Helpful Tips for Your Namibia Safari If you have already decided to do a Namibian Safari, congratulations! You've made a great decision and certainly won't regret it. Namibia should be on everyone's travel list since it is a stunning, geographically diverse country that is safe, rich with culture and very easy to visit. Here are some tips to make sure you are well prepared for the fantastic journey you are about to have.
Research the WeatherWhat season are you traveling in? The rainy season is roughly from December to March. April is the first month after the rainy season and typically the landscape will be as green as it is going to get! It also is significantly less dusty. Namibia famous for its dustiness! The pros of this season are that prices tend to be a tad lower but game viewing in Etosha and the game reserves is more challenging. With dense bush and high grass, those animals can be hard to spot. Also, with more water available, the animals are less concentrated near the watering holes. This time of year is also their "autumn" and temperatures start to drop. It is not what many northerners would ever consider cold, but mornings and evenings are chilly enough to require a light jacket. If you go during a dryer season, such as Namibian winter (June, July, August) be prepared for cooler temps and lots of dust. Bringing protection for your electronics such as camera or binoculars is important this time of year.
Pack AppropriatelyThis follows naturally when discussing weather, but bring the proper attire. You have to be ready for many weather conditions. Contrary to popular belief, Africa is not only hot! Countries in the north and south have seasons and there are times of the day when it is legit cold! I recommend a fleece or jumper for those chilly morning game drives. Perhaps a light scarf as well. A combination of lightweight pants and shorts and shirts with various sleeve lengths will be the main chunk of your safari wardrobe. There aren’t many dressy occasions usually on a safari so you can be casual. You may want one nicer outfit for dinner. The desert is extremely hot during the day. You will want lightweight breathable fabrics for this. Also, don’t forget a swimsuit. Most lodges have a refreshing pool!
ShoesYou should have some sturdy close-toed shoes, either trainers or hiking boots, because thereare often opportunities for bush walks and you have “comfort” stops on long drives in the middle of nowhere. There are snakes, scorpions, rocks, thorny bushes...should I go on? Protect your feet. Save the sandals for the pool or when you’re lounging at the lodge.
Other Items You Should Bring
Insect repellant (many lodges provide this but always good to have your own)
Anti itch cream
Camera with zoom lens (you need really good zoom to photograph the wildlife)
Make Your Dietary Requirements Known UpfrontNamibians eat a meat-heavy diet so if you are vegetarian or vegan make sure your preferencesare known ahead of time and be prepared for limited choices. Fish is available in many places. Game is served quite often and in my opinion, it is really good and better than traditional pork or beef. I’m what you call a flexitarian. I prefer to eat vegetarian but am a bit more flexible when traveling. Most of the lodges have really good food with a 3 or 4-course menu where you have a choice of
the main dish. In some places you have a choice of starter as well. The portion sizes are generally very large.
Money MattersYour tour is prepaid but somethings aren't included such as beverages and tipping. It is always good to have some extra cash for these things. Some of the hotels take credit cards but because this is Africa, systems are occasionally down. Get all the cash you need upfront at the airport. There are not ATMs everywhere in Namibia so don't count on always finding one.
Manage ExpectationsNamibia isn't your typical safari. Safaris that many of us imagine are all about seeing wild animals but that isn't quite what safari means. The word "safari" actually comes from the word for "journey" in Arabic and Swahili. The entire trip is a safari. When you drive around looking at animals it's called a "game drive". A Namibia safari does have some game drives but that is only one facet of this tour. In my opinion, you get a taste of everything with this safari. Namibia is not famous for just its wildlife. It has a vast diversity of landscapes that will blow your mind. Where else can you kayak with seals, see desert adapted elephants, ancient stone carvings, visit tribal people, explore the 2nd largest canyon in the world and climb sand dunes in the world's oldest desert? A Namibia safari is a unique and special journey and one that you can't experience anywhere else!