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Best Time to Visit Botswana

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Elephant in the Okavango Delta, Botswana

Okavango Delta, Botswana

Botswana is the ultimate luxury safari destination, with the best time to visit between June and August, during the dry season.

Boasting unique landscapes, a variety of action-packed wilderness locales, and accommodation options that range from delightful to designer, the Botswana safari circuit represents every aspect of an ideal wildlife experience, taking visitors through open savannas, along curvy canals, and out to salt pans that stretch as far as the eye can see.

Whether you are visiting as a family or couple, a Botswana safari offers something for everyone, and here we highlight the best time to visit.

  1. Best Time by Season
  2. Best Time for Game Drives
  3. Best Time for Walking Safaris
  4. Best Time for Boat Safaris
  5. Best Time for Families with Children
  6. Best Time for Couples or Honeymooners
  7. Year-Round Safari Highlights at a Glance
  8. Book for the Best Time to Visit Botswana

Best Time by Season

Rhino walking in Botswana

Rhino walking in Botswana

Botswana is located in southern Africa and experiences Southern Hemisphere seasons, with summer falling between December and February, fall between March and May, winter from June to August, and spring between September and November.

While the months are evenly divided between the four annual seasons, the country really experiences two distinct safari periods, the wet and dry seasons.

The following outlines what the safari circuit looks like throughout the year.

Summer: December • January • February

Summers on the Botswana plains are warm and humid, especially between January and February, but the lingering humidity leads to refreshing scattered showers that attract birdlife and grazers back to the grass.

The lush landscape brings about a thriving population of wildlife as new life blossoms. Consider visiting the Makgadikgadi during this time, as wildlife surrounds water-filled pans.

Fall: March • April • May

Explore the Savute Marsh in March to witness large concentrations of zebra. April and May see the breeding season for antelopes reach its peak, with males butting heads and strutting across the grasslands to impress the females.

The days are longer and the evenings reach comfortable temperatures. The fall is also much less crowded, making it a lot more comfortable to explore the wilderness without bumping into other safari vehicles.

Winter: June • July • August

The heart of winter is often considered the best time to visit Botswana, with July and August prime game-viewing time.

The days are mild and the evenings clear and crisp. The waterholes shrink because of the dry weather, making the movement of the animals much more predictable as they gather around remaining waterholes ‒ prey and predators alike.

At this time, the Okavango Delta is perfect for enjoying a dug-out canoe or mokoro experience as the water levels are high.

Spring: September • October • November

Leaving the dry winter months behind, the spring reveals dusty plains, with an array of wildlife surrounding the waterholes before the summer rains fall.

September’s weather is still mild, while October brings extremely hot days, with the first rains starting to fall in November.

Sunsets throughout the safari circuit are incredible during this time, and the pans of the Kalahari start to fill up as the rains fall.

Best Time for Game Drives

Pair of roe deer in natural habitat

Pair of roe deer in natural habitat

Best Months: June • July • August

The clear skies and sparse vegetation make the dry season between June and August the premier time for game drives in Botswana.

The days are cool and the air crisp, with wildlife abundant on open plains, in forests, and near the channels of the delta. As it is prime game-viewing season, the parks and reserves will be busy as everyone descends on Botswana’s best safari destinations.

Best Time for Walking Safaris

A pair of giraffes with a cub, Botswana.

A pair of giraffes with a cub, Botswana.

Best Months: June • July • August

The sparse landscape in the winter months between June and August makes it a great time for a walking safari.

Strolling in the woodlands and on the plains offers unique game viewing, allowing you to get much closer to nature, almost one with the land. Your guide will keep a close eye on you and share many secrets of the bush.

Best Time for Boat Safaris

Serove Kham Rhino Sanctuary

Serove Kham Rhino Sanctuary

Best Months: May • June • July • August • September

Waterways wind across Botswana in different forms, making a boat safari a unique and engaging way to experience the wildlife across the country, especially in the dry season between May and September.

The adventure gives you a fantastic perspective of the wildlife and wilderness as you witness buffalo lazing on the shores of the Chobe River or a tiny reed frog balancing carefully on a blade of grass in the Okavango Delta.

Best Time for Families with Children

Young African zebras, Botswana

Young African zebras, Botswana

Best Months: June • July • August

A family safari in Botswana is a life-enriching experience that will immerse you in the wonders of the wilderness.

The cooler days and drier conditions of winter make it much easier to spot animals across the landscape, with June and early September the ideal time to avoid the high-season crowds.

Certain camps are geared for family visits, with kids’ clubs and fun activities available. With a diverse safari scene throughout Botswana, game viewing is exceptional at any time.

Learn more: Botswana Family Safaris

Best Time for Couples or Honeymooners

Mobile Camping, Botswana

Mobile Camping, Botswana

Best Months: April • May • September • October

Botswana is the ultimate romantic safari destination for couples searching for that unique and intimate wildlife experience, with luxury accommodations set in breathtaking landscapes and an abundance of exciting animal encounters.

The less-crowded period between late May and early June, or the early springtime months of September and October, are perfect to avoid the crowds and enjoy a quieter safari adventure.

Learn more: Botswana Honeymoon Packages

Year-Round Safari Highlights at a Glance

Lions, Okavango Delta, Botswana

Lions, Okavango Delta, Botswana

January: Birthing season, migratory birds are around, and the scenery is greener

February: Plenty of rain, therefore very wet, super-green, and with amazing birdlife

March: The Land is still pretty wet and some lodges and camps may be closed, no crowds

April: Rain starts to subside, some lodges and camps are still closed.

May: Cooler nights on safari, shorter grass, parks and reserves are still not crowded

June: The end of June sees the start of the high safari season. Cooler nights, drier days

July: Peak safari season, with cooler days, dry vegetation, and good game viewing

August: The coolest month offers prime game viewing, with much activity at waterholes

September: Days get warmer, leaves return to the trees, flowers bloom, safaris are still good

October: Extremely hot. Game viewing is still good and crowds start to disperse

November: Green season begins, the rains fall, grass gets longer, days are still hot

December: Summer is in full swing, afternoon thundershowers, some lodges still closed

Book for the Best Time to Visit Botswana

Safari with personal guide, Botswana

Safari with personal guide, Botswana

Botswana’s stunning scenery and diverse ecosystems host abundant wildlife to create a safari destination like no other. From open plains to dusty salt pans, winding waterways, and silent Delta channels, quality Botswana safari experiences are endless.

Our Botswana safari guide has more information and helpful hints on planning your preferred vacation, or you can get started with our featured Botswana safaris.

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