Etiquette

Namibians are a pretty easy-going lot when it comes to their dealings with foreign visitors, but such tolerance conceals a society buit around a number of founding principles. For Namibians, keeping up appearances extends to behaving modestly and respectfully to one’s elders and social superiors, performing religious and social duties and fulfilling all essential family obligations. We encourage you to do likewise – err on the side of modesty when interacting with locals and be respectful in all of your dealings with locals, particularly older Namibians. Greetings are especially important to Namibians so take the time to greet people properly before launching into the main business of the conversation.

The need for modesty extends into other areas. Despite the way people dance in nightclubs, traditional Namibian culture frowns on excessive public displays of affection between couples, married or not. At the same time, locals, who are accustomed to travelling in cramped combis (minibuses) and living in shared housing, may not have the same sense of personal space you possess.