March is late summer in Namibia, a country in the Southern Hemisphere. Namibia tends to be hotter and drier in the south and wetter in the north, with a temperate climate in and around the high-altitude, inland capital, Windhoek (5,600 ft/1,700 m). Expect hot temperatures of around 90°F (32°C) in Windhoek, but with cooler nights. Desert temperatures are even hotter, with the Kalahari reaching 105°F (40°C). Meanwhile, the coast is much cooler with the Skeleton Coast and Sossusvlei averaging highs in the mid-70s (Fahrenheit) in the summer.
Summer is also the wettest time of year in Namibia. Days can be hot and humid, with sharp showers in the late afternoons. Some parts of the country can be difficult to access due to the heavy rains. However, in most places, it doesn't rain all day, every day, and the mornings are pretty clear.
Crowds & Costs
March is the low season for travel to Namibia. Many travelers to this country come for wildlife-viewing safaris—although it's still reasonably off-the-beaten-path as far as African safari destinations go—and summer isn't the ideal season for game viewing. There are other attractions and activities to enjoy, so travelers who make it to Namibia this month can enjoy these without big crowds or high prices.
If Easter falls in March, there can be a small spike in tourism. As well as international travelers who might visit over the holiday, some local families travel at this time as well. Places popular with locals include Windhoek, Okahandja, and Rehoboth, or the coastal towns of Swakopmund, Walvis Bay, and Henties Bay. Book accommodation in advance if you're heading to these places over Easter.
Where to Go
With warm but not-too-hot summer temperatures, the Skeleton Coast is a popular summer destination. Along the northwestern coast of Namibia, the Skeleton Coast National Park is a long stretch of remote beaches dotted with the "skeletons" of shipwrecks: a photographer's delight. The southern parts of the park are more accessible and can be reached on 4WD tours; you have to fly into the northern regions as there's no road access.
March is an excellent month to visit the capital city, Windhoek, which hosts fun festivals at this time. The Windhoek Karneval is a Germanic carnival with a colorful street parade and costumed ball, while the Enjando Street Festival attracts groups from across Namibia to dance, dress up, and make music. Other attractions in the capital include the National Botanic Garden of Namibia and Germanic architecture, including Christuskirche.
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
What to Do
Although game viewing isn't at its best in Namibia in the summer, bird-watching certainly is. Head to the coastal city of Swakopmund to see thousands of flamingoes in the wetlands near the city. The Walvis Bay Wetlands are on the edge of the Namib Desert and just 30 minutes' drive from Swakopmund. It's easy to go independently or join a guided tour. As well as flamingoes, you can see pelicans and numerous other birds.
Travelers interested in traditional culture should head to Aawambo communities in northern Namibia (and early April) for the Oshituthi Shomagongo or Marula Fruit Festival. Listed by UNESCO as a significant intangible cultural heritage tradition, the festival revolves around the beverage made from the fruit. Men carve utensils and serving tools, and women make baskets and pots and gather the marula fruit. People congregate to sing traditional songs, recite poems, and tell stories. A different Aawambo community hosts the festival each year, so taking a guided tour is the best way to get the most out of your visit.
Events in March
Independence Day, nationwide. Banquets and parades are held on March 21 to celebrate Namibia's independence from South African rule in 1990.
Oshituthi Shomagongo, northern Namibia. Over three days in late March and early April, this UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage festival unites Aawambo (Ovambo) communities, who gather to prepare omagongo, a drink made from the marula fruit.
Windhoek Karneval, Windhoek. A colorful street parade and costumed ball are highlights of this Germanic-inspired carnival, held annually in the capital in late March or early April.
Enjando Street Festival, Windhoek. A two-day street festival with music, dance, and colorful costumes, the Ejando Street Festival attracts performing groups from across Namibia.
Easter, nationwide. Easter can fall in March or April, and the long Easter weekend is a public holiday across Namibia, a predominantly Christian country (Lutheran and Catholic). Expect closures and domestic travel before and after the weekend.
Traveling to Namibia in March? Check out this great itinerary
Self-Drive Namibia Exploration - 11 Days. Take a road trip through Namibia over 11 days as you cover the top highlights. You'll explore Sossusvlei, see German-colonial architecture in coastal Swakopmund, and hike the vast landscapes of Damaraland before two incredible days of safari in Etosha National Park.