The best time to visit Botswana

Updated: 06th March 2018

Okavango Delta and dugout canoe - Botswana best time to visit - On The Go Tours
Visit the Okavango Delta between May and September for more wildlife

Seasons and Weather

Botswana’s climate is semi-arid, which means it is mostly dry throughout the year though the country does also experience a short wet season.

During the summer months of October to April the weather can be very hot with daytime temperatures hovering around 30 Celsius and higher. The rainy season, typically lasting from January to March, can be hot with temperatures still in the mid 30s and only dropping to around the mid 20s overnight. December to April is considered the low season with some lodges and camps closing for the wettest months. This is not considered the best time to visit as it is harder to spot wildlife amongst the vegetation verdant with the rains, however, the scenery is spectacular at this time of year and rates for services tend to be lower.

The winter months of May to September brings a cool change yet is still reasonably warm and mostly pleasant with an average temperature of around 25 degrees Celsius. Early mornings and evenings may be cold and frosty especially in the Kalahari region. The amount of rainfall decreases during this period and so winter in Botswana coincides with the dry season, considered the best time to visit as less vegetation makes it easier to spot wildlife with large groups of animals congregating around waterholes. July to October is the peak season in Botswana for these reasons.

Climate | Maun

Temp Min °C18171612766914151919
Temp Max °C323230292624242733353333
Rainfall (mm)10779711853000235686

Festivals and Events

A handful of festivals take place in Botswana each year bringing together the best of local and international talent. Here's a few of the best.

Maitisong Festival

This annual festival in Gaborone features theatre, dance, poetry and music in Maitisong, Botswana’s biggest theatre, with gospel, kwaito, kwasa-kwasa and Afro-pop performances held in under-privileged areas across the city. It takes place in April each year.

Kuru Dance Festival

On the only Bushman-owned game farm in Botswana in the dry lands of the Kalahari dancers perform traditional tribal dances and music across three colourful days.

Botswana National Day

Celebrations consisting of parades and street parties mark Botswana's independence on the 30th September each year. It's a time to look back on all that the country has achieved and look to the future with hopes of further advancement.

2018 Calendar

Here's an overview of some of the festivals and events taking place in Botswana this year:

April 12th-22nd -Maitisong Festival (Gaborone)
July 16th - President's Day (public holiday)
September 30th - Botswana National Day (countrywide)

This is by no means an exhaustive list as local events and festivals take place in villages across Botswana throughout the year. Event and festival details can change so please check that the event is happening before making your travel arrangements.

See Also

For further help planning your trip to Botswana, check out our handy Travel Guide resources:

Best Places to Visit - Botswana's top national parks not to be missed
Tourist Visas - what you need to know before travelling to Botswana
Top Travel Tips - Botswana's currency, time and info on health
About Overland Safaris - what to expect on a camping expedition in Africa