Namibia Weather and Climate
Namibia is located in southern Africa and borders the neighboring states of Botswana, South Africa, Zambia and Angola. There is also a natural border with the Atlantic Ocean on the west coast.
Namibia, whose name is derived from the famous Namib Desert, had been a German protected area since 1884 and became the most important German colony in Africa. After the First World War, Namibia was placed under a protective mandate by South Africa in 1920 and did not gain independence until 1990. The two regions of Walvis Bay and Penguin Islands followed four years later.
The German influence can still be felt in many areas today. The largest city in Namibia is the capital Windhoek with around 325,000 inhabitants in the center of the country. Due to the extensive Namib Desert, Namibia is only very sparsely populated with around 2.1 million inhabitants on over 824,000 km² (more than twice the size of Germany).
The country is full of contrasts, not only ethnically and culturally, but also has a very diverse landscape. The highlands of Namibia extend between the two deserts, the Namib in the west and the Kalahari in the east. In the area of the capital, the altitude is between 1625 and 2000 meters. The highest point is the Königstein in the Brandberg massif at around 2600 meters.
Climate in Namibia
As diverse as the landscape in Namibia is, as different is the climate in the individual regions of the country. Basically we would like to describe the climate as arid and subtropical-continental. It is mostly dry and very hot, especially in the African summer (October to March). During this time, the central highlands – with the exception of the south – are determined by the so-called summer rain.
The Namib Desert is influenced by fairly constant, warm winds all year round and experiences very little rainfall. The daytime temperatures in summer are permanently above 30 degrees, while it can get quite cold, especially at night. The Kalahari is a little more rainy than the Namib, but also remains very dry overall.
On the coast, the climate in Namibia is dominated by the so-called Benguela Current, a cold ocean current from the Antarctic. Our climate table for the places Walvis Bay / Swakopmund makes this phenomenon very clear: Even midsummer remains pleasantly cool, while temperatures drop even further in winter. The water temperatures are also in the refreshing range of 14 to 16 ° C.
When to go to Namibia
Basically, Namibia can be traveled wonderfully all year round. However, we recommend the African winter between April and the end of October as the absolute best time to travel to Namibia. The temperatures are now pleasant, the precipitation is very low and consequently the vegetation is not as pronounced as in summer. What sounds negative at first glance, however, has many advantages:
Especially on safaris, the animals gather at the few remaining water holes in the dry season and allow fantastic animal observations. Due to the receding vegetation, the possibilities for hiding are now significantly lower, so that even rare animal species are much easier to discover. The months of September and October are particularly ideal before the onset of the “rainy season”.
However, determining the best travel time in Namibia is a luxury problem, as each month has its own special charm.
Optimal travel time for the regions
In the following overview you can see the best travel time depending on the region (Namibia).
|Place||Best travel time|
|Windhoek||April, May, June, July, August, September and October|
|Walvis Bay||January, February, March, April, October, November and December|
|Etosha National Park||April, May, June, July, August, September and October|
|Okaukuejo||April, May, June, July, August, September and October|
Temperatures, precipitation, sunshine in Windhoek (Namibia)
|Daytime temperature||30 ° C||29 ° C||27 ° C||26 ° C||23 ° C||20 ° C||21 ° C||23 ° C||27 ° C||29 ° C||30 ° C||31 ° C|
|Night temperature||17 ° C||17 ° C||15 ° C||13 ° C||9 ° C||7 ° C||6 ° C||9 ° C||12 ° C||15 ° C||16 ° C||17 ° C|
|Precipitation in mm||78||77||79||38||7||1||1||1||3||11||27||42|
|Hours of sunshine||9||8||8||9||10||10||10||10||10||10||10||10|
|Sunset||19:40||7:30 p.m.||19:10||18:40||18:20||18:15||18:25||18:35||18:45||18:55||19:10||7:30 p.m.|
The annual average temperature in Windhoek is 19.4 ° C. For comparison: Munich reaches an average of 8.6 ° C, in Berlin it is 9.6 ° C. The warmest month is December (23.8 ° C), coldest month of June with averages of 13.4 ° C.
The annual precipitation is 365 mm on 41 days with precipitation. For comparison: In Munich, 967 mm, in Berlin 570 mm, precipitation is measured annually. There is no rainy season, i.e. months with more than 175 mm of precipitation. You cannot expect snow in any month in Windhoek.
As our climate table shows, August is the sunniest month with an average of 10.3 hours of sunshine per day. In the annual mean, the sun shines an average of 9.5 hours per day. For comparison: In Munich and Berlin, the sun shines an average of 4.7 hours per day throughout the year.
The following major towns are nearby and have a similar climate: Windhoek.
Sights and highlights
One of the most popular animal reserves in Namibia is the Etosha National Park, the dunes of Sossusvlei and of course the Namib are particularly impressive. Other highlights of a Namibia trip from a scenic point of view are the somewhat remote Kaokoveld, the red desert of the Kalahari and the Waterberg Plateau Park.
The gigantic Fish River Canyon is just as important as the coastal cities of Swakopmund and Lüderitz and the seal reserve at Cape Cross. Round trips through Namibia usually also include Damaraland, where you will admire the rock formation of the Organ Pipes in addition to the rock carvings from the Stone Age. Combined trips with neighboring Botswana are extremely popular.