In order to provide you with the best Namibia travel info, we would first like to share some interesting facts about our beloved country... (scroll down for detailed Namibia Travel Info).
The Republic of Namibia is a vast, sparsely populated country situated along the south Atlantic coast of Africa between 17 and 29 degrees south of the Equator.
At 825,418 km2 (318,696 sq mi), Namibia is the world's thirty-fourth largest country (after Venezuela).
After Mongolia, Namibia is the least densely populated country in the world (2.5 inhabitants per square kilometer (6.5 /sq mi)).
The Namibian landscape consists generally of five geographical areas, each with characteristic abiotic conditions and vegetation with some variation within and overlap between them:
the Central Plateau, the Namib Desert, the Escarpment, the Bush veld, and the Kalahari Desert.
The oldest desert in the world, the Namib Desert stretches along the whole west coast of the country, while the Kalahari Desert (actually a semi-desert) runs along its south-eastern border with Botswana.
The country is demarcated into 13 administrative 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.
Namibia, previously known as South West Africa, is bordered by South Africa in the south, Angola and Zambia in the north and Botswana and Zimbabwe in the east.
With 300 days of sunshine on average per year, Namibia is an exceptional all-year-vacation-destination, with activities including sand boarding, hiking, mountain biking and horseback safaris. You can travel Namibia at any time of the year.
The best time, however, are the months from April to June, when the temperatures are around 25 degrees during the day and the sky is blue. The nights are cool and ideal for a good night's sleep. The dry winter months of July to September are also a good time to visit this desert country. The day temperature usually stays above 20 degrees. But on the Central Plateau and in the Namib Desert the nights can be freezing.
The summer months are very hot. The Namibians like to travel then to the cooler coastal resorts, in particular Swakopmund. Here, heavy fog often smother the coastline until late morning. Summer temperatures often climb up to the 40ºC (104ºF) mark. Windhoek is hot in summer as well, but due to its height of 1650 m, it is bearable.
Namibia's capital city, Windhoek (22.55°S 17.25°E), is situated 1650 meters above sea-level, in the central highlands of the Khomas Region and has got approx. 250 000 inhabitants.
Windhoek is a small yet cosmopolitan city with modern hotels, restaurants, shops, banks and hospital facilities. It houses the three branches of government, namely the executive, legislature, and judiciary.
Over 11 languages are indigenous to Namibia but with its cosmopolitan society, many more from around the globe are spoken. Among these the European languages German, Portuguese and even a bit French and Spanish are the most often encountered. People commonly are fluent in at least 2 languages. More than 50% of the population speak Oshiwambo.
Due to South Africa's former rule over the Namibian territory for a number of decades, Afrikaans is still widely spoken and serves as the lingua franca.
English is Namibia's official language.
According to the 2008 census, Namibia has about 2 million inhabitants. More than half of them, the Ovambos, Kavangos and Caprivians, live in the rural regions of the north. In central Namibia live about 30% of the Namibians, mainly Herero and Damara and the majority of the white population, most of them in Windhoek and in the towns of Walvis Bay and Swakopmund. The least populated part is the dry south, where only 7% of the population live, mainly Nama and farmers of Afrikaans or German origin.
The local currency is the Namibian Dollar (N$) and it is linked on a 1:1 basis to the S.A. Rand (ZAR) which is also legal tender anywhere in the country. We have an efficient banking sector and most of the major credit cards are acceptable.
Namibia became independent from South Africa on 21 March 1990. The politics of Namibia takes place in a framework of a presidential representative democratic republic, whereby the president of Namibia is elected to a five-year term and is both the head of state and the head of government and of a multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the government.
In 2005, Hifikepunye Lucas Pohamba succeeded the first president, Sam Nujoma, in the office. He was followed up by Hage Geinkopf.
WAT (UTC+1) and Summer (Daylight Saving Time) WAST (UTC+2)
The calling code of Namibia is 264. We have a good postal and telecommunications service and standard telephone services are available to any country in the world. Cell phones (mobiles) operate in all major towns, but contact is not available in some of the more remote areas. Internet TLD: .na
Accommodation in Namibia ranges from five star luxury hotels and lodges, comfortable and intimate guesthouses and country lodges to basic and rustic rest camps. Accommodation in Namibia ranges from five star luxury hotels and lodges, comfortable and intimate guesthouses and country lodges, and basic and rustic rest camps.
Namibians are well-known for their warm hospitality and friendly nature. So your stay will be pleasant. East Gate Rest Camp offers you immaculate accommodation facilities.
Namibia has one of the best doctor/patient ratios in Africa. In Windhoek there are three world-class private hospitals and two state hospitals, each with fully equipped and maintained intensive-care units as well as an excellent med-rescue service to isolated areas in case of emergencies while there are doctors practices in most of the smaller towns. There are also many different specialists working in Windhoek, where 90% of emergency cases can be treated.
By Plane: Hosea Kutako International Airport is located 45 minutes from Windhoek, and is the main airport servicing Namibia. There are daily flights from Frankfurt, London, Cape Town, Johannesburg, Victoria Falls and Maun to the airport. There are also 2 airways operating flights from South Africa.
By Car: The main highway from South Africa to Namibia is the B1. The Trans-Kalahari Highway (B6) gives access from Botswana in the east (see here East Gate's facilities). The B8 crosses through the Caprivi Strip, giving access from Zambia, Zimbabwe and the northernmost points in Botswana.
By Bus: The most tried and trusted international bus service into Namibia runs from Cape Town and the Victoria Falls. There is also a service from Johannesburg.
For travelling Namibia comfortably, it is best to drive in a rental car.
Public transport is practically non-existent. The roads - about 5.000 kilometres of tarred road and almost 40.000 kilometres of gravel or sand roads - are usually well maintained, but every now and then one comes across "corrugated" tracks.
Generally, a 4x4 is not required for travelling Namibia although it is nice to have one. It is only necessary for the Sossusvlei, in the Kaudom National Park, for Kaokoland and for drives through dune sand at the beach or in riverbeds. And after heavy rainfalls, which can occur between December and March, driving on untarred roads can become extremely difficult in some areas.
In Namibia you drive on the left side of the road. Otherwise, the traffic rules are the same as those in Europe.
A drivers license from any country with a photograph and that is in English or has an authentic English language certificate attached to it is accepted in Namibia.
In March 1998 the residents of Botswana and Namibia met at Buitepos on the border between the two countries to formally inaugurate the Trans-Kalahari Highway.
The new road formed part of the strategic route that linked Maputo (Mozambique) on the Indian Ocean to Walvis Bay on the Atlantic coastline of Namibia. The Trans-Kalahari Highway was designed to serve as the backbone of an economic corridor and was expected to usher in a new era of east-west economic integration while at the same time consolidating the Southern African Development Communities (SADCs) vision of a free-trade area.
The highway was also intended to free the landlocked Botswana from dependence on South Africa for routes to a deep-water port.
Buitepos accommodation really contributes to the success and necessity of the Trans Kalahari Highway.