Expedition to Damaraland and Kaokoveld
Safari with emphasis on the Damaraland and the Kaokoveld, the latter of which is home to the semi-nomadic Himba people. On this expedition-like tour we will show you the most remote and primordial landscapes of Northwestern Namibia. We will travel by all-terrain vehicle through rugged valleys und sandy riverbeds to mesas with spectacular views. Along the way sightings of desert elephants, giraffes and black rinoceroses. The northern-most destination will be the Epupa Falls on the Kunene River. We conclude the journey with a multi- day stay in the animal-rich Etosha National Park, at the waterholes of which the rich fauna may be observed in a relaxed fashion.
Travel Information for Namibia
1. Immigration Requirements
Visitors to Namibia must be in possession of a passport with a validity of six months beyond the intended stay in the country and with at least four unused pages for entry and exit stamps. A tourist visa is granted free of charge on arrival. Botswana only grants a visa for a maximum of 90 days.
Minors travelling to Namibia require a child passport. Namibia also requires minors under 18 years of age to produce an original birth certificate or a certified copy of the unabridged birth certificate stating the parents’ name. In the event that only one parent or any adult other than both parents is travelling with the child, the other parent’s affidavit or legal guardian consenting to such travel should be presented. In the event that parents are not entitled to custody, proof of legal custody by court order or any other official proof of legal custody has to be presented in its original form or a certified copy thereof.
With an average of 300 days of sunshine per year, a dry climate prevails throughout the year in Namibia. Cotton clothing is recommended for the warm summer (October – March) and can be purchased at local safari outfitters. During winter (April – September) evenings, nights and early mornings can be very cool with temperatures below zero, making a pullover or jacket and long trousers essential. Warm clothing and a windstopper jacket are recommended for the Namibian coastal area which can be cool and windy during all seasons. Dense coastal fog is possible in the mornings.
Leisure wear is primarily needed for an outdoor holiday in Southern Africa. Since formal wear is only required in luxury hotels and de-luxe trains, travellers are recommended only to take along the bare necessities. A maximum of 23 kg luggage per person is permitted on independent- or private safaris with Safari24. Soft bags are preferred for lodge safaris, however hard protective cases may also be used. On group tours with Safari24 a maximum of 20 kg luggage per individual is permitted. Such luggage requirements may appear to be limiting, however lodges and hotels have a laundry service so that only a limited amount of clothing should be brought along.
4. Recommended Equipment List
- Travel documents (passports, flight tickets) and cash
- Contact lens wearers and spectacle wearers should bring along glasses and reading glasses respectively
- Medication: pain medication, sticking plaster, antiseptic agent, anti-diarrhoeal agent, antihistamine cream or gel, prescribed medicine
- Sun protection (hat, sun glasses with UV protection factor, sunscreen agent with sun protection factor 50)
- Moisturizing cream
- Lip balm
- Insect repellent
- Antibacterial hand wipes
- Sober-coloured bush hat
- Walking or hiking boots
- Swimwear and bath towel
- Camera with sufficient film material or memory sticks and replacement battery
- Bird identification guide for Southern Africa
- Torch or headtorch
5. Means of Payment
The Namibian dollar (NAD) is the official currency in Namibia. The South African rand (ZAR) is also accepted as currency, however the Namibian dollar is not accepted as medium of exchange in South Africa. Business travellers from abroad and tourists are permitted to enter Namibia with infinite amounts of foreign currency, however specific amounts at a certain level have to be registered when entering the country.
There are bureaux de change at Windhoek International Airport as well as in all banks and in many hotels. Traveller’s cheques and foreign currencies can be exchanged in banks. All documentation relating to a money exchange should be retained until the end of the trip. Before departure an exchange from Namibian dollar to euro is only possible after passing airport passport and security controls at a bureau de change where proof of the original money exchange from euro to Namibian dollar has to be presented.
Mastercard and VISA are commonly accepted in Namibia, whereas American Express and Diners Card are seldom used. Cash withdrawals at ATMs in the amount of N$3000.00 (€300.00) are possible with EC Maestro Cards. A cash withdrawal in the same amount can be done on the same day. Each transaction costs approximately €4.50.
When using automated teller machines, special attention should be paid to possible ATM fraud. At the end of month there are usually long waiting queues in banks and at ATMs. Shortages of hard cash are possible.
In Namibia malls are open on Saturdays and supermarkets on Sundays. Banks and post offices are open on weekdays from 08.30 a.m. until 05.00 p.m., and on Saturday until 01.00 p.m.
In cities such as Windhoek and Swakopmund many shops specialize in souvenirs like wood carvings from the Okavango, handmade Herero dolls, leather items, semi-precious and gem stones, jewelry and wool carpets. There are also renowned goldsmiths and furriers. Such speciality stores are usually closed on Saturday and Sunday afternoons as well as on public holidays.
All products and services in Namibia entail value added tax amounting to 15%. Visitors to the country can apply for VAT reimbursement at custom authorities at Hosea Kutako International Airport, Windhoek regional airport Eros and Walvis Bay airport. For more information contact the Ministry of Finance (Telephone: +264 61 209 2405, Fax: +264 61 209 2001).
When purchasing luxury items such as jewelry and fur coats a 30% luxury tax is remitted if tourists present their passports and flight tickets before making a payment transaction.
In Namibia the official language is English, however German, Oshiwambo and especially Afrikaans are widely spoken.
Delivery time for airmail from Namibia to Europe can last up to two weeks. Mobile telephone SIM cards are available for only N$10.00 at mobile telephone shops such as MTC or Telecom, post offices and supermarkets. Direct international calls are possible with Namibian SIM cards.
Please consult your family doctor by all means before travelling to Southern Africa. Please also consult your nearest institute for tropical diseases about any changes in health requirements.
In Namibia there is a world-class private healthcare system with general practitioners and medical specialists as well as private clinics and pharmacies available, in case a medical treatment might be necessary during your trip. In remote parts of the country there are government clinics which provide an above-average primary medical health care when compared the other countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Tropical diseases typical of countries with higher rainfalls do not occur at all in arid Namibia, which is why only a malaria prophylaxis is recommended.
8.1. Malaria Prevention
Malaria infections are registered only in Northern Namibia. The peak season of malaria lasts from January until March. Due to very limited rainfall in Namibia, malaria usually poses no problem.
Pregnant women are explicitly advised not to travel to high-risk areas as malaria infections during pregnancies can lead to serious health issues for both mother and child.
Mosquito bites can be prevented by using mosquito repellants generously. A locally- produced repellant is made available on all Safari24 tours, however clients should also bring their own repellant. Since 95% of all malaria infections occur between 08.00 p.m. and 06.00 a.m., long-sleeved shirts and long trousers should be worn in the evenings. Rooms or tents should be sprayed with an environment-friendly insectide to kill off any mosquitoes that may exist. Mosquito nets should be used if available. A tent’s zip fasteners should be closed completely especially at night to lock out bugs and insects. For a trip to Northern Namibia we recommend mosquito coils for outdoor use that can be purchased in supermarkets.
It is recommended to bring along an antimalarial medication as immediate-effect drug. Antimalarial drugs, which are available without prescription at pharmacies in Namibia, should only be taken in suspected cases and not as prophylaxis.
Malaria can also occur after the use of a prophylaxis, especially in areas where chloroquine resistance has been registered. Both chloroquine-resistant and normal strains of malaria occur in Northern Namibia.
In case of illness upon your return to your home country, please consult your family doctor immediately and inform him about your stay in a malaria area.
Tap water is drinkable in Namibia, although its chlorinated and mineral taste is conspicuous to travellers from Central Europe. It is recommended to drink at least two or three litres of water per day to avoid dehydration.
8.3. Sun Protection
Due to the altitude of many parts of the country and the proximity to the equator, solar radiation is extremely high, which is why sun protection is indispensable.
8.4. Food Intolerance and Illness
Travellers should inform Safari24 about any existing food intolerances and serious medical conditions before commencing a journey.
9. Insurance Coverage
We recommend a comprehensive international medical insurance and travel cancellation insurance. Health insurance should cover medical treatment as well as emergency evacuation and repatriation. Baggage insurance is meaningful when travelling with camera equipment. Articles of value should always be carried with hand luggage.
We recommend these lodges for this tour.
The Lodge “Onduruquea Lodge Omaruru” is situated about 20 km south of Omaruru and covers about 40,000 acres. The Lodge was formerly known as the “Namib Guestfarm Onduruquea” managed by the Sibolds family until 10 December 2017, who built an outstanding reputation. We, the Harmsen family, will do our utmost to carry on in the same way, while adding our personal touch.
For example, in 2018 they wil realize 2 private waterholes suites with private terrace. Next, we will renovate and/or upgrade the other rooms and bathrooms, so that the African character is reflected even better in these suites. Chef Ron will prepare every meal outdoors, and we are planning a happy hour in our cocktail bar, a welcome addition to the Lodge. Personal contact between the family and our guests will be the priority in this small- scaled Lodge.
Etosha's new and exclusive Dolomite Camp is located in the western part of the park for a small number of visitors. Guests are accommodated in luxurious tents with a sublime view over the endless prairie of Etosha National Park. The flora and fauna have developed without human intervention and rare species such as the black rhino and the black-faced impala have established themselves in the area. There are several waterholes in the park that attract elephants, rhinos, leopards, lions, springboks, oryx and hartebeests. The rich birdlife and seasonal flowers of the Dolomite Mountains are a highlight for every botanist.
The Dolomite Camp is not fenced and therefore it is possible for animals to move freely between the tents and the community area. However, personal escorts guarantee their safety at all times. An overflowing swimming pool, souvenir shop and a viewing platform overlooking the fertile waterhole provide daytime entertainment, while the restaurants and bar area are ideal for relaxing and socialising with other guests to get into the conversation.
Safaris in this area offer exclusive opportunities to observe animals as access is still restricted. Experienced and knowledgeable guides will guide you through the unspoilt landscape with its numerous waterholes and waterfalls to increase the probability of seeing wildlife of various species.
The Okaukuejo rest camp is known for its illuminated water hole and is also the administrative centre of Etosha. Most visitors travel through this camp, with its characteristic stone tower and the Etosha Ecological Institute, which is also in the camp.
The rest camp used to be a military outpost founded in 1901, and the tower was added in 1963. Okaukuejo is located in the south of Etosha National Park and is only 17 km from Anderson Gate. Okaukuejo offers a wide range of accommodation and all the necessary facilities such as a petrol station and a shop. The restaurant and bar offer refreshments and delicious dishes, while the swimming pool offers relief on hot days. The waterhole is a centre of animal activity that begins in the early morning hours. Particularly in winter, the wildlife diversity gathers in the immediate vicinity of the camp to quench thirst.
After sunset, spotlights illuminate the waterhole. This is the best time and place to see the endangered black rhino. This archaic mammal can often be seen drinking alongside lions and elephants. The number and interaction of the animals is the most important train number of the Okaukuejo rest camp in Namibia.