Visa for US Citizens

May 9th, 2012, 03:02 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 266
Visa for US Citizens

I searched and could not find anything.

Are U.S citizens required to have visa in possession before landing in WDH , Namibia?

I will be transiting through SA (JohBrg). Does SA require US citizens to hold visa in advance?

Thanks in advance !!
TigerPhotog is offline  
May 9th, 2012, 03:11 PM
Join Date: Jan 2009
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U.S. citizens do not need a visa for tourist travel to enter Namibia for stays not to exceed 90 days. Same for SA. You'll of course need a valid passport and I'd make sure it was good for at least 6 months after the date you leave Africa.
sdb2 is offline  
May 9th, 2012, 03:12 PM
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1 more question:

Is my US driving license enough to carry with me or do I need any IDP (Intl driving permit) when driving in Namibia ?

Thx !!
TigerPhotog is offline  
May 9th, 2012, 03:17 PM
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US license will do the trick.
sdb2 is offline  
May 9th, 2012, 03:22 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 266

Thanks a ton for the quick reply.

I do have some other basic questions, please see if you can answer them.

Since I will be doing a road trip, wondering what to do about the following:

1. Cell phone sim card (Can they be purchased at WDH?). What mobile operator is recommended?

2. Will a GPS device like a Garmin work there or old-school maps are enough ? I will be traveling to Etosha and Sesriem during this trip, nothing out of the ordinary.

3. Do I need spare gas/petrol in the rental vehicle (besides to 2 spare wheels that everyone recommends) or gas stations are easily available along these routes?

Thanks a lot !
TigerPhotog is offline  
May 9th, 2012, 03:47 PM
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TP, I honestly can't answer the first two questions. I suggest you go to the Namibia forum (sorry Fodor's, just trying to help poster) and search for "sim cards" and then "GPS." There are some local people who give excellent, and I believe reliable, information and advice. Regarding 3., you won't need to carry gas in my opinion. I found gas stations were not overly separated. If you have any doubts about your tank just top off when you go through some of the small towns.

When picking up your rental go over the outside condition of the car very carefully. Make sure you note any dents, dings, scuffs or the like. If possible, get a copy of the sheet showing the car's condition. In my experience the car company did a very careful evaluation of the body on return.

Driving around Nambia is very easy. Roads between towns such as Windhoek or Swakop and Etosha are paved. On the gravel roads you just want to make sure you drive at a reduced and prudent speed. There probably will be times when you drive 10-20 miles without seeing another car.
sdb2 is offline  
May 10th, 2012, 05:20 AM
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Re SIM Cards - we bought one in the WDH airport (MTC as I recall). The sales agent very helpfully activated it for us on the spot. If you want to use it to call/receive international calls/texts be sure the plan you are purchasing permits that and it is activated.

We had a GPS (Tom Tom) which worked well, although there aren't a lot of road options so getting lost would be difficult!

Re gas - I wouldn't carry fuel but as sdb2 says, be sure to top up frequently. Gas stations can be far apart and there can be shortages so don't assume the next gas station will be open.

Re rental vehicle - agree with 2 tires (have the experience to prove it!) and as recommended above go over the vehicle very closely when you pick it up. We took several photographs at the time as well.

Have a great trip - Namibia is a wonderful place!
Elizabeth_S is offline  
May 10th, 2012, 08:34 AM
Join Date: Jan 2009
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Elizabeth, perhaps you are more familiar with cell phone fine points than I so correct me if I'm wrong. Doesn't one need to have a GSM-based cell phone for Namibia? I have a Verizon cell, which is CDMA-based and, therefore, never of use to me on my safaris. For East Africa I picked up a cheap (~$25) Nokia phone and then bought sim cards for it.

BTW, my understanding is that MTC sim card are the ones to get and that they give decent coverage.
sdb2 is offline  
May 10th, 2012, 09:52 AM
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Yes you need a GSM phone specifically with 900/1800 frequencies. I just activated international roaming with my home carrier since I was only planning to use my phone for emergencies.

I can't stress checking over the vehicle and taking photos at the time of pick up enough.
Patty is offline  
May 10th, 2012, 10:03 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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sdb2 - yes that's what we did - took a cheapie unlocked GSM phone and bought a SIM card at the airport. The seller inserted the SIM card into the phone and went through the activation process. My other comment relates to the network access of the SIM card....if international access is important just make sure the SIM card you buy permits it (MTC had several different SIM card options - local, national, international, etc)

Another car thing - be sure to check the condition of all the tires (including the spares) ... our flat tire problem related directly to poor condition of the tires. We used Hertz.
Elizabeth_S is offline  
May 14th, 2012, 07:15 AM
Join Date: Dec 2005
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We bought incredibly cheap SIM card available everywhere in Namibia through MTC.

Our experience with our rental car - a Toyota Hilux was that it came with 2 spare tires, 2 batteries and an extra tank of gas in case of emergency. We didn't need them, but it was good to know that we had them, as there were times we didn't see other cards for hours.

We didn't find any need for GPS, as there are so few roads in Namibia that it's hard to get lost. (The basic map of Namibia which most rental car agencies probably give out shows not only all the roads, but the service stations as well.)

We went up to Etosha, came back down to Windhoek, then out to Sossus, down to Ludertitz, then over to Keetmanshoop to see quiver trees. Wonderful time, and we didn't get lost or stuck anywhere.
Carlux is offline  

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