One of the most common questions we’re asked is “when is the best time of year to visit Botswana?”
The answer is – it depends! Botswana has something special to offer year-round. If you are planning an African safari and want to experience Botswana, here’s what you need to know about the best time to visit.
December to March – The Green Season
This is summer in Botswana. From December to March, expect warm temperatures and rainy afternoons. Many photographers appreciate this season for dramatic lighting and vibrant green grasses and colorful flowers in bloom.
Also during the green season, there is an explosion of new life as many species give birth to their young. Predator sightings are frequent and dramatic as they take advantage of the young prey.
The waters have receded from the Okavango Delta, and the lower water levels also make it possible to explore the islands and plains either on foot or in a vehicle. And in the Central Kalahari, the desert truly comes to life. Here, in the ancient fossil riverbeds and associated pans, the brief spring rains create the miracle of endless seas of nutritious grasses that attract large concentrations of gemsbok, springbok and red hartebeest, their newborn calves and lambs, followed inevitably by predators such as lion, cheetah – often seen at this time with cubs – and black-backed jackal.
April to May and November – Transition Seasons
Botswana’s famed Okavango Delta actually receives its water in the dry season. Only after the rains have ended, the floodwaters arrive in the Delta from further north from Angola. During this time land-based camps can begin to offer a mix of land and water activities. Game drives on islands may happen less often, owing to higher water levels.
And then in November, as the waters recede, fish of all sizes are caught in the remaining pools and are preyed upon by dramatic concentrations of herons, storks, pelicans, egrets, fish eagles and other piscivorous birds.
June to October – The Dry Season
June to August is considered peak season in Botswana and game is dense during this time. Predator sightings are frequent in areas like Linyanti thanks to reduced vegetation in the dry season. Elephant and buffalo tend to be found in larger herds. The best time to see wild dog is during the denning season which spans the dry winter months between June and August.