Handy hints from ONDESE Safaris for visitors to Namibia and southern Africa

HANDY HINTS FOR VISITORS TO NAMIBIA AND SOUTHERN AFRICA

1. Entry Formalities:

For the most countries of Europe and North America (e.g. United Kingdom, United Sates of America, Canada and Australia) there is currently for a stay for less than two(2) months for bonafide tourists no visa requirement. The passport must be valid for six (6) months before expiry date. Children up to the age of 16 years may travel on the passports of one of their parents or on a children's travel document. The client shall be responsible for ensuring he or she obtains the necessary visas for the country or countries to be visited. More information is available through the Namibian High Commission:
6 Chandos Street, London WIG 9LU, United Kingdom, Telephone: 0207-636 62 44, Facsimile: 0207-637 56 94, E-Mail: namibia-highcomm@btconnect.com
or Namibian Embassy:
1605 New Hampshire Avenue, N. W., Washington DC 20009, USA, Telephone: 0202-986 05 40, Facsimile: 0202-986 04 43, E-Mail: embnamibia@aol.com,
Namibia Tourism Board (NTB) United Kingdom,
Suite 200, Parkway House, Sheen Lane, London, Telephone: +44-870-330 9333, Facsimile: +44-20-8878 9124, E-Mail: info@namibia-tourism.com and
NTB South Africa: Ground Floor, Pinnacle Building, Burg Street, Cape Town, E-Mail: Namibia@saol.com.

2. Customs Requirements:

Vacuum packed food products up to one (1) kilogram are allowed, gifts up to N$ 200 are duty-free. 2 litres of wine, 1 litre of spirits, 400 cigarettes, 50 cigars and 250 grams tobacco may be imported duty-free. It shall also be the clients' responsibility to familiarise themselves with the customs regulations of the country/countries concerned

3. Foreign Exchange Conditions:

One (1) Namibia Dollar (N$) = 1 South African Rand, £ 1 equals N$ 17,02, US$ 1 equals N$ 13,77 (rate of exchange, January 2017).
Both currencies are legal tender in Namibia. The Value Added Tax is 15% in Namibia, 12% in Botswana and 14% in South Africa. Travellers cheques are accepted in US$, £, € and in Rand. Cash imports in Namibia Dollars or Rand (R) may not exceed N$/R 500. Accepted Credit Cards are Master Card (Eurocard), Visa and Diners Card. Euro-cheques are not accepted! Guest farms and lodges favour cash payments and only a few do accept credit cards and travellers' cheques. Money can be exchanged after arrival at the Hosea Kutako International Airport, Windhoek (also on Sundays and public holidays).

4. Direct Flight Connections to Namibia:

5. Other Flight Connections:

6. Airports:

Most domestic flights in Namibia start or land at Eros Airport in Windhoek. At Victoria Falls and Harare Airports in Zimbabwe many international, regional and domestic flights start and land. All bigger towns in southern Africa have airports. Smaller towns and lodges have airfields for charter flights.

7. Hours of Business in Namibia and the rest of southern Africa:

All bigger towns have grocery shops, which are opened during Saturday afternoons and on Sundays.

8. Gratuities:

Tips are to be given according to performance and own judgement. In restaurants it is recommended that tips are (ten) 10% of the invoiced amount. For porters a sum from N$ 5 should be sufficient.

9. Current:

Plugs in South Africa and Namibia are like the old British plugs. In Botswana and Zimbabwe the current British plugs are in use. Southern Africa has 220 Volts alternating current with 50 Hertz frequency. Adapters are available in larger shops.

10. Required Drivers' Licences:

It is the responsibility of the client who undertakes a Self-Drive Safari in southern Africa to obtain a valid international Driver's Licence before commencing his/her journey. Please note that the licence of the client's country of origin is also required.

11. Health Requirements:

Presently no vaccinations are necessary and prevail no risks for contagious diseases, except for Aids. Tab water in towns and most lodges is drinkable and salads can be eaten without risk of infection. Should water not be fit for human consumption, it will be made know. Malaria prophylaxis are recommended for the North of Namibia, the North of Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia and the North-east of South Africa. The responsibility shall rest with the client to ensure he or she is medically fit to travel. Prior to their departure, clients should consult a medical professional regarding the recommended anti-malaria precautions. Anti-malaria medication can be obtained in Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe.

12. Infrastructure:

Roads in Namibia, Zimbabwe and South Africa have a good driving quality (asphalted or tarred, gravel, sand and salt). The roads in Namibia's Kaokoland, close to the Okavango swamps and in the Chobe National Park in Botswana can only be mastered with 4x4 vehicles! No self-drive in Zambia! Members of the AA or other registered Automobile Associations can enquire about the conditions of roads at the Automobile Association (AA), P. O. Box 61, Windhoek. In southern Africa exists left hand traffic (except for Angola). The petrol price in Namibia is N$ 11,09 per litre, Diesel costs N$ 11,04 per litre (January 2017). The speed limit on tarred roads is 120 km/h and on gravel roads 100 km/h. Due to a high accident rate on gravel roads, extreme caution is recommended. Important: animal crossings on tar and gravel roads. Respect nature and only drive on existing roads and streets, because new tyre tracks off-road are destroying the environment.

 

13. Public Transport:

Public transport in the whole of Southern Africa is not well developed. Trains in Namibia are mainly destined for fright services and drive mainly during nights. In Namibia and South Africa are exclusive touring trains in use, Desert Express, Rovos Rail and the Blue Train. buses only travel between the main centres and stop mostly far from tourist attractions. Please note: Car rental companies are only represented in bigger towns.

14. Kaokoland and Bushman Land (Tsumkwe):

Due to the remoteness and bad road conditions, Kaokoland (Kunene Region in north-western Namibia) and Bushman Land (eastern Namibia) should only be visited with a guide or the trip should be planned through a competent tour operator.

15. Bookings:

Namibia and southern Africa has only limited accommodation possibilities. Please do book in advance to avoid disappointments! Advance reservations for the Etosha National Park, Kruger National Park and all national parks in the region are a Must! ONDESE SAFARIS gladly will assist you for all accommodation bookings - also for car rentals - in southern Africa! P. O. Box 6196, Ausspannplatz, Windhoek, Namibia. Tel.: +264-61-22 08 76, Fax: +264-886-15 4 61, E-Mail:: info@ondese.com.

16. Hunting:

For hunting excursions rifle may be brought along, but under no circumstances small fire arms. It is strongly recommended to book your hunting excursion in advance. Contact the Namibian Professional Hunters Association, E-Mail: napha@mweb.com.na.

17. Official Languages:

English is the official language in Namibia, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe and one of the official languages of South Africa. Fourteen different languages are spoken in Namibia, while Afrikaans and German are widely spoken. In Zimbabwe Ndebele and Shona are widely spoken.

18. Climate and Clothing:

The climate in Namibia ranges from arid to subtropical. In South Africa, Zambia, Botswana and Zimbabwe it ranges from semi-arid to subtropical. As the countries of southern Africa lie in the southern hemisphere, the summer is from September to April (with day temperatures of +38 °C or higher) and the winter is from May to August (with night temperatures of -5 °C or lower). The rainy season is usually from January to April, while the winter is mostly dry and cool. In summer, one needs light clothing, good shoes, a hat and good sunscreen lotion. Bear in mind that it can be very cool at the coast, even during summer! Huge temperature differences prevail in winter: light clothing can be worn during the day but warm clothing is essential for the night-time. Please ensure that the colour of your clothing is kept in natural tones during a safari, i.e. dark green, khaki colours, brown and black. Bright colours can scare game away. Safari clothing is available in all larger towns and cities in Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe. Do not forget your own binocular and cameras!

19. Climate Chart (Namibia) in °Celsius:

Month: J F M A M J J A S O N D
Highest Temperatures: 30 30 28 27 26 23 20 20 23 29 29 30
Lowest Temperatures: 16 17 16 15 13 09 07 06 09 11 15 15
Rainfall in mm: 47 77 73 81 38 06 01 01 00 01 12 33

20. Time:

Namibia has the Central African Time (CAT) all year round, meaning two hours ahead of GMT (GMT +2). The time zone for the Namibia is the same as for Botswana, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Zambia all year round.

21. Holidays

  • In Botswana: 1st January: New Year's Day; Good Friday; Easter Monday; 1st May: Worker's Day; 1st July: Sir Seretse Khama Day; 30th September: Botswana Day; 25th and 26th December: Christmas.
  • In Namibia: 1st January: New Year's Day; Good Friday; Easter Monday; 21st March: Independence Day; 1st May: Worker's Day; 4th May: Cassinga-Day; Ascension-Day; 25th May: Africa Day; 26th August: Heroes' Day; 10th December: International Human Rights Day; 25th December: 1st Christmas Day and 26th December: Family Day.
  • In South Africa: 1st January: New Year's Day; 21st March: Human Rights Day; Good Friday; 21st April: Family Day; 27th April: Freedom Day; 1st May: Workers' Day; 16th June: Youth Day; 9th August: National Women's Day; 24th September: Heritage Day; 16th December: Day of Reconciliation; 25th December: Christmas and 26th December: Day of Goodwill.
  • In Zambia: 1st January: New Year's Day; Good Friday; Easter Monday; 11th March: Youth Day; 1st May: Worker's Day; 24th May: African Freedom Day; 2nd July: Heroes' Day; 3rd July: Unity Day; 5th August: Farmers' Day; 25th October: Independence Day; 25th December: Christmas.
  • In Zimbabwe: 1st January: New Year's Day; Good Friday; Easter Monday; 18th April: Independence Day, 1st May: Worker's Day; 25th May: Africa Day; 11th August: Heroes' Day, 12th August: Armed Forces Day, 25th December: 1st Christmas Day and 26th December: Boxing Day.
  • Should a Public Holiday fall on a Sunday, the following Monday will automatically be declared a Public Holiday.

Sundown at Savuti, Botswana & Kuduhead