May is the beginning of Botswana’s dry winter season, and there’s usually no rain anywhere in the country. Average daytime temperatures range from 25°C/77°F to 30°C/86°F, and it’s generally slightly warmer in the north and cooler in the south. Evenings in the north are below 15°C/59°F, and by the end of the month, nights in the Kalahari can fall close to freezing.
May is one of the best all-around months for visiting Botswana for safari, with good to excellent game viewing, mild, dry weather, and relatively quiet campsites and parks that get much busier later in the season.
There’s good game viewing all across Botswana, but especially in the Savuti region, where herds of zebra and buffalo congregate in large numbers. As surface water evaporates, elephants return to the Linyanti Chobe River System, the Khwai River, and northern Moremi.
In the northwest panhandle, the seasonal flood waters are beginning to filter into the rest of the delta, although it’ll take another few months before they percolate all the way to the southeast. The gently rising water attracts numerous resident water birds, while migrant species take to the skies in numbers and begin the long journey north. This is why they consider May to be a great birding safari month in Botswana.