What to do in Namibia during Spring


Springtime in Namibia is from September to November and is a wonderful time to travel. The temperatures start to climb but it rarely gets too too hot. The land begins to slowly stir and there is a buzz in the air as everyone and everything waits in restless anticipation of the coming rains.

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The popcorn tree – better known as a blossoming Swarthaak.

 

In a country where sun and warm temperatures are pretty much all year round, a more reliable sign of spring is not so much the change in temperature, but rather the blossoming trees. From early August the landscape begins to fill up with the bright yellow blossoms of the ubiquitous and iconic Camel Thorn Tree.

The fluffy white blossoms of the Blackthorn or Swarthaak bush look like popcorn served on the side of the road. The Mopane trees start to turn green, even without rain. In Tsumeb, the exotic Flamboyants set the streets alight with their vivid red flowers. In Etosha, the Nebrownii, typically a grey, seemingly lifeless shrub, is suddenly brought to life with bright yellow blossoms on which the giraffes just love munching. 

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The brightly coloured blossoms are a treat for hungry giraffes.

 

As spring sets in, the bird watching becomes ever more thrilling, as the migratory birds join the native species for a birding spectacular on Namibian soil. Blue cranes, bee-eaters and flamingos flock to the wetter parts of the country during spring.

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Flamingos flock to the Etosha pan
(Image via African Profile Safaris)

 

Spring is still a good for game viewing as the land is still waiting for the raining season and the vegetation is not over grown. This makes it easier to spot animals in the bush, and increase your chances of seeing animals at waterholes as they go in search of the last water before the rain. 

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Animals descending upon a waterhole at Etosha National Park.

  

The August winds kick up a lot of dust in the air that has yet to settle with the rains and this hazy sky makes for a photographic spectacle with slow crimson sunsets and crisp early sunrises you’ll want to wake up for.

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Crimson sunsets are a staple of Namibian spring.
(Image via Notes from Namibia)

 

The threat of rain hangs in the air and is on everybody’s lips. Rain clouds start to build, teasing the animals and the locals, but the "little rainy season" only tends to happen in October.

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Rain in the Kaokoland.
Image via Safari Bookings

 

With the sun moving southwards and starting to warm up the land, spring is a wonderful time to travel through Namibia. Do bear in mind, however, that the coast is typically rather cold in spring and is only recommended for steadfast fishermen, water sports fanatics and those who want to escape the inland heat.

Watch out for these annual events in Namibian spring:

The Rock Spitzkoppe Challenge (Sept)
Cycletech Spring Festival (Sept)
Fish River Marathon (Sept)
The Windhoek Show (Oct)
Oktober beerfest (Oct)
Old Mutual Jazz Festival (Oct)
Lucky Star Marathon (Oct)
Pick n Pay Cycle Classic (Oct)
The Luderitz Speed Challenge (Oct / Nov)
The Tsumeb Copper Festival (Nov)
Namrock Rock Festival (Nov)


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