The country has two distinct seasons, which makes deciding when to travel to Botswana a whole lot simpler than with some of its east African neighbours.
The dry season runs between May and October, with warm days full of sunshine, and cold nights that mean cosy evenings by roaring fires. The water levels in the Okavango are at their highest during this dry period, caused by flooding of the delta rather than rainfall in Botswana. This is the perfect time to enjoy mokoro safaris – paddling stealthily down the channels and waterways for which the delta is famed.
Photo credit: Duba Plains Camp
At the peak of the delta floods, land safaris do become more restricted, although taking a flight over the Okavango and seeing the extent of the water is truly a sight to behold.
The shimmering salt pans over in Makgadikgadi finally become accessible during the dry season, and this is a great time to visit the Khawi region too, when game is abundant and the climate is pleasant.
The wet season, also known in Botswana as the ‘green season’, is usually from November until April. This is actually a super time to visit as there are fewer other tourists, and landscapes are lush with verdant foliage thanks to the short afternoon rain showers that quench the thirst of the dry earth. Chobe National Park and Moremi Game Reserve are particularly impressive during this period.
Photo credit: Mombo Camp
The rain doesn’t stop play during the green season, and indeed it brings a welcome change of dynamic to this thriving environment. Wildlife can be slightly harder to spot, but this just makes the experience even more rewarding. Prices are lower during this period too, which can make a huge difference to safari costs in a country where high-end low-impact tourism reigns supreme.