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Please be aware that information on this page is correct at the time of writing. However, regulations do change and it is important to consult your local embassy for updated information about travel and visa requirements.

New Rules for Travelling with Children into and out of South Africa

The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) in South Africa has announced new, strict procedures for parents traveling with children under the age of 18 years in and out of South Africa.

With effect from 1 June 2015, all adults traveling with children will need to produce a copy of an unabridged birth certificate for each child they are traveling with, among other documents. This new regulation is line with the DHA efforts to limit the incidents of child trafficking.

Applying for an unabridged birth certificate
The application process for an unabridged certificate is simple, but clients need to know that although there has previously been a six to eight week waiting period, this process could take anything from three to six months.

One parent traveling with a child
In instances where one parent is travelling with a child for any reason, whether as a single parent, or merely in the absence of the other parent, the following documents must be produced for immigration officials:

• A copy of an unabridged birth certificate
• An affidavit from the other parent or legal guardian of the child, confirming their consent for the accompanying adult to travel with the child
• Single parents are required to produce a court order (and not just an affidavit) granting full parental responsibilities and rights or legal guardianship in respect of the child, if he or she is the parent or legal guardian of the child, and
• If applicable, a death certificate of a deceased parent must be produced

Adult traveling with a child who is not his or her biological child
We live in a society of extended family and there are many instances where adults may need to travel with children who are not their biological children. This could be for family, school or religious reasons. In instances where an adult is traveling with a child who is not his or her biological child, the following documents must be produced for immigration officials:

• A copy of an unabridged birth certificate
• An affidavit from the parents or legal guardians of the child, confirming their consent for the accompanying adult to travel with the child
• Copies of the identity documents or passports of the parents or legal guardians of the child
• Contact details of the parents or legal guardians of the child.

Where one or two adults are traveling with a large group of children, the adults must have these documents for each child traveling. Although not required, it may be a good idea for the adults to have a letter from the trip organisers, giving authority to these adults to attend to these children.

An unaccompanied minor
Even though a child of 16 or 17 can travel comfortably on their own from one country to another, the DHA requires that an unaccompanied minor produce the following documents to the immigration officials:

• Proof of consent from one or both his or her parents or legal guardian, in the form of a letter or affidavit for the child to travel into or depart from South Africa;
• In the case where one parent provides proof of consent, that parent must also provide a copy of a court order issued to him or her in terms of which he or she has been granted full parental responsibilities and rights in respect of the child;
• A letter from the person who is to receive the child in the destination country, containing his or her residential address and contact details where the child will be residing;
• A copy of the identity document or valid passport and visa or permanent residence permit of the person who is to receive the child in the destination country; and
• The contact details of the parents or legal guardian of the child in the country of origin.

These regulations should be considered when children want to apply for exchange programmes, or even when visiting family within southern Africa or neighbouring countries.

Given that the legal age in South Africa is 18, all children below this age fit into the new regulations.

They are also applicable to all parents, regardless of whether both parents are accompanying the children at the time of traveling or not, and to non-South African passport holders traveling in and out of the country.

Clients preparing to travel out of the country with their children should make urgent plans to apply for the relevant documents to ensure that they are prepared to travel under these new regulations.

The Department urges citizens and foreign nationals to heed the call to apply for unabridged birth certificates for children. An unabridged birth certificate of the child reflecting the particulars of the parents is required in terms of the Immigration Regulation 6 (12) (a) for children traveling with parents.

Customers can also visit the DHA website for further clarity on the new regulations, and to locate their closest DHA office.

Enquiries: David Hlabane +27 (0)71 527 9463 Thabo Mokgola +27 (0) 71 712 9710

Accommodation in Namibia
Namibia is a popular destination and to avoid disappointment, bookings should be made well in advance. The busiest times are during the South African, Namibian and European school holidays

Visa & Passport Requirements for Namibia
Every visitor to Namibia must be in possession of a passport that is valid until six months after the initial date of arrival and have sufficient pages for entry and exit stamps.
Entry into Namibia will be permitted for a maximum 90 day period.
Visas are not required for SA passport holders for tourism purposes. For SA business travellers going to Namibia to conduct business, a visa is required. All visitors must also have a valid return/onward air ticket or proof of other means of transportation from Namibia.
No visas are required for citizens of the USA, UK, most European countries (including France, Germany, Italy, Austria, Belgium, Spain and Switzerland), Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Malaysia, Japan and Singapore. Travellers receive entry for 90 days and visas for onward travel can be obtained in Windhoek.

Namibia Border Posts Times and Charges
Entry fees at Namibia's border posts are N$220.00 per vehicle, N$140.00 for a trailer, motorcycle or caravan and busses either N$520.00 or N$660.00 depending on the number of axles.
Payment can be made in cash (N$) at the border posts and credit cards are accepted at all posts except Ruacana/Omahenene.

If you are travelling into Namibia by car you can enter at any of the following border posts:
• Noordoewer (open 24 hours)
• Ariamsvlei (open 24 hours)
• Buitepos (open 07:00-24:00)
• Wenela (open 06:00-18:00)
• Ngoma (open 07:00-18:00)
• Mata Mata (open 08:00-16:30)
• Sendelingsdrift (open 08:00-16:30)
• Dobe (open 07:00-16:30)
• Impalila/Kasane (open 07:00-17:00)
• Oshikango (open  08:00-19:00)
• Katitwe (open  08:00-18:00)
• Velloorsdrift (open  08:00-16:30)
• Klein Manasse (open 08:00-16:30)
• Oranjemund (open 06:00-22:00)
• Ruacana (open 08:00-19:00)
• Omahenene (open 08:00-19:00)
• Muhembo (open 06:00-18:00)
• Hohlweg (open 08:00-16:30)

Vehicle Documents Required
• Valid passport of the driver
• Certified copy of vehicle registration papers in the name of the drive
• Letter of authority from the registered owner for cross border travel if the vehicle is not owned by the driver
• If the vehicle is still being financed, a letter of authority from the bank, stating date of travel, together with the vehicle license papers.
• Valid driver's licence. A driver's license from any country with a photograph and that is in English or has an authentic English language certificate attached to it is accepted in Namibia. If your driver's license does not meet these requirements, an international driving permit may be used.
• ZA sticker (if travelling from South Africa) - obtainable from AA agencies.
• Vehicle Insurance – letter from your insurance company stating the vehicle is insured for cross border travel
• 3rd Party Insurance – Obtainable at the border

Import Restrictions for Namibia
All goods and gifts, acquired abroad or in any duty-free shop including goods bought duty free on an aircraft are subject to payment of customs duty and Value Added Tax (VAT), when brought into Namibia.
As a concession, visitors may qualify for the following duty free allowances:
• 400 Cigarettes
• 50 Cigars
• 250 grams of cigarette or pipe tobacco
• 2 litres wine
• 1 litre spirits or other alcoholic beverage
• 50ml Perfume
• 250ml Toilet water
• New or used goods to the value of N$1,250.00
• Persons under 18 are not entitled to tobacco and/or drinks allowances

• Yellow Fever – Required if coming from an affected area
• Recommended Vaccinations: Hepatitis A & B, Typhoid, Polio, Tetanus
• Precautions – Malaria Risk
In the North of the country especially during the rainy season (October – April). Malaria symptoms include fever, shaking, backache, headaches, diahorrea, vomiting and drowsiness.
Malaria prophylactics prevent malaria. Consult your physician for appropriate medical advice and malaria prophylactics.

Currency in Namibia
Namibia's national currency is the Namibian Dollar (N$ or NAD) which equals 100 cents. South African Rands are accepted but note however, that the Namibian Dollar is not accepted in South Africa. Visitors are allowed to bring any amount of foreign currency into the country.

Credit Cards
Credit cards such as MasterCard, American Express, International Visa and Diners Club are accepted and ATMs are available in all major towns.
Most larger shops and supermarkets as well as accommodation establishments and restaurants accept credit cards, mostly VISA and MasterCard.
Self-drivers should note that credit cards are not widely accepted at petrol stations.

Banks in Namibia
The large commercial banks such as Nedbank, First National Bank and Standard Bank have branches in most major towns and will change foreign currency and traveller's cheques.

Tipping for good service is only expected in upmarket tourist establishments but is officially prohibited in national parks and reserves.
A service charge is included in many restaurant bills – if not, and the service was satisfactory, a tip of 10% is standard.

Climate in Namibia
Namibia's climate is mostly hot and dry. Temperatures during winter range from 18-22⁰C during the day and from 0-10⁰C at night. Summer temperatures range from 20-34⁰C during the day and drop below 18⁰C at night. Namibia is a summer rainfall area. The rainy season runs from October to April with the heaviest rains from January to March.

Temperatures in Namibia vary depending on the region but generally, days are hot and nights can be chilly, so layering clothing is a good idea when visiting Namibia. Cool cotton fabrics in neutral colours for the daytime are advised and a jacket for morning and evening game drives. Comfortable walking shoes or hiking boots are essential.

Time Zone
The first Sunday in September to the first Sunday in April, Namibia is 2 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time and from the first Sunday in April to the first Sunday in September Namibia is 1 hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time.

Travelling through Namibia

Namibia is a large country and the best way to explore it, is by car. Namibia has excellent roads but the more remote areas are usually in 4×4 territory.
Despite the vast distances in Namibia, most people get around by land, and not air
Highways exist from Windhoek to all major towns in Namibia. 80% of the roads are unpaved and the distances are considerable. Although a standard passenger/sedan type vehicle will suffice in most areas, it is worth having a 4x4 vehicle which offers better views, ground clearance and comfort.
If you wish to hire a 4x4 vehicle, Namibia's car rental companies maintain a high standard guaranteed by the Car Rental Association of Namibia

Road Rules
In Namibia you drive on the left hand side of the road.
The speed limits in Namibia are 120km/h for tarmac roads, 80km/h for gravel roads and 60km/h in towns.
The driver and all passengers must wear seatbelts.
It is illegal to drive while speaking on a mobile phone in Namibia.
Stick to the speed limits

Road Tips
Travel at low speeds when on gravel roads in order to minimize the danger of skidding.
Always carry at least 1 spare tyre (2 spare tyres recommended if travelling long distance on gravel roads)
Always carry enough fuel and drinking water
Always comply with safety rules in game parks
Always carry a map
Keep headlights on during the day and night
Salt roads are slippery in foggy conditions
Driving at night is very dangerous because there is a lot of wildlife on the roads. If possible, avoid driving at night.

A good rule when you are travelling in more remote areas is to re-fuel when you have the chance. Fuel shortages are also common so always be prepared for the possibility of not being able to buy as much fuel as you may require.
Towns are far apart so guests are urged to fill up at petrol stations. The further north you travel, the fewer petrol stations there are.
Most filling stations are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, but smaller towns and villages may close for the night and even over the weekend, so fill up at every opportunity and carry extra fuel and oil just in case.

All major tourist destinations in Namibia have landings strips or airports.
There are 8 airports in the country:
• Hosea Kutako International Airport (Windhoek)
• Eros (Windhoek)
• Walvis Bay
• Lüderitz
• Keetmanshoop
• Ondandwa
• Rundu
• Katima Mulilo

Mobile Phone/Internet Communications
The international dialling code for Namibia is 264. To dial out from Namibia the international access code is 00.
Most towns and villages have coverage. Along major roads cell phone coverage is usually good, but in more remote areas there may be little or no coverage.
Visitors are advised to purchase a sim card starter pack on arrival in Namibia – this will allow you to make calls at the local rate. Starter packs are available at petrol stations, supermarkets and service provider outlets.

Although tap water is usually drinkable in larger town and cities, it is often recycled and so can unpleasant. Most lodges and guest farms in rural areas use borehole water which is fine to drink.
For visitors with sensitive stomachs, bottled water is readily obtainable.
Water is valuable in Namibia, so please use sparingly. Opt for showers instead of baths, close the tap whenever possible and report leaking taps to your hosts.

220 volts AC, 50hz. Outlets are of the round three-pin type. Guests are advised to bring extension leads and adaptors for charging cameras, mobile phones, etc.

Safety and Security in Namibia
Namibia is mostly a crime-free country. 
To avoid temptation, stick to the basic safety precautions, particularly in larger cities such as Windhoek and Swakopmund:
• Avoid walking through deserted parts of town at night
• Conceal your valuables such as jewellery or large amounts of cash
• Don't let strangers assist you with banking or at the ATM
• Place valuable in a safe at your accommodation
• Support the official car guards
• Don't leave your vehicle unlocked
• Don't leave valuables places visible in your vehicle, rather lock them in the boot

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