When is the best time to visit Botswana?
Botswana's dry season is between May and October, when you can expect warm, sunny days and chilly nights. Confusingly, this is also when the water levels in the Okavango Delta are at their highest, creating the waterways and channels Botswana is famed for.
The green season from November to April is a great time to travel if you don't mind the odd shower, as visitor numbers and prices are lower, the scenery pops with verdant foliage and animals give birth to their young.
Russell, Africa Safari Specialist
Many people travel to Botswana from July onwards, but I favour June when the weather is reliable and the game viewing is sensational. It's quieter and you can avoid peak season costs at many camps. Regardless of the time of year, the wildlife and scenery in Botswana will not disappoint.
Botswana Climate Guide
|Central Kalahari||32°C 94mm||31°C 68mm||31°C 51mm||29°C 28mm||27°C 5mm||24°C 1mm||24°C 0mm||27°C 1mm||31°C 5mm||34°C 19mm||33°C 44mm||32°C 65mm|
|Chobe National Park||31°C 128mm||31°C 110mm||31°C 67mm||30°C 18mm||28°C 2mm||25°C 0mm||26°C 0mm||29°C 0mm||33°C 1mm||35°C 25mm||33°C 42mm||31°C 101mm|
|Gaborone||32°C 85mm||32°C 79mm||30°C 61mm||27°C 33mm||24°C 11mm||22°C 4mm||22°C 4mm||25°C 4mm||29°C 12mm||31°C 37mm||31°C 58mm||32°C 72mm|
|Makgadikgadi Pans, Kalahari||31°C 76mm||31°C 79mm||30°C 44mm||29°C 22mm||27°C 1mm||24°C 0mm||24°C 0mm||27°C 0mm||31°C 4mm||33°C 21mm||32°C 44mm||31°C 62mm|
|Maun||32°C 109mm||31°C 102mm||32°C 61mm||30°C 26mm||28°C 5mm||25°C 1mm||25°C 0mm||28°C 0mm||32°C 4mm||35°C 19mm||33°C 47mm||32°C 84mm|
|The Okavango Delta||32°C 106mm||31°C 105mm||31°C 59mm||30°C 25mm||28°C 1mm||25°C 1mm||25°C 0mm||28°C 0mm||32°C 4mm||35°C 21mm||33°C 50mm||32°C 84mm|
Month-by-month guide to travelling in Botswana
- January Jan
- February Feb
- March Mar
- April Apr
- May May
- June Jun
- July Jul
- August Aug
- September Sep
- October Oct
- November Nov
- December Dec
Visiting Botswana in January
January is hot, with long sunny spells punctuated by short, tempestuous thunderstorms when it can be a good idea to settle back under canvas with a drink to watch the lightning illuminate the sky. This time of year sees migratory birds breeding and the young of the grazers growing quickly on the lush grass, giving predators the runaround.
Visiting Botswana in February
The mercury can soar, with continued sunshine and dramatic storms that make for photogenic skies. The Central Kalahari starts to come to life, with the grasslands enticing plains game. Ripening fruit sees many different species congregate around the trees in search of a sweet meal.
Visiting Botswana in March
The rains start to ease off, and very hot, drier days and nights are the rule in March.
Visiting Botswana in April
While days continue to be hot and sunny, the nights start to get cooler in April, making sleeping more comfortable while still allowing plenty of scope for sitting outside in the evenings with a sundowner. Breeding season for antelope is underway, and the males are busy butting heads and strutting around as they strive to impress the females.
Visiting Botswana in May
The end of the rains sees the mercury start to fall, and days are no longer quite as furnace-like. Evenings can be cool, so it's a good idea to pack a jacket for night safaris.
Visiting Botswana in June
Midwinter in Botswana is nothing like it might be in the higher latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere, so you can expect beautifully warm days without being sweltering, and only the nights approach anything close to freezing. The shrinking waterholes are the focus for both prey and predators alike, making game easy to spot.
Visiting Botswana in July
Warmer days abound, although early mornings and evenings are still chilly. Despite it now being the dry season, the floodwaters begin to rise as the water filters through from the central uplands of Angola. This is a rewarding time to get out on the water in a mokoro as the channels fill up and you can reach further day-by-day.
Visiting Botswana in August
Botswana starts to heat up again and it is unusual to experience a night-time frost at this time of year, while days can be very hot.
Visiting Botswana in September
You can expect sparkling blue skies, bright sunshine and hot temperatures during the day, with the evenings becoming balmy. The ground is dusty as the rains recede into distant memory, and the plains game face a constant battle for survival as they are harried by predators.
Visiting Botswana in October
The heat increases in October, and activities are timed to avoid the middle part of the day when the thermometer can show above 40°C. The annual catfish run sees countless numbers of them migrating upstream to avoid falling water levels, devouring smaller fish as they go.
Visiting Botswana in November
It is hot around the clock, and for the first part of the month the land is usually dry and dusty, until the rains come to soak up the dust and bring greenery back to the landscape. Plenty of young are born in this period, and are consequently picked off by the attendant predators.
Visiting Botswana in December
Thunderstorms return to Botswana and bursts of rain nourish the grass, which in turn allow the new borns to gain weight quickly and stand a fighting chance against the predators.
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