Currency

The currency of Namibia is the Namibian Dollar.

The Namibian Dollar (NAD) is tied to the South African Rand (ZAR) on a 1:1 ratio.

Both the Namibian Dollar and the South African Rand are accepted throughout Namibia.

No other international currencies are readily accepted.

 

Banks and Exchanging Money

The main banks in Namibia are Nedbank, Bank Windhoek, Standard Bank and First National Bank.

To exchange money you will need to provide identification in the form usually of your passport.  Most banks require to see the original passport.  Photocopies even if certified are generally not accepted as identification.

When exchanging money it is more useful to ask for South African Rand (ZAR) the main reason being that if you have Namibian Dollars leftover after your trip if is very difficult to exchange them into your local currency when you return home.

 

Credit and Debit Cards

Mastercard and Visa are widely accepted throughout Namibia in shops and lodges.  American Express and Diners Card are not widely accepted.

Paying by credit card can be a little time consuming in remote areas as occassionally they have connection problems, so if you are planning an early start from a lodge it is a good idea to settle any outstanding bills you may have the night before departure.

Debit cards featuring the Maestro and Electron signs are widely accepted in Namibia. 

 

Travellers Cheques

If your travellers cheques are not in either South African Rand or Namibian Dollars then these must be changed at a bank.  You will need to go to the FOREX / Bureau de Change desk to do this, and it can be quite a time consuming process.  You will need to have identification in the form of your original passport.

Although travellers cheques are accepted at some lodges in rural areas you will find it hard to use them, so credit and debit cards or cash are recommended. 

 

ATM Machines

You will find an ATM machine in most towns.

Credit and debit cards can be used to withdraw cash (Namibian Dollars)

In larger towns these can be found outside banks, petrol stations and in some supermarkets.

The following comment is from the previous traveller article on this subject.  

Not all ATMs do take the EC cards (German) with the Maestro symbol. The Standard Bank does.

 

Paying for Goods and Services 

In larger towns credit and debit cards are widely accepted.  Most lodges accept credit and debit cards but it is a good idea to check in advance with your lodgings.

Outside of the larger towns of Swakopmund and Windhoek payment for petrol is required in cash.  Generally there will be an ATM machine near to the petrol station if not on the forecourt itself.  It is recommended to draw cash before filling the vehicle as in remote areas sometimes the ATM machine is out of order or empty. 

South African ABSA debit cards fairly often don't like to work in Namibia card machines, particularly if they are using a Bank Windhoek device.  It is not uncommon to have the transaction declined. They do however have no problem working in the ATM machines.

In remote rural areas cash is recommended, as even in the event that they have a card machine fairly often the connections are very bad and transactions are not easy to put through. 

Created July 19th 2011