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Damaraland desert elephants

Best Time to Visit Namibia

With an average of no less than 300 days of sunshine a year, Namibia is a year-round destination. The seasons in Namibia are opposite to those in the Northern Hemisphere: summer runs from November to April, while winter is from May to October. The best time for a Namibia holiday will depend on whether you are most interested in safaris, birdwatching or walking.

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When to visit Namibia… at a glance

namibia etosha wildlife at okaukuejo waterhole istock

June to October

  • Winter dry season peaks Jul-Sep
  • Sunny and warm during the day, cool at night
  • Best time for wildlife viewing in Etosha
namibia birdlife glossy starling rth

December to March

  • Rainy season, mainly affecting Zambezi Region
  • Excellent for birdwatching
  • Can be too hot & humid for hiking; some trails close
namibia wildlife male lion rh

April to May

  • Shoulders season months with good weather
  • Less crowded, more affordable and more availability
  • Good wildlife viewing

Namibia in winter (June-October)

Early booking is essential for travel during the peak winter season, from July to September. With temperatures at their coolest and the chance of rain minimal, winter is the ideal time for keen walkers to visit Namibia. It is also the best time of year for wildlife viewing, especially in Etosha National Park. Animals are easier to spot as they congregate around waterholes, particularly towards the end of the dry season.

During the winter months, the average daytime temperature ranges from 7°C in the morning to 28°C early in the afternoon. Nights are cool with the temperature occasionally dropping to 0°C.

Top tip: nights and early mornings can be chilly, so remember to pack warm clothing for morning game drives.

namibia etosha zebra sunrise istk 1

Namibia in summer (December-March)

This is Namibia’s rainy season with most of the showers occurring between January and March. This time of year can be very hot and humid, and most walking trails will be closed. It is best to avoid the Zambezi Region (Namibia’s wettest) in January and February, while access may be challenging in remote areas such as Bushmanland and Kaokoland. A 4WD is essential. Mostly falling as afternoon showers, rain transforms the landscape; dry riverbeds can be rejuvenated and vegetation is at its most lush, making wildlife spotting more difficult. No longer reliant on waterholes, animals also scatter further afield. Many species give birth (with inexperienced young falling prey to cheetah, lions and other predators), while migrant birds also arrive to breed. Occasionally, in years with good rainfall, the Etosha pan attracts huge numbers of flamingos.

During summer, daytime temperatures in the interior of the country range from approximately 15°C to 35°C, while coastal temperatures vary from 12°C to 22°C. January and February are the hottest months, with daytime temperatures in the heart of the Namib Desert exceeding 40ºC, but the nights are usually cool.

namibia walvis bay flamingos istk

Namibia in November and April-May (Shoulder Seasons)

The shoulder seasons are a good time to visit Namibia. The temperatures are moderate and there is little to no rainfall. There are fewer tourists than in the peak season, but the wildlife opportunities are still good. Prices can be more affordable outside the peak winter months.

During April and May, daytime temperatures drop to around 25°C and at night, you can expect lows of around 13°C.

Top tip: waterholes are a great place to spot wildlife as rivers and other water sources start drying up due to lack of rain during this season. 

namibia damaraland desert elephants hoanib ntat
Important dates
  • March: Mbapira/Enjando Street Festival – music, dance and culture in Windhoek
  • 21 March: Independence Day
  • October: Oktoberfest

Suggested Holidays

Essential Namibia Self-Drive

from £1504
excluding flights
11 nights Year round
Combine desert, coast and wildlife on an exciting self-drive holiday in spectacular Namibia
  • Wildlife
  • Self Drive
  • Safari

Ultimate Namibia

from £2753
excluding flights
9 nights Feb-Dec
Discover Namibia’s main highlights on a small-group escorted tour taking in Etosha, Sossusvlei and Damaraland.
  • Wildlife
  • Escorted
  • Safari

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