Things to Know Before Traveling to Namibia

Namibia is a country of extreme natural beauty. From the towering red sand dunes of Sossusvlei to the desolate, arid plains of the Namib Desert to the deep valley of Fish River Canyon and floodplains of the Caprivi Strip, the variety and dramatic nature of the landscape is astounding.However, Namibia is not a classically popular African destination and it somehow still sees far fewer visitors than its neighbour, South Africa. Still, traveling to Namibia is incredibly rewarding with awe-inspiring landscapes, abundant wildlife, friendly people and a relatively safe reputation. If plan traveling to Namibia, here are our top Namibia travel tips you should know before leaving on your trip.For many people, Namibia lives within the shadow by its neighbor, South Africa. It can be easy for some people to lump Namibia and South Africa into the same basket. But, Namibia is actually quite different and unique. Namibia is on the South Western Coast of the African continent and is bordered by South Africa, Botswana, Angola and Zambia.The currency in Namibia is Namibian Dollar. However, South African Rand is interchangeable and widely accepted. Some ATMs even dispense South African Rand instead of Namibian Dollars, so don’t be alarmed if that happens to you. Namibia is part of the Common Monetary Area with South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland, making it relatively easy in terms of currency exchange to travel across these countries.US Dollars are also accepted on occasion, although local currency is best. Credit card facilities are widely available and you should be able to pay most things with your credit cards, although it’s handy to keep some cash on you at all times.Namibians are impressively multilingual. English is a very common language in Namibia and you’ll find that most people speak it fluently. Surprisingly, German is also widely spoken. German colonists claimed Namibia as South West Africa in the 1880s and there is still a strong German influence in the architecture and language. People also speak a native tongue, as well as even Afrikaans which is derived from colonial Dutch and widely spoken in South Africa.Foreign nationalities from Australia, New Zealand, UK, US, Canada, Japan and many European countries don’t need a visa for a stay of up to 90 days in Namibia. You can check online whether your nationality requires a visa or not. This makes it especially easy for crossing overland, if you’re exploring more of Southern Africa. If you’re crossing from South Africa in a vehicle, you’ll need to have a valid passport for the driver, vehicle registration copies, a letter of authority from the rental company and a travel insurance certificate (which you can get at the border itself). Otherwise, it’s quite common for travelers to be crossing in rental cars and is not usually a difficult process.You might be surprised to discover that tap water is actually safe to drink in Namibia. This means you should bring a reusable water bottle so that you don’t have to purchase any single-use plastic bottles in the country. You’ll be able to fill up at your accommodation, including even camping grounds which usually have drinkable tap water available. If you’re still concerned about the safety of the water, we recommend that you bring along a purifier like Steripen.