Travel & Health

Tourism promotion and the provision of tourist information are the functions of the Namiba Tourism Board (NTB), which has its offices in Windhoek’s CBD on the First Floor of the Channel Life Towers, 39 Post Street Mall, Tel +264 61 2906000,  Fax:+264 61 254848

Variety of Tours

Visitors can travel through the country by means of scheduled tours in luxury coaches or microbuses, by train, fly-in safaris, self-drive tours, off-the-beaten-track camping trips in 4×4 vehicles, specialised tailor-made tours, wilderness safaris, safaris on horseback, canoeing and white-river rafting.

City, day or sun downer tours are available in and around Windhoek, the coastal towns of Swakopmund, Walvis Bay and Luderitz. Specialist tailor-made tours for birdwatchers, geologists, anglers, ethnologists and other specialist travelers are accompanied by experts in the respective fields..

Air charter within Namibia, with its network of more than 200 airfields and landing strips, can be expanded to cross-border destinations. Experienced local pilots have an intimate knowledge of the country. some car-hire services provide motorcycles, and camping and angling equipment can be hired from various outlets.

Entry Requirements

Foreign nationals must be in possession of a passport that is valid for at least six months after date of entry. A visa is required from all visitors except nationals of countries with which Namibia has the necessary visa abolition agreement. No visas are required for South African passport holders travelling as bona fide tourists. All other South African citizens require visas, for instance when travelling to Namibia for business reasons. holiday makers and tourists are welcome toe remain in the country for a period of 90 days. Business visas are granted for 90 days. Tourist visas can be obtained from the Ministry of Home Affairs, at Namibian embassies and the NTB offices in Johannesburg and Cape Town.

If visitors to Namibia have a tourist/holiday visa, they are not allowed to engage in any employment while in the country. Should they wish to do so, they should apply for an employment permit in the country of residence prior toe entry. The same applies for study permits.

Currency &  Credit Cards

The currency in Namibia is the Namibia Dollar, which is fixed to and equals the South African Rand. The Namibia Dollar and South African Rand are the only legal tender in Namibia and can be used freely to purchase goods and services. The Namibia Dollar however, is not legal tender in South Africa.

Although traveler’s cheques and foreign currency can be exchanged at any of the commercial banks, it is becoming a lot easier to simply pay by credit card. The commercial banks, which are well represented throughout the country are open every day except on Sundays. There is also a Bureau de Change service at Hosea Kutako International Airport.

International Visa, Diners Club, American Express and MasterCard credit cards are generally accepted, while Speedpoint and ATM facilities assure quick and efficient service.

Holders of other cards are advised toe clarify whether their card is acceptable in Namibia with a commercial bank. Visitors may bring any amount of foreign currency into the country. Further information and assistance can be obtained from any commercial bank.

SWIFT, the international funds transfer system owned by ad serving the financial community worldwide, operates at commercial banks in Namibia.

Note: No credit cards are accepted at petrol service stations.

Time

Summer – From the first Sunday in September to the first Sunday in April – two hours in advance of Greenwich Mean Time

Winter – From the first Sunday in April to the first Sunday in September – one hour in advance of Greenwich Mean Time

What to Pack

Cotton rather than synthetic clothing is recommended for Namibian summers. This can be bought at shops in Windhoek that specialise in lightweight safari wear. You can of course buy your cottons at home. Winters are usually mild to warm, which calls for light clothing in the middle of the day, and a sweater or jacket for evenings and early mornings when it can become quite cold. It is often cold and windy at the coast, for which warm clothing, including a windbreaker, is necessary. An important item is comfortable walking shoes. Swimsuits are required for public beaches or swimming pools.

Essential items are binoculars, a sun hat, sunglasses, sun block, bathing towel, moisturiser, lip balm and mosquito repellent. Point for electric shavers (electric current 250 V AC) are available at major hotels and most state-owned resorts. It is advisable to bring battery-operated or conventional razors when visiting remote areas. Camping equipment can be hired in Windhoek, as well as safari vehicles fully equipped with camping gear. Specialty shops in larger centers such as Windhoek and Swakopmund stock specialist equipment.

 Tax and Customs

Foreign visitors to Namibia can claim the value-added tax on holiday purchases exceeding N$250 when they leave Namibia via Hosea Kutako International Airport and at the border posts at Ariamsvlei and Noordoewer. The refund will be in the form of a cheque made out in SA rand, which will be payable anywhere in the world. TO ensure that the goods leave the country, they will have to be shown to the customs official before being checked in as luggage. The tax invoice will then be endorsed and payment processed by the VAT Refund Administrator.

Vat on services rendered or goods consumed cannot be refunded.

No value-added tax is payable on exports of firearms must be declared on arrival. Formalities concerning trophies are handled by the professional hunter concerned who contact a forwarding agent to make arrangements for the trophy to be sent tot he hunter’s destination.

It should be noted that value-added tax is payable on all services in Namibia, because these cannot be exported, as is the case with goods. Check information with the relevant authority at the airport.

Malaria precautions

During your travels through Namibia, whether visiting friends or camping in malaria areas, you need to take personal measures for protection against mosquito bites.

While Malaria is found mainly in the far north of the country, it has also been reported in the central region and occasionally in the south. Malaria can be a serious and fatal disease when not treated properly. It is transmitted to people by the bite of the female mosquito, usually after dark. Tourists can help reduce the risk of malaria by using personal protection measures.

It is imperative that visitors to the area north of Windhoek take adequate precautions, whether camping under the stars or sleeping under a roof.

The following measures are effective to reduce the risk of mosquito bites:

  • Sleep under a mosquito net at night. Nets treated with insecticides that are harmless to humans will further increase protection.
  • Wear long sleeves and long trousers. Avoid wearing dark colours, which attract mosquitoes.
  • Burn cols and pellets containing the insect repellent pyrethrum.
  • Apply mosquito repellents to exposed skin and clothing. Repellents containing diethyl toluamide (deet) or dimethyl phthalate are the best.
  • Using insecticide sprays is effective if entry of mosquitoes in the room is prevented.

Prophylactics: Drugs that prevent malaria can be used in addition to the personal protection measures mentioned above. The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends that travelers to Namibia and from non-malaria to malaria areas within  Namibia use Doxycycline or Malanul, one table per day day. The use of prophylactics is up to every person for him/herself. Most Namibians never use any form of drug, whether they live in the area or not. It is a personal choice.

 

 

Comments are closed