Best time to visit Botswana

Best time to visit Botswana

temperature & rainfall

"The heat peaks in October - this is the best time to go and see game as is 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.

When to visit Botswana & when not to

A month by month guide

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.

Best time to visit Botswana

Our recommendations

From our suppliers: Bruce Taylor founded Sunway Safaris in 1994, and has guided small group tours across southern Africa since then. Here he describes one of his best 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 photography pick:
Chobe in January
Summer storms provoke dramatic skies and vibrant green landscapes, while flourishing wildflowers create wonderfully colourful backdrops.

Festivals & events in Botswana

Our cultural pick from the Botswanan calendar

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
increase in
creating plenty
of action for
those watching
from hides.
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.

Did you know about...?

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.
Photo credits: [Aerial view of the Okavango Delta: Bruce Taylor, Sunway Safaris] [Kuru Dance Festival: Sandra Jacobs, Sunway Safaris]
Written by Vicki Brown
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