Are you wondering the best time to visit Botswana? The best time to visit Botswana is during the dry winter months from May to October when game viewing is at its peak.
During these months, as the dry season progresses, animals increasingly concentrate on water sources. Many experts consider the cooler months of June to August to be the best time to visit Botswana for luxury safaris in Botswana, with ideal weather for game drives and the lowest risk of malaria.
It is the kind of experience you are looking for that will aptly answer when the best time to visit Botswana is.
Botswana’s wildlife usually disperses during the rainy January-April summer. However, several destinations such as the Chobe Savuti Range and the Kalahari offer excellent summer game viewing.
The best time to visit Botswana and head to Chobe savuti range is during this time as they are on the path of migrating animals, particularly the zebra.
Month-by-month Guide to Botswana:
When is the Best Time to Visit Botswana Between January to April
In Botswana, rainfall in January is unpredictable and heavy. Most experts will tell you that January is not the most popular or the best time to visit Botswana, however prices are much lower than during peak season.
This is a good time to take advantage of all the Botswana safari deals available. It’s also a great month for bird watching, both in terms of species abundance and diversity.
If you plan to travel to Botswana in February, you will arrive in the wettest month of the year. Heavy rains transform the landscape into a green paradise, especially in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve.
February marks the start of the breeding season for the local antelope population on the reserve, when newborns can be seen taking their first steps. There are also many different birds in the area during the month of February.
If you visit Botswana in March, you will experience a drop in temperature and constant rain. This month of the year is known as the best time to visit Botswana for landscape photography, as the heavy summer rains have brought a vibrant green landscape.
The shoulder season of April-May is the perfect and best time to visit Botswana this is because by April, the heavy rains have almost completely stopped across the country, and the landscape is still green.
By the middle of the month, water levels in the Okavango Delta will begin to rise. In April, impala breeding season begins, when the males begin to gather together to attract the attention of the females.
In April, the nights start to cool down, making it perfect to sit outside in the evening as the sun goes down and maybe even go on an armchair safari.
When is the Best time to Visit Botswana Between May, June and July
May is the beginning of the dry winter period and offers one of the best time to visit Botswana. This month offers excellent game viewing, with mild and dry weather and campsites and safari parks not too busy.
This is ahead of the peak season later in the year. Animal sightings are best in the Savuti region, where buffalo and zebra abound, while elephant herds return to the Linyati Chobe river system in May.
Another month that would be best time to visit Botswana is June. The season starts at the end of June, while July and October are the busiest times in the parks. If you are planning an African safari in Botswana during this very popular time of year, it is recommended that you make a reservation in advance.
Botswana’s climate in June is great for outdoor activities and sightseeing, but evenings are generally cool and certain areas of the Kalahari can fall below freezing after dark. Morning game drives can be chilly, so be prepared with warm safari gear.
If you plan to go in July, you will arrive at the beginning of the season and there is plenty to do in Botswana.
July is an ideal time to visit the famous Okavango Delta and Moremi Game Reserve and Chobe National Park – these areas currently have more wildlife than any other part of the country.
The water bodies in these destinations are great for game viewing as these waterways provide plenty of food for a variety of large mammals.
Travel to Botswana from August to October
August is a very dry time throughout the country, although the south can experience short rains towards the end of the month. This is a very popular month for game parks as Botswana’s climate is perfect for late winter safaris.
Water levels in the Okavango estuary are high and waterway viewing is at its best. In August, the catfish run begins in the North West Peninsula, which is the main source of water for the Okavango.
Hundreds of elephants enter the Chobe and Linyati rivers in September because they depend on that water source for survival and can consume up to 200 liters (53 gallons) of water in a single day.
The days start to get very hot in September and the thin and dry vegetation makes for excellent wildlife viewing. Mornings are cooler than afternoons and are considered the best time to spot predators.
When you travel to Botswana in October, you will experience some of the hottest temperatures on the calendar. Despite the heat, this is still a very popular month for safaris in Botswana.
This is especially true along the Chobe River, famous for the thirsty herds of elephants that line its banks. In October, the country has not had rain for six months and the clear sky turns pale blue.
Best Time to Visit Botswana According to Activities
When to visit to Botswana if you want to see…
Wild dogs are present throughout the year, but are best avoided from November to March when it usually rains heavily.
Although they are present all year round, it is best to avoid November to March, when there is usually heavy rain, as they can be harder to spot. The best time to go is during the drier months when the animals have less vegetation to hide in.
The salt pans of Botswana are home to the second largest, but least known, large mammal migration – the zebra. This takes place from March to April.
Makgadikgadi Pans is the best place to see meerkats in Botswana. The best time to go is from July to September when the migrating herds have left, this is also the best time to go quad biking and bushwalking.
For those who want to see great shepherds in action, young calves are usually born between May and June – easy pickings for shepherds in Botswana.
Water level in the Okavango Delta
As one of Africa’s greatest natural wonders, the Okavango Delta is undoubtedly Botswana’s biggest attraction for safari travelers.
The delta originates from the Okavango River, which originates in the highlands of Angola and runs for hundreds of kilometers, later spreading to a large part of northern Botswana.
About 2.5 trillion gallons of water flow through the estuary each year, covering 2,000 to 6,000 square miles, depending on conditions. Water levels in the Delta vary throughout the year, so be sure to keep that in mind when planning an African safari trip here.
The water level in the estuary begins to rise in May, but it can happen a little earlier if the area has had very strong local rains during January and February.
The water level is highest in June and July, when the rains that fell in Angola at the beginning of the year finally reach the river mouth and spread. Starting in August, the water level in the delta begins to drop and the cycle begins again.
Remember that the highest water levels coincide with Botswana’s dry season – although there is a lot of water on the ground in the estuary, there is very little (if any) rain.
Deltal is like a sponge. After drying, it quickly absorbs all the added water; after that, less and less water is absorbed and more and more remains on the surface.
This contributes to the rise of water levels in the middle of the year. With higher water levels, Delta wildlife is forced to higher ground that remains above the water, improving game viewing because there are fewer areas on dry land to encounter land animals.
Also remember that if you push north into the estuary – closer to the Okavango River – the water level will stay higher for longer. The best time to go to Botswana if you want to experience…
Best Time to Visit Botswana for Wildlife and Beach Combinations
Botswana is landlocked but has excellent connectivity to places like Mauritius. The best time to connect Botswana to Mauritius is from May to mid-November.
Walking with the Kalahari Bushmen is an experience like no other. Learn their crafts and skills – the best time is from July to September
Camping is among Botswana’s prolific wildlife is not to be missed and you can do it all year round, depending on what you want to see.
Kalahari Desert Blooms
When the rains arrive from December to March, the Kalahari Desert blooms.
Riding Mokoro estuary
Year round – best time depends on water level.
The Best time to visit Botswana and combine with Victoria falls is when the falls are in full swing from February to August, with waters at their peak around May.
Best time to visit Botswana for walking safaris is from November to March – outside the rainy season.
Best Time to Visit Botswana Expert opinion
The vibrant country of Botswana offers many activities that you can try during your Safari. Africa’s second largest land animal migration takes place between January and April, when huge herds of zebra and other herbivores arrive on the normally dry salt flats of north-central Botswana, reviving with the vegetation after the annual arrival.
Chobe National Park is home to around 50,000 elephants – perhaps the largest concentration in all of Africa – which roam the southeastern part of the park during the dry season and between the Chobe and Linyanti rivers during the wet season.
Wild dog breeding season in Botswana is from June to September, offering the best chance to see the predators stay close to their dens to care for their young. Expert opinion
Martin, one of our African safari experts from Botswana, says: “September is the best time to visit Botswana for game because it’s the dry season, so the bush is less dense and the animals gather in the water bodies and it’s not too hot.
I also really like November because it is a cheaper time to travel and this is the time when many wild animals give birth, so there are babies everywhere!
If you want to connect Botswana with Victoria Falls, the best time to Visit Botswana would be May-June, because the falls are in full swing at the moment, but any time is good for a Botswana holiday!