Best time to visit Botswana

The heat peaks in October - this is the best time to go and see game as it clusters around the Delta.
The "green" season, from November to March, is more pleasant, though game disperses once more and water levels drop in the Delta. Thunderstorms tend to occur late afternoon, dulling the heat yet leaving time for sunshine. Migratory birds and baby antelope are best seen now. However, rainy skies don’t match what flows on the ground: the water takes six months to filter through the sprawling Delta, meaning it’s at its fullest during the driest months.

Arid May and June can be extremely chilly, and the heat peaks in October, with cloudless skies providing little respite from the African sun. This is the prime game season, as wildlife heads to the Delta.

Botswana Weather Chart

 
MIN °C
MAX °C
RAIN (mm)
JAN
20
33
94
FEB
19
31
81
MAR
17
31
56
APR
14
28
44
MAY
8
25
11
JUN
5
22
4
JUL
5
23
3
AUG
7
26
2
SEP
12
29
14
OCT
16
31
40
NOV
18
32
69
DEC
19
32
82

Botswana, Month by month

In general, the whole of Botswana follows a fairly similar weather pattern with November, December, January and February situated slap bang in the heat and rain of mid-summer. The Kalahari in particular is stifling. However, there’s plenty of greenery as well as the chance to see newborn animals alongside an abundance of migratory birds. March is also a wet month although rainstorms tend to be confined to afternoon showers, especially as you enter into the month of April. May signals the start of the dry season, with clear skies and moderate temperatures. June, July and August are some of the best months to visit the Okavango Delta, Moremi Game Reserve and Chobe National Park as the wildlife is out in abundance. But be prepared for surprisingly chilly temperatures, especially for early morning game drives. September and October are dry, hot and dusty with not much in the way of bird watching but also not many mosquitoes and less vegetation. This means this is often considered the best time to visit Botswana as wildlife clusters around the diminished waterholes, and there is little greenery to block the fantastic scenes.
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OUR RECOMMENDATIONS

Summer storms provoke dramatic skies and vibrant green landscapes, while flourishing wildflowers create wonderfully colourful backdrops.

Our photography pick: Chobe in January

Bruce Taylor founded our supplier Sunway Safaris in 1994, and has guided small group tours across southern Africa since then. Here he describes one of his favourite times to go to Botswana:
"I enjoy the green season, from December to April, because there's no dust. The beauty of the rains in Botswana is that they’re generally late afternoon thunderstorms that come rolling through then pass on, so you can still have gloriously sunny days. The rain cools things down a bit, there are a lot of young animals around and all the migratory birds are in the Okavango at this time – and they’re spectacular."

Our top Botswana Holiday

Botswana camping safaris

Botswana camping safaris

Botswana's premier game parks, Okavango Moremi Savuti Chobe

From €1850 to €1890 14 days ex flights
Small group travel:
2018: 16 Dec, 23 Dec, 30 Dec
2019: 13 Jan, 20 Jan, 27 Jan, 3 Feb, 10 Feb, 24 Feb, 3 Mar, 10 Mar, 17 Mar, 24 Mar, 31 Mar, 7 Apr, 14 Apr, 21 Apr, 28 Apr, 5 May, 12 May, 19 May, 26 May, 2 Jun, 9 Jun, 16 Jun, 23 Jun, 30 Jun, 7 Jul, 14 Jul, 21 Jul, 28 Jul, 4 Aug, 11 Aug, 18 Aug, 25 Aug, 1 Sep, 8 Sep, 15 Sep, 22 Sep, 29 Sep, 6 Oct, 13 Oct, 20 Oct, 27 Oct, 3 Nov, 10 Nov, 17 Nov, 24 Nov, 1 Dec, 15 Dec, 22 Dec, 29 Dec
Helpdesk
Hello. If you'd like to chat about Botswana or need help finding a holiday to suit you we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.

Festivals & events in Botswana

Did you know about…

The “Barbel Run”

Each September-October, the receding waters of the Delta cause huge shoals of fish to swarm back to the Okavango River. This causes a feeding frenzy amongst the larger barbels (catfish) and tigerfish, who slap the water with their tails, terrorising the smaller fish out from the reeds – into their own mouths, or the beaks of the stalking herons and eagles. It’s a fly fisherman’s dream – and a fascinating show even for those not armed with a rod.

Nov-Feb: Baby animals

The green season brings new life to Savuti as herbivores, including impala and wildebeest, begin to calve. But it’s not all cooing at wide-eyed babies; vulnerable youngsters also trigger a thrilling increase in predators, creating plenty of action for those watching from hides.

Kuru Dance Festival

Held each August outside Ghanzi, Kuru stages the world’s largest gathering of San dancers. Hundreds of San from across Botswana and Namibia share skills, sell crafts and perform spiritual rituals – before dancing until the early hours of the morning.
Written by Vicki Brown
Photo credits: [Page banner: 2630ben] [Jeeps: Ray in Manila] [Elephants from jeep: abi.bhattachan] [Elephants: Malcolm Macgregor] [Elephants: Sander Wehkamp] [Fancy food: Walter Scharer] [Woman: WycliffeSA] [Meal: Jeremy t. Hetzel]
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