December is midsummer in Namibia and a low season for travel. Namibian summers tend to be hot and wet, but notable exceptions exist. Keep your cool at the bone-dry dunes of Sossusvlei or the foggy Skeleton Coast, or embrace the heat and go bird-watching in the Caprivi Strip. If you are in Namibia for Christmas, make the most of a hot festive season. Read on for more tips for traveling to Namibia in December.


December is early summer in Namibia, as this long season stretches from November to March. Namibian summers are wet and very hot, and although the rains are generally heavier in January, you can expect daily afternoon showers this month.

There's quite a lot of regional climatic variation throughout Namibia. The coast tends to be cooler than inland areas year-round. Northern Namibia and the deserts are the hottest, with scorching high temperatures of around 99°F (37°C) in the Caprivi Strip and Etosha National Park and up to 104°F (40°C) in the Kalahari Desert. Windhoek also gets quite hot, with temperatures of around 89°F (32°C) in December. On the other hand, the Skeleton Coast and Sossusvlei are noticeably cooler, at around 71°F-77°F (22°C-25°C).

Crowds & Costs

December is the low season for travel to Namibia, as is the whole of summer. Conditions aren't ideal for game-viewing safaris, keeping many potential visitors away. You can enjoy other attractions and activities, though, so travelers who do make it to Namibia this month can benefit from fewer other tourists in the most popular places and lower prices.

Where to Go

To escape the worst of the heat, head to Sossusvlei, which tends to be cooler than other parts of Namibia in summer. This incredible area of red and orange dunes and white salt flats in the ancient Namib Desert is an absolute must-see, and December is a great time to go because it's not as busy as in the peak winter season. Climb the brilliant orange dunes and don't miss Deadvlei, where petrified centuries-old trees stand frozen in the sand.

Another cooler part of the country is the Skeleton Coast. This strip of remote, stark beaches is dotted with shipwrecks that got into trouble along the often foggy Atlantic coast. The southern parts of this Skeleton Coast National Park are more accessible and can be reached on 4WD tours, though you must fly into the northern areas as there's no road access. You can also enjoy great fishing from Henties Bay (the only real town along the coast) and spotting fur seals at the Cape Cross Seal Reserve.

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What to Do

Travelers from the Northern Hemisphere may not be used to a hot, sunny Christmas, so if you are in Namibia in late December, celebrate as the locals do and wish for a wet Christmas rather than a white one. In the weeks leading up to Christmas, lights are strung around the cities, especially churches and cathedrals. Windhoek's Christuskirche and Swakopmund's Evangelical Lutheran Church are especially attractive. Northern Namibians, in particular, prepare and share meals at Christmas, often a braai (barbecue) that's shared out among the community. Also, look out for Namibian Christmas trees, usually made of thorn bushes.

Bird-watchers are also in luck in Namibia in December—as long as they don't mind venturing into one of the hottest parts of the country in midsummer. The skinny Caprivi Strip, a finger of land in the northeast between Angola, Zambia, and Botswana, offers some of the best bird-watching in Namibia. The Bwabwata National Park is essentially an extension of the Okavango Delta to the south in northern Botswana. With swamps, floodplains, wetlands, and woodlands, a considerable variety of birds can be seen here.

Events in December

Christmas, nationwide. Namibians celebrate Christmas, beginning on December 6, when Christmas lights are turned on in homes and towns (a thorn tree may substitute for a pine tree). Families gather for a traditional meal on Christmas Day before heading to church for Mass.

Traveling to Namibia in December? Check out this great itinerary

Namibia & Botswana Safari Road Trip - 10 Days. Road trip to Namibia and Botswana's top parks and scope out the wildlife and natural attractions along the way, including the dunes of Sossuvlei, rock formations of Damaraland, and the expanse of the Okavango Delta.

More Helpful Information

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Namibia in January
Best Time of Year to Visit Namibia
How Many Days to Spend in Namibia