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Elephants at a waterhole

When is the best time to visit Botswana?

The best time to visit Botswana is during the dry season between May and October, when you can expect warm, sunny days (22°C-35°C) and chilly nights. 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 (November to April) is a great time to travel if you don’t mind the odd shower. Visitor numbers and prices are lower, the scenery pops with verdant foliage, and animals give birth to their young.

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Botswana Climate Guide

Destination Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
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

Storks, Botswana

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.

Cheetah on the plains

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.

Leopard in the Kwando Concession

Visiting Botswana in March

The rains start to ease off, and very hot, drier days and nights are the rule in March.

Impala in the Central Kalahari

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.

Lion, LInyanti Bush Camp, Linyanti Wetlands

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.

Crocodile, Chobe National Park, Botswana

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.

Mokoro ride through the shallow channels, Modumo Concession

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.

Meerkats

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.

Buffalo Herd, Kwando Concession

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.

The Okavango Delta

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.

Hippo in the Okavango Panhandle

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.

Family of Jackal, Chobe National Park

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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