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.


Our Recommended Itinerary

Botswana’s Watery Wilderness Safari (6 days)

day 1 to 2

Chobe River Front

day 3 to 4 to 5

Okavango Delta

day 6

Departure

View Full Itinerary

You might also like

Okavango Delta in July

Climate July is the coldest month in the Okavango Delta, with daytime highs around 25°C (77°F). Although the days are mild, the nights cool quickly, dropping close to freezing on a few mornings each year. By now the annual flood has percolated across the Delta, and water levels usually reach their peak around the end of the month. Even lodges quite far from the main central channels…

Okavango Delta on a budget

Credit: Unfamiliar Destinations Most of the lodges in the Okavango Delta fall somewhere between mid-range and ultra-high-end luxury. It’s a deliberate strategy by the Botswanan authorities to maximise conservation revenue while keeping visitor numbers low. It’s easy to be cynical about this kind of approach, but funds do seem to go where they’re needed and local communities get…

Okavango Delta in October

Climate January is the Okavango Delta’s wettest month, with regular spectacular thunderstorms that usually arrive in the late afternoon. Mornings in January often begin bright and clear, turn suddenly violent and then clear again overnight. It’s rare in the Okavango to see consecutive days of persistent rain, but in January and February there’s always that chance. In general,…

Khwai Community Concessions

Barely touching the Delta’s north-eastern edge, the Khwai Community Concession runs along the Khwai River, just beyond Moremi Game Reserve’s North Gate. This small concession (number NG19) is owned and run by the community in nearby Khwai Village. About half a dozen midrange to luxury lodges operate here, as well as a couple of very basic campsites, all along the north bank of the…

Okavango Delta in January

Climate January is the Okavango Delta’s wettest month, with regular spectacular thunderstorms that usually arrive in the late afternoon. Mornings in January often begin bright and clear, turn suddenly violent and then clear again overnight. It’s rare in the Okavango to see consecutive days of persistent rain, but in January and February there’s always that chance. In general,…

Wildlife in Okavango Delta

Okavango Delta wildlife Official counts vary, but it’s generally thought that the Okavango Delta supports at least 2000 major species. Over half of these are plants, from giant hardwoods to waterlilies, with huge reed beds and grasslands and thick riverine forests. In the midst of the Delta you’ll find wild date and fan palms, clustering on low islands between the fig and waterberry…

Popular Okavango Delta Safaris

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

 | 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...

 | Photographic tour of Botswana (10 days)

Photographic tour of Botswana (10 days)

Let us take you one the adventure of a lifetime through the Chobe National Park, Khwai Community Area and Moremi Game Reserve. ...

 | Wilderness and Wildlife in Northern Botswana (7 days)

Wilderness and Wildlife in Northern Botswana (7 days)

From the Okavango Delta to the Chobe, this one-week journey is the perfect balance of wildlife and wilderness wonders...

 | Camping in Moremi Game Reserve (5 days)

Camping in Moremi Game Reserve (5 days)

Watch the Okavango Delta come alive with the sounds of bird calls, the roar of lions in one of the most beautiful reserves in Botswana...

 | Botswana Okavango Delta safari adventure

Botswana Okavango Delta safari adventure

Experience the jewel in Botswana's safari crown - the Okavango Delta....

 | 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 ...

 | 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...

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...

 | 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 ...

Campfire | Popular Botswana Safari Through the Delta (5 days)

Popular Botswana Safari Through the Delta (5 days)

Experience the remote wilderness of Botswana on a safari that offers you luxurious game viewing like no other....

Ready to start your adventure?

Get a free, no-obligation quote from a travel expert

Let's talk about your trip

How can we get hold of you?


Discover Africa needs the contact information you provide, to us to contact you. You may unsubscribe from these communications at anytime.

Submitting your inquiry

Thank you, your enquiry has been received

Thank you, your enquiry has been received

Reference:

 +27 21 422 3498
   discover.africa
    info@discoverafrica.com
    8AM - 5PM GMT+2