Home to the gateways of two great deserts, the Namib and the Kalahari, the country of Namibia is said to be the driest place south of the Sahara. So when it comes to packing for your Namibia safari, it’s important to pack for the most extremes of climates. Some of Namibia’s highlights include the spectacular Etosha National Park where you can see four of the ‘Big Five’, the Kunene Region in North West Namibia famed for its rugged peaks, and Sossusvlei in the Namib Desert where you can camp under the stars and amongst the magical dunes. If you’re considering Namibia for your next safari trip, read on to discover the best time to go.
Geography and Climate
In Namibia, there are four geographic regions; the Erongo region, the Hardap region, the ǁKaras region and the Kavango East Region. The weather can be changeable across the regions and also depending on whether you are travelling along the coast, camping out in the dunes or on a game safari in the parks. It’s important to pack both warm and cool clothing as the temperatures can drop quite dramatically at night, and as a general rule, you can expect the climate to be that of a subtropical desert.
Dry Season: May to October
The dry season (winter) takes place from May to October and during this time, you can expect little to no rain at all and clear skies throughout the day. Due to the lack of rainfall, humidity is at its lowest, making it comfortable for tourists even when temperatures reach 30°C and above. This is the most popular time for tourists to visit Namibia but even when the parks are at their busiest, they never feel too crowded. So this is a great time to visit, whether you’re travelling in a group, as a couple or with the whole family.
The busiest place during the dry season is Etosha National Park and this is because game viewing is best in these months; with less vegetation and lack of water, animals can be seen gathering at watering holes. A great time to travel for guaranteed sightings!
What to pack: Evenings and early mornings can get particularly chilly in the months of June, July and August so be sure to bring some warm clothing and removable layers.
Wet Season: October to April
Summer is between October to April and this is known as the wet season in Namibia. The benefits of travelling in the low season is that you can expect rates to be lower and parks to be less crowded. This is also a good time to travel if you are interested in the rare opportunity of seeing newborn animals as November is calving season. In November, the temperatures are high but humidity hasn’t peaked yet so this is probably the most comfortable time to travel. From December onwards, there’s increased rainfall and by January and February, the landscapes will be lush and green whilst the air will be extremely hot and quite humid.
What to pack: rain showers are usually short and shouldn’t impact on your safari activities but the humidity can attract mosquitos so be sure to pack plenty of repellent, bite cream (and antihistamines in case of allergic reaction).