Entering Namibia is straightforward and hassle-free: upon arrival and departure, you must fill out an immigration card. If arriving by air, queues can be long, particularly when a couple of planes arrive at the same time (fill out the arrival cards while in the queue to save time), but once you finally reach the counter it's usually straightforward. If you are entering Namibia across one of its land borders, the process is similarly painless: you will need to have all the necessary documentation and insurance for your vehicle. Most nationalities (including nationals from the UK, USA, Australia, Japan and all the Western European countries) don’t even require a visa.
If travelling with children, parents should be aware of the need to carry birth certificates and may require other documents.
Most items from elsewhere in the Southern African Customs Union – Botswana, South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland – may be imported duty-free. From elsewhere, visitors can import duty-free 400 cigarettes or 250g of tobacco, 2L of wine, 1L of spirits and 250mL of eau de cologne. Those aged under 18 do not qualify for the tobacco or alcohol allowances. There are no limits on currency import, but entry and departure forms ask how much you intend to spend or have spent in the country – we have left this blank every time we've entered the country and have never been questioned on it.
Vehicles may not be sold in Namibia without payment of duty. For pets, you need a health certificate and full veterinary documentation (note that pets aren’t permitted in national parks or reserves).
All visitors entering Namibia must hold a passport that is valid for at least six months after their intended departure date from Namibia. Also, allow a few empty pages for stamp-happy immigration officials, especially if you’ll be crossing over to see Victoria Falls in Zambia and Zimbabwe. In theory, you should also hold proof of departure, either in the form of a return or onward ticket. In practice, this is rarely asked for.
Visas are not required for most nationalities visiting Namibia.
Nationals of many countries, including Australia, the EU, USA and most Commonwealth countries, do not need a visa to visit Namibia. Citizens of most Eastern European countries do require visas.
Tourists are granted an initial 90 days, although most immigration officials will ask how long you plan to stay in the country and tailor your visa duration accordingly.
Visas may be extended at the Ministry of Home Affairs in Windhoek. For the best results, be there when the office opens at 8am and submit your application at the 3rd-floor offices (as opposed to the desk on the ground floor).