Namibia Local Customs

  • Venceremos
    Venceremos
    by Assenczo
  • Local Customs
    by krissyM
  • Local Customs
    by DAO

Namibia Local Customs

  • Traditional Herero Dress among native...

    Many traditional modes of dress have all but disappeared in Namibia. But, the Herero dress is still worn proudly by women in the Herero tribe(s). These dresses are generally hand-made by the Herero women, and are an important part of a young lady's "coming of age". It is considered a privilege to be allowed to put on and wear the Herero dress.The...

    more
  • Mopane Worms - a delicious treat!

    Dried mopane worms can be eaten raw as a crisp snack. Mopane worms can also be soaked to rehydrate, before frying until crunchy or cooking with onion, tomatoes and spices and serving with sadza. The flesh is yellow, and the gut may still contain fragments of dried leaf, which is not harmful to humans. I didn't personally eat one but I was told that...

    more
  • SHUT THE GATE BEHIND YOU!

    Many campsites, motels and holiday ranches have big metal gates you must open before you can drive your car though. Please always shut and latch them behind you. They not only keep livestock and wild animals in – they keep them out. One of the places they keep them out of is the road you were just driving down. It also helps keep down the spread of...

    more
  • THE CONSIDERATE HERDSMAN

    See all the cows on the side of the road? Yep, they would be a real danger, day or night, for drivers. Except in this case they are being managed quite well by a good herdsman. That’s the guy holding the red flag to wave at YOU to slow down so he can cross the road sometimes. His cows are contained at night and are not a danger to road users. Nice...

    more
  • DISEASE CONTROL POINTS

    If you are driving across the sometimes barren interior of Namibia, you will come across checkpoints with gates across the road. They are Veterinary Disease Checkpoints. They were put in place to prevent the transport of livestock that have (or could have) Foot & Mouth Disease. You have to stop and check in. Some say Police checkpoint, but are...

    more
  • THE SUNDOWNER

    A Sundowner is a delightful expression used across Southern Africa to describe having and adult beverage at sun down. Of course it can be any time, but the best time to do so is at sunset watching a beautiful African sky. This can be enjoyed anywhere. All you need is: You, a few friends (optional but preferred), a drink and nature. Please have a...

    more
  • ENGLISH IS THE OFFICIAL LANGUAGE

    An amazing fact that I did not know until I want inside the National Museum of Namibia in Windhoek. Despite its history as a German Colony, the official language of government and the legal system is English. This is enshrined in Article 3 of the Preamble of the Constitution (pictured). People are, of course, allowed to practice any language they...

    more
  • SKELETON COAST

    Why do they call it the Skeleton Coast? The vast majority of the Namibian coast is a graveyard of animals and sailors over hundreds of years. The coast suffers form foggy weather that hides rocky and sandy shallows. There is no water source for many miles inland. No trees, no shade, no food and no shelter. Because of the barren nature of the coast,...

    more
  • ELECTRICAL PLUGS IN NAMIBIA

    Electricity in Namibia is 220 Volts, alternating at 50 cycles per second. They use the round, South African pins. So if you are from Western Europe, you need an adapter. If you are from North America, you need a converter or your electrical item will blow up.

    more
  • Tafel Lager

    The Tafel Lager was the other common lager here, if Windhoek lager was not available, that would do as well, as long as it served cold and you have enough of it ;-)

    more
  • Windhoek Lager

    Well, of course, what else did you expected? Namibia is traditionaly country of good beer and the Windhoek Lager was my favourite local beer, I could find it almost anywhere, in restaurants, shops and most important, is camping sites, after all day on the road in the desert, there is nothing better then a cold beer and watching the sun set over the...

    more
  • The Herero

    The third-largest group with about 150.000 members, are the Herero people who mainly inhabit central Namibia. The Herero women's wide skirts and colourful headgear; the shape of which reminds one of a cow's horns, can be traced back to the influence of the missionaries' wives who, in the beginning, were upset about the women's sparing traditional...

    more
  • Meet the locals

    Herero WomenYou may come across Herero women selling handicrafts by the side of the road. The Herero are a people belonging to the Bantu group, The majority of the Herero live in Namibia, with the remainder living in Botswana and Angola.The Herero have a sad history in Namibia. During the late 19th century, Europeans began entering to permanently...

    more
  • Local language - so common

    During a stop over direction Etosha we had a refreshment in this "road restaurant" - on the menu :-Chocolates-Chips-Cool drinks and sweets !A language so common and understandable for all of us.

    more
  • German Influence

    It is common knowledge that Namibia has a cetrain Gerrman influence .... one example is the beer, brewed to German standards. And do the Namibians know how to make a refreshing beer!!! I am referring to the wonderful Windhoek Lager - yummy. There is also Tafel but I would prefer the Windhoek anytime, especially in the desert :-) But a word of...

    more
  • Respect the Locals

    It is important to take into acount the locals demure ways. They are well covered and do not reveal their bodies, behave accordingly, it shows respect. Try to avoid looking the local men in the eye, this is taken as a come on.Ladies travelling alone, it is wise to carry a phot of a man and children, show it often and speak of them, even if they...

    more
  • local food - Biltong

    Biltong is dried meat. Meat from different game is used. I ate kudu and oryx biltong. It is very very delicious. But it is nothing for vegetarian and I guess not everyone would like it. I could ate tons of it :-))

    more
  • Namibian Barbecue

    Namibians love to barbecue! It is called brai. The meat in Namibia is excellent. Namibians really love to eat meat! It isn't the country for vegetarian :-) Try also the more extraordinary ones like oryx or springboek. A must which goes with a Brai is the very delicious chutney and a toast with apricot jam ... mmmmmmmmmmhhhhh!!!

    more
  • Termite Hills

    Termite Hills are a common view in the lnadscapes of Namibia.Normally they have the same color as the underground they stand on, but sometimes you will see white ones and the underground is red. That is, because they dig so deep (over 75m to get to a water supply) that they bring up the material from different geolocical layers.Most termite hills...

    more
  • back from School

    You will see this several times in Namibia, especially when you have to fill up for gas and food in the bigger cities.After twelve o´clock the streets fill with many school children, all wearing the same clothes.This picture was taken in Outijo, that is close to the Etosha National Park (well, relatively close. In Namibia everything under 300km...

    more
  • Himba Men

    Men are changing their traditional Himba wears that are to pieces of leather for front and behind, and replacing them for cotton clothes.They are a semi-nomads descendants of Herero. Cattle and goats are very important, the men go out for search grazing for their cattle.Himba are polygamists, but they have to have enought cattle for having wives.

    more
  • Himba Chief

    Himba Chief is the more important of the village. In front of the entrance of his hut you will find the holy fire. The space from the entrance hut to the fire is a sacred space and no one can get in.The holy fire must not extinguish in theory. The holy fire symbolizes the continuity between the world of the deaths and that of the living.

    more
  • Himba's Women

    "The Land of the Red Women," Himba woman have red skin cause a mixture of animal fat, red ochre and local herbs. They never use water to wash their selves; they use instead something like a sauna with herbs. Each women use their own herbs for have their own perfume.As blood is forbidden at the Himba village, women must go out it to bear their...

    more
  • Himba's Children

    Himba children are adorned with jewellery from birth and their skin is protect with the same red mix of sand and animal fat their mother use for their skin. Male boys are also painted in black their neck as the adult men.They learn to respect animals from the beginning and to know they are part of the village and that they are not toys but helpful...

    more
  • Wave

    It is a custom, in a land with so little people, in a land where you can drive a hole day without seeing another car or people, to wave if you find someone in your way. Tuhafeni (our great driver) did wave every single man or woman or car we find in our way and always he did have a wave back.I love to wave, so from the beginning, before even I did...

    more
  • The Herero

    Namibia has about 1.8 million people.About half of them are the Ovambo. But there are a lot of different others: the San, the Nama, the Damara, the Himba, the Kavango...One of them are the Herero.They make about 8% of the population. European Missionars influenced them a lot in the end of the 19th century. This can still be seen today in the...

    more
  • Herero Costumes

    The Herero women have adopted a style of dress that looks rather strange! These costumes were brought with German missionaries. The dresses include full length skirts with many petticoats underneath!The headdress is also very unique - it looks a little like a two-coned hat. A shopkeeper in Windhoek told us, that the Herero women spend an awful lot...

    more
  • Sundowners....a civilized way to end...

    Throughout Namibia, as in much of southern Africa, it is a tradition to say goodbye to the day by having a glass of wine, a beer or a cocktail. This tradition of "sundowners" has existed since the colonial time(s) of the British. And, it doesn't really matter where you are, or who you're with.....sundowners are a daily matter of fact. So, whether...

    more
  • Car attendants

    In many of the larger town or city areas you will see young guys usually wearing fluoro yellow vests around the shopping areas, car parks. If they see you park your car they will approach. They are authorised by the city authorities to provide a car minding service whilst you are shopping. You can politely decline or you can indicate that you would...

    more
  • Namibia is a truly...

    Namibia is a truly multi-cultural country. Both the British and the German as well as the Boors have left their traces in this African country, at times almost covering what is there of the Nama, Herero, Himba, Damara. What´s utterly fascinating is the fact that this conglomerate of cultures seems to work out just fine... Let´s just respect each...

    more
  • The currency is the Namibia...

    The currency is the Namibia Dollar which is connected to the South-African Rand. Hence you will be able to pay in both currencies (and receive change in both currencies as well). There are no banks beyond the cities - so make sure you carry enough cash. On the other hands, you will be able to pay with your credit card or cash a travellers´cheque in...

    more
  • German Heritage

    Namibia has preserved a lot of its German history - which I found quite unusual: reading German signs, drinking German beer and hearing the German language much more than I expected!

    more
  • Do not pass or shake hands...

    Do not pass or shake hands with your left hand....you will be considered rude and vile...they wipe with the left, and therefore you do nothing else with it. Do not address elders until they address you, and always greet in some way...it's the polite thing to do. No short shorts or dresses...knee length and below for the ladies....

    more
  • Mainly in Northern Namibia,...

    Mainly in Northern Namibia, you may visit some tribal villages if you are into ethnology. I'm not, so I can't really help,>>>> this picture shows another beatiful animal of the Etosha N.P. called the oryx

    more
  • the mixture of languages:...

    the mixture of languages: English is the official language since 1990, but many people (Blacks and Whites) stil speak Afrikaans (related to Dutch) and also their native language, be it German, Herrero, Ovambo, the 'click' language, ... Amazing.

    more
  • SOUVENIRSLots of wonderful...

    SOUVENIRSLots of wonderful souvenirs, as herero dolls, minerals, wooden animals, leather dolls, collars made out of seeds... all nice and cheap.

    more
  • Finally I can tell you this is...

    Finally I can tell you this is a great country with a mixture of sceneries and wild life. Visiting this country gave me a good feeling.

    more
  • Don't take anyone's picture...

    Don't take anyone's picture without asking first....some natives believe that if you take their picture you take their 'soul'....be careful!! and some will ask you for money if you take their picture without permission.

    more
  • Ask a Question

    Got a question about Namibia? Get an answer from our Location locals and frequent travelers

Namibia Hotels

See all 87 Hotels in Namibia

Top Namibia Hotels

Windhoek Hotels
232 Reviews - 829 Photos
Swakopmund Hotels
41 Reviews - 108 Photos
Namib-Naukluft Park Hotels
143 Reviews - 405 Photos
Waterberg Hotels
2 Reviews - 3 Photos
Otjiwarongo Hotels
1 Hotel
Opuwo Hotels
3 Reviews - 13 Photos
Ondangwa Hotels
1 Hotel
Luderitz Hotels
9 Reviews - 14 Photos
Etosha National Park Hotels
194 Reviews - 539 Photos
Daan Viljoen Game Park Hotels
13 Reviews - 12 Photos
Walvisbaai Hotels
75 Reviews - 148 Photos
Fish River Canyon Hotels
2 Reviews - 3 Photos

Instant Answers: Namibia

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

62 travelers online now

Comments

Namibia Local Customs

Reviews and photos of Namibia local customs posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Namibia sightseeing.
Map of Namibia