Namibia

The timeless country of Namibia is a land of contrasts. Home to 13 distinct cultural groups still enriched with ancient traditions, Namibia’s rich and colourful culture is the result of the fusion of German, European and South African traditions, customs and architecture. With rough seascapes, remote deserts, jagged mountains, spectacular wildlife, colonial cities and a striking assortment of cultures, Namibia is fast becoming one of Africa’s hottest destinations.

When to Visit

The best time to visit is during the winter dry season from May to October when you can expect clear, warm and sunny days and cold, clear nights. During the rainy season between January and March, temperatures can become hot and roads may be difficult to negotiate, but you can witness the impressive desert bloom into flower.

Highlights

SOSSUSVLEI The stunning Sossusvlei is the most amazing red sand dunes in the world.

ETOSHA NATIONAL PARK Game drives in the Etosha National Park in search of the big five.

DAMARALAND Dramatic geological formations and the possibility of seeing some of the largest free-ranging population of desert-adapted black rhino in Africa.

SWAKOPMUND Swakopmund is a quaint desert seaside town.

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Useful Information

Customs

Extended greetings and handshakes are very important in most Namibian cultures. When food and drink is offered, it is polite to accept. There is a general emphasis on emotional restraint in public, and public displays of affection between spouses or lovers are frowned upon, especially in rural areas.

Health

The following information is intended as a guide only and in no way should it be used as a substitute for professional medical advice relative to a travellers individual needs and vaccination history. No guarantee is made as to its accuracy or thoroughness. For further information, please contact The Travel Doctor on (+64) 9 373 3531. Vaccination against hepatitis A is recommended for travellers to Namibia. Frequent or long stay travellers should consider vaccination against hepatitis B. Vaccination against rabies (particularly if working with animals) and typhoid (particularly when travelling to areas with poor sanitation and hygiene) should be considered by travellers to Namibia. There is a risk of malaria in some parts of Namibia and dengue fever also occurs, thus insect avoidance measures and anti malarial medication may be necessary depending on your itinerary. Travellers are advised to drink bottled water and avoid ice cubes and raw/undercooked food. Do not swim in fresh water to avoid exposure to diseases such as schistosomiasis (bilharzia). Regardless of destination, all travellers should be up-to-date with their routine "background" vaccinations including a recent annual influenza vaccination. Please consult a medical practitioner or contact The Travel Doctor for your specific risk to these preventable diseases and the appropriate avoidance measures. New Zealanders travelling to Namibia should ensure that they have adequate travel insurance to cover the length of their stay. Medications that are legal in New Zealand may be illegal in other countries. 

Visa's

Official travel advice regarding visas is available by calling 04 439 8000 or visiting their website www.safetravel.govt.nz

Electricity

Electrical Socket types: Indian and the larger South African. Voltage: 220-240 volts (same as New Zealand, no voltage/frequency converter required). Modem Plug Type: South African. To purchase electrical adapters, or for further information, go to www.korjo.com.au.

Communications

Country Code for Namibia: +264 Offical Travel Advice: Visit www.safetravel.govt.nz Emergency Services: Ambulance - 203 2276 Fire - 203 2270 Police - 1011 These emergency services numbers may not be available in all areas of Namibia.

Shopping

With rich deposits of natural minerals, Namibia can be a good place for the enthusiast to buy crystals and gems – but don't expect many bargains, as the industry is far too organised. For the amateur, the desert roses (sand naturally compressed into forms like flowers) are unusual and often cheap, while iridescent tiger's eye is rare elsewhere and very attractive.

Tipping

Tipping for good service is only expected in upmarket tourist establishments but is officially prohibited in national parks and reserves. A service charge is included in many restaurant bills – if not, and the service was satisfactory, a tip of 10% is standard.

Getting around

Transfers and game drives in Namibia are usually conducted in open-sided 4X4 vehicles.The country's good infrastructure means that many visitors to Namibia hire a car for a self-drive holiday which makes for independent, flexible travel within the ambit of a pre-planned itinerary. Self-drivers staying at private reserves join the other guests for guided game drives in 4X4s.

Language

English, German, Afrikaans, Bantu and Khoisan.

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