Safety and security

Crime

Muggers in Windhoek often target foreign tourists. Attacks can take place even in busy city centre locations in broad daylight. Be alert to your surroundings if you are returning to your guest house or hotel, especially after dark.

Keep car doors locked and windows shut, especially in heavy traffic. Keep valuables off the seats and out of sight. Gangs sometimes try to gain entry to vehicles at busy intersections in Windhoek, including during the day. Theft from vehicles, particularly at service stations, is common. If possible don’t leave your vehicle unattended at fuel stops.  

There have been reports of thefts from mail by Post Office workers in Namibia. Any valuable parcels or documents (eg bank and credit cards) should be sent by registered mail, and preferably by a reputable commercial courier company.

Don’t hail taxis from the street, particularly in Windhoek, as these have been involved in thefts from foreign tourists. Ask your hotel, guest house or tour operator to recommend a reputable taxi company. Don’t enter townships at night unless you are accompanied by someone with local knowledge.

Safeguard your valuables and cash. Use a hotel safe if possible. Keep large amounts of money, expensive jewellery, cameras and cell phones out of sight. Don’t change large sums of money in busy public areas. Keep copies of important documents, including passports, in a separate place. Beware of pickpockets in town centres.

There have been cases of credit card skimming at some hotels and lodges around the country. When paying by credit card, keep the card in full view at all times and always check your statement carefully.

In case of a police emergency or to report a crime in Windhoek, you can contact the Windhoek City Police Service on 061-2902911 or toll-free 302302.

Road travel

You can drive in Namibia using a UK photo driving licence. You must carry your licence at all times and produce it on request at the police check points leading in and out of Windhoek and other major towns and cities. If you hire a car, pay particular attention to the insurance cover provided. Most policies will not cover accidents that do not involve other vehicles or animals. Given the higher than normal probability of an accident on a gravel road because of its condition, you should take out fully comprehensive insurance on any hired vehicle. You are not allowed to use a mobile phone whilst driving.

There have been a number of fatal accidents on gravel/dirt roads.  Don’t exceed 80kmh on gravel. Punctures are common. If possible, carry 2 spare tyres and plenty of water.

During the rainy season (normally January to April) many gravel roads deteriorate. Check with your destination on the local road conditions before setting off.  Avoid driving at night outside towns as wildlife and stray livestock pose a serious hazard.

Adventure sports

Make sure your travel insurance covers you for any adventure activities you plan to undertake (eg quad biking, dune boarding and hot air ballooning).