1. Travel Insurance - Is that necessary?
Yes, insurance whilst travelling with Chameleon Safaris is essential. All clients must be insured to cover repatriation, medical expenses, personal accident, cancellation and curtailment. Chameleon Safaris will request proof of insurance and have the right to refuse clients onto their safari without refund should the client not have insurance. Many emergency services will not send a rescue service in Southern Africa until proof of insurance has been issued. Should you injure yourself, you may end up without medical assistance, something not to be taken lightly. For more information, click here.
2. What type of person travels with Chameleon, and am I the right type of person?
A wide range of people from all walks of life and various countries join us on safari. We have no upper age restriction, but we ask clients to have a "sense of adventure" and be team players. The groups are made up of single travellers, couples, friends and families. However, when travelling together on a group tour, each individual needs to have a degree of flexibility and patience.
3. We plan on doing a self-drive in Namibia - can you help us?
Of course! We can help plan your itinerary, book campsites and/or accommodation and will be on hand to offer a meet and greet service when you arrive in Namibia. We will go through your itinerary step by step with you and ensure you are happy before you depart for your trip. Visit Chameleon Holidays for full details about self-driving in Namibia.
4. The roads in Namibia, what are they like?
Generally, they are in excellent condition. Most of the roads and towns are well signposted. Major roads are tarred; the rest are gravel. Please, however, be aware that the conditions can change during the rainy season - please refer to our car rules and regulations for additional information. If you book a self-drive, we will ensure that you receive a map to help you find your way around.
5. On these safaris, what do I need to bring along?
We will provide you with a pre-departure list before you travel - often, it depends on the type of trip you are doing and the time of year you are travelling.
6. What can we expect typical Namibian weather to be?
We have two main seasons, Winter - from May to September, which is dry but can get very cold, particularly at night during June/July/August, and occasionally temperatures fall to freezing. During the day, it can reach 25c or so, depending on the location.
Summer - October through to April is also the rainy season, temperatures increase significantly, and it is not unusual to reach 35c or sometimes higher. The early rains (from October to December) are sporadic. January through to April can bring heavy rains that can occasionally last 2 or 3 days and provide a welcome relief to the desert landscape.
7. Should I tip the guide or camp assistant & if so, how much?
Tipping is certainly not compulsory, but if you feel your guide/apprentice guide/camp assistant has done an excellent job and offered you an enjoyable and knowledgeable trip, they will always be happy to receive a tip. A guideline is N$20/day/person for your guide and N$10/day/person for your driver/camp assistant.
8. What are the minimum and maximum age limits on group safaris?
There is no maximum age limit as long as you are prepared to come along with a "young at heart" attitude, are a team player, and are aware that families can occasionally join you on safari. However, we ask that anyone over the age of 70 provide us with a Medical Form from their doctor stating they are in good health as these are adventure trips.
The minimum age on scheduled departures is 5 or 12 years of age (please check with us before confirming your booking if you travel with children). If you are travelling with kids and do not meet the minimum age requirement, we would be happy to quote on a private guided or self-drive trip for your family.
9. Is Namibia child and a family-friendly destination?
Yes, it's a safe country and is often regarded as an excellent place for first-time travellers to Africa and families. The infrastructure is good, water is generally safe to drink, and there is plenty to keep everyone of all ages occupied. You can either join one of the scheduled safaris, have a tailor-made safari prepared for you or enjoy a self-drive holiday.
10. Will I need to bring a mattress or sleeping bag?
For camping safaris, 5cm thick high-density mattresses are supplied. Sleeping bags can be hired at a rate of N$20/day and are rated three seasons. In the winter months, we give an additional blanket free of charge with each sleeping bag rental, and all clients also get a small camping pillow for their camping adventure.
11. Should I expect changes to the issued itinerary?
Generally speaking, each itinerary has had a lot of work put into it to ensure that you get to see the highlights of the country and the safest and best way. However, sometimes, there are factors beyond our control, which means that the itinerary may change, and each tour operator reserves the right to do this. Generally, these changes are minor, and we will do our best to advise clients, but occasionally this will happen whilst on the road. This is the time to make the most of it and enjoy the adventure of being in Africa.
12. Is Namibia a malaria area? What about other health issues?
Areas north of Windhoek pose a small risk of malaria, which increases during the wet season. However, the risk increases the further east you travel, i.e., the Zambezi region or Botswana or Zambia. The best way to prevent malaria is not to get bitten by wearing long sleeves/pants, putting on repellent and ensuring that your tent is zipped up to prevent mossies from getting into the tent. Please seek a specialist health centre's advice or visit your doctor prior to your trip to give you up to date advice on prophylactics, but please be aware that this still does not give you 100% protection. Your doctor will also provide you with advice on other health requirements.
With regards to COVID-19, Chameleon Safaris has implemented stricter hygiene measures to reduce the risk to our travellers, and all Chameleon Safaris staff are vaccinated against COVID-19. If you have any specific questions about Namibia’s regulations please get in touch via email on firstname.lastname@example.org
13. Can you cater for vegetarian dietary requirements?
Catering for dietary requirements is generally no problem if you advise us what you do and do NOT eat in advance. This is equally important if you suffer from any food allergies etc. Regarding specific diets such as vegetarian and vegan, we will do our best to accommodate you, but again please realise that the choice of foods here in Namibia may not always be the same as you will be able to purchase at home. If you have particular requirements, please liaise with us ASAP to discuss the best course of action for you. This may mean that you need to bring something from home if our shops do not supply them, but we can advise before your departure if this is required. We also find an increasing trend towards Veganism and Flexitarian eating plans which may be more difficult for us to cater for in group travel as food is pre-purchased before the safari. Lots of communication with our office before you travel should help us identify the food types that you can eat and ensure that your stomach is satisfied for the duration of your tour.
14. Will I have WiFi whilst on safari?
In most of the campsites and some bush lodges, WiFi is nonexistent. However, in towns such as Windhoek & Swakopmund you will easily be able to get back online and tell everyone how much fun you are having. If having an internet connection is very important, you can also consider buying a local MTC sim card for your cellphone. However, the data connection in some parts of Namibia may not be very stable.
15. Will I be able to recharge my electrical devices?
Our newer trucks now have USB charging ports on board so you can charge as you travel. Adaptors for our unique 3point plugs can also be purchased in our Activity/Curio shop before travel to charge overnight either in your room or campsite.
16. Is there cell phone reception all over Namibia?
There will be cell phone reception in the towns and some rural locations, but be aware that being in some remote areas will mean that there is no cell phone or landline reception. For any family emergency at home, please share the Chameleon Safaris office number with your family/friends +264 61247668. This number can be used to ensure that we will get a message through to the guide as fast as possible.
17. What is the best way for me to carry money with me?
Travellers Cheques are no longer valid. If you bring cash with you (US$/Euro/GBP/AUD) ensure you change at the airport on arrival or in Windhoek the day before your safari departure. Small amounts of cash are needed for drinks/snacks en-route, but credit/debit cards are widely accepted (Visa/Mastercard symbols required), and ATM machines are accessible in all major towns.
18. Can I book pre and/or post-safari accommodation together with my safari?
Check your itinerary to see if pre-safari accommodation in Windhoek is included on the 1st night of your safari. For those travelling on the scheduled camping options or our fabulous adventure accommodated trips, we love our clients staying with us at Chameleon "all star" Backpackers so we can get to know you before you head out on safari. If your comfort level is a little higher, we are also happy to book your accommodation elsewhere within the City Limits and can arrange a pick up for you the following morning. Pre-Departure meetings are held at Chameleon Backpackers before your vehicle departing on safari. Airport transfers can also be organised with your Chameleon consultant or through our safari office for your arrival and departure flights.
19. Can I combine my safari with a volunteer project?
Yes, there are several exciting volunteer projects in Namibia, and depending on your interests, there is undoubtedly something to suit. The options range from spending time at an animal orphanage to conservation work tracking and monitoring desert elephants, to medical placements working with the San people or more social welfare minded projects in the township. Depending on the project you choose, some may be more structured than others, however, there is always the option to combine this with a short or longer safari. Just let us know before you book, and we can give you as many options as possible.
20. Can you help us if we are a couple of friends travelling together?
Just let us know which safari suits you and how many people 'including children under 12' are travelling together. Depending on seat availability, you can travel on the scheduled departure and groups of more than six can qualify for a group discount. If there is enough of you travelling, we may be able to offer a departure as a private departure, but this is typically associated with additional cost. Contact us for more information if you are a group.
21. We cannot travel on the scheduled dates for the safari that we like - is there anything you can do about this?
Depending on your dates and how many people are travelling, we will look first for scheduled options that suit you. However, if there are none, we can quote on a private departure using the same or similar accommodation depending on what is available. Contact us with more information so we can provide the best solution for you.
22. I'm a solo traveller. Can I still book your safaris?
We love solo travellers, and they make up a large segment of our safari clients. Check our Safari pages as we sometimes run specials or recommend specific trips more suitable to our solo travellers and their pockets. On many of our trips (camping and accommodated), there is no additional supplement for single travellers when booking on a "willing to share" basis, so enquire with our office as to which options are the "best value" for solo travellers.
23. I would like to see the Himba people when I am in Namibia - Where and how can I do this?
The Himba people mainly live in the North-West part of Namibia. Please remember when you visit the tribes to show respect to them and their cultures and views. They are also changing to the environment they live in today, so do not be surprised to see them in modern clothing or occasionally clutching a cell phone! Please also be aware that whilst we endeavour to arrange walks and meetings with the tribes, they choose what and when they wish to do things, which can occasionally be out of our control. All of our tours that visit Etosha National Park also include a visit to the Himba people. If you are keen to incorporate a cultural experience and looking for a tailor-made safari, please advise us when you make your inquiry, and we can incorporate this into your trip.