The hunting season in Namibia opens in February and runs through November, being 10 months long it incorporates each of the four seasons. There are no particular months when plains game hunting is necessarily better, but time constraints or personal considerations such as weather, touring, wing shooting, bow hunting or specific seasonal activities might make a certain period of time more desirable to you.
The months of March and April are still considered our rainy season however in April the rain is really tapering of with only one day of rain on average in the central part of the country. A great time to be hunting though keep in mind that the occasional rain, usually late afternoon showers that last only a couple of hours, may interrupt briefly your hunt. Also during this time of the year, food and water being plentiful, the game is less active and not forced to constantly be on the move to survive. The grass is higher and the bush is more dense making the wildlife harder to see, however none of this means that you won't have a very successful hunt even though you might see less game. Hunting early in the season has it's benefits also, the game might be less stressed if there has been no hunting for several months, also the bush being more dense give them more of a sense of security whereas the animal might stand still to let its camouflage work... Another benefit is that during this time of the year the animals seem to congregate in certain areas for longer periods of time, therefore if you see a great bull, and if the opportunity does not present itself at first the possibility to search for that bull in that same area is still possible as it may linger around longer.
The months of September and October is our spring, the temperature is getting warmer and it's the peak of the dry season before the rains come. We usually have a kick off rain mid to late October, very brief as our rainy season truly starts in the later part of December. These months are completely opposite from March and April, the bush has thinned out, the grass is short or completely gone, the water is only available in deep dams or man made waterholes. Basically the food and water supply is at a minimum making the game travel longer distances on a daily basis and really work for it.
For us in the Northern hemisphere, June, July and August being our summer holidays, certainly make these months the most popular to do a hunting safaris in Namibia. That time of the hunting season tends to book up earlier, something to take into consideration as well.
Namibia boasts an arid climate for most parts of the country, the driest months for trophy hunting in Namibia are mid May through mid October and therefore are the most conducive for a bow hunting safari, if that is what you are interested in, as the animals visit the water points on a more frequent basis.
One other thing to consider is the rut. If a large Kudu is at the top of your list then the rut is a good time to be hunting. If I remember right my PH, a few years ago, said that it was usually end of May and early June for Kudu. Someone correct me if I'm wrong. Another factor can be the moon phase. A full moon often means less game movement during the day. Little things, but I'll take any edge I can get when I'm spending that much money.
Of course, depending on what part of Namibia you're going to be hunting, June & July can have very cold (below freezing) mornings and be windy (very). August to early Sept is good for me because I like it a little on the warm side (90's in the afternoon). By the time Oct comes around it's getting too hot (100F) for me. I would think late April into May would be nice too. I've been there in June, August and September.
I would echo the comment above regarding the moon phase. I didn't expect the moon to have the impact that it did but I will never again not plan for the moon to be as small if not absent as possible. I hunted the last week of September and the leaves were just beginning to bud so seeing animals was easier. Mornings were cold and mid-day's were warm. I will hunt as late as possible and consider the moon phase to set my dates.
The best time for hunting in Namibia is the BEST TIME it suit YOU the best. The following are non-changing factors:
1. Quality trophy animals;
2. Quantity of game;
3. Variety of game species;
4. Ability of PH to get you to the best trophies
YOU have to decide on your preference when it comes to:
b) season preference;
c) available dates
Enjoy the plannin process...it is part of the safari.
The best time is the time that best suits you.
do you want to walk and stalk then the greener months Feb. to April are good. It is easier to stalk when the bush is not so dry. September is very good and October. Stalking is more difficult as it is dry but the game does come to the water points more regularly.
Malaria is usually an issue after good rains. Today their are such good products on the market for malaria protection. Snakes that is overrated. We have been living in this country for 4 generations and I have seen 5 snake bites non fatal.Iam sure that you will get a great deal of good advise. This is a great forum.
Hi Bob, how's things going in Wyong?. Down your way a couple of years back but haven't been in NSW since Ebor for the fishing. just getting over some nasty storms up here in Qld, seeing the sun for the first time in a few days. I'm going to NZ in the spring and hope to clean up a few buns while there and perhaps shake the spiders out of my old .303LE (currently owned by my BIL). Cheers Brian