When is the best time to visit Botswana
, a question that is easy and difficult to answer all in the same breathe. Basically it all depends on you and your expectations, your interests, your budget and what you want to experience.
The summer months are best for birding with all the migratory birds arriving, the landscapes are greener and the safari rates are lower. Remembering that it is hot day and night and that wildlife sightings do become a little harder to find although the Savute and the Kalahari regions offers excellent game viewing as they lie in the path of migrating wildlife.
The cool and dry winter months are regarded by many experts as the finest time to safari in Botswana, wildlife sightings are excellent, the Okavango Delta is in full flood and the risk of malaria is at its lowest. It is also worth mention here that this is also the most expensive season in terms of safari costs.
If things do become a tad complicated - please contact us and we will guide you on what is best for you.
Weather in Botswana
Summer in Botswana
The summers months (including spring) are September through to the end of February (although March is still on the warm side) is what is referred to as the "green season". One can expect very high day time temperatures and only slightly lower night time temperatures, October being the hottest month on them all. Summer rainfall in general starts in November and ends in March.
Winter in Botswana
Winter months (including Autumn) are March through to the end of August. This is the dry season in Botswana but also peak season in regards to tourism numbers, as the days are invariably sunny and warm. Although this is the dry season it is also the wet season (confused?) let me explain; this is the season when the Okavango Delta water levels are at their highest, so therefore dry but still wet.
Okavango Water Levels
The water from the Angolan Highlands starts to push into the Delta in the late summer and early autumn months with winter offering the highest levels. The Okavango water levels start receding towards the end of the winter months and into spring, with the summer months offering up the lowest levels. Certain areas within the Delta do offer permanent year round water.
Best time to visit the Okavango Delta
Best Season for Wildlife
As a general rule of thumb the cooler Winter months offer the best wildlife sightings as wildlife will congregate close to areas of that offer permanent water sources, thus making it easier for your guides to find the wildlife and also cutting down driving times. In certain regions of Botswana this does not apply as there is a constant source of wide spread water year round, the upper Okavango delta and the Linyanti swamps are amongst these regions.
Best season for wildlife in Botswana
Best Season for Birding
Without question - the hot summer months are best for Botswana Birding safaris as this is when the migrant species start arriving to make up that magnificent total of 597 species spotted. This is in no-way saying the the winter months are bad for birding, it is just simply that the migratory birds are absent. Let it be said that in Botswana there is no such thing as a bad birding season.
Best season for birding in Botswana