Depending on which region you’re in, Namibia boasts unique weather all year round and deserves a visit. Whether you’re battling the sun in the north during summer, or chilling with the cold and calm by the coast, there’s no telling what you’ll experience (rainfall days are too unpredictable). But to prepare your journey, here are a few things to keep in mind.
Welcome to the rainy season! Often, the northern regions such as Oshana, Zambezi, Kavango East and Kavango West experience the heaviest rainfall, but do pack some sunscreen—the sun can be harsh during this time of the year. But if you’re a nature lover, it’s one of the best times to travel—the greenery in the north is something to see, especially if you’re on the road.
Temperature: 88.3°F (31.3°C)
There’s more rain during this season, so do pack an umbrella, mosquito repellent, and relax if your plan is to head up north. Various clinics offer medication to protect you from malaria and other nasty diseases, so visit one before you set out. Down south, the heat can be unbearable for some, so make sure you stay as hydrated as possible. Head over to coastal towns such as Swakopmund, Walvis Bay or Henties Bay for dune climbing, camel riding, or sailing. The Atlantic is cold all year round though, so grab a coat and boots just in case.
Temperature: 86.3°F (30.2°C)
Around this time, the sun isn’t burning as bright and Namibia is in the spirit of Independence, which means loads of local parties and a good time. Rain often appears during this season, and though there’s not as much rainfall as in February, do prepare for scattered thunderstorms or the occasional cool, cloudy day. It’s also a good time for a road trip. Glance at the quiver trees in the forest, visit the mysterious fairy circles, or witness the beauty of the Fish River Canyon, the largest canyon in Africa with a ravine carving through the landscape.
Temperature: 83.3°F (28.5°C)
Get your blankets ready and prepare for awfully cold nights at the end of the month. Although Namibia doesn’t officially have an ‘autumn’ season, if you notice the cold creeping in and plants fading to brown, you’ll know that winter is coming. The sun still looms, though you should expect rainfall. Just be prepared for the humid, cold, and cloudy weather, and enjoy outdoor activities as much as you can. Love entertainment? The Namibia Annual Music Awards shift from town to town at the end of the month, so do pop by and check out the who’s who of the Namibian music industry. One of the most notable holidays is Easter, where various churches hold special services in the morning.
Temperature: 80.4°F (26.9°C)
As the clouds slowly but surely drift away to another part of the world, it starts getting chilly during May. At the beginning of the month, Namibians celebrate Worker’s Day, commemorate Cassinga Day—a day when hundreds were massacred in 1978—and thereafter enjoy the biblical Ascension Day. Because there are a lot of public holidays during this time, the roads are quite busy, so stay as safe as you can.
Temperature: 77°F (25°C)
Considered a dry month, June gets pretty cold—its temperatures can drop below freezing, depending on where you are in the country. Windhoek, the capital city, is wedged between mountains and is built on higher ground, so it experiences slightly colder weather. And the nights are no better. So if you love staying indoors and drinking hot beverages with a view, it’s your time to shine. However, the cold also makes it easier to go on safaris because the animals love to sunbathe and relax around the waterholes. Etosha National Park is a good place for that, or the many other private game farms that allow visitors.
Temperature: 72.6°F (22.6°C)
During this time of the year, you’re in full-blown winter. Trees are bare (besides the evergreens), and everyone is huddled up in bed because going outside is a total no-no. If you’ve experienced snow before, you won’t necessarily feel the cold—most people say Namibian weather is rather ‘refreshing’. But surprisingly enough, accommodation prices get fairly cheap during this period. Take advantage of it. Just don’t go camping!
Temperature: 71.4°F (21.9°C)
August is no different to July. The desert areas are cold and the nights seem long. But it’s a perfect time to stargaze. It gets quite windy in the central regions, so make sure you keep your hair tied! If you’re someone who experiences a lot of allergies, it’s best to sit this month out or pack your medication if you’re willing to take the risk. There’s nothing fun about sneezing all day when you’re trying to have a good holiday! In August, Namibians celebrate Heroes’ Day on August 26 to commemorate those who died fighting against the South African Defense Force at Ongulumbashe in 1966, one of the first battles of the Border War. Visitors can see the Heroes Acre Memorial a few miles outside Windhoek and have lunch there or check out the museums around the country for more history.
Temperature: 78.6°F (25.9°C)
It’s blooming season! And that’s how you know, spring has begun. The warmth slowly but surely returns and experts say that it’s a good time to go game-viewing. However, the wind doesn’t always have mercy. But remember to pack some insect repellents as well—the mosquitoes love a sweet mix of sun and the sound of summer. One of the biggest parties that takes place in September is the Spring Fiesta which usually happens at Umti Lodge. Party goers are required to wear all white and enjoy an award-winning festival of a lifetime.
Temperature: 85.4°F (29.7°C)
The weather is usually unpredictable in this season, but it’s basically the start of summer. This is also a good time to travel because the roads can be quiet. Start your day afresh and enjoy the activities planned out for you as much as you can. Whether you’re wind sailing at the coast, camping in the desert or exploring a hiking trail, there’s always something to do and the weather is perfect for it. The Dolphin and Seal Catamaran Cruise from Walvis Bay offers great deals on boat rides where you can gaze at the coastline.
Temperature: 89°F (31.7°C)
Once again, you’ll experience unpredictable weather. The sun is relentless during November—but it’s also a great time to witness the rain again after months of cold. There’s nothing like a Namibian thunderstorm—photographers would love to take shots of these! But with the showers, mosquitoes also like to come out to play.
Temperature: 89°F (31.7°C)
Namibians love December because it’s holiday season, and you can definitely feel it in the air. A bevy of pool parties and activities take place during this month, and the spirit of travel is rife. However, accommodation and flight tickets are high, so if you’re going to head over, make sure you book early before your dream holiday is sold out. It’s the best time to get your bikinis out and rock your shades. If you find yourself anywhere in the country at midnight, the main celebration takes place in Windhoek, or you can watch the festivities on the national broadcaster.
Temperature: 89°F (32.1°C)