The north of Namibia (Etosha National Park and the Caprivi Strip) is a malaria area and recommended prophylaxis should be taken. The remainder of the country poses practically no risk. Your doctor can advise you on the best type for the area of travel and your personal requirements. However, taking prophylaxis will not guarantee that you will not contract malaria! The best way to avoid malaria is to avoid being bitten by the mosquitoes that carry the parasite. Only the females of one species of mosquito (Anopheles ) carry the tiny parasite, and the greatest incidence of malaria is in areas of high population where there are many people for the mosquito to bite and pass the parasite between.
Mosquitoes usually bite between sunset and sunrise, so make sure that you are covered up during this time! Wear loose fitting, long sleeved shirts and trousers, use a good insect repellent and sleep underneath a mosquito net or in a tent/ room sealed with netting. If you do develop flu-like symptoms, or feel at all unwell, during your holiday or after your return home, you must make sure that your doctor knows that you have recently travelled in a malaria area. Malaria is not a serious problem provided people take adequate precautions and seek advice and treatment immediately if they feel unwell.
Namibia's major private hospitals are of a good standard with clean and safe facilities. However, serious medical cases will be evacuated by air to South Africa where further facilities are available. For this reason you must make sure that comprehensive travel insurance is taken out before you travel, this insurance should cover any medical expenses, air evacuation and repatriation if necessary.
The water is safe to drink throughout the majority of Namibia. When visiting the remote areas purification tablets should be used, or bottled mineral water bought en-route. Plenty of water must be drunk to prevent dehydration. We recommend 2-3 litres minimum, excluding beverages such as tea, coffee, juice and alcohol. Dehydration is responsible for many emergency evacuations and can cause very serious problems, it is totally avoidable, so don't let this spoil your holiday!
Rainy season: Late October to late March. Rainfall does not usually occur every day, and generally takes place in the afternoon with mornings being fairly clear.
Summer: November to March with a high of 40° C and a low of 17° C.
Winter: June to September with a high of 18° C and a low of 5° C.
There is no "best time" to visit Namibia as the different seasons all offer completely different experiences! However, you may like to consider the following when planning your trip:
Pros: Quieter tourism period, lush green landscape, fantastic migrating birds, beautiful sunsets and stunning views of electrical storms
Cons: Wildlife is more spread out, very warm temperatures; activities may be interrupted by rain.
Pros: Higher chances of excellent game viewing, cooler, few mosquitoes in the north.
Cons: Busiest tourism period, cold mornings and evenings, drier environment.
Our personal preference would be for either March-May or early November as these times are neither too hot nor too cool and the accommodation establishments are generally quieter. At both times of year the wildlife is usually very exciting and the heat is not extreme. The coastal weather is unpredictable, and this area is blanketed with fog for up to 9 months of the year! However, during summer this can provide a welcome respite from the desert heat.
Bring plenty of memory cards and a spare camera battery as these items may not be available in some of the more remote areas of Namibia. A good zoom lens (minimum 200 mm) is essential for wildlife photography.
Neutral, muted colours such as khaki, dark green or beige ensure as little disturbance to wildlife as possible whilst on game drives or walks. White or bright colours are not advised and army camouflage uniforms or army hats are not recommended.
Neutral coloured casual clothing (shorts/shirts) for everyday wear, stout shoes (with soles thick enough to protect against thorns and for walking), light waterproof jacket for summer, warm jumper/ fleece for winter, warm long trousers for winter, two sets of good casual clothes for evening dining where appropriate, towel, broad brimmed hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, camera, plenty of memory cards & spare battery, binoculars, reliable torch, sleeping bag if camping. It is also worth noting that if you are travelling by light aircraft or as part of a guided safari, you should carry no more than 10-15kg of luggage in a soft bag for ease of packing.
The Namibian currency is linked one to one with the South African Rand. Each dollar is divided into 100 cents. The South Africa Rand is interchangeable with the Namibia dollar in Namibia and all Rand notes and coins are accepted. However, the Namibia dollar is not accepted in South Africa! Namibian dollars are difficult to get hold of outside the country and it is easier to purchase cash in South African Rand before travelling. US$ can be easily exchanged throughout the country, as can Euro and pounds sterling. Traveller’s cheques can also be changed in banks and most accommodation establishments accept credit cards, mainly Visa or Mastercard, although this should be checked before arrival. Fuel can be purchased with credit cards, but cash is still the preferred method of payment. In the more remote areas they might not have credit card machines either.
Visitors from the European Union and the USA can obtain tourist visas for up to 3 months at the border. Please contact us for details regarding your personal visa requirements.
Destination:Namibia, Zambia, Botswana
Style:3-4*, Wildlife, Active
Destination:Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, Botswana
Destination:Namibia, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana
Style:3-4*, Wildlife, Active
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