Weather in Namibia

Namibia has a mainly subtropical desert climate with low rainfall and overall low humidity.

 

Dry season

The dry season, winter, is May-Oct and while days can be warm, nighttime temperatures can fall to below freezing in deserts and higher altitude parks.

There is little to no rainfall during the entire winter and humidity is low. Wildlife will gather around waterholes and rivers when other water resources dry up.

May is still warm (24-28°C) and the countryside green, but by June the pleasant day time 20°C can be as low as freezing at night in the deserts.

July & August are the main winter months and morning drives in open vehicles will be cold as it can fall to below freezing at night in the deserts and higher areas.

September & October – the morning chill is less, it is dry and the skies are clear. Vegetation is starting to fade by now.

 

Wet season

Summer, is Nov-April.

The heat continues to rise and by November it is very hot, but the humidity is still low, keeping it quite pleasant. Average daytime temperature is above 30°C/86°F, but can be a lot higher in the deserts.

The first rains usually arrive in December and with them the temperature drops.

January & February is midsummer, and it tends to be hot and humid with maximum temperatures around 30-35°C/86-95°F with peaks of over 40°C/104°F in the desert.

Mornings are usually clear but there may be torrential downpours in the afternoon.

March & April: It cools down after the rains and the nights start to get cold again. Average daytime temperatures 25-30°C.

Visas for Namibia

British nationals can enter Namibia for a holiday or private visit of up to 90 days without a visa.

There have been cases where visitors have only been given permission to stay for periods much shorter than 90 days, sometimes as short as only 7 or 10 days. Before leaving the immigration desk in the airport arrivals hall, check that you have been given permission to stay in Namibia for the duration of your intended visit up to the maximum allowable of 90 days and that you have been given a correctly dated entry stamp by Namibian Immigration officials, as this will be checked on departure.

Overstaying the time granted or an incorrect or missing entry stamp could lead to detention, arrest and a fine.

Non UK residents please check with the Namibian embassy or consulate in your country of residence.

Vaccinations for Namibia

We strongly suggest that everyone planning to travel to Namibia visits their local doctor/travel clinic prior to departure for the latest vaccination information.

Recommended vaccinations

  • Up-to-date diphtheria and polio.
  • Tetanus or tetanus booster. (These three are effective for ten years.)
  • ‘Havrix’ for Hepatitis A. The course of two injections protects you for ten years. Gamma globulin is cheaper butless effective.
  • Typhoid vaccine is recommended by some doctors although it will not provide total protection and being careful about what you eat and drink is your best defence. It is given in two shots, four weeks apart and lasts for three years. Unless at exceptional risk, people over the age of 35 who have received four or more courses of typhoid immunisation need no more.
  • Cholera spread through consumption of contaminated water and food. More common during floods and after natural disasters, in areas with very poor sanitation and lack of clean drinking water. It would be unusual for travellers to contract cholera if they take basic precautions with food and water and maintain a good standard of hygiene.
  • A pre-exposure rabies vaccination is worth considering if you are going to be in contact with animals or morethan 24 hours away from a reliable source of vaccine. Hikers are at some risk from rural dogs, certain of which carry rabies, and those visiting coastal or rainforest areas could be exposed to rabid bats.
  • Yellow fever vaccination certificate required for travellers arriving from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission.
  • Anti-malarial protection is important. Malaria risk is present throughout the year in the Kunene River, Caprivi and Kavango regions. There is a high risk of malaria during November to June in the following regions: Ohangwena, Omaheke, Omusati, Oshana, Oshikoto and Otjozondjupa. There is low risk of malaria in all other areas of Namibia throughout the year. In the UK, contact the Malaria Reference Laborator. North Americans should contact the Centers for Disease Control.
  • Schistosomiasis. A parasitic infection, also known as bilharzia, that is transmitted to humans through contact with fresh water. The parasite enters humans through the skin. Prevention is dependant on avoidance of swimming, bathing or paddling in fresh water lakes and streams.

Namibia Festivals

March  

Festival: Enjando Street Festival / Mbapira 

Dance, music and national costumes    

Location: Windhoek   

 

April  

Festival: Windhoek Karneval 

Musical performances, masked ball and children’s avenue parade.  

Location: Windhoek 

 

May 

Festival: Africa Day 

Celebration of diversity and people.    

Location: Country wide  

 

August 

Festival: Kuste Karneval 

Street party with parades and food stalls.  

Location: Swakopmund 

 

Festival: Heroes’ Day (Maharero Day) 

Processions and traditional costumes.  

Location: Okahandaja 

Flight advice

Andean Trails can book all your international and domestic flights for this trip and for UK passengers; we have full ATOL bonding and can book flights with most airlines.

International flight prices are variable and usually can only be guaranteed at the time of booking. If you would like to upgrade to business or first class, or even arrive at an earlier date/depart at a later date we can also arrange this for you.

Typically, you fly to a country’s capital city and then overnight there or make a connecting flight (if available) to your next destination.

 

Flight connections

Please contact us for flight advice especially if you do make a connection on the same day. It is important to purchase a through ticket and not separate tickets for connections, so that you are covered for any delays. Passengers with separate tickets that are delayed run the risk of having to buy an entirely new ticket to continue their journeys.

Please note all airline schedules are subject to change and are out of our control.

 

Tickets

Almost all flight tickets are now e-tickets. Any that are not will be handed to you on arrival in South America – this is most common for flights on smaller planes in Amazon areas such as Guyana/Bolivia.

The final travel instructions we send you some 2-3 weeks before departure will list the latest flight times, flight numbers etc as well as list your e-ticket numbers and booking reference code (6 characters i.e. GB75RK). This is what you will need to check in with.

 

How do I check in?

Depending on the airline, we can reserve some seats for you at the time of booking your international flights with us.

If we cannot reserve seats at the time of booking, you have to wait for online check in to open (usually 24-72 hours before departure).

To check in online you will need to go to the website of the airline you are travelling with, and have your e-ticket number/booking reference to hand. Click check in online, enter your details, and choose your seat.

Some flights will allocate seats at the check in desk at the airport and some may not allocate seats at all.

 

Help flying via the USA (ESTA form).

The United States (USA) has an Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) which all travellers to and via the USA must complete BEFORE travel to/via its airports and shores.

More information can be found on their ESTA website.

Passengers who have not completed the form will be denied boarding.

Before you begin this application, make sure that you have a valid passport and credit card available.

This application will only accept the following credit cards: MasterCard, VISA, American Express, and Discover (JCB, Diners Club).

ATOL holiday protection

Andean Trails has two decades of experience of dealing with South America holidays.

We pay a fee to the CAA for every licensable passenger we book since we hold an Air Travel Organiser’s Licence granted by the Civil Aviation Authority. In the unlikely event of our insolvency, the CAA will ensure that you are not stranded abroad and will arrange to refund any money you have paid to us for an advance booking.

We also offer ATOL (Civil Aviation Authority) protected holidays to give our customers peace of mind when booking and travelling.

When you buy an ATOL protected air holiday package from Andean Trails Ltd you will receive a Confirmation Invoice from us confirming your arrangements and your protection under our Air Travel Organiser’s Licence number 6275.

You can read more about ATOL, who is covered and what protections you have if not ATOL-covered, on our ATOL page.

 

What is ATOL?

The CAA’s ATOL scheme offers protection to your money and your holiday if you book with us. Not everybody is covered (see ‘Who is covered?’ for more), as you must purchase an ‘air package holiday’ with Andean Trails to be protected.

And  ‘air package holiday’ is defined as including a flight and some ground services (hotel, transfer, trek etc). This is also known as an ‘ATOL-protected holiday’.

 

Who is covered?

To be covered by ATOL, you must book a flight and some ground services with us and be from the UK. If you are from the UK and only book ground services and no flights, you are not covered by ATOL (see below for more on how non-ATOL clients are covered).

If you are outside the UK and buy flights with us, you will be ATOL protected IF any of the flights booked with Andean Trails touches/stops in the UK at any point during your holiday package booked with us.

If you buy your flights elsewhere, please check with that agent if you are ATOL protected. Be careful with online flight purchases and make sure you know what protection you have, if any, before paying for flights.

Not all holiday or travel services offered and sold by us will be protected by the ATOL scheme. Please ask us to confirm what protection may apply to your booking.

For land only holidays not involving any air travel, in accordance with “The Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992”, all UK passengers booking with Andean Trails Ltd. are fully protected for the initial deposit and subsequently the balance of all money paid to us, arising from cancellation or curtailment of travel arrangements due to the insolvency of Andean Trails.

 

I’m not ATOL covered, what protection do I have?

If you are not ATOL covered, any payments you make to us go to a Trust account.

We can only access this money once your tour has been completed, meaning that if anything happens to Andean Trails Limited while you are on holiday, then your money is secure and you can either complete the trip or be able to make it home.

If you pay for your holiday with a credit card, some offer payment protection – please check with your cardholder.

You also should have cancellation protection written into your insurance (which we recommend you have at the time of booking) in case you need to cancel.

Money matters

Currency & Money Exchange

Namibia’s monetary unit is the “Namibian Dollar”.

Both the Namibian dollar and the South African Rand are widely accepted throughout the country, and it’s good to arrive to Namibia with some Rand to hand.

There are ATM (‘hole-in-the-wall’) machines widely available in towns and cities. They dispense Namibian dollars – note it is difficult to exchange leftover Namibian dollars when you leave the country, so it’s good practice to use Rand.

ATM debit/credit cards are now widely used in major restaurants, hotels, shops and lodges (with fees). American Express and Diners Card are, however, not widely accepted.

When changing money it’s best to go to a bank, along with your original passport which you must show.

Do take cash to very remote areas, in case there is no internet connection and card payments cannot be processed.

A very few tourist places might accept US dollars if they are small denomination, unmarked and undamaged bills. Try to take 5s, 10s and 20s.

Exchange rate: USD 1 = 13 Namibian dollars (approx.), June 2018.

 

Eating and drinking

Windhoek has a range of eateries. If staying at lodges, your choices will be limited to the menu or whatever you may have in your 4×4 to cook.

Prices vary greatly, below is a rough guide to what you can expect to pay in Namibia.

 

Local café/restaurant

Beer/soft drink: USD 2-3

Lunch: USD 5-13pp

Coffee: USD 1.5

 

Tourist style restaurant

Beer/soft drink: USD 3-4

Main dish: USD 15 upwards

Coffee: USD 2

Plugs and voltages

Electricity

Namibia uses 220 volts, with a frequency of 50 Hz.

Most cameras, phones and computers are dual or multi voltage and probably won’t need a convertor – please check before leaving.

Some items you may bring, such as hairdryers, may need a convertor. They may short if you use them without the correct convertor.

 

Plugs

Namibia uses two types of rounded, three-pronged plugs.

Type D plug

Type D plug

Type M plug

Type M plug

 

 

Communication

Dialling codes

The international code for Namibia is +264.

Regions have dialling codes.

 

 

Landlines

Namibia’s landlines have 6 or 7 digits. To call landline-landline in the same region, simply dial the 7 digit code, e.g. 1234567

If calling landline to another regional landline, dial the regionalcode including the 0, then the number e.g. 061 1234567 for Windhoek (code = 061)

If using your own mobile phone to call a landline, dial the country code, the regional code without the 0, and then the number, e.g. +264 61 1234567.

 

Mobiles

Mobiles begin with 081 and have 7 digits.

There is very little coverage outside of the big towns/cities/main roads. Satellite phones are a better back-up/emergency phone than a mobile.

 

If using your own mobile phone to call a Namibian mobile, dial the country code, then the full number minus the 0 e.g. +264 81 1234567.

Check roaming rates with your operator before leaving – they can be very high.

Some unlocked phones can be used with a local SIM in Namibia – check before arriving.

 

 

Internet

Most hotels, cafes, restaurants and lodges offer free and generally good Wi-Fi.

There are also internet cafes in most towns and cities.

Responsible Travel - our ethos

Andean Trails believes in Responsible Travel and actively supports several community projects.

Please see Our Advice and Our Ethos for more, and learn about the Projects We Support.

We operate the Inca Trail, our treks and tours with local firms.

We make sure that on our tours and Inca Trail we employ local staff, who are paid fair wages.

With the Inca Trail, We provide free life insurance to all of our porters. Tented accommodation and meals are provided for all trekking staff as well as foam mats, sleeping bags and rain ponchos. We have also provided the staff with trekking shoes. We ensure our porters carry a maximum of only 20kg. We offer them backpacks and they generally use back supports.

Clean burning fuel is used to cook the meals on the Inca Trail and porters carry gas stoves and butane bottles. We use biodegradable detergents when washing the cooking and eating utensils. If any part of our tour or trek is operated by another company, we try to ensure that high standards are maintained.

Our additional support helps the Huchuy Yachaq project which supports children and families in one of the poorest communities in the district of Cusco.

Our environmental policy

All our activities are governed by our respect for the environment and the people who live in it. We aim to make a positive impact both in the UK and in the Andean countries we work in (Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina).

We agree with the principals of sustainable development and specifically promote environmentally aware tourism in the Andean countries, in order to preserve the heritage of the people who live there and to help protect their environment.

In the UK we use recycled paper where possible, recycle what we can and attempt to keep waste to an absolute minimum.

Throughout South America we work together with local people, paying them a fair price, and putting money into the local economy. We do this by using local agents, local trek staff and experienced and qualified local mountain and cultural guides who have an in-depth knowledge of their own country. Our porters on the Inca Trail are fairly paid, carry a maximum load of 20kg and are supplied with tents and food. In other areas we use donkeys or horses to carry loads.

We use locally owned services such as hotels and restaurants, wherever possible. We buy fresh local produce for all of our treks from markets in each departure town. We use public transport whenever possible and feasible.

We have ongoing contact with the teams that we work with and also with local families in the areas we trek through, developing relationships with them and donating goods such as clothes and shoes to their communities, through appropriate local agencies. We also support local Peruvian charities, specifically NIÑOS in Cusco, and CARE in the Huaraz area, plus Huchuy Yachaq.

If you have any suitable (warm) clothes and shoes that you would like to donate to Peruvian children please take them with you and give them to your tour leader, who will ensure they go to a suitable organization.

When out on tour we encourage learning about the countries we travel in, the local culture of the teams we work with and the areas we pass through. Our guides hold informal talks with groups to inform about and discuss with them all aspects of local life. This helps understanding of the area and appreciation of the people who live there.

Our group sizes are kept to a maximum of 16 people, and we encourage smaller groups where possible. This minimises the negative impact we make on the local people, the wildlife and the environment, and increases the quality time spent in contact with the local people and environment.

When trekking we adhere to a responsible tourism code of practice and are also involved in ongoing training of our trek staff.

Health and Safety

A full Health and Safety document will be sent to you at the time of booking and before you travel.

You can also read it on our website, or contact us for more information.

Travel Insurance

It is a condition of booking any of our holidays that you have comprehensive travel insurance to cover you for trip cancellation (by you), activities involved and destination. This cover should include repatriation costs, air ambulance and helicopter rescue.

We work with Travel Nomads, who offer insurance solutions to people in more than 140 countries across the world.

Should you decide not to purchase this insurance, you must provide us with details of your alternative insurance with or before your final payment.

And lastly...

Many of our tours travel through remote areas.

We believe our clients should be aware that the remoteness of some of our tours so very special could also cause certain problems.

Thus, whilst we endeavour to minimise the chances of anything unexpected happening, it has to be noted that no itinerary can or should be rigidly adhered to.

This is the very nature of adventure travel and we expect our clients to be prepared for delays and slight alterations in our programmed events.

 

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