Getting ready to travel to Namibia? Wondering what to do to prepare and what to pack? Here is a compilation of information that I hope will be useful to you.
GET YOUR PLAN TOGETHER
First things first, is you itinerary ready?
If not, check out the many places to see and experience in Namibia via ZigZag On Earth online travel guide.
English is the official language in Namibia, so there is not problem to get around.
Therefore, for this country I have no words to teach you and you have nothing to learn.
Note that there are many dialects in the various regions of Namibia. The most fascinating one if the Damara. Just ask your driver to put on a radio station from the Damara people. It is full of clicks and clacks. Unbelievable! Check out this Youtube video to understand the click.
Namibia is considered one of the safest country in Africa and I felt really safe the whole time (especially when the doors and windows were closed as the lion approached…)
However here are some recommendations:
- Protect yourself from the sun. It is a desert! Plus drink plenty of water
- You are probably a sensible person, but I still will remind you to not go for a walk in nature unaccompanied. Wild animals around!
- Close your window when there are lions, don't try taking pictures
- Malaria is a little bit present in the North of the country. I was the only one in my group to take medication for it although it is recommended.
- Normal safety rules about walking at night in the main cities
CLOTHES - WHAT TO PACK FOR NAMIBIA
A mix of very light clothes for the hot days and warm jackets for the coastal area and the desert nights between June and August.
- light clothes, light color, long sleeves recommended when walking in the sand dunes
- No flashy colors to avoid scaring animals away
- Long sleeves in Etosha to protect from mosquitoes
- closed shoes (small animals can be more annoying than big ones)
- swim wear
- Warm jacket for the night
It is not a clothing item, but do not forget to bring your binoculars (see how to choose a pair)!
And get ready with my detailed Packing Lists
Luckily, Namibia is quite easy to photograph. All the colors bring a lost of contrast. However if you have a DSLR you should not forget:
- your zoom to capture the wildlife. We we sometimes quite close but not always. Some waterhole cannot be approached, and neither can some animals.
- You tripod. In the desert area (most of Namibia) you will be far away from light pollution. A great place to capture the stars!
Check out my 10 best photos from Namibia!
MONEY: currency, tipping
The money is the Namibian Dollar made of 100 cents. It is linked to the African rand that you can also use in Namibia. (However you cannot use your Namibian Dollars in South Africa so finish them before leaving the country).
Visa and Mastercard are generally accepted.
- 10% in restaurant if you are satisfied with the service but not mandatory
- Taxi drivers are not tipped
- It is also common to tip good game drive guides directly of via the communal tip box
At the souvenir markets you are expected to discuss the price.
FOOD & BEVERAGES: what to expect
A lot of the food in Namibia revolve around the mead: ostrich, kudu, antelopes, oryx… Time for you to discover new taste.
However as there as many ethnic groups in Namibia, there is no one dish that stands out as typical.
Namibia is a large country with coastal area and desert area. So you can have a wide range of weather and temperatures.
In October, it was very hot inland and quite cool (even chilly) on the coast.
If you travel in June to August, be prepared as it can get really cold at night in the desert.
You can check out my description of the different climate in the Best time to visit section of the planning page.
OTHER USEFUL INFO TO KNOW
- Wifi: Hummm, developing
- Don't forget binoculars. Your guide will have some pairs, but if you want to have them all the time, it is better to carry your own. Check out my guide to the best safari binoculars.
- Visa: Don't forget to check if you need a visa
- Bottled water is recommended
- If you do a self drive make sure the tires are in good condition and that you know how you change them. Some very long portion of roads are not paved. (We had to change tires twice with the bus)
Want to see MORE of NAMIBIA?
Discover more things to do with photos and planning information in my online Namibia Travel Guide.
Don’t hesitate to share more advice or ask questions in the comments below
Would it be sensible to travel alone as an older female (68)?
Claire, the Travel Planning Geek says
If you stay close to the Central attractions, where there are lots of tourists and guides to help you if you breakdown, it should be fine.
But if you head further away from the capital (South or North) where it is less touristy, I would be worried about driving alone on those bumpy unpaved roads and breaking down in the middle of nowhere. Sometimes we did see another car for a very long time…