T he Land of Open Spaces, as Namibia is affectionately known, with its undiscovered landscapes and unspoiled nature, makes for a perfect and widely diverse travel destination. The well-developed road infrastructure, abundance of scheduled tours and charter companies, and the friendly welcoming people will ensure that your visit to Namibia is an unforgettable experience. Whether you’re in search of the perfect romantic breakaway, ultimate adventure or are just wishing to lose yourself in the wildlife, cultural diversity and mesmerising scenery reflecting Namibia’s untouched beauty, the following information and tips will leave you well equipped to explore even the remotest parts of the country.
Surface area: 824,268 km2
Independence: 21 March 1990
Current president: Hage Geingob
Division of power between executive, legislature and judiciary
Secular state—freedom of religion (90% Christian)
Freedom of the press/media
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
14 vegetation zones
120 species of trees
200 endemic plant species
100 plus species of lichen
Living fossil plant: Welwitschia mirabilis
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
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
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
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
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,
More than 50 countries have Namibian consular or embassy representation
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
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.
Yellow Fever (if you come from an affected area)
- Hepatitis A & B
Some areas in Namibia carry Malaria risk, therefore prophylaxis may be necessary.
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.
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.
If you travel to Namibia by car, a cross border charge of N$160 is payable as a contribution to road maintenance.
- Valid passport of the driver
- Certified copy of vehicle registration papers in the name of the driver
- Letter of authority from the registered owner if the vehicle is not owned by the driver
- If vehicle is still being financed, carry a letter of authority from the bank (must include dates of travel) together with the vehicle license papers.
- Valid driver’s license
- Carnet de Passage: Only compulsory if the vehicle is being shipped to Namibia. Police Clearance Certificates are not required for temporary importation. These are only required if the vehicle is being used for rental purposes or if the importer is in the country on a working permit.
- Permit: Allowed up to three months, if staying in Namibia for longer and on a working permit, a provisional payment of duties valued at 16.5% of the value of the car has to be paid to customs. This is refundable upon the car’s export from Namibia. The work permit must be shown on the passport and on the letter from the company in Namibia confirming that you will be working for them. Cars registered in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Mozambique and Botswana do not need to obtain a Carnet.
- ZA Sticker: Available at any AA Accredited Sales Agent store
- Motor Insurance Certificate: Obtainable at the Border Free of Charge. Valid for 30 days
South Africa Border post times
- Ariamsvlei / Nakop – Open 24 hours a day
- Klein Menasse – Open 08:00 – 22:00
- Noordoewer / Vioolsdrif – Open 24 hours
- Aroab / Rietfontein – Open 08:00 – 16: 00
- Velloorsdrif / Onseepkans – Open 08:00-22:00
- Mata Mata – 08:00 – 16:30
- Trans Kalahari (Buitepos) / Mamuno – 07:00 – 24:00
Currency: The Namibia Dollar (N$) 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
Most tap water is purified and safe to drink.
Visitors should exercise caution in rural areas
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.
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.
220 volts AC, 50hz, with outlets of round three-pin type
Ai-Ais Game Park, Etosha National Park, Namib-Naukluft Park (Sesriem entrance), Waterberg Plateau Park, Skeleton Coast Park:
- Under 16 – no charge
- Foreign N$80.00
- SADC N$60.00
- Namibian residents N$30.00
- 10 seats or less N$10.00
- 11-25 seats N$40.00
- 26- 50 seats N$300.00
- 51 plus N$500.00
All other parks where usage fees are charged:
Caprivi Game Park, Daan Viljoen Game Park, Hardap Recreation Resort, Khaudom Game Park, Mahango Game Park, Mamili National Park, Mudumu National Park, Namib-Naukluft Park (other entrances), Naute Recreation Resort, Von Bach Recreation Resort
- Under 16 – no charge
- Foreign N$40.00
- SADC N$30.00
- Namibian residents N$10.00
- 10 seats or less N$10.00
- 11-25 seats N$40.00
- 26-50 seats N$300.00
- 51 plus N$500.00
1. Fees are valid for a 24 hour period beginning at time of entry, per person, for one park.
2. Park fees are payable for every day, for visitors and vehicles.
3. The minimum amount payable is for 24 hours (1day), and thereafter in units of 24 hours (1 day).
4. Fees are non-refundable, and non-transferable.
5. Namibian and SADC discount rates are available on production of valid identification