9 Myths about travel to Namibia and Africa in General
Is Namibia safe to travel to? Do wild animals roam the streets and eat people in Namibia? Is there a “best” time to go on a safari? The answer to these questions will be answered in this article.
Let’s set the record straight before we continue. Deep dark Africa is a safe place in general. And when it comes to Namibia in particular, there is probably no safer country in Africa to visit.
Let’s debunk some myths about travelling to Namibia and safaris in general, once and for all.
Myth 1: Africa/Namibia is a dangerous place
Africa is no more dangerous than any other country in the world. It is much safer than you might think. It’s the same as travelling to any foreign country; always be vigilant and keep your valuables and belongings safe.
Myth 2: Namibia is a dirty country
Namibia prides itself on being a spotless country; Windhoek is a city that wins yearly awards for being the cleanest country in Africa. The rest of Namibia is also very clean and unspoilt. National parks like Etosha National Park and Naukluft National park are also free of pollution. The air pollution in Namibia is also at extremely low levels due to its low population density.
Myth 3: There is a “best time” of the year to go on Safari in Namibia
Nothing can be further from the truth. The best time to go on a safari is all the time. Each season brings with it a different set of elements. There might be more popular times of the year for a Namibia safari, but that is dictated by more than just an ideal time for game viewing. In the “low” season, which is all the months except June, July, August and September, there are many parts of Namibia that are fantastic for an African safari.
Your safari holiday does not need to be centred around game viewing in Etosha. That is what makes Namibia the perfect African safari destination. Namibia offers you so much more; there is the Skeleton Coast, Damaraland, Sossusvlei in Naukluft National Park, and the breathtaking Fish River Canyon in the south of Namibia, to name a few that all present their own unique characteristics to make up your safari holiday. Oh! And then there’s all the different indigenous tribes you can visit.
The best time for a Namibian safari is determined by what is the best time for you, and not the masses as it made out to be. Whether you choose to do a self-drive safari through the entire Namibia or a private guided safari through the northern parts of Namibia, you will not be disappointed, no matter the season.
Myth 4: The wild animals roam the streets and want to eat you.
The wild animals in Namibia don’t roam the streets in populated areas, and they most definitely don’t want to eat you either. They prefer to hang out with their own kind, and you will notice when you encounter them (in their natural habitat) that they rarely have any interest in you or the vehicle you are travelling in.
This does not mean that some of them are not dangerous. Namibia is home to some of the planet’s most dangerous and venomous animals. If you adhere to the safety guidelines, you will be more than okay.
Myth 5: Namibia is only good for a traditional safari holiday.
Namibia is a wildlife lover’s dream destination; it is one of the only countries where you can spot the big 5 in their natural habitat; in Etosha National Park, you can see 4 of the big 5. But besides the fantastic game viewing, Namibia offers travellers like couples, families, newlyweds and adventure seekers a plethora of alternatives. Think beaches that stretch for tens of kilometers void of people, some that you can drive on with your 4x4. Landscapes that stretch over the horizon without any sign of civilisation in sight. Rock formations not to be found anywhere else on earth. The oldest desert and the highest sand dunes in the world. The second-largest canyon in the world and an actual ghost town.
So, as you can see, there is plenty that Namibia has to offer on top of its excellent wildlife viewing. Namibia has endless beauty, and adventure awaits those who dare to find it.
Myth 6: Women should not travel alone in Namibia
As mentioned before, Namibia is probably the safest country in Africa. With proper planning and guidance, women can travel through Namibia like they would in any first-world country. Solo travellers, male or female, are widely accepted and encouraged in Namibia.
Namibia is the perfect country for solo travellers looking to reconnect with themselves and nature. If you are not comfortable travelling solo, we suggest joining one of our small group tours. They are designed for solo and like-minded travellers; they offer the perfect blend of socialising and security.
Myth 7: Namibia has poor to no Wi-Fi
Almost all of the lodges you will stay at have wifi, some of the more remote lodges might not have the fastest internet, but they will have connectivity. The cellular coverage throughout the country is not the best, but you do not come to Namibia to be glued to your phone after all. The connectivity in Namibia is good enough to be able to call someone in the case of an emergency.
Myth 8: Namibia is not a suitable holiday destination for families with young children
This could not be further from the truth. Namibia is one of the best destinations for children. There is no better classroom than nature, whether it be the animals, the rugged landscapes or encounters with indigenous tribes. On a Namibian holiday, your children will learn lessons not to be found anywhere else. See it as an enchanting playground for children and adults alike.
A journey through Namibia will awaken the inner explorer and adventurer. Most of the lodges are child friendly and offer educational activities centred around minors and young adults. It is the perfect environment to learn and explore.
Myth 9: Namibia is always hot
Although the daytime temperatures in most parts of Namibia can get quite hot all year round, the myth that it is always hot is just not true. In summer, the days can get extremely hot, but during the sweltering hours, you will either be driving in an air-conditioned vehicle or relaxing in the shade by a swimming pool.
Most outdoor activities take place in the early morning and late afternoon; that’s also when most of the animals are more active and easily spotted. The winter evenings can get quite chilly too, so pack for all seasons. See our Namibia weather guide for detailed information on the weather for each month of the year.
Namibia is surreal, soul-enriching, and outright unforgettable. It is an immersive playground for the adventurous, a place to explore and connect for young and old. Wildlife sightings might be unexpected and over in a second, but the memories will last a lifetime.
Namibia is safe, and the animals don’t want to eat you, even though some bugs might want to. Equipped with a good quality insect repellent, you will be just fine. The only bug bite that you won’t be cured of is the Namibian safari bug; once it has bitten you, you will forever want to return, over and over.