A quick travel guide to Namibia

Some people say that you have only two options – you will love it or hate it.: ) And yes, Africa is really a story in itself. In our opinion, the most diverse continent in the world offers everything a traveler wants – amazing landscape in all forms and shapes, spectacular wildlife, good food, amazing people and probably the most diverse tribal communities in the world.
But there are also some drawbacks. Because of the security issues – especially in last couple of years, diseases, lack of good medical facilities in some areas and lack of good tourist infrastructure in some countries there are still a lot of people, who rather skip it and travel to more relaxed and tourist “friendly” Asia. And that’s a shame. Because there are many countries in Africa that are really suitable also for family travels. Morocco, Tanzania, South Africa, Namibia are just some of them and with proper preparations available and suitable for everyone.
If we would have to choose the best one for family travel it would be 100% Namibia. It is just the perfect destination for traveling with kids. It is safe, infrastructure is very good, health care as well. Landscape is spectacular, tribal communities amazing, wildlife breathtaking. Its like Africa in a small package. 🙂 We wrote about our favorite places in Namibia in this post.

Below we would like to share some advices and travel tips to help you organize a trip to this amazing country.

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NAMIBIA TOURIST VISA

Nationals from some countries (approx. 42) are not required to obtain tourist visa before arrival for visits shorter than 90 days. For the rest – you have to apply for tourist visa at the nearest Namibian embassy.

NAMIBIA – WHEN TO GO?
This is a hard one. It will depend on many things including your interests, which part of the country you want to visit and why you’re traveling. Namibia’s climate is generally very dry and pleasant – it’s fine to visit all year round.
Between December – March some days will be humid and rain may follow, often in localised, afternoon thunderstorms (expecially in the central and the eastern part of the country).
April and especially May are lovely months, increasingly dry, the landscape is green.
From June to August Namibia cools down and dries out even more; nights can become cold, dropping below freezing in some desert areas (good time for wildlife viewing).
By September and October it warms up again; game-viewing in most areas is at its best, although there’s often a lot of dust around and the vegetation has lost its vibrancy.
November is a highly variable month. Sometimes the hot, dry weather will continue, at other times the sky will fill with clouds and threaten to rain.

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NAMIBIA GETTING AROUND

Namibia is huge, sparsely populated and because of that the best way to explore it is to rent a car. Roads are good. Many of the places you can visit with normal personal car. But if you are more adventures the best option is 4×4. Diesel price is cca. 0,70 USD per liter. Sometimes distances between towns with gas station are big, so refill it everywhere you can. Good place to look for some good rent a car deals is billiger-mietwagen.de. There are also many local operators – we rented a car at africantracks.com and were very satisfied.

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ACCOMODATION IN NAMIBIA

Namibia is a camping paradise and for us the perfect way to explore the country. If you choose camping, kids will love it! There are 2 options. More expensive is to hire a 4×4 car with all camping equipment and rooftop tents. Or cheaper option – normal 4×4 or normal personal car with ordinary tents. We chose the first option and we didn’t regret it. In Namibia there is a lot of places, where you can camp – at some places it is advisable to book ahead, especially in summer months – July, August. In the northern part of the country it is also possible to camp in the wild. But be respectful to local communities. If camping is not an option, there are many resorts in all price ranges. Regarding this – sky is the limit. 🙂  Good place to find some affordable accomodation is airbnb.

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FOOD IN NAMIBIA
If you will be traveling around Namibia with a rented vehicle and you will be camping, you will probably cook by yourself or eat out from time to time. You can find restaurants in all major towns and also around all major tourist attractions. You can buy all the essentials in food stores in Windhoek or other bigger cities. Fruits, vegetables and especially meat can be also bought at the farm ranches. Don’t forget to always carry lots of water with you.

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SAFETY ISSUES IN NAMIBIA

Namibia is generally very safe country. In cities don’t keep your valuables on display. I would advise not to wander around Windhoek by night. While traveling around the country be aware of the animals crossing the roads – especially at night and early in the morning and late in the evening.

HEALTH ISSUES IN NAMIBIA

Health care in Namibia is generally OK. You can find first aid in all major towns. I recommend vaccination against Hepatitis A, if you will travel to remote parts of northern Namibia also antimalaric – Malarone is the best for kids. But please consult with your doctor. We recommend good health care insurance. Due to the long distances between the cities and remote areas we recommend a satellite phone that you can use in emergency.

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More about our road trip to Namibia: Video – Namibia family road trip

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