Although not as well-known as some of its African neighbours, Namibia is a gem for those in search of the wilderness. Namibia is a large, and sparsely populated country on Africa's south-west coast, which has enjoyed more than a decade of stability since achieving Independence on 21 March 1990.

Today Namibia is a peaceful country which is economically prosperous as a result of its productive mining, fishing, tourism and agricultural industries. Essentially a desert country, Namibia offers contrasting landscapes. The desolate Namib Desert is said to be the oldest in the world, with its high dunes and awe-inspiring sense of space. The central plateau, with its thorn bush savannah and rugged mountains, rising abruptly from the plains, gives way to the majestic Fish river Canyon in the south. In the north of the country, landscapes range from dense bush and open plains of the great Etosha Pan, to woodland savannah and lush vegetation.

The Etosha national park, the third largest in Africa, owes its unique landscape to the Etosha Pan, a vast shallow depression of approximately 5 000km². A series of waterholes along the southern edge of the pan guarantee rewarding and often spectacular game viewing. Germanic influence can still be found in the country's good road infrastructure, well-equipped rest camps throughout the country and most cities' architecture. The perfect choice for nature lovers and amateur photographers alike.

Passports, Visas, and Immigration

International visitors require a valid passport together with onward travel documents. When traveling to southern Africa guests must please ensure that their passport is valid for at least 6 months after their scheduled departure date and that they have a minimum of 2 blank pages in their passport to enable the entry visa to be issued (if there is insufficient space in the passport then entry may be denied).

Please ensure that you have arranged the entire necessary single or multiple entry visas prior to your arrival into southern Africa (unless you have confirmed they are available on entry).

Electricity

220 volts AC, 50hz. Outlets are of the round three-pin type.

Time Zone

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

Health

Medical services in Namibia are of a very high standard. However, the availability of most services is restricted to the main towns.

Emergencies and accidents that occur in remote areas do attract a high cost when transport to the main towns is required. Host establishments should be able to organize these services when requested.

Vaccinations
There are no mandatory vaccinations for travellers from Europe. If you arrive from a country where yellow fever vaccinations are mandatory you need to produce proof that you have been vaccinated. Take the usual precautions: ask your doctor whether you should renew your vaccinations against polio, diphtheria and tetanus. S/he might also advise to take precautions against Hepatitis A and B. Unfortunately there is no vaccination against malaria.

Malaria
Malaria remains one of the most feared illnesses world-wide. Holidaymakers can protect themselves efficiently.

Language

English is the official language but Afrikaans and German (in Namibia) are also widely spoken, as well as the various tribal languages and dialects belonging to the Bantu and Khoisan groups.

Climate

Winter (May to September) – Temperatures range in the interior from 18C to 25C during the day. Below freezing and frost are common at night.
Summer (October to April) – Average temperatures range from 20C to 35C during the day and temperatures above 40C are often recorded in the extreme north and south of the country.
At the coast the temperature is generally much cooler, ranging from 15C to 25C, and fog is common.
Rainfall – Early rains may occur from October onwards and the main rainy season falls between January and April. During this time flash floods are common.