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FAQs about Namibia

How long are the flights to Namibia?
Anyone wishing to visit Namibia will have to fly via Johannesburg or Frankfurt. The flight to Johannesburg from London Heathrow takes approximately 10.5 hours. The onward flight is 2 hours to Windhoek (but allow for a couple more hours in transit in Johannesburg).  Alternatively the route via Frankfurt takes approximately 13.5 hours.

Can I fly from a regional UK Airport?
There are no direct flights from other UK regional airports but it is possible to fly via Heathrow to Johannesburg or via Frankfurt.

Do I need a visa to visit Namibia?
This will depend on which country’s passport you are travelling under. British passport holders do not need a visa, it will be issued free of charge on arrival and is valid for 3 months. All visitors must have 2 full clear pages in their passport, this is a requirement of the immigration department and is strictly enforced. Your passport must also have a minimum of 6 months validity from your date of departure.

When is the best time to visit Namibia?
Namibia is in the southern hemisphere so its seasons are opposite from ours in the UK. The most pleasant weather is from August to October when temperatures are cooler and there is little rainfall. The coastal town of Swakopmund is noticeably cooler than the interior throughout the year and the sea breezes offer welcome relief in the hotter months. Game viewing is good all year round, but at its best after the dry winter months, so September and October are excellent months to view the wildlife that congregates at waterholes. Expect rain January through to March and this makes some roads impassable.

Where is the best place to go on safari?
The most popular place for a safari in Namibia is Etosha National Park and its surrounding areas. The park is surrounded by a number of privately owned conservancies which offer game drives on their own land as well as in Etosha National Park – you can expect to see all of the Big 5 game. The private reserves have the advantage of offering night drives which are not available inside Etosha. The terrain within Etosha National Park is quite different from any other that you will experience on a safari in Africa.

Some of the private reserves we recommend include Ongava to the south of Etosha and Onguma to the east, both offering luxury accommodation and superb safari experience in Namibia.

Where can I track Rhino on foot?
Most of the black rhino which roam free are located in the arid Damaraland region to the north west of the country. Palmwag Lodge offers guided tours where you can track these endangered and elusive animals. You can either do this as a day trip or join one of the tours that ventures deeper into the countryside. Stay 2 or 3 nights camping at the Desert Rhino Camp.

Where can I see Cheetahs?
You might be lucky and see cheetah on safari in Etosha National Park but if not there are a couple of Cheetah Conservation Projects that rescue cheetahs which are injured, orphaned or trapped by farmers. The best known project is based at Okonjima and is called the AfriCat Foundation. Here you will be able to see a number of big cats including cheetah and leopards.

Can I take my children on safari?
Most lodges will only accept children over 12 years old. However there are a few lodges that we can recommend that cater specifically for families with young children under 12. These lodges will provide a private game vehicle at an additional cost.

There are some camps that offer larger families exclusive use and will include a private safari vehicle at no additional cost – this should enable you to start and finish your day at whatever time suits.

How much luggage can I take?
International airlines mostly work on an allowance of 23kg for checked bags and 1 piece of hand luggage. However if you are traveling by light aircraft between locations in Namibia you will be allowed a total of 15kg including your hand luggage. This allowance is at the Captain’s discretion and will depend on whether the flight is full but we advise you to err on the side of caution and to assume that this is your weight limit. Most lodges offer a laundry service which is often free of charge so we suggest you take advantage of this to reduce your luggage.

What should I take on safari?
We recommend  that you take cotton layers such as t-shirts, a light fleece, shorts and a pair of long trousers are the key items. The temperature can vary quite a bit from the early morning game drive to the heat of the day in Namibia.  Sun screen, a hat and a swimming costume are the other must-have items. It is best to avoid bright colours for a safari. Footwear should include a pair of sandals or flip flops and some walking shoes (trainers would be fine). We also recommend the following items; insect repellent, headache/pain killer tablets, Imodium and as a precaution some rehydration sachets. It is easy to get dehydrated without noticing even though drinking water will be readily available.

Do I need any immunisations or malaria tablets?
The best person to speak to is your Doctor or Nurse Practitioner as the advice can change. Some parts of Namibia such as Etosha are affected by malaria and you will need a course of tablets. Please click here for further information from Fit For Travel.

Can I charge my camera/phone/ipod on safari ?
In the more remote tented camps where electricity is supplied by generator or solar panels there may not be plug points in your accommodation. Generally, in this instance, there is a facility to charge batteries in the Manager’s office. Larger safari lodges are connected to the mains and there will be power points in your room. It is best to take an adaptor with you although they will often have ones which you can borrow. City hotels will have UK plug points or adaptors in the rooms. Please note that  a ‘worldwide adaptor’ will not work in South Africa or Namibia you will need a specific South Africa adaptor which can easily be bought at Heathrow or in Namibia.

Is it safe to drive?
We only advocate self drive holidays in Namibia where there are good roads, which are well signposted and safe to drive. In Namibia you drive on the same side of the road as in the UK and have the same traffic regulations. We only use reputable hire car companies who offer 24 hour assistance in the event of an accident or breakdown. We also supply you with either a SatNav unit or a personalised travel digest which gives you maps and detailed driving directions for every leg of your journey. There are contact numbers for the next destination and a 24 hour telephone number for assistance. The digest will give approximate journey times for each leg so that you can plan what time you would like to depart. We never plan an itinerary which means that you will be arriving at your destination after dark.

Do I need an International Driving Licence?
A British licence or an international licence will be fine. As long as it is in English and can be supported by the photo in your passport.

Can I use my credit card?
Yes all lodges will accept credit cards for purchases such as souvenirs. It is also wise to carry some cash for staff gratuities. The local currency is the Nambian Dollar and is linked to the South African Rand at the equivalent rate. South African Rands are widely accepted in place of the Namibian Dollar and it is easy to withdraw cash from ATM’s throughout the country using your UK debit or credit card.

Is my holiday protected when booking via my travel agent or directly with Visions of Africa and Southern Africa Vacations?
Yes. Visions Of Africa and Southern Africa Vacations are part of the Visions Holiday Group Ltd – Visions Travel Group which holds an ATOL licence no: 5889. This licence has been granted to us by the UK Civil Aviation Authority.  This licence offers complete financial protection but only for holiday vacation packages that include flights commencing in and returning to the UK only. Ground arrangement only holiday vacation packages,  accommodation only arrangements and other non-flight packages excluding the pre-arranged travel to and from your destination are financially protected through a bond that we have placed with the Association Of Bonded Travel Organisers Trust Limited (ABTOT).

We are also members of ABTA – the Travel Association, IATA, ASTA and AITO – The Association of Independent Tours Operators.