Namibia travel advice
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Last updated: ET
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- Risk level
- Safety and security
- Entry and exit requirements
- Laws and culture
- Natural disasters and climate
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Namibia - Exercise a high degree of caution
Exercise a high degree of caution in Namibia due to the high level of crime.
Safety and security
COVID-19 - Preventative measures and restrictions
COVID-19 preventative measures and restrictions are still in effect in some destinations.
These could include:
- curfews, movement restrictions, or lockdowns
- mandatory mask use
- required proof of vaccination or a COVID-19 test result to access public and private services and spaces
Before travelling, verify if specific restrictions or requirements are still in effect.
Border with Angola
Peace in Angola has improved the security situation along the Namibia–Angola border. Due to the risk of banditry, however, you should exercise caution when travelling to this area, including Kavango Region in the northeast and the western half of Zambezi Region (formerly known as Caprivi). Use official border crossing areas only to enter neighbouring countries.
Petty crime such as pickpocketing and purse snatching is prevalent.
Vehicle theft and break-ins also occur.
Violent crime, such as muggings and robberies targeting foreigners occurs, particularly in Windhoek.
- Be alert to your surroundings
- Ensure that your personal belongings, including your passport and other travel documents, are secure at all times
- Avoid the townships and remote areas after dark
- Avoid walking alone after dark
Thefts from vehicles occur at service stations. Keep your vehicle doors locked and windows shut, to deter carjacking and theft. Do not keep valuables in your car.
You should be cautious of persons ostensibly looking for assistance by the side of the road. Unsuspecting tourists have been victims of armed attacks.
Demonstrations are rare and are concentrated in Windhoek. They can disrupt traffic and business.
Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent at any time. They can also lead to disruptions to traffic and public transportation.
- Avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place
- Follow the instructions of local authorities
- Monitor local media for information on ongoing demonstrations
There are landmines in the border area from Katwitwi (a village on the Okavango River in Kavango West Region) to Kongola (a town in Zambezi Region).
Avoid night-time driving outside urban centres.
Be particularly careful when driving on rural roads, many of which are gravel with sloping sand shoulders.
Road conditions are generally good, but much of the country is covered by desert. Overland travel takes considerable time. Sand, salt and gravel roads become very slippery when wet.
Tourists are often involved in single-vehicle accidents. Do not exceed 80 km/h on gravel roads. Excessive speed and animals on the roadway pose hazards.
Emergency and roadside assistance is unreliable or non-existent outside Windhoek.
If you must travel overland via the Trans-Caprivi Highway between Rundu and Katima Mulilo, do so during daylight hours only.
Avoid stopping at roadside rest stops, where robberies have been known to occur.
If travelling to desert areas, do so with sufficient water and fuel supplies and two spare tires. Travel by convoy if you plan to go to the desert.
Buses and taxis operate in the capital. Public transportation is limited outside Windhoek.
Foreigners have been robbed by taxi drivers. The Namibia Bus and Taxi Association (NABTA) regulates taxi drivers by allocating registration numbers (one letter followed by a two-digit number). Use registered taxis (displaying the NABTA logo) only or arrange for a taxi through a reputable hotel.
We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.
Cases of attempted fraud are frequently reported in this country.
Credit card copying in some hotels and lodges occurs. When paying by credit card, keep your card in view at all times. Be extra vigilant at ATMs, as criminals may attempt to distract you or offer assistance with the aim of stealing your money. Don’t accept any offer of assistance and cancel your transaction if you become suspicious.
- Pay careful attention when your cards are being handled by others
- Use ATMs located in well-lit public areas or inside a bank or business
- Avoid using card readers with an irregular or unusual feature
- Cover the keypad with one hand when entering your PIN
- Check for any unauthorized transaction on your account statements
General safety information
Avoid visiting townships unless accompanied by someone with local knowledge.
When visiting parks and game reserves, remain with your group and observe all local or park regulations and instructions given by tour guides, as wild animals pose risks. Potentially dangerous areas may lack fences and warning signs.
Entry and exit requirements
COVID-19 - Entry, exit and transit restrictions and requirements
Most governments have implemented special entry and exit restrictions and requirements for their territory due to COVID-19. These measures can be imposed suddenly and may include:
- entry or exit bans
- mandatory proof of vaccination or COVID-19 testing
- suspensions or reductions of international transportation options
Foreign authorities might not recognize or accept proof of vaccination issued by Canadian provinces and territories. You may need to obtain a translation, a notarization, an authentication, or the legalization of the document.
- verify if the local authorities of both your current location and destinations have implemented any restrictions or requirements related to this situation
- consider even your transit points, as there are transit rules in place in many destinations
- monitor the media for the latest information
- reconfirm the requirements with your airline or tour operator
The situation could disrupt your travel plans. You should not depend on the Government of Canada for assistance to change your travel plans.
Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.
We have obtained the information on this page from the Namibian authorities. It can, however, change at any time.
Verify this information with the Foreign Representatives in Canada.
Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.
Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.
Regular Canadian passport
Your passport must be valid for a minimum of 6 months after the date you enter Namibia.
Passport for official travel
Different entry rules may apply.
Passport with “X” gender identifier
While the Government of Canada issues passports with an “X” gender identifier, it cannot guarantee your entry or transit through other countries. You might face entry restrictions in countries that do not recognize the “X” gender identifier. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.
Other travel documents
Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.
Tourist visa: Not required for stays up to 90 days
Business visa: Not required for stays up to 90 days
Student visa: Required
Employment visa: Required
Ensure that your passport has sufficient visa pages for travel to Namibia and neighbouring countries for the entire duration of your trip.
At least 2 completely blank pages are required for entry into Namibia.
Make sure the visa stamp is valid for the duration of your stay (up to 90 days) and that immigration officials have given you a correctly dated entry stamp, as this will be checked upon departure.
Authorities are very strict regarding visa validity. Overstaying the time granted or having an incorrect or missing entry stamp could lead to detention, arrest and fines.
Due to the ongoing outbreak of Ebola virus disease in neighbouring countries you may be subject to a quick thermal scanner screening and/or a health questionnaire at the airports upon boarding or disembarking a plane.
Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).
Children and travel
Learn about travel with children.
Exit and entry requirements for minors under 18
When travelling to an international destination, underage traveller must present:
If travelling with both parents
- A valid passport
- A long-form birth certificate
If travelling with a single parent
- A valid passport
- A long-form birth certificate
- A letter of consent from the other parent or a copy of a death certificate when applicable
If travelling with other adults
- A valid passport
- A long-form birth certificate
- A proof of consent from the biological parents or legal guardians in the form of a sworn affidavit for the child to travel internationally
- Contact information of the child’s parents or legal guardians
If travelling alone
- A valid passport
- A long-form birth certificate
- A proof of consent from one or both parents or legal guardians in the form of a sworn affidavit for the child to travel
- Contact information of the child’s parents or legal guardians
- A letter from the person who is to receive the child containing the residential address and contact details where the child will be residing
- A copy of the identity document of the person who is to receive the child. This could be:
- a valid passport and visa
- a permanent residence permit
If you are transiting by road through South Africa with children under the age of 18, consult the entry/exit requirements for South Africa.
Be sure that your routine vaccines, as per your province or territory, are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Some of these vaccines include: measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.
Pre-travel vaccines and medications
You may be at risk for preventable diseases while travelling in this destination. Talk to a travel health professional about which medications or vaccines are right for you.
Yellow Fever - Country Entry Requirements
Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.
Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.
- There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.
Country Entry Requirement*
- Proof of vaccination is required if you are coming from or have transited through an airport of a country where yellow fever occurs.
- Vaccination is not recommended.
- Discuss travel plans, activities, and destinations with a health care professional.
- Contact a designated Yellow Fever Vaccination Centre well in advance of your trip to arrange for vaccination.
Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres in Canada
* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.
Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver spread through contaminated food and water or contact with an infected person. All those travelling to regions with a risk of hepatitis A infection should get vaccinated.
Rabies is a deadly illness spread to humans through a bite, scratch or lick from an infected animal. Vaccination should be considered for travellers going to areas where rabies exists and who have a high risk of exposure (e.g., are children, have an occupational risk, or in close contact with animals, including free roaming dogs in communities).
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease. It can spread quickly from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air..
Anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of being infected with it when travelling internationally.
Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are fully protected against measles.
Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious viral disease. It can spread from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.
It is recommended that all eligible travellers complete a COVID-19 vaccine series along with any additional recommended doses in Canada before travelling. Evidence shows that vaccines are very effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19. While vaccination provides better protection against serious illness, you may still be at risk of infection from the virus that causes COVID-19. Anyone who has not completed a vaccine series is at increased risk of being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 and is at greater risk for severe disease when travelling internationally.
For destination entry and exit requirements, including for COVID-19 vaccination requirements, please check the Entry/exit requirements section.
Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are adequately protected against COVID-19.
Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Get the flu shot.
- There is a risk of malaria in certain areas and/or during a certain time of year in this country.
- Malaria is a serious and occasionally fatal disease that is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. There is no vaccine against malaria.
- Protect yourself from mosquito bites. This includes covering up, using insect repellent and staying in enclosed, air-conditioned accommodations. You may also consider pre-treating clothing and travel gear with insecticides and sleeping under an insecticide-treated bednet.
- Antimalarial medication may be recommended depending on your itinerary and the time of year you are travelling. See a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic, preferably six weeks before you travel to discuss your options.
Food and Water-borne Diseases
Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.
In some areas in Southern Africa, food and water can also carry diseases like cholera, hepatitis A, schistosomiasis and typhoid. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in Southern Africa. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
Travellers' diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travellers. It is spread from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.
Risk of developing travellers' diarrhea increases when travelling in regions with poor standards of hygiene and sanitation. Practise safe food and water precautions.
The most important treatment for travellers' diarrhea is rehydration (drinking lots of fluids). Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.
Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among children, travellers going to rural areas, travellers visiting friends and relatives or those travelling for a long period of time.
Travellers visiting regions with a risk of typhoid, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation, should speak to a health care professional about vaccination.
Schistosomiasis can be spread to humans through freshwater sources contaminated by blood flukes (tiny worms). The eggs of the worms can cause stomach illnesses like diarrhea and cramps or urinary problems. Risk is generally low for most travellers. Avoid swimming in freshwater sources (lakes, rivers, ponds). There is no vaccine available for schistosomiasis.
Insects and Illness
In some areas in Southern Africa, certain insects carry and spread diseases like African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness), Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, chikungunya, malaria, Rift Valley fever, and West Nile virus.
Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.
There is a risk of chikungunya in this country. The risk may vary between regions of a country. Chikungunya is a virus spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. Chikungunya can cause a viral disease that typically causes fever and pain in the joints. In some cases, the joint pain can be severe and last for months or years.
Protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times. There is no vaccine available for chikungunya.
- In this country, risk of dengue is sporadic. It is a viral disease spread to humans by mosquito bites.
- Dengue can cause flu-like symptoms. In some cases, it can lead to severe dengue, which can be fatal.
- The level of risk of dengue changes seasonally, and varies from year to year. The level of risk also varies between regions in a country and can depend on the elevation in the region.
- Mosquitoes carrying dengue typically bite during the daytime, particularly around sunrise and sunset.
- Protect yourself from mosquito bites. There is no vaccine or medication that protects against dengue fever.
Rift Valley fever
Rift Valley fever is a viral disease that can cause severe flu-like symptoms. In some cases, it can be fatal. It is spread to humans through contact with infected animal blood or tissues, from the bite of an infected mosquito, or eating or drinking unpasteurized dairy. Risk is generally low for most travellers. Protect yourself from insect bites and avoid animals, particularly livestock, and unpasteurized dairy. There is no vaccine available for Rift Valley fever.
Animals and Illness
Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats. Some infections found in Southern Africa, like rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.
Tuberculosis is an infection caused by bacteria and usually affects the lungs.
For most travellers the risk of tuberculosis is low.
Travellers who may be at high risk while travelling in regions with risk of tuberculosis should discuss pre- and post-travel options with a health care professional.
High-risk travellers include those visiting or working in prisons, refugee camps, homeless shelters, or hospitals, or travellers visiting friends and relatives.
HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a virus that attacks and impairs the immune system, resulting in a chronic, progressive illness known as AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome).
High risk activities include anything which puts you in contact with blood or body fluids, such as unprotected sex and exposure to unsterilized needles for medications or other substances (for example, steroids and drugs), tattooing, body-piercing or acupuncture.
Medical services and facilities
COVID-19 - Testing
Contact local health authorities, or the nearest Government of Canada office abroad to find out where you can get a COVID-19 test.
Medical facilities are relatively modern, particularly in the capital. Well-equipped facilities are rarely available in smaller towns.
Upfront payment is generally required, even if you have medical insurance.
Ensure that your insurance policy covers all the activities that you plan to undertake, particularly in the case of extreme sports.
Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays.
Keep in Mind...
The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.
Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.
Laws and culture
You must abide by local laws.
Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad.
Carry a copy of your passport at all times.
Illegal or restricted activities
Diamonds and other protected resources should be purchased from licensed shops. If you are convicted of illegally dealing in diamonds, you could face heavy fines and/or imprisonment. The purchase and export of other protected resources, such as elephant ivory, may be subject to restrictions.
Penalties for drug offences are severe and include lengthy prison sentences.
Do not photograph military sites or government buildings. Ask permission before taking photographs.
You should dress conservatively.
Namibian law prohibits sexual acts between individuals of the same sex. LGBTQ2 travellers should carefully consider the risks of travelling to Namibia.
International Child Abduction
The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is an international treaty. It can help parents with the return of children who have been removed to or retained in certain countries in violation of custody rights. It does not apply between Canada and Namibia.
If your child was wrongfully taken to, or is being held in Namibia by an abducting parent:
- act as quickly as you can
- consult a lawyer in Canada and in Namibia to explore all the legal options for the return of your child
- report the situation to the nearest Canadian government office abroad or to the Vulnerable Children’s Consular Unit at Global Affairs Canada by calling the Emergency Watch and Response Centre.
If your child was removed from a country other than Canada, consult a lawyer to determine if The Hague Convention applies.
Be aware that Canadian consular officials cannot interfere in private legal matters or in another country’s judicial affairs.
- International Child Abduction: A Guidebook for Left-Behind Parents
- Travelling with children
- Canadian embassies and consulates by destination
- Emergency Watch and Response Centre
Traffic drives on the left.
You can use an original Canadian driver’s licence printed in English, but you should also carry a valid international driving permit.
If renting a car, pay particular attention to the insurance coverage provided. Ensure you have comprehensive insurance.
It is illegal to use a cellular telephone while driving or to drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
The use of a seatbelt is compulsory for the driver and all passengers.
A charge of culpable homicide can be made against a driver involved in an accident resulting in death.
The currency is the Namibian dollar (NAD). The South African rand (ZAR) is also accepted.
Major credit cards are accepted and most ATMs are linked to international networks.
Natural disasters and climate
The dry season extends from April to October, and the rainy season extends from November to March. Unpaved roads may become impassable during the rainy season. You should follow regional weather forecasts and plan accordingly.
Dial 264 (61) 10111 for emergency assistance.
The Consulate of Canada in Windhoek has temporarily suspended its operations. You can obtain consular assistance and information from the High Commission of Canada in South Africa, in Pretoria.
Pretoria - High Commission of Canada
South Africa, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mauritius, NamibiaAppointment Book your appointment online
For emergency consular assistance, call the High Commission of Canada in South Africa, in Pretoria, and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.
The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad.
The content on this page is provided for information only. While we make every effort to give you correct information, it is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, expressed or implied. The Government of Canada does not assume responsibility and will not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided.
If you need consular assistance while abroad, we will make every effort to help you. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.
Learn more about consular services.
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