May 15

When is the Best Time to Visit Namibia?


May 15, 2018

Namibia is a mesmerising landscape where the oldest desert on earth meets the sea while the coastline holds a perennial wake for ships sunk long ago. There are dunes so high they induce vertigo and towns whose German architectural accents make them seem more European than African.

Shipwreck on the skeleton coast Namibia
The Skeleton Coast is known for countless shipwrecks still found along its shoreline

With so much wonder across its vast and intriguing landscape, knowing when to visit Namibia is an integral part of planning your trip. With its low rainfall and sunny disposition, Namibia is a year-round destination but every season has its pros and cons. From the people in the know – we’ll tell you when to go.

Sossuvlei Dune, Namibia
Sossusvlei is surrounded by dunes, some of which reach 80 meters in height

Where to Go & What to See When You Visit Namibia in…

Peak Season | July – October

Winter and Spring are the most popular times to visit Namibia thanks to the cooler temperatures. The days are warm and sunny and at night, it is cool and clear. It’s around this time that travellers take advantage of excellent game-viewing opportunities in Etosha National Park, arid Damaraland, the Skeleton Coast with its unique desert-adapted wildlife, and the lush Caprivi Strip. Apart from excellent game-viewing, this is a truly exceptional time to spend your evenings gazing at the night sky.

July - October is a great time to visit Namibia and its Etosha National Park
Wildlife around a waterhole in Etosha National Park
Photo Credit: Philippe Xhenseval

Low Season | November – March

In the summer months, Namibia’s temperatures soar, exacerbated by its sparse vegetation and desert terrain. Expect temperatures 40 degrees Celsius and over (above 100 degrees Fahrenheit) between November and February, making it a somewhat uncomfortable time to travel for some. If you are a fan of the heat, though, you’re in a prime position to take advantage of low off-season rates and fewer travellers.

Desert meets ocean along Skeleton Coast, Namibia
The Skeleton Coastline is sure to entrance even the most seasoned traveller

Game viewing is much harder during the low season, though, especially in Etosha which is a dry season destination. On the flip side, the Skeleton Coast National Park is best viewed in these summer months when its warmer at night and there is less fog. The Namib-Naukluft National Park is another year-round destination.

Namib Naukluft
Visit Namibia for its otherworldly landscapes, such as those found in the Namib-Naukluft National Park

Shoulder Season | April – June

April and May are two months that serve up some of the best weather conditions for a visit to Namibia, promising moderate temperatures and a lush, green landscape. They are also two months that are great to travel in if visitors plan on doing all three of Namibia’s most popular parks (Etosha, Namib-Naukluft and Skeleton Coast). The parks are still quiet in April but the animals are starting to show themselves after the summer rains. Game viewing becomes even better in May as the dry season gets into full swing.

Milchstraße & Co. in der Kulala Desert Lodge
Namibia is celebrated for its excellent stargazing opportunities
Photo Credit: Wilderness Kulala Desert Lodge

Need another reason to go? We’ll give you seven:

7 Reasons Why Namibia is So Special


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About the author 

Melanie Du Toit

Jozi-born, Knysna local, and recovering yachtie, Melanie decided that she missed being land-based after 18 months sailing the seas. Now that she lives in the most beautiful city in Africa (she is adamant about this fact), you will find her trying out new things around Cape Town, dreaming about her next holiday, and using Wikipedia to enhance her skills as an encyclopaedia of useless information.

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