t buy products made from endangered species or valuable, historical, or cultural artefacts. And remember- bartering is almost obligatory!
• Opening Hours
In the cities and towns, most retail shops are open from 9am – 5pm Monday–Friday, and 9am-1pm on Saturdays. However, some larger malls and shops in tourist areas may stay open longer. Some shops are open on Sundays, with reduced hours.
SAFETY & SECURITY
Namibia is one of the safest countries in Africa. It's also a huge country with a very sparse population, and even the capital, Windhoek, is more like a provincial town than an urban jungle. As with everywhere in the world, there’s a risk of petty theft. Please take sensible precautions to protect your belongings, particularly your passport, money and credit cards. Don’t walk around alone at night-time, avoid carrying large amounts of cash and don’t wear expensive watches, jewellery or items of sentimental value. Remain vigilant and follow the advice of your Tour Director, local guide and the local authorities.
Most visits to game reserves are trouble-free. However, as you can imagine, with wildlife, there is always an inherent risk associated. Always follow park regulations and wardens’ advice.
Smoking is banned in all public places in Namibia. Penalties range from N$500 to one month in jail.
About 80% to 90% of Namibia’s population is Christian. Most non-Christian Namibia live in the north and continue to follow animist traditions. In general, their beliefs are characterised by ancestor veneration. Muslims make up 1% - 3% of the population.
Photo opportunities are around every corner on this wildlife safari. Remember to pack your camera, charger, spare battery and a spare memory card. Binoculars may also be an excellent addition to your packing list. Ask permission before photographing individuals and try to remain unobtrusive.
ARRIVAL IN NAMIBIA
Please note, standard hotel check-in is around 3pm, so should you arrive earlier than this, your room may not be available upon arrival. For those arriving early morning, we will do everything we can to work with the hotel to get you an earlier check-in subject to availability. Please make sure the Big Journey Company office has your full arrival and departure flight details.
TOUR HOTEL INFORMATION
Please check your tour paperwork for hotel information attaining to your tour departure.
FLYING & TRAVEL HINTS
- Photocopy the personal information pages of your passport; leave one copy at home with a friend or family member, and take a copy with you, but pack it separately from the passport itself.
- It is advisable to carry all your travel documentation as well as valuables and essential items in your hand luggage, such as camera, toiletries, reading material etc.
- Duty-Free shopping is always tempting, but please check the current Duty-Free limits applicable in the country of your destination.
- Longer flights can be made a little more enjoyable by wearing loose clothing and good, comfortable shoes. Walking in the aisles regularly, eating sensibly and drinking plenty of fluids (not alcohol) is also advised.
- Where possible, try to get some sleep during the flight and upon arrival at your destination, most people adjust better to the local time if they wait until the evening before sleeping – this should relieve some of the effects of jet lag.
If you have any other questions that we have not covered here; then please send us an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note, the above information is provided as a guideline only. Although every effort has been made to provide complete and accurate information, The Big Journey Company makes no warranties, express or implied, or representations as to the accuracy of content on this website. The Big Journey Company assumes no liability or responsibility for any error or omissions in the information contained in the website.
Updated March 2020