Do not be easily deceived to just assume Namibia is a hot desert country and a tank top and shorts would be sufficient for your holidays. The good news is, whether it is summer or winter in Namibia, its easy to get the suitcase packed 🙂
Your packing list:
This packing list is for whatever time of the year you visit Namibia. No matter when you travel here always pack the following :
Namibia is blessed with beautiful abundant sunshine so no matter the season be it summer or winter, you will be able to get some colour on your skin. Pack your swimsuit, shorts and light clothes. In the winter you will use them less, but you WILL need them at some stage.
Here the advice is the same, be it summer or winter you will most likely need something warm. Most people are seriously surprised by how cold our winter nights can get in the desert. Also no matter the season the coast (which I hope you plan to visit) is almost guaranteed to be cold at night. So even if you see the rest of the country soaring in the high 30C, be warned that you will need something warm.
What you will Not need:
Anything related to heavy rain or snow you may leave at home ;). No umbrellas, snow boots, thermal wear etc will be needed in Namibia. They will just steal the space for some extra curios and presents :).
This is typically the first question I normally Google when I am interested in going to a country or destination. This article gives my opinion on the best time to visit Namibia and why its a bit different to normal locations :). Sometimes, you just really can’t go that “ best time to travel”, so how is the weather in Namibia when you can travel ?
We learned in school that each year has 4 seasons, right? Well in Namibia, that’s not really true. Here our year can be divided into 2 seasons really, summer and a mild winter.
Summer: Runs from September – April
Winter runs from May – August Summer is Namibias hot and rainy season. Winter is dry and much cooler. But lets first answer that question, What is the best time to travel to Namibia?
Well Namibia is REALLY a year round destination.
You can ask a few Namibians on the street what their favourite time of the year is, and you will probably get a few different answers.
Travelling to Namibia in December, January, February, March
- Namibias rainy season has officially started.
- However you will rarely get rain in the south/desert
- Rainfall is higher in the North East of Namibia than any other place.
- There are few to no tourists travelling the country
- It does not rain every day nor does it rain the whole day
- The weather and the landscape is really beautiful alive with greenery
- Some years, we receive very little rain, so even travelling in the rainy season you will not see rain, but this one can never know in advance.
- Namibians are at their happiest when it rains.
- If it does not rain, it will be really hot. Even the nights can be hot.
- Animals in National parks are not easy to spot, since animals you see are on there way to or from the water or at the water holes. But if there is water in the field… you will have a tough time seeing all the animals you wanted to
- Birding is good in the rainy season and the birds boast beautiful plumage in the summer
- Travelling in this time of the year is perfect for you if, you like few tourist, don’t mind if it does rain and can take some heat 🙂
- Accommodation might not be much cheaper this time of the year. Many establishments have high season low season price, but most don’t. So don’t expect your holiday to be 50% cheaper, but do expect to find availability at any place you want to sleep without having to book in advance and you accommodation to be slightly cheaper than in high season.
- After the rains animal sightings in Etosha will be really difficult. Most animal sightings are at the waterholes, but when the fields are full of water pans, animals have no need to come to water holes and you will definitely have to enjoy the scenery, plants and birds, which during this time is quite beautiful. Just be warned though if you want to do some serious animal seeing… this is NOT the time to visit.
- Travelling to Namibia in April, May and June
- In my opinion the most beautiful time to visit Namibia
- Rain season is officially over, although it might rain a day or two in April ( not common but it does happen every few years).
- The summer heat has subsided and nights are not yet cold, meaning the weather is basically fantastic
- Its not yet “high Season “ in Namibia. So you should be able to get accommodation easily. As I have previously mentioned. Most establishments in Namibia do not offer high/low season rates. But some places do, so expect to save somewhere between 10-15% on your accommodation throughout your trip.
- As soon as the water in the fields have dried, animals again have to return to the waterholes for water which means wildlife sightings are good again.
- The country in general should in April still be green ( if we had normal to good rains for the year). From May the fields start to turn golden and by June the grass is golden :).
Travelling to Namibia in July, August, September, October
This is what we call our high season… and it is really when almost all tourists visit Namibia.
That being said, Namibia is one massive country with relatively few tourist so it still wont feel crowded, but nether the less places like Sossusvlei you will find yourself there along with quite a few other tourist, instead of alone 🙂 or with a handful of others.
But like all countries, High Season is there for a reason. In Namibia it is definitely because wildlife are abundant and its the best time to visit Etosha.
- Winter settled in. The good news, you will get NO rain & NO snow. Guaranteed.
- The sun will shine everyday ( except at the coast, read below about it).
- Day temperatures are not hot, but some days will still be warm enough for a dip in the pool or at least a tan next to the pool.
- Nights cool of and you might actually get really cold if there is a cold front ( expect night time temperatures to drop below 0C in the central and south of Namibia).
What will never happen in Namibia
Or what is likely to not happen in Namibia
- Rain at the coast
- Snow, in Namibia
- That you will not see the sun during your visit 🙂
- Rain during June, July, August
The infamous Skeleton Coast, got its name from the many men who perished here, when their shipping vessels ran into the coastline. The reason ??? Fog, fog and more fog. The Namibian coast is beautiful, but be warned, its always going to get cold at one stage or the other. No matter if you visit summer or winter… always have that jacket in your safari bag.
Namibia is REALLY a year round destination. My favourite time to travel in Namibia would be April, May June, July… for the reasons mentioned above. Quoted from Miss Congeniality … when a contestant was asked to describe her favourite date. Thats a tough one she said “I would say April 25th. Because its not too hot, not too cold, all you need is a light jacket”. Although in Namibia your jacket will only be needed from June:).