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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 to August.

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 that takes 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 a couple, a Botswana safari offers something for everyone, from ever-revealing game drives to walking or boating experiences.

Wildlife viewing is quality and while the destination overall can be explored mostly year-round, there are certain key seasons for specific experiences, which we note below.

  1. Year-Round Safari Highlights at a Glance
  2. The Ultimate Time for a Game Drive
  3. Walking on the Wild Side
  4. Safari by Boat
  5. Ideal Time for a Family Safari
  6. Right Time for a Romantic Safari
  7. Best Time to Visit by Season
  8. Book for the Best Time in Botswana with Zicasso

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             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                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 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

The Ultimate Time for a Game Drive

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 a safari in Botswana. The days are cool and the air crisp, with wildlife abundantly present in open plains, forests, and near the water channels of the Delta. As it is prime game-viewing season, the parks and reserves will be busy as everyone ascends to one of southern Africa’s key safari destinations.

Walking on the Wild Side

A pair of giraffes with a cub, Botswana.

A pair of giraffes with a cub, Botswana.

Best Months: June | July | August

The sparse landscape and predictable waterholes of the winter months between June and August make it a great time for a walking safari. Walking the woodlands and plains offers a truly unique perspective of 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 with you many unique secrets of the bush.

Safari by Boat

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, witnessing a 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.

Ideal Time for a Family Safari

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 and the family in the wonders of the wilderness. The cooler days and drier conditions of winter make it much easier to spot popular and unique 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.

Right Time for a Romantic Safari

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 accommodation 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.

Best Time to Visit 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, the fall taking place between March and May, winter from June to August, and spring between September and November. While the months are evenly divided between the four known 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 around the Botswana plains are warm and humid, especially between January and February, but the lingering humidity leads to refreshing scattered showers that invite the eclectic thriving birdlife and growing grazers to return to the grass. The lush landscape brings about a thriving population of wildlife as new life blossoms and wildlife congregates around the trees, lured by the promise of ripening fruits. Consider visiting the Makgadikgadi during this time, as wildlife is abundant around water-filled pans.

Fall: March | April | May

Explore the Savute Marsh in March to witness large concentrations of zebra. A visit to Botswana in general in April and May sees the breeding season for antelopes reach its peak, males butting heads and strutting across the grasslands trying to impress the females. The days stretch a bit 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 several 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 known, 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 known 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, setting behind a striking scene of contrast as the pans of the Kalahari start to fill up as the rains fall in November.

Book for the Best Time in Botswana with Zicasso

Safari with personal guide, Botswana

Safari with personal guide, Botswana

Botswana’s stunning scenery and diverse ecosystems combine with an abundance of wildlife to create a safari destination like no other.  From open plains to dusty salt pans, to winding waterways and silent Delta channels, quality Botswana safari experiences are endless. Our Botswana Travel Guide has more information and helpful hints on how to plan your preferred safari. Thinking of planning a trip? You can speak with a travel specialist free by filling out a Trip Request or by calling our team at 1-888-265-9707.

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