Enjando Street Festival (Mbapira), March
Windhoek Karneval (WIKA), April
AE Gams Arts Festival, September
Maherero Day, August
Aside from a peak over the Christmas–New Year period, January is generally considered low season. Expect mild to high temperatures, generally high humidity and a good chance of heavy rains (although they're unlikely to be constant).
February is similar to January – warm days, mild nights and heavy if sporadic rains. In drier years, rains begin to ease by the end of the month. Temperatures in the Kalahari can soar towards the mid-40°Cs. Lodges are generally quiet, with higher availability and cheaper rates.
The rains sometimes continue into March, but begin to tail off in most years. Temperatures also begin to fall, although daytime maximums can still be punishing. Most lodges and campsites are quiet, with plenty of availability.
Enjando Street Festival (Mbapira)
The capital’s biggest street party occurs in March every year. It’s also a good excuse for people to dress in extravagant ethnic clothes that bring the streets to life. Expect cultural events, musical performances and much merriment.
On 21 March, this national day is celebrated in grand style, with a parade and sports events in Windhoek. Many can still recall the day that Namibia wrestled control of its own affairs off South Africa in 1990.
Temperatures have begun to cool considerably and rains should be well and truly over. Although it's definitely low season, a late-month peak may happen during Namibian school holidays, especially in campsites and cheaper hotels.
Windhoek Karneval (WIKA)
Established in 1953 by a small group of German immigrants, Windhoek Karneval is now one of the highlights of Namibia’s cultural calendar, culminating in the Royal Ball.
May is one of our favourite months to be in Namibia with mild daytime temperatures, cooler nights and generally clear skies. Availability in most places is generally high, except for early in the month, which often coincides with local school holidays.
Wild Cinema Festival
This film festival is just a few years old but is proving popular. It showcases the work of local and South African talent at cinemas throughout Windhoek.
An excellent month to visit with favourable climatic conditions and nestled nicely between local school holidays in May and the start of high season in July. Temperatures can be colder than you think at night, but conditions are otherwise ideal.
Book months ahead if you plan on visiting in July, especially in the second half of the month. It's high season in most places, with lodges and campsites booked out even up to a year in advance.
Namibia's busiest month for foreign visitors, August is the high-season peak. Prices are at their highest, availability is at a premium and advance bookings are essential. Lovely weather though…
This is one of Namibia’s largest festivals, falling on the weekend nearest 26 August. Dressed in traditional garb, the Red Flag Herero people gather in Okahandja for a memorial service to commemorate their chiefs killed in the Khoikhoi and German wars.
Windhoek puts on some great celebrations in September. There is a slight easing off on numbers of European visitors, meaning that availability can be a little better but prices remain high. Waterholes are starting to dry out, so wildlife watching is generally good.
Gams Arts Festival
Windhoek’s main arts festival is held in September, and includes troupes of dancers, musicians, poets and performers all competing for various prizes. The best of Namibian food is also on show.
In late September or early October the city holds this show, with its roots in agriculture, on the showgrounds near the corner of Jan Jonker and Centaurus Sts. Historically the event stretches back to 1899.
Since 2007, Omaruru has played host to this dynamic festival of music and dance events over three days in September. There's also food, wine, jewellery, photography, painting and other good things in life.
The end of high season, with the rains around the corner, but Windhoek is a magnet for beer drinkers and it's a popular time, especially for German tourists. Hot days and dry waterholes ensure that wildlife gravitates to water.
Windhoek stages its own Oktoberfest – an orgy of food, drink and merrymaking in an event that showcases the best in German beer, usually drunk at tables set up inside large marquees. There’s plenty of traditional German dress on display, too.
Hot and dry, November is when locals begin scanning the skies for rain. High season is well and truly over and wildlife watching is good, but the build-up to the rains can be unpleasant.
If the rains haven't arrived in November, they should arrive now, just in time for Namibian school holidays and the Christmas–New Year peak when a short, sharp influx of visitors arrive from Europe and elsewhere.