Namibia

Namibia

Use Normal Level of Caution

Namibia is located in southern Africa and shares land borders with South Africa, Angola, Botswana and Zambia, with the South Atlantic Ocean on the western coast. The population is about 2.1 million people. Although English is the official language, there are eight recognized regional languages: Afrikaans, German, Rukwangali, Silozi, Setswana, Damara/Nama, Herero, and Oshiwambo. The government is a presidential republic with the president as chief of state and head of government.

Namibia was a colony of Germany from 1884 until World War I when South Africa ousted the Germans. Namibia, then known as South West Africa, was mandated to South Africa. In 1990, the country achieved independence after about 25 years of bush war.

Namibia was the first country in the world to include environmental protection into its constitution and is a top destination for eco-tourism with over a million visitors each year. Tourists enjoy the biological diversity of the country, as well as the Namib Desert, the Kalahari Desert, Etosha National Park, and Fish River Canyon.

Currency NAD: Namibian dollar
Language English
Capital Windhoek
Recent Alerts 1
Latest Alert July 18, 2017 - Malaria deaths in Namibia

Diseases To Be Aware Of

The diseases listed below are those which occur most often in Namibia. Other, less frequently encountered diseases might be displayed within the Travel Alerts section if they have occurred recently.

Hepatitis A

There is a significant risk for hepatitis A virus exposure in Namibia.

Hepatitis B

There is a significant risk for acquiring hepatitis B in Namibia.

Malaria

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that malaria is present in the regions of Kavango (East and West), Kunene, Ohangwena, Omusati, Oshana, Oshikoto, Otjozondjupa, and Zambezi. Rare cases in other parts of the country. No malaria in city of Windhoek. The World Health Organization states that malaria risk due predominantly to P. falciparum exists from November to June inclusive in the following regions: Ohangwena, Omaheke, Omusati, Oshana, Oshikoto and Otjozondjupa. Risk exists throughout the year along the Kunene River and in Caprivi and Kavango regions. NaTHNaC states that malaria is present in the regions of Kavango (East and West), Kunene, Ohangwena, Omusati, Oshana, Oshikoto, Otjozondjupa, and Zambezi. Rare cases in other parts of the country. No malaria in city of Windhoek. There is a high risk of malaria from November to June in the northern third of Namibia. There is a low risk of malaria in this part of the country during the rest of the year. There is a risk throughout the year in the Caprivi Strip, Kavango and Kunene River regions. There is low to no risk of malaria in the rest of Namibia.

Typhoid Fever

Unvaccinated people can become infected through contaminated food and water in Namibia, especially when visiting smaller cities, villages, or rural areas where food and water sources may be contaminated.

Rabies

Rabies occurs in this country. Travellers involved in outdoor activities (e.g., campers, hikers, adventure travellers, and cavers) may have direct contact with rabid dogs, bats, and other mammals. Those with occupational risks (such as veterinarians, wildlife professionals, researchers) and long-term travellers and expatriates are at higher risk.

Yellow Fever

There is no risk of yellow fever (YFV) transmission in Namibia. This country requires a yellow fever vaccination certificate if traveling from a country with risk of YFV transmission. The countries or parts of countries included in the endemic zones in Africa and South America are regarded as areas with risk of YFV transmission. Travellers on scheduled flights that originated outside the countries with risk of YFV transmission, but who have been in transit through these areas, are not required to possess a certificate provided that they remained at the airport or in the adjacent town during transit. All travellers whose flights originated in countries with risk of YFV transmission or who have been in transit through these countries on unscheduled flights are required to possess a certificate. The certificate is not required for children under 1 year of age, but such infants may be subject to surveillance.

Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis occurs in this country. Travellers to this country are at risk for tuberculosis if visiting sick friends or family, working in the health care field, or having close prolonged contact with the general population.

Sleeping Sickness (Type 1)

African trypanosomiasis (“sleeping sickness”) occurs in this country. Travellers to urban areas are not at risk.

Cholera

Cholera occurs in this country.

Dengue Fever

Dengue fever occurs in this country.

Chikungunya Fever

Chikungunya fever occurs in this country.

Vaccinations to Consider

The following is a list of recommended vaccinations for travelling to Namibia.

Hepatitis A Vaccine

There is a significant risk of exposure to hepatitis A for this country, therefore, the vaccination is recommended.

Hepatitis B Vaccine

There is a significant risk of infection with hepatitis B for this country, therefore, the vaccination is recommended.

Typhoid Fever Vaccine

There is a risk of exposure to typhoid fever in this country through consumption of unsafe food and water. Since exposure to unsafe sources is variable within this country, the vaccination against typhoid fever is generally recommended, especially when visiting smaller cities or rural areas, where food and water sources may be contaminated.

Yellow Fever Vaccine

There is no risk of yellow fever (YFV) transmission in Namibia. This country requires a yellow fever vaccination certificate if traveling from a country with risk of YFV transmission. The countries or parts of countries included in the endemic zones in Africa and South America are regarded as areas with risk of YFV transmission. Travellers on scheduled flights that originated outside the countries with risk of YFV transmission, but who have been in transit through these areas, are not required to possess a certificate provided that they remained at the airport or in the adjacent town during transit. All travellers whose flights originated in countries with risk of YFV transmission or who have been in transit through these countries on unscheduled flights are required to possess a certificate. The certificate is not required for children under 1 year of age, but such infants may be subject to surveillance.

Rabies Vaccine

Vaccination against rabies is recommended for travellers involved in outdoor activities (e.g., campers, hikers, adventure travellers, and cavers) who may have direct contact with rabid dogs, bats, and other mammals. Those with occupational risks (such as veterinarians, wildlife professionals, researchers) and long-term travellers and expatriates are at higher risk and should be vaccinated.

Cholera Vaccine

The U.K. NaTHNaC recommends the oral cholera vaccine for some travellers whose activities or medical history put them at increased risk, travelling to areas of active cholera transmission. These risk factors include: aid workers; those going to areas of cholera outbreaks who have limited access to potable water and medical care; travellers for whom the vaccination would be considered potentially beneficial, such as chronic medical conditions.

Medications to Consider

The following is a list of recommended medications for travelling to Namibia.

Anti-malarial Drugs

In malaria risk areas, atovaquone-proguanil, doxycycline, or mefloquine are the recommended anti-malaria medications. Resistance to chloroquine has been reported.

Safety and Security in Namibia

Emergency Numbers

112
061-209-4345 Tourist Protection Unit in Windhoek
064-405-558 Tourist Protection Unit in Swakopmund

Personal Safety

Namibia has a relatively high crime rate. For tourists, the most common safety problem is petty crime, such as pickpocketing, robbery, or mugging. Travellers should always be alert to their surroundings, keep valuables and cash out of sight, and avoid walking alone, particularly after dark. Travellers are at higher risk in Windhoek and Swakopmund. Exercise caution at ATMs when conducting banking.

Avoid travelling outside towns at night. If travelling along the Caprivi Strip, stay on well-travelled roads.

Always use taxis that display the Namibia Bus and Taxi Association logo or a taxi that has been arranged by a reputable hotel. There have been reports of travellers robbed by taxi drivers, and also reports of travellers being robbed when stopping to help someone who appears to need help.

When driving, keep car doors locked, windows shut and keep valuables out of sight. There have been reports of gangs trying to get into vehicles at busy intersections, including during the day. Avoid leaving your vehicle unattended, especially at service stations, as theft from vehicles is common. Also be aware that driving under the influence of alcohol is a large problem in Namibia.

There have been reports of credit card skimming, particularly at the Okakuejo Lodge in Etosha National Park, but also at other hotels and lodges around Namibia. Keep your credit cards in sight when making purchases and check statements for any fraudulent charges.

Only visit townships with someone who is familiar with the area.

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