Money & Spending
Namibia’s national currency, pegged to the South African Rand, is the Namibian Dollar but travellers who have combined South Africa with Namibia can use either currency in shops, lodges, markets and restaurants throughout the country. Note however that the Namibian Dollar is not accepted in South Africa.
Visa and Mastercard credit cards are generally accepted throughout Namibia though holders of other credit cards are advised to check whether their card is acceptable. Self-drivers should note that credit cards are not accepted at petrol stations.
A loosely defined region that sits between the Skeleton Coast, the Etosha National Park and the even wilder and more remote Kaokoveld, the largely uninhabited Damaraland is an area of dramatic, harsh geology. The mountainous scenery is genuinely breathtaking and the night sky is a carpet of stars – if you’re in the mood for some of Africa’s most spell-binding landscapes, then a Damaraland safari will deliver to your expectations.
Dominated by the pancake-flat Etosha Pan, a 5 000km² seasonally flooded depression, Etosha National Park is an area of open, grassy woodland and thick scrub, studded with waterholes. Yet despite its arid appearance, the park is packed with an eclectic mix of familiar faces such as elephant, giraffe, lion, leopard and zebra as well as the desert specialists like springbok and the handsome gemsbok.
Huge, sparsely populated Namibia is a country of big skies and dramatic scenery. Destinations such asDamaraland, the shipwreck-strewn Skeleton Coast or the Kaokoveld literally echo with emptiness and atmosphere, yet excellent lodges are tucked away in these remote regions and provide intrepid travellers with havens of serenity and comfort – and there’s a lot more wildlife than you might think.
It’s an effortlessly beautiful landscape that encompasses the undisputed draw card of the Namib Desert, the famous sand dunes of Sossusvlei. Other features range from seasonally dry river valleys and salt pans to baking gravel plains and isolated mountain islands. The park extends to the icy waters of the Atlantic Ocean and also incorporates bird-filled lagoons and deserted, wave-battered beaches.
Much of the coast falls under the protection of the Skeleton Coast National Park and the scenery – great sweeping vistas of desert, ocean and sky – is breathtaking. Moreover, the flora and fauna better than you might think. Bird watchers on a Skeleton Coast safari will be pleasantly surprised by the fact that there are nearly 250 species in the area while black-backed jackals are among the most commonly seen animals. Hardy antelope species such as gemsbok, kudu and springbok can be seen at freshwater seeps and are sometimes joined by the mega-sighting of the region – desert-adapted elephants.
Namibia’s second biggest town and traditional summer capital, Swakopmund is one of the most surreal and unique destinations in the country. Set on the Atlantic Ocean at the edge of the Namib Desert, this former colonial town is famous for its German-themed architecture and culture – many inhabitants speak German and there’s even an October beer festival.