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The Best time to visit Botswana

Traveling in Botswana and the Okavango Delta is possible throughout the whole year. Each season and month contains its own specialities and unique experiences, thus it is difficult to point out the best time to visit Botswana. The climate in Botswana and the Okavango Delta can be split into the rainy season, the dry season and the mid season. The dry season (June to October) is known to be the high season for tourism in Botswana. Due to lack of rain the vegetation is much lower and game can be spotted more easily. This is also the time where water levels in the Okavango Delta and sidearms are highest because of delayed water inflow coming from rains in Angola. For doing Mokoro Safaris and Game Drives this is the best time to visit Botswana.

After the drought comes the rain. During the rainy season or green season (November to February) a huge relief can be felt and seen in the bush. The vegetation and landscape starts blooming as soon as the first rain showers arrive. This is also the best time for birders to visit Botswana as many of the migratory species arrive from Europe. Most of the mammal species use the vast abundance of food sources for mating. For wonderful landscapes and special animal behavior the rainy seasons is the best time to visit Botswana. The Mid season (March to May) follows as the best time for viewing offspring of antelopes and many other mammal species. The newborn animals cause the attraction and higher concentration of predators. Generally the Mid Season can be seen as a mixture between rainy and dry Season.

Two Giraffe silhouettes in front of a deep red African sunset in Botswana.
A wild Leopard walking past a game viewing vehicle in Khwai, Botswana.
An African Fish Eagle perching on a dead tree. His loud call is known as the Sound of Africa.

Rainy Season
(November – February)

Mid Season
(March – May)

Dry Season
(June – October)

– Least tourism and lower prices
– Blooming and green landscapes
– Best for Birding (migratory species)

– Animal Offspring
– High predator density
– Mixture of both seasons

– Best for Game Viewing
– Peaking river water levels
– Best for Mokoro tours

Visiting Botswana in January

January ist the main breeding season for many of the colorful migratory bird species that are in full plumage. For birders it is the one of the best times to visit Botswana. January forms the middle of the rainy season and spectacular thunderstorms can be observed. Dramatic cloud formations and lush green meadows offer perfect photographic oportunities for landscape photography. A lot of plant species are blooming and the African bush is alive. The animal offspring is growing up and predators are on the hunt. The days are warm with an average temperatures over  30°C.

Visiting Botswana in February

Due to intense but short rain falls plant growth is on its peak in February. Thunderstorms and epic cloud formations can still be observed. The prominent Okavango Lilly is blooming and small colorful animals like butterflies and frogs are most active. Incredible Frog`s choruses can be heard widely across the African bush. The Okavango Delta is green and full of life. Migratory bird species are still stationary and can be observed. The antelope offspring is growing up and can be seen trotting behind the elderly. The days are still warm with average temperatures over 30°C.

Visiting Botswana in March

The rainy season comes slowly to an end but short and hefty rainfalls can still occur. The rutting season of the Impala antelope starts and impressive behaviors such as fighting between the males can be observed. Temperatures are starting to fall slowly especially at night time as the month progresses. It is one of the last month of observing migratory bird species.  The fruits of the Marula tree begin to ripen and elephants can be observed feeding on the fruits under the trees. The landscape is still green and surface water is widely available.

Visiting Botswana in April

April is a period of transition moving from the hotter and humid climate to milder climate especially in night times. Due to the colder mornings and relatively high humidity wonderful mist can be seen rising from the ground offering perfect photographic opportunities. A lot of surface water can still be found although rainfall is declining.

Visiting Botswana in May

Dry season is slowly starting as the month progresses. The days and nights are getting colder especially in the mornings and evenings with average temperatures of 15°C at night. Rain is almost not present. Floods from Angola are reaching the Delta and water levels start rising. Towards the end of the month animals start to form bigger groups and visit permanent water sources more frequently as more and more surface water sources dry up. The endangered wild dogs start to den and can be found easily in the following month.

Visiting Botswana in June

June is known to be the beginning of the dry season. Dependent on the timing of the last rains family herds of Elephants and Buffalo are starting to migrate towards Linyanti and Chobe. The vegetation is getting less and game viewing becomes easier as animals are starting to group. The nights are getting colder and temperatures can drop below 10°C at night.

Visiting Botswana in July

Water levels in the Okavango are starting to be on their peak. Side arms are completely filled and small water channels can be found everywhere. The best time for visiting Botswana in order to do Mokoro tours begins. Although water levels are high the vegetation dries out more and more. Big Lechwe and Impala herds can be seen grazing on the vast flood plains attracting lots of predators such as lions and leopards. Wild dog pups are starting to emerge from their dens.

Visiting Botswana in August

The flood has passed the Okavango Delta and has reached Maun. Temperatures are rising again and can reach 30°C on daytime. The nights are still mild with around 10°C. The animals both prey and predators are still forced to group at the permanent water sources and lots of game can be observed. It is also a good time for birding with the herons, storks and other birds starting to congregate at the heronries at Gcadikwe lagoon in Moremi Game Reserve.

Visiting Botswana in September

Temperatures are continuing to rise and can reach up into the thirties at daytime. Game can still be observed at the permanent water sources and animals start grouping in the shade. Huge migrating Buffalo herds can be spotted in the area around Savuti. The dry season is the best time to visit Botswana in order to see predators. The colorful carmine bee eaters are coming back from their winter quarters and water levels are slowing receding.

Visiting Botswana in October

The hottest time in Botswana is starting with temperatures reaching 40°C. Game viewing is still on its peak. Especially early morning game drives and late evening safaris are on the schedule. It is the best time to visit Botswana for night drives. Some of the Grazers are feeding at night time due to the hot temperatures at daytime and many nocturnal animals and predators are on the move. Through the dry vegetation rarely seen animals can be spotted more easily.

Visiting Botswana in November

The long awaited rain finally reaches the Okavango Delta and brings relief. But temperatures are still high at night and daytime.  Tsessebe, Lechwe and Impala are giving birth attracting predators such as wild dogs and cheetah. Due to the slowly greening vegetation these intense conflicts can be well observed by guests. For photographers it is a good time to visit Botswana.

Visiting Botswana in December

The vegetation has turned into a juicy green again and the antelope offspring is awaiting an abundant food offer. Wildebeest are giving birth and many migratory bird species have reached the delta. Due to the green vegetation predators can be spotted more easily by prey and thus need to hunt more often. The temperatures are still humid and hot and hefty rain storms can be observed.

Climate Table

Climate table of the Okavango Delta indicating the best time to visit Botswana

Travel always at the best time

With our mobile Camp “O Bona Explorer” it is possible to visit all the safari destinations in exactly the perfect season without making compromises. It is always the best time to visit Botswana!

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