Botswana is hot all year round. The only relief is the cool, crisp nights between May and October. From April to October is the rainy season, and the country is best visited on the bookend months of those seasons.
When to fly to Botswana
July to October is the peak season, when there are the most visitors, little rain and it is easiest to spot the wildlife.
January to March is low season, when there is often rain and the humidity can become uncomfortable.
April to June and November to December have reasonable conditions and prices for accommodation and flights to Botswana will be lower than those at peak season. April and November are good months to visit for bird watchers.
Getting around Botswana
Domestic Botswana flights are available within the country; the national carrier Air Botswana has the largest scheduled network. Charter flights are also available to more remote destinations. Most charter flights originate from Maun.
There is one train service.
Buses are cheap but infrequent and often unsafe. The roads are poor throughout the country.
Botswana insider information
- If you spend time in Gaborone, Botswana’s capital, don’t miss the National Museum and Art Gallery of Botswana. A small museum, with free entrance, its aim is to preserve traditional national art and it displays crafts and art of local cultures.
- Near to Gaborone, and easily reached on a day trip, is the Livingstone Cave – also known as the Kobokwe Cave or Legaga la ga Kobokwe. The cave is said to be the spot where Livingstone persuaded the first chief of the town, King Kgosi Sechele I, to become Christian after they spent an unharmed night together in its supposedly haunted interior.
- The reason most visitors come to Botswana is to go on safari. For a change from the normal driven vehicles, try a safari on water. You can travel down the Chobe River by boat, watching the wildlife on the shores and in the water. Look out for elephants drinking and hippos wallowing.
- Also possible for water safaris, and a bit more sedate, is a mokoro ride in the Okavango Delta. This is a journey by canoe – traditionally wooden but nowadays more likely to be fibreglass – following the tracks made by big game in the delta. The canoe sits very low in the water, so be prepared to get wet, but it affords amazing views of the surrounding landscape and wildlife.
- Learning a bit of setswana on your flight to Botswana will open up many experiences. Just some basic greetings will be appreciated immensely by the locals.