Best time to visit Botswana

You want to have the trip of a lifetime in Botswana, but you do not know when the best time to travel is. You may ask: when will I see the most animals? When can I best go on a boat safari? What if I want to experience some of the hidden gems of Botswana, when should I travel then? Not only can we answer these questions, but you will notice that no matter when you plan to travel to Botswana, you will always have something to look forward to.

Large tree savannah best time to visit Botswana

THE BEST TIME TO VISIT BOTSWANA - BY SEASON

When is the high-season

Travelling to Botswana between June and September sets you up for a real treat. This is true for most regions but particularly if you want to go on safari in the Okavango Delta, the Chobe National Park or Moremi Game Reserve. High season also means that accommodations can fill up quickly. If you have your eye on a specific camp or lodge, make sure to book well in advance.

When is the low-season

Don’t be frightened by the term “low season”. Although Botswana receives less visitors during the months from December to April, it doesn’t mean that you will be disappointed should you plan to travel during this time. Areas such as the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park and the Makgadikgadi and Nxai Pans are at their most spectacular during this time of year. Another perk of the low season: Fewer travellers means an even more exclusive experience and lower rates at camps and lodges.

When is the dry season

The dry winter period in Botswana stretches from May until October. During this time, the long grasses wilt away, and the animals congregate at the various watering points making game viewing bountiful. Surprisingly, it is also during the dry season when the water levels in the Okavango Delta are at their highest, making it the best time for water-based activities.

When is the rainy season

The rainy season or “green season” in Botswana begins in November and lasts until April. Game viewing in the Okavango and Chobe remains good because of the high numbers of resident wildlife, but it is the south of Botswana that really shines during this time. Witness the Central Kalahari and the Makgadikgadi and Nxai Pans transform into a vast green grassland in time for the arrival of Botswana’s yearly zebra migration. This is also the calving season for various antelopes which means predators such as the black maned lions of the Kalahari will be lurking nearby.

THE BEST TIME TO VISIT BOTSWANA - BY REGION

Okavango Delta

The dry season months between June and October are usually the months where the Okavango Delta is at its most glorious. Water levels are at their highest, excellent for water activities and the wildlife is at its most bountiful.

Flamingoes in the Makgadikgadi pans

During the rainy season, the normally dry Makgadikgadi Pans fill with water and attract wildlife.

Makgadikgadi Pans

The Makgadikgadi should ideally be visited twice, once in the dry season and once during the wet season. The two are so different, each with its own appeal, it is impossible for us to say which one is better. Let us summarise by saying: Come in the dry months of April to October for the feeling of solitude and the beautifully dry, desolate landscapes. Come in the wet season between November and March for vivid green scenery and great game viewing opportunities as the migrating herds of zebra and wildebeest roam across the lands.

Chobe National Park

Chobe offers great wildlife all through the year but from July to September, the park offers you a combination of a remarkably high concentrations of animals, comfortable weather conditions and spectacular sunsets.

Central Kalahari Game Reserve

It is throughout the wet season months of December to March that the Central Kalahari Game Reserve truly comes alive. Resident wildlife flourishes when water is plentiful and many animals migrate towards this otherwise barren landscape during this time with predators not far away.

Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park

As the rainy season draws to a close, the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park delivers its best game viewing opportunities. During the months of March until May you will be met with beautiful landscapes, excellent wildlife moments and an undiluted wilderness experience. Another positive: no matter when you choose to travel – the Kgalagadi TP will never feel crowded.

THE BEST TIME TO VISIT BOTSWANA - BY ACTIVITY

When is the best time to go on safari

This is one question that requires two answers. The northern section of Botswana is at its best for safari from May until October. So, if you want to visit either the Okavango Delta, the Chobe National Park or Moremi Game Reserve during their peak wildlife times, then these dry winter months are for you. If you want a more off the beaten track experience, but still wish to see plenty of wildlife, the southern sections of Botswana such as the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park and the Makgadikgadi and Nxai Pans are perfect for you as they feature their best wildlife displays during the wet months stretching from November to April.

When is the best time to do a boat safari

Paradoxically, it is during the dry season when water levels in the Okavango Delta are at their highest point. So throughout the months of April to October, water based activities including mokoro boat safaris are at their most accessible. It is also during this time that the Chobe Riverfront attracts more animals making this the most popular time for river and sunset cruises. The Okavango Delta however, retains water all year round so you can still go on a mokoro boat safari at any time of year by staying at one of the dedicated river camps in the delta.

When is the best time for scenic landscapes

If you love lush, green landscapes and want to experience vivid colours then the wet or more appropriately named “green season” holds the best rewards for you. If you admire the beauty of remote and arid landscapes which stretch as far onto the horizon as your eyes can see then you should visit the Kalahari region and the Makgadikgadi and Nxai Pans during the dry season. If you love both types landscapes, you should visit Botswana at least twice.

White water lily Okavango Delta
OUR EXPERT ADVICE

THE BEST TIME TO TRAVEL DEPENDS ON YOUR EXPECTATIONS

Many people think they should only travel to Botswana during a certain time of year or during a particular month. In reality, Botswana has so much to offer all year round that your ideal time to travel to Botswana depends on what you wish you see and the type of experience you wish to have.

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