Climate of Namibia
Where is the country of Namibia located? Namibia is a country in southern Africa. The country borders South Africa, Botswana, Zambia and Angola and is located on the Atlantic Ocean. The country has been independent since 1990. The relatively poor Namibia has a number of complex ecosystems that are partly due to the three climates that influence the landscape of Namibia. Most of Namibia has a desert climate. The west, northwest, south and western half of central Namibia have a warm desert climate (type BWh according to the Köppen climate classification). The southwestern coastal area has a cold desert climate (type BWk) and the north, northeast, east and southeast of Namibia have a warm steppe climate (type BSh).
In Namibia you will find the oldest desert in the world: the Namib. Quite unique about this desert is that it starts right on the coast. The fact that this part of Namibia is so dry is due to the Hadleycel, which creates a strong dry flow southwards to Namibia. About the thirtieth parallel, this strong vertical current creates a fairly constant high-pressure area, with relatively cool air descending from the atmosphere. This ensures that the temperature is somewhat tempered, especially in the southwest. This is the reason why this area in particular does not meet the temperature criteria to speak of a warm desert climate.
Namibia has almost permanent drought in the desert area. Especially in the Namib Desert, the total precipitation is often limited to only ten to twenty millimeters on an annual basis. The course of precipitation is very erratic. When and how much will fall is quite difficult to predict. The chance is greatest in the period November to March. During this period there is a wetter season in the less dry eastern part of Namibia. Especially in the northeast there is a seriously wetter season, with the total amount of precipitation within a month rising to more than two hundred millimeters.
The summer period, which coincides with our winter in Namibia due to its location in the southern hemisphere, has pleasant temperatures, sometimes with a peak upwards. Maximum temperatures range from 26 to 36 degrees in the northeast to ‘just’ 20 to 25 degrees in the cooler southwest. The mercury drops to about ten to twenty degrees at the end of the night in the summer.
The winter period runs from June to August. This is the coolest period in Namibia. The daytime temperatures are usually between 10 and 15 degrees, while the mercury at night often remains above freezing. In winter, night frost is very possible on the open plains. Frost on the ground is especially common. Because the relative humidity is low in winter, the chance of frost or other types of frost is quite small.
A lot of sun
Typical for the weather in Namibia is the high number of hours of sunshine. The subtropical high-pressure tire ensures that depressions have little chance of reaching the country. As a result, Namibia has a large number of days in which mainly clear skies occur. If you take Windhoek as an example, you will see that an average of 3600 hours of sunshine is recorded there on an annual basis. There are no months that are darker than the other months. February still has about 250-260 hours of sunshine. That’s about as much as an average summer month in a Mediterranean destination.
The figures below are based on long-term average climate statistics. The temperatures are displayed in degrees Celsius (°C).
|Maximum temperature||Minimum temperature||Hours of sunshine per day||Days of rainfall per month|
Best time to visit Namibia
Do you want to know when is the best time to travel to Namibia? You can determine the best time to travel to a destination based on the weather and climate. In addition, there are other factors that are not directly related to the weather and that can influence the best travel periods for a travel destination. Think, for example, of holidays or festive periods, which makes traveling more interesting or not, because daily life comes to a standstill as a result. The Republic of Namibia is an increasingly popular holiday destination in southern Africa. The relatively dry climate in combination with the topographical location means that within Namibia several biomes can be defined: desert, sandy desert, dry steppe, grass savanna and wetland. Most of Namibia consists of desert landscape. The Namib Desert, which runs along the coast, is the best example of this. Since Namibia is in the Southern Hemisphere, the seasons are reversed. When it’s summer with us, it’s winter in Namibia. When it’s winter with us, it’s summer in Namibia. The summer months there mean that this is the season in which rain can fall and in which the highest temperatures occur. In much of Namibia, maximum temperatures in January are between 30 and 35 degrees Celsius. An exception is the coastal area. For example, the maximum temperatures in the centrally located coastal city of Swakopmund are around twenty degrees in summer. This is partly because cooler air and mist are regularly supplied from the sea. During the local summer it is not much cooler on the coast than in winter. Inland you notice that the maximum temperatures in winter are about ten degrees lower than in summer. It then averages 20 to 25 degrees Celsius in the afternoon. Winter is the driest and sunniest period. There is hardly any rain from June to September. Namibia is not a wet destination anyway. On the inland plateau, more than 600 millimeters of rain is rarely recorded on an annual basis. On the coast there are areas where it hardly rains all year round. In Swakopmund they have to make do with less than twenty millimeters a year. You can safely call that bone dry. The best travel time for a tour of Namibia is during the winter: from May to the beginning of September. It is then dry, sunny and not too hot. For traveling around it is nice that you avoid the worst heat.