Namibia can be thought of in three broad physiographic zones: the Namib Desert in the west, the central plateau, and the Kalahari Desert in the east.
The country’s climate can be thought of in three broad seasons: the long rains (January to April), the dry season (May to September) and the short rains (October to December).
Given the large amount of desert area, the country’s climate is, understandably, mostly hot and dry, with sparse and erratic rainfall. In some areas, daytime temperatures can soar to above 40°C (104°F) in summer and plummet below freezing in winter.
Rainfall is highest in the northeast, in the fertile Caprivi Strip and Okavango River regions, with the balance of the country receiving unreliable rainfalls and prolonged droughts.
The Kalahari Desert and the central plateau both experience wide diurnal temperature ranges, with daily swings of 30°C (50°F) in summer and 10° C (20°F). Central Namibia’s rainy season runs from January until mid-April, with the rainy season being a little longer in the north and shorter in the more arid south.
The drier months of June to October are the best months for wildlife viewing in national parks and game reserves, as animals are attracted en masse to water sources.
The Namib coastal desert is different to the remainder of the country in that it almost never rains, is often blanketed in coastal fogs, and is only ever really hot in winter when the east wind blows.