Namibia is one of the most exciting destinations in Africa: an ancient and almost limitless land of wild beauty.
At the full mercy of the elements the dramatic landscapes will leave you awe-struck, from the endless sands of the Kalahari to the Namib, with its towering dunes, stark coastline and fascinating colonial towns.
Namibia holidays involve an excess of supercharged superlatives. The Kalahari Desert is the world's longest; Fish River Canyon is Africa's second largest; the Namib-Naukluft reserve Africa's largest; and Etosha National Park one of Africa's greatest.
Namibia's landscape also supports the last free-roaming populations of black rhino and desert elephant, as well as 25% of the world's cheetah, making it a superlative destination for wildlife holidays.
When to go
Namibia can be visited all year round. The weather is warm and dry, although it's worth packing some warm clothes for cool desert nights. It is generally a good deal cooler along the coast, due to the Benguela Current, and this draws people to Swakopmund and other seaside towns when temperatures become uncomfortable inland.
Whatever time of year you visit, you can expect plenty of sunshine. Temperatures of 18-25°C can be expected in winter (April to September) and these often rise into the high thirties and low forties during the summer months (September to April), with January and February the hottest months. This is followed by seasonal rains in some inland areas, which brings spring flowers into bloom and makes February and March another pleasant time to travel, although the drier months are typically better for watching wildlife as the animals tend to gather at waterholes and are therefore easier to spot.
Size: 824,292 sq km.
Language: English is the official language. Afrikaans and German are widely spoken. Indigenous languages include Oshiwambo, Bantu and Khoisan.
Population: 2.2 million.
Religion: The majority of the population is Christian. Freedom of religion was adopted through Namibia's Bill of Fundamental Rights.
Currency: The Namibia dollar (N$) is linked on a one-to-one basis with the South African rand and both currencies can be used interchangeably in Namibia. You cannot, however, use the Namibian dollar in South Africa.
Time zone: GMT+2 in summer (September to April) and GMT+1 in winter (April to September).
Flight time: Around 14-15 hours via Frankfurt or Johannesburg.
Independence Day, on 21 March, is marked with singing, dancing, speeches and other festivities in most Namibian towns and villages. Music and dance can also be enjoyed during the twice-yearly Oruuano of Namibia Arts Festival, which features an array of arts and cultural performances in Windhoek in September and November.
Another important festival takes place on the weekend closest to 26 August, when the Herero people gather in Okahandja (70km north of Windhoek) for a memorial service to their deceased chiefs. The highlight is a parade through the town that passes some of the chiefs' graves, with the Herero men dressed in military attire and the women in their voluminous and colourful traditional dress.
A more lighthearted affair takes place in October, when the people of Swakopmund celebrate their German connections by drinking beer, eating sausages and listening to ‘oompah' bands during their own version of Germany's Oktoberfest. Continuing the German theme is Windhoek's annual Karnevale in April, with street parades and a masked ball among the fun events.
Please note that entry requirements and visa regulations can change often and at short notice. We can provide general information about the passport and visa requirements for your trip and this information may be included after the itinerary section of your quotation. Your specific passport and visa requirements and other immigration requirements are your responsibility and you should confirm these with the relevant Embassies and/or Consulates. Neither we nor the principal(s) or supplier(s) accept any responsibility if you cannot travel because you have not complied with any passport, visa or immigration requirements. Please call your WEXAS specialist if you wish to discuss entry requirements.
Passports must be valid for at least six months from the date of entry and contain at least three blank pages.
One Namibian dollar (N$) = 100 cents. Notes come in denominations of N$200, 100, 50, 20 and 10. Coins are in denominations of N$5, N$1, 50 cents, 10 cents and 5 cents. The South African rand (R) is interchangeable with the Namibian dollar and pegged at a rate of 1:1.
Credit cards are widely accepted, although not at all petrol stations, so it is advisable to bear this in mind when visiting the ATM. Cash machines can be found in most towns, though towns can be few and far between.