Namibia (officially Republic of Namibia) is a country in southern Africa between Angola, Botswana, Zambia, South Africa and the Atlantic Ocean. A four-country corner in the northeast is just missed, as the border with Zimbabwe is about 40 meters away.

The capital and largest city of Namibia is Windhoek. The country has been a member of the United Nations (UN), the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the Southern African Customs Union (SACU), the African Union (AU) and the Commonwealth of Nations since 1990 (Resolution 652).

The arid landscape was originally inhabited by the San ("Bushmen") and Damara peoples. From around the 14th century, Bantu migrated to the country as part of the Bantu migration. The area of present-day Namibia became a protectorate of the German Empire in 1884 and remained a German colony called Deutsch-Südwestafrika until the end of World War I. In the years 1904 to 1908, the German colonial power violently suppressed the Herero and Nama uprising and committed genocide in the process. In 1920 the League of Nations placed Namibia under a South African mandate - effectively a South African colony - which introduced its own laws, such as those on apartheid, into Namibia.

In the course of the Namibian liberation struggle on March 21, 1990, Namibia gained independence from South Africa – with the exception of Walvis Bay and the Penguin Islands, which were under South African control until 1994. March 21 has been the country's national holiday ever since.

Due to the large area of the Namib, Namibia is only sparsely populated. The country has about 2.3 million inhabitants. 18 percent of the population live below the Namibian poverty line (as of November 2016), compared to 28.7 percent in 2009. Namibia has a stable parliamentary democracy. The Namibian economy is strongly characterized by agriculture, tourism and mining (uranium, gold, silver and base metals).



The country can be divided into the following geographical regions according to its climatic and cultural characteristics:

Northern Namibia. This area was known as “Ovamboland” during South African rule and is divided into five administrative units: Ohangwena, Omusati, Oshana, Oshikoto and Otjozondjupa. The current name for the region is “Owambo”. It is the most densely populated area in the country but still rural. Namibia's largest Bantu ethnic group, the Wambo, live here. It represents the absolute majority of the population.
Northeast Namibia. with the Caprivi Strip and the Kavango region - with the main rivers, northwest Namibia is more tropical and rich in vegetation, but also more hygienically difficult than the rest of Namibia.
West Namibia (western Namibia). is the desert and coastal region of Erongo and Kunene, which is suppressed by rain due to the cold Benguela Current (the latter also referred to as northwest Namibia and further divided into Kaokoland - the land of the Himba and Damaraland - with the destination Twyfelfontein, which is interesting because of its many rock carvings)
Central Namibia. around the capital region of Khomas and the city of Windhoek itself, as well as the western part of the Otjozondjupa region.
Eastern Namibia. especially the Omaheke region, also known as the land of the Herero. The landscape is characterized by the Kalahari and is otherwise more developed for agriculture than tourism.
Southern Namibia. includes the Karas and Hardap regions with interesting destinations such as the Fish River Canyon and the city of Lüderitz.



1 Karasburg
2 Keetmanshoop. small town on main railway line and road; Fish River Canyon access point.
3 Lüderitz. old German coastal town. More parts of the Tsau-ǁKhaeb (Diamond Restricted Area) National Park have been opened since 2008-12.
4 Mariental
5 Oranjemund
6 Rundu
7 Swakopmund. largest coastal city and a mecca for local tourists.
8 Walvis Bay (Walvis Bay, Walfish Bay)
9 warm bath
10 Windhoek (Windhoek) . Capital and largest city at the same time.


Other destinations

1 Brandberg. at 2,573m the highest mountain in the country.infoedit
2 Fingerklippe (Vingerklip)
3 Quiver Tree Forest. and “Playground of the Giants”
4 Cape Cross. with seal sanctuary.infoedit


National Parks

Overview: National parks in Namibia
6 Cape Cross Seal Reserve. The Cape Cross Seal Sanctuary is part of the Skeleton Coast.
7 Etosha National Park (Etosha National Park) . The national park with the Etosha pan.
8 Fish River Canyon. The largest canyon in southern Africa and one of the largest (160 km) in the world.
9 Kgalagadi Transfrontier National Park (Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park)
10 Namib-Naukluft National Park (Namib-Naukluft National Park) . the area with the highest dunes in the world.
11 Skeleton Coast. in the northern part of the Namib Desert. Named in connection with the dozens of ships stranded here in the thick fog.
12 Waterberg. The Waterberg is a table mountain measuring approximately 50 × 16 km. The 405km² Waterberg Plateau Park was established in 1972 to protect the Elan antelope. The last Cape Vultures in Namibia also lived here, but they probably died out in 2014. Through reintroduction, white and black rhinos were made at home here. In total there are ninety mammal species and almost five hundred plant species.


Getting here

Entry requirements
For tourists from Western Europe (mainly the EU before the eastward expansion, excluding the European dwarf states), Swiss and Liechtenstein residents, there is no visa requirement for a stay of up to 90 days per year. Travelers must be able to provide proof of their re-exit (return flight or onward travel ticket).
A visitor entry permit is stamped into the passport at the entry border crossings and airport. It is usually only issued for the planned period of stay. Here you should immediately check whether the time period is sufficient for the planned trip. (Extensions can be applied for at the Ministry of the Interior in Windhoek.) This also applies to holders of diplomatic passports. A visa is required for all other purposes, including short business trips. Eastern Europeans who can get a visa-on-arrival can obtain one at the international airports and the border crossings of Ariamsvlei, Noordoewer, Oranjemund, Trans-Kalahari, Katima Mulilo and Oshikango.

The passport must be valid for at least six months. An ID card is not sufficient for entry. Damaged documents (kinked, torn) can lead to rejection.

As in neighboring South Africa, unaccompanied minor children require the consent of both parents (“affidavit” in English) to enter and leave the country that the child can travel alone. The certified copies of both parents' passports must be attached to the affidavit. For children traveling with only one parent, the consent of the other must also be carried.

Consular Department of the Namibian Embassy, Reichsstr. 17, 14052 Berlin. Responsible for residents of: Poland, Czech Republic, Turkey and the Vatican who require a visa. Since 2019, the first three can also receive a visa-on-arrival for a price of N$ 1000. Price: Tourist, one entry €80, multiple entry €130, express €220.
Consular Department of the Namibian Embassy, Zuckerkandlgasse 2, 1190 Vienna. Tel.: +431 402 937-1. Also responsible for residents of: Bulgaria, Bosnia, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary who require a visa. Hungarians, Romanians and Bulgarians have also been able to obtain a visa-on-arrival since 2019. Open: Mon.-Thurs. 9.30-12.45.

Anyone who comes from an area infected with yellow fever, e.g. B. over the land border from Angola, requires proof of vaccination.
Please also note the sometimes somewhat unusual conditions for traveling to South Africa.

Namibia belongs to the Customs Union of Southern Africa (with South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Eswatini). There are no restrictions here.

Local currency may be imported in cash up to the equivalent of N$ 50,000, but must be declared from N$ 5,000.

Hunting travelers must present their weapons at a separate counter upon entry. A hunting license from your home country is not required, as hunting in Namibia is only permitted if accompanied by a local hunting guide.
The export of hunting trophies and furs is subject to a permit requirement. The local organizer will normally take care of this too. When returning to the EU, please note that the import of lion and elephant parts is prohibited even if there is a corresponding CITES certificate from the country of origin.

Regarding diamond exports to Europe, see the EU directive on the “Kimberley Process”.

Free quantities
400 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 250g of tobacco
1 liter of schnapps or 2 liters of wine
50ml perfume
Gifts up to N$1250

By plane
Windhoek is usually the first place you arrive by plane. There are two airports near Windhoek. Husea Kutako International Airport is served by Eurowings Discovery non-stop from Frankfurt. The smaller Eros Airport offers connections to destinations within the country and is the starting point for most fly-in safaris.

By train
Traveling to Namibia by train is not possible.

By bus
The most convenient international bus connections run from Cape Town and Victoria Falls to Namibia. There is also a connection from Johannesburg. Intercape Mainliner provides information on timetables and prices. You can also get to Namibia from anywhere in Botswana by combining bus rides and hitchhiking.

On the street
Maximum speeds: 60-80 km/h in urban areas, 120 km/h on country roads.

Leaving the roads is prohibited when driving through national parks. A round traffic sign with a red circle and a crossed out S means “No stopping on the shoulder.” There is a ban on cell phones and wearing a seat belt. Drinking and driving is prohibited, i.e. 0.0 per mille!

Anyone planning to rent a vehicle or drive their own must carry an international driving license or an English translation of the German one.

If you enter the country with your own vehicle, a road tax will be charged. The receipt must be kept for police checks.[1] Anyone coming from Zambia or Angola must also show proof of ownership. For rental cars from South Africa you need a letter of permission to cross the border from the rental company, which is often subject to a fee.

You can travel by car from South Africa. Some tourists rent a car there and return it to Windhoek after their trip.

The TransCaprivi Highway, completed in 2004, allows driving on tarred roads from Walvis Bay to Luanda.

The Trans-Kalahari Highway takes you from Maputo in Mozambique via Pretoria to the Botswana border at Lobatse, then through Jwaneng to Windhoek and Walvis Bay.

Botswana border crossings
Entry from Botswana is also possible. The main route here is the Trans-Kalahari Highway (A2), which leads east to the Indian Ocean. The 7 a.m.-midnight crossing is Mamuno (Charles Hill) / Buitepos (22° 16′ 51″ S 19° 59′ 56″ E).
On the Namibian side, just before the border, is the East Gate Rest Camp.

In the Caprivi Strip the posts are manned from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.:
Mohembo (18° 15′ 35″ S 21° 45′ 42″ E).
Ngoma Bridge (17° 55′ 17″ S 24° 43′ 15″ E).

Visiting tourist attractions in the border area with Angola: “In various places the border with Angola is not marked at all or is only marked by a low wire fence. Anyone who crosses the border illegally (even for just a few meters) must expect arrest by the Namibian or Angolan border police, a fine and/or imprisonment.”

All five border posts close at 7 p.m. at the latest.

The Ongwediva / Omahenene border crossing (17° 23′ 30″ S 14° 34′ 2″ E) is located between the Namibian Ruacana and the Angolan Naulila.

The only land border between countries opens 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. It is at Wenela (Katima Mulilo) / Sesheke (17° 28′ 40″ S 24° 14′ 47″ E) across the Zambezi.

Border crossings South Africa
The posts are closed at night. Opening hours vary from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at smaller stations (often an hour shorter in winter).

The crossing at Rietfontein (26° 45′ 22″ S 20° 0′ 3″ E) is remote.
From Upington (RSA) or in the opposite direction from Karasburg (NAM):
Directly on the N10/B3 Nakop / Ariamsvlei (28° 5′ 41″ S 19° 59′ 57″ E), open 24 hours. The posts here are at some distance from the actual border.

On the N14 towards 11 Springbok (29° 39′ 58″ S 17° 53′ 46″ E), after 211km in Pofadder turn off over the Oranje at Onseepkans (28° 44′ 22″ S 19° 18′ 13″ E) then 103km to Karasburg.
Coming from Cape Town on the N7 via Springbok, to the Ais-Richtersveld Transfrontier Park via Vioolsdrift (28° 45' 57" S 17° 37' 34" E) or in the park with the Ochta ferry across the Oranje near Sendelingsdrif (28° 7 ′ 22″ S 16° 53′ 23″ E).
Near the coast is the border bridge (28° 34′ 6″ S 16° 30′ 21″ E) over the Orange between Alexander Bay (RSA) and Oranjemund (in the diamond restricted area, accessible since October 2017).

By boat
Sailors with their own yacht can clear in the port of Lüderitz or Walfischbucht. The formalities are minimal and the fees are moderate. There are shipyards in both ports, but the facilities in Walvis Bay are better. Trade winds usually blow constantly, strongest from October to January; the cold Benguela Current also drifts north. It is often foggy off the coast.

The coast south of Lüderitz is a restricted area to protect the economic interests of the DeBeers diamond monopoly. Between the two, 265 nautical miles apart, the best ports are in Hottentot Bay (26° 6′ 8″ S 14° 57′ 4″ E) or on Mercury Island (Spencer Bay) (25° 43′ 8″ S 14 ° 49′ 58″ E) to make intermediate stops.

Our own vehicles are shipped from Europe with Mafratours -


Local transport

Namibia has a good road network. In addition, public transport between the few towns is also quite well developed. Due to the sometimes long distances, airplanes are also an ideal means of transport.

Car and motorcycle
The main roads are paved or excellent gravel roads. The most important connecting routes are tarred (A and B roads) and you can drive around 120km/h. However, most roads consist of gravel or sand tracks (C and D roads) which allow a maximum speed of 80km/h. However, four-wheel drive is generally not required, but can be useful in the rainy season as rivers, which are dry most of the year, have water at times; bridges are only common on category B and C roads. Since off-road vehicles are more robust than cars, they are less likely to break down on bad roads. If you have to drive in soft sand, it makes sense to reduce the tire pressure.

An international driving license is required. Although credit cards are widely used, cash is usually required to fill up the tank.

Fuel prices are set by the government but are frequently adjusted. Gasoline costs NS$ 12.05 (95 octane) in Walvis Bay in January 2019, diesel costs N$ 13.1 and therefore NR$ 1.2 less than in the previous month. Away from the big cities (especially in the (JHlb) desert areas in the west, you should take advantage of every opportunity to refuel, as there are not open gas stations in every small town.

When renting a car locally, you should read the conditions carefully, as many clauses differ from European practice. In some cases, the burden of proof is reversed in comprehensive insurance, i.e. H. the driver must prove that he was not negligent. Accident and theft protection (“Collision Damage Waiver” and “Theft Loss Waiver”) are often separate policies. The companies that belong to the CARAN industry association are generally more reputable; here too, the condition of the vehicle (2 spare wheels, brakes) should be checked carefully before cross-country journeys.

The paved roads outside the cities are dangerous for touring cyclists because truck and car drivers are not used to bicycles and often overtake closely. For touring on slopes, the bike should be very stable and have tires that are as wide and coarse as possible. Wild camping is sometimes difficult because the landscape is open and the terrain is often rocky. Some national parks in the north are not allowed to enter bicycles. Helmets are compulsory for cyclists in the country.

By plane
Air Namibia offers flights between most major locations (Katima Mulilo, Lüderitz, Walvis Bay) in the country, with its hub in Windhoek. Air Namibia has been bankrupt since 2021. There are also a number of charter airlines that operate depending on your wishes.

The rail connections correspond to those that the German colonial administration had built at the beginning of the 20th century. The hub is Windhoek train station from there to Swakopmund, Tsumeb in the north and in the south to Aus/Lüderitz.

The railway is a rare means of transport for travel within the country; the routes are primarily used for freight transport and are only served once a day by passenger trains or wagons attached to freight trains.

By bus
The lines serve the population centers, but to see the scenic attractions you have to rely on cars.

Intercape Mainliner buses are comparatively fast, cheap and well-equipped. Routes traveled include: Windhoek - Swakopmund, Katima Mulilo, Walvis Bay and Grootfontain. In addition to Intercape Mainliners, among others, run NamVic Shuttle (Windhuk - Victoria Falls) and Ekonolux Liner (Windhuk - Cape Town). Trans-Namib also travels to Outjo, Khorixas, Lüderitz, Henties Bay, Oshakati, Rundu and Grootfontain.

Many routes are served by 15-seater minibuses that leave when full.

Motorcycling in Namibia is easy. It is important that there are often long stages between refueling options. This applies in particular to journeys off paved roads. The range should be at least 300 kilometers. This is particularly true when traveling to more remote regions of the Kaokoveld, Damaraland and the Kunene region. Here it is advisable to check the refueling options in advance.

Away from tarred roads, a motorcycle with sufficient off-road capability (travel enduro, enduro) makes sense. Easier, well-maintained gravel roads are also possible with a road machine. The supply of spare parts is not as easy as in Germany, as many parts have to be imported from South Africa. The best care is in Windhoek, for example in the Bike and Quad Clinic. In the north in Grootfontain at the gas station is Northern Bikes and Quads, according to owner Johan Spangenberg “The last decent motorbike shop before Cairo.” There is a workshop in Kamanjab that also maintains and repairs motorcycles.

Your own motorcycle can be brought to Namibia via air freight or sea freight. Attention, a carnet de passage stamped for the entire South African Customs Union is required. Entry by land is easy. Liability insurance is not required as it is included in the price of petrol. However, a road tax is charged if you enter with your own motorcycle.



The official language is English. German and Afrikaans are also widespread. The African languages Ovambo, Herero and Damara. There are also numerous other languages and dialects such as the Khoisan (“click language”) of the Bushmen and the dialects of the Caprivians in the Caprivi Strip.

If you speak English, it shouldn't be a problem getting around most parts of the country. German is also spoken on many farms and in the towns founded in colonial times. Many farm owners are descendants of German settlers and have retained their dialect. It can happen that you have a chat with a “Hesse” who has never been to Germany. Knowledge of Afrikaans is helpful, but not necessary here. Anyone who speaks a few words of English in addition to German will be able to communicate well in Namibia. If you speak to someone in English (with a German accent), they will often answer in German.

Many black Namibians, especially in rural areas, do not speak English, but only Afrikaans and their own tribal language. As long as you are in the cities and tourist areas, you can get by with German and English, but even in the Etosha National Park many of the black employees only speak Afrikaans.




The carnival in Namibia plays a particularly important role for the German Namibians. There are seven major carnivals throughout the year, which are based on the traditions of the Cologne Carnival and the Mainz Carnival.

The largest carnival is the Windhoek Carnival, which is celebrated in March and April in numerous places in Windhoek.
The Swakopmund Carnival takes place for four weeks in June.
The Tsumeb Carnival takes place over two to three days at the end of July/beginning of August.
The Lüderitz Carnival takes place over two to three days in September.
The Otjiwarongo carnival is the smallest in Namibia and is celebrated a few days in July.
The Eastern Carnival takes place every two years in even years in the small town of Witvlei.
The Walvis Bay Carnival takes place in mid-March



The local currency is the Namibian dollar (N$; NAD), which has the same value as the South African rand. The Rand is a valid means of payment in Namibia. You often get South African currency back as change.

Exchange rate: €1 = N$18.4 (March 2021)

In almost all cities there are several banks with ATMs, most of which also accept EC cards. International credit cards are also accepted in many accommodations, although not at gas stations. Credit card fraud does occur, so you should keep an eye on staff payment processing. The last day of the month is “pay day,” and then and the following day there are huge crowds at bank counters and ATMs with corresponding waiting times. With effect from June 30, 2019, the acceptance of checks in the country has been completely abolished.

Lunch break is usually 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m., this also applies to authorities. In larger cities there are not only small shops but also large supermarkets. It's advisable to stock up there before tours, the big chains are Checkers and Shoprite, although the former has the better selection. Almost all goods available there come from South Africa, including fruit and vegetables. In some cities there are souvenir stalls on the streets where Namibians sell homemade items. The objects are often very artistic and not expensive by German standards. The same articles can be seen e.g. Sometimes also at the international airport for a significantly higher price. However, the operators of the stands often make strolling difficult because they want to act immediately. The suggestion that one just wants to look is answered with even more energetic action.

VAT refunds for tourists are processed rather slowly, so ask for a second copy of the invoice to be on the safe side.

Alcohol sales in supermarkets are severely restricted. Not later than 7:00 p.m. on weekdays, or Saturday after 1:00 p.m., or on Sundays and public holidays. Anyone who still needs something has to rely on shebeens - unlicensed sellers, especially in black areas.



In 2018, a cup of coffee or a beer (with service) costs no more than N$30, a full meal costs a maximum of N$300, usually significantly less.

In Namibian cuisine you can roughly distinguish between three styles:
Southwestern cuisine. Southwestern cuisine is the name given to the cooking style of the Germans in Namibia. Black Forest cherry cake is just as much a part of everyday life as pork knuckle with sauerkraut. Other meat dishes that seem a little more African also have German names (Oryx steak Baden-Baden, zebra in cranberry-pepper sauce with croquettes), German baked goods (e.g. rolls) can be found in almost every city, as well as all kinds of sausage specialties Beer according to the German purity law. The former colonists cultivate their cuisine and it is still very popular in the country today.
Traditional African cuisine. This section includes dishes such as Mealie Pap (white corn porridge) served with various sauces. Other dishes have also found their way into everyday life: grilled warthog skin or mopane caterpillars (are grilled or dried). However, such dishes are usually not served in urban restaurants. The “white kitchen” still predominates here.
Modern Namibian recipes. In the years since Namibia's independence, a modern style has emerged that mixes Southwestern cuisine with African cuisine and also has South African influence. (e.g. ostrich carpaccio, potjiekos.)

There are also many fish dishes on the coast, although the majority of them have white (German) influences.

Antelope steak is part of the standard repertoire in many restaurants and accommodations. Springbok, oryx or kudu steak, which can be fried in different ways as desired, are very popular. Occasionally you can also find ostrich fillet and crocodile meat on the menu.



Nambrew and Windhuk Beer is the local brewery that traces its origins to the Felsenkellar [sic]. Their local brands are Hansa (this brewery in Swakopmund was closed), King Lager, the thin Windhuk Draught and others. As a subsidiary, it also sells Heineken and Erdinger as well as the South African Stellenbrau, as well as a number of soft drinks. The small business Camelthorn was also bought up and the brand lives on as a wheat beer. Desert Lager is produced by a microbrewery that began operations in Dec. 2018. The preferred beer in the Caprivzipfel is Munati.

Omalodu-iilya is a fermented drink made from various types of millet.

Amerula liqueur is a creamy drink that is also popular in South Africa, especially for women, and is made from the fruits of the elephant tree. (That wild animals get drunk from its fermenting fruits is an “urban myth” that persists.)

At Aussenkehr, a wine-growing area has been created using artificial irrigation, the products of which are exported primarily to South Africa.



Nightlife has declined since the 2014 smoking ban and increasing social media use.



There are campsites in many areas of Namibia, which are certainly the cheapest option for overnight accommodation. Under no circumstances will you pay more than N$ 400 for 3 people, plus a vehicle in 2018. Meat and wood for grilling (braai) are often sold locally.
There are state and private rest camps, although the latter are generally cleaner and more lovingly maintained. In national parks, e.g. B. in the Fish River Canyon, in Sossusvlei or in Etosha National Park you have no choice, you have to make do with the less comfortable state campsites.

Cheap home accommodation is offered by so-called “backpackers” where several people share a room. The prices are N$ 200-300 per night (2018). It is also possible to stay overnight in so-called guest farms; the prices vary greatly depending on the facilities and location in the country. The most luxurious option is lodges, which are also widely available. It should be noted that guest farms and lodges usually only have a limited number of rooms, so it is advisable to make a reservation before the start of the trip - if possible a few months before the start of the trip.

There are numerous guesthouses and hotels in the cities. Overall, prices depend not only on comfort but also on location. Accommodation near the Etosha National Park or near Sossusvlei is significantly more expensive than in regions with fewer tourist attractions.


Public holidays

National holidays include January 1st: New Year; May 1: Labor Day; May 4th: Cassinga Day, commemorating the bombing of a refugee camp during the civil war; May 25: Africa Day; July 9: Constitution Day; Aug. 26: Hero's Day; Dec. 10: Human Rights Day. If a public holiday falls on the weekend, it will be “made up” on Monday.
There are also the religious festivals: Good Friday (March 29, 2024), Easter Monday (April 1, 2024), Ascension Day (May 9, 2024) and two Christmas holidays, with December 26th being called “Family Day”.



Police (nationwide): ☎ 10111

The police demands for bribes from tourists that are common in the rest of Africa do not occur.

“The number of theft crimes against foreigners remains high both in Windhoek and in the province. There is an increasing number of armed robberies, including in guesthouses.” Crime in the cities, especially in Windhoek, should not be underestimated, so tourists are repeatedly advised not to go out on the streets there after dark and for the Take a taxi on the way home. A trip usually costs less than two euros. The street scene at least confirms this: the houses of the economically middle and upper classes of the population are almost without exception fenced in, mostly even surrounded by walls on which barbed wire or electric fences are also attached. The economic dependence and proximity to South Africa is certainly also important. Many insurance companies whose headquarters are in South Africa are adapting the stricter contract conditions from South Africa, so that electric fences are practically mandatory.

There is usually no danger during the day. In general, as with many other travel destinations, the advice is not to display valuables conspicuously. However, the same applies here: use common sense. Don't leave the main streets at night, then nothing will happen!

Homosexual acts are punishable, but are not actively prosecuted. Drug offenses are severely punished; 1-3 years in prison are common for personal use.

Since 2014, there has been a ban on smoking in public, at work, in publicly accessible buildings (including bars and restaurants) and at a distance of two meters from appropriate windows. Penalty range N$500 or one month imprisonment.



Tap water cannot be drunk everywhere. It's no problem in Lüderitz. In Walvis Bay there are e.g. at the yacht club there are different taps for drinking and process water.

There is no compulsory vaccination when entering Namibia; vaccination against hepatitis A/B is recommended; variant E occurs in the north. Tropical diseases such as yellow fever or cholera do not occur. For the northern parts of the country, Owambo and Caprivi Strips, malaria prophylaxis is recommended. In any case, a mosquito gel and protection with appropriate clothing are necessary in the evening hours. There is rabies in some parts of the country, but vaccination is only advisable if you are staying in these areas for a long time. Anthrax also occasionally occurs in this region. Current recommendations for malaria prophylaxis and vaccination recommendations for Namibia can be found on

In the extreme north of the country (e.g. Caprivi), there is a risk of malaria and schistosomiasis (also called schistosomiasis) all year round. The latter disease is caused by small flukes called schistosomes, whose larvae are released by freshwater snails, especially into stagnant water. You become infected through skin contact with fresh water, whereby the worms enter the body through the skin and travel to the liver via blood and lymph vessels. From here, the adult pair of flukes then make their way again via the bloodstream to the lungs, the bladder wall and the brain.

AIDS is very widespread in Namibia, the rate in 2016 is up to 17% of 15-49 year olds, higher in the north of the country and among prostitutes.

The rescue service is not very developed in Namibia, which is probably due to the considerable distances and the sparse population. There is no dense network of emergency medical vehicles and ambulances like in Europe. The private hospitals in the big cities are world class, outside there are at best medical bases. In serious emergencies, a large rescue helicopter stationed in Windhoek (which is responsible for the entire country in 2012) comes if the emergency occurs between around 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. - the helicopter must be able to reach one of the large hospitals in daylight. Cross-country trips in the dark , especially on gravel roads, are acutely life-threatening and should therefore be avoided as much as possible.

Snake bites represent a serious danger, on the one hand because of the extremely long distances to the nearest rescue station, and on the other hand because tourists cannot tell the dozens of snake species apart. This means that the use of special antisera is not possible and is usually not even attempted, so that even in well-equipped clinics the treatment extends to symptomatic measures: infusions, medicinal circulatory support, if necessary dialysis, ventilation, etc.



When taking portrait photographs of people, permission should always be asked beforehand; occasionally a fee is required. However, you shouldn't force money on someone without asking. This is particularly true for the Herero people, where the women, who present their traditional costumes very conspicuously, can be clearly seen in the street scene.

The people are very proud of themselves and their country. When you hear the national anthem, you should definitely stand up.


Practical tips

Dust can be a problem. A shemagh around the head also protects against the scorching sun and dust.

The postal service works well between cities, delivery usually takes place within two working days. Airmail letters to Europe cost N$ 9.60 per 10 grams in 2019 (fee overview, valid until October 30, 2019).


Post and telecommunications

The area code for Namibia is +264. The two mobile phone providers in Namibia are called Mobile Telecommunications Limited (MTC) and TN Mobile, with MTC being more widespread and widespread. Their starter pack Traveler costs (2018) N$ 19.95, of which N$ 19.00 is credit. The Aweh packages with a relatively small, bookable data volume are more expensive. It can be much cheaper to buy additional data volume via SMS than to purchase cards. International calls can also be booked, 30-minute packages to China or Europe, for example. B. N$95.

The mobile network is mainly available in cities and along main routes. In rural areas, where GSM is still standard in 2019, reception ends no later than 30km from the nearest town. Some car rental companies also offer satellite phones, but these are very expensive and only necessary for special purposes.

Due to the high roaming fees charged by European mobile phone providers, it makes sense to purchase a Namibian prepaid SIM card locally. These are available, for example: B. at Windhoek airport in the arrivals terminal, they are called “air-time” cards in Namibia.

There are only internet cafes in larger cities. But you shouldn't expect speed miracles; at the end of 2017, the nationwide download speed was ⌀ 12.5 Mbits. DSL is now available and Paratus has started expanding 100 MBit lines in Windhoek. TelecomNA wanted to increase the connection rate from 31% (2017) by abolishing all connection fees.


Hunting safaris

There are numerous private providers who plan hunting safaris in special game reserves. These are only permitted when accompanied by a local approved carer. The organizer also takes care of hunting licenses and the animal-dependent shooting fees.



The dry lands of South West Africa have been a habitat and home for the San and Damara peoples for thousands of years. Portuguese sailors first discovered the country for Europe in the 15th century. However, there was no significant settlement for a long time due to the inhospitable conditions in the coastal regions. In the course of numerous African migrations, starting in the 17th century, Herero, Nama, Orlam and Ovambo tribes invaded the country. It was not until the 19th century that a large immigration of European settlers began. These came primarily from Portugal, England and the German-speaking area.

By 1884/85 the country, with the exception of Walvis Bay, which remained under British influence, came under the rule of the German Empire and became the colony of German South West Africa. The first German officials arrived in May 1885, including Reich Commissioner Heinrich Ernst Göring. With the help of local missionaries, he formed a protective alliance with the Herero. The Herero were promised protection from the Nama under Hendrik Witbooi; in return they had to agree to grant the Germans freedom of trade and not to sell any land without German consent. When it became apparent that the German administration was unable to provide such protection, the Herero terminated the agreement and expelled the officials under Göring. As a result, around 20 soldiers were sent under Curt von François, representing little more than a symbolic presence. Curt von François and these soldiers acted with ruthless severity against the Herero and turned them against him within a very short time. As a result, the “protection troops” had to be continually reinforced.

In 1894, the German Reichstag deposed Curt von François and appointed Theodor Leutwein governor of German South West Africa. Leutwein only had a very limited military budget and therefore tried to consolidate German rule as cheaply as possible and with little use of his own military resources by getting various local leaders to cooperate. In 1897, rinderpest decimated the Herero's large livestock populations. The white settlers were much less affected because they were able to vaccinate their livestock. With the cattle herds, the Herero lost the foundations of their autonomous and self-sufficient way of life and increasingly had to work as wage labor for the whites.

The goal of many white settlers was to buy land from the Herero chiefs. They therefore often sold the Herero European consumer goods on credit for several years. Much later, they presented the bills and collected the debts, which had to be paid with livestock and land. It also happened that traders simply threw goods that the Herero were not interested in off the wagons in the villages and insisted on payment later. These approaches led to conflicts between the representatives of German colonial rule and the peoples of the colony. Between 1904 and 1908 there was an uprising of the Herero and Nama and the extermination of tens of thousands of Herero and Nama.

During the First World War, the country was taken by the British troops of South Africa and, at the end of the war, was handed over to administration by the League of Nations in 1920 as a mandated territory of the Union of South Africa. This held the country occupied until its independence on March 21, 1990, despite intensive international efforts and a two-decade-long armed struggle against the South West African People's Organization (SWAPO), founded in 1960.


Discovery and settlement

The area of today's Namibia was probably first settled 2000 (to 2500) years ago by the San people who immigrated from Central or even North Africa. Although rock engravings have been found in Namibia that indicate a settlement that is significantly older than 2,000 years, the rock paintings in Twyfelfontein are probably over 10,000 years old, but they cannot be assigned to the San with the necessary certainty. Some of their clearly identifiable rock paintings are well over 1000 years old and were only discovered in the 19th and 20th centuries. century completely discontinued.

In the course of the African north-south migration of peoples, the cattle-breeding Herero, who belonged to the Bantu tribes, first came from Bechuanaland (today's Botswana) between the 17th and 18th centuries, then the Nama from the Cape Province in the 19th century and then the Nama from the same direction Africans to Namibia. They all waged a campaign of destruction against the San and pushed them east into the Kalahari, where they were reduced to a forager economy. The San still live there today - more tolerated than welcomed by the governments of South Africa, Botswana and Namibia, as they have so far stubbornly resisted all “civilization efforts”.

The settlement by German immigrants began a good hundred to a hundred and fifty years after the first immigrants from the black tribes living there today and two hundred years after the settlement by Dutch people, the so-called Boers or Afrikaners, in the Cape and the surrounding area and the founding of Cape Town in 1652, or almost 400 years after its discovery by the Portuguese (Bartolomeu Diaz, 1488) and the later establishment of a colony. However, the latter did not last due to increasing difficulties with the Khoi Khoi and was abandoned after a punitive expedition by the Portuguese viceroy, which never returned, including himself, and was later replaced by the Dutch.


German colonial period until 1915

After the German merchant Franz Adolf Eduard Lüderitz succeeded in acquiring large areas of land through contracts with local tribal leaders (“Lüderitz Bay”), the land from the Orange to the Kunene was declared a “protected area” of German South West Africa in 1884 and then a German colony. The news of legendary diamond discoveries triggered a “gold rush atmosphere” in the Imperial German Empire. In the Lüderitz Bay you could pick up the cliff gravel, as the diamonds were called, in the sand of the beach and in the hinterland in the dunes of the desert. As a result, the diamond mining town of Kolmannskuppe was founded ten kilometers from Lüderitz inland. The resulting influx of traders and farmers and their seizure of land met with increasing resistance from the local Herero and Nama. The settlers' rude actions met with resistance, particularly among the Herero.

The economic situation of the Herero deteriorated dramatically at the end of the 19th century, forcing them to sell more land and ultimately to work as wage labor for German settlers. Ongoing conflicts between the settlers and the local population could not be resolved by the Herero captain Samuel Maharero and the governor of German South Africa Theodor Leutwein. As a result, there was a German colonial war against the Herero and Nama, which lasted from 1904 to 1908 and grew into a war of extermination that cost the lives of an estimated 60,000 to 70,000 men, women and children.


The Herero War

In January 1904, there was an uprising of the Herero and Nama led by Samuel Maharero. With a total of around 15,000 men under Lieutenant General Lothar von Trotha, the Herero uprising was crushed in the Battle of Waterberg by August 1904. Most of the Herero then fled to the almost waterless Omaheke. Von Trotha had it sealed off and the refugees chased away from the few waterholes there, so that thousands of Herero, along with their families and herds of cattle, died of thirst. Von Trotha had the so-called extermination order inform those who had been chased into the desert: “The Herero are no longer German subjects. […] Within the German border, every Herero is shot with or without a rifle, with or without cattle. I no longer take in women or children, drive them back to their people or have them shot at. […] and shooting at women and children is to be understood as shooting over them in order to force them to run. I assume with certainty that this decree will lead to no more male prisoners, but will not degenerate into cruelty against women and children." The survivors were dispossessed, locked up in concentration camps and forced to do forced labor. The mistreatment, inadequate nutrition and poor hygienic conditions in these camps led to the deaths of half of all prisoners in this second phase of the Herero genocide.


The Nama uprising

Following the Herero War, the Witbooi rose up in the south of the country in October 1904 - an Orlam tribe that had fought on the German side during the Herero War. The Fransman-Nama joined this uprising; After the Witbooi capitulated in 1905, the Nama continued the guerrilla struggle under Simon Kooper and Jakobus Morenga until 1908, which gave this uprising the name Nama Uprising.


First World War

The news of the outbreak of the First World War reached German South West Africa on August 2nd via the Nauen - Kamina radio link and the large radio station in Windhoek, which was still under construction. After the outbreak of war became known, Governor Theodor Seitz ordered the general mobilization of the troops on August 7, 1914. There were various battles with the Union troops of South Africa, but also clashes with the Portuguese in Angola. Some Boer units from South Africa that had fought against their government were partly destroyed and withdrew across the Orange River to join the German troops. Early in the war, German troops managed to inflict heavy casualties on the South Africans, but they lost ground and were eventually forced to give up.

On July 9, 1915, the commander of the Schutztruppe, Lieutenant Colonel Franke, as well as the imperial governor Seitz and the general commander of the South African Union Louis Botha signed a ceasefire agreement that amounted to a surrender.


South African administration

German South West Africa was occupied by South Africa during the First World War and assigned to the South African Union as a mandate territory by decision of the League of Nations in 1920. In the years that followed, the South African administration succeeded in sustainably reducing the previously strong German influence and “South Africanizing” Namibia - including extending apartheid policy to the mandated territory. Namibia's white voters were guaranteed representation in the South African parliament from 1947 to 1977. After the Second World War, South Africa's behavior triggered numerous, albeit unsuccessful, attempts by the UN to withdraw South Africa's former League of Nations mandate; This was demanded before the UN General Assembly because South Africa did not fulfill its obligations to inform the body about the area. Only after the International Court of Justice in The Hague declared the South African administration illegal in 1971 was South Africa prepared to give South West Africa independence in 1972 after an appropriate transition period.

However, South Africa's behavior was also met with increasing resistance in South West Africa itself, supported by the international community. The decision of the International Court of Justice gave this resistance the desired legitimacy, which ultimately even led to the independence movement South West African People's Organization (SWAPO), which was supported by the majority of the Ovambo and operated with suspected financial support from the Soviet Union, being granted exclusive right of representation for Namibia by the UN in 1973. In 1978, under great pressure, South Africa facilitated elections to a constituent assembly in which black Africans were also allowed to vote. The main opposition group, which had a very strong women's wing, boycotted the elections.

The fear expressed through propaganda by South Africa's apartheid politicians that they might have a communist-ruled or socialist neighboring state justified a decades-long asymmetrical war against domestic and foreign apartheid opponents and liberation movements in Namibia and Angola. On September 6, 1978, Pieter Willem Botha took advantage of Prime Minister Vorster's absence due to illness to speak as the then Defense Minister at the Nasional Party conference in Bloemfontein about the takeover of the South West Africa area by a 7,500-strong UN task force and the possible establishment to warn of the “Marxist enemy power” through SWAPO, which could lead to a “Marxist state” on the borders of South Africa.

The war ended in 1988 with the ceasefire between South Africa and Angola and the subsequent preparations for elections in Namibia. The majority of the over 60,000 refugees who lived in SWAPO camps in Angola, Zambia and Tanzania from 1963 to 1989 were repatriated after 1990. They were accompanied by many Angolan civil war refugees.

In the elections of November 7, 1989, women and men were granted general active and passive voting rights for the first time. This gave women the right to vote.



On March 21, 1990, Namibia gained its independence after more than 100 years of foreign rule. Universal adult suffrage became part of the constitution. After independence, SWAPO leader Sam Nujoma ruled the country for three terms as president, elected with a clear majority. The democratic opposition parties, including the Democratic Gymnastics Alliance (DTA), remained divided among themselves. Another term of office was not possible under the Namibian constitution, so in 2004 the previous Minister for Land Affairs, Hifikepunye Pohamba - also Ovambo and a SWAPO member - was elected second president. On March 21, 2005, he was sworn in in Windhoek in the presence of several African presidents. After Pohamba's two terms in office, Hage Geingob took over the office of president.




Namibia lies between 17.87° and 29.98° south latitude and 12° and 25° east longitude in the tropics and subtropics.

Namibia is bordered by the Kalahari to the east towards Botswana, the Orange River to the south towards South Africa, the South Atlantic to the west and the Kunene and the Okavango to the north towards Angola. In the north-east there is also a finger of land about 450 km long and up to 50 km wide between the countries bordering Angola and Zambia to the north and Botswana to the south - the Caprivi Strip, which is bordered in the east by the Zambezi and the lower reaches of the Kwando.

In addition to the border rivers mentioned, there are numerous other rivers, none of which are guaranteed to have water all year round. Outside of the rainy season there are only dry riverbeds (Riviere).

The entire national territory of Namibia covers about 824,292 square kilometers. The landscape of Namibia is essentially characterized by two deserts, in the west by the Namib, which extends from the South African province of North Cape to Angola, and in the east by the Kalahari. Between the two deserts lies the inland highland, which has an average height of 1700 meters and around the capital Windhoek also exceeds the 2000 meter mark. One of the most striking mountains is the Etjo, but the highest mountain is the 2600 meter high Königstein in the Brandberg massif, near the coast, about 200 kilometers north of the coastal town of Swakopmund. In the east, the inland highlands gradually merge into the Kalahari highlands, which are about 1200 meters high and are covered by dry vegetation.



The area of today's Namibia is considered to be one of the oldest parts of the earth's crust. Long before the supercontinent Gondwana was formed, two shelves formed in what is now Africa more than two billion years ago: the Congo craton and the Kalahari craton. The latter includes large parts of present-day Namibia. About 550 million years ago, various tectonic processes created a huge, contiguous mainland area that included today's (partial) continents of Africa, South America, Australia, India and Antarctica: Gondwana.

About 150 million years ago, this supercontinent gradually began to break up and drift apart into the continents we know today. The special climatic conditions in South West Africa that lasted for millions of years meant that many geological structures, processes and phenomena were particularly well preserved and can therefore still be observed today. Ultimately, this also includes the Namib, which can therefore be considered the oldest desert in the world.



The average climate of Namibia is hot and dry. The largely arid climate is subtropical continental. There are big differences between the individual parts of the country:

Rainfall is extremely rare in the Namib west of the demolition zone. A warm, strong wind blows all year round. Even in winter, temperatures often reach 25°C and more. In the hottest summer months, December and January, temperatures are usually well above 30°C, while in the coldest months, July and August, they can drop to freezing point at night, but then rise again to around 25°C during the day. Temperature jumps of more than 20 °C within a few hours can be expected in the mornings and evenings, especially in winter. In the inland highlands, due to the high altitude, there can even be frost at night and, in very rare years, snowfall. During the day it is not quite as hot there as in the desert. The situation in the Kalahari is similar to that in the Namib. Precipitation is somewhat more frequent, but still rare, as is typical for deserts.

The area between the Namib and the Atlantic is one of the regions in the world with the best climate for astronomical observations. The astro camps set up there are therefore visited by many astronomers, especially for the purpose of sky photography.

The climate of the Atlantic coast, in turn, is determined by the cold Benguela Current. This cools down the prevailing south-west wind considerably, which prevents the formation of (rain) clouds as a result of condensation and regularly creates a dense persistent fog near the ground. In the summer it is pleasantly cool here and in the winter months it can sometimes be cold during the day. The water temperature rarely reaches more than 15 °C.

The Caprivi Strip, on the other hand, is characterized by mostly reliable precipitation in the rainy season. These have given rise to an extensive river system and a subtropical savannah forest. In contrast to the other parts of the country, the humidity here is relatively high.

In the central highlands, which cover most of Namibia, summer rains are prevalent, meaning irregular but occasionally very heavy rains can be expected between November and April; the extreme south, on the other hand, lies in the winter rain area, so that rain falls – if at all – mainly in the months of June and July. Despite the irregularity of rainfall in terms of frequency and yield, it increases significantly, starting from the south with less than 50 mm per year towards the north-east with up to 600 mm per year, which, however, does not rule out regional dry periods lasting several years.

Due to the special climatic conditions, agricultural use of the land is only possible to a limited extent: in the highlands mainly cattle breeding (in the north more cattle, in the south more sheep and goats), in the relatively rainy north also arable farming. A special feature of the Namib are the dunes in the Sossusvlei area. At well over 400 meters high, the star dunes are among the highest in the world. The attraction of this dune landscape is not only in its height, but above all in its play of colors, which depends on the moisture content and the position of the sun.


Climate change

In Namibia, due to anthropogenic climate change, the average temperature will increase and there will be longer and hotter droughts. Animals and plants will feel the effects of global warming most. “The climate in Namibia will change to a continuous summer,” says Duncan Mitchell. Rainfall in Namibia will also fall by 20 to 40 percent. “At Gobabeb there will be less than ten millimeters of rain from 2050,” says Duncan Mitchell. In the Namib, where it rains an average of 100 millimeters, there will then only be 60 mm of rain per year.


Flora and fauna

Many scorpion species of the genus Opistophthalmus are native to Namibia and are partly endemic, as is the monotypic Karasbergia methueni.

African penguins breed on the Penguin Islands, and there are also flamingos and fur seals on the coasts. Blood-billed weavers and wagtails are common throughout the country.

Inland areas, such as Etosha National Park, are home to a variety of wildlife including gemsbok, warthogs, South African hartshorn, mountain zebras and African ostriches.

Termite fungi are common in the north of the country, and the Kalahari truffle is predominantly found in the Kalahari.

At Keetmanshoop there is a quiver tree forest consisting of the endemic quiver trees. Other common tree species in Namibia are the baobab tree, the camel thorn tree, the mopane, the marula tree and the Makalani palm.


Endemics of the Namibia

Some endemic plants and animals are native to the Namib. The most famous plant in the Namib is the Welwitschia, which is also depicted on the Namibia coat of arms. The !Nara and the plant species Namibia cinerea and Namibia pomanae of the genus Namibia are also endemic.

Endemic insect species of the Namib are Acanthoplus discoidalis, a long-feeling insect from the family of leaf locusts that also occurs in the Kalahari, the fog-drinking beetle and the white desert beetle (both from the black beetle family).

Endemic arachnid species of the Namib are Leucorchestris arenicola from the family of giant crab spiders and the African orb spider. Parabuthus villosus is a very poisonous scorpion native to South Africa and Namibia that comes in different color variations. It is one of the largest representatives of the genus Parabuthus as well as the family Buthidae, which includes over 900 species.

The Namibia is also home to the endemic reptile species Namib gecko, dwarf puff adder and Namaqua chameleon, the amphibian species desert rain frog and the mammal species desert golden mole.

The Namibia is also home to wild domestic horses that were brought into the country as a result of German colonization.