The best time to visit Namibia is during its dry winter season of May to September, when temperatures are more moderate. July to October is also excellent with generally dry, clear weather and good game viewing opportunities.
Tap water is purified in hotels, lodges and other public places so is safe to drink. If you are worried about drinking the tap water, bottled water is available to purchase throughout Namibia. Two litre bottles of water are available in the supermarkets which are great if you are on a self-drive safari.
Driving yourself in Namibia is very possible, in order to reach most of the parks, reserves and other places you are most likely to want to visit, you will need to book yourself on a tour or rent a vehicle. Public transport is generally good and most of the luxury safari lodges even have access to their own airstrip.
While many hotels and lodges have a menu influenced by western and European cuisine, tourists should try Namibia’s traditional cuisine as part of their stay. Most Namibian ethnic dishes use maize as a base accompanied by meat, occasionally vegetables and a variety of sauces.
Besides anti-malaria pills, travellers should pack their personal prescription medication along with the following:
• Cameras, lenses and binoculars
• Light clothing for summer safaris
• Bathing suits
• Walking shoes
• Mosquito repellent, sunscreen and hats
• Warmer clothing for winter stays
Namibia has a very favourable climate, averaging 300 days of sunshine each year. Summers (October to March) can be very hot with temperatures reaching 38C, but this also the rainy season so a lightweight rainproof jacket is very useful. Winter days, during April to September, are agreeably warm but temperatures can plummet to below zero at night so warm clothing is essential.
Electricity is supplied at 220/240v. Both square and round wall plugs are used.
Consult your doctor about vaccinations and boosters for Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Typhoid, Rabies, Cholera, Malaria and Dengue Fever.
The official language in Namibia is English, so communication should not be a problem. German and Afrikaans are widely spoken as well.
Visa and MasterCard are readily accepted in most banks, shops, lodges and restaurants in Namibia. Petrol/ diesel and National Park entry fees in all countries must be paid for in cash only, in the currency of that country. The Namibian dollar is linked 1:1 with the South African Rand, and Rand notes and coins are accepted throughout Namibia.
Some of Namibia’s premier national parks include Etosha National Park, Bwabwata National Park, Namib-Naukluft Park, Skeleton Coast Park, Tsau Khaeb National Park and the Waterberg Plateau Park.
Tipping is entirely voluntary in Namibia.
A safari, either by 4×4 vehicle or by foot, in any one of Namibia’s game reserves is recommended but the Etosha National Park is Namibia’s most famous destination. A quad bike tour through the dunes of the Namib Desert comes highly recommended but a cultural tour of a traditional Namibian village is also an idea and is offered by some of the country’s game lodges.
Travel insurance for a Namibian holiday will cover you for emergencies and physical injuries. Personal effects cover is also recommended.