Have you always dreamed of a romantic safari honeymoon in Africa filled with game drives, stargazing and secluded accommodations? Then set your sights on Namibia. Though this country is located just to the north of South Africa, Namibia remains relatively undiscovered by North American tourists to spite its wealth of jaw-dropping attractions. The country, which was under German rule from the late 1800s until the end of World War I when it was mandated to South Africa, is home to a host of awe-inspiring national parks and plenty of wildlife. Namibia also boasts one of the highest literacy rates in Africa and a stable multi-party parliamentary democracy.
While English is the official language in Namibia, you'll notice evidence of the country's German occupation in its cuisine. Schnitzel and rich, Germanic stews comprised of potatoes and delicious game meats, like antelope, are common menu items.
Driving the beautiful desert highway dotted with warthog crossing signs enroute from Namibia's international airport into the capital city of Windhoek, you'll instantly appreciate why the country has focused so much attention on conservation since gaining independence from South Africa in 1990. Namibia was the first African country to incorporate protection of the environment into its constitution and today 40 percent of Namibia's land is under conservation management.
Here we’ve tackled a few of the key questions you might need answered before you set out to plan your Namibian honeymoon.
What is the weather like? Namibia's climate varies according to the time of year and which part of the country you're in (the northern part of the country is markedly warmer). Framed by the Namib and Kalahari Deserts, the weather is generally dry and pleasant during the day year-round, however, from June to August (Namibia's winter) temperatures can plummet below zero at night. January through March are typically rainy and humid.
When is the best time to go? April and May are great months to visit Namibia. Rain usually holds off in at this time with daytime temperatures in the mid-twenties. The landscape is also much more green and beautiful during these months.
How long does it take to get there? Be prepared to spend at least 20 hours in the air enroute to Namibia (trust us, it's worth the long flight). The most direct routes from Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver connect through Frankfurt. Total travel time ranges from 20 to 30 hours depending on the length of your layover.
What should you pack? Strategic packing is essential when venturing to Namibia, especially if you'll be going on a flying safari where luggage weight and size restrictions apply. The majority of the year, you'll need light clothing for the warm days and warm sweaters, a jacket, hat and gloves for the cooler nights and early morning game drives. Pack all necessary toiletries, extra camera batteries and memory cards because you'll have few opportunities to purchase these outside of Windhoek. Even in the big city shopping options are limited. Don't forget a foreign travel adapter and bring plenty of cash because ATM machines are few and far between. South African rand, which is readily available at most North American exchange bureaus, is on par with the Namibian dollar and widely accepted.
Is a tourist visa necessary? Visas are not required for stays under 90 days, though you must have a passport that is valid for at least six months beyond your date of entry.
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