Namibia

The vast Etosha salt pan, the shimmering dunes of Sossusvlei and the Namib Desert and the Caprivi wetlands make Namibia an exhilarating safari destination.

BEST TIME TO VISIT

April to November

Overview

A Namibia safari is an exhilarating and varied experience: from the vast Etosha salt pan, to the shimmering dunes of Sossusvlei. And from the Namib Desert to the waterways of the Caprivi. Namibia means ‘place of great arid plains’. And this is an apt description of this starkly beautiful land. Here gemsbok, springbok, kudu - even desert-dwelling elephants and rhino - roam wild and free. Have a look at our suggested safari trips as well as our independent unbiased reviews of lodges in Namibia.

Namibia is a large country so you need to allow at least two weeks – ideally more – for your safari. So that you can see the country at an enjoyable pace. One of your first decisions is to decide how you want to travel around the country. It’s easy to take a self drive safari in Nambia. Or you can opt for a privately guided (or scheduled) tour.

We find that using one of our private guides is a great option for your Namibia safari. Especially if you are a party of 4 or more. Some of the more remote regions such as the Skeleton Coast are best tackled via a fly-in safari. Or you can use charter flights, on a seat-in-plane basis, to cover some of the country and then self-drive or have a guided tour for the rest. Talk to us about your preferences!

Damaraland-Wilderness-Safaris-Dana-Allen, Namibia safari tours

Namibia's Climate

Namibia’s climate varies from arid and semi-arid. There are significant differences between daytime and night time temperatures, low rainfall and mostly low humidity. The only exception to this is the lush sub-tropical Caprivi strip which juts out to the east of the country. Its climate is closer to Botswana's Chobe region.

Namibia’s parks share a similar climate to the rest of Southern Africa, with a summer rainfall. Although they are hotter and drier (especially those located in the desert).

Cedarberg Africa - Best of Namibia - Desert Dune Safari, namibia safari

Features

Why you may love it

  • The dunes of Sossusvlei in the Namib Desert
  • Big five game-viewing in Etosha National Park
  • Tracking desert-adapted elephant and rhino in Damaraland
  • Drifting over the desert in a hot air balloon
  • Meeting some of the Himba people in the Kaokoveld & Skeleton Coast

Where to go in Namibia

These are some of the best rated places to visit in Namibia based on popularity and experience rating by our travelers

When to visit Namibia

December to March

Summer Rainfall

Namibia is pre-dominantly a dry desert country and so, though it shares the same summer rainfall as most of Southern Africa, it doesn’t rain that much. However there are clear regional differences between the much wetter Zambezi region (Caprivi strip) and the very dry Kalahari and Namib Desert. Similarly between temperatures on the coast versus the interior. Broadly speaking, it tends to be hot and humid, except in the western desert regions with clear mornings. Afternoons may see torrential downpours which can cause flash floods. But not every day. The summer is not the ideal time for game-viewing as, particularly in Namibia, the wildlife tends to be widely dispersed and harder to spot. But the countryside is at its most lush, the summer skies are amazing and – if you can cope with high temperatures – it’s a very quiet time to visit.
AVG MONTHLY RAINFALL 52mm
MAX TEMP 29 ℃ / 83 ℉
MIN TEMP 17 ℃ / 62 ℉

April to June

Shoulder Season

This is considered the shoulder season as the summer rains taper off and stop somewhere in April. It’s a wonderful time to visit as the landscape is still green and lush but grasses start dying down. This makes game-viewing easier. And as it is before the peak season, there are fewer visitors and the prices are slightly keener. We recommend June in particular. Day-time temperatures are very pleasant (25-26C on average, away from the coast). However in the desert, the night-time temperatures are very cold getting down to a chilly 5-6C by June.
AVG RAINFALL 20mm
MAX TEMP 26 ℃ / 78 ℉
MIN TEMP 12 ℃ / 53 ℉

July to September

Dry Season

Traditionally this is the best time to visit as the dry season continues so the game-viewing in Etosha and Damaraland keeps on getting better and better. However it is also a very popular time to visit so you need to book many months ahead to get the accommodation you want. Note that night-time and early morning temperatures can remain very chilly. But temperatures start heating up In September. We particularly recommend September as it’s slightly less busy, the nights are warmer and game-viewing is excellent.
AVG RAINFALL 1mm
MAX TEMP 22 ℃ / 72 ℉
MIN TEMP 8 ℃ / 45 ℉

October to November

Transition

October sees hot temperatures prior to the start of the summer rains. It is now noticeably dry everywhere. Broadly speaking, somewhere in late October or November, the summer rains start. This leads to a fairly dramatic change in game-viewing as the wildlife disperse across the plains. November is thus a transitional month. It could be very hot and dry but with good game-viewing. Or it could be slightly cooler with some rain and widely dispersed wildlife.
AVG RAINFALL 15mm
MAX TEMP 28 ℃ / 82 ℉
MIN TEMP 14 ℃ / 57 ℉

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Sonja Brand

Africa Travel Specialist

Hi I'm Sonja, I'm here to help you plan your ideal holiday experience

Experiences in Namibia

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Did you know
  • GeographyHome to the world's oldest desert
  • AnimalsHas the largest population of free-roaming cheetahs in the world

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