The currency of Namibia is the Namibian Dollar (NAD or N$) but it is also acceptable to pay in South African Rand (ZAR) as they have the same exchange rate. Conversion rates fluctuate between:
These exchange rates change constantly so it is best to check online shortly before departure. Visit www.xe.com for the current exchange rate.
ATMs are widely available in Namibia, reducing the need to carry travellers cheques or large amounts of cash on your person. We do, however, advise to carry around 200 Euro/2000 N$ with you during your trip.
If you haven't exchanged money in your home country, you can withdraw cash at the airport upon arrival. ATMs operate the same as in Europe and the on-screen instructions are in English. When prompted to choose the account you wish to draw from, select Savings Account. You'll find ATMs at most large banks and elsewhere in shopping districts.
Credit cards are widely accepted, predominantly Visa and MasterCard. If you have recently acquired new cards, do not forget to use them at least once in an ATM at home prior to going abroad. Check with your bank whether your bankcards can be used in Africa.
Keep in mind refuelling can sometimes only be paid in cash. There usually is ATMs at larger petrol stations.
At the airport: When you land in Johannesburg you may be approached by someone offering to help with your luggage. Official porters wear an orange and navy blue uniform displaying the word porter and carry an ACSA (Airport Company of South Africa) identification badge. Should you use this service, a tip of between 5 and 10 Rand is sufficient. They may try to get more out of you and ask for ridiculous amounts such as 250 Rand, however, it is not the going rate. To avoid disputes, agree on a price before the service is rendered. Should you wish to lay a complaint about your porter, take his picture with your phone and contact ACSA: +27 (0) 11 921 6262.
At restaurants: when service is good, a tip of 10% of the bill total is the norm, if a service charge hasn't already been added. Tips are an important part of servers' wages as those usually are (very) low. To ensure the tip is given to your waiter, we advise you to pay all tips in cash.Tipping in bars is uncommon but appreciated. Don’t feel obligated to tip if the service isn't good.
To petrol attendants, porters and anyone who packs/carries your bags at the supermarket: you usually give loose change.
Car guards: In cities, keep an eye out for car guards who will look after your vehicle in parking lots. You normally should give them around five NAD per hour.
When enjoying guided activities: It is customary to tip your guide (game drives, boat trips etc) if he/she is cordial and sufficiently knowledgeable. A rate of N$ 20 per person per activity is the norm. Please note that it is not the guide's fault if you don't see as many animals as you had hoped, so your tip should not be reliant upon the number of animals you see.
At 4 and 5-star lodges: You can expect excellent service from both lodge staff and safari guides. Even at 5-star resorts it is common practice to leave a tip on departure. We recommend you leave two tips: one for the lodge staff to share and the other for your daily safari guide. Because guides usually are a determining factor of the success of your stay, it is good to tip him/her more than individual lodge staff. The following guideline can be applied:
Lodge staff and. guides generally prefer cash tips. When adding tips to your bill of extras and paying with a card, lodges owners sometimes claim part of the gratuity because of the tax imposed on credit card payments.
When travelling on a guided tour: The tipping amount is up to you. Usually people give about N$ 1,000 per week, regardless of the group size.