Botswana is one of the best destinations to enjoy an African safari adventure. This country has beautiful landscapes and fascinating wildlife. On a guided tour, you can spot a variety of African animals throughout this country. If you want to plan a trip this way, you might be wondering when the best time to visit Botswana is.
June is the best month to visit Botswana. It’s the middle of the dry season and has the best weather, with daily highs of 77 F/ 25 C. You will also beat the summer rush of tourists, which starts in July. The cheapest time to book a flight is in January, when flights are half off (or more).
Is Botswana on your travel bucket list? Today, we’re going to talk about the best times to plan a trip to this destination to fill you in on the best activities and events. We will give you a monthly breakdown so you can get a better idea of when to book your trip.
When Not To Visit Botswana
January and February are the least enjoyable months to visit Botswana. This is because the country only gets two seasons, the dry season (May through October) and the green season (November through April).
The reason that January and February can be the worst time to plan a trip to Botswana is that it’s the peak of the green season. This means that there will be more rainy days. It’s common for rain showers to last for several days at a time.
This time of year is also not ideal for planning a visit to one of Botswana’s many national parks. Some of the parks experience flooding when there are many days of heavy rain in a row.
Cheapest Time to Visit Botswana
January is the cheapest time to visit Botswana. During this month, you could find savings of more than half off the cost of your flight. Your flight will be the most expensive part of your trip, so finding a good deal can help you save a lot.
If you are flying to Botswana from the US, the average cost of a round trip will be between $2,600 and $3,700. However, in January you can find deals on flights for $1,100 to $1,400.
Planning your trip ahead of time is one of the best ways to score great deals. Most hotels in Botswana have consistent rates year round. However, if you begin searching for hotels in advance, you may find a discount through a booking site.
If you’re interested in camping, most campsites that remain open year-round will offer a discount from November through April.
Best Time to Visit Botswana: Monthly Breakdown
January: Quietest Time To Plan A Trip
January is the least popular month to travel to Botswana, so visitors can expect a quieter trip this time of year. If you want a trip that’s more about relaxation than adventure, you might enjoy a January visit.
Rain is unpredictable in January. Daily highs are around 89.5 F/ 32 C. It’s the ideal type of weather for sitting under a shaded patio and enjoying a refreshing beverage.
One of the perks of visiting in January is that it’s the best time of year for bird-watching. There are over 570 bird species in Botswana. Visitors can spot them breeding this time of year.
The most enjoyable day to spend in Botswana in January is New Year’s Day on the 1st. There are New Year’s celebrations throughout the country. They feature traditional dances, food, and a lot of fun events.
- New Year’s Day celebrations
- Relax at a resort
February: Best Month for Photography
February is a great time of year to snap some stunning photographs of Botswana’s landscapes. Since it’s still the rainy season, the sky is full of clouds that create an eye-catching background for landscape shots.
This time of year, the lightning will brighten up the sky, which creates the perfect photo opportunity. When the rain clears up, there are lush green landscapes and blooming flowers and fruit trees throughout the country.
World Wetlands Day is in February. This gives people an opportunity to learn more about the wetlands in Botswana and how to protect them. People can also participate in tree planting.
If you’re interested in seeing wildlife, February is a great time to spot zebras. Throughout the month, zebras migrate from the Boteti River to Makgadikgadi. People have spotted hundreds of zebras taking the journey throughout February.
- Valentine’s Day
- Photography tours
March: Nicest Month of the Green Season
A lot of people look forward to March in Botswana because it’s not as rainy as in previous months. Daily highs are still well above 86 F/ 30 C, but the conditions are much better for exploring.
Many of the fruit trees across the country are in full bloom, with over-hanging fruit ripe for picking. This fruit can also attract wildlife, so visitors may get the opportunity to see an elephant.
Since the days and evenings are drier this time of year, you will be able to explore the national parks. Chobe Nationals Park and Nxai Pan National Park are two of several amazing parks to visit.
The Maitisong Festival takes place in March. This festival features traditional dance, music, and theatres in Botswana. There are celebrations in the streets throughout the country for this 9-day event.
- Visit Chobe National Park
- Maitisong Festival
- See an elephant
April: Botswana Starts to Cool Down
In April, days will rarely exceed 86 F/ 30 C. It’s common for nighttime temperatures to drop to around 62.5 F/ 17 C. One of the unique things about Botswana in April is that it’s a transitional month.
There are fewer rainy days as the climate begins to transition to the dry season. The grass and foliage begin to dry out, so you may spot wildlife feeding on them. Rhinos feeding is a common sight this time of year. It’s also mating season for antelope.
April is the month when lodges, hotels, and campsites that shut down for the green season begin to open up again. It’s a lot easier to find accommodation in April than it was in the previous months of the year.
Art fans can enjoy the Maun Festival, which celebrates visual arts in Botswana. This festival also features traditional dances, poetry, and music. On top of the arts, the festival also honors the northwestern tribal culture in Botswana.
- Maun festival
- Safari tours
May: Best Time to Visit Waterfalls
Victoria Falls is a top tourist destination in Botswana. May is one of the best times of year to make a trip to the waterfalls because the water levels are higher. Many visitors will combine a safari trip with a venture out to Victoria Falls.
In May, the mornings are cooler with an average temperature of 50 F/ 10 C. However, it does warm up during the day to around 82.5 F/ 28 C. Night safari tours become more popular this time of year because of the cooler temperatures.
Bird enthusiasts will also enjoy May because this is one of the best months to spot the Crimson-breasted shrike. This beautiful black bird has a bright red chest. They are usually found in regions that are difficult to access during the green season.
If you’re visiting the Nlapkhawne area in May, you can enjoy the Tjilenje Cultural Festival. This is a traditional event that involves ancient games and dancing. There are also a variety of vendors with food and beverages.
- Night safari tours
- Evening campfires
- Tjilenje Cultural Festival
June: Best Month of High-Season
High-season in Botswana is from June through October. June is the best month to visit because the crowds typically don’t start arriving until the end of the month. Booking your trip within the first 3 weeks of the month is ideal for beating the rush.
June is one of the better months for booking a safari tour because the weather is milder. Daily average temperatures are between 68 and 77 F/ 20 and 25 C. At nighttime, parts of the country can get as cold as 41 F/ 5 C.
Since June is the peak of the dry season, wildlife has migrated to areas with permanent water sources. If you want to spot wildlife, you will need to book a tour to see one of the waterways. This is a great time of year to book a boat tour.
In June, visitors are more likely to spot African wild dogs. This time of year they are searching for a den to keep their pups safe.
One of the biggest events in June is the Toyota 1000 Desert Race. There are 25 different spectator locations set up throughout the country. Visitors can watch off-road motor races, featuring cars, bikes, and quads.
- Boat tours
- Toyota 1000 Desert Race
- Spot African wild dogs
July: Best Month to See Wildlife
Spotting wildlife is one of the main attractions of visiting Botswana. If you’re planning a trip this way because you want to see the wild game and birds, July is the top month to visit. This is because there are minimal watering holes, so the animals are in smaller areas.
Booking a wildlife tour in July almost guarantees that you’ll get to see several different types of species. However, you’ll need to keep in mind that July is one of the busiest months. Always book your tour in advance to make sure you get a spot.
President’s Day is celebrated in July in Botswana. It’s a big event that includes a 4-day holiday for the citizens. More local residents return to their home village for this holiday. Visitors can enjoy speeches, dances, and live music.
Temperatures in July rarely exceed 77 F/ 25 C. Visitors enjoy this time of year because they don’t have to deal with humid weather or getting too hot while they’re exploring. Nighttime temperatures can get as low as 43 F/ 6 C.
- Wildlife tours
- President’s Day celebrations
- Visit Moremi Game Reserve
August: Best Month for Camping
August is ideal for camping because the nighttime temperatures begin to warm up and there’s no frost. Temperatures at night won’t drop below 46 F/ 8 C in August, which makes camping more comfortable.
Daytime temperatures also begin to rise in August, with the daily high being around 86 F/ 30 C. Visitors can expect plenty of clear sunny days. It’s rare for the rain to fall in August, and if it does it will be at the end of the month.
From August through September, people can spot more bee-eater birds. One of the most common types to see this time of year are the carmine bee-eaters. These colorful birds are easy to spot because of their orange and green bodies.
The Kuru Dance Festival takes place in August. If you’re in the Kalahari Desert, you can enjoy this festival at The Dqae Game Farm. It’s a 3-day event filled with good music and traditional dancing.
- Kuru Dance Festival
- Spot bee-eaters
- Walking safari tours
September: Celebrate Botswana
At the end of September, local residents celebrate Botswana Day. This country’s development has come a long way over the years and residents come together to celebrate it. During this time there are parades, street parties, and other fun events.
Daytime in September has highs of 91.5 F/ 33 C. At night, temperatures can drop as low as 55.5 F/ 13 C. Most lodging and activities are still open in September, but it’s the last month for many tours along the waterways.
September is another great month for spotting a variety of wildlife and bird species. Grass and bushes aren’t as dense, so it’s easier to see groups of animals during safari tours at a watering hole.
Visitors love this time of year because the evenings are balmy and perfect for enjoying a relaxing night outdoors. Another perk is that there are no pesky mosquitoes this time of year.
- Mekoro rides
- Botswana Day celebrations
- Stargazing at night
October: Last Month of Dry Season
October is the last month of the dry season. Temperatures are beginning to rise, with daily highs of 95 F/ 35 C. Some tours may no longer be available, so always ask in advance if there’s a particular activity you’re interested in.
There are still many safari tours where you will have a good opportunity to see wildlife. More wildcats are out this time of year hunting their prey. Hippos can often be spotted at watering holes. Lilac-breasted rollers are easy to spot because they breed this time of year.
This is a beautiful time of the year to visit Chobe National Park. Days are warm and wildlife is out exploring. If you’re looking for a relaxing place to stay, the Botswana Honeymoon Safari is nearby.
October is another one of the busiest months for tourism in Botswana. Always book your accommodations and activities early to make sure you get to check off everything on the list of what you want to do.
- View wildcats hunting
- Couple’s safari tours
- End of dry season activities
November: Fewer Tourists
November is a great month to visit because there are fewer tourists in the green season. While this is the first month of the green season, it’s not as rainy as the months to follow.
Daily temperatures in November can get as high as 93 F/ 34 C. At night, the temperatures can cool off to 66 F/ 19. This is still pleasant enough for enjoying an evening outdoors. If you’re interested in camping, it’s possible to find good discounts at different sites.
November is another good month to spot wildcats roaming around. On safari tours, you may be able to spot leopards in trees. If you’re a photographer, this is a great time of year to get pictures of both herbivores and carnivores.
If there is a rainy day during your visit, you won’t be stuck sitting around in your hotel room. Botswana has plenty of museums, art galleries, and other indoor attractions to visit. You can also enjoy trying traditional cuisine at local restaurants.
- View flora and plant life
- See leopards in the wild
- Visit the National Museum
December: Best Time to See Newborn Wildlife
December is the beginning of the season when herbivores in Botswana begin giving birth. If you visit this time of year, you’re more likely to see baby animals on the safari tours. On top of that, you’re likely to see more predators on the lookout.
Many people in Botswana follow the Christian religion, so the country gets very festive around Christmas. If you visit this time of year, we recommend trying to catch a Christmas choir. This is the best time of year to hear members of the community sing African carols.
There are several restaurants and pubs throughout the country that put on a Christmas dinner. It’s a great time of year to meet locals in the area and enjoy holiday celebrations. You can always enjoy viewing Botswana Christmas decorations.
December is wetter and more humid than in previous months. This makes it an ideal time for bird-watching. You can see many species this time of year, like cuckoos and kingfishers. It’s also a great time to explore and see wildflowers and botanicals.
- Christmas celebrations
- Visit a cathedral
- Spot different types of birds