Travel advice & practical information for travelogue:
'Nature Tour Namibia'
Embassy of the Republic of Namibia
1605 New Hampshire Avenue, NW
Washington DC 20009
Phone: (202) 986-0540
Embassy of the Republic of Namibia
6 Chandos Street
London W1G 9LU
Tel: 020 7636 6244
Fax: 020 7637 5694
Embassy of Namibia
80 Avenue Foch
Cititzens of some countries need a visa to enter Namibia. Check with the Namibian respresentation in your country. In any case, your passport should be valid until 6 months after your departure from Namibia.
Namibia only gained its independence in 1990 and thus is a fairly your republic. The large country is sparsely populated, it has only 1.7 million inhabitants. It has the lowest population density of Africa. There are various ethnic groups, like the Bushmen or San, Nama, Topnaar, Basters, Herero, Damara, Himba, Wambo, Kavango and Caprivi.
The few cities of Namibia look very much like German towns, which is explained by the fact that Namibia was a German colony for a long time. Around 5 percent of the population is white. The main languages of Namibia are German and Afrikaans, but after independence English became the official language. There are many indiginous languages and dialects.
Namibia's infrastructure is reasonably good. There are good connections to South Africa, but getting to other neighboring countries is a little harder. Most roads are covered with gravel and are fairly accessible. Namibia has two seaports, Walvis Bay and Lüderitz.
Namibia is a paradise for nature lovers. It has a varied landscape. The most important sights and tourist attractions are Etosha National Park, a gorgeous game park in the Etosha desert; Fish River Canyon, also called Little Grand Canyon, a 550 meters deep and 161 kilometers long canyon, in which you can descend if it's not too hot. It has breathtaking views. Hiking into the canyon is strenuous, but an unforgettable experience. The Namibian sand dunes of Sossusvlei, a miraculous orange-red dune landscape, where you can witness the most beautiful sunrise of Namibia. Namib-Naukluft Park is a mostly inaccessible dune landscape along the shore, of which a small part is open for tourists. Cape Cross, on the Atlantic coast, has enormous seal colonies.
The Namibian currency is the Namibian dollar. South-African rand is accepted. It's most convenient to bring US dollars in cash, preferably in small denominations. In largers cities Visa is accepted. Travelers' cheques can be exchanged in banks. Bring the receipts for the travelers' cheques, some banks may ask for them. In larger cities there are ATMs.
Climate and best time to travel
June-July is a good time to travel, because it doesn't rain often and it's not too hot either. In the daytime one can wear a T-shirt with shorts or slacks. In the evening it gets cold and you'll need a warm sweater and wind-tight jacket. At night it can be very cold. We were glad we brought our sleepingbags, which keep you warm at temperatures down to -15 degrees centigrade. Many of our traveling companions had to buy extra blankets.
Camping out is an experience. Not to be allowed to leave your tent because there could be hippos and alligators roaming the camping site, is an incredible experience. If you plan to camp out, keep in mind that the ground isn't always smoot and level. Inflatable mats are perfect, but don't forget to bring a repair kit.
Health care in Namibia is good, but the distances between hospitals are great. Windhoek has a clinic that specializes in travelers care. The camp site we visited were clean and had good amenities. There were hot showers everywhere and there always was toilet paper.
From Etosha NP, if you're traveling from the north to the south, you are no longer in a malaria region. Around Waterberg Plateau there are still occurrences. For up- to-date advice, go to the web site of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Safety and security
Traveling in some countries or regions brings risks with it. That shouldn't always be a reason not to go there, but part of a thorough preparation is to find out about possible risks.
A good place to find information is the CIA World Factbook.
Plan your trip to Namibia online
Through online reservation systems like À la Carte Vacations you can book airline tickets, hotels, rental cars and holiday houses. You can build a fly-drive itinerary with maximum flexibility, book a flight plus a hotel hotel for a night or weekend. Without the limitations of package deals from travel organisations and most times for a much better price.
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