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.
High season – July to October. Accommodation is at a premium at this time as most camps/lodges have less than 10 rooms. It is essential to book well in advance.
Shoulder season – April, May and June. This is also a ‘busy time’ in Botswana’s national parks and reserves.
Low/Green Season – from November to April is a less popular time to visit due to the rains that cause the wildlife to spread out. It is however a lovely time of the year to visit as the landscape greens up and many of the antelopes have their young. With that said, the rain causes some roads and areas to be inaccessible.
The warmest months are October and November with an average daily high temperature above 33°C. The coldest months are June and July with an average daily high temperature below 27°C.
LOW (WET) SEASON – December, January, February and March
|February is an excellent time for bird watching||Hot and humid weather (November to March are the hottest months)|
|Heavy but short downpours||More challenging to spot wildlife|
|Localised afternoon thunderstorms||More mosquitoes about|
|Possibility of seeing new born animals||Peak wet months January and February|
SHOULDER SEASON – April, May, June and November
|End of the wet season||Grass can be high which can impede the viewing of wildlife|
|Pleasant Temperatures||November can be very hot|
|Still chance to see animals around water holes||Nights can be very cold in June|
|Rutting season for some antelope|
HIGH (DRY) SEASON – July, August, September and October
|Warm and sunny weather with moderate temperatures||Nights can be particularly cold in July|
|Sunshine and blue skies||October is typically the hottest month of the year|
|Lower Malaria risk|
|Water sources are lower and animals tend to gather around water holes|