When to travel to Botswana

When to travel to Botswana

Botswana’s dry season generally falls between May through October and peak season is July to October. This is “winter” which is relative in Botswana, as you can still expect day time temperatures to reach around 68 degrees Fahrenheit. It does get chilly at night, and your morning drives in July and August will call for layering of clothes. If you plan to visit the Kalahari, you can expect some really frosty mornings and chilly evenings during those months. By October however, the temperatures are on the rise and it can be very hot, around 104 Fahrenheit (40 Celsius) during the day. It’s generally still a dry heat, so bearable.
The dry season is the best time to view wildlife. The animals are easy to spot over longer distances because the grasses are short, and the bushes less leafy. They also gather in larger herds to drink from the few remaining water sources. But the dry season is busy as it coincides with the northern hemisphere summer holidays. Prices are higher and accommodation is scarce.

The dry season also means it is less humid, so less bugs and the risk of malaria is low.

The Okavango Delta is at its ultimate best during July and August. The flood waters have made it down into the delta, attracting huge numbers of wildlife from the dry interior. One can expect to see huge herds of elephant, buffalo and all manner of general game species, followed closely by the predators.

The Kalahari Desert and Makgadikgadi Pans are best visited during the cooler, dry months between May and September and offer an amazing contrast to the lush Okavango Delta scenery during this time of the year.

The Green Season is from December to March when most of the rainfall occurs. With the arrival of the summer rains, the landscape completely transforms and it is a beautiful sight. You have the advantage of reduced rates, although game viewing can be more challenging since the bush is fairly thick and some roads may be difficult to traverse. Keen birders wouldn’t consider visiting at any other time of year. The rainy season also spawns a baby boom with an abundance of tiny warthogs, infant zebra and baby impala.

Rainfall is usually in the form of a late afternoon thunderstorm which generally don’t last long with the sun returning thereafter.  The humidity is higher and thus more bugs and mosquitoes.

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