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Question about safety in Namibia

Seattle
Level Contributor
15 posts
Question about safety in Namibia

My teenagers are joining other members of our family on a trip to Namibia in a few months. Mom and Dad, (we) unfortunately aren't able to go. Are there any safety issues we should be aware of regarding their travel. They'll be in Windhoek, up the coast, to the dunes and to Etosh. Advice would be greatly appreciated.

Naracoorte
Level Contributor
2,861 posts
17 reviews
1. Re: Question about safety in Namibia

Namibia is a very safe country. The only thing I would say is not to walk around in greater Windhoek cbd area day or night by yourself (or even with one other young person) carrying a purse or handbag. When we were there last August a young woman was mugged in daylight walking into the city. Apparently this is not uncommon according to our hostel owners. Of course we have parked in city centre and done normal shopping etc.that is not a problem. Care is just needed if walking to/from lodgings for example. Other than that normal personal safety rules apply. In several visits I have never felt unsafe. Probably the greatest danger to tourists is inappropriate driving on gravel roads ie. too fast. Always allow enough time to get from one place to another when travelling on gravel - speeds should nearly always be no more than 80kmph and often quite a bit less if road condition is not so good.

Pretoria, South...
Level Contributor
1,802 posts
18 reviews
2. Re: Question about safety in Namibia

Good advice above. Namibia is probably the safest country in Southern Africa.

I travel extensively in Namibia and I've very rarely heard of muggings. I consider Windhoek to be very safe.

Edited: 5:50 am, April 09, 2011
Seattle
Level Contributor
15 posts
3. Re: Question about safety in Namibia

Thanks so much for the information. I'll let them know. Wish I was going too!!

If there are any other tidbits you can think of (dos and don'ts), I'd be grateful to hear them!

Hermanus, South...
Destination Expert
for Namibia
Level Contributor
1,695 posts
11 reviews
4. Re: Question about safety in Namibia

As already stated above Namibia is an extremely safe country to travel in as a tourist.

I have a couple of things to say about Windhoek, mostly just don't keep your valuables on display and be aware of people around you.

My handbag was stolen once here (and I use the word stolen in the loosest sense of the word, as it was actually more like 'donated') I left it under my chair while I was working on my laptop, and then I moved to another table as the sun was on the screen and as my back was turned someone took it.

I would never do that in SA and I would never do it in London so why I did it here was a mystery to me. But replacing cards etc is a big hassle.

My friend did another stupid thing. She had her handbag on the drivers seat of her car, wide open with her purse on display and the windows open. And when she stopped at traffic lights in Windhoek someone tried to sell her sunglasses or something and as her attention was distracted another person pinched her purse.

Both incidents were totally avoidable and down to personal stupidity.

So long as you don't go flashing valuables about you will be fine.

Remember Namibia is a very poor country so everything has a value.

Gemma Dry - Owner - Discover Namibia Safaris

Colorado
Level Contributor
229 posts
5. Re: Question about safety in Namibia

The diversion tactics Gemma shares is something to really consider. It is often one person will talk with you and smile, while his buddy is either digging through, or stealing your bag. It can happen everywhere, but with a certain level of awareness you can avoid theft.

Other than theft, violent crime is extremely rare.

Jeremy

Managing Director - Jermibia's Wild Safari Africa

Author - Namibia Other Places Travel Guide

6. Re: Question about safety in Namibia

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