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Namibia, located in south-western African, has a sub-tropical climate with desert along the coast and in the south, and arid areas in the inland north-central and north-east regions. The seasons and climate in Namibia are distinct and different from those in North America and Europe, experiencing winter and summer times at opposite times to the northern hemisphere. Throughout Namibia, the winter season (June to August) is the coldest period of the year and the dry months, while the summer months, from October to March, are the wet season.

Generally, there are two climatic regions: the coast and the plateau. The coast experiences a mild desert climate, whereas, on the plateau, the temperatures run higher. The rainy season has widely variable average annual rainfall across the climatic regions, from less than 50mm along the coast, to 350mm in the central interior and 700mm in the north-east Caprivi.

If you are planning a trip to Namibia, you should find out more about the weather and climate so you can prepare for your adventure and will know what to expect.

Seasons in Namibia

Namibia’s climate is sub-tropical, with a hot, rainy season during the summer months from October to March and a cooler, drier season during the winter months from June to August.

However, the climate in coastal and plateau regions varies based on their proximity to the Namib and Kalahari deserts. To give you an idea of what to experience in Namibia, here are the four seasons of Namibia, along with the average temperature for Swakopmund (coast) and Windhoek (plateau).

SeasonsMonthsSwakopmund (Coast) Windhoek (Plateau) 
Max Average TemperatureMin Average TemperatureMax Average TemperatureMin Average Temperature
SpringSeptember20°C (68°F)14°C (57.2°F)27.3°C (81.1°F)12.7°C (54.9°F)
SummerOctober to March21.5°C (70.7°F)17.4°C (63.3°)28.6°C (83.5°F)17.4°C (63.3°F)
AutumnApril to May23.4°C (74.1°F)18.6°C (65.5°F)23.6°C (74.5°F)11.4°C (52.5°F)
WinterJune to August21.2°C (70.2°F)15.2°C (59.4°F)21.2°C (70.2°F)7°C (44.6°F)

Data: Weather Atlas

Climate in Namibia by Regions

1. Coastal Region

The coast rarely experiences any rainfall, for example, the annual rainfall in Swakopmund is only 10 mm. Swakopmund, one of Namibia’s popular safari destinations, lies in the central part of the coast. Cooled by the Benguela Current, the coast is often shrouded by low clouds, mists, and fog in the mornings, which can make the coastal region feel cold, particularly during the winter months.

Due to these weather conditions, the beaches in the coastal region of Namibia aren’t the best for basking in the sun. However, the coast is excellent for bird watching, for example, the tidal lagoon at Walvis Bay is home to flamingos, pelicans and many other bird species, while Cape Cross is home to a huge colony of sea lions. Further north, the Skeleton Coast, known for its shipwrecks, is a hostile environment, but you might spot some wildlife such as brown hyena, desert lion, jackal, kudu, zebra or desert adapted elephant.

The coast also experiences sandstorms caused by the Oosweer wind (Berg Wind). When the wind blows inland, the region records a spike in temperature.

2. Plateau

The plateau is in the interior part of Namibia at altitudes ranging from 3,900 ft-5,600 ft, with variable rainfall throughout the region. The northern part of the plateau experiences more rainfall when compared to the southern and central regions.

✔ Tsumeb, a city in the north, experiences 555 mm annual rainfall
✔ Windhoek, in the central region, experiences 365 mm
✔ Keetmanshoop, in the south, has 160 mm annual rainfall

The summer (October to March) across the entire plateau is wet and hot. In Tsumeb, October is one of the hottest months of the year, when the temperatures can rise to 32°C. The Etosha Salt Pan near Tsumeb also experiences similar temperatures.

In Etosha National Park, the rainy season in the summer months is the best time for bird watching. During heavy rains, the pan can fill with water, forming a shallow lake where flamingos and pelicans breed. The wet season turns the landscape lush and green but it’s harder to spot wildlife at this time as it’s not concentrated at waterholes. The Caprivi strips and Kavango region also experience high rainfall, nourishing the surrounding vegetation.

During winters, the daytime temperatures in the central plateau are warm and sunny, whereas the night-time temperature can be as low as 7 °C in Windhoek. Despite the cold nights, June to August is the best time to visit Namibia, and therefore safari visitors should pack layers, such as a sweatshirt, jacket or sweater to wear in the colder evenings and mornings. In the wildlife hotspot of Etosha National Park, the dry winter months are the best time to spot animals as they gather at waterholes, plus the temperatures are not too hot for visitors.

On the southern plateau, the temperatures during January and December can rise as high as 35-36°C. The southern part of the plateau is in the Kalahari desert and experiences an arid climate. Its location near the desert affects the temperatures in the region. In the summer, temperatures can rise as high as 37°C, while winters can be cold with temperatures falling to 7°C in Keetmanshoop.

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