Best time to visit Namibia

A semi-arid country possessing a climate generally characterized by low rainfall and low humidity, Namibia is a year-round destination, though the searing summer temperatures (October–February), which can exceed 40 degrees Celsius in some areas, deter many European visitors from holidaying at this time.

When's the best time to visit Namibia

The peak tourist season in Namibia is in winter – June to September – which coincides with the dry season: there is virtually no rain and no clouds, so you’ll witness stunning night skies. It’s also easier to spot wildlife during these months as vegetation is sparse and animals are forced to congregate at established waterholes.

Days are sunny but average maximum daytime temperatures are more tolerable – 20–30 degrees, depending where you are – though they plummet at night: at the height of winter (June–August) they can drop to between 5 and 10 degrees, even dropping below zero in the desert and more mountainous areas. 

The downside of visiting in the Namibian summer is that lodge prices and visitor numbers are often higher, although since the country is so vast, only Etosha, Swakopmund, and Sossusvlei get really crowded.

MonthJanFeb MarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Avg temp.  (°C)292827242018182125282930
Avg rain (mm)9080704050005154570

Start planning your trip to Namibia today! Simply get in touch with our local experts who will tailor a unique itinerary to suit all your wishes.



What's the best month to visit Namibia?

Namibia, a country known for its stunning landscapes and diverse wildlife, offers unique experiences throughout the year. However, choosing the best month to visit depends on what you want to see and do. Below, we take a look at seasonal changes, weather conditions, and different attractions to help you decide which time is right for you personally to travel to this breathtaking country in Southern Africa.

January: Best for green landscapes and bird watching

January in Namibia is characterized by a hot and humid climate, with temperatures typically ranging between 20°C and 35°C (68°F to 95°F). This time of year is characterized by high humidity and frequent afternoon thunderstorms, especially common in the northern regions. The landscape is lush and colourful, making this the best time to visit Namibia for birdwatching enthusiasts.

However, despite the attractive greenery, high temperatures and humidity can seem challenging, and rainfall can lead to mud and make some desert regions less accessible. Nevertheless, fewer tourists during this period can offer a more secluded vacation.

February: Best for landscape photography

February continues the theme of the wet season, featuring heavy rainfall and maintaining the high temperatures seen in January, ranging from 20 to 35°C (68 to 95°F). Continued rainfall contributes to lush landscapes and an abundance of wildlife, especially birds, making this an ideal time for nature lovers.

However, the climate remains challenging: significant humidity and heat can make travelling uncomfortable. In addition, mud can limit access to some areas and activities.

March: Best for off-peak travel

As March arrives, rainfall begins to decrease, although temperatures remain relatively warm, ranging from 18 to 32°C (64 to 90°F). The decrease in rainfall makes travelling easier than in previous months: the scenery is still lush but less crowded, providing a quieter experience.

Although the weather is generally improving, heavy rains can still occur from time to time, which can affect the accessibility of some regions and outdoor activities.

Lion cubs in Etosha National Park, Namibia

Lion cubs in Etosha National Park, Namibia

April: Best for hiking in Fish River Canyon

April marks the beginning of the dry season, with cooler temperatures and less rainfall, ranging from 15°C to 30°C (59°F to 86°F). This month is particularly favourable for wildlife watching as animals begin to congregate near dwindling water sources, and the more temperate climate makes travel and exploration more comfortable.

However, you should be aware that evenings can become significantly cooler, requiring extra layers of clothing to keep you warm.

May: Best for game viewing

May in Namibia is characterized by dry weather, clear skies, and moderate temperatures, usually between 10 and 28°C (50 and 82°F). This period is among the best times to visit Namibia for wildlife watching and landscape photography due to its good visibility and comfortable temperatures. 

However, mornings and evenings can be quite cool, and as the tourist season begins, visitor numbers may increase in some areas.

June: Best for desert adventures and star gazing

June is characterized by cool temperatures, especially in the mornings and evenings, with daytime temperatures ranging from 7°C to 25°C (45°F to 77°F). The dry climate and clear skies create ideal conditions for outdoor activities and admire the rugged, beautiful desert scenery. 

However, you should be prepared for very cold nights and realize that wildlife may be more scattered, as water is still relatively available outside of the central springs.


Waterberg Plateau, Namibia @ Shutterstock

July: Best for desert tours and cultural festivals

In July, at the height of Namibia's winter, mornings and nights can be cold and daytime temperatures range between 5 and 22°C (41 and 72°F). 

This is also the best time to visit Namibia as it offers some of the best game-watching opportunities, as animals are more likely to be found near waterholes and the number of tourists is lower than during the peak season. However, the very cold conditions in the early morning and late evening require warm clothing.

August: Best for whale watching

In August, temperatures begin to rise, marking the end of winter. Daytime temperatures typically range between 10 and 28°C (50 and 82°F). The rise in temperature means that wildlife begins to gather more frequently at water sources, providing excellent viewing opportunities. 

However, it also coincides with the start of the high tourist season, leading to more crowds and potentially reducing the sense of solitude in the wilderness.

September: Best for exploring the Caprivi Strip

Namibia gets warmer in September, with temperatures typically ranging from 15 to 30°C (59 to 86°F), signifying the beginning of spring. This month is known for its peak conditions for wildlife watching and pleasant weather suitable for various outdoor activities. 

However, it is also associated with a surge in the number of tourists, resulting in higher prices and potential crowding at popular tourist spots.

Trees and wooden boat reflected in water at sunset, Zambezi river, Namibia © EcoPrint/Shutterstock

Trees and wooden boat reflected in water at sunset, Zambezi river, Namibia © EcoPrint/Shutterstock

October: Best for fishing expeditions on the Zambezi River

In October, temperatures rise significantly from 20 to 35°C (68 to 95°F), marking the onset of the hot season. Wildlife can still be seen during this period, especially near bodies of water, as the heat causes animals to congregate in search of water. 

However, the intense heat, especially in desert areas, can be challenging, so early morning and late evening are the best times for outdoor activities.

November: Best for hot air balloon rides

November brings hot weather and the start of the wet season, with temperatures ranging from 18 to 33°C (64 to 91°F). The climate change revitalizes the scenery, with greener vistas and an increase in birdlife. However, the weather can be unpredictable and you may encounter both scorching heat and sudden downpours. 

This month offers a unique perspective of Namibia as it transitions from dry to wet season, and is suitable for those looking for a combination of adventure and wildlife watching.

December: Best for a beach holiday

December in Namibia marks the full onset of the rainy season, bringing hot, humid conditions with temperatures ranging from 20 to 35°C (68 to 95°F). The rains transform the landscape, creating a lush, colourful environment and improving birdwatching conditions. However, increased humidity and the likelihood of heavy rainfall can affect travel and outdoor activity plans. 

Despite these challenges, December offers less crowded vacations and the opportunity to see Namibia's rain-rejuvenated landscapes, appealing to those who prefer more secluded travel and enjoy the vibrancy of the wet season ecosystem.

Sunset in Etosha, Namibia © Lottie Gross

Sunset in Etosha, Namibia © Lottie Gross

Best time for a safari in Namibia

The best time to visit Namibia for a safari is during the dry season, from May to October, when wild animals congregate near water bodies, making them easier to spot. The weather during these months is mostly dry and cool, especially from June to August, providing comfortable conditions for game drives and outdoor activities. 

Mornings and evenings can be cold, especially in desert areas, so warm clothing is recommended. The safari season peaks in September and October when temperatures begin to rise, but before the onset of the rainy season. This period offers excellent opportunities for game viewing, but it is also the time when the largest number of tourists are seen. 

If you still want to avoid the crowds of tourists and also get good wildlife-watching opportunities, May and June are ideal, offering a balance between pleasant weather and animal visibility.

When is peak season in Namibia?

The peak tourist season in Namibia runs from July to October, coinciding with the dry winter months. During this period, the weather is mostly pleasant, with warm days and cool nights, making it ideal for wildlife watching and outdoor activities. 

Tourist numbers peak, especially in popular destinations such as Etosha National Park and the Namib Desert, due to the excellent game-watching conditions and comfortable climate. Hotel accommodations and tours can be booked in advance, so if you are going to visit the country during these months, advance planning is recommended.


Oshanas, Namibia @ Shutterstock

Festivals and holidays in Namibia

Bank Windhoek Arts Festival

February–September. Windhoek. Annual festival of the visual and performing arts in venues across the capital, which climaxes in September. Includes the national Triennial Visual Arts competition, in which prize-winning works are exhibited.

Enjando Street Festival

March. Central Windhoek. Also known as Mbapira, this festival sees a two-day extravaganza of music, dance and colourful costumes, attracting groups from all over Namibia.

Herero Day

Sunday closest to Aug 23. Okahandja. Colourful Herero costumes, poetry and military parades remember those who died in the resistance against the German army.

Küste Karneval

August. Swakopmund. Annual German street carnival involving parades, food stalls and plenty of partying for adults and kids.

Lusata Festival

Last week of September. Chinchimani Village, 6km from Katima Mulilo. The annual traditional cultural celebration of the Mafwe people that takes place in the village of the tribal chief, Chinchimani Village, and attracts Mafwe from outside Namibia too.

Oruuano of Namibia Arts Festival

September & November. Soweto Market, Katutura. Organized by the Oruuano Namibian Artists’ Union, involving lots of dance and music.

Windhoek Show

First week of October. Windhoek. The country’s main agricultural and industrial trade fair, accompanied by funfair entertainment, live music and food stalls.


Last week of October. Windhoek. A German import, the Oktoberfest draws an international crowd, complete with beer-swilling, games, Lederhosen, Dimdl dresses and oompah bands.

Rough Guides Editors

written by
Rough Guides Editors

updated 07.05.2024

Ready to travel and discover

Get support from our local experts for
stress-free planning & worry-free travels

Plan my trip ⤍