Best time to go on safari in Botswana

Best time to go on safari in Botswana


The "green" season, from November to March, is pleasant. Thunderstorms tend to occur in the 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 safari travel advice


Photography advice

Dereck and Beverly Joubert are
internationally renowned filmmakers,
conservationists and National Geographic
Explorers-in-Residence. Here is their advice
for taking better photographs in Botswana:
"The problem is that when people arrive with short lenses,
they push to get closer to the animals. But with digital cameras
today, you don’t have to be as close as you think. You can always crop later on. The key is really to get natural behaviour by standing back a little bit and letting these things pan out. If you push too hard you will destroy the animals’ natural behaviour and your opportunities as a photographer."

Botswana family safari advice

Louise de Waal, from our supplier Baobab Travel, shares her advice for a family safari in Botswana: “Some lodges offer special “bush school” programmes for children. Guides are experienced in working with kids, and will show them how to recognise the spoor – tracks and droppings – as well as plants and small creatures. It’s fun, very hands-on – and totally safe. Plus it gives parents the chance to enjoy their own game drives.”

Arabella is a Botswana specialist for our supplier, Natural World Safaris. Here are her tips for those traveling in Botswana with kids: “Make sure you book with an operator that has experience with family tours, as some camps have family facilities but no dedicated programmes. Others have guides who are trained to work with children, and there are safe walks around the camp. In the evening there are books they can colour in, and they can even help cook camp meals with the chef. It’s the best outdoor education they can get.”

Meeting the locals

Bruce Taylor, from our supplier Sunway Safaris, highly recommends taking a walk in the Kalahari with a native San guide: "Going on a walk with these guys is amazing. They'll look at a twig – literally a twig – and stop. Somebody will dig up the tuber below it, scrape the skin off, squeeze the pulp and drink from it. Then they put the skin back, pat the mud back onto it and bury it again so that the plant can continue to grow. Later, they’ll make a fire. Hard wood, soft wood, hand roll, bit of bark... and suddenly they’re all huddled round a fire while you’re freezing in your jacket. It's really impressive."

Botswana safari travel advice


At Responsible Travel, we think the best people to advise our travelers are often... other travelers. They always return from our tours with packing tips, weather reports, ideas about what to do - and opinions about what not to.

We have selected some of the most useful safari vacations in Botswana travel advice that our guests have provided over the years to help you make the very most of your vacation - and the space inside your suitcase.

Don't take too many clothes - you can rinse clothes out easily overnight or use lodge laundry services. I could easily have had just 2 sets and alternated and taken one set of something else for a night out. Torch very useful and a small powerful binoculars a must - so much to see. - Rachel Guinee

We took 30 tennis balls and 4 Frisbees to give to the children we met. Better for them than sweets and much more fun than pencils. To see the huge grins on their faces was wonderful. Travel with an open mind. It was a bit primitive but well worth it to be so close to the wildlife. - Janet Hammond

Remember that this is Africa and everything does not work all the time. Be patient and positive and make friends along the way. - Louis Carroll

The vacation can benefit locals but you have to eat locally, shop locally and do little things like taking your washing to the local ladies (sometimes their only income is doing tourists washing, so don’t be ashamed to hand your smalls over!). There’s loads of food stored on the truck, so it can be tempting to just eat group meals, but the local food is wicked and definitely worth a try. - Judith Wrennall
Photo credits: [Photography tips: Copyright Wildlife Films] [Meeting the locals: Mario Micklisch] [Review 1 - Sigrid Pach: Justin Hall] [Review 2 - Colin Pilkington: Peter Pawlowski]
Written by Vicki Brown
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