Namibia is a vast, sparsely populated country situated along the South Atlantic coast of Africa. Previously known as South West Africa, Namibia is bordered by South Africa in the south, Angola and Zambia in the north and Botswana and Zimbabwe in the east. It is also home to the oldest desert in the world - the Namib - which stretches along the whole west coast of the country. The Kalahari Desert runs along its southeastern border with Botswana. The country is demarcated into 13 regions, namely the Caprivi, Kavango, Kunene, Omusati, Ohangwena, Oshana and Oshikoto regions in the north, the Omaheke. Otjozondjupa, Erongo and Khomas Regions in the central areas and the Hardap and Karas regions in the south.
Getting to Namibia
There are no direct flights from the United States to Namibia, however, one can fly directly to Windhoek in Namibia from Johannesburg or Cape Town's International Airports.
Safety and Security within Namibia
It is advised that visitors be aware of pickpockets in town centers, avoid using taxis if possible and never take a taxi alone. Do not enter townships at night unless accompanied by someone with local knowledge and always take sensible precautions. Safeguard valuables and cash; deposit them in hotel safes, where practical and keep separate copies of important documents, including passports.
Namibia's climate is typical of semi-desert terrain, hot days and cool nights. With as many as 300 days of sunshine on average per year, Namibia is truly a sunny place. Only during the summer months from November to February does rain occur. See more on regional weather patterns by looking at our weather-map guide.
Namibian Visa Requirements
Visitors from the USA do not require visas for stays of up to 90 days.
Namibians are of diverse ethnic origins. The principal groups are the Ovambo, Kavango, Herero/Himba, Damara, mixed race, European (Afrikaner, German, and Portuguese), Nama, Caprivian (Lozi), Bushman, and Tswana.
The currencies are the Namibian dollar (NAD) and the South African rand (ZAR). 1 US Dollar = approximately 9.50 Namibia Dollar. For current rates click http://www.x-rates.com
Before visiting Namibia, you may need to get vaccinations and medications for vaccine-preventable diseases and other diseases you might be at risk for at your destination: (Note: Your doctor or health-care provider will determine what you will need, depending on factors such as your health and immunization history, areas of the country you will be visiting, and planned activities).
Etosha National Park is a photographer’s paradise, with beautiful wildlife spread out over a rough terrain. Etosha National Park allows for self-guided tours or visitors can hop on a guided tour, run by private resorts, where they will have a chance to see elephant, giraffe, cheetah, lion, leopard and plenty of other wildlife. In addition there are plenty of luxurious accommodations along the National Park.
Visitors have always enjoyed participating in the lively celebration in Namibia, known worldwide as Carnival. WIKA, a society located within Namibia is known for being the oldest carnival society in Africa. The society was founded in 1952 when some German immigrants celebrated Carnival and the African community adopted it as a part of their culture and has been celebrating annually ever since.
You can expect great live music from local artists and artists from around the world including countries like Germany, Canada, the United States, and South Africa. This unique cultural experience is like no other.
With breathtaking views and amazing trails, Fish River Canyon is the second largest canyon in the world only being surpassed by the Grand Canyon. The Fish River Canyon is known as one of Namibia’s natural wonders. The Fish River itself is also Namibia’s longest river measuring almost 100 miles. Visitors also hike the Fish River Hiking Trail, known throughout Southern Africa as one of the best trails.
Located in the southwestern part of Namibia, Luderitz is right on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean and is home to some of the largest crayfish in Namibia. Each year the people of Luderitz come together to enjoy music, parades, food, and other festivities, which is known to locals as, the crayfish festival. At this annual gathering you can expect the locals to welcome you right in and share some of the best seafood in all of Namibia.
See the sunrise and set at the sand dunes of Sossuvlei in the Namib Desert where the view offers spectacular picture opportunities. The sky turns into a light show at the dunes of Sossusvlei with drastic color changes throughout the rise and set of the sun. It is best to visit during those hours due to the intense heat throughout the middle of the day. Don’t miss out on what some people say are the biggest sand dunes in the world located in the largest National Park in Africa.
At Windhoek's annual Oktoberfest, patrons celebrate by demanding numerous pitchers of beer and sausages. This is Namibia's best attempt at recreating the famous beer festival in Munich. The events are not equal to the ones in Germany, Oktoberfest celebrations occur in many municipalities and cities all over, those in Namibia, specifically with the Windhoek festival (Namibia’s capital), are the most prevalent.
Only the best sausage makers labor away to make the ideal bratwurst, and there is even a contest in order to see which waitress can deliver the most beer to their table. This is a popular event that continues to attract a diverse group of visitors and locals each year.