When is the Best Time to Travel to Botswana?
Botswana is a land locked country. The Kalahari Desert covers 80% of Botswana. The best time for a Botswana luxury safari is during the dry season. The grasses aren’t as tall and the trees have less leaves, enabling safari goers to see the animals even though they are decked out in their camouflage. Also during dry season they will congregate at the watering holes, increasing your chance of seeing them. Dry season does equate to “High season” in Botswana, if you are on a budget you might consider going during the green season.
Botswana by the Seasons
While there are two seasons in Botswana dry season (May to October) and green season (December to March). High season correlates with dry season and low season correlates with the wet season. There is also an “in-between” season (November to April). The Okavango Delta is in its prime during July and August. Dry season will mean its not as humid and less bugs with green season being the opposite. For the birders the prime time to visit is October to March.
Dry Season (May – October)
Dry season is also winter time in Botswana. For most of us winter always conjures up visions of snow and ice. Winter in Botswana, will bring days with day time highs around 70 degrees. Dry season coincides with the summer holidays of the northern hemisphere. Whilst on safari animals are easier to spot; the grasses are shorter and the watering holes are a popular spot for all types of wildlife.
Wet Season (October – April)
With the summer comes the rain in Botswana. The heaviest months of rain are from December to March. Wet season is also known as the “baby boom” season. Who doesn’t love seeing baby warthogs, zebras and impala! The wet season and the high grasses can hinder your wildlife sightings, but it also adds the element of surprise. Because you need to fly into the camps, most of them are open during this time. Because the total land mass of Botswana is 80% desert one wont experience monsoon conditions, but do be prepared for more humidity and bugs (including mosquitos)
Wondering How to Prepare and What to Pack on Your Botswana Vacation?
Packing for a safari is easy because you can dress in layers and you don’t have formal dinner attire. In addition, laundry is typically included in the cost of your safari package. It not unusual for the mornings to start off cool, by the time you return to the lodge after your morning game drive you will have removed your jacket and rolled up your sleeves. When you prepare to go back out in the evenings it will be warm starting out and once the sun goes down you will want to don your trusty fleece again.
1. Safari-Style Clothing
When you start shopping for safari style clothing, don’t be surprise there isn’t much in the color palate to choose from. You are going to want light, quick drying and moisture wicking materials. Ideally, on a safari you will dress in layers starting with your base layer of capilene. You don’t have to pack a clean set of clothes for every day, you can rinse items out nightly and there is laundry service available at nearly every camp or lodge. Dinner attire is casual.
2. Additional Personal Items.
A typical safari most of your time is spent inside of the safari vehicle. A good hiking shoe, a sun hat, binoculars, spf lipbalm and sunscreen are must have items. It’s also nice to have some lozenges or hard candies to help prevent dry mouth from the dust.
3. Personal Health
Plan a visit to your physician or travel clinic to make sure you are prepared with vaccinations, anti-malarials. In addition, take a good supply of OTC and prescription medications. It’s unlikely you will need them, but its better to be safe than sorry. Staying hydrated is key to staying healthy. Plan on brining your own water bottle from home, there is filtered drinking water 24/7. Visit CDC.gov for a good source of traveler’s information http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/
Travel Tips for Visiting Botswana
Botswana is a land locked country, surrounded by Namibia, Zimbabwe and South Africa.
Anti-malarials are a must when visiting Botswana.
Quick tips for staying healthy:
Eat and drink safely
Prevent bug bites
Reduce your exposure to germs
Keep you personal belongings locked away, its common for rooms to have safes.
When carrying cash, keep small bills out for purchases, don’t display or carry large sums of cash.
Make a couple of photo copies of your passport, put one in your suitcase and one in your carry on.