DUNES, DESERTS AND ENDLESS VISTAS
Namibia is a country of stunning contrasts with two great deserts: the Namib and its sea of red sand runs along the entire Atlantic coastline, while the Kalahari in the eastern interior is a sparsely vegetated savannah that sprawls across the border into neighbouring countries. In-between lies the Central Plateau, with open plains and rugged mountains. Famed for its vast open landscapes, endless blue skies, sunny weather and tranquil starry nights, Namibia is the fifth largest country in Africa.
The Facts – Namibia
Area 824,292 sq. km
Capital city Windhoek
Languages English, German, Bantu and Khoisan
Government Constitutional democracy
Why choose Namibia?
- Climbing the world’s tallest sand dunes at Sossusvlei
- Viewing wildlife that has adapted to the harsh desert
- Tracking black rhino on foot in true wilderness
- Appreciating one of the oldest Bushman rock art sites in the world
- Interacting with the fascinating Himba people
Regions in Namibia
Vast landscapes surround the few cities of Namibia. The many national parks and game reserves boast a huge variety of wildlife in a kaleidoscope of differing environments: the white saltpans of Etosha National Park, the red dunes at Sossusvlei, lonely beaches along the Skeleton Coast, and the uninhabited wilderness of Kunene.
The rugged, rocky landscape is characterised by valleys and dry riverbeds that carve their way through deep gorges and ancient geological features.
As Namibia’s premier savannah wilderness area, Etosha National Park is a vast 2 270 000 hectares (5 500 000 acres) of woodland and grassy plains surrounding a massive salt pan.
Skeleton Coast/Namib Desert
Endless vistas across ‘fairy circle’-covered plains, ancient valleys, rugged peaks and desolate coastlines make for a fascinating safari.
Sossusvlei is famed for its iconic sand dunes, flashing red at sunrise and rising 300m above the valley floor, and a series of dry pans and ‘vleis’.
Namibia Visa Information
This information serves as a guide only. Travellers should check visa requirements pertaining to their citizenship, as entry requirements can vary.
Visas are NOT required for foreigners from most Commonwealth countries and European Union countries as well as the United States.
Please visit http://www.namibia-botschaft.de/index.php/who-needs-a-visawer-braucht-ein-visum a full list of nationalities which require visas for entry into Namibia.
The weather in southern Africa is generally pleasant throughout the year – warm to hot days, and cool to warm nights. During our winter months however (May to September), it can get really cold at night and in the early morning, particularly when on safari, so we would like to suggest that you pack accordingly – very warm clothing including an anorak/winter jacket, a beanie, scarf and gloves are recommended. Please also refer to our packing suggestions list.
The climate is typically semi-desert with hot days and cool nights. The cold Benguela Current keeps the coast cool and free of rain most of the year – Namibia averages about 300 days of sunshine annually. The rainy season lasts from October to April, while the rest of the year is dry and cloudless.
Humidity is generally very low in most parts, however, can reach as high as 80% in the extreme north during summer. The average rainfall is 50 millimetres (1.97 inches) along the coast to 350 millimetres (13.78 inches) in the central interior and 700 millimetres (27.56 inches) in the Caprivi. If you are travelling on a self-drive basis, you must exercise caution when crossing riverbeds and camping during the summer months as flash floods can occur from the sporadic rains. It is perfectly safe to travel by road at this time, although a 4×4 or vehicle with high ground clearance is recommended.
Mid-summer temperatures may rise to over 40°C (104°F). Winter days are warm, however, dawn temperatures may drop to freezing. Along the coast it is cool with low rainfall and fog prevails from late afternoon until mid-morning.
Spring starts in September with all the vegetation coming into leaf and days are much warmer with the occasional cool evening and morning. From October we experience very warm sunny days with warm evenings. Some rains are experienced sporadically, though larger showers can be expected usually only around December.
There are no mandatory vaccinations for travelers from Europe. If you arrive from a country where yellow fever vaccinations are mandatory, proof of immunization is required. Take the usual precautions: ask your doctor whether you should renew your vaccinations against polio, diphtheria and tetanus. It also may be advisable to take precautions against Hepatitis A and B. Unfortunately there is no vaccination against malaria.
Malaria remains one of the most feared illnesses worldwide. In southern Africa malaria is second to HIV/AIDS in causing illness and death. In Namibia however, this applies primarily to the northern parts of the country, where protection often becomes too expensive. Tourists can protect themselves efficiently with a bit of planning and extra caution. Malaria is transmitted through the bite of a female Anopheles mosquito, which has previously bitten a person infected with malaria. If there are no mosquitoes, there is no malaria either. Since Namibia does not have much stagnant water the risk of contracting malaria is minimal in most parts of the country, or limited to a specific time of the year.
• High-risk areas are the river meadows in the north, northwest and northeast. If this is where you will travel, you are advised to take precautions year round.
• Kaokoveld, Etosha National Park, the Otavi Mountains and the east including Bushmanland are areas of medium risk. Precautions are strongly recommended during the rainy season (November to April).
• The risk is small in the area between Otjiwarongo and Windhoek. This does not mean, however, that you should not use mosquito repellent.
• The coast, the Namib Desert and the south are regarded as almost risk-free.