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Central Highlands
Central Highlands
Central Highlands
Central Highlands
Central Highlands
Central Highlands
Central Highlands

great walking opportunities

fascinating ancient rock art

gorgeous settings & stunning views

spot wildlife on private reserves

there is plenty of variety here

tucked amongst giant boulders

Central Highlands

Central Highlands

Cave paintings hidden among scenic hills, private game reserves and a personal welcome are key to the Central Highlands.

Each guest farm, each individual lodge, is different – ensuring a unique take on the area depending on where you stay.

Thanks to reasonable rainfall, farming has long been at the heart of these fertile hills, but the move from cattle towards game is more recent. Staying on a farm is a great opportunity, allowing a real insight into the challenges and rewards of this area. Many farms welcome travellers into their homes, too, where dining en famille adds another dimension, one of relaxed familiarity that only serves to enhance a stay.

As traditional farms have merged to form game reserves, notably in the Erongo Conservancy, so the indigenous wildlife has benefited. Dassies dot the rocky hillsides, zebra and black-faced impala graze the plains, and trees offer tasty treats to giraffe and kudu: all watched by unseen predators waiting patiently in the wings.

In many areas, excellent walking combines with fascinating rock formations dotted with cave paintings, making for constant variety. Walking – and superb guiding – is also at the heart of a stay at Mundulea, while at others, such as Okonjima, the focus is entirely on the big cats, and their conservation.

Even the small towns are attractive – especially Omaruru, whose cafés, craft shops and mineral gallery vie for visitor attention. And for lovers of woodcraft, Okahandja is a must, its two large crafts markets up there with the best in the country.
The driving is easy, the scenery constantly changing. With so much choice in the Central Highlands, the hardest decision for the traveller is where to stop.

Central Highlands

Central Highlands: in detail

Safaris visiting Central Highlands

Just ideas, we'll always tailor-make a trip for you


Map

Chongololo Self-drive Safari

21 days • 11 locations • 1 country
WINDHOEK AIRPORT TO WINDHOEK AIRPORT

This self-drive safari focuses on the best walking experiences in Namibia. Get your boots ready for the apricot dunes of the Namib Desert and the ancient hills of Damaraland.

Visiting Central Highlands, Namib-Naukluft and 4 other areas

US$5,970 - US$6,620 per person

Read more about the Chongololo Self-drive Safari

Map

Dune Lark Fly & Drive Safari

14 days • 8 locations • 1 country
WINDHOEK AIRPORT TO WINDHOEK AIRPORT

A combination fly-in self-drive exploration of Namibia, with quick, easy and scenic flights in and out of Sossusvlei before a classic road trip adventure of the country’s rugged north.

Visiting Okonjima, Namib-Naukluft and 4 other areas

US$4,790 - US$5,130 per person

Read more about the Dune Lark Fly & Drive Safari

Map

Cape Fox Guided Safari

13 days • 7 locations • 1 country
WINDHOEK AIRPORT TO WINDHOEK AIRPORT

A classic clockwise circuit around Namibia’s northern highlights with a private guide and vehicle. We can’t think of a better way to see more in this timeframe.

Visiting Windhoek, Namib-Naukluft and 4 other areas

US$5,850 - US$8,650 per person

Read more about the Cape Fox Guided Safari

Map

Caracal Self-drive Safari

14 days • 8 locations • 1 country
WINDHOEK AIRPORT TO WINDHOEK AIRPORT

The quintessential Namibian self-drive adventure exploring the highlights from Sossusvlei and the Namib Desert to Damaraland’s wilderness and a safari in Etosha. A great mix of accommodation and excellent value.

Visiting Namib-Naukluft, Damaraland and 4 other areas

US$2,190 - US$2,920 per person

Read more about the Caracal Self-drive Safari

Map

Black Wildebeest Self-drive Safari

19 days • 10 locations • 2 country
CAPE TOWN AIRPORT TO WINDHOEK AIRPORT

Journey from South Africa’s cosmopolitan Cape Town to central Namibia’s Okonjima Nature Reserve during this self-driven safari. The route passes through a stunning variety of landscapes, offering access to this beautiful continent’s rich diversity.

Visiting Okonjima, Namib-Naukluft and 7 other areas

US$3,270 - US$3,360 per person

Read more about the Black Wildebeest Self-drive Safari

Map

Hartebeest Self-drive Safari

16 days • 8 locations • 1 country
WINDHOEK AIRPORT TO WINDHOEK AIRPORT

This self-drive safari focuses on the best cultural experiences in Namibia. Visit a Himba village and enjoy three days living with the San Bushmen interspersed with some excellent wildlife watching.

Visiting Bushmanland, Central Highlands and 3 other areas

US$3,490 - US$3,820 per person

Read more about the Hartebeest Self-drive Safari

Inspire me

Need inspiration?

Let our trip chooser narrow down the options for you

Inspire me

Our travellers’ wildlife sightings in Central Highlands

This is their success for sightings in Central Highlands.
Click on a species for more detail. How we work this out.


White Rhino

100% success

Oryx

36% success

Giraffe

28% success

Eland

25% success

Roan antelope

22% success

Wildebeest

18% success

Zebra

14% success

Cheetah

9% success

Pangolin

4% success

Black Rhino

3% success

Spotted Hyena

0% success

Brown Hyena

0% success

Leopard

0% success

Aardvark

0% success

Sable antelope

0% success

Map of Central Highlands

Choices for where to stay in Central Highlands


Most recent reviews of our safaris to Central Highlands

Click below to browse all 581 reviews from Central Highlands.
All from our travellers; all are in full & unedited.


99%
581 reviews since August 2007
Excellent
567
Good
17
Average
1
Poor
1
Terrible
0
safari lovers from UK

Arrived 12 Mar 2020, 22 nights

"Return trip to Namibia after 35 years"

"We have used Expert Africa a number of times ... This trip highlighted why! …" Read safari lovers’s full holiday review

Overall rating: Excellent

Mrs P from London

Arrived 1 Aug 2019, 10 nights

"Everything was perfect, thanks Maruska!"

"Everything was perfect....I only wish we could use EA to book all our holidays. …" Read Mrs P’s full holiday review

Overall rating: Excellent

Ms S. from Surrey

Arrived 13 Nov 2019, 13 nights

"Fabulous"

"Expert Africa were fabulous. Thank you Sabina! …" Read Ms S.’s full holiday review

Overall rating: Excellent

Mr D. from Hartfield

Arrived 30 Aug 2019, 14 nights

"Great holiday"

"We had a great holiday despite Bidvest ! …" Read Mr D.’s full holiday review

Overall rating: Excellent

J&J from Plockton

Arrived 4 Oct 2019, 25 nights

"Good introduction to Namibia"

"We had an excellent trip …" Read J&J’s full holiday review

Overall rating: Excellent

Mr & Mrs B from Witney

Arrived 20 Oct 2019, 24 nights

"Namibia trip 2019"

"We had an excellent trip to Namibia …" Read Mr & Mrs B’s full holiday review

Overall rating: Excellent

Mr & Mrs L from BC Canada

Arrived 28 Sep 2019, 23 nights

"Our Sep-Oct 2019 African trip"

"It was amazing! We had a wonderful time, especially in Botswana. …" Read Mr & Mrs L’s full holiday review

Overall rating: Excellent

Mr & Mrs B. from Richmond

Arrived 31 Aug 2019, 32 nights

"Amazing Southern African Safari"

"a great trip and very well organized …" Read Mr & Mrs B.’s full holiday review

Overall rating: Excellent

Louise & David from UK

Arrived 4 Oct 2019, 17 nights

"Wonderful memories of an awesome adventure!"

"First time we've used Expert Africa and we are well-impressed. Thank you Megan.. …" Read Louise & David’s full holiday review

Overall rating: Excellent

Mr K from Channel Islands

Arrived 15 Sep 2019, 21 nights

"The Namibian Engagement"

"...Namibia didn't fail to deliver once again. …" Read Mr K’s full holiday review

Overall rating: Excellent

See all Central Highlands reviews

When to go to Central Highlands

Our month by month guide: What it's like to visit Central Highlands in Namibia


Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Namibia in January

January is at the heart of Namibia’s rainy season. However, as you’d expect from a country dominated by desert and semi-desert environments, the rains are often (but not always) weak and usually quite localised. Some days will be clear, the strong sun raising temperatures to around 30ºC/86ºF; on others humidity and clouds build, sometimes culminating in spectacular thunderstorms. In extreme cases, these generate flash-floods which race down the beds of ephemeral rivers.
Across the country, the greening landscape makes a refreshing change, especially in desert areas. Many birds are in full breeding plumage and migrant species are here in force. In the north, where the rains are more reliable, the abundant water and food allows wildlife to disperse, making it trickier to spot.

  • Variable weather: clear, hot & dry, or cloudy & humid with some rain
  • Occasional, highly localised thunderstorms
  • Many animals with young; birdlife at its most spectacular
  • Wildlife dispersed & harder to see, especially in Etosha & the Caprivi
  • Very few tourists (apart from the New Year) so rates mostly low

Our view

This is not a great time to visit

Weather in January

Namibia in February

February is the wettest month, but as Namibia is dominated by deserts, the rains are often weak and patchy. The variation in weather across Namibia is significant, too; the central highlands and Caprivi can see some heavy rain. More typically, some February days are clear with a hot, strong sun; others are cooler as cloudy skies build and, sometimes, culminate in short, spectacular thunderstorms. Occasionally these generate flash-floods, bringing ephemeral rivers to life and making travel more challenging.
Across the country, the landscape feels green and alive; insects and smaller animals are more easily seen, and many birds and animals are raising their young. However, small pools in the bush and thicker vegetation can make it hard to spot the wildlife.

  • Variable weather: clear, hot & dry or cloudy & humid with some rain
  • Occasional localised thunderstorms meander over the landscape
  • The bush feels alive; birdlife is at its most spectacular
  • Wildlife in Etosha & Caprivi is dispersed & harder to see
  • Few tourists, so rates usually at their lowest

Our view

This is not a great time to visit

Weather in February

Namibia in March

March usually sees Namibia’s main rains tailing off, although actual precipitation varies hugely across the country and can be unpredictable from day to day.
Many days will be clear, with a strong sun driving temperatures up. On others, clouds will build, and the late afternoon may see a short, spectacular thunderstorm. Such deluges reduce in both frequency and volume as the month progresses.
Across the country, landscapes are often vivid: a “green and pleasant land”. Many birds and animals are finishing raising their young, so smaller animals and insects are in evidence. In the north, where rains are generally heavier, pools in the bush and thicker vegetation can make it difficult to spot larger animals.

  • Variable weather: clear, hot & dry or cloudy & humid with some rain
  • Afternoon thunderstorms less common as March progresses
  • Animals looking sleek and well-fed, after 3–4 months of plenty
  • Wildlife in Etosha & Caprivi is dispersed & harder to see
  • Few tourists visit during March, so rates often low

Our view

A good time to visit, with pros & cons

Weather in March

Namibia in April

Typically, April is dominated by dry weather; there’s an ever-decreasing chance of rain. Temperatures are now below their peak and continue to fall. Even so, days remain pleasant and warm, but there might be a slight chill in the air at night. The rains usually leave many parts of the country verdant and green, so animals are in fantastic condition – often with fast-growing young in attendance.
With the dust washed out of the atmosphere, photographers make the most of clear air, spectacular landscapes and healthy animals. Stargazers will have clearer night skies as the month progresses. In the game parks of Northern Namibia, water and food remain in plentiful supply, so finding big game can prove trickier than later in the year.

  • Becoming drier &, especially at night, also cooler
  • Few visitors, except around Easter, so rates remain low
  • Wildlife in Etosha & Caprivi remains relatively hard to see
  • Migrant birds have started to leave
  • Fresh, clean air and often green, verdant landscapes

Our view

A good time to visit, with pros & cons

Weather in April

Namibia in May

By May, Namibia is usually drying out fast as the rains have ended. If they’ve been good, then the land remains green, but wildlife starts to congregate at more permanent water sources. Over much of the country the air quality and clarity can be amazing, making this an ideal month for photography.
Typical days are warm, with crisp, clear mornings and clear blue skies. Evenings are usually cool, and temperatures may dip below 10ºC (50ºF) overnight. Many lodges still charge “low season” prices, although with Namibia’s increasing popularity in recent years, some have started to introduce higher “shoulder season” rates.
May’s good-value rates, increasingly good wildlife sightings, beautiful landscapes and crystal-clear air combine to make this one of our favourite months in Namibia.

  • Lovely weather: dry, warm days & cool nights
  • The country is drying out although many landscapes remain green
  • Fantastic air clarity – ideal for keen photographers
  • Visitor numbers are often still low, mirrored by lodge rates
  • Wildlife is starting to congregate more around remaining water

Our view

Fantastic: the very best time to visit

Weather in May

Namibia in June

Namibia is dry again. Skies are blue and usually largely cloudless. Days are lovely: warm and dry; nights are cold, sometimes below freezing in the desert. Most swimming pools in Namibia are always outdoors, making them too cold for all except the very dedicated.
Take a warm hat and gloves for game drives, where dawn and dusk will feel particularly chilly. In the north, especially Etosha, wildlife viewing is now into its dry-season pattern, focusing around the waterholes – though the park is still not busy.
Photographers come for superb air clarity, with minimal dust or smoke in the air. Historically, June rates have been low. However, with Namibia’s increasing popularity many lodges now count it amongst their “high-season” months, and request higher prices.

  • Clear, bright days with blue skies; cold nights, mornings & evenings
  • Great air quality, especially welcome for photographers
  • “Shoulder season” for some lodges: lodge rates moderate
  • Wildlife gravitates to waterholes, making game-viewing productive
  • Some greenery in the landscape, depending on the last rains

Our view

A very good time to visit

Weather in June

Namibia in July

Reliably warm daytime temperatures (upwards of 20ºC/70ºF) and good wildlife sightings make this a popular month to visit Namibia. Rain would be very unusual indeed and clear skies make for great photographs. Once the sun sets, though, temperatures cool rapidly bringing cold nights that may dip below freezing in the desert. Be prepared: dress in layers and expect early-morning and late-afternoon drives, and anywhere coastal, to be cold.
As the land dries and vegetation shrivels, game congregates beside drinking water: Etosha’s waterholes are busy with animals. Across the country, lodges charge “high season” rates; many are fully booked a year or more in advance, especially during European school holidays (from the latter half of July to late August).

  • Dry days, warm in the sun, with crisp, cold nights
  • Cloudless skies: July is usually superb for stargazing
  • The beginning of European school holidays so more families travelling
  • Peak season: so high rates and many lodges fully booked far in advance
  • A fantastic time of year for wildlife watching, particularly in Etosha

Our view

A very good time to visit

Weather in July

Namibia in August

August is the height of Namibia’s “winter”. Expect cloudless skies and plenty of warm sun in the day, but nights down to freezing in the desert. Dress in layers and bring warm clothes (including hats and gloves) for chilly starts and evenings. Only the hardiest even contemplate using outdoor pools.
It’s 3–4 months since any rain, so the land is dust-dry and much vegetation is golden brown. Many landscapes appear sparse and harsh. Wildlife congregates around available water sources, helping to guarantee good animal sightings.
Namibia is never really “busy” by the standards of Europe or the USA, but August is the most popular time to visit, especially for families. Book early (over a year in advance) if you want to stay at the best lodges.

  • Dry days, warm in the sun; cold mornings, evenings & nights
  • Cloudless skies in the day; spectacular stars at night
  • Busy by Namibian standards: family rooms in particular demand
  • Peak season: so high rates and many lodges fully booked far in advance
  • A fantastic time of year for wildlife watching, particularly in Etosha

Our view

A very good time to visit

Weather in August

Namibia in September

September is a month of blue, cloudless skies and fantastic wildlife viewing. Rain is almost unheard of. As the month progresses, the days and nights get warmer. In some areas, daily maximums hit around the low 30s Celsius, although low humidity ensures this feels comfortable. The contrast makes the nights seem very cold. The air is becoming dustier, occasionally augmented by smoke from fires – so becoming hazy for photographic purists.
In the national parks, animals congregate around remaining water sources – making September one of the best months for game viewing. Hence it’s one of Namibia’s most popular months for visitors: a “high season” month that is often the time of choice for safari aficionados.

  • One of the best months for wildlife viewing
  • Warm days & cold nights, with temperatures rising during the month
  • Many plants have faded from green to golden brown
  • Air can be hazy – with dust & sometimes smoke
  • High season rates; many lodges & camps are full 9 months in advance.

Our view

Fantastic: the very best time to visit

Weather in September

Namibia in October

Namibia is usually at its hottest and driest in October. Temperatures build as the month progresses; towards the end, daily highs may exceed 40ºC/100ºF, though with humidity close to zero, even this rarely feels oppressive.
In exceptional years, isolated rain showers may fall in late October. More usually, the end of the dry season sees wildlife watching at its best, particularly in Etosha. The place feels like a desert as spectacular herds of thirsty animals gather around the available water. October is popular amongst wildlife enthusiasts and commands peak-season prices, even if dust and smoke may make the air hazy, challenging photographers. Visitor numbers can fade towards the end of the month, allowing a window for last-minute bookings.

  • Probably the most spectacular month for wildlife-viewing in Etosha
  • Hot and dry: much of the country feels like a desert
  • The air can be hazy with dust & smoke
  • It’s peak time to visit, so expect high season rates
  • Lodges & camps are full, especially early in October

Our view

Fantastic: the very best time to visit

Weather in October

Namibia in November

November is always a bit unpredictable: sometimes dry and hot; sometimes cloudier and cooler. Typically, mornings are hot and cloudless and clouds appear in the afternoon. Humidity builds and eventually breaks, resulting in spectacular thunderstorms that bring convection rainfall in late afternoons. Such storms are typically sparsely distributed and highly local – being completely absent from desert areas, for example. Places that do get good rain will flush green, with a tangible feeling of new life softening the landscapes. Many mammals give birth to their young.
Once any rains come, wildlife dissipates in search of food, and game viewing in Etosha becomes harder. Conversely, this is a great time for birdwatchers, with migrant species in breeding plumage.

  • A very interesting, variable month, depending on the rains
  • With rains come an amazing explosion of both vegetation & new life
  • Wildlife viewing better in Damaraland than Etosha if it has rained
  • Shoulder season: mid-range rates offer great value
  • Away from the Namib, showers are more likely later in the month

Our view

A good time to visit, with pros & cons

Weather in November

Namibia in December

December is the first “proper” month of Namibia’s rainy season, and one of its hottest. Clear mornings give way to building clouds and, with luck, the occasional short, spectacular thunderstorm: refreshing and cleansing. These are often highly localised and generally warmly welcomed: most Namibians love rain!
Rains clear the air of dust. Even relatively short showers enable plant life to erupt, carpeting this thirstland in green and providing food for the young animals which abound. Animals disperse widely, which can make game viewing challenging. Many birds are breeding and so sporting their most colourful plumage.
Christmas and the New Year fall within local “summer holidays” – so places to stay can be surprisingly busy, especially in and around coastal towns, where temperatures are cooler.

  • Hot and humid; sometimes refreshed by cooling showers
  • Landscapes flushed green if/where there has been rain
  • A tangible life and energy amidst this often green & pleasant land
  • Very photogenic: blooming deserts amidst crystal-clear air
  • Best time for birdwatchers; larger animals harder to spot

Our view

This is not a great time to visit

Weather in December

Namibia fact file

Useful information and advice to help you prepare for a trip including Central Highlands.


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