Namibia 2 Zambia


Date: 13th June 2013

Border Post:  Welena (Katima Mulilo)

Exiting Namibia
1. All formalities completed in one office with 2 counters.
2. First desk, the immigration official gave us Arrival / Departure form to complete.  The official was also manning the arrivals process into Namibia – the desk was directly opposite me.  We waited a couple of minutes then were stamped out of Namibia.
3. Next, over to the Customs counter where the customs officer stamped the carnet – no problem.
4. We were done in the office, and drove to the exit.  Viking Explorer complete the infamous large register with driver and vehicle details.  In the meantime, an official (no idea which one) was chatting to me and checking out the vehicle.  He was angling for a drink, but I said we didn’t have any.  Viking Explorer returned and we were out.

A short drive over to the Zambian side.  As we approached the building, there were many money changers offering their kwacha.  We ignored them – for now.


Entering Zambia
Most formalities were completed in one large room with many counters.

  1. First up, we had to complete the infamous large African register of the people arriving into Zambia.
  2. Then over to the immigration desk.  Viking Explorer needed a visa – we opted for a double entry for the princely sum of US$80.  Ouch.
  3. Next, over to pay some sort of toll or vehicle entry.  We did get a receipt for the US$20 we parted with.
  4. Then, it was the desk for carbon emissions.  There was another chap being dealt with – slowly – and he suggested we sort out insurance.
  5. At the insurance desk we were quoted various rates for 1 month, 3 months and 6 months.  Of course, this had to be paid in kwacha, so the lady kindly found a man outside to change money for us.
  6. African GirlChild went to change money while Viking Explorer sorted out the paperwork for insurance.  African GirlChild returned with US$100 changed at an OK rate (remember to bargain with the guys!) and Viking Explorer somehow got 6 months insurance for the price of 3 months.  No idea where the wrinkle in the system is on that one.  ZMW313 paid
  7. Then back to sort out carbon emissions.  The same chap was still being sorted out, but we eventually were attended to.  Emissions was ZMW200 (based on vehicle engine size) and they official also stamped our carnet.
  8. Finally, we were finished in the room … or after Viking Explorer finally got his last ZMW2 change from the insurance lady who was playing the “no change” game again.
  9. We hopped back into the car and drove around the building – through the departures process – to the exit gate.
  10. Not done yet – we still had to pay Council Tax.  Our kwacha were all finished – already! – so we opted to pay with the last Namibian dollars we had.  N$50


We were done in a little over an hour.  There seemed to be a few more steps in the process than at other borders, but it was all transparent and receipted – although very pricy.  We were a good US$200 lighter for the crossing.  Fortunately, though, most of the payments made will still be valid when we return to Zambia after our tour of Malawi.

Last note – about 500m after we left the border were stopped by the police – who wanted to see all the documents we had purchased at the border.

FYI: COMESA Yellow Card Insurance, covers Burundi, DRC, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Libya, Malawi, Rwanda, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.  You need to purchase normal insurance for the first country you enter, and then COMESA is an endorsement purchased once you are in the country.  The cost of the COMESA endorsement depends on the number of further countries you want to travel into: 1, 2 or 3+.  Zambia appears to be one of the cheapest places to buy COMESA insurance.

keywords: border crossing from Namibia to Zambia; overland border crossing from Namibia to Zambia, Namibia Zambia border crossing