Namibia is one special country to visit and has so much to offer and to explore. The landscape changes around every corner and the wildlife and people with it. Namibia is best explored with a 4×4 and a experienced private guide that knows the attractions and which roads are best to use to visit them as most of the roads are gravel and their conditions change all the time.
Namibia is divided into 9 different sections each with it’s own dramatic landscape, wildlife, people, culture weather and climate, but let’s look at some important facts to consider before planing your trip.
Passports & Visas
Always travel with a valid passport. Some countries require that your passport not expire within six months of the date you leave the country but do not enforce the policy upon entering the country.
Best time to visit Namibia is in the cooler dry months between April and September as the rainy season is in the summer months from October to March which can be very hot and humid, but this is the best times to photograph birds. The average summer temperature 17 – 30 and winter 7 – 20 with average annual rainfall of about 510mm.
Health – Malaria, Vaccines requirements…
Namibia and South Africa are very healthy countries and it is unlikely you will have any health issues while travelling here. However it is always worth taking precautions, so here is some information which may help.
NB! Check the vaccines and medicines list and visit your doctor (ideally, 4-6 weeks) before your trip to get vaccines or medicines you may need.
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 better facilities are available and there are big distances to travel my car in sometimes unpredictable roads, therefor air evacuation insurance is recommended. For a very reasonable one-off fee of $74 per person,$84 family, you will be entitled to this service for a period of one year from the date of your arrival in Namibia at Mercy Flights 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.
Yellow Fever: There is no risk of yellow fever in Namibia.
Malaria: Yes you’ll need to take tablets against Malaria, see your doctor. 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.
Recommended Vaccines. Get travel vaccines and medicines because there is a risk of these diseases in the country you are visiting.
- Hepatits A and B
- Cholera – oral vaccine dissolved in water.
I also recommend to always travel with tablets against traveller’s diarrhoea, as what is good for the locals must be good, but they developed resistance towards potentially harmful components in their food that might affect you in a different unpleasant way.
We all like to think that our holidays will be fun and trouble free, unfortunately on occasion the unexpected happens, and at times like those it is good to know that you are adequately covered by you travel insurance.
You should ensure that your travel insurance covers you for delays & cancellations as well as medical expenses and lost luggage. We at African Memory also require you to furnish proof of medical coverage / evacuation coverage before you will be allowed to embark on a safari as this i Africa and although the hospitals are good it’s the distances so air evacuation may be required. I advice that you take out extra insurance for all your camera equipment as well.
Now let’s explore all Namibia has to offer. Here are the 9 different parts to be explored. Starting at the capital Windhoek, Surroundings and Central East going south the Fish River Canyon and Surroundings, moving north along the coast to Sossusvlei, up to the Coastal Strip and Twyfelfontein up to Kaokoland back inland to Etosha and surroundings continuing to Kavango old “Caprivi Strip“ before making your way back to Windhoek and Kalahari desert through the Waterberg & Khaudum area.
1 Windhoek & Central East: Windhoek is Namibia’s capital and largest city with a estimate population of 340 900. It’s known by the traditional names of Ai Gams (Khoekhoe for “Hot Springs”) and Otjimuise (Otjiherero for “Place of Steam”) Windhoek is the economic, social, cultural and political centre of Namibia. There are many historical sites of colonial German heritage, which contrast the contemporary architectural styles of modern buildings. Towns to the south Rehoboth, Mariental east Swakopmund west Gobabis towards Botswana and north Okahandja.
2 Fish River Canyon and Surroundings: The region is home to one of the most majestic canyons in the world. It host Namibia’s first transfrontier conservation area and a diamond- mining industry note. Luderitz is renowned for it’s distinctive German colonial architecture with Kolmanskop the ghost town not far. From their you pass the wild horses of Aus to Keetmanshoop which is surrounded by Quiver trees.
3 Sossusvlei & The Namib Nauklluft Park, Namib Desert the famous Deadvlei, Sesriem and Solitaire are the places to viste in this area. Sossusvlei is Namibia’s second-most popular tourist attraction with dunes up to 325 meters high. The Sandwich Harbour Lagoon is fed by fresh water seeping from an inland aquifer. Various wildlife like ostrich, oryx, springbok, zebra and predators like leopard, spotted and brown hyaena and jackals could be seen here. Deadvlei is one of the main attraction here.
4 Coastal Strip: The coast is Namibia’s adventure mecca. It also offers abundant history, culture, art and crafts. The Skeleton Coast Park protects one third of Namibian coastline. This strip is a haven for unique plants, animals and birds. Along the coast we have Swakopmund, Walvis bay and Henries bay and future north the Cape Cross and seal iland.
5 Twyfelfontein region host Namibia’s first World Heritage Site awarded in 2007 for 2000 plus rock engravings estimated to be 6 000 years old. It’s home to the Damara people and this region is dominated by Brandberg Namibia’s highest mountain.
6 Kaokoland is host to Epupa falls where The Kunene River drops a total of 60 meters over a distance of 1,5km an area where both desert lions and elephants have adapted to surviving and where the Himba people are still living in their traditional ways of goat farming.
7 Etosha became a game reserve in 1907, and span over 22 912km2 today. The pan covers 23% of the park. It’s the largest salt pan in Africa, even visible from space ( km100 x km50) and host 114 mammal species and 340 bird species. Eotsha is the perfect stop over before heading north west on the largly unexplored rich land of the Owambo people. Towns surrounding the Etosha are Outjo, Tsumeb, Kamenjap and Ondangwa.
8 Kavango old “Caprivi Strip” & Zambezi is great for game viewing and birding. This region is home to five of Namibia’s national Parks and the north east with the highest rainfall in Namibia offers Namibia rule at it’s best. The Okavango River forms a km400 border between Namibia and Angola with Rundu being the main town and the km500 Trans Caprivi Highway cutting the Caprivi in half and is the main road.
9 The Waterberg Plateau rises with 200 meters above the surrounding savannah and the Tsumkwe are home to Namibia’s earliest known ancestors. The Waterbury Plateau Park is home to some 25 game and 200 bird species, some rare species like roan and sable antelope, Cape buffalo and tsessebe occur in large numbers. White and Black Rhino has also established themselves in the reserve. Otjiwarongo, Grootfontein and Otavi are the main towns of the region and the Cheetah Conservation Fund is another one of the main tourist attractions of the area.