Moving to Namibia

Expats moving to Namibia will have the chance to explore stunning desert scenery.Expats moving to Namibia will find that its attraction lies in its uniqueness. Home to two deserts, spectacular coastlines and populous national parks, the country is quintessential of the phrase ‘natural beauty’. 

Namibia, a former German colony, was annexed by South Africa after WWI, and remained a province of its neighbour in the south until its independence in 1990. Namibia’s economy is based primarily on agriculture and mining, specifically diamonds. It's also home to many attractions that contribute to the thriving tourism sector.

Most expats moving to Namibia settle in its capital, Windhoek, which stands as the social, political, cultural and economic centre of the country.

Thanks to the country's large desert terrain, Nambia is one of the least densely inhabited countries in the world. As a result, expats looking to escape the claustrophobia of city living can easily catch a break with a weekend getaway to some of Namibia's more isolated areas.

While some public transport is available, getting around Namibia is easiest by road. The primary roads are paved and in good condition, but expats looking to drive on the more rural roads should consider a four-wheel drive vehicle. Caution should be maintained when driving at night, as animals frequently can be found on or crossing the roads. 

Having access to healthcare in Namibia is vital, especially as the northern part of the country is a malaria risk zone. Expats should be sure to take appropriate precautions and stay vigilant. In the capital and some of the bigger towns, there are good medical facilities with well-trained staff, but as treatment can be expensive, medical insurance is advised. Namibia has both private and public hospitals, with the latter being more prevalent and serving most of the country's citizens. The standard of the public hospitals, in comparison to the private hospitals, is below average in many areas. Outside of the main towns, medical treatment is scarcer.

Education in Namibia is compulsory from the ages of six to 16 years old. The government provides free primary education at public schools for all children but uniforms, books, hostels and school improvement fees must be paid for by parents. There are roughly 1,500 schools in Namibia, 100 of which are private. The schools are predominately English, but there are also Afrikaans and German schools, as well as schools following international curricula.

Finding a job in Namibia can be difficult, as the government tends to hire locals over expats because of the country’s high unemployment rate. Conducting business in Namibia, as well as the dress code that accompanies it, is relatively formal but socialising and drinking are considered important parts of building good work relationships. English is the language most spoken in business, along with Afrikaans and German.
Those relocating to Namibia will probably not experience a huge culture shock, but rather a blend of traditions and cultures set against an incredible backdrop of astounding nature, joining those who choose to embrace the desert and what it brings.

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