Here are the top 7 things to remember when traveling in Namibia.
When you visit Namibia it is crucial to note a few things when you come through customs at the airport.
Never be rude at any time with people you meet and talk to, you are in Africa, conditions are always more difficult than in your home country and locals will always do the best for you to have an unforgettable trip, but this will often take more time than that you might be used to.
Speed limits in Namibia are a maximum of 120 km/h on tarred roads, although recommended no more than 100 km/h and 60 km/h on gravel roads. In towns or any populated area the speed limit is 60 km/h unless indicated otherwise. Always keep an eye out for speed signs and follow the road rules.
Note that the speed limits given by Aloe 4×4 Car Hire, overrule national speed limits.
Many people survive on tips. Please tip car guards and fuel attendants more or less N$5. In restaurants it is expected to tip 10% to 15% of the total bill.
Interacting with locals
In Namibia greetings are very important. It is expected to say hello to every person you meet and ask them how they are, and in turn let them know how you are too. Even if you are in a hurry you should start every conversation in this way.
Please do not take photos of local people before getting permission first. Always ask yourself “would I do this in my home country with locals?”. It is not authorised to take photos of any police officials or government buildings.
Namibians are very friendly, do not hesitate to ask people for help if you need it.
In some towns such as Swakopmund, Walvis Bay and Opuwa, some people may try to sell you souvenirs. If you are interested, please feel free to negotiate the price with them while keeping it fair. If you are not interested, please just be firm and walk away, but do not become aggressive.
Behaving correctly with animals
Please do not feed any animals anywhere. Food that is not part of their normal diet may make them ill and if they associate humans with a source of food they may become aggressive. The animal will then be considered a threat to humans and will be put down in most cases where it cannot be rehabilitated.
Do not get too close to any wild animals. Do not drive too close to elephants and black rhinos. Do not get too close to wild antilopes, even if they walk into your lodge or around your tent or room. They can still be very dangerous even if habituated to humans. Remember that many wild animals may have diseases.
National Park Rules
No drones are allowed in National Parks.
Plastic shopping bags are prohibited in National Parks.
You must always pay for park fees. If you go off the main road in the Namib-Naukluft Park you must have a valid permit. This can be bought at Swakopmund or Sesriem.
You must remain inside your vehicle at all times in the Etosha National Park. This means no getting out of your vehicle, no sitting on the window ledge, no leaning out the window and no sitting on the roof of your vehicle. Your vehicle doors must always remain closed. The only area where you may leave your vehicle are the camps and the Etosha pan lookout.
The maximum speed limit in National Parks is 60 km/h, but may be less in some areas. Please pay attention to road signs and adhere to the rules.
Namibia is a safe country. So are many countries in Europe and probably your home country, yet you would not leave your vehicle unlocked or valuables in plain sight at home and we ask that you apply the same logic here.
- When in large towns carry your bag diagonally across your body.
- Park in well lit areas where there is a car guard/security guard.
- Avoid taking short cuts through deserted areas at night.
- Do not leave valuables in sight in your vehicle, especially on the back seat of the car. Please take these valuables with you or enclose them in the back of the ‘bakkie’/pick-up.
- Always lock your vehicle.
- Check that your vehicle is locked after pressing on the lock button.
- Do not get distracted at ATMs and do not accept help from anyone at ATMs.
- If someone tries to stop you while you are driving to say they are lost or that you have a problem with your vehicle; Do not Stop. Drive to the nearest town, stop and check your vehicle.
- If you are going on a long hike, especially if it is hot, let the reception of your lodge or campsite know where you are going and when you will be back.
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