August is winter in Namibia and peak season thanks to the ideal conditions for wildlife viewing in the national parks and game reserves. As well as highlights such as Etosha National Park and the Ongava Private Game Reserve, visitors to the African country in August can enjoy some exciting cultural festivals in different parts of the country. Read on for more information on what you can see and do in Namibia in August.


August is midwinter in Namibia, a country in the Southern Hemisphere. Although there is regional variation in climate and conditions, the season is generally dry, with no rain. In most parts of the country, average temperatures are pleasant in the 70s (Fahrenheit). Higher-altitude places, such as Windhoek, the capital, get a bit cooler, and temperatures in the deserts drop overnight to as low as 32°F (0°C). Meanwhile, the Namibian coast is always cooler than inland, and winters are particularly foggy along the Skeleton Coast. Bring warm clothes if you're planning to go on safari, as early mornings can be very cold.

Crowds & Costs

Like the rest of winter, August is the peak season for travel to Namibia. The country is a popular safari destination, and national park areas get busy throughout the month. June to August are the best for wildlife viewing, with vegetation sparser and animals gathering around the remaining waterholes. Make accommodation bookings well in advance. However, Namibia isn't as busy as some other east African safari destinations, and the only places that get really busy are Etosha National Park, Swakopmund, and Sossusvlei.

Where to Go

The Etosha National Park in northern Namibia is one of the most popular game areas in the country and possibly the best place in Africa to see black rhinos. Centered on the large, salty Etosha Pan, the park is also home to flamingoes, elephants, giraffes, leopards, and ostriches. Winter is the right time to go on wildlife-spotting safaris because the animals are more visible. You can find a range of great accommodations around Etosha, including tented safari camps.

For a more exclusive wildlife-viewing experience with fewer other visitors, check out the Ongava Private Game Reserve. It's right next to Etosha, but because it's a private reserve, the number of visitors is restricted, and retains a more intimate atmosphere. Lodging is more luxurious, and visitors can receive personalized attention. Wildlife highlights include flamingoes, giraffes, and white and black rhinos.

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What to Do

Travelers interested in traditional local culture are lucky this month, with some exciting festivals held in different parts of the country. Herero Day (actually a three-day festival) is celebrated in late August in Okahandja, a small city in central Namibia. Members of the Herero ethnic group honor their ancestors through parades and warriors who replicate the historical battles they fought against German colonialists. Can't make it to Okahandja in late August? Look out for other festivals throughout winter where local groups honor their culture and history through song, dance, and storytelling.

For a different cultural celebration, head to the pretty coastal city of Swakopmund in August for the Küste Karneval, a German-style street carnival with parades, food stalls, clowns, costume balls, and other festivities. Swakopmund is also a hub of adventure activities, including quad biking and sandboarding. It has beautiful German-style architecture (not to mention German-style beer), so it is a worthwhile destination whether or not you can make it to the carnival.

Events in August

Herero Day, Okahandja. This three-day festival in late August commemorates those who died resisting the German colonizers with parades and reenacted battles. 

Küste Karneval, Swakopmund. A German-style street carnival with parades, food stalls, music, and dancing. Suitable for both adults and kids.

Traveling to Namibia in August? Check out these great itineraries

Namibia Self-Guided Safari Tour: Etosha, Swakopmund, & More - 13 Days. Spend time among the ancient dunes in Sossusvlei and experience the timeless coast of Swakopmund with its fusion of African and German influences. Enjoy exceptional game viewing, from the cozy Hobatere Lodge to the world-famous Etosha National Park.

Namibia Desert & Dune Safari Adventure: Kalahari Desert & NamibRand Nature Reserve – 5 Days. Experience Namibia's vast, ancient deserts on a five-day adventure tour. Drive yourself to the Kalahari Desert, meet the Indigenous San people, take wildlife-filled game drives, and hike the epic three-day Tok Tokkie Trail through the NamibRand Nature Reserve.

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