Namibia Dollar - NAD
Namibia is one of the many countries in the world that uses some form of the dollar currency. In this case it is officially the Namibian dollar. As you might expect the currency is broken down into 100 cents to the dollar, as is the case elsewhere in the world with dollar currencies.
What coins and notes are available for this currency?
There are a number of coins available for this decimal currency, and these are split equally between those denominated in cents and those denominated in dollars. The cents coins are the 5, 10 and 50 cent coins while the dollar coins are the $1, $5 and $10 coins.
The country also uses five banknotes. These are the $10, $20, $50, $100 and $200 notes.
From past to present – the history of the Namibian dollar
This is actually a very recent currency to be introduced into Africa. The country was once ruled by South Africa and when this was the case – between 1920 and 1990 – Namibia used the South African rand. When Namibia gained its own independence in 1990 it was decided to bring in its own currency to replace the rand. This was the Namibian dollar, which has been in place ever since.
Even today though, you can still use the rand in Namibia and their dollar is linked to it on a 1:1 value. So really while the country did away with the rand it never quite let it go completely.
How to get hold of the Namibian dollar
If you try to get hold of Namibian dollars before you leave home you will probably have difficulty in doing so. The same applies if you have any left to bring home with you once your stay has ended. This means the best bet is to order some South African rand before you go to Namibia, just so you have some currency you can actually use in the country. These are easy to exchange once you are in Namibia too, so it makes sense to get some before you leave home. Furthermore it is wise to remember to exchange your Namibian dollars back to rand to bring home with you. If you do this you shouldn’t have any problem changing the rand notes back into your own currency once you get home.
When you are in Namibia you can use credit cards to make payment for things quite readily. You shouldn’t have any issues with Mastercard or Visa so take whichever one you have. Cash machines are relatively easy to find as well, particularly in areas that are heavily frequented by tourists. Generally speaking the more remote you go the less likely it is you can pay easily in anything but cash.
How to find out the latest exchange rate between your home currency and the Namibian dollar
This is pretty easy to do as you just have to gain access to a currency converter. Ideally this should be one that is updated fairly frequently. The more often it is updated (some are updated literally every minute or so) the more accurate your information will be. Just be sure to enter your own currency as the one you are starting with, and then add the Namibian dollar as the destination one you want to convert into. This is fairly easy to do and you can either do a single unit conversion or go for a larger amount depending on what you want to know.
If you think you might visit this country at some point it might be worth going to the Namibia High Commission website for the London location. This can be found at http://www.namibiahc.org.uk/.
Travelling safely with the Namibian dollar
Many people travel to Namibia for a holiday and those that do generally have a good time with no problems at all. However crime does take place and some instances recently have been more violent in nature. It is a good idea not to travel alone or at night if you can help it, particularly in areas you are unfamiliar with. Keep up with the latest travel information as given by the UK government so you can see whether it is safe to travel there and what to bear in mind.
Most information is really common sense in many ways. For example you should consider how safe your valuables are when you are travelling through or around the country. Don’t keep all your money in one place – split it between your pockets instead. This means that if you are hit by a pickpocket you won’t lose everything. Keep your bag over your opposite shoulder so it is not as easy to snatch and don’t take anything out with you that you don’t really need. Bear in mind though that if you do want to exchange cash for the local dollar, you will probably need to present your original passport and not a photocopy. Just be sure to keep it safe if you do have it on you at any point.
Where to spend your dollars in Namibia – and what to spend them on
Namibia is officially known as the Republic of Namibia and is an African country. More specifically it is in southern Africa and it shares borders with four other countries. These are Angola to the north, Zambia to the north-east, Botswana to the east and South Africa to the south-east and south. The entire western side of the country faces the Atlantic Ocean. If you look at the country on a map you might initially think it also shares a small section of border with Zimbabwe. However on closer inspection you will see they merely come extremely close to each other in one spot – literally by a matter of a few hundred metres.
Namibia is known for its national parks, one of which is Etosha National Park. This is known as a wildlife sanctuary and is chosen by many people as their preferred game reserve if they want to see some animals in the wild. It is said to be one of the easiest places to visit if you want to look for game. There are various waterholes in the park which mean you can see animals such as black rhino, lions and leopards among others.
Elsewhere in Namibia, towards the south of the country, you can visit Fish River Canyon. This is one of the most popular attractions tourists visit in the entire country, and when you see the views you will understand why. You will need several days to spare if you wanted to walk from end to end since it is some 100 miles long! It is far better to visit some of the main viewing points the canyon has to offer, specially chosen to provide excellent views that are quite breath-taking. You can actually take part in a marathon here if you have your running shoes with you, although it is a seriously challenging event as you can imagine.
Another option is to go to the Spitzkoppe, which is colloquially known as the Matterhorn of Namibia. This is a stunning sight and is made even more so by the fact that the land surrounding the peak is very flat. You would need to be a serious rock climber to even have a chance of reaching the top, but it is still worth a visit because you can see the rock bridge nearby and wander around near the base of the mountain.
Finally why not think about visiting the National Marine Aquarium of Namibia? This is a contrast to the often dry and arid nature of the attractions we have mentioned so far. This is the only aquarium in the entire country, and it is located – not surprisingly – on the Atlantic coast in Swakopmund. It has been renovated in recent years and now boasts an incredible selection of mammals and fish. Look out for such examples as the octopus, blue shark, monkfish, sand shrimp and many others as well. You can even see the Cape fur seal here. It is well worth allocating a day to go to the museum to see what else they have in store for you.
Namibia might have come as a surprise to you but when you learn of its location in southern Africa you may realise that it is a good location to go to for some safari experiences. Indeed the country is rich in natural sights and sounds, and it has a lot to offer in terms of attractions for visitors to enjoy. It is a good idea to plan ahead and explore the country online a little before you plan a proper break there. This is always a good idea with a country you have little prior knowledge of. There are lots of natural sights here that would make for a spectacular holiday, regardless of where you stay in the country or how long you are there for.
In fact for a holiday that is a little different from anything you have been on before, perhaps Namibia might fit the bill.