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The Best & Worst Times to Visit Namibia in 2023

The Best & Worst Times to Visit Namibia in 2023

Namibia is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Africa. The country boasts unique attractions and incredible desert landscapes. Yes, it’s true that Namibia offers fantastic spots for families and adventurers.

But your trip will be more enjoyable if you visit the country at the best time. Regardless of what you hope to accomplish during your time in Namibia, we can help you pick the best time to visit Namibia.

Why You Should Visit Namibia

Expansive rolling dunes of the desert where it meets the ocean pictured for a piece on the best time to visit Namibia


There’s something for everyone on Namibia’s list of things to do. To get your adrenaline pumping, you may ride a quad bike across the nation’s vast, ever-changing sandy beaches or traverse the Fish River Canyon.

You can also take a hot air balloon ride at sunrise or fly over Namibia’s Skeleton Coast in a light aircraft to see the beautiful scenery from above. The country is also home to archaeological sites featuring various animals and human carvings.

There’s no place like Namibia if you’re yearning to view open stretches of land. The population density across the nation is approximately three people per square kilometer on average.

Most people prefer spending time relaxing in quiet outlying areas. Namibians are friendly to visitors because they understand the importance of attracting a smaller, more environmentally conscious crowd.

They consider it a great honor to share the beauty of their motherland with visitors interested in learning about its heritage and traditions.

Overall Best Time to Visit Namibia

Elephant raising his trunk above his head in the dry Huab River, taken during the best overall time to visit Namibia

Thomas Retterath/Shutterstock

The best time to visit Namibia is between May and October. Because there’s little to no rain and the humidity is low, the weather is ideal for wildlife drives.

During this time, the rivers and other primary water sources are dry, so animals congregate around the few remaining drinking holes. Nights become much chillier in June, and the temperature can drop drastically in deserts.

Clear blue skies and mild temperatures characterize the daytime hours. Since there’s no rain, the environment dries out, allowing you to see animals on a luxury safari. The animal parks are usually calm but can become crowded.

The coldest month of the year in Namibia is August, but it’s also a peak travel month. Thus, it’s essential to make lodging reservations early.

Daytime temperatures in the desert are comfortable and warm on nights, making it an excellent time for animal viewing and outdoor activities. The month’s highlight is the wild blooms that give the terrain a lovely floral carpet.

In September, temperatures are mild, and the wildlife is abundant, so it’s the perfect season for a safari vacation in Namibia.

The cold season in Namibia ends around October. The skies remain clear even as the temperature rises. The southern right whales’ annual Atlantic migration also happens in October.

Cheapest Time to Visit Namibia

Dead Camelthorn trees against the red dunes and blue sky in Deadvlei, taken during the least busy time to visit Namibia

Oleg Znamenskiy/Shutterstock

The ideal time to visit Namibia on a budget is April and November. The weather in April is perfect, and the air is clear.

The summer months’ dirt has been swept away by rainfall, with most of Namibia blanketed in vibrant green hues. Except for the Easter holiday week, the campsites aren’t very busy, so you can expect to land a good deal.

Daytime temperatures can reach 85 degrees Fahrenheit in November when the country awaits rainfall. Because there’re fewer people than in the peak summer months, you may get better deals on lodging and enjoy more peaceful wildlife viewing experiences.

Furthermore, there’re many migratory bird species in November. The weather is ideal along the coast in December. Ocean breezes alleviate the inland’s oppressive heat, making the air less humid.

The rains come with fantastic birding opportunities around the country. December is particularly busy, with thousands traveling to Namibia for a year-end safari during school breaks and Christmas.

You can expect to land flight and accommodation deals. Ask the flight company if they have discounts or use coupon codes to minimize flight costs.  

Least Busy Time to Visit Namibia

Empty streets of Luderitz, one of the best places to visit in Namibia, pictured during the overall least busy time to visit

Ekaterina Khudina/Shutterstock

The least busy time to visit Namibia is March and July. The months bring rain and hot temperatures. Most showers occur in the late afternoon or evening.

The rainfall rarely causes problems with travel, except on rural roads in northern Namibia. When it’s raining, it might be hard to spot animals in Etosha National Park because of how dispersed they are.

It’s hot all over Namibia, but the southern part of the country is particularly uncomfortable during this time. Fish River Canyon’s multi-day hiking trail is off-limits when temperatures exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

If planning a trip to Namibia, try to go in July. A few sandstorms may hit the shore quickly, but the weather is pleasant. The time is perfect for climbing some of the gigantic dunes in Namib-Naukluft Park.

Since it’s not a busy month, traveling agencies offer discounted rates. A flexible schedule is an excellent approach to getting inexpensive flights to Namibia in March and July.

Search for your flights and select flexible dates. When you enter a date range, it will provide the upcoming days with the lowest pricing. Reserving in advance will allow you to save even more money.

Worst Time to Visit Namibia

Desert in Namibia pictured with a rainy sky and a rainbow over where the ocean and desert meet


The worst time to visit Namibia is January and February. January is typically mid-summer, with most of Namibia experiencing high temperatures and certain regions enjoying frequent afternoon rains.

Although Etosha National Park is vibrant green, it can be difficult to see wildlife because of the dense vegetation. The Zambezi Region gets most of the rain, so it’s unwise to visit in January.

Additionally, malaria is more likely to strike. But if you can put up with the rain, there is plenty to do and see in the country, like visiting museums and craft centers.

Things to Consider

If you’re considering visiting Namibia, here are some things you need to know:

  • Observe wild animals from a distance. Animals are free-spirited and can act in surprising ways. If you’re participating in a safari excursion, your guide will provide you with rules and guidelines. Maintain a reasonable distance from animals and stay in your vehicle unless you’re in a defined safe area to get out and stroll if you choose a self-drive safari.
  • A self-drive tour is possible. If you wish to transverse across Namibia, self-driving is safe but tiresome. Well-maintained tarmac roads connect popular tourist destinations like the Trans-Caprivi and Trans-Kalahari highways. Driving on untarmacked roads presents unique challenges and dangers.
  • Use a 4WD vehicle. Mud roads necessitate a strong 4WD car and rough-road driving expertise. A headlight is mandatory even during the day. It would be best if you didn’t go driving at night since there are animals out and about. It’s also essential to check your gas gauge and fill it up whenever you have the chance.
  • Remember to have food and lots of water on board. You can purchase treated water from supermarkets and local joints if you are away from towns for a long time.
  • Your time estimates might not be accurate. It’s usually against the regulations to drive a rental car after dark. Nighttime is especially hard to spot wild animals because they’re everywhere. It would help if you did your driving between sunrise and sunset hours.
  • Carry antimalarial medication. If you’re planning to transverse the North East regions of Namibia, malaria is a concern during the rainy months. Depending on your doctor’s prescription, you may need to begin taking antimalarial a few days before your trip.
  • Dress appropriately. You should pack minimally and sensibly when planning a trip to Namibia. When going for an excursion, consider wearing dark colors like beige, khaki, and deep green to complement the landscape. While on a walking safari, avoiding wearing anything too flashy is best.
  • Exchanging pleasantries is key to positive socialization in Namibia. It’s customary to greet and inquire about a person’s well-being before posing a query or requesting a favor.
  • The locals will attempt to stop you. You’ll encounter many Namibians, particularly in the northern regions trying to stop you while on a self-drive tour. They could need a lift because most residents rely on free rides as their primary mode of transport. They could also require resources such as food or cash.
  • Keep your possessions safe when traversing urban areas. Although Namibia is a secure place to go, it’s still important to be cautious. Like many other city centers, Windhoek is a prime location for muggers to prey on unsuspecting foreign visitors. Keep your belongings close at all times.
  • Don’t bring expensive jewelry. In public, it’s best to conceal valuables like cameras, phones, and large cash amounts. If you must make a credit card purchase, consider keeping it visible to reduce the likelihood of being cloned.
  • Exercise caution when using taxis. Taxis in towns such as Windhoek and Walvis Bay can be an affordable and handy alternative to renting a car. Taxis need state licensing to operate lawfully. However, that doesn’t prevent anyone with a vehicle from running a rogue taxi and picking up passengers.
  • A visa isn’t mandatory for tourists. If you plan to visit Namibia for less than ninety days, you won’t require a visa to enter the country. Verify that your passport is valid for at least six months beyond your planned departure date and that there’re adequate unused pages to accommodate entry and exit stamps.
  • Everybody expects a tip. Although the country’s tourism industry is flourishing, most Namibians still live in poverty. That might result in despair, increasing the likelihood of opportunistic crimes like auto theft. Your car guard could ask for anything from 2-5 NAD.

Frequently Asked Questions

Early morning in Namibia on the way to the sand dunes with a lone truck with a camper driving along the road under a cloudy sky with haze on the horizon

Gary Proctor/Shutterstock

Here are the most common questions people ask before visiting Namibia:

Is May a good time to visit Namibia?

Yes. Namibia is beautiful in May since the weather is warm and the atmosphere is clear. Furthermore, much of the country is green. You can explore the Kalahari Desert or visit well-known tourist spots like Etosha.

Do you need to take malaria tablets for Namibia?

The Centers for Disease Control advises that visitors to some regions of Namibia carry malaria medication. Consult your doctor if it’s viable to take malaria tablets days before visiting Namibia.

Is tap water safe to drink in Namibia?

Yes, the drinking water in restaurants, motels, and other public establishments is purified. Bottled water is readily available across Namibia if you prefer to avoid the potential health risks of drinking tap water.

What should I be careful of in Namibia?

Lock your vehicle’s doors and roll up the windows when driving in congested areas. Consider keeping your valuables somewhere other than on the seats.

Do I need a yellow fever vaccine for Namibia?

There’s no danger of contracting yellow fever in Namibia. However, if traveling from a country with a yellow fever risk, you’ll need to present documentation that you have taken a vaccine against the disease.

How much cash should I bring to Namibia?

The country has numerous ATMs, so you won’t need to bring a lot of cash or traveler checks. You get cash from an ATM when you land if you didn’t exchange any money before leaving your motherland.

Is it safe to walk in Windhoek?

Walking alone in Windhoek is unsafe because of the high crime rates. Theft, fraud, and mugging are the primary crimes here. You should take extra precautions and keep a close eye on your belongings while in this city. Be wary of anyone who solicits or offers assistance.

Is February a good month to visit Namibia?

February is the off-peak season in Namibia. It’s not the best time of year for wildlife viewing because of the heat and humidity.

Do you need a rabies vaccine for Namibia?

Yes. There’s a rabies risk in Namibia, particularly if you’re going to mingle with animals. You should ask a qualified medical practitioner to assess and determine if you require post-exposure rabies prophylaxis.

Is Namibia safe for LGBTQ travelers?

The government of Namibia has an intolerant stance toward LGBTQ people and their rights. However, LGBTQ tourists won’t get into trouble in Namibia if they don’t broadcast their sexual orientation.

Can you travel with children in Namibia?

Traveling with kids in Namibia is easy as long as they can sit still for a long time. Hotels often offer discounts for kids under the age of 12. They typically charge half price for kids aged 6-12 and even free stay for kids below six years.

Can I get medical treatment in Namibia?

Hospitals in Namibian cities offer high-quality medical care. Private hospitals might require payment in full before beginning treatment. It may take some time before you receive assistance in Namibia’s rural areas.

So, What’s the Best Time to Visit Namibia?

The best time to visit Namibia is from May to October since there is minimal rainfall and the temperature is around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. The months are ideal for wildlife viewing, making it the busiest time for tourists. Happy travels!