Namibia is a beautiful destination at any time of year due to its typically dry sky, but when is the best time to visit Namibia for a safari? The dry winter months of May to October are often regarded as the best time to visit Namibia for game viewing, particularly in Etosha National Park.
The sky is blue, the risk of malaria is at its lowest, and as the dry season progresses, animals become increasingly concentrated around water sources. However, in June and July, expect cold evening temperatures, whilst September and October can be exceedingly hot.
Here’s our guide to the best time to visit Namibia for a safari.
Wildlife: Best time to visit Namibia for a safari
The best time to visit Namibia for a safari to spot wildlife is in the dry season from June to October, although it can be visited throughout the year. Wildlife viewing is best in all parks, notably Etosha, during the dry season. Because the high season is also the dry season, the foliage is less dense and animals concentrate near limited water sources, making this the best time of year to observe wildlife. During this time of year, it’s not uncommon to witness large groups of species such as elephants, zebras, giraffes, gazelles, and wildebeests — all drinking at the same watering hole.
As a result, safari camps in Etosha National Park are filling up. On the coast, the shoreline is frequently coated by a heavy morning fog, which usually clears by midday. Because the height of winter is a particularly popular season to visit Namibia, it is essential to book accommodations well in advance.
Birding: Best time to visit Namibia for a safari
The best time of year to go bird-watching in Namibia is during the rainy season, which lasts from November to April. Then numerous migrants arrive, supplementing the native species inland; food is abundant, and many species display colourful breeding plumage. Meanwhile, Namibia’s rich, chilly ocean attracts enormous colonies of permanent coastal birds.
If you want to see the best birds in Namibia, go to Etosha National Park in the early months of the year, when the massive saltpan fills with water. Blue cranes flock in large numbers to feed, and flamingos arrive to breed. The Caprivi Strip, where arid Kalahari lands meet the canals and swamps of the Okavango and Linyanti Rivers, is Namibia’s premier birding habitat.
Best time to visit Etosha National Park
Etosha is Namibia’s most popular wildlife viewing park, distinguished by the huge, saltwater Etosha Pan. During the dry season, enormous groups of animals congregate in the pan’s waterholes. Only the buffalo is missing out on the Big Five. The floodlit waterholes of Etosha offer a unique chance for midnight wildlife viewing.
Etosha National Park, like the rest of Namibia, is a year-round attraction with eight months of peak game viewing. Even during the brief wet season, Etosha provides excellent game viewing possibilities because there are no rivers, the bush is not as dense as in the Kruger, and wildlife numbers are higher in general. Rain comes in short, intense storms, providing ample game-watching and photography before and after. Because it’s summer, the rains offer a welcome coolness to the air, and nothing beats a summer thunderstorm.