Namibia may seem like it’s always a hot and dry desert country, but there is actually a best time to visit Namibia and an inferior time to visit. Let’s dig into when you should visit Namibia for good weather, awesome safari viewing, and ideal temperatures.
Namibia may be a relatively new country, but it’s got a lot on offer. Situated in southwestern Africa, it’s a diverse nation with an abundance of wildlife and beautiful landscapes to soak up. And if that wasn’t enough, it’s also one of the sunniest nations on Earth.
While it boasts an average of 300 days of sunshine per year, that doesn’t mean it’s always sunny in Namibia. In fact, it can get pretty chilly and pretty wet too. We’re here to help you pinpoint the best time of year to visit Namibia.
Best Time to Visit Namibia (Monthly Breakdown)
Namibia Weather in January
As the calendar year kicks off in Namibia, temperatures are very hot. Being in the southern hemisphere, it’s the height of summer. The average temperature hovers between a low of 19°C and a high of 30°C. The start of January is a popular time of year to visit Namibia, with the Christmas holidays continuing with the New Year.
But the rest of the month is considered low season. In fact, visitors at this time of year should expect heavy rains, which fall across an average of 14 days – but that’s only 46 millimeters of rainfall spread across these days. Humidity can be high, but for much of the country, it’s fairly low – in Windhoek (the capital city), for example, it’s 41%. Not exactly the best time to visit Namibia.
Namibia Weather in February
The weather in Namibia in February is similar to that of January. Days are warm, seeing average highs of 28°C and lows of 17°C. Rain is sporadic but heavy – 102 millimeters of rainfall is generally expected across 16 days, usually in the form of short downpours.
It’s still summer, though, and is a great time of year to visit Namibia’s coastline – particularly at Walvis Bay (the second-largest city in Namibia), which boasts pleasant average daytime temperatures of 21°C.
On the other hand, the Kalahari Desert is incredibly hot – temperatures here easily hit 40°C. Elsewhere, Etosha National Park features average temperatures of 31°C, with accommodation quiet and more affordable this time of year. So not a bad time to visit Namibia if you are looking for a deal.
Namibia Weather in March
March marks two things in Namibia – the end of summer and the end of the rainy season. Downpours begin to tail off in this month, with an average rainfall of only 54 millimeters expected across 15 days. Temperatures are moderately warm, but this begins to fall as the month wears on.
That’s not to say it doesn’t get hot in March in Namibia, fluctuating between 16°C and 27°C in Windhoek; Walvis Bay sees cooler temperatures, averaging out at 20°C in the daytime; while Etosha National Park sees averages of 31°C in the daytime. It’s a great time of year to visit Namibia if you want plenty of sun and pleasant days – there’s an average of 282 hours of sunshine throughout the month. Also, Namib-Naukluft National Park is pleasant this time of year.
Namibia Weather in April
Now that the country is transitioning into its fall season, visitors can expect cooler temperatures and drier days. It’s a beautiful time of year to visit Namibia, particularly because of the lush green nature (a result of the prolonged rainy season) and long hours of sunshine. This is essentially shoulder season in Namibia, and getting good deals on accommodation in April is possible, as it’s still not peak season.
Temperatures across the board in Namibia in April remain pleasantly warm. The high in Windhoek is around 25°C, with only 48% humidity. Elsewhere in Etosha National Park, it’s 30°C, while Walvis Bay is 18°C. The Kalahari Desert, however, can still get very hot, with average temperatures hovering between 19°C and 30°C.
Namibia Weather in May
May is a great time to travel to Namibia. Without the punishing temperatures experienced at the height of summer (the northern hemisphere’s winter, of course), it’s the ideal climate for exploring what the country offers.
Across the nation, the average high is around 25°C, with lows of 10°C not uncommon – it is fall, after all. May also happens to be the last month in the year that sees any rainfall to speak of – just two millimeters on average, maybe on one or two days. It signals the start of Namibia’s very dry season.
The capital city is nice to stroll around this time of year, with a pleasant average temperature of 23°C and just 38% humidity. It’s an awesome time to check out the Kalahari Desert – it’s cooler in May, with plenty of safari animals to see and less of the muddy conditions experienced in the wet season.
Namibia Weather in June
June is the beginning of winter in Namibia, and temperatures across the month can get surprisingly chilly. In the Kalahari Desert, it can really get cold overnight, with minimum temperatures sometimes reaching as low as 5°C! The lack of rain can also make roads dusty.
This also means that humidity is very low. Windhoek, for example, sees humidity levels of 35%. Rainfall in the capital is non-existent as it is elsewhere in the country. In fact, there’s around a 2% chance of rain falling in anytime in June.
June is actually the best time to visit Namibia, sitting just before the start of high season but with generally favorable temperatures. You’ll need some layers to keep warm, especially after sunset and early in the morning. Bring a good safari jacket for these times, but one that you can easily shed later as it’s going to get a warm mid-day.
Namibia Weather in July
July marks the start of the high season in Namibia. Visitors planning a trip to Namibia at the start of the summer holidays should be sure to book way in advance – a year, or even more, is recommended, especially for lodges like Wolwedans, campsites, and more sought-after accommodation.
Temperatures in the capital city swing between highs of 20°C and lows of just 6°C (humidity is low too, at around 34%). And if you’re wondering about rainfall, you’ll be pleased to know that there’s none at all. There are 326 hours of glorious sunshine expected across the month.
It’s a good time to safari in Namibian and road trip around Namibia. However, the start of the high season is the start of the highest prices and the busiest time to visit. It’s less hot than in December and January, and conditions are dry (no mud or thunderstorms to contend with).
Still, July and August are absolutely fantastic. The dunes of Sossusvlei are stunning right now, with bright red sand contrasted against clear blue skies. The blue skies will carry on into the night, and stargazing will be amazing as long as you’re away from the city (not too hard in Namibia).
If you head up to Damaraland, July and August are a great time to see the famous desert elephants roam across the riverbeds in search of water.
Namibia Weather in August
The high season continues through August in Namibia. It’s actually the most popular month for visitors, but also the most expensive. As with July, booking ahead is a must. The weather is beautiful – you can expect cool, bright, sunny days, providing prime conditions for enjoying the country’s natural habitat.
It’s getting gradually warmer, though – temperatures in Windhoek hover between highs of 24°C and lows of 8.6°C. Humidity is lower than ever (23%). Again, there’s no rainfall anywhere.
The Kalahari Desert is popular for wildlife viewing because of the cooler temperatures, but Walvis Bay isn’t so good for beach days (it’s 16°C on average). Etosha National Park is still fairly hot, with daytime highs of 29°C, meaning animals will be easier to see as they gather near the watering holes. If you want to drive around the country, now is a great time as very little is closed.
Namibia Weather in September
International tourist numbers begin to drop in September as school holidays end across the globe. Accommodation prices remain high, but spaces are slightly easier to come by.
September is the last month of winter in Namibia. There’s still no precipitation of any kind, and 321 hours of sunshine to soak up, but temperatures are rising. For example, up in the highland capital of Windhoek, spring is in the air. Highs reach 27°C and lows of 13°C. The humidity is a meager 19%, making it one of the least humid months of the year.
It’s still a good time of year to visit Namibia to explore the Kalahari Desert. It’s still considered high season for the desert region, but temperatures begin to climb here too – daytime temperatures can hit highs of 31°C.
Namibia Weather in October
By October, the high season (in terms of tourism) is dwindling down in Namibia. Days are beginning to get hot as spring really starts to set in. Watering holes in Etosha National Park, and elsewhere, begin to dry out – meaning it’s a great time for safari as animals become easier to spot the hotter it gets. The hotter it gets in the desert the more the animals flock to the few watering holes to refresh. Giving visitors a great advantage to seeing some action near this hot spots.
In Windhoek, temperatures average between lows of 16°C and highs of 29.5°C. Average humidity is also very low in October, hovering around 19%, but rainfall is on the rise. In Windhoek, for example, it rains across an average of four days across the month, but only around 11 millimeters. Showers can, therefore, be easily avoided.
Walvis Bay is also warming up – daytime averages are 16°C.
Namibia Weather in November
November is the start of summer in Namibia. Temperatures start to soar as the country really begins to heat up. High season is now very much over, but wildlife watching is great. But as the month draws on, more rainfall can be expected ahead of the rainy season proper. We are going into wet season now!
Though it doesn’t rain all day or enough to ruin a trip, the rain mainly hits in short segments throughout the day. The start of the wet season means you might see some pretty wild storms though. Ones that you’ve never seen before – thunder and lightening crackling across the desert – simply amazing.
Temperatures in November in the capital can easily hit highs of 30°C in what is one of the warmest months of the year, with climbing humidity levels around 25%. It’s still fairly dry, but an average of 27 millimeters of rain is expected, usually over six days. November is actually a great time to score a deal on tours, accommodation, and car rentals in Namibia as it’s low season and before the holidays. Though be prepared for rising temps.
Namibia Weather in December
The final month of the year is when the rain starts to arrive if it hasn’t already done so by the end of November. However it’s not torrential downpours, but quick and short storms so it liklely won’t affect your trip too much.
Temperatures also start to rise and it can get uncomfortably hot. Windhoek, for example, is a hot 30°C on average.
In the Kalahari Desert, temperatures range between 18°C and 33°C – it’s one of the hottest months for the semi-desert region. December sees rainfall of 60 millimeters in the Kalahari, but this can be an excellent time of year for catching sight of wildlife too, especially if you’re into bird watching. InKaokoland, the Kunene River floods which makes it a great time for a river cruise safari.
The hot temperatures mean many will flock to the coast. Swakopmund and Walvis Bay might get particularly busy as everyone tries to breathe in the cooler air. However it’s still a decent time to drive up and explore the Skeleton Coast if you are well prepared for the adventure.
Festivals in Namibia Throughout the Year
Winter Festivals in Namibia
It’s not “officially” winter in Namibia by the time Christmas rolls around, but it’s still very much celebrated in this African nation. The predominantly Christian country sees streets lit with festive lights, carols being sung, and busy shops – particularly in Windhoek and Walvis Bay. Christmas Day itself is spent with a visit to a church and a family meal.
New Year is marked with celebrations like those of many other countries – with big parties, fireworks, and people dressed up for the occasion.
In February, it’s the start of the Bank Windhoek Arts Festival. This is the largest arts festival held in Namibia, and it runs all the way from February through to September. Expect an array of visual and performing arts in various venues throughout the city.
Spring Festivals in Namibia
During March, the Enjando Street Festival, also known as Mbapira, takes place across two days in the center of Windhoek. The event attracts partygoers from across the country for an extravaganza of colorful costumes, music, and dancing.
On 21 March, Namibia celebrates Independence Day, commemorating its independence from South Africa back in 1990. This is an important event for the nation, celebrating its sovereignty with parades and sports events, as well as recollections of the (fairly recent) day itself.
Established by German immigrants in 1953, the Windhoek Karneval (aka WIKA) is held every year sometime in April. It’s a must-see event – you can expect much pageantry and festivities, all culminating in the Royal Ball.
May is significant as it marks Namibia’s school holidays. There are also quite a few events during May. For example, the Wild Cinema Festival is a fairly new festival in Namibia, and celebrates international and local films with screenings and an awards ceremony. May 25 is Africa Day, a continent-wide festival commemorating the founding of the African Union.
Summer Festivals in Namibia
Summer is a busy time for international tourists in Namibia. One festival that is a must-visit is Maherero Day. Held across the weekend closest to August 26, it’s one of the biggest festivals in Namibia and a great time to see traditional outfits, as the people of Okahandja commemorate important chiefs killed in past wars.
Fall Festivals in Namibia
Gams Arts Festival is the biggest arts festival in Windhoek. Taking place every September, you can expect good food, as well as performances from poets, musicians, and dancers. For more art, head to Omaruru – this Artists Trail has been taking place over three days in September since 2007.
For one of the more down-to-earth festivals in Namibia, be sure to check out the Windhoek Show. Falling sometime in late September or early October, it’s a celebration of agriculture and industry with roots dating back to 1899. It attracts around 100,000 visitors each year.
One of the more famous legacies of German colonialism is Windhoek’s very own Oktoberfest, which is one of the best things to do in Namibia around this time. Taking place in the last week of October, it’s a time when international visitors and locals alike enjoy beer-drinking, lederhosen, and oom-pah bands.
When is the Overall Best Time to Visit Namibia?
Namibia’s winter is the best time to visit as it’s the dry season. This generally starts in May and is best between July and October. However this is high season in Namibia so prices will be at their highest and you will have to book in advance. Crowds won’t be too bad with the exception of Sossusvlei, Deadvlei, and Etosha.
When is the Cheapest Time to Visit Namibia?
Namibia’s summer season, which is their low season, and wet season is the cheapest time to visit Namibia. You’ll find the best prices from December to April (outside of the holidays).
When is the Best Time to Visit Namibia for a Honeymoon?
The best time to visit Namibia for your honeymoon is mid to late June. Right before the high season is in full swing, the weather is still glorious.
When is the Worst Time to Visit Namibia?
Rain will fall from late November to February. It will also be very hot. However, the scenery is greener after the rains, especially around the Caprivi Strop. While the rain is typically short-lived in spurts and shouldn’t affect your trip too much, it’s not a great time to visit Namibia for a safari. The more rain there is, the fewer animals travel to the watering holes, making it harder to spot them. However, you may get a chance to spot a few newborn safari animals!
Quick Namibia Travel Tips
- Languages Spoken: There are nine major indigenous languages, including various San languages. The most popular native language is Oshiwambo. English, German, and Afrikaans are all widely spoken as well.
- Capital: Windhoek. (Pronounced WIND HOOK)
- Currency: Namibian Dollar (NAD) On par with the South African Rand.
- Visa: Many visitors can enter Namibia visa-free for 90 days. Check with your specific embassy.
- What to Pack: Lightweight khaki clothing. A Safari hat. A good pair of boots and at least one jacket. See our full Africa packing list.
- Stay Connected: MTN and TN Mobile are the main service providers. Read more about the internet here.
Book A Safari in Namibia
Traditionally if you wanted to book a safari, you’d have to go to a travel agent and have them book your safari for you. They suggest camps and lodges and then present you with a large bill. Most of the industry still operates in this fashion.
However, Timbuktu is a new platform that allows you to select the lodges you’d like and see the pricing per day to select the best itinerary for yourself. They will then contact the lodges and help you by booking your safari. Experts on staff can also provide suggestions and arrange the little details like a travel agent.
Plan Your Trip to Africa
- Travel Insurance: We don’t travel without travel insurance and neither should you. You never know what can happen while traveling so it’s best to be prepared. HeyMondo provides excellent short-term and long-term travel insurance plans.
- Travel Waterbottle: When we’re uncertain about the water supply we use our Grayl Purifier. It’s come in exceptionally handy around Africa.
- Camera Gear: Chances are you’ll want a camera for your trip to Africa. We love the Sony RX100V for a pocket-size camera and the Fujifilm XT-4 for a professional camera. Check out our favorite cameras for Africa.
- Safari Clothes: Lightweight, beige, and moisture-wicking clothing are great for traveling Africa. See our favorite safari clothing here.
- Safari Hat: A good hat is both stylish and functional.
- Safari Bag: A durable bag is ideal for traveling around Africa.
- Safari Pants: We recommend neutral-colored pants as they’re great at hiding dirt and can match most shirt colors.
- Safari Shirt: Shirts like these are lightweight and keep the bugs away!
- Boots: While you don’t need to wear sturdy shoes every day, at least one pair of safari boots will make your trip nicer!
- Travel Adapter: You’ll need a special travel adapter for traveling Africa. Get one before you get there so you don’t pay a premium on the ground.
Read more about Namibia
- A Namibian Road Trip: Our Itinerary Across the Namib Desert
- 15 Namibia Travel Tips to Know Before You Go
- The Ideal Northern Namibia Road Trip Route
- The Perfect Southern Namibia Drive Itinerary
- Namibia Photography: Exploring the Country’s Natural Beauty
- Experiencing Wolwedans Dunes Lodge and More in Namibia