Speaking to the universe works Nomads…it WORKS!
The first time Namibia crossed my radar was when I saw an overlanding trip by Miss Jayla. It had never been a country I longed for. After seeing photos and her beautiful story, I wanted to go so I penned down my hearts desire in this article. I didn’t think that one year later, Air Namibia will begin flights from Lagos – Windhoek. I also didn’t think I’ll be selected to go on a fully sponsored trip with them. I’m back from my 5 day trip, striking adventures like sand boarding and sky diving off my bucket list. I’ve also soaked in the point where the desert meets the sea, memories that are inked in my mind and soul forever.
Namibia was good to myself and 4 other colleagues who went on this trip with me. I assure you Namibia will be good to you too! This post will specifically cover all you need to know about planning your trip to Namibia from Nigeria. An account of my experience in the country will be shared much later.
GETTING YOUR VISAS
Getting your visas just got easy as Air Namibia now has visa desks at its office in Ikeja. When we were informed about this new development I was ecstatic. Applicants no longer have to fly to Abuja to obtain Namibian visas. The process is pretty easy and you’ll be required to provide these documents:
- Completed Visa Application form filled in duplicate.
- Two (2) recent colour passport photographs with white background (size: 45mm x 35mm).
- International Passport with at least 6 months validity from the date of entry with minimum of 3 blank pages.
- Certified copies of all original documents (Please do not submit originals).
- Proof of sufficient funds for the duration of stay in Namibia. (6 Months Bank Statement and payslips to be submitted)
- Proof of employment, Business registration documents or letter of introduction from an invitee
- Copy of round trip itinerary to Namibia.
- Confirmed Hotel Reservations.
- Travel / Medical / Health Insurance (on request).
- Letter of invitation from the relatives in Namibia and proof of legal residency e.g Data page of International Passport, work permit, National Identity Card etc.
- Letter of invitation and business contacts in Namibia are required for a business travel.
- Visitors with tourist visas are not allowed to engage in any employment or recourse to public fund while in the country.
- Yellow fever inoculation is a requirement only if the journey to Namibia entails passing through a yellow fever area of Africa or Certified Yellow Fever Vaccination card.
VISA PROCESSING FEE
NGN13,500:00 (Non-refundable Single entry) NGN23,000.00 (24 hours visa Single entry) NGN34,000.00 (Multiple Entry)
COURIER COMPANY FEE
NGN11,000.00 (Subject to weight of documents submitted)
ALL PASSPORTS SHOULD BE SUBMITTED, COLLECTED AND SIGNED FOR IN PERSON.
The physical address of Namibian Visa Processing Desk:
45 Oduduwa Way GRA Ikeja Lagos.
Phone: 234-1-279 9013 , +234-8173649115
Right after that, you application is forwarded to the Abuja office and shipped back when a decision has been made. This process takes 5-7 working days. When your application has been approved (which it will be), it’s then time to prepare for your trip to Namibia!!!
FLYING TO NAMIBIA
Air namibia operates a direct flight from Lagos to Windhoek (pronounced as “VINDOOK” or “VINTUK”) and flights can go as low as N250,000 for an economy class ticket! Ensure you book your flight early for more affordable flight rates.
Air Namibia planes are pretty decent, they are about 5 years old, and our flight was smooth. We flew in the Airbus 319, a 112 seater plane with 16 business class seats (2-2 configuration) and 96 economy seats (3-3 configuration). The leg room was average however, there were no individual screens for inflight entertainment. The flight time is short, 4 hours 35 mins, but if you’ll rather not remain idle during a flight, be sure to bring a book/kindle/coloring book/iPad or whatever keeps you entertained.
The official currency is Namibian Dollars($N). Rates at the time we visited were $1 = N$14 My Nigerian dollar card worked fine there and I used it throughout my stay. Some places accept US dollars however, I found paying with my card cheaper. So pay with your card if you can and pay in Namibian Dollars for cash payment (not in US Dollars).
WHAT TO WEAR
We visited very cosmopolitan cities (Windhoek and Swakopmund) and had no issues showing a bit of skin. However, you should dress according to the weather. While Windhoek was warm for the most part, Swakopmund was freezing! We needed sweaters at every time of the day. Ensure you check the weather in specific cities you are visiting and pack accordingly. Namibia is not an all round hot country. It gets cold in certain places, especially the coast.
It got cold in swakopmund so we had to wear jackets
Being a sponsored trip, I didn’t spend a lot of my money so it wouldn’t be my place to give an overall budget for this trip. However, I extended my stay, paid for certain activities and I’ll list a few relevant ones here:
- Accommodation in swakopmund: $60-$80 per night
- Feeding in swakopmund: $35 (meal for two + cocktails)
- Sky diving: $240
- Sand boarding/quad biking (3 hours): $43.52
PLACES TO VISIT/THINGS TO DO
Namibia is a big country (size wise) and unfortunately activities are spread across country. Whether you are seeking adventure, wild life, culture or the beach, this country pretty much has the ability to fulfill all your travel desires! We explored only two cities in five days and did some fun activities:
- visited the famous Christ Church (oldest church in Namibia
- attended a jazz festival
- had conversations with some modernized himba women
- had drinks at the 360 viewing deck in the national museum
- toasted to life at the moon landscape
- savoured local Namibian cuisine
- did a walking tour of swakopmund
- visited the swakopmund Museum
- went sky diving
- quad bike/sand boarding at the namib desert
- photographed the desert meeting the ocean
- had conversations with locals
- visited the craft market
We missed out on Etosha National Park, for the lovers of wild life and the Kunene Region where the Ovahimba’s live. We also missed out on the Kalahari desert, fish river canyon and sossusvlie which is best suited for the brave and adventurous and Luderitz if you love German architecture and time traveling.
So before you decide what cities in Namibia to explore, ensure it’s suited to the kind of traveler you are. You also need to map out your journey considering the size of the country (Namibia is almost the same size as Nigeria). Finally, don’t hold back!!!
SAFETY AND SECURITY
We did not feel threatened/unsafe throughout our stay there. Everything seemed pretty secure and under control. At the jazz festival in Windhoek, we were out till about midnight. In swakopmund, we stayed out for dinner till about 10.00pm and walked back for 10 minutes to our hotel.
THE NAMIBIAN PEOPLE
I set out to have conversations with locals, specifically Black Namibians and I did. We spoke about their love for Nigerian music and the entertainment industry, the current state of their economy, finding jobs in Nigeria, racism and a host of other things which deserves a separate post.
The people I encountered were very warm and open to answering every question thrown at them. From Alpheus, the street guitarist who was surprised Nigeria did not have stable electricity in 2018 to Raina, the first black Namibian to own a restaurant in Swakopmund! They were truly gems and I learnt so much from each and every one of them!
I’m super excited to go back there with the Nomads next year as it’s one of the destinations on 2019 calendar. #NomadsinNamibia, are you ready???