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When to Go to Botswana

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When to Go to Botswana

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By Antoinette van Heerden

Safari Travel Planner

Safari Enquiry

Botswana is a year-round destination, whether you’re interested in wildlife safaris, birdwatching, or cultural experiences. Let this guide to the country’s seasonal changes help you plan the perfect trip.

High Season vs. Low Season

High Season (July – October)
  • Overview: This period coincides with the dry season, offering excellent wildlife viewing opportunities.
  • Pros: Ideal for game viewing, as animals congregate around water sources. Pleasant weather with clear skies.
  • Cons: Higher prices and more crowded lodges and parks.
Low Season (November – April)
  • Overview: These months include the rainy season, with lush green landscapes and fewer tourists.
  • Pros: Lower prices, fewer crowds, and vibrant landscapes. Excellent birdwatching and newborn wildlife sightings.
  • Cons: Wildlife can be more dispersed and harder to spot due to abundant water sources.

Month-by-Month Guide

Elephant sighted on a safari in Moremi Game Reserve, Botswana | Photo credit: Khwai Tented Camp
Elephant sighted on a safari in Moremi Game Reserve, Botswana | Photo credit: Khwai Tented Camp
January

Expect hot and rainy weather in January, creating lush green landscapes. It’s a great time for birdwatching, with many migratory species present. Game viewing can be challenging as animals are dispersed, but it’s an excellent time for spotting newborns.

February

February continues the rainy season with hot, humid conditions. The landscapes remain lush and green, perfect for a photographic safari. Birdwatching is excellent, with many species nesting across the Botswana’s diverse landscapes. Game viewing can still be difficult, but the abundance of young animals makes it rewarding. The Maitisong Festival, a local cultural event, is a highlight this month.

March

March sees the end of the rainy season, bringing slightly cooler temperatures and fewer showers. It’s a great time for birdwatching and spotting young animals. Game viewing starts to improve as the vegetation begins to thin out. Important events the Kuru Dance Festival, a vibrant celebration of San culture.

April

Cooler and drier weather arrives in April, making it ideal for outdoor activities. This is a good time for safari game viewing, as water sources begin to dry up and animals gather around the remaining ones.

May

May marks the beginning of the dry season with cooler temperatures. It’s an excellent time for game viewing, as animals are drawn to waterholes. The landscape transitions from green to golden, offering stunning views. Special events in May include the Toyota Kalahari Botswana 1000 Desert Race, a thrilling off-road motorsport event.

June

June brings cold nights and cool days, especially in the Kalahari Desert. It’s prime time for safaris, with sparse vegetation making it easier to spot wildlife. The Okavango Delta begins to flood, creating a unique water-based safari experience. The Khawa Dune Challenge and Cultural Festival is a must-see event this month.

July

July is one of the best months for game viewing, with cool, dry weather and excellent visibility. The Okavango Delta is in full flood, offering spectacular water safaris. High concentrations of wildlife around water sources make for thrilling safari experiences. Key events include the Dithubaruba Cultural Festival, celebrating Botswana’s heritage and President’s Day Celebrations, featuring traditional music and dance

August

August continues the prime safari season with cool mornings and warm afternoons. Wildlife viewing is at its peak, with animals congregating around dwindling water sources. The dry weather and clear skies are perfect for stargazing. Notable events include the Gaborone International Music and Culture Week.

September

September brings warmer temperatures and continued excellent game viewing. The Okavango Delta remains in full flood, providing unique wildlife encounters. The vegetation is sparse, making it easier to spot animals. The Kuru San Dance Festival is a cultural highlight, as is Independence Day Celebrations on September 30th.

October

October is the hottest month, marking the end of the dry season. Game viewing is exceptional as animals concentrate around the last remaining water sources. The Okavango Delta starts to recede, but it’s still a fantastic time for water-based activities.

November

November ushers in the start of the rainy season, bringing relief from the heat. The landscape begins to transform with fresh green growth. Birdwatching is excellent, with many migratory species returning. Game viewing remains good, especially early in the month. Plan for the Maun International Arts Festival and The Mokolodi Nature Reserve hosts various conservation events.

December

December is characterized by hot, rainy weather, creating lush green landscapes. It’s an ideal time for birdwatching and seeing newborn animals. Game viewing can be challenging, but the vibrant scenery is breathtaking. The Maitisong Festival, showcasing performing arts, is a highlight this month.

Regional Climate Overview

An aerial view of the Okavango Delta, Botswana. Photo credit: Wynand Uys, Unsplash
An aerial view of the Okavango Delta, Botswana. Photo credit: Wynand Uys, Unsplash
Okavango Delta
  • Dry Season (May – October): Best time for game viewing as animals congregate around water sources. Cooler temperatures make it comfortable for outdoor activities.
  • Wet Season (November – April): Lush, green landscapes with baby animals and excellent bird watching opportunities. Afternoon thunderstorms are common.
Chobe National Park
  • Dry Season (May – October): Ideal for seeing large herds of elephants and other wildlife gathering at the Chobe River. Cooler and more comfortable weather.
  • Wet Season (November – April): The park is vibrant and green, with fantastic birdwatching and the birth of many young animals.
Central Kalahari Game Reserve
  • Dry Season (May – October): Sparse vegetation makes for excellent game viewing. Cooler temperatures in the mornings and evenings.
  • Wet Season (November – April): The desert blooms, attracting large herds of springbok and other wildlife. Stunning landscapes and fewer tourists.

Best Time for Activities

Activity Best Time to Visit
Game Viewing July to October
Birdwatching November to April
Water Safaris June to August
Cultural Tours Year-round
Photography November to April
Stargazing May to September

If you decide to go…

Botswana’s diverse landscapes and climates offer a variety of experiences throughout the year. Whether you’re looking for a wildlife safari, birdwatching, or a cultural tour, understanding the best times to visit can enhance your trip. Discover Africa offers personalised safari experiences tailored to your preferences, ensuring every detail is taken care of. Start planning your dream Botswana safari today and let us help you create memories that will last a lifetime. Contact Us to get started!

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