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Botswana: When to Travel, Safari Seasons explained

Botswana experiences distinct seasons that can impact safari travel. Understanding these seasons is crucial for planning a safari trip to make the most of wildlife viewing and weather conditions. Botswana has a largely semi-arid climate, and its seasons can be categorized into dry and wet periods. The two main seasons are:

Dry Season (May to October):

  • Winter (May to August): This is considered the peak safari season. Days are warm and sunny, but nights and early mornings can be quite chilly. The vegetation is sparse, and animals gather around water sources, making it easier to spot wildlife. The lack of foliage enhances visibility, making it an excellent time for game viewing. This is also the main flood season, in April/May water arrives in the upper Okavango [from summer rain that falls in Angola some distance away] and then slowly fills up the main channels which then disperse water through lesser channels and onto the floodplains. This takes a few months and the furthest reaches of the Okavango flood system only get water into September, which does affect what you can do where and when.

  • Spring (September to October): As temperatures start to rise, this period is still part of the dry season. Days become hotter, and wildlife is concentrated around permanent water sources, making for excellent game viewing. The end of the dry season is a good time to witness the spectacle of the Okavango Delta flooding.

Wet Season (November to April):

  • Summer (November to March): This marks the beginning of the wet season, characterized by higher temperatures and occasional afternoon thunderstorms. While the landscape becomes lush and green, the increased vegetation can make it more challenging to spot wildlife. However, this is the time when many migratory birds arrive, plains game are giving birth so there are lots of young animals around and the scenery is vibrant. Water levels in the delta rise thanks to local rainfall.

  • Autumn (April): Towards the end of the wet season, the rains begin to subside, and the landscape starts to dry up. Wildlife viewing can still be good during this transitional period, as animals are more dispersed, and the vegetation is not as thick.

When planning a safari in Botswana, the choice of season depends on personal preferences and priorities. The dry season is popular for its excellent game viewing opportunities, while the wet season has its own unique appeal with lush landscapes, bird migration, and fewer tourists. It's essential to consider factors like temperature, wildlife preferences, and the overall safari experience when deciding on the best time to visit Botswana - you can read more detailed month by month information on our web page.


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