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WINGS Birding Tours – Information

Namibia

Tour Information

Note: The information presented here is an abbreviated version of our formal General Information for Tours to Namibia. Its purpose is solely to give readers a sense of what might be involved if they took this tour. Although we do our best to make sure what follows here is completely accurate, it should not be used as a replacement for the formal document which will be sent to all tour registrants, and whose contents supersedes any information contained here.

ENTERING NAMIBIA:  United States citizens will need a passport valid for six months from the date of entry and with at least three blank pages for entry stamps.  A visa is required.  Information on visa acquisition can be found at: http://www.namibianembassyusa.org/page/application-for-visa 

Evidence of a Yellow Fever vaccination must be shown only if you are coming directly from an endemic zone.  

COUNTRY INFORMATION: You can review the U.S. Department of State Country Specific Travel Information for Nambia at http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/country/namibia.html and the CIA World Factbook background notes on Namibia at https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/wa.html 

PACE OF TOUR AND DAILY ROUTINE:  We’ll start early on most days, about 06.00 or even 05.30 if we need to be somewhere at first light, to make the most of the cool early mornings.  Our days usually end around 18.00 - 18.30 although we may not reach our accommodation on some days until as late as 19.30.  On some days we’ll have breaks during the middle of the day. Normally we try to allow an hour after reaching our accommodation for showering and changing before dinner. However if we have a later arrival for whatever reason, we may need to go straight to dinner.  There are no particularly long walks and anyone with a reasonable degree of fitness will be able to take part fully in the tour.  We spend a fair amount of time in the tour vehicle, both travelling from place to place, and also in Etosha National Park where we are not allowed out of the vehicle other than at designated locations. 

HEALTH: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all travelers be up to date on routine vaccinations. These include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine, varicella (chickenpox) vaccine, polio vaccine, and your yearly flu shot. 

They further recommend that most travelers have protection against Hepatitis A and Typhoid. Please contact your doctor well in advance of your tour’s departure as some medications must be initiated weeks before the period of possible exposure. 

The most current information about travelers’ health recommendations can be found on the CDC’s  Travel Health website: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/namibia?s_cid=ncezid-dgmq-travel-single-001 

Please contact your doctor well in advance of your tour’s departure as some medication must be initiated weeks before the period of possible exposure. 

Malaria:  You are considered to be at low to medium risk in the Etosha region. Your doctor will advise you on the latest situation and what medication should be taken. 

Smoking:  Smoking is prohibited in the vehicles or when the group is gathered for meals, checklists, etc. If you are sharing a room with a nonsmoker, please do not smoke in the room. If you smoke in the field, do so well away and downwind from the group. If any location where the group is gathered has a stricter policy than the WINGS policy, that stricter policy will prevail. 

Miscellaneous: Biting insects are almost non-existent on this tour other than tiny midges in a couple of places.  The strong sunlight at times makes sun glasses and a sun hat essential.  Upset stomachs are a rare occurrence. Tap water is generally safe to drink in the towns and villages but should be avoided in the more remote areas. Bottled water is readily available. 

CLIMATE: Namibia is typical of a semi-desert country with hot days and cool nights and temperatures ranging from 100°F (38°C) to 62°F (17°C).  Some days can be very hot.  The intense sun makes a sun hat, long-sleeved clothing and a strong sun-screen essential. Humidity is generally low but we can experience some cool conditions near the coast, especially in the early mornings.    

ACCOMMODATION:  Hotels and lodges are generally very good throughout.  Most rooms will have en suite facilities and hot water is usually constantly available, but in a few busy areas some people may need to share bathrooms. In some places, and depending on demand, there may be a shortage of single rooms.

Internet and Mobile Phone Access: Mobile phone access is good throughout the country. It is possible to buy a local sim card on arrival to use in your own phone. This often works out much cheaper than paying roaming charges on your home network. Most places we stay have internet access although at some, such as in Etosha, this can be so slow as to be useless. 

FOOD: Food is excellent, plentiful and usually very European. We may have at least one seafood meal. 

Food Allergies / Requirements: We cannot guarantee that all food allergies can be accommodated at every destination. Participants with significant food allergies or special dietary requirements should bring appropriate foods with them for those times when their needs cannot be met. Announced meal times are always approximate depending on how the day unfolds. Participants who need to eat according to a fixed schedule should bring supplemental food. Please contact the WINGS office if you have any questions.

Drinks: Bottled water, a soft drink or a beer (or wine if appropriate) are provided at meals, as is coffee or tea. In addition we keep a supply of bottled water on the tour vehicles. Bottled or filtered water may also be provided in some rooms where we stay.

TRANSPORT:  Transportation will be in safari-type minibuses driven by the leaders. The vehicles will have either roof hatches for stand-up viewing or floor to ceiling windows.  The leader will arrange a seating rotation. Participants should be able to ride in any seat in tour vehicles.

Updated: 27 November 2015