Tourists going to Namibia have been granted a special dispensation from the increased COVID-19 restrictions recently implemented in that country. A third wave of COVID-19 infections in Namibia has led President of Namibia Dr. Hage G. Geingob to implement amendments to COVID-19 regulations, including restrictions on travel between regions of the country. The amended regulations are currently effective through July 15, 2021 but may be extended again if infection rates do not drop.
Restrictions have been implemented on travel within Namibia and, on public transportation, in-restaurant dining, sports events and alcohol sales. A curfew is also in place from 9 pm to 4 am. Despite these restrictions tourists will be affected minimally. Once cleared at a port of entry, tourists are permitted to proceed with touring activities, including entering and exiting restricted areas, if they meet the following requirements:
All tourists arriving in Namibia, whether vaccinated or not, must have a valid negative PCR test for COVID-19 taken at least seven days before arrival. Note that Antigen Rapid Diagnostic tests are no longer accepted.
Arriving tourists must provide a mobile phone number for authorities to communicate with them regarding COVID-19 test results, contact tracing and other related communications.
Tourists must complete and submit a health declaration and health surveillance forms to officials upon arrival.
Tourists must also acquire travel insurance that covers medical care in the event of an expected stay in Namibia.
Internal Travel Requirements
Documentation with a full travel itinerary, including proof of confirmation of bookings, must be presented on demand to authorized officials at ports of entry and roadblocks. Drivers and guides accompanying tourists must have the required permits to travel across regions.
Tourists traveling without a guide, do not require a permit if they have the required PCR test and travel itinerary in hand.
While public transportation services in Namibia must operate at half capacity, tourist groups traveling together and driving themselves may have the maximum number of passengers the vehicle is designed to carry.
Also, tourism operators may take the maximum number of passengers a vehicle or craft is designed to accommodate.
Tourists on group tours conducted by a tourism service operator must wear masks and have access to hand sanitizer on board any vehicle or aircraft, including hunting vehicles, game-viewing vehicles used at lodges, scenic flights, activity operators and marine cruises.
Only closed tourist groups may travel together in the same vehicle during that specific tour, provided loading capacities are not exceeded, including the guide and driver.
Shuttle operators may transport tourists from the same group at full passenger carrying capacity, but tourists must wear masks and have access to hand sanitizers.
Operator Permit Requirements
Tourism service providers conducting tours and guiding services must have a valid permit issued by the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism. Accommodation establishments operating within town or settlement boundaries are required to have a valid Namibia Tourism Board registration certificate and health fitness certificate issued by the local authority. Establishments operating in areas outside a local authority’s jurisdiction must have a health fitness certificate from the Ministry of Health and Social Services. For a list of registered tourism facilities, go to www.namibiatourism.com.na under registered businesses. Authorities remind the public that anyone presenting fake COVID-19 PCR test results to an official at any port of entry will be denied entry and deported at their own expense. Port of entries to Namibia continue to be Hosea Kutako International Airport, Walvis Bay International Airport and all major land and sea borders.
SCI members with questions about travel to Namibia may contact SCI’s Hunter Information Service at www.safariclub.org/contact.