Overview – Namibia

Anthony Ham
Expert
By Anthony Ham

Anthony is a renowned Africa expert and author of many Lonely Planet guidebooks, including the guide to Kenya.

Anthony is a renowned Africa expert and author of the Lonely Planet guide to Kenya.

Anthony is the author of the Lonely Planet guide to Kenya.

Namibia is characterized by its desert habitat. This harsh environment forms a magnificent backdrop for a different kind of safari. Animal populations are smaller, but sightings in this sparse setting tend to be rewarding. Not to be missed is Etosha Pan, a seasonal wildlife magnet.

Rates (USD) $127 to $744 pp/day
Best Time to Go June to October (All parks)
High Season July to October (Etosha gets crowded)
Size 825,615km² / 318,772mi²

Pros and Cons

  • Excellent waterhole-based wildlife viewing at Etosha
  • Long coastline with marine animals, such as seal colonies
  • Good infrastructure and excellent self-drive safari options
  • High-end and budget safaris
  • Low population and vast undeveloped areas
  • Highly photogenic scenery and colors
  • Desert habitat doesn't support high animal densities

Namibia Safari Reviews

  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding

Wildlife

The open, arid landscape of Namibia doesn’t support animals in great numbers, but you’ll certainly have no trouble seeing the ones that do live here. These include plenty of wildebeest, zebra, lion and elephant, with large groups congregating in Etosha. The country is particularly good for seeing cheetah, which are widespread, while the more elusive black rhino and brown hyena confine themselves to coastal locations.

Weather & Climate

A subtropical desert climate is the norm in Namibian parks. In the winter (May to October), this means barely any rain and afternoon temperatures that hardly ever rise above 28°C/82°F. The rain finally arrives a few months into summer (November to April), accompanied by humidity, and fierce heat in the desert areas that approaches 40°C/104°F. It also gets cooler the higher you climb in Namibia, which refers mainly to the country’s central plateau.

Best Time to Visit

The sunny, virtually cloudless days of the Dry season (May to October) are a very pleasant time to visit. Although from June to August it can get very chilly overnight and in the early morning. The Dry season also happens to be the best time to go wildlife watching, as the animals gather around any water and so are easy to find. It’s harder to get up close to wildlife in the at-times strikingly hot Wet season (November to April), even in Etosha.

Premier Parks and Reserves

Want to Visit Namibia?

Namibia Safari Reviews

  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
Most Helpful Expert Review
A place to bond with the desert and marvel at the stars
5/5

It’s rare for travellers to return from Namibia with anything other than glowing praise. I’m always impressed by the spacious drama of its desert landscapes, where oryx pick their way over towering, apricot-coloured dunes or stare out...

Latest User Review
Our safari in to Namibia was superb
5/5

Right from the start our guide George made our trip to Etosha National Park informative and enjoyable. His knowledge of the country and of Etosha was great. The wildlife was wonderful to see and George had obviously spent quite some time...