The Best Time to Travel to Botswana • The Blonde Abroad

Best Time Botswana

Out of all of the safari destinations in all of Africa, Botswana is one of my favorites. Why? Alllllll the opportunities to view some of the most spectacular animals! Because it’s known for its wildlife sightings, planning your trip around the weather and the way it impacts the land is key.

The country has two main seasons: the dry season and rainy season.

Knowing when these are and how they impact the local flora and fauna is crucial. Whether you’re looking to spot wild cheetahs and elephants or you’re looking to take a mokoro (traditional canoe) around the shallow waters of the Okavango Delta…

I’m breaking down the best times to travel to Botswana!

Don’t miss my 10-day itinerary for Botswana!

September to November

Botswana’s spring season is September through the end of November, and it’s deemed the country’s shoulder season. During these months, temperatures rise and the land is parched.

Activities during the middle of the day are best to be avoided as temps can get above 40 C (or 104 F)! Migrant birds are active during the later part of the season and their arrival oftentimes coincides with the first rains.

Don’t let the heat deter you though as there are a few exciting events that take place from September to December!

On September 30th, locals celebrate Botswana Day, a day that serves as a remembrance of the advances the country has made since its declaration of independence from Britain in 1966. Expect to see street parties, parades, and locals celebrating.

Okavango River Cruise

December to March

Come December, the rain officially begins, marking the beginning of summer.

Unfortunately, the weather can be a bit unpredictable during the summer months. Not only is it extremely warm, but there’s also a chance that the rain doesn’t come at all.

However, if the rain does come, the African landscape is completely transformed. Flowers begin blooming and the land that was once brown and dry is covered in lush greenery. This, of course, draws the animals in and you’ll likely see zebras, warthogs, and impalas everywhere you turn.

The greenery makes this the optimal time to visit Botswana.

Although some camps close down for the rainy months, others stay open and offer discounted rates to attract out-of-season visitors. The rain isn’t typically constant and days are often sunny with brief downpours in the afternoon so if you’re willing to face a little rain, humidity, and mosquitoes, this is one of the best times to visit.

A few celebrations take place in the summer months, too! In February, the country celebrates World Wetlands Day, an event that focuses on the environment and conservation. In March in Gaborone, the Maitisong Festival lasts nine days and includes traditional dancing, music, and theater.

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