Money matters

The Namibian currency unit is the Namibia dollar (N$), divided into 100 cents. Coins are issued in denominations of 5c, 10c, 50c, $1 and $5; notes in denominations of $10, $50 and $100. The Namibia dollar has the same value as the South African rand, which is still legal tender in Namibia.

Current exchange: Foreign currency can be converted into Namibia dollars at banks and bureaux de change in Windhoek. No foreign currencies are accepted at state-ownder rest camps, nor are facilities to exchange foreign currency available. Windhoek International Airport has currency-exchange facilities.

Banks: First National Bank and Standard Bank are represented throughout Namibia. Banking hours are from 09:00 to 15:30 on weekdays and 08:30 to 11:00 on Saturdays, except in country towns where banks close between 13:00 and 14:00.

Travellers's cheques: may be cashed at any bank and at major hotels in Windhoek. State-ownder rest camps and resorts will only cash travellers' cheques in South African rand.

Credit cards: Most hotels, restaurants, shops, car-hire firms and tour operators accept international credit cards (American Express, Visa, Diners Club and MasterCard). Some German-owned businesses, guest farms in remote areas and shops in rural areas do not accept credit cards. Petrol cannot be bought with a credit card; some banks, however, issue a special 'Petrocard' or 'Autocard'.

General Sales Tax: GST of 8% is levied on all goods, while additional sales duty (5-15%) is levied on most goods. Prices displayed on all goods are inclusive of GST and additional sales duty.

Tipping: It is customary to tip porters, waiters, waitresses, taxi drivers, room attendants and golf caddies, provided the service is satisfactory. It is usual to tip petrol attendants about N$1 when they offer to clean car windows or to check the water, oil and tyre pressure. Gratuities for waiters/waitresses and taxi drivers are usually 10% of the bill, and tips for porterage are generally around N$2.