We're often asked 'when is the best time to go to Namibia?', and the answer is usually complex. It will depend on many things including your interests, where you want to visit and why you're travelling. One person's best time is another's worst!
However, often a concern about the weather underlies the question of 'the best time to go'.
So here we've put together a very rough guide to the climate in Namibia. Remember that this comes from records and our experience, not from a crystal ball, and that Africa's weather patterns are becoming increasingly unpredictable – probably due to global warming.
Partially covered by the Namib Desert, one of the world's driest deserts, Namibia's climate is generally very dry and pleasant – it's fine to visit all year round. Namibia only receives a fraction of the rain experienced by countries further east. Between about December to March some days will be humid and rain may follow, often in localised, afternoon thunderstorms. These are more common in the centre and east of the country, and more unusual in the desert.
April and especially May are often lovely months in Namibia. Increasingly dry, with a real freshness in the air, and much greenery in the landscape; at this time the air is clear and largely free from dust.
From June to August Namibia cools down and dries out more; nights can become cold, dropping below freezing in some desert areas. As the landscape dries so the game in the north of the country gravitates more to waterholes, and is more easily seen by visitors. By September and October it warms up again; game-viewing in most areas is at its best, although there's often a lot of dust around and the vegetation has lost its vibrancy.
November is a highly variable month. Sometimes the hot, dry weather will continue, at other times the sky will fill with clouds and threaten to rain – but if you're lucky enough to witness the first rains of the season, you'll never forget the drama.
Weather in other African countries
For comparison, see similar climate charts and information for our other African destinations:
► Botswana climate – Similar weather pattern to Namibia, perhaps with slightly higher rainfall. ► Kenya climate – A very different weather pattern from Namibia. ► Malawi climate – Similar weather pattern to Namibia, but with more rain. ► Mozambique climate – Much wetter than Namibia, but following a broadly similar pattern. ► Rwanda climate – A very different weather pattern from Namibia. ► Seychelles climate – Completely different weather pattern from Namibia. ► Cape of South Africa climate – Almost completely ‘opposite’ weather pattern to most of Namibia’s climate. ► Tanzania climate – A different weather pattern from Namibia, with two rainy periods. ► Zambia climate – Slightly different weather pattern to Namibia, with a longer rainy season. ► Zanzibar climate – Quite a different weather pattern from Namibia; much more rain. ► Zimbabwe climate – Weather follows a similar pattern to Namibia, but with a longer, heavier rainy season.
January: a rainy month with high humidity levels.
February: one of Namibia's wettest months of the year; great for bird-watching.
March: the third and last month of the rainy season is wet and humid.
April: a very fresh, green month; some rain but also lots of clear weather.
May: a favourite month: the landscape is usually beautiful and green, the air very clear.
June: a dry month with very little chance of rain. Warm days but cold nights.
July: nights can be cold, but the days are warm and clear.
August: a lovely and dry month, but temperatures can still plummet at night.
September: dry, warm days and cold nights gradually heat up as the month progresses.
October: one of the the hottest and driest months of the year.
November: very variable: maybe hot and dry, but with showers looming towards the end.
December: an unpredictable month during the transition from dry to rainy season.
Let our trip chooser narrow down the options for you