The currency of Namibia is the Namibian dollar (N$). It’s divided into 100 cents, and is linked to the South African rand. The rand is also legal tender in Namibia at a rate of 1:1. This can be confusing, given that there are three sets of coins and notes in use: old South African, new South African and Namibian. We quote prices in Namibian and occasionally US dollars.
Namibian dollar notes come in denominations of N$10, N$20, N$50, N$100 and N$200, and coins in values of 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents, and N$1 and N$5.
Money can be exchanged in banks and exchange offices. Banks generally offer the best rates, and travellers cheques normally fetch a better rate than cash. When changing money, you may be given either South African rand or Namibian dollars; if you’ll need to change any leftover currency outside Namibia, the rand is a better choice.
There is no currency black market, so beware of street changers offering unrealistic rates.
Tipping is welcomed everywhere, but is expected only in upmarket tourist restaurants where it’s normal to leave a tip of 10% to 15% of the bill. Some restaurants add a service charge as a matter of course. As a rule, taxi drivers aren’t tipped, but it is customary to give N$2 to N$5 to petrol-station attendants who clean your windows and/or check the oil and water. Note that tipping is officially prohibited in national parks and reserves.
At safari lodges, it’s customary to tip any personal guides directly (assuming they merit a tip), and also to leave a tip with the proprietor, to be divided among all the staff.