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The Best Time to Visit Botswana in 2023

The Best Time to Visit Botswana in 2023

Botswana is a wondrously wild destination in Southern Africa, offering visitors a glimpse into an untouched natural paradise. From its vast open plains and marshy swamps to its rich diversity of wildlife, Botswana is an experience like no other.

When deciding when to visit Botswana, there are several key factors you should take into consideration, and we’ll cover those throughout this article.

We’ll also share top places to visit and things to do, then answer commonly asked questions so that you feel well-equipped in your Bostwana trip planning. So, when’s the best time to visit? Let’s find out!

Why You Should Visit Botswana

African men performing a traditional dance in loin cloths during the best time to visit Botswana with only legs and plantain jewelry in view

Maitham Basha-Agha/Shutterstock

Botswana is an excellent destination for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts. Its varied landscape offers the opportunity to explore some of Africa’s great wildernesses, with various flora and fauna to discover.

Some animals you might see there include elephants, giraffes, lions, zebras, and more. Birdwatchers can also expect to spot plenty of species on their travels.

The country also boasts a vibrant culture, with many traditional villages and delicious food. If you like flavorful meats and juicy fruits, you’ll be in for a treat. Additionally, the hospitality in Botswana is stellar, and visitors often feel right at home.

Finally, the landscapes of Botswana are truly breathtaking, from the vast shrublands to its lush grassy marshlands.

Incredibly, 38% of Botswana’s land is completely devoted to wildlife management areas, reserves, and national parks, so there is plenty of inhabited lands to explore.

Overall Best Time to Visit Botswana

Giraffes walking through a valley in Makgadikgadi Pans Park during the dry season, the overall best time to visit Botswana


The overall best time to visit Botswana is between May and October. This period is the country’s dry season, meaning the visitors can enjoy sunny, warm days and chilly, cozy nights.

The temperatures during the dry season range between 22-35°C (71-95°F). The clear skies make for excellent game-viewing conditions and perfect birdwatching opportunities.

Plus, there are fewer mosquitoes during this time, making it more comfortable to explore the great outdoors. Additionally, May through October marks the busiest seasons in Botswana.

This crowd means there are plenty of special events and festivals to attend, from music festivals to traditional ceremonies and dance shows.

Finally, perhaps most importantly to some people, between July and September is when water levels in the Okavango Delta are the highest, creating the channels and waterways that Botswana is known for.

Cheapest Time to Visit Botswana

Aerial view of a delta in the river with lots of green vegetation during the cheapest time to visit Botswana

Ondrej Prosicky/Shutterstock

The cheapest time to visit Botswana is during the wet season, from November to April, known as the “green season.” During this time, there are fewer visitors, so prices for flights, hotels, and tours tend to drop significantly.

March is a prime time for mosquitos and bugs, so if you are worried about bites or diseases, it might be best to avoid that month. Regardless of when you go, you should pack insect repellent and get recommended vaccinations.

Although November through April is the country’s wet season, the rain is often light and unpredictable. It may rain a little in the morning or evening, but it tends to be warm and sunny during the day. Temperatures average between 22-25°C (71-77°F).

The wet season is also when Botswana’s flora and fauna are in peak condition. This is when the grasslands turn a lush, vibrant green, and wildlife congregates along rivers to drink and graze.

Least Busy Time to Visit Botswana

Lodge with traditional stick and wood huts with a big wooden walkway spanning the desert during the least busy time to visit Botswana

Gaston Piccinetti/Shutterstock

Although prices for flights, accommodation, and tours start to decrease in November, December to March is typically the least busy time to travel to Botswana.

Not only is it the rainy season, but the increased rain and higher vegetation during this time can make it harder to view the game, which is the primary reason most visitors want to go to Botswana in the first place.

Additionally, although it’s a bit counterintuitive, the rainy season is when the waterways of the Okavango are at their lowest, so this primary natural attraction is not as visually appealing during these months.

However, going between December and March is a great option if you’re looking to have more of the landscapes and safari ranges for yourself and your crew.

Also, many people find the lush, green vegetation, migrating birds, and baby animals during this time outstanding enough to compromise on the other aspects they might miss out on.

Worst Time to Visit Botswana

Tourists riding canoes being pushed by men with large sticks through the Okavango Delta during the worst time to visit Botswana

Pixel to the People/Shutterstock

With relatively low rainfall and gorgeous landscapes throughout the year, there is truly no bad time to visit Botswana. However, some may deem April as the worst time to visit Botswana.

April is a shoulder month wedged between the rainy season and the dry season. Going in April means you might not get the full influence of either of the two seasons. There’ll be plenty of vegetation, but potentially so much that it’s difficult to spot wildlife.

And you might still have to deal with pretty hot weather without the benefits of the dry season. However, April is still a lovely month to go, and you can find excellent deals on hotels, flights, tours, and more.

Plus, there’s still a lot going on throughout the country, including festivals such as Maun Festival, featuring traditional music, poetry, and dance.

Additionally, some people may consider October the worst time to go if they view heat unfavorably, as October is the hottest month. If you want to avoid high heat, as you’ll be out and about for most of your trip, you may want to avoid visiting Botswana in October.

Things to Consider

Land rover with an open top driving through the forest during dusk during the best time to visit Botswana

MOREMI, BOTSWANA – JUNE 04, 2014: Tourists looking at impala herd on evening game drive in the Moremi Game Reserve, national park in northern Botswana, Africa/Efimova/Shutterstock

Here are some things to think about when planning your dream trip to Botswana:

  • Vaccinations. Make sure you get the recommended vaccinations for the country, as well as malaria tablets and yellow fever shots.
  • Mosquitoes. As mentioned, the wet season is peak mosquito season, so make sure to be prepared with insect repellent.
  • Weather. The temperatures during both the wet and dry seasons can still get quite hot, so make sure to pack plenty of sun protection.
  • Visas. Depending on your nationality, you may need to get a visa to enter Botswana. U.S. citizens can travel to and stay in Botswana for up to 90 days within a 12-month period.
  • Transportation. Make sure to plan out how you will get around the country. You can rent a car, take buses, or hire a local driver and guide.
  • Currency. The currency of Botswana is the Pula (BWP). U.S. dollars aren’t typically accepted, so make sure to exchange money or bring a debit/credit card with you.

Activities to Consider

Botswana is home to some of the most riveting activities. There are so many amazing activities to do, including but not limited to the following:

  • Safaris
  • Helicopter rides
  • Canoe boats
  • Camping and glamping
  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Bird watching
  • Horseback riding
  • Visiting the local towns and villages
  • ATV riding
  • City exploration

Specific Attractions to Consider

Now that you have a few activities in mind, you may be wondering where specifically you should go. We’ve got you covered.

Here are popular sites and attractions in Botswana:

  • The Okavango Delta. An inland delta with permanent swamps in northwest Botswana
  • Chobe National Park. Great park for safaris and boat cruises
  • Moremi Game Reserve. A reserve on the Okavanga Delta with wildlife-filled safari camps
  • Mokolodi Nature Reserve. Viewing giraffes and rhinos
  • Khama Rhino Sanctuary. Another great spot for rhino viewing
  • Central Kalahari Game Reserve. 52,800 square km, the second largest game reserve on the globe
  • Kubu Island. Granite isle on the ancient lake bed
  • Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. Semi-arid game reserve with Kalahari lions
  • The Makgadikgadi Pans. Vast salt flat in the middle of the Kalahari Desert
  • Riverwalk Mall. Shop, relax, watch movies, and more
  • Nxai Pan National Park. Salt pan and ancient baobabs
  • Kgale Hill. Great hill for hiking and climbing
  • Iskcon Botswana Temple. Hindu temple with lovely gardens

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you still have questions about the best time to visit Botswana and other aspects pertaining to planning a trip there? No worries. We’ve got you covered below.

Which African country has the best safari?

Botswana is the top choice for an African safari because of its abundant wildlife and unspoiled beauty. The country also has a robust tourism industry, so you can find budget-friendly and luxury safaris.

Other African countries with great safaris include:

  • Kenya
  • Tanzania
  • Namibia
  • Malawi
  • Rwanda
  • South Africa
  • Uganda

What is the best month to go to Botswana?

The ideal months to go to Botswana are between May and September, as this is the country’s dry season. The weather is warm, the rain is little, and the game viewing is exceptional. Plus, the waterways of the Okavango Delta are high, making them excellent for viewing and sailing.

What month is best for a safari in Botswana?

The best months for a safari in Botswana are between May and October and June through August, more specifically. These are the driest months when game viewing is at its best, and the risk of malaria is the lowest.

Prices for safaris will be higher during these months, but it’s worth the cost if you want a high chance of seeing animals such as elephants and big cats.

What is high season in Botswana?

High season, or peak season, starts between May and June and ends between October and September. October is a busy month and also one of the hottest months.

So although the weather is dry and the game viewing excellent, it might not be everyone’s favorite time to go. The prices are also high, and the country is busier, which might not be everyone’s cup of tea.

What is the best time to visit the Okavango Delta?

The Okavango Delta is the top site to visit in Botswana, and the best time to go is between June and October, when the water levels are the highest.

However, this is also peak season when the area is busier, and the prices are higher. So if you want to save money or avoid competition for space, try going a bit early, like in late April or May.

How many days do you need in Botswana?

Most safari trips in Botswana are about 7-10 days long, but you can make it shorter or longer depending on your preference. If you want to go on a quick safari, you could do it in 5 days. But if you want to explore more and get off the beaten path, you can also do that.

And, of course, you can do more than just go on a safari in Botswana. If you’re interested in horseback riding, helicopter tours, museum visits, or else, you’ll want to add additional days in your trip for those activities as well.

Is Botswana or South Africa better for safari?

Botswana is the better choice for a safari because it’s a more “untouched” and wild destination, so you can feel as if you’re getting away from it all. Plus, Botswana has the Okavango Delta and many other protected areas that are teeming with wildlife and unspoiled beauty.

South Africa is still a great place for safari, but you won’t quite get the same feeling of being so far away from civilization that you do in Botswana.

Is Okavango Delta worth visiting?

Yes, absolutely! The Okavango Delta is a must-visit for any safari. It’s a vast wetland that teems with wildlife, including elephants, giraffes, zebras, hippos, and more.

Plus, it features lush vegetation and crystal-clear waterways that make for some incredible views and experiences. Whether you want to go on a game drive, take a boat ride or just relax in the beauty of nature, you won’t be disappointed by a visit to the Okavango Delta.

Is it safe to visit Botswana?

Yes, Botswana is generally a very safe place to visit. The country has low crime rates and strict laws against corruption, so you can feel safe traveling here.

That being said, you should still use caution and follow the same safety protocols you would follow in any other country regarding your personal belongings. Be aware of your surroundings, and don’t carry large amounts of cash or valuable items.

What is the best part of Botswana?

The best part of Botswana is its wildlife. Botswana’s national parks and game reserves are teeming with giraffes, elephants, zebras, and more. Plus, you can take game drives to get up-close views of the animals in their natural habitat.

But Botswana also has beautiful landscapes, including the sprawling Okavango Delta and the Kalahari Desert. So whatever kind of adventurous experience you’re looking for, you can find it in Botswana.

What is the best area of Botswana?

The most popular area to visit in Botswana is the Okavango Delta. However, there’s a lot more to explore in this incredible country. The Chobe National Park is known for its large elephant herds.

And the Makgadikgadi Pans National Park is filled with shallow, salty lakes. In the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, you can find stunning red sand dunes, and the Linyanti Marshes are filled with wildlife.

So, What’s the Best Time to Visit Botswana?

Botswana is a unique destination for wildlife lovers and nature enthusiasts alike, offering some of the world’s most stunning landscapes, incredible wildlife, and vibrant culture.

Now that you understand the best time to visit Botswana for your preferences and desires, don’t hesitate to book your flights and get going! You won’t regret a trip to this incredible country.