May is the start of the dry season and there’s rarely any rain anywhere in Namibia. If there are any late showers they’ll most likely be in the south and you might experience a few thunderstorms along the Orange and Fish Rivers. For those wishing to do the Fish River Canyon hike, this incredible multi-day trail opens on 1 May and runs until mid-September. Hikers must be completely self-sufficient as they navigate the canyon floor from Hobas to Ai-Ais. There are no facilities at all along the 90 km route.
Although not quite optimal game viewing season, May is nevertheless an excellent month to visit Namibia, especially if you’re heading into Damaraland and Kaokoland which are at their best from April to September. By May, temperatures across the interior are dropping, but the desert nights have yet to freeze. The hottest parts of the country are now on the sea and the warm ‘east wind’ brings occasional sandstorms to The Skeleton Coast.
In Etosha National Park the surface water is receding, and if the rains have been poor, wildlife will already be gathering at the permanent waterholes. May is still a bit hit and miss with regards to wildlife viewing. If there are late rains the animals might still be scattered and the waterholes less productive.
By the end of the month, the waters in the Zambezi have begun to retreat and the smaller fish species move into the main channels where they are preyed on by tigerfish. June is generally considered the start of the tiger fish season, but late May can still be very worthwhile.