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Country Reports

Namibia Country Report

Overview

INTRODUCTION

Although Namibia benefits from relative political stability and a satisfactory state of public health, travelers to this country (population 2.2 million) should nonetheless remain on alert against certain risks, crime in particular.

CRIME

Bag snatching is common during the day as well as at night in the capital Windhoek and other major cities (including Swakopmund). Multiple cases of muggings at knife-point were reported in the capital in 2014, particularly in northern and western neighborhoods. Carjacking poses another real threat. In order to minimize these risks, do not wear any visible indicators of wealth, drive with doors locked and windows rolled up, and avoid outside excursions after nightfall. Windhoek’s townships should be avoided. Finally, credit card fraud is common and as such it is better to make purchases in cash.

POLITICS

Namibia’s political scene is stable and political violence is rare. The political party SWAPO (South West Africa People’s Organization), in power since Namibia’s independence in 1990, has dominated the domestic political scene for the past quarter century. Legislative and presidential elections took place in late 2014 without major incident. Former Prime Minister Hage Geingob (SWAPO) succeeded Hifikepunye Pohamba as president, the latter having completed two terms in power and therefore ineligible to run for third time. SWAPO also won the legislative elections.

Namibia figures among the highest ranked sub-Saharan countries in terms of good governance, in large part thanks to its stable and high-functioning institutions. Nevertheless, clashes between security forces and protesters do occasionally take place in this generally peaceful country; in late 2014, a woman was killed in Windhoek during a period of unrest and two police officers were seriously injured. As a precaution, travelers should keep their distance from all demonstrations.

Although the peace process in neighboring Angola has improved security conditions in the Namibia-Angola border regions, travelers to the area should remain prudent, particularly in Kavango region (northeast) and in the west of the Caprivi Strip. Access to certain areas of the country is restricted, notably the southwestern Sperrgebiet region (located between Lüderitz and Oranjemund).

TRANSPORTATION

Road conditions are generally decent. Since a large part of the country is desert, trips by road are often very long. Also on this note, certain precautions should be taken before setting out on a lengthy trip (bring plenty of water, food, and fuel reserves). Bus and taxi services are available in the capital; try to always use vehicles with Namibia Bus or Taxi Association logos. Public transportation is scarce outside of Windhoek.

HEALTH

Concerning health conditions, it should be noted that basic precautions should be taken against the diarrheal diseases prevalent in the country; to minimize the risk of contracting such a disease, drink only bottled or purified water and eat only hot, thoroughly cooked foods and peeled vegetables. A large percentage of the population is HIV-positive. Cases of dengue fever are sometimes reported. However, thanks to its climate, Namibia is virtually malaria-free, with the exception of the north and northeast of the country where humidity levels are higher.

Medical facilities are numerous and offer generally high quality care.

OTHER

Wild animals also present a risk for visitors on safari in parks and reserves; follow all instructions given by guides.

Climate

Namibia's climate is subtropical in the north of the country and arid in the south. Summers in the Namib Desert are dry and often very hot during the day (40°C) and significantly colder at night (0°). In the winter, the desert is warmed by hot and dry easterly winds. In the central plateau region, low levels of humidity and warm winds contribute to pleasant conditions. During the summer months, temperatures are higher (30°C in January), as are levels of humidity. The coastal regions have a more temperate climate. The rainy season lasts from October until April, with rainfall heavier in the north.

Useful Numbers

Country Code: +264 Emergency Services: 1 01 11 in Windhoek   Fire Dept., Ambulance: (061) 270 21 43 or (061) 270 20 06

Electricity

Voltage: 220 V ~ 50 Hz

Outlets:

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