World Travel Guide > Guides > Africa > Namibia

Namibia Health Care and Vaccinations

Title Special precautions
Yellow Fever No**
Typhoid Yes
Tetanus Yes
Rabies Sometimes
Malaria Yes*
Hepatitis A Yes
Diphtheria Yes

* A high risk of malaria is present in the Caprivi Strip, Kavango and Kunene river regions throughout the year. The risk is very low in the rest of Namibia, so visitors who plan to visit Windhoek, Walvis Bay, and Sossusvlei do not need to take anti-malarial tablets.

** There is no risk of yellow fever in Namibia. However, travellers (over 9 months of age) arriving in Namibia from countries with the risk of yellow fever must produce a vaccination certificate.

Health Care

Namibia has both public and private healthcare facilities, including district hospitals, health centres and outreach points, with the latter spreading out to small villages. Most private facilities are in Windhoek while safari lodges tend to offer basic medical care. Patients requiring urgent care are often transferred to Windhoek or in some cases, South Africa. As a result, travel insurance is essential.

While Namibia isn't plagued by the tropical diseases that afflict its neighbours, its northern section (the Caprivi Strip, Kavango and Kunene river regions) does carry a risk of malaria. Dysentery (most often seen in campers who haven't properly treated their water supply) can also occur. A first-aid kit is recommended for those who plan to drive long distances or stay in a remote area.

HIV/AIDS remains an issue in Namibia, with 8.3% of its population living with the disease in 2020, most of which are young female adults. But efforts from the government are admirable and the country has essentially reduced the HIV incidence rate significantly over the years.

Food and Drink

Tap water in Namibia is chlorinated and safe to drink, especially in cities, but it may cause mild abdominal upsets to travellers with sensitive stomachs. In remote areas where the water sources may be subject to contamination, bottled water is recommended.

Local meat, poultry and seafood are safe to eat, provided that they are cooked and served hot. Fruits should be peeled and vegetables should be washed in clean water.

Other Risks

Hepatitis A, tetanus and typhoid are often recommended to travellers.

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