Namibia Safaris Tours
Namibia has a range of climate and tiny Population which makes it an easy place to get away from it all. Namibia is one of the least visited African Country but it offers safaris like self-drive safari tours and climbing sand dunes to the skeleton coast and the wildlife safari tours to Etosha National Park, Namib-Naukluft National Park, Bwabwata National Park, Mahango Game Park, and Vast Coastal Wilderness of the Skelton Coast National Park, Fish River Canyon, 500m-deep gouge in the landscape that makes a spectacular backdrop for hiking. The rugged mountains of the semi-desert kaokoland and Bushmanland which are Namibia’s Remote areas you can Visit. Namibia also has the thrilling land scape to adventure from which you can head for the tour to Namibia’s adrenalin capital, Swakopmund where adventure activities abound along with some exceptional excursions into the surrounding desert.
CLIMATE OF NAMIBIA
Namibia is a desert country and thus features a desert climate to a greater extent. The temperatures are hot during the day and actually very hot in summer whereas the nights are cold with some areas stretching below the freezing point in winter.
The Rainfall is sparse though the Namibia’s northeast experiences high rain fall amounts being a tropical area. The Namib Desert lies along the coast and the rainfall here is considerable rare.
The rainy season in Central Namibia commences in January running until mid April while to the further north, the rains commence a bit earlier and the season is considerably shorter as you head to the south.
Apart from the south where winter rains occasionally occur, it can be noted that other parts of Namibia may not feature any cloud in the winter months. However, the coastal Namibia is different with it experiencing hot conditions in winter period following the blow of east winds and it hardly rains with the place always covered by fog.
The following is what a traveller on Safari in Namibia can expect in each month;
It is humid and hot with possibility of rain thus a 4X4 is advisable. As a result of considerable water amounts, the wild game tend to disperse thus the month may not be perfect for game viewing. Swakopmund accommodation always a challenge in this month as the Christmas crowd is still present.
February also has hot and humid conditions with the highest rainfall amounts in Namibia. This is a low season and the low rates apply. The vegetation is high and water is much thus the wild game disperses and can be challenging to find.
March is humid and hot thus with good possibility of rain. Namibia features a green landscape during this month and can be beautiful to see. The tourists tend to be many depending on the Easter period. The low season rates still stand and the 4X4 is recommended but animals are still dispersed.
In April, the temperatures during the day begin to cool off and the evenings tend to be cooler. The landscape of Namibia looks magnificent during this time and if one avoids the Easter crowd, then it can be one of the best months to visit Namibia though the wild game viewing is still not the best like in the drier months. In this month, you enter into the daylight saving time so the days seem to be shorter than in the months before with the sun set marked at 17:30 hours.
May is the beginning of winter and features warm but short days along with cold nights.
The rains are unusual and as Namibia starts to dry, the wild game sights improve. The veld looks beautiful following seasons of rainfall
The Month of June features warm days and cold nights with close to no possibility of rain. Everything starts to dry forcing the wild game to gather around the water points which makes their viewing easier and good.
The month of July features cold nights and warm days and there is no rain. The animals are concentrating on water points making viewing excellent. The month is peak season and thus peak season applies.
August features cold nights and warm days with no rain. The month is so windy with dry dusty conditions. It is peak and advance booking of the accommodation is recommended.
September’s first weeks appear as spring, at the end of the month the summer appears in full swing featuring hot days and impressive night time temperatures. The month is peak and has good game viewing encounters until the end of October or the month of November when the rains begin. The clock changes back to Namibian summer time.
October features hot days with small chances of rain and in Windhoek, it is commonly referred to as Suicide month. This is because the residents are depressed by thunder clouds’ build up but delivering no rain. Animal viewing is still good.
The month of November features very hot days with few chances of rain and tourist numbers begin to plummet.
December is so hot and has few possibilities of rain as well. The first half of the month has few tourists but the second one is so busy because of the festive season. There are crowds in the coastal towns of Walvis Bay, Swakopmund and Luderitz.
Most visitors enter Namibia at Hosea Kutako International Airport located 45km east of Windhoek. International flights arrive multiple times throughout the week from Johannesburg and Frankfurt via a number of carriers including Air Namibia. Other airlines with scheduled flights to Namibia include British Airways, South African Airways, LTU and TAAG, the Angolan national airline. The airport terminal offers a bevy of shops and restaurants, also ATM’s and other helpful services, including taxi and shuttle transportation that is also available to and from Windhoek.
From Frankfurt to Windhoek about 11hours
From USA to Windhoek via South Africa about 19 hours
From Cape Town/ Johannesburg to Windhoek about 2 hours
From London to Windhoek about 12 hours
Air Namibia flies from Hosea Kutako International Airport to a range of domestic destinations shown below;
- Luderitz Airport
- Walvis Bay Airport
- Oranjemund Airport
Air Namibia flies from Eros Airport in Windhoek to these points
- Rundu Airport
- Ondangwa Airport
- Mpacha Airport
The currency for Namibia is the Namibian Dollar (N$) which is connected to a one to one exchange with the neighbouring South African Rand. It can be noted that Rand is a legal tender in destination Namibia though the Namibian Dollar does not operate in South Africa.
The changing of Rand in Namibia attracts no commission but a hefty one (around 25%) stands while undertaking the same transaction in the Republic of South Africa. Therefore, if a traveller on a safari to Namibia and intends to buy the currency prior to arrival in Namibia, it can be easier to secure Rand since the Namibian Dollar hardly present in banks outside Namibia.
The credit cards are accepted for use in a myriad of restaurants, supermarkets along with accommodation facilities in towns of Namibia. The MasterCard and Visa card are popularly used but in rural areas, cash payment is accepted. However Credit cards are not accepted for petrol purchase.
The Banks in Namibia can exchange the travellers’ cheques into Namibian Dollar though at a charge. Also it can be noted that few of the establishments take up the travellers cheque thus it is advisable to cash it the moment you encounter the bank. The bigger hotels can do money exchange though the rates are not always good. The working hours for banks are from 9am – 3:30pm during weekdays and 9am – 11am on Saturdays.
The Namibians are not so adventurous when it comes to food. The meat is standard and it tends to be served with Mahango a porridge mixture like. It can also be called Pap and any other name depending on the part of Namibia where you are. The chips and steak is common in restaurants
Vegetables are less popular to many Namibians are at times seen as poison to cultural diehards.
However, there is a change as many lodges and restaurants in Namibia present a range of foodstuffs with some having provision for vegetarians.
The most preferable means of preparing meat in Namibia is braai – Barbecue and this is like a ritual practiced in a range of homesteads in the afternoons of Saturday and Sunday. The braai appears as a social occasion where eating and beer are guaranteed.
Etiquette in Namibia
The informal dressing is acceptable in Namibia as the locals themselves go out for dinner in T-Shirts and shorts. So dressing in the same, may not appear as a surprise.
However, it can be noted that Namibia is a polite country and very significant to greet people and treat one another politely. Thus say hello and shaking hands with the locals would be a good etiquette.
Avoid confronting any authority as the state of calmness and politeness can save you a lot of trouble.
However as a result of an increasing multicultural environment for the past two (2) years, some changes in the traditional etiquette have been observed.
What to pack for a safari in Namibia
Though temperatures can vary across regions, it can be noted that the days are hot while the nights are cold.
- For clothing, cool, cotton fabrics are suitable for day time while jacket or sweater is good for morning and evenings.
The first Aid kit with the following is recommended;
- Insect repellent
- Malaria prophylaxis
- Diarrhea medication
- Sun block
- Moisturizing lotion
- Lip balm and a hat
- Comfortable walking shoes / hiking boots
- Battery-operated or conventional razors if visiting remote areas
- Emergency numbers and contacts
- A good camera
- Rehydrating solutions or concentrates
The world travellers intending to take safaris to Namibia are supposed to have in possession of a passport which has to feature 6 months validity with at least two (2) blank pages on which the Visa (both and exit) can be stamped.
Travellers must feature a valid return ticket or proof of other transport means that will enable one to leave Namibia.
Namibian Visa allows for a stay of up to 90 days though it can be extended by applying to the Ministry of Home Affairs.
Visa Exemption in Namibia
The visitors from the following countries do not require Visa to enter Namibia for a period of up to 90 days;
- New Zealand
- Scandinavian countries
- South Africa
Tipping in Namibia
Though the service in Namibia is not to the International standards, the service staff at various hotels and lodges would attempt to impress you. Basically, the customary 10% tip is common in restaurants but can be increased depending on the degree of satisfaction.
The tipping in Bars is not all that common though appreciated. The porters or any other person who assists packing and carrying of your bags should be appreciated.
The car guards are important in Windhoek to look after your vehicle in the parking lots and can be given $5 per hour
Tipping is important and recommended as it enhances the local people’s living.
Time in Namibia
Namibia is officially two (2) hours ahead of GMT. But during the winter time which occurs from the first April’s first Sunday through the September’s first Sunday, the Namibian time goes back by one hour and thus the country becomes +1 ahead of GMT.