Namibia is located in the Southern part of Africa, is quite an interesting expat destination.
Apart from its beautiful landscapes, it offers a business-friendly environment to expatriates wishing to settle here. The country is indeed one of the top emerging markets in Africa. Job opportunities are thus available to skilled professionals and it is also an asset seducing foreign investors.
Windhoek is the capital of Namibia and a true attraction to families. If you enjoy a real connection with nature and are looking for an opportunity to reach out and connect with Mother Nature, there is no better place than Namibia. In this article, you will find all the information you need to help you make a smooth transition to live in Namibia.
Clean, well-established cities brush shoulders with desert wonders and wild coastal shorelines, making Namibia a truly embracing country to live in.
2.448 million (2018 census).
English is the official language, but a lot of people also speak Afrikaans.
Windhoek (administrative, judicial and legislative capital).
The way of life is generally laid back and peaceful, with relatively little in the way of nightclubs or late-night entertainment. Although Namibia is relatively safe, expats often choose to live in protected compounds, with the majority of foreigners residing in Windhoek, Namibia’s capital city.
- Peace, stability and good governance.
- Reliable road, rail and air infrastructure.
- Excellent telecommunications network.
- Stable labour environment.
- Fast, efficient and transparent bureaucracy.
Despite being a sizeable country, Namibia has only a few main urban areas. Getting between them by plane is a convenient and quick way to travel, and there are weekly domestic flights departing from Windhoek’s Hosea Kutako International Airport and Eros Airport.
Travelling by bus is possible, but routes are very limited. Intercape Mainliner provide luxury bus services to South Africa and various other north and southbound destinations, with stops along the way. The majority of people however, tend to use the minibus services, but are relatively speedy and follow main routes all over the country. There are a small number of inexpensive train services between major cities and towns, but they are notoriously slow and not a popular way to travel.
Driving in Namibia
If you really want to discover the best that Namibia has to offer, the best way is with your own set of wheels. 4-wheel drive vehicles are the most practical option, as they allow access to areas where 2-wheel drive vehicles struggle. However, if you are just going to stick to main routes which are mostly well maintained, a regular 2-wheel drive vehicle will do just fine.
The road accident rate in Namibia is high due to very long distances that people travel. It is advisable to make regular stops and when driving long distances to avoid falling asleep behind the wheel. Driving at night is not advised as wildlife, domestic animals, and even pedestrians regularly stray onto the roads.
Weather in Namibia
Being such an immense country with incredible geographical diversity, Namibia’s climate and weather is one of dramatic extremes.
It is one of the sunniest countries in the world, yet prone to drought. As a rule, the further South you are, the hotter and drier the climate. The Caprivi Strip and Okavango area in the North-East of the country has the highest rainfall, and these areas are the most verdant in Namibia. The desert areas of the Namib and the Kalahari are the hottest and driest, and the areas along the Atlantic coast are colder and foggier than the rest of the country.
Overall, Namibia’s driest season is from May to October. This is when water sources dry up almost completely and temperatures drop to a minimum of 20°C during the day and freezing at night, falling to below 0ºC. Our summer months, November to April, bring a hike in temperatures as well as rain. Our hottest summer months however is January and February which can reach a maximum temperature of more than a scorching 40°C in the desert.
Sudden, powerful thunderstorms are common as levels of humidity reach their peak.
- The doctor/patient ratio is 1:2954.
- Qualifications of medical practitioners is on par with international Standards.
- All major towns have state run hospitals.
- International SOS provides emergency evacuation services.
- Offices: Monday to Friday, 08h00 to 17h00.
- Banks: Monday to Friday, 09h00 to 15h30 and Saturdays, 08h30 to 12h00.
Most expats live in houses with three or four bedrooms. For a short-term contract, you can rent corporate serviced apartments on a monthly basis.
When negotiating on the rental contract, try to have your utilities included in the monthly rent. All terms of rental agreements can be freely negotiated between landlords and tenants, including the length of the lease and the initial deposit, although a one-year contract and a deposit of one month’s rent are customary.
Rental or Purchase of Property
Expats from Western European countries will likely find the housing prices quite reasonable and will be able to get good value for their money. Rental prices generally range from 15,000 to 45,000 NAD per month (equivalent to €85,17 – €255.52 PM).
These prices vary widely, however, based on quality, location, size, and other factors. Some single expats choose to share an apartment or house to cut costs while they are living in Namibia.
There are no restrictions on expats buying property in Namibia. Property in Windhoek usually sells for around 20,000 NAD (€ 1135,63) per square meter in the city center and 16,000 NAD (€908,5) per square meter outside of the center. These prices are lower in Namibia’s smaller cities and towns.
Some expats employ one or more locals as a housekeeper or maid, gardener, or nanny. Most hired help is not live-in, and employed on an hourly basis as opposed to full time. If full-time domestic employees are hired, they must be enrolled in the social security system at your expense and receive at least 24 days of paid leave per year.
In Windhoek, expats usually live in protected houses or compounds, with security systems. As one moves outside the capital, there are less of these types of safety precautions. In general, life in Namibia is much safer than other African countries in this regard.
In Windhoek, there are three shopping malls and several major South African supermarket chains, however, in smaller cities and towns you would find smaller markets. Meat is a major part of the Namibian diet. Most grocery stores and restaurants carry quality meat, from Beef to Zebra and Oryx (antelope), at very reasonable prices. Some foods may be limited due to seasonal availability.
If you have any queries in regard to visas, work permits, or maybe about this beautiful African country’s culture, languages, climate, and geography, feel free to contact us and one of our friendly consultants will assist you!
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By Uaaruka Kandjii