Travel Destinations / Namibia
Namibia is home to the oldest desert in the world, but don’t be fooled into thinking it is all that this fantastic destination has to offer. The country stretches for 1,300km along the west coast of Africa and varies between 480km and 930km in width from the coast inland. Namibia has been an independent country since 1990, after previous governing by South Africa and Germany before their southern neighbours.
The country itself is a marvellous destination for those after peace and tranquillity in the great outdoors. It is a wildlife rich country and is home to one of the best game reserves in the world, the Etosha National Park. Namibia is the 31st largest country in the world, but it has one of the lowest populations in the world, making the spaces between towns and cities vast, empty, yet captivating and unforgettable.
The country is known for its contrasting landscapes, from the barren Namib Desert, the immense dunes, the desolate plains and incredible mountain range at the foot of the plateau. Visitors will also find the gorgeous grasslands, thorn bushes in the savannah and the Fish River Canyon in the south of Namibia. To the north is the Okavango Delta and as one of the most unique and enchanting natural landscapes on the planet, it is certainly worth a visit while visiting Namibia.
Namibians are a very diverse group of people, but the one thing they all have in common is that they’re all extremely friendly and welcoming towards tourists. The further away from the cities you go, the more people will want to get to know you, and the more personal your Namibian holiday experience will become. Namibia is one of the kinds of places where you can stop and ask anyone for directions and you’ll be greeted with a smile and the information you need, should they know what you are looking for. Be friendly and courteous and it will be returned.
There is no point in beating around the bush, but the only shopping you’re likely to get done on a trip to Namibia is that of African and local Namibian curios. That doesn’t mean that there is no shopping to be done in Namibia, however. The local population is made up of a number of tribes and all of them display and sell their traditional wares and tokens throughout the country, so you will get a fabulous variety of colours, shapes and trinkets to take home.
The Namibian Dollar (NAD; symbol N$) is in note denominations of N$200, 100, 50, 20 and 10.
Coins are in denominations of N$5, N$1, 50 cents, 10 cents and 5 cents.
Namibian Dollars are worth exactly the same as South African Rands, and both currencies are accepted throughout the country.
Yellow fever certificates are required should you have visited an infected area prior to arrival in Namibia. Polio vaccinations should also be up to date as Namibia experienced a Polio outbreak in July of 2006. If you’re going to the northern regions (Okavango Delta and Etosha) during the wet months, from January to April, it is advised that you take all necessary Malaria precautions. It is advised that visitors to Namibia seek medical advice and guidance at least 4 weeks before leaving on a Namibian holiday.
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Best time to visit
The best time to visit Namibia is during its winter months, just because the temperatures are more tolerable, although the nights can be very cold. From May to October is generally regarded as the best time to visit Namibia if you are after game viewing and wildlife in Etosha. This is because the skies are clear, the malaria threat is at its lowest and animals are congregated around the few remaining water source in the desert.
If you don’t mind very hot conditions, a summer trip through Namibia can be a wonderful experience, just beware of the “wet” season, as gravel roads can flood and become muddy messes in the blink of an eye.