Botswana is renowned for its large game parks and reserves, which make up almost 40% of the country’s landmass. Because of this, Botswana has become one of the most sought-after safari destinations in Southern Africa, to locals, SADC visitors (like us!) and international guests.
Visitors to Botswana can expect to see a wide variety of wildlife, including lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo, on game drives, guided walks and mokoro excursions. But when should you visit Botswana to get the most out of your bush break?
Botswana has two distinct seasons: the dry season (May to October) and the wet season (November to April). Each has its own advantages for travellers. For example, the dry season is ideal for game viewing since animals congregate around water sources during this time of year, with temperatures averaging around 30 degrees Celsius. However, the wet season offers its own rewards—namely, lush green landscapes and vibrant wildflowers blooming everywhere you look. The rains usually fall between November and March, with December and January being the wettest months. This is also the hottest time of year, with temperatures often reaching 40 degrees Celsius.
From the world’s largest inland delta (the Okavango Delta) to the Makgadikgadi Pans (a massive salt flat that was once the site of an ancient lake), Botswana has a huge variety of landscapes to explore. And each one is home to a unique array of flora and fauna.
Here is a breakdown of the best times to visit Botswana’s top destinations.
The Okavango Delta is a vast inland delta in northern Botswana. It is home to a diverse range of wildlife, including lion, leopard, cheetah, giraffe and hippo. The best time to visit the Okavango Delta is during the dry season (June to October), when the water levels are lower, and animals congregate around the remaining water sources.
Chobe National Park is situated in northern Botswana (close to Victoria Falls!) and is known for its large elephant herds. Other animals that can be seen in Chobe include lion, leopards, buffalo and a variety of antelope. We recommend visiting Chobe during the dry season – however if you are combining your trip with an excursion to nearby Vic Falls, April to May will yield spectacular views of the waterfall.
Moremi Game Reserve is found on the eastern edges of the Okavango Delta and is known for its abundant wildlife and diverse landscapes. Game drives are particularly rewarding, with excellent sightings of big cats, wild dogs and elephants. The best time to visit Moremi is between June and October.
The Makgadikgadi Pans are a series of large salt pans in central Botswana, and form part of the Kalahari Basin. The scenery here is particularly striking, and bird lovers will find the wet season exceptional! Large flocks of flamingoes and other water birds tend to congregate on the pans for water and food, however game viewing is also excellent. The best time to visit the Makgadikgadi Pans is during the wet or Green Season (November to April), when the pans are filled with water and newborn babies are abundant.
Botswana is a magical country with something to offer visitors all year round. Whether you’re looking for big game experiences or opportunities to get up close and personal with nature, Botswana has it all. So, what are you waiting for? Start planning your Botswana bush break today.
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