Botswana offers an amazing array of landscapes and wildlife, making it one of Africa's premier travel destinations. At Rhino Africa, we have several travel experts who have first-hand knowledge of Botswana's many destinations, including Chobe National Park, Okavango Delta and the starkly beautiful Makgadikgadi Pans. We'll give you the best advice on where to go and which luxury accommodation to choose for your stay.
The permanent lagoons and deep channels of the Okavango Delta offer perennial water activities. The highlight of any visit is a trip on a Mokoro (it's a kind of dugout canoe, think African gondola), meandering through spectacular landscapes abundant with big game. Further west, the expansive Kalahari Desert scrubland offers endless horizons and glittering night skies while the cracked, desolate splendour of the neighbouring Makgadikgadi and Nxai Pans promise peaceful isolation.
Chobe is best known for its massive herds of elephant and the vast array of wildlife that can be viewed by land or by water. The more remote areas of Linyanti and Savuti are considerably quieter and offer spectacular game viewing experiences. Most lodges in the park emphasise informality, simplicity, and soaking up the unique wilderness experience. You can access many of these lodges by light aircraft transfers. The terrain of the Tuli Block, its surrounding areas rich in San rock art and the remnants of ancient civilisations will bring life to historical textbooks.
Visiting Botswana is a truly remarkable experience that will create lasting memories and awaken a deep passion for Africa. We hope you're ready!
We've taken the liberty to answer everything you may need to know about visiting Botswana
You can access Botswana by either flying from Johannesburg or Cape Town to Maun or Kasane Airport. Or ideally, experience Victoria Falls prior to a Botswana safari, which entails a short road transfer to Kasane. Botswana has the best network of flights between the lodges.
Botswana is considered an all-year-round destination, with each season offering unique wildlife opportunities. However, one of the best times to travel is the dry season, from June to October, when the Okavango Delta is in full flood, and you can experience water-based activities. However, some lodges have a permanent water source at or near the lodge, offering water-based activities all year round.
Botswana has three distinctive seasons, and along with that are three seasonal rates as described below:
- Green Season / Low Season – November to March
- Shoulder Season / Mid Season – April to May
- Peak Season / High Season – June to October
January to February – Green Season (Low)
It is the height of the rainy season where you can expect a hot and humid day with afternoon thunderstorms. The water levels in the Okavango Delta are low. It is considered the poorest time for game viewing compared to peak season but best for birding. Great green season specials are available.
March – Green Season (Low)
Game viewing is getting better as the rains ease and animals return to more accessible dry season areas. Vegetation is still thick, and the temperature is hot, although not as bad as earlier in the year. Lots of bodies of water everywhere, although the delta is not in flood yet.
April to May – Shoulder season (Mid)
It's the end of the rainy season. April and May are some of the best months to visit Botswana as rates are still lower and fewer visitors than peak season. The water starts to reach the panhandle of the Okavango Delta and starts flooding at the end of May. Most days are warm, and the evenings cool down, the rain disappearing for the next couple of months. The bush is still green. However, the watering holes start to dry, animals moving to more permanent sources such as Moremi, Okavango and Chobe. Green season specials are not available anymore, but it's still cheaper than from June to October.
June to August – High Season (Peak)
Okavango is in full flood during this time. You can expect warm days and cold nights, with nighttime temperatures dropping to below freezing. There is no rain and very few mosquitoes, with excellent game viewing in most areas.
The temperature rises and visitor numbers increase as this is the peak game-viewing season. The bush is a lot sparser, giving you a better view of the animals. You can expect to see elephant, buffalo, and antelope crowding around these watering holes to get a sip of water. Land-only camps and those in Okavango Delta, Moremi and adjoining private reserves offer excellent game viewing.
September to October – High Season
End of Botswana's cool, dry winter. September and October deliver some of the hottest weather of the year. It's a classic dry season, with baked and leaf-stripped landscapes. In other words, very hot days! Food and water are becoming harder to find, so animals congregate around watering holes and along rivers, making game viewing excellent. This is also the best time to visit Chobe, where you'll see massive elephant herds along the river. It's also the best time to go to the Linyanti, Kwando and Selinda reserves.
November – Start of Green Season (Low)
This is an unpredictable month that could be wet or dry, depending on the timing of the rain. However, it will still be exceptionally hot. November is dry, making it great for game viewing at the watering holes as the animals congregate. Game viewing is still good. However, there might be fewer animals gathered in one area. Green season specials start.
December – Green Season (Low)
Summertime and the rainy season starts, offering spectacular thunderstorms. Botswana's landscapes turn green, and impala and springbok all drop their lambs, so you can expect many baby animals around. It's also the best month for bird watching. Although it's undoubtedly a pretty time, it does not necessarily offer the best game viewing.
Unfortunately not, it is located in a malaria area. We are not doctors, so please note that you should always speak to your doctor about malaria prevention before travelling. However, on that note, it is entirely possible to have a safe, malaria-free holiday in Africa by using prophylactic drugs.
Tip 1: Repel the Mosquitoes
The female mosquito responsible for transmitting malaria is a silent mossy, so you will have to ensure you repel them. They can strike at any time of day but are most active at dusk as well as dawn. Always wear repellent as well as long-sleeved shirts and long trousers in the evenings and mornings. Please note that clothes alone won't protect you, as they can bite through the material. Most of our lodges will have screened windows and doors, air conditioning systems, and mosquito nets to further protect you.
Tip 2: ALWAYS Take Anti-Malaria Tablets
The most important thing you can do to protect yourself against malaria is taking Prophylactic tablets. Please note that you have to speak to your doctor before taking these tablets to ensure that you take the right one, as well as the correct dosage when entering the malaria area.
Top 3: Keep an Eye Out for Symptoms and Finish Your Course of Meds
If you start to notice any flu-like symptoms, you must get a malaria test to be safe and catch it early because malaria reacts well to early treatment. Also, don't stop taking your meds until the course is complete!
Botswana benefited from a rich natural resource base, efficient government, and an extremely low population density in a textbook post-colonial African success story. In contrast to some of its regional neighbours, Botswana enjoys more than five decades of uninterrupted peace, sustained economic growth and progressive environmental conservation.
The country is one of the world's largest diamond producers, with annual revenue streams in the tens of billions of dollars. Mining has facilitated a modern infrastructure, including a paved highway across the vast swathe of The Kalahari.
Wherever you go in Botswana, it's the limitless space that makes the strongest impression. With a population density of approximately three people per square kilometre, Botswana is defined by natural spectacles. Along the legendary riverfront of Chobe National Park, some of Africa's largest elephant herds roam unhindered alongside rare species of antelope.