Vast and untamed, a landlocked country with thousands of square miles of exquisite wilderness, Botswana offers exceptional game viewing as well as a varied safari experience across its broad and flat expanses of savannah, desert, salt pan and wetland. Botswana is a unique African destination: an unusual combination of desert and delta that draws an immense concentration of wildlife to its complex of wetlands in the winter and a dazzling array of birdlife during the summer. It is also wild, pristine and expansive.
Botswana is a landlocked country dominated in geographical terms by the Kalahari Desert – located in Southern Africa. It has land borders with Zimbabwe in the northeast, South Africa in the south and southeast and with Namibia to the west. The eastern region is hilly bush country and grassland (veld). To the west lie the Okavango Swamps and the Kalahari Desert. The only sources of permanent surface water are the Chobe River in the north, the Limpopo in the east, and the Okavango in the northwest. In seasons of heavy rainfall, floodwaters flow into the Makarikari Salt Pans and Lake Ngami.
The summer season begins in November and ends in March. It usually brings very high temperatures. However, summer is also the rainy season, and cloud coverage and rain can cool things down considerably, although only usually for a short period of time. The winter season begins in May and ends in August. This is also the dry season when virtually no rainfall occurs. Winter days are invariably sunny and cool to warm; however, evening and night temperatures can drop below freezing point in some areas, especially in the southwest. The in-between periods – April/early May and September/October – still tend to be dry, but the days are cooler than in summer and the nights are warmer than in winter.
Best Time to Visit:
The months between April and November, when large number of animals migrate towards the waterways of the Okavango Delta, is best time to go. November and December – the calving months – are an excellent time to witness nature’s own timetable of regeneration. The rainy season, from January to March, sees the migration of large numbers of game into the summer grazing areas, while the delta comes alive with sounds of hundreds of bird species. In March and April thousands of zebras and other animals migrate towards the Savuti area of Chobe National Park. Summers (particularly from December through to February) can become exceptionally hot, and rain may make some roads muddy and impassable. During the rainy summer season, animals in many game areas disperse, while in the dry winter season they congregate around water sources, making for good game viewing. This does not mean, however, that game viewing is impossible during the summer season.