The Republic of Botswana is a country in the south of Africa. Botswana name means “land of the Tswana” and Tswana is the dominant ethnic group in the country. The Kalahari Desert covers 70% of the total territory of Botswana.
Botswana, a landlocked nation, bordered by Namibia, Zambia, South Africa and Zimbabwe, is home to the world’s largest inland delta – the Okavango Delta, as well as the Chobe National Park, Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, Lake Ngami, and the Kalahari Desert. It has much to offer guests, however offerings may differ from season to season.
Chobe National Park is one of the most popular destinations in Botswana due to its excellent game viewing and large elephant populations. The Okavango Delta offers a different game viewing experience as does the Kalahari, of which a large portion falls into the country.
Botswana can be visited all year round. The desert climate of Botswana makes it ideal to be visited during the cooler months of winter (dry season) from May to September. Some months experience better game viewing than others, but the experience is excellent no matter what time of the year. Each season has its own magic, it really depends on which area you are planning to visit and what your preferences are.
With the rains between November and March (at their peak between January and March), wildlife areas become green and lush. Temperatures are usually much higher during this time, and the Okavango Delta is typically flooded. A trip during the wet season is great for viewing different bird species, as they flock in abundance during the rains. There is more chance of predator sightings, as there are many young animals in the herds at this time of the year. This is also a good time of the year for serious photography. The dense bush, however, can also be challenging for game viewing in certain areas. In the Okavango during the rainy season, guests can enjoy game viewing by mokoro.
Peak seasons in the Okavango are July 1 to August 31 and December 21 to January 6, when the Delta is fully flooded.
High season occurs just before and after these peaks. June is a good month for viewing, and in September and October visitors can still experience the Delta in flood.
Some properties promote April and May as medium season in the Okavango Delta, as the rains are less frequent, the days are cooler, the bush is green and guests avoid having to pay the high/peak season rates.
During the dry winter months of April-September, humidity drops and temperatures are lower, vegetation thins out and game is easier to spot. At this time, wildlife tends to be concentrated in high numbers at water sources. With less water the traversing areas are much larger, offering a wider variety of micro habitats. Furthermore, rates are lower. It’s a great time to take advantage of if you are travelling on a budget, however many camps and lodges close during this period.
The best dry season months to visit are June, July and August, but travellers should be aware that mokoro activities can be suspended during this time.
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VISA APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS
The following vaccines are either required or recommended to travel to Botswana:
Botswana has a medium level of crime, which includes robbery, pick-pocketing and mugging, among others. There are a few precautions you can take in order to make your travel safer: