Climate & Health
With an average of 300 days of sunshine annually Namibia is one of the sunniest countries in worldwide. The climate is generally arid which means that the potential evaporation is higher than the precipitation, which again results in a very low humidity.
In general Namibia’s climate can be described as hot and dry, substantial fluctuations during the seasons or even within one day are typical. The different regions show considerable climatic differences regarding precipitation and temperature though. The amount of precipitation increases from the southwest to the northeast from an annual 0 mm to a maximum of 600 mm. During the months December to March it is generally hot throughout the country. The main rainy season starts in January (often with thundershowers). The vegetation turns into a lush green.
During April to May rains might still occur. The temperatures slowly start to drop.
From June to September it is winter in Namibia. No more precipitation is received (except in the far south – in the winter rain areas) and during the day temperatures are moderate to warm. The nights are severely cold, in the inland and desert overnight frost occurs. The vegetation changes from green to brown.
In October and November temperatures rise increasingly and it gets hot again. The so called “little rainy season” starts and brings a most welcome end to the long dry period.
Namibia Health Care and Vaccinations
|* A small malaria risk exists in the entire northern third of the country (Oshana, Oshikoto, Omusati, Ohangwenga, Otjozondjupa and Omaheke) from November to June and along the Kunene river and in Kavango and Caprivi regions throughout the year. Although visitors who plan to remain in the southern part of the country (Sossusvlei, Windhoek, Walvis Bay etc) do not need to take anti-malarial drugs, they are recommended for those travelling further north.
** Namibia is not an infected area but does border countries that are. As a result, a yellow fever vaccination certificate is required from travellers over one year of age arriving from an infected area.
Because Namibia’s size medical facilities are spread out, with most lodges offering little more than basic medical care. As a result, serious accidents will require an expensive transfer to hospital in Windhoek, or in extreme cases, to medical facilities in South Africa. As a result, travel insurance is essential, and taking out a comprehensive policy is worthwhile. This is doubly the case if you’re planning to take part in sports such as quad biking or off-roading.
While Namibia isn’t plagued by the tropical diseases that afflict its northern neighbours, it does experience the occasional outbreak of malaria, while dysentery (most often seen in campers who haven’t properly treated their water supply) can also occur. It is advisable to consult your doctor well in advance of travelling about immunisations and assembling a first aid kit if you’re planning to drive long distances or stay in a remote area.
Food and drink:
Mains water is normally chlorinated and, while safe, may cause mild abdominal upsets. Bottled water is available and is advised for the first few weeks of the stay. Drinking water outside main cities and towns may be contaminated and sterilisation is advisable. Water taken from lakes and rivers is generally a bad idea and cannot be regarded as entirely safe to drink without prior boiling. Milk is pasteurised and dairy products are safe for consumption. Local meat, poultry, seafood, fruit and vegetables are generally considered safe to eat.
Vaccinations against meningococcal meningitis, tuberculosis and hepatitis B are sometimes recommended. The measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine is also recommended for travelers born after 1956 who have not previously received the inoculation. A rabies vaccination is sometimes required, particularly if your plans involve some degree of interaction with wild animals.
- Packing List (printable pdf file)
- Booking Conditions (Printable pdf files: A. Anerkennung, Risikoübernahme, Zustimmung und Schadloshaltung; B. Bedingungen und Bestimmungen)
- Legal Information
The Namibian Trophy Hunting season opens on February 1 and closes on November 30 of each year. Clients should ensure that they are booked and will be hunting with a registered Namibian operator, as well as a registered Namibian hunting professional.
Hunting professionals should comply with all the Ministry of Environment & Tourism’s (MET’s) trophy-hunting regulations:
- Trophy hunting may be practised from half an hour before sunrise, until half an hour after sunset.
- Trophy hunting may take place only on properties where permission has been granted by the landowner.
- Properties where bow hunting is practised must be registered additionally with MET for bow hunting.
Requirements for importing firearms
Refer to the Namibian Professional Hunting Association (NAPHA) website for required minimum muzzle velocities for firearms for various game species. A maximum of one-hundred (100) rounds of ammunition may be imported per hunting rifle. Only ammunition for the specific caliber may be imported. It is legal to hunt with black powder rifles in Namibia. (Refer to this website for the black-powder hunting regulations.). It is illegal to transport black powder and percussion caps. These can be purchased in Namibia. Inquire with your trophy-hunting operator. It is legal to import bows for bow-hunting purposes. No import permit is required. (Refer to this website for the Bow Hunting requirements.).
It is illegal to hunt for trophies:
- at night and/or with an artificial light;
- that do not qualify in terms of the minimum measurement requirements as specified by the MET, Namibian Quality Control. If trophies do not meet this requirement, they do not have to be paid for. Exceptions are trophies with abnormalities and age deformities, which are taken home by the client, (Refer to the NAPHA Medal Brochure for minimum measurements.); and in contravention of the Fair Chase principals as stated in the NAPHA Code of Conduct.
The immediate export of trophies from Namibia is possible only with a veterinary certificate, an export permit from the MET and the import permit as required by the country of final destination.
Prohibited firearms are:
- All handguns
- All automatic firearms
- All crossbows
Travelling with firearms to Namibia
Take out full insurance for all firearms before travelling anywhere in Africa. NAPHA recommends flying directly to Namibia from Europe into Hosea Kutako International Airport near Windhoek. This will minimise delays associated with firearm transport. Air Namibia offers a direct service.
Recent regulations have made travelling with firearms a time-consuming process when entering South Africa. Make sure that you stay in transit with your luggage. It is suggested that you adhere to the following procedure to minimise problems when travelling with firearms:
- All bags need to be adequately marked with nametags for identification;
- Pack an unloaded rifle in a sturdy carry case;
- Have a separate lockable container in which to store your ammunition separate from your rifle in your checked luggage;
- At the check-in counter at the point of departure, insist that the agent check your firearm through to Hosea Kutako International Airport, Windhoek. Your bag tag should read, for example: New York – Frankfurt – Windhoek OR Atlanta – Johannesburg – Windhoek. (This is sometimes not possible if the airlines that you are using do not have baggage agreements. Inquire about this before purchasing your ticket.);
- Windhoek Airport’s International baggage code is WDH; and
- Physically check baggage tag to ensure that it has been correctly printed and attached. Inquire if a colourful ‘in transit tag’ is necessary when travelling through another country.
Procedures for passport & customs control at Windhoek airport:
When you disembark the airplane, you will be directed to the international arrival hall. In the arrival hall, please present your valid passport, flight ticket, the completed blue entry form (obtainable either in the airplane or arrival hall). You will need to complete the form and provide the address of the hunting ranch.
After clearing Passport control, collect your luggage and proceed to the customs area.
After collecting your luggage, go to the Namibian Police Office located in the customs clearance hall and present them with the following documents:
- A completed application form for a rifle import permit. Download an application form by going to the following link: http://www.natron.net/napha/graphics/firearm-application-2007.pdf
- A copy of your trophy hunting permit and;
- An invitation letter from Mashété Safaris stating that you are entering the country for trophy hunting and indicating the name, number and address of the hunting ranch. (This letter will be provided to you by Mashété Safaris).
Arrival procedures in Namibia:
- After the officer has checked the serial number on the application form as well as on the rifle, he will provide you with a temporary weapon’s license. Please make sure that the serial number on your rifle matches the serial number on the temporary license;
- This license should be well kept as you will need it when leaving Namibia;
- The ammunition must be packed separately in an accessible place in your suitcase should customs require to count the rounds;
- Ammunition and knifes may not be packed in hand luggage. In Namibia you are not allowed to carry or import handguns;
- You can import two rifles and one shotgun into Namibia;
- You must advise the commercial airline in advance that you are traveling with firearms and ammunition. Please be sure to check with the appropriate airline as to their particular regulations.