Namibia - Profile
- The latest country in Africa to gain independence, Namibia lies on the south-west coast of the continent and as a German colony used to be known as South West Africa. The easternmost area is part of the Kalahari desert, while the Namib desert stretches along the west coast. Most of the coast is inhospitable desert, but inland are many national parks and unusual dramatic scenery.
- Yachts sailing this part of the Atlantic usually stop at Luderitz, an old German colonial town surrounded by the encroaching Namib desert. It is a convenient stop on the way north from Cape Town. The winds are usually favourable and so is the Benguela current, which sweeps up the western coast. The detour shortens the distance to St Helena and, if time permits, also gives a chance to visit some of the interior of this fascinating country, which was for so long in the grip of a guerilla war.
- There are some repair facilities at Luderitz (the port is used by fishing boats working this area of the South Atlantic).
- Walvis Bay is a safe and more pleasant stop and has a greater range of services due to its size, and better provisioning. Much of the coast between Luderitz and Walvis bay is restricted and landing is not permitted.
- Watch out for fog and lots of shipping traffic off this coast.
Luderitz, Walvis Bay and Swakopmund are very safe, both day and night.
However, take care if travelling outside the two main ports. In Windhoek foreign tourists are often targets for muggers even in daylight in busy areas. Do not hail taxis from the street.
Okakuejo Lodge in Etosha National Park has been identified as a hotspot for credit card skimming.
See UK FCO website for latest advice.
Last updated March 2016.
The weather is usually hot, although it is milder on the coast. Rainfall is unreliable. Winds are mostly from the south. The cold Benguela current produces misty conditions close to the coast and up to about 5 to 10 miles offshore.
For links to free global weather information, forecast services and extreme weather information see the Noonsite Weather Page.