When is a good time to travel to Botswana?

Botswana’s climate is semi-arid. Though it is hot and dry for much of the year, there is a rainy season, from November to March. Rainfall tends to be erratic, unpredictable and highly regional. Often a heavy downpour may occur in one area while 10 or 15 kilometres away there is no rain at all. Showers are often followed by strong sunshine so that a good deal of the rainfall does not penetrate the ground but is lost to evaporation and transpiration.

‘Pula’, one of the most frequently heard words in Botswana, is not only the name of Botswana’s currency, but also the Setswana word for rain. So much of what takes place in Botswana relies on this essential, frequently scarce commodity.

Botswana’s safari seasons

HIGH (DRY) SEASON – July, August, September and October

Plus SymbolWarm and sunny weather with moderate temperaturesMinus SymbolNights can be particularly cold in July
Plus SymbolSunshine and blue skiesMinus SymbolOctober is typically the hottest month
Plus SymbolLower Malaria risk
Plus SymbolWater sources are lower. Animals tend to gather around water holes.

SHOULDER SEASON – April, May, June and November

Plus SymbolEnd of the wet seasonMinus SymbolGrass can be high which can impede the viewing of wildlife
Plus SymbolPleasant TemperaturesMinus SymbolNovember can be very hot
Plus SymbolStill chance to see animals around water holesMinus SymbolNights can be very cold in June
Plus SymbolRutting season for some antelope

LOW (WET) SEASON – December, January, February and March

Plus Symbol February is an excellent time for bird watchingMinus SymbolHot and humid weather (November to March are the hottest months)
Plus SymbolHeavy but short downpoursMinus SymbolMore challenging to spot wildlife
Plus SymbolLocalised afternoon thunderstormsMinus SymbolMore mosquitoes about
Plus SymbolPossibility of seeing new born animalsMinus SymbolPeak wet months January and February

When to visit Botswana’s national parks and game reserves

It is true to say that there are national parks and game reserves in Botswana for every season and for every interest, making Botswana the ideal safari destination at any time of the year. The dry season draws the wildlife to congregate along the life giving waterways, and the rainy season attracts the herds to the lush new grass on the floodplains.

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