Namibia pulls out the stops, and welcomes tourists back to the country.

Every year tourists from all over the world travel to Namibia to enjoy the country’s spectacular natural attractions.

Namibia welcomed over 1.6 million international tourists to its shores in 2019. Most visitors were from Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Angola, South Africa and Zambia.

Namibia’s tourism industry has suffered intensely as a result of the country’s national lockdown and the ban on international travel. The tourism sector is now picking up the pieces and doing what it can to facilitate the return of international visitors, in an attempt to save 100,000 jobs in Namibia’s tourism sector.

Namibia is a country of intense beauty, with its unique natural attractions.

The Namib Desert is a coastal desert that extends over 1,900 kilometres along the country’s Atlantic coastline. The Namib Desert is the oldest desert in the world, dating back 55 million years.

It is known as the desert of shifting sand dunes and is home to many unique fauna and flora species. The Welwitschia Mirabilis is a unique plant species that grows in the desert biome.

SEVERAL LAND BORDERS REOPEN

Namibia initially opened up to international visitors on 1 September. However, foreign visitors were restricted to entering Namibia through Hosea Kutako International Airport in Windhoek.

Since a number of visitors enter Namibia through neighbouring countries, Namibia had to consider reopening several land borders.

In an effort to revive regional trade and tourism, the cabinet decided to reopen land border posts at Katima Mulilo, Ariamsvlei, Noordoewer and Walvis Bay. Visitors can now enter the country through these land borders.

NAMIBIA EASES REQUIREMENTS FOR ENTRANTS

Initially, international visitors arriving in Namibia were required to spend the first seven nights of their visit to the country in the same location. This was in addition to the requirement for a negative COVID-19 test result certificate to be produced on arrival.

The requirement for international visitors to produce a negative COVID-19 test result remains in place while the restriction on movement for the first seven days has been lifted. This means that visitors are not restricted to spending their entire first week in one location.

NAMIBIA’S DESERT EXPRESS RESTARTS SERVICES

Namibia’s luxury tourist train, the Desert Express has resumed operations. The Desert Express operates an overnight service between Windhoek and Swakopmund. The journey begins in either Windhoek or Swakopmund.

The trip includes meals, drinks and activities while on the train. Activities include a game drive at Okapuka Ranch, sundowner drinks in the desert, a dune excursion or a visit to the craft market at Okahandja, depending on the date of operation.

DIRECT FLIGHTS RESUME FROM SOUTH AFRICA

South Africa’s privately-owned airline Airlink, has reconnected the two countries with the resumption of direct scheduled flights between Cape Town and Windhoek, and Johannesburg and Swakopmund.

Airlink has actively been growing its route network since South Africa’s airlines were permitted to restart operations. Airlink will be launching direct scheduled flights between Johannesburg and Windhoek on 26 October.

The daily flight will depart Johannesburg at 10h30 and arrive in Windhoek at 12h40

by Lorne Philpot

 

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