Activities at the coast

  • Quadbiking
  • Sandboarding
  • Tandem Skydiving
  • Dolphin Cruises
  • Desert Tours
  • Cape Cross Tours
  • Bird Inspection Tours
  • Scenic Flights
  • Sandwich Harbour Tours


WILDLIFE & NATURE

Many animals and reptiles that you might encounter are of dangerous nature. Attacks by any of these is very rare though. Up till today we have not had any such incident, but no safari in Africa can rule this out. Neither Namibia Tracks & Trails, nor their employees, tour operators and suppliers can be held liable for any injuries caused by the natural behaviour of animals.

RESPECT THE OUTDOORS

  • Loud conversations frighten animals and will therefore affect game viewing.
  • Never try to draw the animal’s attention onto yourself.
  • Do not impersonate animal sounds, do not clap your hands and do not throw any objects out of the vehicle.
  • Please respect the judgement of your tour guide / driver. Do not insist parking the vehicle closer to the animals in order to make better photographs.
  • Waste can injure or poison the animals and also verunstaltet the landscape.
  • Please do not try to approach game on foot. This is especially important in the vicinity of lodges or rest camps, as the animals may be used to people.
  • Please do not smoke during game drives. The dry African bush ignites very easily and a bush fire is a deadly threat to the wild.


LANGUAGE

The official language is English. German and Afrikaans are also widely used and there are numerous African languages and dialects which fall into two main groups, namely Bantu and Khoisan. German is spoken widely in Swakopmund.

COMMUNICATION

SIM cards for mobile phones are available in supermarkets, post offices and Teleshops (e.g. MTC or Telecom). You can make direct overseas calls from Namibia. The shipping time for airmail to Europe takes between 4 days to 2 weeks.


CLIMATE

WINTER

The winter months are typically mild to warm. In the evenings, at night and early mornings it can cool down pretty much, therefore a warm sweater or a jacket and long trousers are essential. The weather conditions on the coast can be very cold and windy, so warm clothing and a wind jacket is advisable too.

SUMMER

Cotton, which is cooler than synthetic material, is recommended for the Namibian summer and can be purchased in shops in Windhoek, which specialize in Safari clothing.


FACTS ABOUT NAMIBIA

Location

Southern Africa, bordering the South Atlantic Ocean, between Angola and South Africa

Geographic coordinates

22 00 S, 17 00 E

Area
  • total: 824,292 sq km
  • land: 823,290 sq km
  • water: 1,002 sq km
  • Coastline: 1,572 km
Elevation extremes
  • lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
  • highest point: Konigstein 2,606 m
Natural resources

diamonds, copper, uranium, gold, silver, lead, tin, lithium, cadmium, tungsten, zinc, salt, hydropower, fish note: suspected deposits of oil, coal and iron ore

Use of Land
  • agricultural land: 47.2% (arable land 1%; permanent crops 0%; permanent pasture 46.2%)
  • forest: 8.8%
  • other: 44% (2011 est.)
  • Irrigated land: 75.73 sq km (2003)

Namibia is the second least densely populated country on earth. After Mongolia which is also a vast country, there are just over two million people living in a country which is half the size of Alaska.

The Namib desert, at 80 million years, is the world’s oldest desert. Namib means “open space”.

Stunning Fish River Canyon is the second largest canyon in the world, after the Grand Canyon – it is 161km long, up to 27km wide and 550m deep, formed about 500 million years ago. You can hike the canyon but only during the cooler months between May and September. The hike takes 5 days and there are no hotels along the way.

More than 300 days of sunshine per year.

Namibia has the largest free-roaming cheetah population in the world – there are an estimated 2,500 – 3,000 cheetahs in Namibia. Cheetahs are under pressure from farming and ranching encroachment on their habitat. Leopards and lions are also indigenous big cats in Namibia.

Sossusvlei are said to be the highest sand-dunes in the world.

The Namib and Damaraland offer remarkably clear skies for astronomers and keen star gazers.

The Namib-Naukluft Park is the largest conservation area in Namibia and one of the largest in the world.

Etosha National Park is one of Africa’s finest parks, both in size and diversity of wildlife – home to Africa’s tallest elephants, the endangered black rhino, and 91 other species of mammal. Etosha is especially popular with photographers in the dry season who flock to the waterholes (along with the wildlife).

Namibia’s national anthem “Namibia, Land of the Brave’ was composed by Axali Doeseb. The words of the first verse echo the country’s long struggle for independence: “Namibia, land of the brave, Freedom’s fight we have won, Glory to their bravery, whose blood waters our freedom”. The chorus is “Namibia our Country, Namibia our Motherland, we love thee”.


Shopping

In the major centres, such as Windhoek and Swakopmund, many shops specialize in attractive local products such as diamonds, semi-precious stones, curios of all types including dolls dressed in the traditional Herero style (made by the local Herero woman), hand-carved wooden objects, beautifully fashioned jewellery, leather shoes, karosses rugs and popular woven Swakara garments. Shops are closed on Saturday- and Sunday afternoons, as well as all public holidays, with only a select few open on a Sunday morning./p>

TAX

All goods and services in Namibia are priced to include value added tax (VAT) of 15%.

Visitors to Namibia may reclaim VAT on their purchases at the Hosea Kutako International Airport, Eros Airport and Walvis Bay Airport. Further enquiries can be made through the Ministry of Finance - Telephone: +264 61 209 2405, Fax: +264 61 209 2001

A 30% luxury items tax is subtracted from the cost of such luxury items as jewellery or Swakara garments when tourists present their passport and air ticket at the time of purchase.


CURRENCY

The currency in Namibia is the Namibian Dollar (N$), which is fixed to and therefore equivalent to the South African Rand (ZAR). Bank notes : N$ 200, N$ 100, N$ 50, N$ 20, N$ 10. Coins : N$ 10, N$ 5, N$ 1, 50 Cent, 10 Cent and 5 Cent. The Namibian Dollar and South African Rand are the only legal tender in Namibia and can be used freely to purchase goods and services. The Namibian Dollar, however, is not legal tender in South Africa.

Traveller’s cheques and foreign currency can be exchanged at any of the commercial banks, which are well represented throughout the country. Visitors may bring any amount of foreign currency into the country.

CREDIT CARDS

International Visa and MasterCard credit cards are generally accepted throughout Namibia. Holders of other cards are advised to clarify with a commercial bank whether their card is acceptable in Namibia. Visitors may bring any amount of foreign currency into the country. Further information and assistance can be obtained from any commercial bank in Namibia.


IMMIGRATION LAW

All visitors to Namibia must be in possession of a valid passport. Please check well in time before departure with your Consulate or embassy about your entry- and visa requirements. Tourists are granted a residence permit for 90 days. If necessary, a tourist visa may be requested at the Ministry of Home Affairs, as well as at the respective Namibian embassies.

Travelling in Namibia

Namibia has an excellent road network and very good paved roads. Some of the roads are however rough and bumpy and a minimum speed on tar roads of 120 km/h should not be exceeded. Also, there is a high volume of gravel roads in the country. These are usually well maintained, but every now and then one comes across "corrugated" tracks. Therefore, careful driving is mandatory, as the traction is reduced on gravel roads. Namibia Tracks & Trails will therefore not accept any liability, responsibility or claim for compensation, for any incident or accident involving you (the client), your vehicle and/or any third party.


PACKING SUGGESTIONS

  • Bush-Hat (if possible no flashy colours/shapes)
  • Comfortable walking shoes/boots
  • Swimwear
  • Camera equipment and plenty of film/memory sticks
  • Binoculars
  • Southern African bird guide
  • Sun-hat
  • Good quality sunglasses - preferably polarised
  • Sun-tan lotion
  • Towel
  • Moisturising cream
  • Lip-Ice
  • Insect repellent
  • Tissues/"Wet Ones"
  • Torch
  • Medical kit: aspirins, plasters, antiseptic cream, Imodium, Anti-histamine cream
  • Visas, passports, money, etc.
  • If you wear contact lenses, we recommend that you bring along a pair of glasses.

  • GENERAL INFORMATION

    Outlets for electrical shavers (250V) are available in all bigger hotels, as well as government rest camps. For travel in remote areas we recommend to take battery-powered or hand razors.

    1. 1. Lock all valuables in the trunk of your vehicle and keep everything out of sight. If possible keep valuables in the safe of the hotel.
    2. 2. Please keep medication that you might need to take urgently in your handbag.
    3. 3. Please take note that some distances are rather far, therefore check on tyres, spare tyres, and oil level on a regular basis. Fill up your car as often as possible. Remember to take along enough refreshments. The distances are far and temperatures high!
    4. 4. Please bring along enough cash, since petrol stations do not accept credit cards.
    5. 5. Please remember to return your room key on departure and settle the bill for drinks, postage, telephone, laundry etc.
    6. 6. In the Etosha National Park (except for the camps) you are not allowed to leave your vehicle nor the demarcated roads. Shops in the park supply basic goods only. Medication etc. would have to be ordered, which could take a couple of days.
    7. 7. First-Aid kits are NOT included with your rental vehicle, but can be purchased at pharmacies.
    8. 8. Charter flights in small aircrafts: Luggage restriction of 20kg per person (in soft bags!)
    9. 9. Business Hours:
      Monday - Friday08h00-17h00 or 19h00 (Supermarkets)
      Saturday08h00-13h00 and 10h00-19h00 (Shopping Centres)
      Sunday08h00-13h00 or 19h00 (Supermarkets)
    10. 10. Banks & Postoffice:
      Monday - Friday08h30-17h00
      Saturday08h30-13h00
    11. 11. Foreign currency may be exchanged at banks and many hotels. Currency: Namibian Dollar (N$), the South African Rand is also legal tender (ZAR). EURO/ MASTERCARD and VISA are generally accepted (American Express and Diners not necessarily!).
    12. 12. Daytime temperatures are hot (extremely hot in summer) and nights are cold, some areas frequently go below freezing in winter. There are at least 300 sunny days per year!
    13. 13. Please check carefully regarding entry- and visa requirements.
    14. 14. Speed Limit:
      urban areas - 60 km/h
      tarred roads outside urban areas - 120 km/h
      gravel roads outside urban areas - 80 km/h
      (CAREFUL! LEFT HAND DRIVE!)
    15. 15. If you have any questions, please contact us during office hours at +264 64 41 6821, or after hours at +264 81 269 7271.


    FLIGHT CHECK-IN TIMES

    Please check in early at all airports (at least one hour prior for domestic flights, two hours for all flights to the USA and two hours for regional and other international flights) due to additional security which now affects international travel around the world.

    Please be aware that during peak season, delays are often encountered on scheduled flights. Remember that you are on holiday... relax and enjoy the ambience, which sometimes has no sense of urgency at all!

    RECONFIRMING FLIGHTS

    Please ensure that your onward flights are reconfirmed, when applicable, at least 72 hours prior to flying.

    AIR TRANSFERS

    Should your journey with us include any non-scheduled airline flights, please be advised that we offer two types of air transfer - either a sole use air transfer (where your party has exclusive use of the aircraft for that particular flight sector) or a shared air transfer (where your party share the aircraft with others). A brief description follows:

    1. Shared air transfers

    Unless specifically requested to do otherwise, we will automatically book you onto the shared air transfer which may entail stopping at other airstrips en route for other guests to board/alight. It is possible that one party may be split up and have to travel on different aircraft to their destination, although all efforts will be made to avoid this.

    When we package an itinerary using shared air transfers, we book the aircraft and pilot through licensed charter companies. This portion of your trip might therefore be sub-chartered. All the flight times between lodges are arranged a few days before the flights take place to avoid endless schedule changes. The lodge or camp where you are staying will be advised of your departure time the day before travel and will ensure that you are at the airstrip on time.

    We cannot be more specific about the timings of these air transfers as the charter companies are compelled by safety regulations to service their aircraft every 100 hours which could result in arrangements having to be rescheduled at the last moment.

    At certain times of the year it may be necessary (for safety reasons) to transfer you during the cooler times of the day, in early morning or late afternoon only. Any changes requested or made by the travellers will be at a considerable extra cost.

    2. Sole Use air transfers

    If specifically requested, sole use air transfers will be booked for your trip at an additional cost. This service means that you and your party are the only passengers on that specific flight transfer leg. This could allow more flexibility on luggage restrictions depending on the number of guests and the size of the aircraft – please clarify this with your agent.

    Sole Use air transfers also allow for more flexibility of flight timings which are to be arranged at the time of booking. Please note that late changes to the timings at the request of the party cannot always be accommodated. The original arranged flight times can not be guaranteed. This is as a result of unforeseeable delays such as scheduled flight delays etc. Aircraft used for Sole Use transfers are also used to carry guests before and after your flight.

    Please note that if combining shared and sole use air transfers, then the specified luggage restriction for shared transfers will apply.

    LUGGAGE ON SCHEDULED FLIGHTS

    Scheduled airlines in southern Africa generally carry a weight restriction of 20kg per economy class traveller, and 30kg for business class. Please ensure that you comply with the applicable restrictions (further details regarding number of luggage pieces and exact dimensions, for the particular carrier can be obtained from your ticketing agent).

    Please note when combining scheduled airline flights and air transfers (as specified below), then the smaller restriction of the two will apply unless alternative arrangements have been made for the storage or separate transfer of excess luggage.

    It is very important that you do not put anything of high value (personal or financial value) in your checked-in baggage as luggage can be tampered with and valuables removed. This includes, but is not limited to, jewellery, cameras, video equipment, reading / sunglasses, laptops or other computer/electronic equipment, medication (especially chronic medication) etc. Please also lock your luggage with a suitable lock to deter opportunistic theft.

    In the event of your luggage being delayed or going missing, we would like to recommend that you pack a change of underwear, a clean T-shirt or similar, plus essential toiletries and medication into your carry-on/hand luggage to minimise the inconvenience experienced by this loss or delay.

    LUGGAGE ON AIR TRANSFERS

    There are strict weight restrictions in place on any itinerary which includes light aircraft transfers for the following reasons:

    • The aircraft are designed with a maximum bodyweight and luggage weight allowance.
    • Most of the airfields are over 1000 metres above sea level and are located in the tropics, and therefore the permissible aircraft carrying capacity is reduced.
    • The aircraft have physical space restrictions.

    Some important issues must please be noted for air transfers with Sefofane:

    • Luggage, including camera equipment and hand luggage, is restricted per person travelling on seat rates to 20kg in Namibia.
    • Only soft bags will be accepted - no hard suitcases or bags with wheels can be transported as they physically cannot fit into the aircraft.
    • The maximum dimensions of the soft bags which can be accommodated are as follows: 25cm wide x 30cm high and 62cm long. Please keep in mind that the baggage compartments on the light aircraft are only 25cm high, so the pilots must have the ability to manipulate the bag into the compartment.
    • Passengers weighing 100kg or more, must please advise us in advance as an extra seat must be purchased for safety and comfort.
    • These limits are applicable to guests travelling on a seat rate basis so may differ if guests have booked on a sole use or private charter option in which case the maximum's depend on the type of aircraft and the number of passengers booked.

    These luggage restrictions appear minimal however please bear in mind the following:

    • Most safari camps / lodges and hotels provide basic toilet amenities,
    • Laundry can be done on a daily basis (many camps provide this service free of charge but hotels do charge a nominal fee).
    • Mainly casual clothing is required.

    As no formal clothes are needed throughout most of southern Africa, we recommend that you limit your luggage to the basics. More formal attire is usually required only when staying in the more prestigious city hotel establishments or on any of the luxury trains. On a wildlife safari, casual clothing is the order of the day. We have included a suggested packing list in our documentation for your reference.

    EXCESS LUGGAGE

    If your itinerary includes light aircraft sectors and you need to bring more luggage than the stipulated allowance, please consult us for details on the excess luggage options that are available at an additional cost.

    If you do not require the excess luggage to accompany you on your trip and you arrive/depart via Windhoek, we can make storage arrangements. The luggage can then be returned to you either at your hotel in Windhoek (if you are staying overnight) or by baggage transfer to the airport. This service, which is normally the most economical method of handling excess luggage in Namibia, is charged for at a nominal rate and you are advised to pre-book it through your agent prior to travel.

    Namibia Tracks & Trails and its’ staff will not accept responsibility for luggage kept in any of the offices on behalf of our guests. We do not anticipate any problems with stored luggage being damaged or stolen, but guests must ensure that they are in possession of full travel insurance including luggage cover.

    LOST LUGGAGE

    Luggage that goes missing on scheduled flights is beyond the control of Namibia Tracks & Trails, and/or the airline concerned. The airport controls what happens to passengers’ luggage from when it is checked in/out until it is put on/taken off the aircraft.

    We suggest that you take the following precautionary action: pack a small bag with your essentials including any life sustaining medication, which can be carried with you as hand luggage. If your luggage goes missing, you will still have your essential items on hand to see you through the first couple of days while we try and recover your lost baggage.

    INSURANCE

    Namibia Tracks & Trails, or its agents and associates cannot be held responsible or liable for loss, damage, or theft of personal luggage and belongings, nor can they be held liable for personal injury, accident or illness. Please ensure that you have yourself and your belongings adequately insured before your departure.

    Insurance is compulsory for all our trips.. Please contact your broker or your travel agent or us for details. We cannot be held liable for any losses or damages incurred.

    Health Insurance
    Before you travel anywhere it is advisable to have fully comprehensive medical and accident insurance, which covers you while you are away for everything, including emergency evacuation and repatriation.

    Cancellation Insurance
    You might have to cancel your safari due to unforeseen circumstances, If you cancel a trip close to the departure date for any reason, you will lose all that the safari was going to cost you. Dependent on the reason, cancellation insurance should cover you for this eventuality.

    Baggage Insurance
    Airline liabilities with respect to your baggage is limited. It is advisable to take out insurance if you are carrying expensive and valuable camera equipment. You should always carry such equipment as ‘carry-on’ luggage. Do not put anything of value in your checked baggage!

    CHECK-IN/OUT TIMES

    Hotels in the Namibia towns and cities generally have a check in time of 14h00 and a check out time of 10h00, though many lodges and hotels will try to be accommodating and flexible if they are not too fully booked the preceding night. Otherwise we recommend you book a day room in advance to secure a longer stay in your room.


    PUBLIC HOLIDAYS

    The dates of certain public holidays change from year to year – refer below. If a public holiday falls on a Sunday, then the Monday is also declared a public holiday. During this time, most shops are closed or only some grocery shops are open for limited hours. We recommend you avoid staying in the cities over long weekends or public holidays.

    01 January New Year’s Day
    21 March Independence Day
    Varies Good Friday
    Varies Easter Monday
    01 May Worker’s Day
    04 May Cassinga Day
    Varies Ascension Day
    25 May Africa Day
    26 August Heroes’ Day
    10 December International Human Rights Day
    25 December Christmas Day
    26 December Boxing Day

    TIME

    Namibia operates on daylight saving time as follows:

    Summer: From the first Sunday in September to the first Sunday in April - two hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)

    Winter: From the first Sunday in April to the first Sunday in September - one hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)


    HEALTH

    There are a few basic health matters that require care and attention. The following points are recommended guidelines only. Please consult your doctor and also check with your health department prior to departure for any changes in health regulations.

    1. Malaria

    Malaria within Namibia is encountered mainly in northern Namibia:
    Malaria prophylactic recommendations for travellers:

    Expert opinion differs regarding the best approach to malaria prophylaxis. It is important to bear in mind that malaria may be contracted despite chemoprophylaxis, especially in areas where chloroquine resistance has been reported. Both chloroquine-resistant and normal strains of malaria are prevalent in Africa.

    Please remember that the best precaution is the preventative kind:

    • Avoid being bitten by using mosquito repellents liberally. Wilderness Safaris provides a locally made repellent but please bring your own as there may be skin sensitivity.
    • Wear long-sleeved shirts and trousers/slacks in the evenings.
    • Please use the mosquito net over your bed where supplied/available.
    • If staying in a bungalow or tent, spray with a suitable insecticide to kill any mosquitoes that may have flown into your room.
    • Mosquito coils are also effective.

    Malaria is transmitted by a very small percentage of female Anopheles mosquitoes. They are mainly active in the early evening and throughout the night. Malaria transmission is at its highest during the warmer and wetter months of November through to April. From May through to October the risks of acquiring malaria are reduced. There is also less prevalence in remote areas where our camps are situated; nonetheless, you need to consider taking preventative measures.

    There is a six to seven day minimum incubation period before symptoms present themselves. If you become ill on your return, while still on prophylaxis or even once you have stopped taking them, ensure that your doctor does everything to establish that your illness is not malaria. Malaria can be prevented if you are sensible and take basic precautions. There have been very few cases of our guests contracting malaria in our more than 20 years of operation. It is inadvisable for pregnant woman to visit malarial areas as malaria infection during pregnancy can be detrimental.

    2. Water

    It is very important that you drink plenty of water especially during the warmer months. It is generally recommended that guests drink at least 2 to 3 litres of water per day to limit the effects of dehydration. This excludes tea, coffee and alcoholic beverages, which act as diuretics and therefore can actually contribute to dehydration.
    Generally, water throughout Namibia is safe to drink directly from the tap. However, bottled water is readily available, so please do not allow yourself to become dehydrated.

    3. Dietary Requirements

    For those guests with specific dietary requirements please ensure Namibia Tracks & Trails is notified prior to arrival. We can accommodate most reasonable requests.

    4. Medical Conditions

    You need to notify Namibia Tracks & Trails of any medical condition you may have prior to your arrival. This includes any allergies e.g. bee stings, nuts, shell fish etc.