All information about the best time to travel to Botswana
In southern Africa you will find a country that is known for unforgettable animal experiences. Botswana enchants with endless expanses and a fascinating animal world. This is where the Big 5 – elephant, rhinoceros, lion, buffalo and leopard – call home. Vacationers come to Botswana to experience just that. If you also want to go on a safari in the beautiful country and experience the “big five” up close, you can find out about the best travel time for Botswana here . You will learn when to visit the Okavango Delta, a huge and biodiverse wetland, and the Kalahari. I’ll give you an overview of the climate and weather in Botswana. Well prepared you will experience the adventure of a lifetime.
When is the best time to visit Botswana?
You can admire the beauty of the country in the south of Africa all year round . Botswana is always worth exploring. But most holidaymakers are looking for one special thing: wildlife viewing on a safari ! It is the reason that the adventurous tourists come to Botswana. To experience this, the months May to October are considered the best time to travel to Botswana . These months fall in the dry season. According to HEALTHINCLUDE, it rains seldom and little, which means that there are only a few watering places in the country where the animals can drink. The wild animals move to the water holes, quench their thirst and you can watch them from a safe distance. During the best travel time, the daytime temperatures are very favorable. From April at 29 degrees Celsius, temperatures drop to 24 degrees Celsius in July until they rise again and reach 31 degrees Celsius in September. It can get very cold at night, especially in June and July. During these months, the nighttime temperatures are around 6 to 7 degrees Celsius. In contrast, during the best time to travel to Botswana, the hours of sunshine peak at 8 to 9 hours of sunshine per day. There are few or no rainy days during the months mentioned, so that you only have to fear rare and low rainfall. The humidity is relatively low and so hot temperatures, such as in April and September, can be withstood. During the optimal travel time you can enjoy the perfect weather to fully enjoy the adventure safari.
Best travel time for Botswana at a glance:
- April: 29 ° C, 6 hours of sunshine, 2 rainy days
- May: 26 ° C, 8 hours of sunshine, 2 rainy days
- June: 24 ° C, 9 hours of sunshine, 1 rainy day
- July: 24 ° C, 8 hours of sunshine, 0 rainy days
- August: 27 ° C, 9 hours of sunshine, 1 rainy day
- September: 31 ° C, 9 hours of sunshine, 1 rainy day
- October: 33 ° C, 8 hours of sunshine, 4 rainy days
Best travel time for the Okavango Delta
The Okavango Delta is an important ecosystem in Botswana that provides the perfect habitat for animals and plants. Islands and river foothills make up the area that has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. If the rest of the country is dry, the wildlife in the Okavango Delta will find the best conditions to survive. The best time to travel to the Okavango Delta is from April to October. Although the travel time is in the middle of the dry season, the delta fills with accumulated water from Angola and not with rain. A paradise of wetlands and water holes develops during the dry season and attracts many animals from the Kalahari desert to the water-rich delta. In June and July the water reaches its highest level and conjures up a wonderful landscape. During this time you can admire a great density of wild animals in the Okavango Delta on a safari. The animals are particularly easy to observe through the trampled and eaten grass.
Best travel time for the Kalahari semi-desert
As soon as the rainy season begins in Botswana, the best time to travel to the Kalahari starts . It prevails from November to March. During this time, there is increased rainfall and the otherwise dry semi-desert comes to life. The rain brings the flora to life and it begins to bloom. The animals find plenty of food in the Kalahari. Zebras, wildebeests, Kalahari lions and many other wild animals can be seen eating during the best travel time for the Kalahari. In addition, many young animals are born during this time that will delight you during a safari. The temperatures during this time are over 30 degrees Celsius and at night it rarely cools below 20 degrees Celsius. The hours of sunshine are less than in the dry season and are 4 to 5 per day. Although it is the rainy season, it only rains for 6 to 9 days. So it is quite possible that you will not get a drop of water during your trip during the rainy season.
Best travel time for other regions and activities in Botswana
The Kalahari semi-desert and the Okavango Delta are just two of the regions where you can experience unforgettable safaris and fascinating wildlife viewing. The Chobe National Park is located in the northern part of Botswana and is home to many wild animals such as elephants, lions, zebras, hippos and giraffes. The areas of Savute and Linyanti belong to the Chobe National Park and are also worth a visit. The Moremi Game Reserve is located in the middle of the Okavango Delta and is one of the most beautiful nature reserves in the world. In Nxai Pan National Park and Makgadikgadi National Park you will find the legendary salt pans, remains of salt lakes. In the table below you will find the best travel times for these areas.
|Best travel time||Activity||Region|
|April to October||Wildlife observation||Chobe National Park, Moremi Game Reserve, Okavango Delta, Savute, Linyanti, Makgadikgadi National Park|
|April to October||Bush walk||Okavango Delta, Moremi Game Reserve|
|April to October||boat trip||Okavango Delta, Moremi Game Reserve|
|November to March||Bird watching||Chobe National Park, Okavango Delta, Linyanti|
|December to March||Bush walk||Kalahari|
|November to March||Wildlife observation||Nxai Pan National Park, Kalahari|
What is the climate like in Botswana?
Botswana has a semi-arid savanna and semi-desert climate . The climate is characterized by extremely high temperatures in summer and milder temperatures in winter. Important: The seasons in Botswana are opposite to the European seasons. In winter , temperatures around 20 degrees Celsius prevail during the day. At night it can get so cold that frost occurs. The winter time is also the dry season in which it rarely or not at all rains. The dry season extends over 6 to 9 months and is often longer than the rainy season. In summer, which lasts from November to March, the maximum daily temperatures are often 35 degrees Celsius and more. At night it is still warm with 20 degrees Celsius. The increased rainy days in summer mark the rainy season. However, it is not as pronounced as the rainy seasons in other tropical countries. It rains heavily, but briefly and around 9 days per month during the summer.
Climate table for Botswana
|Max. Temperature in ° C||32||32||31||29||26||24||24||27||31||33||33||32|
|Min. Temperature in ° C||20||20||18||14||10||7||6||10||14||17||19||19|
|Hours of sunshine per day||4||5||7||6||8||9||8||9||9||8||7||5|
|Rainy days per month||9||6||6||2||2||1||0||1||1||4||8||9|
In general, the recommendation is April to October as the best travel time for Botswana. During these months of the dry season, there are many areas and regions to choose from to go on safari. But the rainy season, which lasts from November to March, also has its charms. Many parts of the country shine in lush green. Due to the dense vegetation, wildlife viewing is harder in some areas, but still fun. The Kalahari semi-desert, for example, is the perfect safari destination at this travel time. In other parts of the island, safaris are not possible as the off-road vehicles cannot move forward due to the sodden paths. If you are visiting Botswana for the first time, you should concentrate on the dry season, i.e. spring, summer and autumn, to get a first impression of the country.