Widely-regarded as one of Africa’s premier safari destinations, Botswana is a wildlife enthusiasts’ haven offering some of the best game viewing on the Continent. One of the key aspects that really sets Botswana apart is the diversity of experience on offer, in large part because of the unique environments that there are to explore, with the <a style="color: #f2b618;" href="https://www.imaginetravel.com/imagine-africa/holiday-destination/botswana/places/okavango-delta-and-moremi" target="_blank">Okavango Delta</a> being one of the most impressive wildlife habitats in the world which can be explored by a variety of methods – whether on foot, by vehicle or on a boat cruise and the - recently becoming UNESCO’s 1000th World Heritage Site – whilst <a style="color: #f2b618;" href="https://www.imaginetravel.com/imagine-africa/holiday-destination/botswana/places/makgadikgadi" target="_blank">Makgadikgadi</a> offers a truly unique landscape as the largest salt pan in the world, with game viewing to match.
The Delta throughout the year
The Okavango Delta offers one of most exceptional safari experiences on the continent with a range of activities. Whilst we never fail to be wowed by the Delta no matter what time of year we visit, water levels do have a direct impact on the activities and game viewing experience on offer. The rains and resultant flood vary year-on-year but the below can be used as a rough guide as to what to expect through the seasons.
This is the height of the rainy season in Botswana, with high daytime temperatures and at times uncomfortable levels of humidity. Whilst this is the perfect time for birders to visit with many migratory species visiting, it is traditionally a trickier time for game viewing with the rains and resultant lush vegetation making it harder to spot wildlife, as well as thick mud making some areas of the Delta impassable.
April & May
The rains begin to come to an end and temperatures drop making for a much more comfortable experience with nights considerably cooler. The drop in temperature creates early-morning mists which give the Delta an ethereal beauty set off nicely by the lush green of the bush thanks to the recent rains. April sees the flood peak in the Panhandle, whilst May sees the first wave of the flood reach the central Delta allowing for the re-commencement of water activities.
Winter arrives with clear cobalt blue skies and no rain, day time temperatures are comfortably warm, but the lack of cloud cover leads to a significant drop in temperatures at night. Wild dogs begin to den at this time with Kwando and Kwara concessions offering particularly impressive sightings.
The floodwaters continue their progress through the Delta and peak in the central region stranding some wildlife on islands, making for some really impressive sightings. Those camps whose activities are governed by the season will tend to focus on water activities at this time.
August & September
Vegetation begins to thin as the dry season sets in and temperatures begin to rise with game sightings continuing to impress. September is often when wild dogs will leave their dens making for some exciting sightings, whilst carmine bee-eaters arrive, making for a colourful display.
Temperatures peak at 40°C leading to rapid evaporation of water, with wildlife being concentrated around the limited water supplies that remain with particularly impressive elephant herds being spotted.
November & December
The summer rains’ return is heralded by late afternoon thunderstorms, making for some spectacular photo opportunities. The previously dry bush is flooded with colour as there is renewed growth and the migrating birds arrive escaping the winter in the northern hemisphere. The birding season also begins with tsessebe, followed by impala and wildebeest. Where there is young blood there are predators in search of easy targets with some impressive hunts to be watched.