When to Visit Botswana
The best months to visit Botswana
Botswana is actually a year round destination, so it really does depend on where you want to visit and what you want to see and do as to when is the best time to plan your trip for - plus also how much you want to spend.
Winter Months (May to October)
For the majority of people, going on safari is the main reason for a trip to this country, in which case, the dry winter months (May through to October) would be the best time to visit.
Practically no rain falls at all, so because it is so dry, the bush is knocked back, making for better game viewing in terms of being able to spot the wildlife. In addition, the wildlife is more dependent on water, so the Chobe Riverfront, Savuti and Okavango Delta regions are just alive with wildlife.
These are also the best months to visit the Okavango Delta if you want to enjoy a mokoro adventure, as the Delta experiences its highest water levels from May to September every year. Most of the vegetation has also dried out, meaning the wildlife is concentrated around the flooded waterways.
Outside of these months, only some lodges continue to offer water based activities - namely those near a permanent river or water channel. However, because this is widely known to be the best time to visit, this is also the peak period in terms of prices/rates.
The days are pleasantly warm and sunny, but the nights do get very cold, with temperatures between June and August in particular dropping to below freezing on some nights - so on morning and evening game drives you will need plenty of layers to keep warm!
Summer Months (November to April)
November generally sees the start of the hot summer, with the summer rains making their first appearance along with the first of the mosquitoes.
The rains, higher temperatures and mosquitoes last through until April, which also means that the wildlife is more dispersed as water is readily available over a larger area. The heavy rains can make some roads impassable, especially in the Chobe National Park.
The advantage of travelling to Botswana at this time, however, is that a lot of the lodges drop their rates, making a safari here more affordable.
This is a great time for bird watching, especially in the Okavango Delta, as the local birds will breed during these months and migrant birds return to the region.
This is also the perfect time for a visit to the Central Kalahari and Makgadikgadi Pan, as huge herds of wildebeest, springbok, oryx, eland and kudu move onto the now green pans and plains to graze and give birth. Not surprisingly, the predators such as cheetah, wild dog, jackal, leopard, hyena and lion are not far away either!