By airFrom Europe
There are several airlines flying to Namibia from Europe. Some are direct, and all are reliable. Most fly overnight, so you can fall asleep on the plane in London, and wake in southern Africa ready to explore. The time difference between western Europe and Namibia is minimal, so there's no jet lag.
One option to Windhoek is Air Namibia (tel: 01293 596657), which offers services from Frankfurt, with connections to London on British Airways. Currently flights depart from Frankfurt for Windhoek on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday evenings. Northbound they leave Windhoek for Frankfurt on Tuesday morning, and also Wednesday, Friday and Sunday evenings. Air Namibia also operates connecting flights to/from Johannesburg and Cape Town to link up with most of these intercontinental flights to/from Windhoek.
From London, it is normally easiest and cheapest to use one of the major carriers to Johannesburg (11 hours), and then connect through to Windhoek. If you consider flying via Johannesburg, then there are a whole host of other options, from many European airports. British Airways and South African Airways have frequent services, and both operate add-on connections to Windhoek, run by their subsidiaries. Virgin also services the Johannesburg route, though their add-on prices for flights to Windhoek are not usually as competitive.
Expect to pay from around £550/US$825 return. Prices rise significantly for departures in July, August, and mid-December to mid-January, when you can expect to pay up to £950/US$1,425. The quietest periods are mid-April to end-June, and November.
Finding cheap tickets, and the right flights, is an art in itself. All the airlines will help you with information, but they sell their own seats at the 'published' fares. These are considerably above what you can expect to pay if you shop around. If you plan to hire a car or arrange some accommodation in advance, then speak to one of the UK's specialist tour operators before you book your flights. They will often offer to arrange everything together, and quote one cost for your whole trip – flights, car and accommodation. This may seem a lot, but compare it with the cost and hassle of putting the various components together yourself and you'll find that the better operators offer excellent deals.
However, if you're on a very tight budget and want to fly in and backpack around, then talk to a flight-only specialist. In the UK, start by looking in the classified adverts in the Sunday papers (start with The Sunday Times). You'll quickly learn what's available and how much the tickets cost. Flight specialists usually know nothing about Namibia; they just want to sell you flight tickets quickly. In London, they include Trailfinders (tel: 020 7938 3366), Travel Bag (tel: 020 0870 902 0179) and Bridge the World (tel: 020 7813 3350). From the Americas
South African Airways operates direct flights between Atlanta and Johannesburg, codesharing with Delta, which connect with numerous regional flights to Windhoek. Alternatively, many travellers from the US approach southern Africa using connections via Europe, joining Air Namibia's flights in Frankfurt, or travelling on one of the many carriers servicing Johannesburg, and then connecting through to Windhoek. Start your research by looking in the classified section of the New York Times, which has a good section on discount flight specialists.
Given the duration of these flights, travellers often include a few days in Europe as they transit. This highlights the possibility of booking a return USA–London flight (from US$200 return) with an American travel specialist, and a return London–Windhoek flight (from US$1,000 return) with a London specialist. This means that you can use discounted fares for both legs and make a considerable saving. However, do allow a day or so in London between the flights, as your flights will not technically 'connect' – and if one is late you don't want to miss the other.
Travellers in Central and South America might use the Atlanta or European gateways, or the direct flights between São Paulo and Johannesburg, run by South African Airways (codeshare with Varig) five times a week. From elsewhere
From the Far East, there are flights between Johannesburg and most of the major centres in the region, including Hong Kong (with South African Airways or Cathay Pacific) and Singapore (South African Airlines and Singapore Airlines). From Australasia, the best route is probably one of the flights from Perth to Johannesburg, with South African Airways or Qantas, connecting to Windhoek.
If you are not flying in, then entering over one of Namibia's land borders is equally easy. Namibia has fast and direct links with South Africa – good tarred roads and railway service.Crossing borders
Namibia's borders are generally hassle-free and efficient. If you are crossing with a hired car, then remember to let the car-hire company know as they will need to provide you with the right paperwork before you set off. Opening hours at the borders are currently as follows (see also www.namibweb.com/gi.htm):With Botswana
Buitepos – on the Gobabis–Ghanzi road 08.00–17.00
Impalila Island – over the river from Kasane 07.00–18.00
Ngoma Bridge – between Caprivi and Kasane 06.00–18.00
Mohembo – on the southern side of Mahango 08.00–17.00With Zambia
Wenella – just north of Katima Mulilo 07.00–18.00With Angola
Oshikango – on the main road north 08.00–18.00
Ruacana – near the hydro-electric station 08.00–18.00
Rundu – cross the river to go north 08.00–17.00With South Africa
Hohlweg – on the D622 southeast of Aroab 08.00–16.30
Klein Menasse – Aroab–Rietfontein road 08.00–16.30
Ariamsvlei – on the Karasburg–Upington road 24 hours
Noordoewer – on the Windhoek–Cape Town road 24 hours
Oranjemund – the bridge over the Orange River 06.00–22.00
Velloorsdrif – on the C10 southeast of Karasburg 08.00–16.30