The Best Time to Visit Botswana

Prowling Lion and Wary Antelope near Jao Camp. Okavango. Carrie HamptonProwling Lion and Wary Antelope near Jao Camp. Okavango
Depends on what you want to see. Botswana is a country blessed with some of the most dramatic wilderness areas in Africa, with some equally dramatic weather changes. It is true to say that there are places in Botswana for every season and for every interest, making Botswana the ideal safari destination at any time of the year. The dry season draws the wildlife to congregate along the life giving waterways, and the rainy season attracts the herds to the lush new grass on the floodplains.

Seasonal Cycles by the Month

Peak season in Botswana is between July and October, with October being the hottest month of the year. It is also the most expensive time of year, and the busiest. This of course makes it the most difficult time in which to secure lodge accommodation or book a safari operator. So "book early to avoid disappointment", definitely applies here.

April to October

The dry season, and usually the best game-viewing as animals concentrate around permanent waterholes and foliage is sparse.

November to March

The wet season. Several roads become a mud-bath, some lodges and camps are difficult to access and may close for a few months. These are also the hottest months of the years. High humidity prevails. The huge influx of birds makes this the best time for birding in Okavango and Moremi.

The Green Season

This period is pretty wet, and stretches from December to May but you may have the advantage of reduced rates, although game viewing can be quite challenging since the bush is fairly thick and a few roads may be impossible to traverse.
The north-east might expect 600mm of rain with a variability of about 30%, whilst the drier south-west will receive, on average, only 200mm, with a variability of about 80%.

Rain tends to fall in short, sometimes violent thundershowers. Although rain may first fall in September, the greatest amounts fall in the months December through February. It is important to note that, at any time of year, it does not normally rain on more than 2 consecutive days.

Which Season for What Activity

Bird Watching:

The summer months are the best for bird watching in Botswana as this is when all the migrant species have arrived from their northern climes.

Predator Safari:

There are places in Botswana for predator viewing during every season, as there are always concentrations of prey animals somewhere.

Makoro Safaris:

The peak of the flood in the Okavango Delta is August / September and most areas of the Delta will offer Makoro safaris at this time, but there are places of permanent water where Makoro trips can be done year round.

Self-drive Safaris:

The northern parks of Botswana can be accessed year round in a 4x4 vehicle, although there will be some places that are inaccessible at times of the year due to heavy rains and flooding.

Wildlife Safari:

As with predator safaris, wildlife is plentiful year round in Botswana and there are areas where the game viewing is excellent no matter what season it is.

So what is the best time for a safari to Botswana

With its unique habitats and intriguing locations Botswana is an ideal safari destination all year round - with great game viewing and unique activities.
To experience the peak of the floodwaters in the Delta, the best time to visit would be between June and September, although the areas of permanent Delta will provide a "high water" experience all year round.
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