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Namibia Travel Guide

>> Namibia Safaris & Tours   Map for planning your Namibia Safari & Tour

Namibia offers the visitor bountiful sunshine, abundance of wildlife, scenic beauty and rich diversity of geological phenomena.

The friendliness and cultural diversity of its people, a well-developed infrastructure and an extensive choice of parks, resorts and accommodation establishments make it a sought-after tourist destination to which visitors return again and again.

Popular Destinations
The Etosha National Park is one of the most famous game sanctuaries in the world and remains largely free of human influence. There are vast stocks of wildlife, particularly elephants, lions, zebras, giraffes, wildebeest, springboks, kudus, gemsboks or oryxes, hyenas, jackals, leopards and cheetahs.

Waterberg Plateau Park has striking red sandstone cliffs and is home to many rare and endangered species of game. It is a popular stopover for visitors on their way to Etosha National Park.

Northeast is the Caprivi, bordered by the Kwando, Linyanti, Chobe and Zambezi rivers - a region of swamps and flood plains that has several safari lodges and offers boat trips, fishing, hiking and game viewing.

The Fish River Canyon is in the south of the country and only second in size to the Grand Canyon in the US. Lüderitz is a small port in the southern Namib region, with much charm and atmosphere from bygone days of diamond prospecting.

The Namib Desert with its towering sand dunes is believed to be the oldest desert in the world. Namib Naukluft Park is the fourth-largest conservation area in the world. At Sesriem the Tsauchab River disappears down a deep gorge in the plain (leaving pools of water where many animals feed) and in the Naukluft.

The seaside resort of Swakopmund is situated in the middle of Namibia’s coastline, surrounded by desert and sea. Further north, the Skeleton Coast is a strange desert shoreline with massive dunes and treacherous rocks, the name relating to the number of ships wrecked and lost in the vicinity.

Inland, the Brandberg/Twyfelfontein area has some very ancient rock engravings and paintings, of which the White Lady of the Brandberg is the best known. The Petrified Forest and the Welwitschia mirabilis plant are other attractions.

Climate
Inland all the rain falls in summer (November to April). Summer temperatures are high while the altitude means that nights are cool. Winter nights can be fairly cold, but days are generally warm and pleasant.
The cold Benguela current keeps the coast of the Namib Desert cool, damp and free of rain for most of the year, with a thick coastal fog.

Population
1,862,000 (2000).

Capital
Windhoek

Language
English is the official language. Afrikaans is spoken by most people. German, Herero, Kavango, Nama and Owambo are also spoken.

Time
GMT + 2 (GMT + 1 from April to August).

Electricity
220 volts AC. Outlets are of the three-pin type.

Communications
Telephone: IDD is available. Country code: 264. Outgoing international code: 00.
Mobile telephone: GSM 900 network in use.

Visas
Required by all except the following for stays of up to 3 months:
1. nationals of Britain, Australia, Canada, USA, Japan
2. nationals of EU countries (except nationals of Greece who do require a visa);
3. nationals of Angola, Botswana, Brazil, China, CIS, Cuba, Iceland, Kenya, Lesotho, Liechtenstein, Malawi, Malaysia, Mozambique, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, South Africa, Swaziland, Switzerland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe;
4. those continuing to a third country and not leaving the airport transit area.

Please verify information with the relevant authorities as it is subject to change without notification.

Money
The Namibian Dollar (NAD) has been introduced in note denominations of NAD200, 100, 50 and 10.
It is linked to the South African Rand (R) on a 1:1 basis. The South African Rand is also acceptable as currency in Namibia.

Currency exchange is available in banks and at bureaux de change. A better rate of exchange can be obtained on travellers cheques than on cash.

American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard and Visa are accepted.

To avoid additional exchange rate charges, travellers are advised to take travellers cheques in US Dollars or South African Rand.

Health
A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required from travellers arriving from infected areas.
Malaria risk exists in the northern regions and in Otjozondjupa and Omaheke from November to May/June and along the Kavango and Kunene rivers throughout the year.
Bilharzia (schistosomiasis) is endemic. Avoid swimming and paddling in fresh water, but swimming pools which are well chlorinated and well maintained are safe.

Health insurance is essential.

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