Namib Desert, Damaraland and Etosha National Park
Journey through the Khomas Hochland to the world’s highest dunes at Sossusvlei in the Namib-Naukluft Park. Walkabouts with a vegetation viewpoint in the oldest desert of the world as well as encounters with marine birds and dolphins at the South Atlantic coast; as well as encounters with desert elephants in Damaraland. This journey to the superlatives culminates with a visit to the Etosha National Park which is famous for its fauna richness. On the eve of departure excursion to the Waterberg Plateau Park.
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.
High on a hill above the city of Windhoek, Namibia where the free winds blow and far horizons beckon, the unique Hotel Thule offers unsurpassed views, an exclusive getaway, and warm hospitality. Come and enjoy the relaxing pleasures of a remote country estate.
All of the rooms are fully air-conditioned to beat the African heat and equipped with a tea and coffee station, a mini bar a safe, satellite television and so much more. Hotel Thule is perfect for a quick business trip to Windhoek, Namibia or an extensive family holiday.
Sossus Desert Camp
With 360-degree views overlooking the desert landscape and surrounding mountains, Desert Camp offers visitors the best in self-catering. Sossusvlei and Sesriem Canyon are easily accessable from the Camp as it is situated just 5 km from the entrance gate to the Namib Nauklauft National Park.
Desert Camp has 20, eco-friendly, self-catering units that provide guests with affordable accommodation. Each spacious unit contains twin beds and a fold-out sleeper couch where two small children (under 12 years of age) can be accommodated free of charge (if shared with two full paying adults). The en-suite bathroom is equipped with a shower, toilet and washbasin. Each unit also has its own shaded veranda with a fitted kitchenette, barbeque area, lights, and power points.
Hotel Pension Rapmund
Our hearty "German" breakfast has gained a reputation which stretches beyond the borders of Namibia. You will be enjoying the breakfast, with a view of the ocean, in a friendly and personalized atmosphere.
We are very centrally located which will make your stay relaxing and comfortable. We are a mere 2 minute walk from the town centre where you can enjoy shopping for souvenirs or indulge in the local cuisine at one of the numerous restaurants. The beach can be reached within minutes by foot for a breath of fresh and crisp atlantic ocean-air.
Cape Cross Lodge
Literally metres from the Atlantic Ocean, Cape Cross Lodge presents a unique and serene stop for travellers along this vast untamed and seldom explored wilderness on the Skeleton Coast.
The Lodge is situated 60km north of Henties Bay and 120km north of Swakopmund.
Around this idyllic oasis lies infinite ocean and desert, littered with the eerie remains of man’s past endeavours. Nearby, rocky outcrops provide a perfect playground for a large colony of Cape Fur Seals.
Twyfelfontein Country Lodge
A true landmark situated in the heart of one of the world’s most magnificent wilderness regions. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Twyfelfontein in Damaraland is home to one of the largest collections of rock-art engravings found in Southern Africa. Not only did the Khoi-San and tribes of ancient years leave us with a true cultural heritage, but the whole area is characterised by natural wonders such as Doros Crater, Burnt Mountain, Organ Pipes, Petrified Forest and desert adapted animals – of which the desert adapted elephant is probably the most well-known species.
Nestled along the mountainside, the lodge beautifully blends in with its surrounding environment. Using natural stone, carefully selected paint colours and thatched roofs, its design compliments the sandstone rock formations with minimum visual impact on this picturesque landscape. Magnificent views from the deck over the Huab Valley, desert plains and distant mountains provides for hours of relaxed comfort, peace and tranquility.
Twyfelfontein is much more than just accommodation; it is a destination in itself.
A paradise on the Uniab River in northwest Damaraland – a vacation opportunity with a difference.
Waving palms whispering in the wind, spectacular surroundings which harbour the famous desert elephant, the rare dessert adapted black rhino, giraffe, zebra, gemsbok and many other wild animal species and sunsets to dream of. This is Palmwag Lodge, one of Namibia's oldest and most popular tourist destination.
The predator population is the largest outside of the Etosha National Park, with over 100 lions, cheetah, leopard, brown and spotted hyena. Bird life is prolific and diverse with most of Namibia's endemics present. This concession supports a healthy population of desert adapted black rhino and elephants.
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.
On the eastern doorstep of world-famous Etosha National Park, in the moping woodland of the region, lies Mokuti Etosha Lodge, a flagship of Namibian safari hospitality. Charming thatched buildings in the classic safari style are nestled among vast indigenous gardens, lending credence to the name “Mokuti” which in Ovambo means “in the forest”. Mokuti Etosha Lodge is the perfect starting point for your adventure into Namibia’s crowning glory, one of the most popular national parks in Africa. Discover Etosha and all its wonders with us!
Mokuti Etosha Lodge is the lodge closest to Etosha National Park, only a four-minute drive from the eastern gate, the Von Lindequist Gate near the historic Namutoni Fort. Mokuti is located on its own 4,000 hectare private nature reserve, which shares a common border with Etosha.
Waterberg Rest Camp
Waterberg Plateau Park is a national park in central Namibia encompassing the Waterberg Plateau, 68 km east of the town of Otjiwarongo. The Waterberg Plateau is a particularly prominent feature, elevated high above the plains of the Kalahari of Eastern Namibia.
The plateau and some 405 km² of surrounding land were declared a Nature Reserve in 1972. The Waterberg Plateau Park is ecologically diverse, rich and has over 200 different species of bird and some rare species of small antelope on the lower hills of the mountain.