Hippopotamus in Okavango Delta Moremi National Park, Okavango Delta, Botswana

The best time to visit Botswana

The best time to visit Botswana is from May to October. This is the dry season for the country with warm temperatures throughout. It’s also when the water levels in the Okavango Delta are at their highest, perfect for exploring its waterways, channels and lagoons. If you don’t mind a little rain, the green season can be a wonderful time when animals give birth to their young and there are fewer visitors.

Information & Highlights

Lechwes from mokoro, Camp Okavango, Okavango Delta

Safari Packing Guide

Depending on your specific trip, packing requirements will vary; make sure to speak to your travel expert about what you will need for any sections that are particularly adventurous or where equipment may be provided. We recommend considering the following.

Read our safari packing guide

Explore the best time to visit

  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec

Visiting Botswana in January

low season

January is a hot time of year with short thunderstorms periodically clearing the air. This is one of the highest rainfall months with unpredictable and heavy rains throughout the month. It’s the peak of the wet season, bringing lush grass and the chance to spot newborn animals. With newborns comes an increase in predators – a chance to spot big cats.

Birding

Kalahari

Visiting Botswana in February

low season

The hot and wet weather of February breathes a rush of life into the Central Kalahari, with large numbers of zebra, springbox and oryx. Predators, especially lions, will stay in close proximity. Ripening fruit trees attract birds and butterflies. Temperatures can reach the high upwards of 30°C and it is very humid.

Flamingos

Wattled cranes

Visiting Botswana in March

low season

The rain starts to slow and the hot dry days and nights begin. Chobe and Moremi National Parks are alive with wildlife as herbivores and carnivores start to turn up. Mokoro trips may not be available with the Okavango Delta approaching its lowest level, but you may be able to take a boat out into the deeper channels.

Makgadikgadi zebra migration

Elephants

Visiting Botswana in April

medium season

The days are sunny and temperatures start to cool; there may be a few scattered light rainfalls. This is a happy medium between the wet and the dry season. Watering holes slowly start drying up, encouraging wildlife to find more permanent water sources, like the Okavango Delta, Moremi Reserve and Chobe National Park. This makes for fantastic wildlife viewing. Delta levels start to rise again in the Okavango as the flood waters from Angola make their way down.

Antelope breeding season

Fishing

Visiting Botswana in May

medium season

This is the beginning of the dry, winter season and the start of peak season. Animals are much easier to find as they congregate around more permanent water sources, making for fabulous game viewing opportunities. Camps and parks are relatively quiet in comparison to later in the season. Temperatures in the evening are cooler, so make sure to pack a light jacket for any night safaris.

Savuti

Victoria Falls

Visiting Botswana in June

high season

It won’t rain in Botswana for the next six months, forcing animals to find a more permanent water source, like the Okavango Delta. This makes wildlife much easier to spot; you can expect sightings of elephants, buffalo and antelope. Find herds of zebras waiting out the dry season on the Chobe River floodplains. From now until September, mokoro and water-based excursions should be available, water-level dependent. Quad biking on the Makgadikgadi Pans is possible from this month too. Temperatures hover around 25°C but nights can be cold. This is a very popular month for travel; we recommend booking well in advance to secure the camps you want.

African wild dogs

Walking safaris

Visiting Botswana in July

high season

This is one of the coolest, yet driest, months with temperatures reaching 0°C in the north at night and 25°C during the day. Wildlife viewing opportunities are superb, making it one of the most popular months to visit Botswana. The Okavango’s waterways are now full, offering rewarding mokoro excursions with sites of elephants, crocodiles and hippos (water-level dependent).

Family safaris

Meerkats

Visiting Botswana in August

high season

August will be very busy with families, so make sure to book well in advance to secure the best camps. Sparse vegetation makes it easier to spot wildlife and game viewing along the waterways are still at their best. Now until November is the best time to catch tigerfish in deep waters. With such a variety in activities, both on land and water, Botswana offers an unrivalled safari experience between May and October.

Heronries in the Okavango Delta

Carmine bee eaters

Visiting Botswana in September

high season

Continued rising temperatures and clear blue skies make for hot days and pleasantly warm evenings. Much of the country becomes dry and dusty as it has now been many months since any significant rains. It’s very likely to see lions stalking large herds of oryx and springbok. The end of Botswana’s dry winter is often the best time to spot the Big Five when water has become dangerously scarce. This is one of the last months that mokoro excursions and guided walking safaris may be available due to optimal conditions.

Makgadikgadi Pans

Walk with the San Bushmen

Visiting Botswana in October

high season

This is the hottest month of the year; we recommend avoiding activities in the middle of the day. The Chobe River is a wonderful place for viewing elephants towards the end of the day after a day of foraging. You’re very likely to catch sight of the Big Five and other classic favourites, like giraffes, zebras, hippos and crocodiles. This is an excellent time to be on pans, especially Baines’ Baobabs and Lekhubu Island.

Lilac breasted rollers

Catfish run

Visiting Botswana in November

medium season

November is the shoulder season for Botswana as it moves from the dry conditions to the green summer season. The heat continues to rise as the rain begins; temperatures can reach up to 40°C in the first half of the month. Greenery starts to return to the plains and it might be possible to spot some newborns.

Migrant birds

Central Kalahari

Visiting Botswana in December

low season

Temperatures now hover around 30°C during the day and marks the start of the green season. The green season can make for fabulous photographic safaris with spectacular thunderstorms every few days.

Botanists and birders

Wildlife on the move

Botswana climate guide

Drag the slider to see monthly temperature and rainfall.

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sept
Oct
Nov
Dec
Maximum Temperature (°C) Monthly Rainfall (mm)
Central Kalahari
Chobe National Park
Gaborone
Makgadikgadi Pans, Kalahari
Maun
The Okavango Delta

Explore Botswana

  • Central Kalahari
  • Chobe National Park
  • Gaborone
  • Makgadikgadi Pans
  • Kalahari Desert
  • Maun
  • Okavango Delta

Start planning your trip


Send us an enquiry

Complete our enquiry form and start your next journey.

Review Contact Form

Name(Required)
Hidden
Hidden
Hidden
Hidden

Why Choose Steppes?

Our knowledge, curiosity and expertise set us apart, driving us to create remarkable holidays and Beautiful Adventures tailored perfectly to you, carefully curated to help protect and conserve our planet.

Are you ready to Discover Extraordinary?


More about Steppes