The Greatest Time to Go to Botswana For Every Wildlife Expertise


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Botswana is among the greatest nations in Africa for a safari, however if you wish to have an unforgettable expertise, it’s essential to know the most effective time to go to Botswana for every exercise. And I’m right here that can assist you with that! 

The range of wildlife that may be present in Botswana safari and its extraordinary panoramas are what goals are fabricated from.

Two giraffes in the grass of Central Kalahari, Botswana. You need to know the best time to go to Botswana to see the wildlife.
Our mates from Central Kalahari, Botswana.

Think about the long-lasting Okavango Delta. It gives unparalleled wildlife viewing alternatives in a singular, wetland setting. It’s additionally dwelling to the long-lasting Kalahari Desert.

Plus, Botswana’s dedication to sustainable and low-impact tourism is past commendable. It helps guarantee intimate and genuine safari experiences whereas sustaining the pure magnificence and integrity of the nation’s wilderness areas.

To not point out that Botswana is among the most secure nations in Africa.

I journey to Botswana each probability I get, and I really feel like I haven’t even scratched the floor of what there may be to see right here.

However to get probably the most out of your journey, you’ll have to know the most effective time to go to Botswana. We’ve obtained that data for you right here.

Spoiler alert: whereas there’s no unhealthy time to journey to Botswana, some occasions are higher than others.

Botswana Journey Suggestions 

If you’re in a rush here’s a abstract of what it is advisable to plan your Botswana journey:

The very best time to go to Botswana: understanding the seasons

Botswana is thought for its beautiful wildlife and unspoiled wilderness. It gives you a singular expertise from different African locations, attributable to its assorted ecosystems. Iconic wetlands that drain into the well-known Kalahari Desert equals a captivating journey!

Understanding the nation’s seasonal dynamics is essential to planning the right safari or exploration.

Right here, we’ll break down the most effective occasions to go to primarily based on climate, wildlife, area, and vacationer seasons.

Photo of a Blackback jackal in Moremi, Botswana, Africa.
The very best time to go to Botswana to see wildlife is in the course of the winter season.

Botswana Excessive Season (July to October)

The height season in Botswana coincides with the dry winter months, from July to October. Throughout this time, the climate is mostly dry and gentle, making it a wonderful time for wildlife viewing.

Animals collect across the few remaining water sources, making them simpler to identify. The Okavango Delta, particularly, is a spectacular sight because the floodwaters arrive, attracting an abundance of wildlife.

That is additionally the busiest season, although, so count on larger costs and extra crowded safari lodges.

Botswana Low Season (December to March)

The moist summer season months, or the wet season, is from December to March. Botswana’s Summer season rains are also referred to as the ‘Inexperienced Season.’ Though the rains might be heavy, they often don’t final all day.

The panorama transforms right into a lush, inexperienced paradise, which is ideal for the birds – and fowl watchers! It’s additionally nice for anybody who prefers a extra solitary expertise.

Aside from the migratory birds, wildlife viewing is usually a bit more difficult because of the thick lush vegetation. Plus, animals are much less concentrated round water sources. You’ll discover, too, a better focus of pesky mosquitoes.

However, the wettest months are additionally when charges are at their lowest, and you may get pleasure from the great thing about Botswana with out the crowds.

Botswana Shoulder Seasons (April to June and November)

There are two shoulder seasons, which coincide with what you would possibly consider as fall and spring. These are April to June and November.

These months are occasions of transition between the extremes of the excessive and low seasons. In April and Might, the panorama remains to be inexperienced, however the heavy rains have stopped, making it simpler to get round and spot wildlife.

June is the start of the dryer winter months, with cooler temperatures and wonderful wildlife viewing alternatives.

November is a little bit of a wildcard. It may be sizzling and dry just like the winter months, or it may well see a preview of the summer season season rains.

These months supply an amazing steadiness between good wildlife viewing, fewer vacationers, and reasonable costs.

Elephants and baboons in the Okavango Delta, Botswana.
The very best time to go to Botswana to go to the Okavango Delta is in the course of the dry season when the animals get collectively.

Botswana Climate Issues

The worst climate in Botswana is usually in the course of the peak of the wet season. In January and February, the heavy downpours can restrict wildlife viewing and make some roads impassable.

Some lodges and camps might shut briefly or for the season, too.

Alternatively, the most effective climate is usually discovered from Might to September. The times are heat, and the nights are cool, offering comfy circumstances for sport drives, safari walks, and different actions.

With the nice climate is simpler to sleep in the course of the cooler nights, as properly, in case your lodging doesn’t have air con.

The very best time to go to Botswana actually depends upon what you need out of your journey.

For the traditional safari expertise with ample wildlife viewing, the dry winter months with sunny climate are good.

Or, when you’re a fowl lover or are on the lookout for a extra budget-friendly and fewer crowded expertise, the Inexperienced Season could possibly be ultimate for you.

The shoulder months are a steadiness, combining good wildlife sightings with fewer vacationers.

The reality is, Botswana’s enchantment lies in its untouched wilderness and number of wildlife – a real year-round spectacle!

The Greatest occasions to go to Botswana’s favourite locations

Every of those locations in Botswana is a singular journey. The expertise of visiting each varies rather a lot relying on the season.

These locations cater to completely different pursuits, from fowl watching and sport drives to seeing the dramatic transformations of the panorama.

Okavango Delta from the air, before full flood. The best time to travel to Botswana to see the flood is between June and August.
That is the gorgeous Okavango Delta bfore the total flood.

1. Okavango Delta

The very best time to go to the Okavango Delta is in the course of the dry season, from Might to October. This era coincides with the floodwaters descending from Angola, which rework the Delta right into a lush animal habitat.

Animal recognizing is at its peak, as animals congregate across the water holes. As properly, the climate is comparatively cool and dry.

2. Chobe Nationwide Park

For Chobe Nationwide Park, probably the most favorable time can also be in the course of the dry winter season, between Might and October. That is significantly true for the Chobe Riverfront space, accessible from the city of Kasane. Right here giant herds of elephants and different wildlife are simply seen.

The dry months present wonderful sport viewing alternatives as animals collect across the river and floodplains.

3. Makgadikgadi Pans

In distinction, the most effective time to go to the Makgadikgadi salt Pans is in the course of the moist season, from November to March. That is when the pans (empty lake beds) fill with water, attracting a spectacular number of birdlife.

This season additionally indicators the annual zebra migration. The panorama turns lush and inexperienced, providing a unique expertise from the standard dry safari.

Nonetheless, the meerkats that populate this space will not be as simply seen within the wet season. Prime time to look at these little characters is from April to October, however November might supply some good sightings.

Male lion in the Kalahari
Kalahari Desert is among the locations in Botswana it is advisable to go to, and the most effective time is in the course of the moist season.

4. Kalahari Desert

The Kalahari Desert, which covers the vast majority of Botswana, is greatest visited within the moist season as properly, significantly from December to April. Throughout this time, the desert involves life with contemporary grasses and water swimming pools.

The brand new meals and water sources appeal to wildlife similar to springbok, gemsbok, and naturally predators. That is additionally when the desert experiences a flush of shade with its distinctive plants. It’s beautiful to see!

5. Central Kalahari Sport Reserve

The Central Kalahari Sport Reserve is a part of the larger Kalahari Desert. Nonetheless, it’s a extra outlined and guarded space centered on conservation and tourism.

It includes a completely different and extra wildlife-rich expertise in comparison with the broader expanse of the Kalahari Desert. In consequence, the most effective time to go to this space is a bit completely different.

The perfect time to discover the Central Kalahari Sport Reserve is in direction of the tip of the moist season, round February to April. This era has higher wildlife viewing as animals are drawn to the pans that fill with water right here.

The panorama is lush, and the reasonable temperatures are extra comfy in comparison with the warmth of the height summer season months.

The Okavango Delta Throughout Full Flood

The complete flood within the Okavango Delta is a marvel all of its personal. The flood sometimes happens pretty early within the dry season, between June and August. This seasonal flooding is because of rainfall within the Angolan highlands in the course of the moist season.

The waters journey down the swollen Cubango River, south to the place it turns into the Okavango River, and into the delta.

The height of the flood varies annually relying on the rainfall patterns, but it surely typically reaches its highest water degree throughout these months.

This annual occasion transforms the panorama dramatically and has a big impact on wildlife patterns within the area. The rising waters carry life to the area, attracting an abundance of animals and growing the fowl inhabitants.

These modifications make it an excellent time for birdwatchers and nature lovers. This inflow of water additionally encourages some wildlife species to maneuver into the delta to reap the benefits of the water and greenery.

Excessive water within the Okavango Delta additionally implies that circumstances are good for exploring the waterways by mokoro, a standard carved canoe.

Botswana seasonal temperatures

Area/Space Season Common Excessive Temperature (°C) Common Low Temperature (°C)
Okavango Delta Dry (Might-Oct) 30.2 13.2
  Moist (Nov-Apr) 32.9 19.8
Chobe Nationwide Park Dry (Might-Oct) 30.0 13.0
  Moist (Nov-Apr) 31.3 19.0
Makgadikgadi Pans Dry (Might-Oct) 26.0 7.0
  Moist (Nov-Apr) 34.0 17.0
Central Kalahari Sport Reserve Dry (Might-Oct) 28.5 6.0
  Moist (Nov-Apr) 36.0 17.0

Notes about Botswana climate:

  • The dry season tends to see a reasonably large change between day and evening time temperatures. You’ll expertise cooler temperatures at evening and heat/sizzling in the course of the day.
  • The wet season is heat at evening in addition to in the course of the day, with the most well liked climate, larger humidity, and extra frequent rain.
  • Temperatures can range broadly between day and evening within the Kalahari Desert, particularly within the Central area.
  • Do not forget that the climate in Botswana, like climate anyplace, might be unpredictable. Droughts occur, and the beginning and finish occasions of the seasons aren’t carved in stone. However each season is gorgeous in Botswana.

Journey Recommendation:

Don’t neglect your Journey Insurance coverage! You don’t need something to wreck your journey, proper? So don’t take the chance! Dependable journey insurance coverage may also help you in case of journey points, from accidents to well being issues, journey delays, and misplaced baggage.

There are a lot of insurances out there, our picks are HeyMondo and SafetyWing. We used each and at all times had an excellent expertise. Click on on the insurance coverage names to get a quote.

Wildebeest, zebra, and impala in Moremi, Botswana.
Moremi is a superb place for animal recognizing in Botswana.

Botswana’s Annual Migration

Talked about above is Botswana’s annual zebra and wildebeest migration. Although smaller and fewer well-known than the Nice Migration in East Africa, it’s a minimum of a spectacular sight. Listed here are the important thing particulars about this unimaginable pure phenomenon:

Timing and Route:

  • The migration primarily happens within the Makgadikgadi and Nxai Pan Nationwide Parks, sometimes beginning across the starting of the wet season in November and persevering with by way of to March or April.
  • The migration follows the rains, with the zebras and wildebeests transferring in quest of contemporary grazing grounds. The animals sometimes begin their journey from the Boteti River area and transfer in direction of the contemporary grasslands of the Makgadikgadi and Nxai pans.

Scale of the Migration:

  • The variety of animals concerned on this migration varies, however it may well embrace tens of hundreds of zebras together with a smaller variety of wildebeests and different herbivores.
  • This migration is taken into account to be the second-largest zebra migration in Africa, with estimates of round 25,000 to 30,000 zebras taking part. It’s a wildlife photographer’s dream. 

Ecological and Environmental Significance:

  • This migration is essential for sustaining the ecological steadiness of the area. The motion of those giant herbivores helps to fertilize the land, disperse seeds, and keep the grasslands.
  • The migration additionally helps quite a lot of predators, together with lions, cheetahs, and hyenas, which comply with the herds for looking alternatives.

Challenges and Threats:

  • The migration faces a number of challenges, together with habitat fragmentation, human-wildlife battle, and modifications in land use.
  • Water availability can also be a crucial issue that influences migration patterns. Adjustments in rainfall patterns attributable to local weather change pose potential threats to the wildlife.

Tourism and Viewing Alternatives:

  • This migration gives a terrific alternative for wildlife lovers and photographers. The right time to witness the migration is from December to March.
  • The area is much less crowded in comparison with extra well-known safari locations.
  • You’ll due to this fact have a extra intimate and distinctive wildlife viewing expertise.

Cultural Affect:

  • The migration just isn’t solely essential for wildlife but additionally holds cultural significance for native communities. These individuals have coexisted with these migratory patterns for generations, they usually have an effect on a lot of their traditions and routines.

The migration of zebra and wildebeest in Botswana is a exceptional occasion. It shows the dynamic and interconnected nature of ecosystems in a really tangible approach.

It additionally highlights the significance of preserving pure migration corridors and inspiring sustainable tourism practices to take care of this spectacular, wild occasion.

Sunset in Botswana, Africa.
How the times finish in lovely Botswana.

When is the most effective time to journey to Botswana?

The brief reply to this query is that the most effective time to go to Botswana is between Might and October, in the course of the dry season. However as you possibly can see, selecting the most effective time to go to Botswana actually depends upon private preferences and the experiences you’re on the lookout for.

The nation’s vary of locations, every with its distinctive climate patterns and wildlife actions, supply nice experiences all year long.

Whether or not it’s witnessing the Okavango Delta in full flood, exploring the arid great thing about the Kalahari, or avoiding the vacationer rush, understanding Botswana’s seasonal modifications is the important thing to planning your ultimate journey.

Discovering the steadiness between these three features of Botswana journey will enable you to make the best possible of your Africa expertise.


Writer: Deb Hendricks

Deb’s been touring since guidebooks had been our solely supply of information, and has by no means discovered a spot that didn’t fascinate her. However Africa is the one place she returns to over and over; nowhere else has extra to supply a traveler. She hopes that by writing about it she is going to encourage you to expertise Africa for your self. It’s the journey of a lifetime!

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