Namibia Safari Planning Checklist

February 25, 2013  By: Gretchen

We think Namibia is one of Africa’s most under-visited destinations, which is a shame as it has lots of adventures to offer.  You can do everything from game drives to sandboarding, and a lot of other things in between. With wide-open spaces and very few inhabitants, visitors feel like they have this incredibly scenic country to themselves.

Our friends at the Namibia Tourism Board shared this travel planning checklist with us. Some of the suggestions aren’t unique to Namibia, but all of it is good advice.  Consider a holiday to this amazing destination, then use this guide along with our safari specialists’ expertise to get ready to go!

Two months before departure:

  • Visit your doctor or a travel clinic to check your vaccinations are up-to-date. If you are travelling from an affected country, you will need to present a Yellow Fever Certificate upon arrival, obtained at least 14 days beforehand.
  • Check your route – visitors to the north and north-east are likely to need anti-malarial medication.
  • Your passport needs to have a minimum of six months validity when entering Namibia, so check if you need to renew it. Namibia border officials require one full blank page, but South Africa requires at least two (and you’re likely to fly through en route) – so be sure you have a minimum of three blank pages.
  • Most nationalities can obtain a visa upon entry to Namibia, but if you are planning to work or study in Namibia or stay longer than 90 days, contact the Namibia High Commission or Embassy in your country to obtain the correct visa. Once your passport is stamped, check that the entry and exit date are correct – sometimes it can be less than 90 days.

One month before departure:

  • Purchase comprehensive travel insurance (which we at AAC always recommend), and check the small print. You may need to upgrade if you decide to participate in higher-risk activities such as quad biking, skydiving, windsurfing or sandboarding, so check that these and other adventure activities are covered by your policy.
  • US and UK drivers licences are valid in Namibia – bring a paper copy if planning to hire a car. You will need an International Drivers Licence if a) you are planning to be in Namibia for more than 90 days, b) you plan to work there, c) your licence is not in English.

Two weeks before departure:

  • Make color photocopies of your passport. Visitors are required to carry photo ID, so this is a safer option than carrying your passport with you at all times.
  • Note down emergency numbers – 211111 (Windhoek), 10111 (elsewhere) in case you need medical assistance.
  • Visa and Mastercard are widely accepted at ATMs and at hotels and supermarkets in the city. If you would like to carry cash, the South African Rand is valid currency in Namibia, and equal in value to the Namibian Dollar, so you can purchase SA Rand to take with you. You can also obtain cash from an ATM upon arrival. Note: Namibian Dollars are not legal tender in South Africa.
  • Electrical plugs are the same as South Africa: 220v type “M” plugs with three round pins. It is a good idea to try and purchase an adaptor before travelling, as you may not be able to find the correct adaptor once in Namibia.

 One week before departure:

  • Be sure you have the right clothes for the right season – summer temperatures can reach over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, while in winter, nighttime temperatures can plummet below freezing! So bring plenty of warm layers, hats and gloves as well as t-shirts, sunglasses and sandals. Sunscreen and a sun hat are advised whatever the season.
  • Charge all your camera batteries and wipe your memory cards – you want to be ready to photograph as soon as you hit the ground.
  • Get excited and annoy all your friends by talking non-stop about your amazing trip!