Okavango Delta in September

Climate

The long, dry winter continues into September and by now there’s been no rain for about five straight months. The Okavango Delta is now an essential source of grazing and water, and as the annual flood gradually recedes, the pressure builds and competition increases along its drying waterways. Both night and daytime temperatures rapidly increase, averaging 15°C (59°F) to 35°C (95°F), with some hot days up to 40°C (104°F). The shallow pools and floodplains evaporate quickly in the heat and the surrounding vegetation thins out even further, with the only strips of greenery sitting tight against the channels.

Hippos wading in the water are a common sight

Best regions

The floodwaters recede in the northern and western regions first, triggering the annual catfish run which starts in the Panhandle and spreads southeast. It’s a wild feeding frenzy that’s a sight to behold and well worth a visit even if you’re not interested in fishing. For those who are keen anglers it’s an ideal time for tigerfish and many come to the Panhandle specifically for this reason. Elsewhere in the Delta, September is one of the best months for wildlife viewing and a good time for walks in the northern concessions and horseback safaris in the south. As the month progresses, the ebbing flood can have an impact on mokoro trips. The southwestern regions tend to dry up first so head north and east for the best conditions.

Highlights: As the shallower waterways slowly dry up, they strand thousands of fish in ever decreasing pools. These attract hundreds of storks, herons and birds of prey, who squabble among themselves over the easy meal. September and October are traditionally the best months for predators, which are much easier to spot through the now very dry vegetation. Both predators and prey congregate on the channels, the only source of water for miles in any direction.

Disadvantages: September is still peak season, which means peak rates across the Okavango, and bookings need to be secured up to a year in advance. It also gets quite hot and dusty by the end of the month and boating and mokoro safaris may not be optimal along the Delta’s fringes.


Our Recommended Itinerary

Best of the Okavango Delta Safari (6 days)

day 1

Unforgettable safari
  • Best of the Okavango Delta Safari (6 days)
  • Best of the Okavango Delta Safari (6 days)
  • Best of the Okavango Delta Safari (6 days)
  • Best of the Okavango Delta Safari (6 days)
  • Best of the Okavango Delta Safari (6 days)
  • Best of the Okavango Delta Safari (6 days)

day 2

Getting to grips with nature

day 3

Luxury meets eco-consciousness
  • Best of the Okavango Delta Safari (6 days)
  • Best of the Okavango Delta Safari (6 days)
  • Best of the Okavango Delta Safari (6 days)
  • Best of the Okavango Delta Safari (6 days)
  • Best of the Okavango Delta Safari (6 days)
  • Best of the Okavango Delta Safari (6 days)

day 4

Lions with attitude

day 5

Canoe the Delta

day 6

We know you'll be back

View Full Itinerary

Popular Okavango Delta Safaris

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

 | Botswana and Zimbabwe’s World Wonders (7 days)

Botswana and Zimbabwe's World Wonders (7 days)

Experience the best of Africa, from the Okavango Delta – to the diverse game viewing at the Chobe National Park and ending at the thundering Victoria Falls...

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...

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....

 | 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...

 | 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...

 | Exciting Family Safari in Botswana and Namibia (11 days)

Exciting Family Safari in Botswana and Namibia (11 days)

Enjoy both Botswana's Okavango Delta and Namibia's Caprivi Strip on a safari holiday filled with fun ...

 | 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 ...

Camp fire | Victoria Falls, Okavango Delta and Chobe Safari (7 days)

Victoria Falls, Okavango Delta and Chobe Safari (7 days)

This three-in-one journey will show you the majestic Victoria Falls, the massive elephant bulls of Chobe and the natural wonder that is the Okavango Delta...

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....

 | Best of Africa Safari (16 days)

Best of Africa Safari (16 days)

Experience the best of Africa, from the Okavango Delta – one of Africa's Seven Natural Wonders – to the endangered mountain gorillas and East Africa's Great Migration...

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