Best Time to visit Botswana

Game viewing in Botswana is at its peak during the dry months of June to October when animals are concentrated in increasing numbers at water. But Botswana’s December to April Green season is equally rewarding for adventurous safari travellers. Find out more below.

Best Time for Game Viewing

Famous for its prolific wildlife, Botswana is a year-round safari destination and its dry winter (June – October) is generally seen as the best time for game viewing. Vegetation is sparse, making animals easier to see, and the absence of water forces wildlife to concentrate around the remaining rivers and waterholes. It’s also the most pleasant time for overseas visitors: you’ll enjoy warm dry days and cool nights as well as the year’s lowest malaria risk. You will however pay a premium for tours and accommodation during this period.

The summer rains transform the landscape into a beautifully green and well-watered one. Traditionally regarded as the low season for game viewing, the December to April period can still deliver a very rewarding safari experience. Many animals give birth at the start of the rains so Botswana is alive with newborns – great for photography. Great herds of zebra, elephant and buffalo migrate to fresh water and grazing, attracting predators along the way. And the Green Season’s reduced tour and accommodation rates means Botswana’s best wildlife destinations are accessible for those on a budget.

Best Time for Bird Watching

With a bird count approaching 600, Botswana is a year-round bird watching destination. For most birders, the May to October winter months will deliver plenty of bird watching. Taking advantage of the year’s driest and mildest weather, bird watchers can look forward to excellent birding across Botswana. The Okavango Delta and Moremi Game Reserve as well as the Linyanti wetlands and Chobe River are particularly good at this time of year, and Botswana’s ‘specials’ such as Pel’s Fishing Owl and Slaty Egret are all resident species.

Birders prepared for a bit of rain will however find the December to April period as the best time for bird watching. Botswana’s Green Season sees migrant birds arriving from Europe, Asia and other parts of Africa. The sky fills with visiting bee-eaters and rollers, waders and wildfowl line every waterhole while raptors of all sizes feast on summer’s termite swarms. Anywhere in Botswana is great for birding now but Savuti, the Chobe River and the Kalahari stand out.

Best time to go to Botswana
 

Best Time for Fishing

Time and place are important if you want to go fishing in Botswana. The two best places are the Okavango Delta and the Chobe River and the best time for fishing is a limited one.

In the Okavango Delta, fish breed in shallow water during the May – August floods. As the water recedes, young fish are swept into the main channels, attracting predatory barbel (catfish) and tigerfish – the infamous ‘barbel run’. This makes September and October the best time to visit the Okavango Delta for fishing especially as several lodges specialise in barbel run fishing safaris.

The Chobe River is one of the best places to catch the hard-fighting tigerfish. Home to great game viewing as well, the best time to visit the Chobe River for fishing is in May, June and July to spin and fly-fish for tigers. August and September are the best months for the drama of the Chobe’s own barbel run. For more information, read our Fishing in Botswana blog.

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Best time to visit Botswana - Fishing
 
 

Botswana Game Viewing Table

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Botswana Game Viewing

 

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Okavango Delta
Moremi Game Reserve
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“The game viewing experience can never be guaranteed but our knowledge and experience of Botswana’s seasons and destinations gives us a good insight into animal distribution and their numbers throughout the year. For more details, simply speak to a Safari Online Specialist. ”

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