The Namibian Dollar (NAD) N$ is in note denominations of N$200, 100, 50, 20 and 10. Coins are in denominations of N$5, N$1, 50 cents, 10 cents and 5 cents. It is linked to the South African Rand (ZAR) on a 1:1 basis (1 South African Rand = 100 cents). The South African Rand is also acceptable as currency in Namibia, however NAD is not in South Africa so insure to exchange local before crossing the border as exchange in South Africa is at a lower rates that 1:1.
Travelers Cheque Advice
To avoid additional exchange rate charges, travelers are advised to take some traveler’s cheques in US Dollars, Euro or South African Rand.It is a good back-up for emergencies and accepted all over the country and can be cashed almost everywhere where tourism is active. Popular suppliers are Thomas Cook, Rennies and American Express.
The import and export of local currency is limited to NAD 50,000.00 and the import of foreign currency is unlimited, provided that it is declared on arrival. Export of foreign currency is unlimited up to the amount imported and declared as long as the departure is within 12 months of arrival date. No limits exist for travelling between Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland as these countries are members of the same common monetary area.
Namibia accounts for a number of international and regional banks providing ATM services. ATM machines can be found in all the mayor towns around the country mostly in shops, hotels or at the local branch.
The banking hours are from Monday to Friday 9:00-15:30 and Saturdays from 9:00 till 11:00 and with 24h assistance on the phone.
Every local banking institution have a foreign exchange service, in Windhoek you will find many of the Forex bureaux in the main street of the capital (Independence Avenue), or in each of the larger shopping malls. In other towns Forex is done at the local banks and major tourist areas, in rural areas these services is non-existing but ask for assistance at your place of lodging as they have no problem exchanging to Namibian Dollars for you, however vice-versa might be a problem.
American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard and Visa are accepted. Check with your credit or debit Card Company for details of merchant acceptability and other services which may be available. Credit cards are usually accepted at petrol stations subject to a % commission charged on top.Most hotels, restaurants, travel agencies and the bigger shops will take credit cards, however, they will charge a higher commission. Most of the bigger banks will advance local currency against a credit card. Standard Bank, First National Bank, Bank Windhoek and Nedbank have ATM machines which accept Visa cards for cash in almost every town. Local travel incentive cards are available if one prefers to play it saver and stick to a pre-loaded budget?
Cost of living in Namibia is not very expensive but if one wants to keep a westernised lifestyle, as most products are imported, the cost will be higher.
High-end meal N$250
High-end Housing N$6000/month
Bus fare N$400/month
Housekeeper salary N$1600/month
Bottle of water N$6
Bottle of beer N$10
Coca Cola N$7
Taxi from airport to town N$ 350 (30 minutes drive)
1 hour in Internet café N$20