Best time to visit Botswana
There really isn't a simple answer to the question of when to visit Botswana. It depends on your interests, ability to cope with heat, what you have a desire to see, and even what kind of budget you have. To be clear, there is never a really bad time to visit Botswana.
However, if you simply want the very best chance of stunning wildlife viewing, June to October are the best months.
Rainy season in Botswana
(November to March)
This is summer in Botswana and the temperature can reach up to about 38°C but drop to as low as 20°C. Most of the rain comes between late-December and mid-March. Mornings are generally hot and sunny, afternoons frequently bring thunderstorms.
- When the rains come in mid-late November, the stifling heat and dust of October is washed away.
- Mid-January to February are the wettest months when it could rain much of the day.
- Life begins to return to the land in the form of fresh grasses and new born animals too.
- Migrant birds begin to arrive here from about late November/December.
- It is an excellent time for birding and for photography.
- It's also the best time for seeing wildlife in the Pans and the Kalahari Desert as the zebra migration heads from Boteti area to the Pans, and the Kalahari's new grasses also draws large numbers of antelopes and more.
- It's much cheaper to travel to Botswana in green season than shoulder or high season. Not all camps will be open, but those that do often offer good prices and many drop single supplements.
- As the rains continue, travel can be more difficult over land so you might need some patience on transfers and on mobile safaris.
Dry season in Botswana
(April to October)
The dry season is the cooler time in Botswana, with Winter (mainly June to August) offering warm days and cold nights with little or no rain. Temperatures at this time can reach mid-20°C in daytime but drop to 5°C so be prepared for the cold nights and mornings. As September rolls on the heat returns and by October it is extremely hot.
- The land starts to dry out and the grasses die back after the rains have stopped.
- The wildlife is forced to head for water sources. As the dry season continues these dwindle, forcing the animals to vie for ever decreasing water sources or head for larger, more permanent water such as larger channels in the Delta or the huge Chobe River in the north.
- Wildlife viewing tends to get better as the dry season continues as the wildlife is less spread out.
- September and October are two of the very best months for seeing some of the thousands of elephants which come to the Chobe and Linyanti rivers.
- June to August/September are the best months to spot wild dogs as they stick close to their dens at this time.
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Peak season: July to October
Low season: December to March
Shoulder season: April, May, June, November
Botswana climate chart
when to go to Botswana