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Okavango Delta in May

As May unfolds, the Okavango Delta gets cooler and the bright, cloudless days begin to dip below 30°C (86°F). Along the rapidly filling waterways the nights tend to be milder, but on the open plains away from the channels it may drop as low as 5°C (50°F). It’s safe to say that no rain ever falls in May and you’ll seldom see more than the odd wisp of cloud. The deep blue sky remains crisp and clear, not yet as dusty as it can get later in the year.

A lioness and her cub are seldom parted

Where to go

As surface water evaporates on the surrounding Kalahari plains, more and more animals are drawn to the Okavango’s rising floodwaters. This is especially true along the Delta’s northern concessions which attract elephant and plains game from the increasingly dry Chobe and Linyanti regions. If your primary goal is wildlife – especially lion and other predators – then the northern concessions and Khwai region are a good choice this early in the season, as is Chief’s Island which has excellent game year-round. In general, however, May is prime time across the Okavango, an excellent mix of rising water levels and drying grasslands, when the wildlife gathers along the Delta’s deepening pools, and there’s still plenty to eat around the floodplains. By late May the elevated water levels allow extensive motorboat and mokoro activities and the early mornings aren’t yet as cold as they can get in June and July.

okavango delta safari

 

Travel tips

Highlights: Those who visit the Okavango Delta regularly often cite May as their favourite month. It’s true that predator sightings are not as prolific as later in the season (September and October are usually best), but May brings its own rewards. Moderate temperatures, clear blue skies, rising floodwaters and an abundance of well-fed, healthy herbivores all combine to make the Okavango particularly special in May.

Disadvantages: If you’re desperate to see predators, then your chances are slightly better later in the year, when the vegetation is drier and thinner and the animals easier to spot. That said, most lodges and camps have very experienced trackers and guides and although wildlife sightings are never guaranteed, they’re usually able to find animals for their guests in just about any season.


Popular Okavango Delta Safaris

These popular itineraries can be customised to match your budget and travel dates

Wildlife  | Best of the Okavango Delta Safari (6 days)

Best of the Okavango Delta Safari (6 days)

Explore Botswana's Moremi and Selinda reserves on foot, in a safari vehicle or a mokoro for unforgettable wildlife encounters with big game and rare birds...

 | Expedition to Zimbabwe and Botswana (8 days)

Expedition to Zimbabwe and Botswana (8 days)

Explore the thundering Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe and the wildlife wonderland of the Okavango Delta...

 | Classic Botswana Family Safari (9 days)

Classic Botswana Family Safari (9 days)

Connect as a family while tracking wildlife and incredible landscapes through some of the most remote stretches of Botswana....

 | Sabi Sands and Okavango Delta Big Five Tour (8 days)

Sabi Sands and Okavango Delta Big Five Tour (8 days)

Explore the famous reserve that offers exceptional game viewing and sight the elusive Sitatunga antelope in the Okavango ...

 | Highlights of Botswana Tour de Force (14 days)

Highlights of Botswana Tour de Force (14 days)

The ideal safari to capture Botswana's unrivalled beauty and abundance of flora and fauna through the lens...

Family | Passage Through Southern Africa in a Luxury Train (10 days)

Passage Through Southern Africa in a Luxury Train (10 days)

Weave your way through a safari medley that introduces you to the mighty Victoria Falls, a remote slice of the Okavango Delta and the African gems in between....

 | Nature, Romance and Exclusivity - A Complete African Honeymoon (14 days)

Nature, Romance and Exclusivity - A Complete African Honeymoon (14 days)

This exclusive African honeymoon through East and Southern Africa is the perfect way to celebrate the start of your new journey together...

 | Enchanting Moremi Mobile Camping Experience (7 days)

Enchanting Moremi Mobile Camping Experience (7 days)

Moremi Game Reserve in the beautiful Okavango Delta is well-known for self-drive camper vanning. Explore this exciting way of travel with us ...

 | Okavango Delta Tour (4 days)

Okavango Delta Tour (4 days)

Moremi Private Game Reserve is home for 4 days on this safari. Highlights are a helicopter flight to the Delta, boat and foot safari's and en-suite tented accommodation...

 | Highlights of Northern Botswana (8 days)

Highlights of Northern Botswana (8 days)

Experience two of Botswana's best safari destinations; the Savute region and Okavango Delta ...

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