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Today's safety in Windhoek

Hartsdale, New York
Level Contributor
50 posts
Today's safety in Windhoek

There is recently lot of bad news on this subject.

Can somebody give me an update? I want to visit Namibia starting in Windhoek. Thank you.

Pretoria, South...
Level Contributor
1,802 posts
18 reviews
1. Re: Today's safety in Windhoek

Hi conradi,

I might be living in a cocoon (and could be wrong), but I've never heard of safety problems in Windhoek or the rest of Namibia. Beyond taking standard precautions, you should be absolutely safe.

I consider Namibia the safest of all the Southern African countries, bar none!

Isle of Man, United...
Level Contributor
39,789 posts
445 reviews
2. Re: Today's safety in Windhoek

Yes. I would like to hear of this too. Where did you get to hear of it?

Hartsdale, New York
Level Contributor
50 posts
3. Re: Today's safety in Windhoek

Thank you!

Source: Foreign & Commonwelth Office

www.fco.gov.uk

Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
3 posts
6 reviews
4. Re: Today's safety in Windhoek

My husband and I just spent a month in Namibia, starting and ending in Windhoek. Generally we felt pretty safe though at one hostel, the Chameleon, there were a lot of warnings about safety (i.e. big sign saying not to carry backpacks, cameras etc. when walking in town and sign outside the gates saying your car would be broken into if left unattended). That said, we saw plenty of tourists wandering around the city with bags (though we didn't ourselves).

Have a great trip!

Alexa

Pretoria, South...
Level Contributor
1,802 posts
18 reviews
5. Re: Today's safety in Windhoek

WOW, conradi,

That's a fascinating web-page you gave. I think the crime situation has been seriously over-rated, but it certainly makes for interesting reading. I would still class the crime rate in Namibia (particularly violent crime) the lowest risk of all Sub-Saharan countries. However, some excellent general tips on safety precautions.

It was also also intriguing to read the health warnings. The polio "outbreak" consisted of something like 8 cases, 3 years ago. Amongst isolated rural folk, I believe. There has been no evidence of polio to my knowledge since then. And cholera and rabies are "common"? Not in the Namibia I know. To my knowledge again, there is no evidence of cholera in the country at this stage. And I've heard of a few animals with rabies. I have yet to see one, and I've lived and traveled extensively in Southern Africa for almost 50 years. Rabies, Cholera and polio are certainly not the risks that the website makes them to be, IMO.

The water in the towns (and most of the lodges) of Namibia is also considered some of the safest in Africa. We almost always drink tap water, and use ice. As a guide, I recommend bottled water for those who are concerned, and provide it in my vehicles, but the Namibian water is exceptionally good.

I think there's a lot of unnecessary paranoia spread on the site. But maybe some of the Namibia experts can comment ...

But thanks for the heads up!

Isle of Man, United...
Level Contributor
39,789 posts
445 reviews
6. Re: Today's safety in Windhoek

Ha! Thought so.

Daftest Website going. Reading some of the warnings and you would be too scared to get out of bed They practically ruined the Kenyan Tourist Trade in early 2008 by warning against travel post the election problems. The 'trouble' was limited to non tourist areas but of course once the warnings got posted Travel companies pulled the plug for everywhere to cover their backsides. And of course travel to countries with FCO warnings invalidates a lot of Travel Insurance.

Conradi. What does your own Gov Office say?

Hartsdale, New York
Level Contributor
50 posts
7. Re: Today's safety in Windhoek

I am really careful or looking for common sense with all this type of postings. Of course, can happen and happen - but I was looking for daily life advise and thank you for that.

US site is less scary: :)

…state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_977.html

New Zealand
Level Contributor
2,085 posts
3 reviews
8. Re: Today's safety in Windhoek

Probably the safest developing world country we've visited.

Windhoek presents no more dangers than any other city.Don't look like a dumb tourist when exploring the city.No bags.A little money in your pocket, enough for the day.A mugger, if there are any, will follow you and watch where you get your money out when you make a purchase.So having a few notes in your pocket, and no bulging wallet will send him a message you're not woth the effort.

A pocket camera instead of draping yourself with them.Don't snap pictures of everything.

Avoid safari colours, wear colours locals wear.Buddy up.

Be confident.But be aware.

Use the hotel foyer safe.Avoid the room safes as in the event an inside job occurs, you have no proof of what you placed in them.

We felt safer there, than walking our capital city night time streets.

And incidentally, I drank water straight out of the ground in damaraland for 2 weeks.Sweet as.

You're going to enjoy every minute of your trip.

New Zealand
Level Contributor
2,085 posts
3 reviews
9. Re: Today's safety in Windhoek

Probably the safest developing world country we've visited.

Windhoek presents no more dangers than any other city.Don't look like a dumb tourist when exploring the city.No bags.A little money in your pocket, enough for the day.A mugger, if there are any, will follow you and watch where you get your money out when you make a purchase.So having a few notes in your pocket, and no bulging wallet will send him a message you're not woth the effort.

A pocket camera instead of draping yourself with them.Don't snap pictures of everything.

Avoid safari colours, wear colours locals wear.Buddy up.

Be confident.But be aware.

Use the hotel foyer safe.Avoid the room safes as in the event an inside job occurs, you have no proof of what you placed in them.

We felt safer there, than walking our capital city night time streets.

And incidentally, I drank water straight out of the ground in damaraland for 2 weeks.Sweet as.

You're going to enjoy every minute of your trip.

Austin, Texas
Level Contributor
140 posts
73 reviews
10. Re: Today's safety in Windhoek

Backpacker Unite! in Windhoek told us to do much of what is mentioned above when walking into the center when we were there in 2005 and we had no problems. Does not mean that there isn't a crime wave going on now, but think you will have little trouble if you follow the tips in the posts above.

Cholera, if it develops due to the overcrowding in flood victim camps, could become more of a concern if you are going to the flooded areas around the Caprivi in the next few weeks...

Are you the kind of traveler who takes responsibility for your own water ? Stuff happens, and people get sick from tap water in the US and other countries from time to time. We have drunk tap water and used ice in places in South Africa and Namibia and Botswana and Zambia, but for the most part, we always purify our own water to cut down on the use of plastic disposable bottles and chance of traveler's you know what.

Think I will post on our blog in a few about the steps we take to insure safe water.

http://malonetravels2.blogspot.com/

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