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The Desert Elephants Are Generally Smaller Than Their Plains Conterparts - Khowarib, Northern Namibia

Namibia: An 18-Day Itinerary

When looking to plan our visit to Namibia we decided to go with a self-drive option rather than a standard tour. The thought was that this would give us the independence to do things at our own pace, even though we had a relatively fixed schedule. The road conditions in Namibia are variable, to say the least, and whilst the main roads between the larger population centres are tarmacked to enjoy the wilderness areas and do your own game drives you will need to have a good 4×4 vehicle. We booked our tour through Onjamba Safaris, a Namibia-based tour company, that was amazing to deal with. This was our first visit to Africa and we didn’t know quite what to expect, so we ended up using a company to plan our trip. But having done this trip you could easily book your itinerary directly and have the ultimate freedom of choice. The local outfitter company that Onjamba used in Namibia to provide us with our vehicle was Desert Car Hire. They were very professional to work with and the vehicle they provided was a Toyota Fortuner, which was ideal for the off-road conditions in Namibia. When they delivered the car to us, they gave a very detailed briefing which is just what we needed as newbies to this type of touring.

Namibia is a large country and is sparsely populated, and you can end up travelling many miles without passing a town. So, it is essential to do your research if you are planning your own schedule to know where you can pick up provisions and most importantly petrol. Most large towns have supermarkets, such as Spar and Pick ‘n Pay, where you will find everything you might need. Once you leave the main roads and enter the parks and game reserves, which are huge, you will not find shops or petrol stations (except at some of the higher-end resorts). It is critical your fuel tanks are full when you enter these parks, and advisable that you carry extra petrol in large jerry cans.

You can start your Namibia adventure from several places. We were on a larger tour of Africa and were coming from Botswana. Our journey started with us crossing the border at the Ngoma crossing, into Namibia’s Caprivi Strip, a narrow stretch of land squashed between Angola and Botswana. We had a rental vehicle in Botswana, and decided to change vehicles with countries as taking a vehicle across a border in Africa is a lot harder than elsewhere in the world. We were met by a representative from Desert Car Hire at the Ngoma border crossing who then drove us 90km to Katima Mulilo, the largest settlement in the strip. Here he handed the reins of the car over to us and we drove a further 110km to our first stop at Nkasa Lupala National Park.

Alternatively, you can fly to Namibia’s capital, Windhoek, and start your Namibia adventure from there.

In terms of accommodation, there are plenty of options. We could have easily camped every night but we opted not to have a 4×4 outfitted with camping gear. Instead we stayed in lodges. One night we did sleep under the stars in Palmwag! In the itinerary below there are links to more detailed blog posts on most locations with suggestions of places to stay and how to book them.

We have detailed an 18-day tour, but this can easily be modified to be shorter or longer. For example, by starting in Windhoek and excluding the Caprivi Strip you could easily make this a 14-day trip.


We spent our first two nights in Nkasa Lupala National Park in the Caprivi.

The Nkasa Lupala National Park (also known as Nkasa Rupara) is a small park, covering only 320 square kilometres, but has the distinction of being the largest wetland area with conservation status in Namibia.

We arrived in the afternoon, which meant we could join the afternoon cruise on the Harubandi Channel part of the Kwando-Linyanti system. Here we saw a large amount of wildlife on the banks of the river and on its islands, including cape buffalo, hippos, crocodiles, antelope and of course elephants (lots of them) and there was also an incredible amount of birdlife.

Stay overnight at Nkasa Rupala Tented Lodge.

For a full review of Nkasa Lupala National Park see our Blog Post.

A fiesty juvenile bull elephant takes exception to us being there - Nkasa Rupara National Park, Namibia
A fiesty juvenile bull elephant takes exception to us being there


Rise early for a 6 am dawn game drive. This is the best time to see wildlife in the Nkasa Lupala National Park as the animals are more active in the cooler hours of the early morning.

After the game drive return to the lodge for breakfast. 

An afternoon game drive is optional or simply relax! We chose to spend the afternoon relaxing.

Stay overnight at Nkasa Rupala Tented Lodge.

For a full review of Nkasa Lupala National Park see our Blog Post.

The king and queen of this particular jungle - Nkasa Rupara National Park, Namibia
The king and queen of this particular jungle


After breakfast at Nkasa Lupala Tented Lodge set out west. The next stop is the small village of Divundu, where we recommend stopping overnight, before continuing west. It is only a 280km journey, so it is going to be a leisurely day.

Most of the drive was along the B8 which is a tarmacked road in good condition, so you will make good time, passing through numerous small villages along the way.

In the early afternoon you will reach the bridge over the mighty Okavango River. From here follow the river south to Ngepi Camp.

Ngepi Camp is built on an island in the northern reaches of the Okavango Delta panhandle in the Caprivi strip. It has 20 campsites, 3 sites for overlander trucks, 14 tree houses and 3 bush huts. After leaving the comfort of the tarmac road, it was about 3km of dirt trails to reach Ngepi. The owners obviously had a sense of humour judging by the signs they had put up along the road to guide you in. There isn’t much of a lodge at Ngepi, it is more of a backpacker’s bar with a bush kitchen and some shelters for the dining area. But its setting on the banks of the Okavango River is stunning. The river is about 300m wide at this point and is a fast-flowing chocolate brown soup infested with crocodiles and hippos. To add to the amusement Ngepi has installed a floating swimming pool in the river. The pool had a wire fence around the bottom, so in theory you are safe from predatory crocs, so try it out!

Stay overnight at Ngepi Camp.


Today is another transition day on our journey towards Etosha National Park, which is located in the northwest of Namibia. Head for Taranga Safari Lodge, about 240km to the west along the B8, near the town of Rundu.

The 200km to Rundu will take about 3 hours to cover. Stop here to refuel and collect supplies before heading towards Taranga Safari Lodge.

The Taranga Safari Lodge, like Ngepi Camp, sits right on the Okavango River, but this section of the river forms the border with Angola. So, from here, you can look across the river at this once war-torn country that was now on the long road to recovery.

The rooms are spacious, luxury safari tents. The main part of the lodge has a very nicely appointed dining area, a pool, and a lounge (where you can get Wi-Fi). 


Today head to the crown jewel of Namibia’s National Park system, Etosha. 

Spend the first two nights at the Onguma Bush Camp, which is located on a private reserve close to Etosha’s Nematoni Von Lindquist gate.

From Rundu, it is a 370km drive, along very good, tarred roads. These are the last major tarred roads you will be seeing for some time.

There are no large settlements on the way until you reach the city of Grootfontein, some 270km from Rundu. It is a large settlement of around 24,000 people, which is large in terms of Namibian cities. It is a good place to stop and get some lunch.

Twenty-four kilometres west of Grootfontein lies the giant Hoba meteorite. At over 60 tons, it is the largest known meteorite on Earth, as well as the largest naturally occurring mass of iron known to exist on the planet’s surface. If you are interested you could take a diversion to check it out.

The Onguma Game Reserve is made up of five lodges and two campsites, with a style to suit all travellers. The reserve’s location on a private 34,000-hectare concession to the east of Etosha National Park means that it is a perfect base for wildlife and safari holidays.

Stay overnight at Onguma Bush Camp.

See our full blog post on visiting the Etosha National Park.


Today will be the opportunity to explore the eastern side of Etosha National Park and the Onguma Game Reserve.

Plan to do an early morning and afternoon game drive.

Covering some 8,598 square miles (22,269 square km), it centres on the Etosha Pan, a vast expanse of salt with lone salt springs, used by animals as salt licks. It has one of the largest populations of big-game species in the world, including lions, elephants, rhinoceroses, elands, zebras, and springbok. Abundant birdlife includes flamingos, vultures, hawks, eagles, ostriches, guinea fowl, and geese.

The eastern portion of Etosha National Park has a tree-savanna type of vegetation (abounding in tambouti [a deciduous tree that is locally used for furniture and cabinetwork], wild fig, and date palms); moringa trees are typical of the more arid thorn-shrub savanna of the western part of the park. The German colonial fort of Namutoni (originally built in 1901, destroyed in 1904, and reconstructed between 1905 and 1907), at the eastern end of the pan, resembles a fort of the French Foreign Legion. It has been restored for use as a tourist camp for the park.

Stay overnight at Onguma Bush Camp.

See our full blog post on visiting the Etosha National Park.


After breakfast start your journey westwards, first stopping at the Von Lindequist Gate of Etosha National Park to pick up our passes to enter the park. It is a further 14km to Namutoni Camp, one of the main camps inside Etosha. The main building was an old German fort and looks like something out of an old film about the French Foreign Legion. If needed you can pick up some fuel here.

The plan for the day is to drive through the central part of Etosha and leave the park via the Anderson Gate, and overnight stay at Taleni Etosha Village. This is only 160km away, but you will be driving over dusty, gravel tracks and plan to stop and check out several waterholes along the way. Etosha is a bone-dry desert in the dry season, and the wildlife is drawn to the waterholes which was largely man-made. 

Along the way, you are likely to see plains animals, including zebra, giraffes, hartebeest and the oryx, which are particularly well-adapted to the harsh conditions of deserts. Another animal that is frequently sighted in Etosha is the elephant. The elephants of Etosha look almost white as they cover themselves with the white sand of the park, giving them an eery, ghostlike appearance.

Etosha is the most visited National Park in Namibia, but due to its huge size you don’t see many vehicles along the way, and the rest camp game drive vehicles don’t reach most areas. So, for a lot of the time, you feel like you have the place to yourself. Even when animals are sighted there is rarely more than two or three vehicles sharing the experience.

After travelling about 70km, which will likely take the whole morning with numerous stops along the way, you will reach Halali Camp, another major rest camp inside Etosha. It is a good place to have your lunch and grab some more fuel. 

In the afternoon continue west and stop at several waterholes on the way. Elephants, zebras, wildebeest, and antelopes are common visitors to these.

The road will eventually lead to Okaukuejo, the administrative centre for Etosha National Park. There is a petrol station here at the resort, another place to top up before heading out of the park.

Just a few kilometres south of Okaukuejo is the Anderson Gate. Continued south for a bit and turn off the main road to Taleni Etosha Village.

Stay overnight at Taleni Etosha Village.

See our full blog post on visiting the Etosha National Park

We got a bit too close to this big boy - Etosha National Park, Namibia
We got a bit too close to this big boy


After breakfast, head back into Etosha, back through the Anderson Gate. The goal for the day is to reach Dolomite Camp, about 170km from Okaukuejo. Once again we’d be travelling on the gravel roads of Etosha. The western side of Etosha is the least visited part of the park, so expect to see even fewer vehicles than you had on the previous day’s travel.

This part of Etosha is extremely dry and there are few trees. Most of the vegetation is made up of low scrubby bushes. It is hard to believe that many animals live out here. You may spot some of the creatures that have adapted to the arid landscape including hawks and bat-eared foxes that feed on the mice and snakes that roam. Also, wandering around will be ostriches which can survive in the driest of climates.

There are several large waterholes on the way so plan to take in as many of these as you can. 

By mid-afternoon, you should reach the Olifantsrus Campsite. This is a new, camping-only area in the remote western reaches of Etosha. It has limited facilities, but here they have built a two-storey hide, accessible by a raised walkway, next to a waterhole that is popular with elephants. It is a great place to get up close to the elephants!

From Olifantsrus it is another 50km to the Dolomite Resort where we recommend staying the night. Most of Etosha is flat, but as you approach the resort a few hills rise above the plains. On top of one of these hills, Dolomite Hill, the National Park Service has established 20 permanent luxury tents, together with a restaurant, bar and swimming pool. The resort itself is not accessible by car, so you will have to park your vehicle at the bottom and take an electric buggy up to the resort.

Stay overnight at Dolomite Camp

See our full blog post on visiting the Etosha National Park

A lion in pursuit of the jackal - Etosha National Park, Namibia


It is going to be a long drive to the next stop, Khowarib Lodge, which is located close to the dramatic scenery of the Khowarib Gorge.

Leave Etosha National Park via the Galton Gate and take the C35, which is thankfully tarred. Drive for 70km to the small town of Kamanjab. There is not much here, but the main draw was a petrol station with a relatively well-stocked store for buying some provisions.

From Kamanjab turn onto the C40, which immediately becomes a gravel road as we left the town. The next stop is Palmwag, about 112km away, passing over the Grootberg Pass. The scenery change will be dramatic. The road conditions are mostly poor, with some parts being very narrow. The pass itself sits at 1540m, and getting there means travelling over some gravel roads that are in poor condition. A 4×4 vehicle is essential.

From the top of the pass, there are spectacular views down into the valleys towards the small settlement of Palmwag.

Take the winding road down from the pass towards Palmwag. This an extremely remote place, and barren. The settlement is made up of a small number of ramshackle buildings. 

From Palmwag head north into the Palmwag Concession Area. The road to Khowarib is dusty but is not too bad. After a couple of hours, you will reach your destination, Khowarib Resort, which is in the stunning Khowarib Gorge. There are 14 luxury permanent tents here, all located within a short walking distance from a gorgeous lodge building. Spend the rest of the day relaxing and enjoying the beautiful setting.

Stay overnight at Khowarib Lodge


Today, you can take a whole day visiting the further reaches of the Hoanib River into the desert in search of the famous desert elephants of Namibia. The Khowarib Lodge offers full-day safari drives which we highly recommend taking.

The first part of your journey will take you through a beautiful desert valley, that is very sparsely vegetated with scrubby bushes and low-bowed trees. Surrounding the valley are beautiful mountains. The further you travel the fewer signs there will be of humans.

If you are lucky you will see the giraffes that have adapted to live out in the desert.

Your journey will continue down the Hoanib River along bumpy and sandy trails. You will be in search of the desert-adapted elephants that call this place home.

These are not a specific genus of elephants, they are genetically the same as the other elephants that are found in Namibia, but they have adapted to live in the harsh conditions of the desert environment. Elephants are amazingly good at finding water, with their incredible sense of smell, and these ones are especially proficient! One of the adaptations of these elephants is their size. They are appreciably smaller than the average African elephant.

After your safari drive, you will head back to the Khowarib Lodge.

Stay overnight at Khowarib Lodge

See our full blog post on visiting Khowarib and Palmwag

These elephants are used to people so you can get quite close - Khowarib, Northern Namibia
These elephants are used to people so you can get quite close


Take the short 60km drive from Khowarib Lodge to Palmwag Lodge.

This lodge is somewhat inconsistent with the rest of Palmwag, it is modern and looks luxurious. We don’t recommend staying here but use it as the base for your next expedition, an under-canvas sleepout in the Palmwag concession.

While you wait for your adventure to start you can use the lodge’s facilities.

Before going to your campsite, you will go on a drive around the concession.

The campsite is very basic, with four large two people tents, that are well spaced. They supply good mattresses and blankets, so you will definitely be cosy. The toilet facilities are very basic!

A part of the experience is to watch the sun go down with a sundowner in hand followed by a cookout.

If you are lucky and get a clear night you will get a real treat. Being out in the wilderness with no background light, you will get a fantastic view of the night sky, including the Milky Way.

Stay overnight at Palmwag Under Canvas

See our full blog post on visiting Khowarib and Palmwag


The next stop on the tour is Twyfelfontein to visit the famous rock engravings, which are a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The journey south from Palmwag is about 110km on gravel roads, apart from a couple of short, tarred sections, which makes for slow going. The scenery is spectacular, with hills and rock formations carved into fantastical shapes by the elements.

Leaving Palmwag late morning should see you arrive in Twfelfontein mid-afternoon, which gives you time to visit the rock carvings in the cooler part of the day with perfect light conditions.

Stay overnight at Twfelfontein Adventure Camp

See our full blog post on visiting Twyfelfontein


Get up early so you can visit the Damara Living Museum. It opens at 8:00 am and the tour should only take about an hour. We found it fascinating and it is a chance to hear the Damara language spoken with the ‘click’ sounds.

From Twyfelfontein you will be heading 350km towards the coastal town of Swakopmund. Once you reach the coast, before heading south to Swakopmund, we recommend turning North and driving 50km to Cape Cross. 

In 1484, Portuguese navigator and explorer Diogo Cão was ordered by King John II of Portugal to advance south into undiscovered regions along the west coast of Africa, as part of the search for a sea route to India and the Spice Islands. While doing so, he was to choose some particularly salient points and claim them for Portugal by erecting stone crosses called padrões. During his second voyage, in 1484–1486, Cão reached Cape Cross in January 1486, being the first European to visit this area. He is known to have erected two padrões in the areas beyond his first voyage, one in Monte Negro, and the second at Cape Cross. The current name of the place is derived from this padrão.

Going to see the replica of the padrão was one reason for coming to Cape Cross the second was to see the Cape Cross Seal Reserve, home of one of the largest colonies of Cape fur seals in the world.

Driving back towards Swakopmund you will travel along what is called the ‘Skeleton’ Coast which is named for the whale bones and the hundreds of broken ships that litter its beaches. There are estimated to be 500 shipwrecks off this coast. One of the most visible wrecks is just off the beach. The Suiderkus was a relatively modern fishing trawler, the Suiderkus ran aground near Möwe Bay on her maiden voyage in 1976, despite a highly sophisticated navigational system. After a few months, most of the ship had disintegrated but a large portion of the hull survived. The hull is home to cormorants.

Continue south to Swakopmund and spend the night at Meike’s Guesthouse.

See our full blog post on visiting Cape Cross.

The Cape Fur Seals are very busy creatures, clumsy on land but graceful in the water - Cape Cross, Namibia
The Cape Fur Seals are very busy creatures, clumsy on land but graceful in the water


Time to have a more relaxing day exploring the quaint seaside town of Swakopmund, which is as German as any town you will find in Germany. Walk the streets and explore the shops and restaurants. 

Also check out the beach, the Mole (a sea wall), the Swakopmund Museum and the Kristal Galerie, where you will find some of the biggest crystal structures in the World.

If you are feeling more adventurous there are tours into the desert to ride All-Terrain-Vehicles (ATVs) and 4×4 cars through the sand dunes.

Spend a second night at Meike’s Guesthouse.

See our full blog post on visiting Swakopmund.

A typical example of German architecture in Swakopmund, Namibia


It is time to leave Swakopmund and head towards the Namib desert. It was going to be a long day of driving on the C14, a long gravel road via the Gaub Pass and Kuiseb Pass in the direction of Solitaire and from there to Sesriem. 

About 180km into the journey you will reach the Kuiseb Canyon which contains the ephemeral Kuiseb River, which is no more than a broad sandy riverbed for most of the year. Although it may flow for two or three weeks during the rainy season, it only gets as far as Gobabeb before seeping into the sand. This area earned its claim to fame from the novel, “Wenn es Krieg gibt, gehen wir in die Wüste“, written by Prof. Henno Martin. This novel is a portrayal of the experiences of the Geologists Henno Martin and Hermann Korn, during the Second World War. After the canyon, the geometry of the landscape changes with mile after mile of rolling hills before reaching a series of rocky outcrops.

A little further from the Kuiseb Canyon you will pass a sign to show you are crossing the Tropic of Capricorn.

We recommend stopping at the small village of Solitaire to get some refreshments and fuel.

There is not a lot to Solitaire but has become famous in the region as a stopover for tired and weary travellers.

Without a doubt, the most famous attraction in Solitaire is its bakery. More than 20+ years ago a Scottish adventurer moved to the town and opened the bakery. A man bigger than life in all aspects, Percy Cross “Moose” McGregor, was a wonderful baker and started selling various bakery items including a German apple pie (Apfelstrudel), made from an old family recipe. Sadly, Moose died in 2012 but the bakery lives on.

Shortly after Solitaire you will leave the C14 and take the C19 south, a route that passes along the rugged and beautiful Naukluft Mountains.

After 80km take the turn towards the settlement of Sesriem, and suddenly. For a short while you will be back on a tarred road. 5km further along this road, take the turning to the Desert Camp where you will be spending two nights. The accommodations are small concrete cabins, which was spartan but comfortable, with views across the mountains. 

The facilities at the Desert Camp are limited, with only a bar and a pool but you can travel a few kilometres to the Sossusvlei Lodge, where they have a full restaurant and bar. Sesriem also has a service station for those all-important resources – petrol and beer.

Spend the night at Desert Camp in Sesriem

See our full blog post on visiting Sossusvlei and Namib Sand Sea

Our chalet at Desert Camp near Sesriem, Namibia
Our chalet at Desert Camp near Sesriem


Today, you have a whole day to explore the amazing sand dunes of the Namib Desert.

The Namib Sand Sea is the only coastal desert in the world that includes extensive dune fields influenced by fog. Covering an area of over three million hectares and a buffer zone of 899,500 hectares, the site is composed of two dune systems, an ancient semi-consolidated one overlain by a younger active one. The desert dunes are formed by the transportation of materials thousands of kilometres from the hinterland, that are carried by river, ocean currents and wind. It features gravel plains, coastal flats, rocky hills, inselbergs within the sand sea, a coastal lagoon and ephemeral rivers, resulting in a landscape of exceptional beauty. Fog is the primary source of water in the site, accounting for a unique environment in which endemic invertebrates, reptiles and mammals adapt to an ever-changing variety of microhabitats and ecological niches.

Drive to the entrance of the Namib-Naukluft National Park, which incorporates the Namib Desert, the Naukluft Mountains, and the Sandwich Harbour lagoon. There is a single road that passes through the area commonly known as Sossusvlei which is a salt and clay pan located in the National Park. The name “Sossusvlei” is of mixed origin and roughly means “dead-end marsh”. Vlei is the Afrikaans word for “marsh”, while “sossus” is Nama for “no return” or “dead end”. Whilst Sossusvlei refers to a specific place its name is extended to cover the wider area surrounding Sesriem that includes neighbouring vleis (such as Deadvlei) and other high dunes. 

Popular activities include climbing up some of the higher dunes. The biggest dune is called Big Daddy. This magnificent dune is situated between Sossusvlei and Deadvlei and at 325 meters it dwarfs the other dunes. It is quite a hike to reach Big Daddy, so you might opt for one of the smaller dunes that are closer to the road. The most popular is Dune 45 a star dune that gets its name from the fact that it is at the 45th kilometre of the road that connects the Sesriem gate and Sossusvlei. Standing over 170 m it is composed of 5-million-year-old sand that is detritus accumulated by the Orange River from the Kalahari Desert and then blown here. 

Another popular activity is to drive to the end of the tarred road and drive further along a very sandy track to the car park for Deadvlei. To get to the vlei itself you have to take a 1km walk across the sand and climb a sizeable sand dune. You need to pack plenty of water even for this short hike!

The pan was formed when the Tsauchab River flooded, and the abundance of water allowed camel thorn trees to grow. However, the climate changed, and the sand dunes encroached on the pan, blocking the river from reaching the area. The trees are estimated to be approximately 900 years old, however, they have not decomposed due to the dry climate.

Deadvlei is a paradise for photographers as the contrast between the pitch-black trees and bleached-white pans, and the rusty-red dunes and deep blue sky make for incredible images. 

Spend a second night at Desert Camp in Sesriem

See our full blog post on visiting Sossusvlei and Namib Sand Sea

Climbing these massive sand dunes is exhausting - Namib Sand Sea, Namibia
Climbing these massive sand dunes is exhausting


It is time to leave the Namib Desert and head across the Southern Kalahari. Leave Sesriem and drive southwest on the C14 for 165km to the small town of Maltahohe. Here there is a service station where you can refuel and grab a coffee and food.

From Maltahohe take the C19 for 110km to Mariental, a larger town. Turn north on the B1. This is thankfully a tarred road!

From Mariental it is about 45km to Bagatelle Kalahari Game Ranch.

In the afternoon you can simply relax or join in one of their activities, including a chance to see the rescued cheetahs being fed.

Spend the night at Bagatelle Kalahari Game Ranch

See our full blog post on visiting Bagatelle Kalahari Game Ranch

Not a morcel is left once the cheetahs start to eat - Bagatelle Kalahari Ranch, Namibia
Not a morcel is left once the cheetahs start to eat


In the morning we recommend joining a walk with the Kalahari Bushmen to learn more about their traditional way of life.

After breakfast drive on the B1 250km to Windhoek, where the tour ends.

Posing with our Kalahari Bushmen guide - Bagatelle Kalahari Ranch, Namibia

Best time to visit Namibia


scattered clouds
broken clouds
overcast clouds

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.

Namibia – Month-by-Month

Visiting Namibia in January

This is mid-summer in Namibia. It tends to be hot and humid, with maximum temperatures hitting around 30°C to 35°C (86°F to 95°F); reaching up to 40°C (104°F) in the desert. There may be torrential downpours in the afternoon, but not every day. Mornings are usually clear, with the rain falling in the late afternoon.

Events & Festivals

  • Birdwatching in the Caprivi Strip (November to February): The Caprivi Strip is at its best during the summer months, when there are fantastic birdwatching opportunities, with more than 450 species
  • Flamingos gather (November to February): The summer months are the best time to see a flamboyance of flamingos, where they gather on lagoons in their thousands in Swakopmund.
Visiting Visiting Namibia in February

Very similar to January, with hot, humid days and the chance of the occasional downpour in the afternoons..

Events & Festivals

  • Birdwatching in the Caprivi Strip (November to February): The Caprivi Strip is at its best during the summer months, when there are fantastic birdwatching opportunities, with more than 450 species
  • Flamingos gather (November to February): The summer months are the best time to see a flamboyance of flamingos, where they gather on lagoons in their thousands in Swakopmund.
Visiting Namibia in March

Rainfall starts to decrease and temperatures lower after the rains. The nights start to get cooler again, with temperatures falling to around 15°C (59°F), although during the day this rises to around 30°C (86°F), making for pleasant conditions.

Visiting Namibia in April

The rain should have stopped by April and daytime temperatures should drop to around 25°C (77°F). Expect lows of around 13°C (55°F) at night, although it can be cooler in the desert.

Visiting Namibia in May

May is the beginning of Namibia’s winter. There is little to no rainfall during the winter and humidity is low. Wildlife will start to gather around the waterholes when rivers and other water sources dry up.

Visiting Namibia in June

The nights are getting cold and temperatures can drop to below 10°C (50°F), while in the desert areas it can get to freezing. Daytime temperatures are pleasant however, with blue skies and temperatures in the mid-20°Cs (70°Fs).

Visiting Namibia in July – August

July and August are the main winter months. Be sure to pack warm clothing because game drives in open vehicles can be chilly. The maximum temperature is around 21-25°C (70-77°F). At night it will be around 7°C (45°F), but it can drop to below freezing in the desert.

Visiting Namibia in September

September is a lovely month and considered the best time to travel to Namibia. It isn’t yet too hot, but the humidity is still low, keeping it very pleasant. It is dry and the skies are clear.

Visiting Namibia in October

During October the green vegetation is fading and the heat gradually builds up. This is a very good time for game viewing because the country is so dry. Temperatures during the day can reach 29°C (84°F) and it gets even hotter in the desert.

Visiting Namibia in November

The heat continues to rise by November and it will be very hot; although humidity is still low. On average, daytime temperatures are above 30°C (86°F). Clouds start to build in the afternoon, bringing a chance of rain.

Events & Festivals

  • Birdwatching in the Caprivi Strip (November to February): The Caprivi Strip is at its best during the summer months, when there are fantastic birdwatching opportunities, with more than 450 species recorded in the area..
  • Flamingos gather (November to February): The summer months are the best time to see a flamboyance of flamingos, where they gather on lagoons in their thousands in Swakopmund.
Visiting Namibia in December

The first rains usually arrive in December, and with it the temperature drops. The landscape changes after the first rains as everything comes to life, and the animals start to disperse as more water sources become available.

Events & Festivals

  • Birdwatching in the Caprivi Strip (November to February): The Caprivi Strip is at its best during the summer months, when there are fantastic birdwatching opportunities, with more than 450 species recorded in the area..
  • Flamingos gather (November to February): The summer months are the best time to see a flamboyance of flamingos, where they gather on lagoons in their thousands in Swakopmund.

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