Nids

Termitière

Moon valley

Namib

GUIDE LINES FOR TRAVELERS

Elementary instructions to know how to behave in sensitive ecosystems.

There are only a few irresponsible travellers. There are a lot of ill informed people or not informed at all.

Weather/Meteorology :

In general, Namibia counts a minimum of 300 sunny days per year. The seasons are inverted in comparison to Europe.

During the dry season (April-October), the days are sunny and the nights can be cold (southern winter) .

The small rainy season (November-December) offers hot days and sporadic rains. The rain season (January-March) shows high temperatures and rains, which can be constant.

It is not easy to tell you what is the best season to travel in Namibia, as the expectations of each one may vary. Each season, each month of the year has its advantages and its disadvantages, depending whether you like the heat or not, the humidity, a dry weather or may be nice lights…

 

When to travel

Some years ago, the most popular months were the period of summer holidays in Europe (July and August). Then, we have observed more travellers also in June, September and October. Nowadays, Namibia is visited all over the year with a peak season from June to September. During this period, it can become difficult to find camping sites in some national parks, Etosha and Namib-Naukluft especially if one does not book long in advance.

 

Passport/Visa :

All nationals from the European Community or Switzerland do not need any visa. Upon arrival, at the immigration point, a tourism authorisation is stamped on the passport, provided that it is valid six months after the return date. It is essential to know your first address in Namibia. You will have to fill in an emigration form, mentioning this detailed address (Lodge, B&B, Guest House, Private person)

 

Currency :

Namibian Dollar (NAD)

The South African Rand is accepted in Namibia at the same parity than the Namibian Dollar.

The foreign traveller cheques can be exchanged at the airport and at the banks in the country.

It is possible to pay with the usual credit card, but not everywhere in the country yet.

 

Driving :

The fuel should be paid only in cash.

On the tarred roads, the speed limit is 120 kms per hour and 80 kms on the gravel roads.

The Namibian police make speed controls and alcohol tests. No presence of alcohol in the blood is tolerated while driving.

The seat belt should be fastened at the front and at the back of the vehicle.

At nightfall, you have to be very cautious while driving, as there are often a lot of animals along the roads and even on the roads ! Due to the good conditions of the gravel roads and the long distances, number of travellers take ill-considered risks !

Beware : the road accidents are frequent and usually serious ! Do not take useless risks, take time to stop and to observe quietly, instead of combining : driving and observation ! It is generally advisable to drive on full beam.

Driving in Namibia require your driving licence as well as an international driving licence !

Please, stay on the tracks ! Never drive off road, even and especially if you are driving a 4x4 vehicle.

Why ?

The tracks that we are leaving behind us will stay may be one day, one week, but most of them will stay years ! YES, it takes sometimes 10 YEARS, even much more for our tracks to become blurred or to fully disappear. Let us imagine one second : if all vehicles left behind their passage indelible tracks, Namibia will be irreparably disfigured. Our tracks, especially if we travel in convoy, will not only be another simple track in the countryside but will become a new trail from its own. The next travellers may consider this trail as another choice which may lead them to become lost.

Another dramatic consequence for the environment : nothing will grow before months or years after your passage. The vegetation is already rare and precious in desert areas ; then have respect for it. The herbivores, but also the whole alimentary chain are dependant on it. Most of the animals are used to see vehicles and stay impassive if you stay in our tracks.

Driving on switchback gravel roads is of course uncomfortable, but it is better to reduce the speed and to deflate the tyres than to drive on the sides of the road (as so many people are doing). You do not take part of a car rally.

Furthermore, most of the insurance company will not cover you in case of problems, which occur out of the authorised trails. We love nature, we love desert ; so do not make any mistakes, which may provoke irreparable damages.

 

Security :

The beauty of the animals greets our eyes but do not forget that you are not in a zoological garden !

Expose yourself with valuable equipment like jewelleries, photo material, video camera or others may be tempt fate.

Do not leave anything in your vehicle when you are not around and close all doors and windows.

 

Electricity :

No need to buy adaptors in Europe. Some places provide them to their clients and it is ever possible for some dollars to buy one in the shops of the main cities

 

Health :

It is recommended to update your vaccination against diphtheria-tetanus-poliomyelitis, as well as (depending the duration of the stay) : typhoid fever, hepatitis A and B.

There is a few mosquito in Namibia except during the rainy season as well as in the extreme north, where it is recommended to take precautions against malaria for a long stay. In this area, it is preferable to wear clear and covering cloths at the sunset and to smear oneself with an anti- mosquito repulsive cream.

The sanitary equipment and hospitals are modern and performing, especially in the big cities. The rate of aids is high, as everywhere in Africa.

The best is to get advise from your medical practitioner before departing.

 

Photography/Light :

Haven for the photographer, Namibia is photogenic all along the year, but especially during the rainy season. The limpidity of the atmosphere is better after a big rain. During the dry season, the air is saturated with dust, which spoils sometimes the visibility.

To take picture of the local population is tempting ! A photo should be the result of an exchange, of a complicity and of an agreement. In any case, do not take picture without the approval of the person.

Think to show to the person the picture that you have just taken of her.

Never promise to send your pictures if you are not sure to be able to do so !

 

Astronomy :

Under these latitudes, the months from May to August are those which are the most interesting for the observation of the sky.

Long preserved due to its politic insolation and its low density of population, Namibia has succeed up to now, to preserve huge wild spaces of a rare beauty.

Nowadays, this country attracts tourists from the whole world, more and more every year. It took millions of years to the nature to shape the current landscapes, which are offered to us like they are today. Keep them unspoiled.

Ever keep in mind that we are just passing (sometimes, some moments only) and that nothing allow us to be anything else than a spectator.

For further information :
http://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/fr/conseils-aux-voyageurs_909/pays_12191/namibie_12297/index.html