What you will encounter is a comprehensive and insightful journey through Botswana’s most memorable attractions; a country brimming with prolific wildlife and lush landscapes. Botswana is a gem in the crown jewel of Africa’s safari circuit.
If you are planning a safari to Botswana you must take note of the monthly changes in weather and the effect this would have on the country’s wildlife. An understanding of Botswana’s seasons is essential if you want your game-viewing experience to be absolutely amazing. If you are planning a Botswana safari and not sure which month to travel, read on below where I will guide you, month by month.
January & February
These are one of Botswana’s highest rainfall months with unpredictable and heavy downpours and as a result, January is not the most popular time to visit Botswana.
Despite this, a “Green Season Botswana Safari” can deliver incredible game viewing and bird watching. A great deal of Antelope are calving - which is great for predators. It does mean that prices are a lot lower, making this prime safari destination more accessible to travellers on a lower budget.
The rains are easing and the animals are returning to the more accessible drier areas.
These months are considered some of the best months to visit the Kgalagadi. The Kgalagadi is worth visiting at any time of the year, but as the summer rains withdraw, the landscape is at its most striking - a vast green grassland against low, read-ochre dunes. As the animals begin to congregate around any pans that are still full, predators, especially lions, gather too, with exciting interactions virtually guaranteed.
In the Okavango Delta, the marula trees start dropping fruit, attracting herds of elephants. Once again, take advantage of the Green Season rates - they are lower and perfect for the “budget-traveller” looking for a Botswana safari.
May is the beginning of Botswana’s dry winter season and there is usually no rain at all anywhere in the country.
May is one of the best all-round months for visiting Botswana, with good to excellent game viewing with mild dry weather. The seasonal waterholes are rapidly drying up and animals are arriving at permanent water sources.
This is a great time of year to go on a Botswana safari as you will get all the classic destinations but with fewer other visitors compared to the next few months. Game viewing is often as good as peak time and will be able to save a few dollars on accommodation.
June & July
June is another excellent month to visit Botswana and game viewing is exceptional
Late June marks the start of the Peak Season in Botswana - so make sure to book your safari trip well in advance to avoid disappointment.
By June the pans have usually dried, forcing the animals to find more permanent water sources. They begin to congregate in large numbers along the fringes of the Okavango Delta and on the northern waterways of the Savuti Channel and Chobe Linyanti River System.
The Okavango Delta is normally in full flood and delivers great game viewing opportunities!
August remains extremely dry across Botswana, although by the end of the month there may be a brief shower somewhere in the south!
August is a very popular safari month and lodges should be booked far in advance.
There is an increase of game - peak game-viewing season has arrived. The vegetation is sparse which no longer hides everything, seasonal waterholes are empty and great herds of elephants, antelope and buffalo begin to crowd the banks of the river and waterholes.
In the Okavango Delta, water levels are high and game viewing along the waterways is at its best and will remain so until the first rains fall in November!
September & October
These months mark the end of Botswana’s cool dry winter!
Summer is on its way with extremely hot days with an occasional thunderstorm.
Game viewing at this time ranks among the BEST in Africa. Large numbers of game, as well as the forever hungry predators, are clustered around sparse water and grazing sources - you could enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime sighting.
Another very popular month for your Botswana safari - so remember to book far in advance!
November is the spring shoulder season in Botswana - the rains start arriving - migrant birds are returning and new-born calves can be seen frolicking around!
November is all about when the rains will start. When they do arrive its literally with a bang. Before the first thunderstorms, conditions are much the same as October, with increasingly desperate animals drawn to whatever permanent water sources they can find.
Water in the Okavango Delta continues to recede, opening up the flood plains and providing essential, fresh-grazing.
Some good low season rates are available at a lot of the lodges during November!
Another wet month in Botswana, with afternoon thunderstorms a regular feature across the country!
December is the start of the summer “green season” when the vegetation recovers and grazing land is plentiful. Newborn calves frolic around and are often targeted by the ever-present predators.
Take advantage of the low season rates that are available during December!
So what is the best time for a safari to Botswana?
With its unique habitats and intriguing locations, Botswana is an ideal safari destination all year round - with great game viewing and unique activities.
Regardless of the time of year, the wildlife and scenery in Botswana is spectacular.
In terms of weather, October and November can be quite hot, while January and February are the peak times of the wet season.
For unparalleled game viewing, plan your trip during the dry season (April to September)!
“I never knew of a morning in Africa when I woke up that I was not happy”