å Botswana Safari Calendar
A safari travel calendar to help you decide when to visit Botswana, with seasonal highlights.
December to March
Strangely, the rainy season is not the same as the flooding season for the Okavango Delta, which has the lowest water levels during summer. This is because the delta is not affected by local rainfall; rather, it is fed - or drained - by virtue of the floodwaters from the Angolan highlands, to the north.
This period is the height of summer, and daytime temperatures can soar to well above 30 °C (sometimes over 100 °F). At night it cools down to 20 °C. It's known as the green or "secret" season because the bush has so much to offer yet there are fewer tourists, in spite of the rates being lowest during this time.
The rains are here, usually in the form of dramatic thunderstorms. It is a time of abundance: loads of baby animals and therefore, lots of predator action. The bush is lush and green and the birdlife is prolific. The heat and insects can always be kept at bay with mosquito nets, overhead fans and at some lodges, air conditioning. We can offer some excellent special rates for this season.
April and May
The beginning of the dry season and a great time for going on safari. Animals start returning to the rivers and waterholes as the rain puddles dry up. However, the water level in the Okavango Delta keeps rising as the floodwaters from far away arrive.The bush elsewhere starts turning from green to brown and it becomes easier to spot wildlife. Migratory birds head north. Temperatures are not as hot anymore but can still reach 30 °C during daytime.
June to September
This is the dry season and peak safari time in Botswana. Animals flock to the remaining water sources and one can see large herds of elephants and buffalo congregating at the riverbanks and waterholes. Predators lie in wait for their prey near the waterholes, and exciting game viewing is guaranteed. The Okavango Delta is in full flood during this time, peaking in July or August. Elsewhere, the bush is dry and thins out as the remaining grass gets trampled and eaten, and the dust in the air creates warm, glowing sunsets. During the day it is warm (20-25 °C) but at night the temperature can drop to 10 °C so bring warm clothes for the morning and evening game drives.
October and November
A time of transition. October is the height of the dry season, when the bush waits in eager anticipation for the rains to come. This is the hottest month of the year, with temperatures peaking above 40 °C. The water level of the Okavango drops and exposes vast green floodplains. Elsewhere most waterholes are dry and animals desperately compete for the remaining water sources. The bush is dry, dusty and trampled, and there is hardly any grass or foliage left. The game viewing can be spectacular during this time. In November the rains usually arrive and this brings relief from the heat. Soon after the first rains, the impala's give birth and the time of abundance begins again. The bush transforms within a matter of days from death to life, and from brown to green. This is an exciting time to be on safari.