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      Namibia - FAQ

    Namibia

    Introduction

    With its well-developed infrastructure, some of the best tourist facilities in Africa and an impressive list of breathtaking natural wonders, touring Namibia is truly a pleasure.

    Visit the capital of Windhoek and the lovely coastal town of Swakopmund to discover remnants of the country’s German influence, reflected in the architecture, culture, cuisine and the annual Oktoberfest celebrations.

    Namibia is an ideal destination for travellers seeking an unforgettable African experience in a uniquely beautiful untamed wilderness.

    To properly appreciate this extraordinary country, you will have to venture out of the cities to explore the remarkable natural landscapes Namibia has to offer.
    These include:

    • the impressive Fish River Canyon Park;
    • the vast Etosha National Park teeming with local subspecies, such as desert lions, desert elephants and the Hartmann's Mountain Zebra;
    • the hauntingly beautiful Kalahari Desert;
    • and of course the Namib Desert stretching for nearly 1000 km along the magnificent Atlantic coastline.

    Fast Facts

    General

    Surface area: 824,268 km2
    Capital: Windhoek
    Independence: 21 March 1990
    Current president: Hage Geingob
    Multiparty Parliament
    Democratic Constitution
    Division of power between executive, legislature and judiciary
    Secular state—freedom of religion (90% Christian)
    Freedom of the press/media

    Flora

    14 vegetation zones
    120 species of trees
    200 endemic plant species
    100 plus species of lichen
    Living fossil plant: Welwitschia mirabilis

    Physical Infrastructure

    Roads: 5,450 km tarred, 37,000 km gravel
    Harbours: Walvis Bay, Lüderitz
    Main airports: Hosea Kutako International Airport, Eros Airport, 46 airstrips
    Rail network: 2,382 km narrow gauge
    6.2 telephone lines per 100 inhabitants
    Direct-dialling facilities to 221 countries
    Mobile communication  system: GSM agreements with 117 countries/255 networks
    Postal service: affiliated to the Universal Postal Union

    Population

    2.3 million
    Density: 2.2 per km2
    400 000 inhabitants in Windhoek (15% of total)
    Official language: English
    14 regions, 13 ethnic cultures
    16 languages and dialects
    Adult literacy rate: 85%
    Population growth rate: 2.6%
    Educational institutions: over 1,700 schools, various vocational and tertiary institutions

    Foreign Representation

    More than 50 countries have Namibian consular or embassy representation in Windhoek.

    Border Requirements

    If you have all of the correct/ necessary documents with you when crossing at a border post you should have no trouble with the officials. Please note, Namibian officials are not open to bribery.

    Please take off your hat and sunglasses upon entry of the border post building(s) and remember to be patient at all times.

    Visas and passports

    If you are a South African citizen heading into Namibia you do not need a visa to enter the country.

    Length of stay

    Tourists are allowed to stay in the country for a maximum of 90 days if they can produce a return ticket (for those flying) and their passport is valid for another 6 months. A visa will be issued upon arrival. Make sure that enough days have been granted for your stay before you enter the country. You will be held accountable if you leave without checking for errors on the officials’ part. Overstaying in the country may result in drastic fines.

    Health requirements

    Compulsory vaccination:

    Yellow Fever (if you come from an affected area)

    Recommended vaccinations:

    • Hepatitis A & B
    • Typhoid
    • Polio
    • Tetanus

    Precautions:

    Some areas in Namibia carry Malaria risk, therefore prophylaxis may be necessary.

    Custom regulations

    The following items are duty-exempt: items for personal use, 1 liter of liquor, 2 liters of wine, 50 ml perfume, 250 ml Eau de toilette,  400 cigarettes or 50 cigars, 250 g tobacco, other new or used items to the value of N$2000. All things exceeding this limit including food, are subject to strict tariff regulations. One may not import more than 10 kg meat or meat products, fruit and vegetables. This also applies to travelers from South Africa. Gifts up to a value of N$200 and all personal items are duty-free. For questions phone customs in Windhoek: Tel: 061 2099111.

    Vehicle sticker

    If you’re driving a vehicle across the border, the vehicle needs to have a sticker placed on the back of the car indicating the country the vehicle is registered in. For example, if you plan to drive a vehicle that is registered in South Africa, into Namibia, the vehicle will have to have a ZA sticker on it. Similarly, if the vehicle is registered in Namibia and is being driven into South Africa, the car will require a NAM sticker on it.

    Border Crossing with a Rental Car

    If you travel from Namibia to South Africa, Botswana, Zambia or Zimbabwe in a rented car, you need a written permit by the car rental company.

    Road Toll

    If you travel to Namibia by car, a cross border charge of N$160 is payable as a contribution to road maintenance.

    Documents Required

    • Valid passport of the driver
    • Certified copy of vehicle registration papers in the name of the driver
    • Letter of authority from the registered owner if the vehicle is not owned by the driver
    • If vehicle is still being financed, carry a letter of authority from the bank (must include dates of travel) together with the vehicle license papers.
    • Valid driver’s license
    • Carnet de Passage: Only compulsory if the vehicle is being shipped to Namibia. Police Clearance Certificates are not required for temporary importation. These are only required if the vehicle is being used for rental purposes or if the importer is in the country on a working permit.
    • Permit: Allowed up to three months, if staying in Namibia for longer and on a working permit, a provisional payment of duties valued at 16.5% of the value of the car has to be paid to customs. This is refundable upon the car’s export from Namibia. The work permit must be shown on the passport and on the letter from the company in Namibia confirming that you will be working for them. Cars registered in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Mozambique and Botswana do not need to obtain a Carnet.
    • ZA Sticker: Available at any AA Accredited Sales Agent store
    • Motor Insurance Certificate: Obtainable at the Border Free of Charge. Valid for 30 days

    South Africa Border post times

    • Ariamsvlei / Nakop – Open 24 hours a day
    • Klein Menasse – Open 08:00 – 22:00
    • Noordoewer / Vioolsdrif – Open 24 hours
    • Aroab / Rietfontein – Open 08:00 – 16: 00
    • Velloorsdrif / Onseepkans – Open 08:00-22:00
    • Mata Mata – 08:00 – 16:30
    • Trans Kalahari (Buitepos) / Mamuno – 07:00 – 24:00
    Drinking Water

    Most tap water is purified and safe to drink.
    Visitors should exercise caution in rural areas

    Time zones
    • Summer time: GMT + 2 hours from the 1st Sunday in September to the 1st Sunday in April.
    • Winter time: GMT + 1 hour from the 1st Sunday in April to the 1st Sunday in September.
    Environment

    Nature reserves: 15% of surface area
    Highest mountain: Brandberg
    Other prominent mountains: Spitzkoppe, Moltkeblick, Gamsberg
    Perennial rivers: Orange, Kunene, Okavango, Zambezi and Kwando/Linyanti/Chobe
    Ephemeral rivers: Numerous, including Fish, Kuiseb, Swakop and Ugab

    Economy

    Main sectors: Mining, fishing, tourism & agriculture
    Biggest employer: Agriculture (46%)
    Fastest-growing sector: Tourism
    Mining: Diamonds, uranium, copper, lead, zinc, magnesium, cadmium, arsenic, pyrites, silver, gold, lithium minerals, dimension stones (granite, marble, blue sodalite) and many semi-precious stones

    Social Infrastructure

    One medical doctor per 3,650 people
    Three privately run hospitals in Windhoek with intensive-care units
    Medical practitioners (world standard)
    24-hour medical emergency services

    Fauna

    Big game: Elephant, lion, rhino, buffalo, cheetah, leopard, giraffe

    • 20 antelope species
    • 240 mammal species (14 endemic)
    • 250 reptile species
    • 50 frog species
    • 676 bird species

    Endemic birds including Herero Chat, Rockrunner, Damara Tern,
    Monteiro’s Hornbill

    Tax and customs

    All goods and services are priced to include value-added tax of 15%. Visitors may reclaim VAT. Enquiries: Ministry of Finance – Tel (+264 61) 23 0773 in Windhoek

    Money Matters

    Currency: The Namibia Dollar (N$) is fixed to and equals the SA Rand. The South African Rand is also legal tender.
    Foreign currency, International Visa, Master Card, American Express and Diners Club credit cards are accepted

    Transports

    Public transport is NOT available to all tourist destinations in Namibia.
    There are bus services from Windhoek to Cape Town/Johannesburg/Vic Falls/Swakopmund. Namibia’s main railway line runs from the South African border, connecting Windhoek to Swakopmund in the west and Tsumeb in the north. There is an extensive network of international and regional flights from Windhoek. Domestic charters to all destinations.

    Electricity

    220 volts AC, 50hz, with outlets of round three-pin type

    Travel Information

    namibia trip

    Money

    Currency Namibia uses the Namibian Dollar (N$) this is linked on a one to one exchange with the South African Rand. The Rand is legal tender in Namibia, but the N$ cannot be used in South Africa.

    Banking Banks are found in most towns, and are generally open from 09h00 - 15h30 during the week, and from 08h30 to 11h00 on a Saturday. Closed on Sundays and Public Holidays. Most offer foreign exchange services - with cash, bank and credit cards as well as travellers cheques.

    You can also obtain cash from many of the ATM's, Several International Banks have branches in main City centres. Always advise your Bank that you are travelling outside of the country as they might block your purchases if they have not been informed.