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Preparation trip to Namibia | Best travel time, packing list and more

Located in Southern Africa is Namibia an ideal destination for a tour. Before you start, some preparation is needed before you get on the plane to Namibia. Be well prepared for your trip to Namibia to enjoy it to the fullest. To help you on your way, this article has compiled a packing list with things that you should absolutely not forget and other important things that are important for traveling through Namibia!

Best time to travel

The country of Namibia is located in southern Africa in the Southern Hemisphere. In the Namibian summer (Dutch winter) it can get very hot. December is the warmest with daily temperatures above 35 degrees. There is also a chance of rain or thunderstorms from January to April. Remember that nighttime can get very cold all year round, with temperatures even below freezing in winter. In winter, the average daytime temperature is 25 degrees. So keep this in mind especially if you are going to travel with a tent.

After the rainy season in April, Etosha National Park is beautifully green
After the rainy season in April, Etosha National Park is beautifully green

The high season for foreign tourists is from mid-July to mid-October, often many popular accommodations are already fully booked. The best months to visit Namibia are May, September and October.

Determine travel route

In order to be able to make a good preparation, a global itinerary be determined. This depends on how much time and money is available. The main attractions in Namibia are: Etosha National Park, Twyfelfontein, Sossusvlei, Kolmanskop, Capri Strip and Fish River Canyon.

The famous Deadvlei located near Sossusvlei
The famous Deadvlei located near Sossusvlei

Due to the ideal location of Namibia, a tour here can easily be combined with neighboring countries Botswana en South Africa† At the rent a car this must be indicated in advance when crossing the border.

Also read: Itineraries Namibia in 2, 3, 4 or 5 weeks | Must sees and example routes

Transport and Accommodation

Getting to Namibia

To get to Namibia it gives the option between plane or car. A flight from Frankfurt arrives at Windhoek International Airport several times a week. Flights from neighboring countries also arrive here. From Amsterdam you can fly to Johannesburg (South Africa) and then fly on to Windhoek.

Also read: Top 10 Things to Do in Windhoek

By road you can reach Namibia via Botswana, Angola, Zambia and South Africa. The border crossings are fairly strict and also take a lot of time on your trip. Make sure you meet all the conditions in advance to be allowed to enter Namibia and also bring a lot of patience.

Transportation in Namibia

Namibia is best explored by using a rental car, preferably one that is suitable for unpaved roads, such as a 4×4. There are also several 4×4 expedition campers for rent in Namibia. This gives you the ultimate freedom and you can go anywhere. You can compose your own trips, but there are also possibilities to go with group trips. Public transport in the country is minimal and only covers a very small area. The country is therefore less suitable for backpackers to travel around.

Also read: Want to buy an off-road 4×4 overland expedition camper? † Tips and what to watch out for

With the big bus organization Intercape you can get to the bigger cities. There is also a possibility to hitchhike, because of this you can often get quite far, but the National parks For example, visiting becomes difficult. Also, do not forget to bring an international driver's license, this can be requested by the car rental company. In short, the best way to travel in Namibia is with your own transport.

The famous gravel roads of Namibia
The famous gravel roads of Namibia

Passport and Visa

To enter Namibia you need a passport that is valid for at least 6 months after your trip. There must also be at least 1 blank page in your passport to obtain a visa. In practice, there is a third rule that you must comply with as a traveler. Namely, you have to look neat, show respect and look reasonably wealthy.

Also read: Study in Namibia | A blog about universities and student life

Preparation Namibia | Your passport must be valid long enough
Preparation Namibia | Your passport must be valid long enough

As a Dutch citizen you can get a 90 day visa for holidays or visits. This is not the case for all nationalities, so check before departure whether you can also get a 90-day visa for your nationality. This 90 day visa is free and you get it when you enter the country. Importantly, the 90 days have not expired when you leave the country.

Health

Travel insurance and vaccinations

Important to have is a health or travel insurance which can also be used in Namibia in case of emergency!

Another important point is your vaccinations. We strongly advise anyone traveling to a country or area where Malaria or another nasty disease may occur (including Namibia) not to jump to conclusions from this or other articles. Always make an appointment with one of the specialists at Vaccinations While Traveling or the GGD. The information they have is always up-to-date and that is why they can advise you specifically based on the specific travel plans you have.

Also read: Vaccinations for a World Trip | Everything you need to know

Malaria

Malaria still occurs in various parts of Namibia at certain times of the year. Before departure, discuss your trip with a medical expert and then determine whether you will take malaria tablets or whether you will not enter a malaria area. It is important that you always spray with DEET in a malaria area so that the mosquitoes stay at a distance.

Also read: Travel and Malaria | Everything you need to know about malaria pills

Note: Mosquitoes can often be found near water
Note: Mosquitoes can often be found near water

The drinking water of Namibia

Good hospitals, dentists and pharmacies can be found in Namibia. Tap water in Namibia is safe and good to drink, especially in Windhoek and other large cities. Water that is pumped up in the middle of nowhere is also safe to drink. It is best to filter this water or to buy water, since the composition and taste is different than we are used to in the Netherlands. This can give you stomach problems. The Lifestraw is an inexpensive and highly effective option for quickly filtering water anywhere in the world.

Tip: The Lifestraw water filter is for sale here via bol.com.

Protect yourself from mosquitoes and sun

Be especially careful with the mosquitoes in Namibia and especially in the areas where malaria can occur. Always use DEET well and wear as much (thin) clothing with long sleeves in the morning and evening hours so that mosquitoes have less chance of stinging you.

Furthermore, the sun shines almost every day in Namibia and it burns brightly, so that our Dutch skin burns fairly quickly. Apply sunscreen very well and preferably with the highest possible factor. Wear sunglasses and a cap to protect yourself from the sun. Don't forget that you are in a desert in Namibia, close to the equator.

Guides

Before you go to Namibia, it is useful to read through a travel guide. There are many different travel guides. The most famous is of course the Lonely Planet. Not only Namibia is discussed here, but also Botswana, so you only need to take 1 travel guide with you when traveling through both countries. Personally, I'm a big fan of Bradt's Namibia travel guide (Namibia | Bradt Guides – for sale here at bol.com), it is only available in English. There are still many publishers of travel guides about Namibia, so choose one that suits you. Other Dutch travel guides for Namibia are for sale here.

Preparation Namibia | My favorite travel guide
Preparation Namibia | My favorite travel guide

Money and Cost

In Namibia, payment is made with the Namibian Dollar and 1 to 1 is equal to the South African Rand. In Namibia you can pay well with the South African Rand, the other way around is not the case. Namibian Dollars can only be obtained in the country itself and cannot be obtained in advance at a foreign exchange office. The Namibian Dollar can be obtained here in Namibia from ATMs in larger towns. You can take the South African Rand with you from home in advance. The Namibian dollar consists of 200, 100, 50, 30, 20, 10 and coins.

Nambian Dollars
Nambian Dollars

The costs in Namibia for daily food are at the same level as in The Netherlands† What is a lot cheaper are the petrol costs and costs for a SIM card with mobile internet. Keep in mind that the further you are from Windhoek, there are fewer gas stations and supermarkets, so prices can sometimes be higher.

Packing List for Namibia

To go prepared for a trip to Namibia you need to pack a few essentials:

  • Namibia Travel Guide
  • Good road map of Namibia
  • Malaria tablets if necessary
  • Sunburn
  • Sunglasses
  • Cap or other headgear
  • Credit or Debit card set to 'worldwide'
  • Bring both Euros and US Dollars in case the ATM is empty and there is an exchange office.
  • International driver's license
  • Vaccination certificate / Yellow booklet
  • DEET or other mosquito repellent
  • Passport that is still valid 6 months after returning home
  • Warm clothes for the evening
  • Sturdy shoes
  • Travel plug for Namibia (Type: D or M, can also be bought in Namibia)
  • Headlight
  • First aid kit
One of Namibia's few railway lines
One of Namibia's few railway lines

Are you ready to travel to Namibia? Now you can enjoy a wonderful and carefree holiday. Enjoy your trip!

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Elaine Sieben

From March 2021 to December 2021 I lived in Windhoek in Namibia for my studies. I would like to tell you more about this beautiful country that is still unknown to many!

Planning 2023: Still to be completed. From September -> Rwanda

In my life I travel a lot, so in 2022 I was on the road in Austria, Germany, Belgium, South Korea, South Africa and Namibia! In the meantime I have already seen 28 countries in this beautiful world that lies at our feet.

Check out my instagram @travel_with_eline for more beautiful photos and stories about my travels.

Quote: "Great times never come from comfort zones!"

Seen a mistake? Ask? Remark? Let us know in the comments!

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Elaine Sieben

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