Namibia has two seasons, summer (November to April) also known as the rainy season and winter (May to October) also known as the dry season.
- The main rains in Namibia occur between January and March and during this time you may encounter brief afternoon downpours (usually and hour or so), these are more intense in the Northern regions of Caprivi, Kunene and Ovamboland, but heavy prolonged showers can also be experienced through most of the interior. Humidity can be high during periods of high rain, particularly in the north.
- Flooding during this period is common in the Caprivi and along the Kunene River so it is important to check with your lodge before departure in case of any necessary diversions.
- During rainy season temperartures average 30C, but it is not uncommon particularly in November, January and February to have temperatures reaching the mid 40's so air conditioning in your vehicle is essential for travel at this time of year.
- At night temperatures do fall but not to an unpleasant level.
- At the coast (Swakopmund, Luderitz, Skeleton Coast) rain is uncommon even in rainy season. The temperatures are generally much cooler than inland averaging 25C
- During dry season temperatures are lower than in rainy season averaging daytime temperatures of 20C inland, but considerably colder at night.
- Temperatures can reach freezing or close to it at night so warm clothing is necessary particularly for campers. Layered clothing is recommended for early morning game drives and night drives, so that you can add or take off layers to remain comfortable.
- As the rains cause pools of standing water in the veld game viewing from January to April can be adversley affected as animals no longer need to come to established waterholes to drink. The good news is that the rains signal time for many animals to give birth, so expect to see lots and lots of newborn springbok, zebra etc
- October, November and December can experience light rains but game viewing is not adversely affected.
- Rainy season is however a good time for birdwatching as at that time of year you have the resident birds as well as the migrant birds arriving from the northern hemisphere.
- The optimum game viewing times are between June and November. The land will have dried out meaning animals must again come to waterholes to drink.
Other Factors Affecting When to Travel
Namibia is a popular destination for families from South Africa as well as Namibia, so during school holidays accommodation can be trickier to find and campsites can be quite busy.
Namibian School Holidays 2011
Last week of August - 1st week of September
1st Week of December - 2nd week of January
South African School Holidays
Last week of September - 2nd week of August
1st week of December - 2nd week of January
During public holidays many shops will be closed or have reduced opening hours. Easter weekend and Christmas can make accommodations and campsites busy so advance bookings for these periods are advised.
1st January : New Years Day
21st March : Independence Day
6th April (2012) : Good Friday
8th April (2012) : Easter Sunday
9th April (2012) : Easter Monday
1st May : Labour Day
4th May : Cassinga Day
25th May : Africa Day
2nd June : Ascension Day
26th August : Heroes Day
10th Dec : International Human Rights day
25th December : Christmas Day
26th December : Family Day