Namibia General Information
Situated on the south-western Atlantic Coast of the African sub-continent, Namibia derived its name from the Namib Desert, renown for the pristine and haunting quality of its landscape. The country shares borders with Angola and Zambia in the north, South Africa in the south and Botswana in the east. With an estimated population of 2.2 million Namibia’s population density is one of the lowest in the world.
Namibia averages 300 days of sunshine a year!
The climate is typical of a semi-desert country where droughts are a regular occurrence. September to April the day temperatures in the inland vary from approximately 15°C to 35°C, whilst the coastal regions may vary between 12°C and 22°C - at night it may cool down considerably. During the winter months: May - August, day temperatures of 7°C to 28°C can be expected throughout. At the coast dry, hot east weather may occur at times in the winter months. Rainfall season occurs from October to April.
Namibia is an all-year-round wilderness destination. There are certain seasons such as the months November to March for birding with the migratory birds visiting. December to May is good for botany, when the vegetation is green and when most plants are in flower.
220 volts, 50Hz. Plugs are 3-pin round.
The Namibia Dollar (N$) equals the South African Rand (ZAR) 1:1. The South African Rand is legal tender in Namibia and is accepted throughout for payment. Most hotels and shops commonly accept major international Master & Visa Credit Cards. Many of the hotels change foreign currency.
The official language is English but German and Afrikaans are widely spoken and understood. Namibia has 15 ethnic groups with some 27 languages and dialects being spoken.
Day Light Saving:
Annually Namibia reverts to “Day Light Saving” this always takes place at midnight on the first Saturday on the month:
Summer Time: (September – March) – GMT+2
Winter Time: (April – August) – GMT+1
(Times may vary during the winter season)
|Private Sector||Monday to Friday 08:00 - 17:00
Saturday 08:30 - 13:00
|Supermarkets||Monday to Friday 08h00 – 18h00 / 19h00
Weekends closed 13h00 – 16h00
|Government Offices||Monday to Friday 08h00 – 13h00
14h00 – 16h00
Times may vary from one service to another
|Banks||Monday to Friday 09:00 - 15:30
Saturday 09:00 - 11:00
|01 January||New Year's Day|
|21 March||Human Rights Day|
|9th April||Good Friday|
|* (Dates for Easter - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Easter)||Easter Monday|
|01 May||Labour Day|
|4th May||Cassinga Day|
|* (Dates for Easter - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Easter)||Ascension Day|
|25th May||Africa Day|
|26th August||Heroes Day|
|7th October||Goodwill Day|
|10th December||Human Rights' Day|
|25th December||Christmas Day|
|26th December||Boxing Day|
Woodcarvings; basketry; pottery; gold jewellery; individually-designed hand-woven carpets and wall hangings made from karakul wool; Namibian semi-precious stones and diamonds; Herero dolls.
There is a Christian majority. Western customs and courtesies are observed. Business suits are worn in winter; in summer, safari suits are acceptable.
Due to the hot dry climate Namibia is virtually free of tropical diseases; therefore health certificates are not normally required. Malaria exists in the northern area throughout the year; you can reduce the risk of malaria by using prophylactics, which should be started before arriving in Namibia and under your doctors’ guidance.
Southern Africa has some of the highest skin cancer statistics – please therefore apply sun block liberally prior to going on walks, swimming etc.
Tap water is safe to drink throughout the country, except for isolated rural areas, where the consumption of filtered or bottled mineral water is recommended.
Namibia is a peaceful, democratic country and is relatively crime free. However, as in any other place in the world there are undesirable elements.
TIPS & GRATUITIES:
Some restaurants do include service charges; otherwise 10% of the billed amount is adequate. The same applies to hotel service personnel.