Namibia

From Halal Explorer

Sossusvlei banner.jpg

Namibia is in Southern Africa, bordering South Africa, Botswana, Angola, Zambia and the Atlantic Ocean. Namibia boasts remarkable natural attractions such as the Namib desert and the Fish River Canyon Park, Etosha National Park and the Kalahari desert. Thanks to both a wealth of indigenous cultures and a tumultuous colonial history, its people speak nine different languages, including some of the Khoisan languages which include the 'clicks' that present an enigma to most native English speakers. It is also one of the few places in Africa where German, although not official, remains a commonly spoken language, while Afrikaans, shared with its southern neighbour, is also prevalent.

Blending German, Boer and indigenous legacy in its surprisingly European-looking cities, unique desert landscapes, rich wildlife and a relatively high standard of living, resulting in part from abundant natural resources (for example, Namibia produces the world's highest-quality diamonds), Namibia is today a peaceful country, welcoming to visitors and offering unforgettable experiences.

An Introduction to the regions of Namibia

  Caprivi
The panhandle in the northeast of the nation. With two major rivers and the Caprivi is one of the few areas of Namibia that has water. Caprivi was created in an attempt to give Germany access to the Indian Ocean via the Zambezi River, though this proved imfeasible because of Victoria Falls.
  Kavango
  Four-O region
  Kunene
  Otjozondjupa
  Omaheke
  Erongo
  Khomas
  Hardap
  Karas

Other Muslim friendly Cities in Namibia

  • Windhoek — Namibia's capital and largest city
  • Gobabis, capital of Omaheke
  • Katima Mulilo, capital of the Zambezi region in the Caprivi Strip
  • Keetmanshoop, capital of ǁKaras
  • Lüderitz — colonial-era German coastal town, with the ghost town of Kolmanskop nearby
  • Opuwo—capital of Kunene Region and an ideal starting point for stocking up before venturing further into Kaokoland
  • Rundu
  • Swakopmund, capital of Erongo and a popular for Namibians on holiday

Other Muslim Friendly Destinations in Namibia

Robbenkolonie Sklelettküste anagoria

  • Brandberg — The highest mountain in Namibia at 2 573 m.
  • Etosha National Park — Abundant wildlife in the "big white place"
  • Fish River Canyon Park — The second largest canyon in the world.
  • Kaokoland — home to the Himba tribe, desert elephants, desert lions, Epupa Waterfalls and many more attractions in this northwestern corner of the nation.
  • Skeleton Coast — The northern coastal part of the Namib desert, named for the dozens of ships that were beached in the thick fog that is frequent where the desert meets the Atlantic.
  • Sossusvlei — The most popular entry point for people wanting to visit the Namib desert.
  • Spitzkoppe — the Matterhorn of Namibia.
  • Waterberg Plateau Park — Another good place to watch wildlife.

Masjids in Namibia

Islamic Centre Windhoek (Masjid-ul-Islam)

The Islamic Centre Windhoek, also known as Masjid-ul-Islam, is one of the main mosques in the capital city. It serves as a focal point for the Muslim community in Windhoek, offering daily prayers, Jumu'ah prayers, and educational programs. The mosque also engages in various community outreach activities.

Gobabis Masjid

Gobabis, a town in eastern Namibia, is home to a small but dedicated Muslim community. The Gobabis Masjid provides a place for worship and community gatherings, playing a vital role in the religious life of local Muslims.

Walvis Bay Masjid

Located in the coastal town of Walvis Bay, this Masjid serves the local Muslim community, including residents and visitors. It offers regular prayer services and acts as a center for Islamic education and community support.

Oshakati Masjid

Oshakati, in the northern part of Namibia, has a Masjid that caters to the spiritual needs of Muslims in the region. The mosque provides daily prayer services and engages in educational and charitable activities. These Masjids are central to the Islamic community in Namibia, providing not only religious services but also fostering community spirit and cultural understanding. They highlight the presence and contributions of Muslims in various parts of the country, ensuring that Islamic values and traditions are upheld and shared.

Namibia Halal Explorer

In a nutshell, Namibia was inhabited by San people until about 1,000 years ago. If you have the rare opportunity to talk to a San (most do not speak English), do not call them Bushmen, that's considered derogatory. Due to the Bantu migration, Ovambo people and Ovaherero people moved into northern and central Namibia. In the South the Damara people estableshed themselves; it is unclear where they came from. About 200 years ago the Oorlam people moved in from the South. Then the Oorlam and the Herero clashed.

Swakopmund-Antonius-Gebäude (1)

Namibia was invaded and colonized by Germany in the late 19th century. Colonial control was established by private interests before the German Reich itself got involved as Bismarck was rather skeptical of colonial endeavors. German business and colonial interests, among them Adolf Lüderitz, tried to co-opt local rulers into their schemes and to that end signed treaties of varying honesty and even-handedness. One treaty famously mentioned a strip of land from the coast several "miles" inland to be handed over to the colonizers. What the treaty failed to mention was that the British miles of roughly 1.6 kilometers wasn't what the Germans meant - they insisted upon much larger "Prussian miles" that were obscure even then and entirely unknown to the local residents.

Needless to say conflict broke out, but the colonizers had the better weapons and ultimately also backing from Berlin so the local residents stood no chance. By 1884 "Deutsch Südwestafrika" had officially become a colony and unlike Germany's other colonies, it did attract significant settlement from the mother country, soon leading to serious debates in the Reichstag about the "problem" of "mixed" descendants of settlers and local residents. Another problem were local uprisings and when the Herero rose up in 1904 the Germans under general Lothar von Trotha responded with an amount of genocidal cruelty that shocked even contemporary advocates of colonialism. Von Trotha issued an order to shoot down unarmed civilians including women and children and had them driven into the desert. Low estimates put the death toll at 40,000 but numbers as high as 70,000 have been put forth for this first genocide perpetrated by Germany. Both descendants of von Trotha and the German government have since asked for forgiveness but no formal restitution was ever paid. At the start of World War I, only 30 years after they arrived, much of Namibia (then called South West Africa) was in German possession.

During World War I Africa also became a front but by 1915 Namibia had fallen to the Entente. It was administered by South Africa under a League of Nations mandate after World War I, and as if it were a province of South Africa after World War II. The South-West African People's Organization (SWAPO) launched a guerrilla war for independence in 1966 and gained independence in 1990. Namibia is in many ways quite similar to South Africa. Since it was ruled under the apartheid system, Namibia also has many of the problems resulting from that system.

Since Namibia is similar to South Africa, if you're used to travelling in one country, travelling in the other country is quite easy. However and there are some subtle differences. For example, in South Africa a non-white person may choose to speak English rather than Afrikaans (as a political choice) whereas among Namibia's mixed-race population (who call themselves 'colored' in Namibia and South Africa) Afrikaans is a proud part of their culture, and many people still speak German. Overlooking these differences isn't going to cause offense, but they're handy to know.

The public holidays in Namibia are:

  • 1 January - New Year's Day
  • 21 March - Independence Day
  • Easter weekend - ("Good Friday", "Easter Saturday", "Easter Sunday" and "Easter Monday"): a four day long weekend in March or April set according to the Western Christian dates.
  • 1 May - Workers Day
  • 4 May - Cassinga Day
  • 25 May - Africa Day
  • 26 August - Heroes' Day
  • 10 December - Human Rights Day
  • 25 December - Christmas Day
  • 26 December - Day of Goodwill (Family Day)

Travel as a Muslim to Namibia

Visa policy of Namibia

Visas

Tourists may enter Namibia for up to 90 days.

Foreign nationals from the following countries/territories do not require a visa to visit Namibia: Angola, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Botswana, Brazil, Canada, Countries in the Commonwealth of Independent States, Cuba, Denmark, Eswatini, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong|Hong Kong SAR, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Lesotho, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Macao, Malaysia, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, New Zealand, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tanzania, United Kingdom, United States, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Citizens not from the above countries need to apply for a visa from the Namibian consulate in their country of origin or the

  • Ministry of Home Affairs - Private Bag 13200, Windhoek ☎ +264 61 292-9111 +264 61 22-3817

If you require a visa to enter Namibia, you might be able to apply for one at a British embassy, high commission, or consulate in the nation where you legally reside if there is no Namibian diplomatic post. British diplomatic posts charge £50 to process a Namibian visa application and an extra £70 if the authorities in Namibia require the visa application to be referred to them. The authorities in Namibia can also decide to charge an additional fee if they correspond with you directly.

All visitors require a passport valid for at least 6 months after date of entry into Namibia.

You need a return or onward air or bus ticket when you fly to Namibia; if you don't have one the airline will not take you there (Air Namibia will inform you about this at check in time! you can book a Intercape bus ticket online. Intercape have buses from Namibia to South Africa and Zambia.

They will not let you in if you don't have an address where you are going, so be sure to have one.

Always verify the dates stamped into your passport, because there have been cases where corrupt officers stamp wrong dates to fine people for overstaying when they leave, and these fines are huge.

Buy a Flight ticket to and from Namibia

Hosea Kutako International Airport apron, August 2017

Hosea Kutako International Airport, located 45 minutes east of Windhoek, is the main entry point for air traffic. Air Namibia operates Flights from Frankfurt, Cape Town, Johannesburg, Victoria Falls, Maun, Harare, Lusaka, Luanda. South African Airways British Airways, Airlink, South African Express and no-frills Kulula operate Flights to and from South Africa. TAAG Angola Airlines operates Flights to Luanda.

By car

There are 9 commonly used border posts with neighbouring countries:

Angola

  • Oshikango - Santa Clara - ☎ +264 65 26-4615 +264 65 26-4616
  • Ruacana - ☎ +264 65 27-0290 +264 65 27-0010

Botswana

  • Buitepos - Mamuno - ☎ +264 62 56-0404 +264 62 56-0418 - On the Trans-Kalahari-Highway, connecting the B6 and A2 between Gobabis and Ghanzi
  • Mhembo - Shakawe - ☎ +264 66 25-9900 +264 66 25-9902


South Africa

  • Araimsvlei - Naroegas - ☎ +264 63 28-0057 +264 63 28-0058 - Connecting the B3 and N14 between Karasburg and Upington
  • Verloorsdrift - Onseepkaans - ☎ +264 63 26-9134 Connecting the C10 and R358 between Karasburg and Pofadder
  • Noordoewer - Vioolsdrift - ☎ +264 63 29-7122 +264 63 29-7021 - Connecting the B1 and N7 between Keetmanshoop and Springbok

Zambia

  • Wenela - Sesheke - ☎ +264 66 25-3430 +264 66 25-2293

By international bus

The most convenient international bus services into Namibia run from Cape Town, Victoria Falls, Johannesburg and Gaborone.

  • Intercape Mainliner have buses from Windhoek to Victoria Falls, Capetown, and the Angola border.
  • Monnakgotla travel have a bus two times a week from Windhoek Namibia to Gaborone Botswana.
  • Insight Luxury Coaches have a bus two times a week from Windhoek to Livingstone Zambia. fares are from N$450. which is less than the fare with Intercape

Muslim Friendly Rail Holidays in Namibia

The regular overnight train from Upington in South Africa to Windhoek, operated by TransNamib, has been discontinued. It is no longer feasible to get into or out of Namibia by train.

How to get around in Namibia

Legal issues

Travellers are expected to produce an ID of any sort if Police, health inspectors or customs officials stop them. If it isn't expired, any passport, ID or drivers license will do. Namibia is very concerned about child trafficking. When travelling with children you need to carry their full birth certificate to prove they are yours. When only one parent is travelling, a consent letter from the other parent (alternatively a death certificate) is required, even if you are married or have sole custody.

Buy a Flight ticket to and from Namibia

  • Westair Aviation - ex Westwing - ☎ +264 61 372 300 +264 61 232 402 - Offers both scheduled and charter flights throughout the nation.

Muslim Friendly Rail Holidays in Namibia

The national railway company of Namibia, TransNamib, operates trains (and buses) to destinations all over Namibia via their StarLine passenger service. Some routes available are

The StarLine scheduled service conveys passengers via special coaches hooked on the back of freight trains. These passenger coaches offer comfortable airline-style seating with air-conditioning and (sometimes) video entertainment. Vending machines provide refreshments on long journeys.

  • StarLine - ☎ +264 61 298-2032 +264 61 298-2495

Other rail services operating in the nation are:

  • Desert Express - ☎ +264 61 298-2600 +264 61 298-2601 - The Desert Express is a luxury tourist train that traverses Namibia regularly, taking tourists to such destinations as Walvis Bay, Swakopmund and Etosha National Park. Buses are used to transport visitors from train stations to the various sights.

By car

Map-Namibia01

Despite the vast distances in Namibia, most people get around by land, and not air. If renting a car, plan to have plenty of cash on hand to fill the tank with gasoline. Gas stations typically do not accept any form of payment except cash. A small tip for the attendant pumping your gasoline of N$3-5 is quite common. If you are on the back roads of Namibia, it's always wise to stop and top-off your tank when you see a service station.

Namibia's roads are very good, with primary routes paved, and secondary routes of well-graded gravel. An all-wheel drive vehicle is not necessary except on tertiary roads and the Skeleton Coast. Driving at night is very dangerous because there is a lot of wildlife on the roads. Traffic drives on the left. Namibian roads eat tires and chip windscreens. Always check your spare and inspect your tires often. If someone overtakes you on a gravel road, drive as far left as feasible to avoid being hit by flying stones.

Namibia has some of the worst road accident statistics per head of population. The speed limit on tarred roads is 120 km/h but few drivers adhere to it. There is an unbelievable amount of head-on collisions due to overtaking at unsuitable spots. Self-driving tourists "score" mostly in the 'no other party involved' accident category, losing control of their cars for no apparent reason but speed. Driving on dirt roads is unlike any other driving experience that Europeans or North Americans can gain at home, and the 100 km/h speed limit does not mean you should, or even can, drive safely at that speed. This farmer overtaking you at breakneck speed knows every rock and every puddle on this road, has a better suitable car, and likely a few hundred thousand kilometers of experience on her belt.

Namibians often estimate the time to drive between places according to their own vast experience driving quickly on dirt (untarred) roads. Add a third and you will arrive alive with kidneys intact!

Solitaire-Station-Service

Before you reserve a vehicle let the rental company send you a copy of its rental agreement. Most of them have many (and sometimes absolutely ridiculous) restrictions. Take your time to compare them according to your needs. Small damage to tires, windscreens, and the vehicle front is almost unavoidable on gravel roads. The rental company will charge you for that, or will try to sell expensive add-ons to the contract. When picking up your car, check that the spare wheel is of the same type as the regular wheels, and that the tools for changing it are complete.

  • Drive South Africa - Car and 4X4 Hire - ☎ +27 21 423 6957 Rental branches' pick-up and drop-off locations are offered in eight locations throughout the nation, including Namibia’s airports and major cities.
  • Europcar Car Hire - Car Hire - ☎ +264 61-227103 Car rentals in Namibia.
  • Kalahari Car Hire - Car hire Windhoek - 109 Daan Bekker Street, Windhoek ☎ +264 61 252 690
  • CABS Car Hire Namibia - Car hire Windhoek - 282 Independence Ave, Windhoek ☎ +264 61 305 912
  • Windhoek Car Hire - Windhoek Car hire - 124 Andimba Toivo Ya Toivo Street, Windhoek ☎ +264 61 306 553
  • Thrifty Car Rental - ☎ +264 61 220 738 Offers 24 hour vehicle rental service for a scenic drive through Namibia
  • AAA Car Hire - ☎ +264 811 246 286 +264 61 244558 - Sedan, 4WD and bus rentals in Namibia.

Best way to travel in Namibia by a Taxi

There are two types of taxi services in Namibia: shared taxis and dedicated taxis, often called "radio taxis" or "call-a cab". The shared taxis have a license restricting their movement, either to within a town, or between a set of towns. Taxi fares of shared taxis are regulated by government and cannot be bargained on. However, taxi drivers might nevertheless overcharge tourists who do not know what the standard fares are. Radio taxis have no such restriction but charge between 5 and 10 times for the same ride.

Shared taxis are seldom roadworthy - any vehicle in Namibia must pass the roadworthy test only upon change of ownership. It is not uncommon to see bonnets tied by steel wire, emergency spare tyres, broken screens, and the like. Drivers habitually jump red lights (in Namibia: "robots") and stop signs and will let passengers embark wherever they find them, including on highways and in the middle of an intersection. Be considerate to other drivers by not waving at a taxi where it is not safe to stop.

It is quite easy to get around towns by long-distance shared taxis. They are fast, sometimes scarily so, and they are cheap. Just ask around to find out where the taxi rank is (sometimes there are several taxi ranks, each one with departures to different areas of the nation). None of these will take you to tourist destinations, though, as those are almost always away from the larger settlements. For taxis that operate within a town it is expected that you, instead of waving at them, point into the direction you wish to travel.

A lot of companies offer affordable shuttle services between most towns like Windhoek, Swakopmund, Walvis Bay, Tsumeb, Otjiwarongo etc. These services are perfectly safe but more expensive than taxis.

Travel on a Bus in Namibia

  • TransNamib - Operates air-conditioned buses (and trains) to destinations all over Namibia via their StarLine service.

By tour

Several tour companies operate in Namibia. Each is unique in services offered but most operate with safety in mind.

  • Okutembuka Safaris. A company that specialises in private guided day tours, multi-day tours or self-drive safaris.

Local Language in Namibia

Major Indigenous languages include Oshiwambo, Otjiherero, Damara/Nama, various San languages, Rukwangali, and Silozi.

English is the official language and is widely spoken. However and the majority of older Namibians (those educated before independence) speak English only as a third language; therefore and the standard is fairly poor. English is more widely spoken in the north, as it was adopted as a medium of instruction earlier than in the south. Older Namibians in the South are more likely to speak Afrikaans phrasebook|Afrikaans or German.

Afrikaans is spoken by many and is the first language of the Coloureds as well as the Afrikaners. English is spoken as a first language by the remaining English families, and German is spoken by the Namibians of German descent, who tend to be in Windhoek, Swakopmund and various farms scattered through the nation. German is one of the leading commercial languages as well. Portuguese is spoken by immigrants from Angola.

There are a few English words with specific local meaning.

  • There is a (huge) difference between African and Afrikaner: Africans are people that consider their roots to be in Africa. Most black people will call themselves Africans, and some white and mixed-race folk as well. Afrikaners are the white descendants of the European immigrants of the 17th century onwards.
  • Coloured is not a euphemism of "black", see #Race below.
  • Shanty towns or townships are called locations or informal areas and the latter meaning that the suburb is not proclaimed and has likely no electricity or sewerage system. Do not refer to them as slums, as that would be offensive. Besides and there are many wealthy residents that stay in the location by choice. Local adolescents will refer to their townships as ghettos in the same way that they will call themselves niggas—apply your own judgment as to whether you are young enough and hip enough not to be misunderstood.
  • Traffic lights are robots, so if a traffic sign comes up saying "robots ahead" it is not an alien invasion.

What to see in Namibia

2010-09-25 15-44-16 Namibia Hardap Hammerstein

Namibia is a land of astounding natural beauty. To truly appreciate the nation, you need to get out in the nationside, either on a tour or by renting a car, and take in the deserts and the mountains and the villages and everything else that Namibia has to offer.

One of its most dominant features, and the one for which the nation is named, is the Namib Desert, which stretches for nearly 1000 km along the Atlantic coast. One of the oldest deserts in the world, its sand takes on a distinctive rust colour, with the desert having some of the highest sand dunes in the world. Sossusvlei is the most accessible part of the desert and is a magical place with its towering dunes that shift hues as the sun rises and sets. Further south, near the South African border, is Fish River Canyon Park|Fish River Canyon, one of the largest canyons in the world. Stretching for 160 km, it is reaches 27 km across at its widest and nearly 550 m down at its deepest. In the north of the nation is the empty and mostly inaccessible Skeleton Coast National Park. It is a seemingly barren expanse of stone and sand famous for its fog and the number of shipwrecks along the coast.

Big five gam

Namibia still has plenty of African flora and fauna|African wildlife to see and is one of the countries where all of the Big Five (lion, leopard, rhinoceros, elephant, buffalo) can be seen in the wild. There are also some local subspecies, such as desert lions, desert elephants and the Hartmann's mountain zebra, which are adapted to the harsh desert climate. Grazing animals like gemsbok, ostrich and springbok are also common. Namibia's national parks are an excellent starting point and one of the most famous is Etosha National Park in the north. The park surrounds the Etosha salt pan, which attracts animals, particularly in the drier winter months, because it is a source of water in a very dry land. Other notable spots to view wildlife are Waterberg Plateau Park and the parks of the Caprivi and the remote Kaokoland.

Namibia has a German influence from colonial times that is retained in some of its buildings. Windhoek has a number of interesting buildings like the Christuskirche and the train station and the castle-like Heinitzburg Hotel. Lüderitz is a colonial perioid town with distinctive German Imperial and Art Nouveau styles. Nearby is the abandoned mining town of Kolmanskop. Once a thriving center for diamonds and the miners moved on and the sand dunes have moved in, but tours are still available.

Top Muslim Travel Tips for Namibia

  • Go on safari. Explore landscape and wildlife by car. For many of the wild animals you do not need to visit a national park. Just leave the major highways, and you will bump into (not literally, hopefully) giraffe, ostrich, kudu, oryx, baboon, and much more.
  • Go on a 4x4 tour. See our Off-roading in Namibia eHalal Travel Guide.
  • Explore ghost towns of the diamond rush around the coastal town of Lüderitz
  • Fly with a hot-air balloon across the dunes at Sossusvlei
  • Ride a sandboard or a quadbike through the dunes in the coastal area around Walvis Bay and Swakopmund

Muslim Friendly Shopping in Namibia

Money Matters & ATM's in Namibia

Namibia-Money01

The currency of the nation is the Namibian dollar, denoted by the symbol "$" or "N$" (ISO currency code: NAD). It is divided into 100 cents.

Namibia, Lesotho, South Africa and Eswatini (Swaziland) form the Southern African Common Monetary Area through which each country's currency is pegged 1:1 to the South African Rand (ZAR). Both the Namibian dollar and South African rand are legal tender in Namibia though change will usually be given in Namibian dollars.

Banks in Namibia will convert Namibian dollars for South African rand and vice versa without charge or paperwork. Since any bank or currency exchange outside Namibia (including other members of the Common Monetary Area) will charge a substantial service fee to change currency, it is advisable to make use of a Namibian Bank before leaving the nation.

It is also advisable to carry proof (for example, ATM receipts) that money you are taking out of the nation is money that you brought into the nation in the first place.

Automated teller machines are available in all towns. "Town" in Namibia is defined as "being independently governed", and not by size. Some towns thus are really small. Most villages do not feature an ATM. Be also advised that not everything on the Namibian map is a settlement. "Red drum" in Kunene Region is just that, a red drum, and "Sossusvlei" is a clay pan, not a village. And has no ATM, of course. It is best to use only teller machines that are manned by a security guard in uniform. Always be careful to make sure no one is watching you enter your PIN, and be vigilant about typical scams (e.g. machines that seem to eat your card and won't give it back after you enter the PIN).

The cross-border money transfer facilities are limited and expensive, with one of the poorest currency buying-and-selling rates, because government does not want the money to be sent out of the nation. There are only a few Western Union Money Transfer offices in Namibia.

Muslim Friendly Shopping in Namibia

Prices in shops are fixed, but prices in open markets or from street vendors are open to bargain.

In most towns you will be approached by many local residents to buy souvenirs, when this happens a 'no thanks' will usually suffice and they will leave you alone. It is common to negotiate. Try to buy as much as feasible from small shops instead of bigger ones—it's the best way to help the poor local population. Please do not buy high-quality ware like cell phones or safari gear from mobile vendors. They often trade in contraband, and obtaining such goods may get you into trouble.

Diamonds

Namibia is home to some of the most productive diamond mines in the world, and since all mines are owned by a government - De Beers partnership, prices in Namibia are generally quite lower than in the Western world, where monopolies control the prices. Most large towns in Namibia have stores that sell diamonds.

Possession of uncut diamonds is illegal in Namibia and carries lengthy jail terms. Any attempt to sell them to you is likely a rip-off, anyway.

Halal Restaurants in Namibia

Namibians have a very high intake of Meat, and a very low intake of vegetables. This has to do with the semi-arid climate; agriculture almost exclusively is cattle, sheep, and goat farming while edible plants only grow when irrigated. As a result, Meat is good, cheap, and plentiful, while fruits and vegetables are neither.

In the coastal towns seafood is fresh and affordable. Make sure you try the local specialities kingklip and sole. Hake is also available and affordable. Restaurants will often offer line fish or angel fish which is simply what the fishermen managed to haul out from the sea—do ask what kind of fish it is before ordering. Inlands, fish is also served in restaurants but how fresh it is is a matter of luck. Of course it has been frozen during the transport across the Namib Desert; if you don't like that then order something else.

All towns have supermarkets with all standard products, although most fruits and vegetables are imported and therefore rather expensive. Shops in villages will have very little fresh produce. Even if they have cold storage it will mostly be used for drinks. Far away from bigger towns tomatoes, onions, potatoes and apples is all you can hope for, and mostly not at once. Also buying Meat can be a challenge unless you are prepared to take the whole animal. Travellers usually take along mobile fridges, or at least several coolboxes, to complement the restricted offer.

Vegetarians can obtain a difficult time in Namibia. In restaurants the waiter will offer to bring a side salad in meal size, if you are lucky. With the exception of Windhoek, Swakopmund, and the really expensive lodges you won't find anything that is purposefully Vegetarian.

Buy Muslim Friendly Condos, Houses and Villas in Namibia

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At eHalal Group, we understand the importance of meeting the unique requirements of Muslim individuals and families seeking properties that align with their cultural and religious trainings. Our extensive portfolio of Muslim-friendly properties in Namibia ensures that clients have access to a diverse selection of options tailored to their needs. Whether it's a luxurious villa, a modern condominium, or a fully equipped factory, our team is dedicated to assisting clients in finding their ideal property.

For those seeking a comfortable and modern living space, our condos are an excellent choice. Starting at US$ 350,000 and these condominium units offer contemporary designs, state-of-the-art facilities, and convenient locations within Namibia. Each condo is thoughtfully designed to incorporate halal-friendly features and amenities, ensuring a seamless integration of Islamic values into everyday living.

If you are looking for a more spacious option, our houses are perfect for you. Starting at US$ 650,000, our houses provide ample living space, privacy, and a range of customizable features to meet your specific requirements. These houses are located in well-established neighborhoods in Namibia, offering a harmonious balance between modern living and Islamic values.

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Muslim Friendly hotels in Namibia

Muslim Friendly Camping Places in Namibia

Namibians love camping and the outdoors. Near every tourist attraction you will find several camp sites, from very simple, communally run places on sand that just have water and a dry toilet (about 100 N$ per person) to private park-like settings with lush grass, power sockets and a sink per camping spot, shade, and private WCs (about 350 N$ per person). In the national parks there are places without any amenities where you even have to bring water. These often need a 4x4 to get to, and you have to buy a permit in advance which is more expensive than staying at the best camp sites in the nation. The chance to get caught without a permit is small but if they get you they will impose a 7.800 N$ fine—per person! If you spot a nice place to camp next to the road, check if there is a fence. If there's a fence then that's a farm. Farms are private properties. Don't enter a farm without notifying the farmer and asking for permission. Wild camping is allowed (but not very safe, luxurious or pleasant) on the side of the road between the banks and the farm fence, or in the areas that are neither commercial farms nor protected areas.

Lodges

Every tourism establishment that thinks it offers quality will call itself a lodge. It means that besides a roof over your head there are additional offerings like a restaurant, a swimming pool, game drives, sports activities, hunting, and more. Originally far away from urban centres, even ordinary B&Bs will have the name 'lodge' today.

  1. The traditional lodges are for tourists with deep pockets. Their prices typically include all meals, a game drive, sundowner excursion with drinks, entertainment by local cultural groups, and so on.


How to work legally in Namibia

It is extremely difficult for foreigners to get work permits in Namibia. With about 35% unemployment and the government is not enthusiastic about letting people in who would take jobs from Namibians. All semi-skilled and unskilled positions must be unconditionally filled by local Namibians. It is feasible to get a work permit to volunteer, though this requires going through the same drawn out process as the normal work permit.

An employee's salary is normally paid in Namibian dollars and income tax (maximum rate is 37% and is based on different income slabs) is deducted by the employer. The capital city of Windhoek is one of the least expensive places in the world for expatriates to live.

Stay safe as a Muslim in Namibia

Namibian Police Force 03

Namibia is a peaceful country and is not involved in any wars. Since the end of the Angolan civil war in May 2002 and the violence that spilled over into northeastern Namibia is no longer an issue.

Most reported robberies take place just outside of the downtown. The police report that taxi drivers are often involved: they spot vulnerable tourists and coordinate by cell phoning. Take these warnings in context; if you are alert and take some common sense precautions, you should have no problems. Never be specific when asked where you stay; "in town" or "at some B&B" is sufficient for all good-faith conversations and doesn't disclose your intended route.

Medical Issues in Namibia

Namibia's medical system is modern and capable of attending to whatever needs you may have. Staff are well trained and so HIV transmission in hospitals is not an issue. This applies to government and private hospitals alike, though line-ups are often shorter at private hospitals, and there have been cases of incorrect diagnosis in government hospitals. Should you become a victim of violence, private doctors and hospitals will send you away. The reason is that staff treating you will be summoned as witnesses to subsequent court cases without compensation, and lose valuable working time. In state hospitals, where productivity is not an issue, you will be treated at almost no charge. Thereafter do consult a private training to confirm diagnosis and treatment. All private medical facilities expect cash or credit card in advance, no matter if or where you are insured. A visit to the doctor will be about 500 N$, for a night in hospital you'll have to deposit at least 10,000 N$.

The northern part of Namibia is in a malaria-risk zone, so consult a doctor before leaving, and take appropriate malaria precautions when travelling in these areas.

Ensure you are well stocked with water when journeying through the hot and sparsely populated country. On primary streets take along at least 2 liters of potable water per person. In lesser travelled areas, 5 litres per person are the absolute minimum. If your vehicle breaks down it can take days (!) for someone else to pass through. Namibia's water supply is usually safe to drink, except where labelled otherwise. Campsites next to rivers often get their water directly from the river. This water is clean but still disturbs some stomachs. Windhoek has the oldest direct water reclamation plant in the world. "Direct" means toilet-to-tap in one go, and many Windhoekers are uncomfortable with that and only drink bottled water. However and the water is completely safe, it just doesn't taste very good.

Local Customs in Namibia

Windhoek - Namibie - panoramio

Namibians are very proud of their nation. It is a well developed country with all the modern amenities and technologies.

It is customary when greeting someone to ask them how they're doing. It's a simple exchange where each person asks "How are you?" (or the informal version "Howzit?"—"Sharp, bro") and responds with a correspondingly short answer "Good, yourself?", and then proceed with whatever your business is about. It's a good idea to say this at tourist info booths, in markets, when getting into taxis and even in shops in Windhoek (though it's normally not said in some of the bigger stores in the malls).

Race

Race is a common part of Namibian discourse. That is to say, Namibians will refer to the race of others more frequently than travellers from places where race is typically not an issue, would expect. Because of apartheid, race is an issue in many spheres of life, so it comes up a lot. In spite of this and the various races do get along well in Namibia, and it is fairly uncommon to find racial tensions flaring. Even the various past conflicts were about cattle and land, not race.

Those who are more accustomed to North American racial terminology should understand that words that are familiar to them have different meanings in Namibia and South Africa, and the rules for what terms are polite or not are different. If in doubt, call them 'Namibians'.

  • Coloured is a term for people of mixed ancestry, those with a skin colour between white and black. Don't call a black person 'coloured' in Namibia, as it implies 'Your ancestors slept with the Whites'.
  • Baster (bastard) is the term for the coloured people at Rehoboth. They are proud to be Basters, but don't call anyone else (particularly other coloureds) that way.
  • Black are Namibians of solely, or mostly, African ancestry—those with dark skin. It is not considered derogatory; most African people in Namibia are proud to be black.
  • White are the descendents of various European immigrants. Some have lived in Africa for centuries, others recently entered. While it is generally not problematic to call someone 'white' and there is a certain undertone of 'You do not belong here'.
  • There is now also a sizeable Chinese community in Namibia, about 2% of the population. Namibians normally refer to anyone visibly Asian as "Chinese". If you are Japanese, Korean, Kazakh, Vietnamese, or any of the other myriad Asian ethnicities which are not Chinese, you may try to explain your situation; however, your three weeks of holidays will likely not be sufficient time to convince most Namibians to drop the habit.

Telecommunications in Namibia

By Phone

Namibia's country code is 264. Each city or region has a two-digit area code. When calling long distance within Namibia, prefix the area code with a '0'. There are still a few pay phone booths around the nation but they are no longer maintained. When making an international call from a phone booth, bring plenty of coins. Such calls are still expensive in Namibia, and it requires some dexterity to stuff coins in fast enough to not be cut off.

By GSM

Mobile phones are very common and run on the GSM network, using the same frequency as Europe and the rest of Africa. There are two cell phone providers in Namibia, MTC and Telecom. Coverage is complete in all towns and on the major highways. On minor roads and in the nation side you won't have reception, despite both providers advertising near-complete coverage. All major tourist destinations are covered by MTC. Telecom has better coverage in villages that are not on tourist routes, and is more practical near the borders. For instance, at the Orange River MTC SIM cards will connect to a South African tower and charge international rates, while Telecom has no roaming agreements and will connect you to towers on the Namibian side.

A new SIM card costs N$10 or less and has N$5 of credit on it. Unlike in South Africa you don't need a passport to register them (February 2023) but the legislation to make this compulsory is recently opened. Bundles are available at N$30-50N, valid for a week, and give several hundred SMSs, 100 call minutes or more, and 1-2GiB of data. These bulk options, called "Away" for MTC and "Jiva" for Telecom, are very common. MTC SIM cards need to be activated by phoning or texting to them. Data usage needs to be activated in an official outlet of the provider, only available in larger towns. Recharge vouchers are available everywhere for MTC. Only few vendors stock Telecom vouchers, buy them in advance with the SIM card. When recharging, 15% tax is deducted; a N$30 voucher will give you N$26.09 credit, not N$30.

Go next

The bordering nations of South Africa, Botswana and Angola are three obvious places to consider going next.

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