Countless tourists flock to this beautiful country in search of its vast, unfenced wilderness. The endless palm-covered islands of the Okavango Delta and of course the incredible wildlife are another huge pull factor.
This is the perfect destination for anyone seeking a true oneness with nature in some pristine surroundings. Many wonder, however, when the best time is to visit Botswana.
The short answer is that a visit to Botswana, specifically to the Okavango Delta and areas similar, is rewarding at any time of the year. It depends entirely on what you wish to see and experience.
This guide will help you decide on when the best time is for you and your preferences.
Okavango Delta Seasons: The Best time to Go
This country is without a doubt one of the most rewarding safari destinations in Southern Africa with some incredible resorts to visit. And the Okavango is one of the most popular destinations for travelers coming to Botswana. With something for everyone, all year round, you are in for a treat.
Weather in Botswana and the Best Time to Visit the Okavango Delta
When planning your trip to Botswana it’s important to consider the weather and time of year. It will affect, to an extent, what kind of itinerary you can plan.
There are two main seasons to consider when it comes to tours and game-spotting opportunities. These are referred to as the dry season and the wet or “green” season.
The dry season during winter runs from May to October. During this time you can expect warm, sunny days (22°C – 35°C) and chilly nights.
This is also when the water levels in the Okavango Delta are at their highest, creating the waterways and channels Botswana is famous for. These create ideal conditions for the well-known mokoro (dugout canoe) trips.
The wet season of summer runs from November to April and is also a wonderful time to visit if you don’t mind the odd rain shower.
Visiting in summer is when you will experience the vibrant foliage come to life. This is also the time animals give birth to their young. However, due to the occasional flooding, some areas become inaccessible.
Best Time to See Game in Botswana
If you want to see and hear the incredible wildlife of Botswana then the best time would be during the dry season. From May to October, you will have ideal game-spotting conditions. The grass is lower and trees are sparser making for a more unobstructed view of these beautiful beasts.
During these dry months, there are also water shortages. This means that animals can be easily spotted making trips to the river or congregating around certain watering holes.
What Else Can you Expect to See When Visiting Botswana
Experiencing Botswana in the ‘Green Season’ definitely has its perks.
For those avian enthusiasts, the best bird sighting opportunities are around the wet or “green” seasons from November to April. Botswana has some incredible birdlife, enough to excite even the most passionate birders. In fact, even non-birders will be reaching for their binoculars during this active avian season.
Birding is best during these summer months because migrations and breeding are in full swing. These feathered friends are attracted by the insects that hatch in the hot rainy conditions.
This wet season will also be ideal for those on a budget. With it no longer being peak season and therefore dwindling tourist numbers, you can expect discounted prices on accommodation and tours allowing perhaps for a longer stay.
Okavango Delta Weather
One of the biggest attractions to Botswana is the Delta. This area is predominantly warm to hot with a brief relief of rain for a few months. This relief usually comes around November and lasts until April. However, the exact timing is unpredictable.
Picking the specific months of the year to visit this country can be tricky so let’s take a closer look at the options.
June and July are the coolest times of the year but temperatures increase by August already and peak in October. If you visit around this time remember your warm clothes for early morning game drives and boat trips.
During the beginning of the dry season (April and May) the delta is still green with recently hydrated vegetation. Conditions are dry with plenty of sunshine. You can expect very warm days averaging around 29°C/84°F.
June, July, and August become somewhat cooler but still very dry. Afternoon temperatures linger around a pleasant 26°C/79°F generally. However, early mornings are very cold – around 7°C/45°F. Warm attire is therefore essential to pack as this is when most game drives and boat rides will take place.
September and October are the months that the dry season begins to come to an end. The days grow hotter and hotter until the rain of summer comes as a sweet relief. These stifling conditions reach oppressive highs of 35°C/95°F. The mornings and evenings, however, are pleasant and bring a much-needed relenting of the heat.
The highly anticipated rain cools things down and allows for the dust to settle. You can expect regular afternoon thunderstorms and brief showers. While the rain brings a sense of cooling and quenching, the days still remain pretty hot around 31°C/88°F. But the mornings are a great time to get out and get active.
November and December are mostly hot and sunny with infrequent rain. Morning temperatures of about 19°C/65°F can be expected.
January and February are the rainiest times with it raining most afternoons. These showers, or often rather powerful storms, luckily only last a couple of hours. They’re quite a scene to watch from under a solid roof – the age-old resetting of the Okavango Delta.
March is when the rain starts coming to an end. Rain only falls every few days but usually in the form of storms.
Final Words on the Best Time to go to Botswana
With incredible landscapes like no other, Botswana is one of the best travel destinations in Africa. You will not be sorry when choosing it for your next vacation destination, regardless of when you decide to visit.
So at any time of the year, whether it’s the great safaris, incredible wildlife, or exciting adventures you’re after – you can’t go wrong with this African country.