Frequently Asked Questions
We would like to mix and match our accommodation styles. Can we do that?
Yes, of course you can. This is your tour and you can mix and match how you wish, an option could be to mainly stay in standard accommodation with a couple of camping stops to experience the nature of Namibia, and finish with a couple of days in a luxury lodge. The choice is completely yours, just let us know how you would like to stay and we will provide you with the best options available.
We’ve seen an itinerary that we like but we can’t make the number of days – is there anything you can do?
Yes, all our suggested tours can be altered to suit your available time.
We have children – is Namibia a suitable destination for the family?
Yes, it’s a safe country and often regarded as a great place not only for first time travellers to Africa but also for families. The infra structure is good, water is generally safe to drink and there is plenty to keep everyone of all ages occupied. We have a family focused safari which has been tailored to ensure there are plenty of interesting elements for all ages, and that distances between locations are not too long, ensuring that your holiday is not only fun but a welcome break for everyone - parents included.
What is a tailormade tour?
A tailor made tour is simply that - we will design a trip that will suit your requirements, interests and needs, work with your dates, budget and utilise our extensive experience to ensure that we prepare the perfect trip for you. You have the flexibility and the chance to make changes to your itinerary (before bookings are made).
Why should I use a Namibian operator or agent?
A question we are often asked. Being Namibians and living here gives us the chance to regularly visit sites, lodges and campsites to keep abreast of any changes. We get first-hand experience of what the traveller is likely to see and we are therefore able to make the appropriate recommendations. It also means that whilst you are in the country you will have 24-hour access to advice and we will be able to help you out with any problems you may encounter. In addition, we are also able to FULLY support local communities, employ Namibians and make a direct impact and improvement to the lives of many local people.
Is your advice impartial?
Yes it is - Barefoot Namibia is a tour facilitator and therefore does not own any accommodation or activity, therefore we will give the best and most suitable advice to you, the traveller, rather than just sell you something that may not suit.
How do I book?
Generally you will be emailed a booking form to complete and return; a non-refundable deposit will then be taken and a confirmation will be sent to you to confirm your trip. Please refer to our Terms and Conditions for more information.
Do I need travel insurance?
Yes, insurance whilst travelling with Barefoot Namibia is essential. All clients must be insured to cover aspects such as repatriation, medical expenses, personal accident, cancellation and curtailment. Proof of insurance can be requested and Barefoot Namibia have the right to refuse clients onto their tours without refund should the client not have insurance. In Southern Africa, many emergency services will not send a rescue service until proof of insurance has been issued, so should you injure yourself you may end up without medical assistance, something not to be taken lightly.
I want to enjoy the cultural aspects of Namibia - where can I see the Himba and San Bushman people?
The Himba people mainly live in the North-West part of Namibia and the San Bushman in the Eastern part of the country, though there are small niches living east of Etosha. Our People of Namibia tour is tailored around the many fascinating cultures within Namibia. Please remember when you visit the tribes to show respect to them and their cultures and views. They are also changing to the environment that they are living in today so do not be surprised to see them in modern clothing or occasionally clutching a cell phone!
I really enjoy horse riding – would you recommend this?
The terrain in Namibia is superb for horse riding, you can enjoy the ever-changing landscapes on horseback and be at one with nature, the trips take you into the heart of the desert or on a superb exploration of Damaraland where not only do you have a chance to meet some of the locals but search for desert elephant – to be up close to desert elephant on horse back is incredible – and you are not able to experience this anywhere else. Riding in the desert is sublime and camping out under the stars. Endless plains and desert landscapes....
What are the roads like in Namibia?
Generally they are in excellent condition. Most of the roads and towns are well sign-posted. Major roads are tarred the rest are gravel. However, please be aware that the conditions can change during the rainy season – please refer to our Driving in Namibia section for additional information. If you book a tour with Barefoot Namibia we will ensure that you receive detailed maps to help you find your way around. If you wish, we can also provide you with a local mobile phone pre-loaded with all the numbers you will require during your tour.
What's the weather like in Namibia?
We have 2 main seasons, Winter - from May to September which is dry and can get very cold particularly at night during June/July/August and temperatures can fall to freezing! During the day it can reach 25 degrees C, depending on the location. Summer - October through to April is also the rainy season, temperatures increase significantly and its not unusual to reach 35 degrees C or sometimes higher. The early rains (to December) are sporadic but January through to April can bring heavy downpours which can occasionally last 2 or 3 days.
What about tipping?
In restaurants it's normally 10% of your bill. If you have a car guard to watch over your vehicle then N$1-5 is acceptable. For the rest it's up to you!
Do I need a mattress or sleeping bag?
For camping itineraries a mattress and sleeping bag are supplied, however, for those with sensitive backs we recommend you bring your own thermarest style mattress (inflatable). On accommodated tours all bedding and towels are provided.
Will the accommodation or itinerary change?
Generally speaking each itinerary has had a lot of work put into it to ensure that you get to see the highlights of the country, travelling the safest and best way. However, sometimes, there are factors beyond our control, which means that the itinerary and accommodation may change and Barefoot Namibia reserves the right to do this. Generally these changes are minor and Barefoot Namibia will do their best to advise clients with as much notice as possible. For example heavy rains can sometimes damage gravel roads and make them impossible to drive on until road crews can fix them, and this means we have to change your itinerary at short notice.
What about the risk of malaria and other health issues?
Areas north of Windhoek pose a small risk of malaria, which increases during the wet season, however, the further east you travel (Caprivi Strip) the risk increases. The best way to prevent malaria is to not get bitten by wearing long sleeves/pants, putting on repellent and ensuring that your tent is zipped up and doors closed to prevent mossies getting in. Please ask your doctor for advice prior to your trip. Your doctor should also give you advice on other health requirements. Private medical facilities are available in major towns and it is essential you obtain personal insurance prior to your arrival.
As with all African Countries HIV/AIDS is a major risk and a real part of life! Each country is battling this issue and all travellers are advised not to put themselves and others at risk of infection by observing standard prevention measures.
Will I be able to check emails during the trip?
In larger towns there are facilities for checking emails but in rural areas and at rural accommodation this is usually not possible.
Will my cell phone work?
Again, in the towns and in some rural locations there will be cell phone reception but be aware that your domestic network might not allow you to use a local SIM card in your phone. "Roaming" will work wherever there is cell phone reception. Remote areas will not have cell phone reception.
How about recharging my camera and electrical equipment?
Namibia and South Africa have round, 3-point plugs 220-240v, and it is possible to buy adaptor plugs. It is generally possible to recharge your batteries in accommodations and sometimes at campsites (though not all campsites have electricity points). Alternatively if you bring a car charger you are able to do so through the 12-volt cigarette lighter. Please bring additional batteries to be on the safe side.
What's the best way for me to take money with me?
Some limited cash as well as credit card is useful - ensure that you have your pin number with you. There are numerous ATM machines available in towns and at petrol stations. Foreign exchange bureaux are not always available so make sure you have some local currency with you. PLEASE NOTE: Petrol stations do NOT accept credit cards as payment for petrol, only cash. South African Rand is used in conjunction with Namibian dollars, however ensure that you exchange all of your Namibian dollars before leaving as the Namibian dollar is harder to get rid of than South African Rand once out of the country.
Please be aware of increasing credit card fraud and always retain your card when making a payment - its particularly easy when in a restaurant to hand over the card and wait for them to bring you back a receipt - DON'T! Go with them to run your card through the machine. It's also a good idea to notify your credit card company when you are travelling so that your purchase will not be refused.
Can I book extra accommodation at the start or finish of my tour?
Of course! We are more than happy to assist with finding you the right level of accommodation where-ever you want it and to suit your budget. All our tours begin and end in Swakopmund because this is where our office is located, however it is absolutely fine to start and end your tour in Windhoek as we have a great relationship with the car hire company there, and they will shuttle you to and from the airport and hand-over your Barefoot Information Pack upon arrival.