Namibia – general
The Conference, will be held at Safari Hotel and Conference Centre which is located at the outskirts of Namibia’s vibrant capital city Windhoek. The Safari Court Hotel and Conference Centre is a 4-star hotel. It is located within the Windhoek residential district and is perfectly situated next to the Eros (domestic) Airport. It provides free shuttle service into the Central Business District (CBD) and Maerua Mall Shopping Centre.
Situated on the south-west of Africa, Namibia is a vast, sparsely-populated country of 823,680 km², making it the 31st largest country in the world. It stretches for about 1,300 km from south to north and varies from 480 to 930 km in width from west to east. It borders Angola to the north, Botswana and Zimbabwe to the east, South Africa to the south and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. Its most striking features are the Namib Desert, which stretches along the entire west coast of the country, the Kalahari sandveld, which runs along the south-eastern border with Botswana and the Great Escarpment, which extends the entire country and is the most impressive topographical feature of the Namibia landscape.
The country is divided into 14 administrative regions: the Kavango (West & East), Kunene, Ohangwena, Omusati, Oshana, Oshikoto and Zambezi Regions in the north; the Omaheke, Otjozondjupa, Erongo and Khomas Regions in the central areas; and the Hardap and Karas Regions in the south.
Namibia is arid to semi-arid, with the hottest months being November to February (average temperatures 20–36°C). The colder months are between May and August (average temperatures 6–10°C in the mornings and 18–22°C during the day).
November is the beginning of the wet season in Namibia and the climate is highly variable. Daytime temperatures are very hot, but humidity is still low, keeping it quite pleasant. On average, the daytime temperature is above 30°C/86°F, but can be a lot higher in the desert. Clouds are beginning to build up in the afternoons.
Namibia has a small population of 2.113 million (2011 census), with a 1.9% growth rate. This population is relatively youthful with 38% of the population under 15 years of age and only 7% over 60 year of age.
Despite rapid urbanisation, Namibia is still a mainly rural society with only 43% of the population living in urban areas. Regional population densities vary enormously, with almost two-thirds of the population living in four of the northern regions and less than one tenth of the population living in the south.
The charm of the City of Windhoek lies in its harmonious blend of African and European cultures and the friendliness of its people. It is a peaceful and relaxed city in a country with a proud record of political stability and is known as one the cleanest cities on the African continent.
As the capital city, Windhoek hosts Central Government, state-owned enterprises and head offices of most multi-national companies active in the country and in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region. Namibia’s financial centre, including the Bank of Namibia, the head offices of commercial banks, the very active Namibia Stock Exchange and insurance industries, are all based in the city centre. All foreign diplomatic missions are located in Windhoek.
Geographically, the total area of Windhoek is 645 km2 with about 350,000 inhabitants, making up almost 15% of the country’s total population of 2.2 million.
It is important to check the validity of your vaccination card and consult an experienced medical practitioner for updates.
Health risks and preventive measures:
Medical and health services in Namibia are of a high standard. However, the availability of most services is limited to main cities and towns.
Namibia’s capital, Windhoek, is malaria-free. However, travellers to the north of Namibia should take precautions against malaria. The disease is especially prevalent in places near rivers, meadows or stagnant water. Mosquito nets are recommended, as well as mosquito spray for the skin. For extra precaution, the traveller can take anti-malaria prophylaxis. A physician should be consulted in this instance.
Tap water in Namibia is fit for consumption in most places, including Windhoek. Although most restaurants maintain a high level of hygiene, travellers should be wary of eating food from street vendors and other informal food establishments.
It is advisable to obtain health and travel insurance when coming into the country to cover any unforeseen medical costs. Any necessary prescriptions should be brought along in properly labelled bottles.
Namibia is very hot in November and the sun extremely fierce. Visitors should drink plenty of water at all times and wear sunscreen and a hat if outdoors.
The Namibian Dollar (NAD / N$) is linked to the South African Rand (ZAR) at par value. The South African Rand (notes and coins) is also legal tender in Namibia.
Namibia has two time seasons:
Summer Time – GMT + 2 hours
Winter Time – GMT + 1 hours
Banks are open between 08h30 and 15h30, Monday to Friday and on Saturdays from 08h30 to 11h00. The Namibian banking sector is linked to major international communication networks, ensuring fast and efficient transfer of funds to and from literally anywhere in the world.
Money can be changed at bureaus de change at Hosea Kutako International Airport or at all local banks with bureau de change facilities. All internationally recognised currencies are accepted for exchange. Most establishments in the country accept international credit cards and ATM services are available everywhere that accept major credit cards.
Digital telecommunications network across the country which is developed, managed and maintained by the national telecommunications utility, Telecom Namibia. Two Cellular network providers, MTC and TN Mobile provides coverage in most towns and along all the major routes. Wifi is available at most hotels and guesthouses, but delegates should check beforehand.
Business and shopping
Trading hours on weekdays are from 08h00 to 17h00 and Saturdays from 08h30 to 13h00. Many shops also open on Saturday afternoons until 17h00 and on Sundays from 09h00 to 13h00.
Shuttle services and car rentals
Shuttle services are available from Hosea Kutako International Airport. All major international car rental companies (Avis, Budget and Imperial) operate in Windhoek and elsewhere in Namibia, with offices at Hosea Kutako International Airport. A shuttle service from the airport can be arranged for those staying at the Hotel Safari and should be requested at the time of booking (at a separate cost).
Driving and speed limits
Like most other countries in Southern Africa, Namibia drives on the left side of the road. Unless otherwise indicated, the speed limit on national and other paved roads is 120km/h. Motorists are urged to take extreme care when driving on gravel roads, which are generally very good, but need to be negotiated with care. The recommended speed limit on these roads is 80km/h. Driving at night, especially on rural roads, should be avoided, as many motor accidents are caused by motorists colliding with wild animals.
Mains power in Namibia and throughout Southern Africa is 220/240 Volts AC, 50-60HZ. Power sockets in Namibia are of the 15 amp, 3-pin round type. Many hotels also provide 2-pin, 110 Volt sockets.
Beware of petty crime and look after your belongings at all times, especially cell ‘phones and laptops. You are advised to inquire about the security situation at your hotel and, as in any major city, take care when venturing out alone. Delegates are strongly advised against walking around alone at night in the city centre. Delegates should only use metered taxis or taxis that are clearly indicated as official taxis.
Useful emergency contacts
Hosea Kutako International Airport – 299 6600
City Police – 302302 (toll free)
Ambulance – Windhoek Municipality – 21 111
International SOS Emergency Services – 230 505 or 081707
EMed24 – 299 9924 or 081 924
Fire Brigade – 21 111
Windhoek Central Hospital – 203 9111
Medi Clinic – 22 2687
Rhino Park Private Hospital – 375 000
Roman Catholic Hospital – 270 2911