Where and When to See Your Favorite Animals Across Namibia

By namibiatt|January 6, 2020

Our home here in Namibia has a vast offering of rich experiences you’ll never forget: From the breathtaking landscapes of the salt pans, sand dunes, and coastlines to unforgettable food, cultural exchanges, and more.

But perhaps the most remarkable treasure our country has to offer is the wildlife that, like us, calls this land their home.

More than anything else, it’s the iconic animals of Namibia that lure travelers from all over the world. Namibia is host to must-see bucket-list animals like elephants, rhino, lions, giraffe, and zebra.

But we’ve got plenty of other species to go around too — we boast the planet’s biggest population of freely roaming cheetah. And meerkat, wildebeest, and over 650 species of birds are icing on the cake.

Surprise guests that you may not expect are our whales — with close to 1000 miles of Atlantic coastline (all protected as part of a National Park), there are various vantage points where you catch a glimpse of humpbacks, fin whales, and southern right whales.

Namibia leads the African continent in conservation, with close to 40% of our land designated as protected areas for wildlife. That’s why so many species thrive here.

But like anywhere, some of our species of wildlife migrate at certain times of the year, while others hunker down for specific seasons. That means depending on when you choose your Namibia Tracks and Trails Safari, you may be more likely to spot certain types of animals.

Fortunately, there is no wrong time for animal sightings in Namibia, depending on what you want to see.

The Best Time to See Wildlife Across Namibia

Generally, the dry season is the best time to see Namibia’s major wildlife species, including the Big Five: lion, rhinoceros, elephant, leopards and cape buffalo (Caprivi and Waterberg only).

When the rain stops falling, animals congregate around watering holes to stay hydrated. This means all you have to is set up camp in the vicinity of an oasis, and you’ll get all the wildlife sightings you could ask for — from elephants stopping in for a bath to lions looking for a bit of shade to stretch out in.

Namibia’s dry season falls from May to October. Besides the high levels of wildlife activity, another perk of the dry season is the relatively low temps you’ll find in this time of year.

Even though the dry season is our winter, don’t expect snow — winter days however around 20 degrees Celsius here in Namibia. Nights, on the other hand, can get a bit chilly, so you’ll want to pack accordingly to stay comfortable.

If elephants, rhino, and lion are at the top of your animal sighting wish list, then the dry season is for you in Namibia. But there are other species that shine in the rainy summertime.

Wildlife in Namibia in the Rainy Season

While many people want to come face to face with giraffe, elephants, and lions (well, maybe not literally face to face), there are some unique offerings to enjoy during the rainy summer season, which starts in November and extends into April.

Those perks are:


  • If your goal is to spot as many of our avian friends as you can, then the rainy season is when you’ll want to come visit Namibia.
  • That’s when our native species and many migratory birds congregate together to take in the plentiful rains and warm weather.
  • One of the best bird-watching events in this time is the flamingo migration — over a million fly into Namibia to take advantage of our rain-filled salt pans in Etosha National Park.


  • There are around 4 species of whales swimming in the waters off the Namibian coast — everything from sperm and blue to humpback and killer whales.
  • Many of these species can be seen throughout the year, but for humpback and Minke especially, the beginning of the rainy season (October to November) is the best time to visit.
  • While you’re on the coast looking out for whales, you’re also likely to see African penguins and Cape Fur seals.

Newborn Sightings

  • The rains in Namibia are a sign from Mother Nature that it’s time for animals to give birth, so your chances of seeing a newborn zebra and other baby mammals are higher during this time.

Where to See Wildlife in Namibia

Namibia is not a small country, so it’s not likely that you’ll step off your plane and see elephants and giraffe trotting across the tarmac (though it has happened before).

So where should you head to see your favorite animals? Here at Namibia Tracks & Trails, we’ve spent decades scouting for the best spots for epic wildlife encounters for our safari guests.

The best way to get the most of your wildlife adventure in Namibia is to join one of our specialty safari tours. We offer fly-in safaris, self-drive safaris, guided safaris, and camping safaris (including this one that’ll have you following the tracks of black rhino and desert elephants) that cover every inch of the country.

Join us in Namibia’s coastal areas to see whales, birds, elephants, zebra, wildebeest, meerkat, giraffe, and lion.

Or we can take you to Etosha National Park, Namibia’s premier wildlife sanctuary, for a rendezvous with rhino, elephant, lion, giraffe, and flamingo.

We also have a variety of luxury campsites that’ll put you in the front row to all the action Mother Nature has to offer, no matter when you visit. Here’s a breakdown of the species you can expect to find at each.

Ozondjou Trails Tented Camp

  • “Ozondjou” is the local word for elephant, so you know what you’re in for at this camp. A stay at this camp includes a drive to find Namibia’s unique desert-adapted elephants.
  • You’ll also see giraffe, zebra, springbok, ostrich, kudu, and oryx. The dry season is the ideal time to stay at this camp.

Malansrus Tented Camp

Desert Hills Glamping Camp

  • Stays at Desert Hills Glamping Camp include tours into the Sossusvlei pan, Sesriem canyon where you’ll see Cape fox, black backed jackal, ostrich, oryx and springbok.

Plan Your Namibian Wildlife Adventure Today


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Ready for an experience you’ll never forget? No matter where you stay with Namibia Tracks and Trails, you’re bound to have an animal encounter you’ll be telling friends and family about for years to come.

Our team of safari experts can help you decide which of our packages is best for you based on the animals you most want to see. All you have to do is contact us.

Start planning the trip of a lifetime with Namibia Tracks and Trails »