Are you the adventurous type? Do you love visiting less popular places? Then Namibia is what you’re looking for. Located in South Africa, this country has the potential to offer you experiences that you’ve never had before.
This is because you can see a lot of things like, for instance, the Etosha wildlife, Sossusvlei’s mountainous red/orange dunes and the Skeleton Coast. And these are only a few of the beautiful attractions you have the chance to visit.
Now, the big question comes into play: Is Namibia safe to visit? If you’re concerned about this, here are some Namibia safety trips.
Highest Risks You Expose Yourself to When Visiting Namibia
Overall Risk in Namibia: MEDIUM
Namibia is relatively safe to visit. Most of the tourists had successful trips with no incidents. However, that doesn’t mean that you should exclude the possibility of something happening. You aren’t fully safe in your home country either, so you shouldn’t expect that to change as a tourist.
Violent street crime targeting foreign tourists is on the rise, especially in Windhoek. Street theft and muggings could happen, as well as pickpocketing in crowded areas.
Driving can be very chaotic in Namibia, especially on secondary roads. Moreover, taxi drivers can stop in the middle of the street to pick up people.
Political violence is nearly inexistent here. Although demonstrations can happen sometimes, they are peaceful.
Terrorism is quite low compared to other African countries, so it is not such a big concern. Still, that doesn’t mean an attack can’t occur. Anything is possible.
Theft and Pickpocketing Risk: MEDIUM
If you’re wondering “How safe is Namibia for tourists regarding theft?”, you probably expect it to happen, especially in big cities if you’re not careful.
Windhoek, for instance, is one dangerous place where people should be vigilant, regardless if they’re locals or tourists. Still, there is a high risk for foreigners, as they are vulnerable because they are away from home. It doesn’t have to happen at night – it’s easy for wrong-doers to attack in broad daylight.
Busy intersections in Windhoek are also a popular spot where gangs take action. They can gain entry to vehicles and attempt to mug people. Moreover, taxis from the street can be involved in theft incidents as well.
Town centers are places where pickpocketers like to act. If it’s obvious you’re a tourist, you’re particularly at risk.
- How to avoid being a victim?
Whether you’re in Windhoek or not, be wary of your surroundings and make sure you’re at the hotel before dark. If possible, don’t go alone anywhere. Being with someone can increase the safety, while being alone makes you an easier target.
During heavy traffic, keep your windows shut and your car doors locked. Additionally, don’t keep valuables anywhere visible. This may attract thieves. Be careful, and stay vigilant in service stations as well. Also, don’t leave your car unattended at any fuel stop.
Make sure you don’t hail taxis on the street. You should rather ask your tour operator or hotel to recommend a good taxi company. Keep your valuables like jewelry, phone and cash away from sight. You don’t want to be left without any of them, do you?
Road Risk: MEDIUM
“Is Namibia safe to visit when it comes to driving?” you may ask. Well, you’re about to find out.
Driving can be a real challenge, especially if you’re not accustomed to the driving laws and style in Namibia. There are frequent traffic fatalities among foreign visitors. Secondary streets are also at higher risk of accidents compared to main ones, particularly during the rainy seasons.
If you’re in a non-urban area, make sure you’re not driving during the night. There may be animals crossing the roads, and it’s difficult to notice them. Moreover, if you plan to drive outside of Windhoek, you should arrive at your destination before dark.
Make sure you’re aware of the driving laws, and you drive carefully. If you decide to drive and not take taxis, it may be totally different that driving in your own country. This is why it’s essential to be vigilant, because you want to avoid accidents at all costs.
Kidnapping Risk: LOW
The kidnapping rate is very low in Namibia. So, if you’re asking “Is Namibia safe to visit?” when thinking about kidnapping, you should know that you’re safe.
There were very few cases of kidnappings in the past, and the ones reported were not politically motivated. They took place because of criminal activities. No major kidnappings involved foreign tourists, so this sounds good so far, doesn’t it?
However, don’t take it for granted. Just because Namibia is generally safe from villains who want to keep you as a hostage, that doesn’t mean it can’t happen. You should definitely avoid walking alone, especially at night and in quiet areas. Also, don’t trust anyone and be careful to your surroundings.
Wildlife Danger Risk: MEDIUM to HIGH
Do you like camping? Then probably that’s what you’d like to do in Namibia. Still, the question “How safe is Namibia for tourists who camp?” is in your head.
Whereas camping could be a great experience because of the stunning nature you can enjoy, there are certainly things to consider. Wildlife can be a great danger if you don’t know how to avoid the risks. Namibia has a large variety of venomous scorpions and snakes to make your nightmares become reality.
You should consider closing your tent properly, so nothing can crawl inside while you sleep. Moreover, don’t leave backpacks or anything else open, because who knows what creature you’re going to bring back home.
Shoes should be sealed as well. You think only dogs are attracted to shoes? Well, that’s not true. Scorpions can easily use it as their new house.
If you want a great vacation, it’s better to avoid anything that has claws, fangs and anything venomous.
Terrorism Risk: LOW
You’d be very pleased to know that Namibia is safe from terrorism compared to its fellow African countries. There have been no reports or terrorist attacks lately, and there is no known terrorist group that activates in Namibia.
So, basically, you shouldn’t worry about an attack while in a crowded area or at an event. Also, there are no reports of the presence of any international terrorist group in Namibia. Therefore, this place is pretty safe from that point of view.
However, that doesn’t mean you should stop being vigilant – there are people with evil intentions where you least expect.
Risks for Women Traveling Alone: LOW
If you were continuously asking “Is Namibia safe for solo women travelers?”, you’re in for a surprise: you are safe as a solo female traveler.
Yes, it may be a surprise, but the country is very friendly to its tourists. It is safer for women compared to many other countries.
Still, that doesn’t mean you have to proudly expose your valuables. They could actually be bait for criminals. Make sure you dress modestly and your cash, jewelry and anything that could draw attention is hidden. Additionally, don’t go to bars alone – men might take it as an invitation.
Basically, most people go to Namibia for the wildlife. Therefore, the wildlife itself poses the biggest danger, especially if you’re camping. Snakes, scorpions and even ostriches are something you can run into.
If you’re out of town and going to the desert, make sure you have enough water. It’s very hot, and you can dehydrate very easily. Moreover, you should cover up. Although this sounds like the worst thing to do during heat, the sun can burn your skin. Sunscreen may not always work, depending on your skin fragility.
You should also be careful in public transportation. You already know that buses have special places for storing the bags. It doesn’t mean that someone will steal your bag, but you should still ensure you don’t have anything valuable in there. Who knows what could happen?
List of Vaccines You Need When Visiting Namibia
If you don’t want to become sick during your trip, check in with your doctor beforehand to find out if you need vaccinations. In Namibia, there could be mosquito-borne diseases. So, because your trip shouldn’t be ruined by a mosquito, you need to be prepared.
Here are some vaccines you may need before your long-awaited Namibia trip:
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
- Yellow Fever
Conclusion: Is Namibia Safe to Visit?
If you were looking for Namibia safety travel tips, then hopefully this Namibia safety guide provided you with enough information. This country is amazing and you won’t regret visiting it, considering it has stunning wildlife and you could relax.
Although a generally safe country, you should take certain measures to avoid unwanted incidents. Stay vigilant, don’t walk alone after dark or in quiet areas and don’t draw too much attention by exposing your valuables.
Also, do everything that’s in your power to avoid bringing a scorpion home. Seal your shoes and backpack – your life can be great without a scorpion as a pet.