Botswana Weather and Climate
The Republic of Botswana (official German spelling Botswana) is a landlocked country in the southwest of the African continent.
The country extends over 580,000 square kilometers and is home to only about 2 million inhabitants, so it is considered to be extremely sparsely populated.
For comparison: The Federal Republic of Germany has an area of around 357,340 km² with around 82 million inhabitants. The immediate neighbors of Botswana are South Africa in the south, Zambia and Zimbabwe in the northeast and Namibia in the western and northern parts.
With a north-south extension of over 1000 kilometers, Botswana is predominantly located in the sandy, hot basin of the Kalahari. The fascinating water world of the Okavango Delta, which has created a large delta in the middle of the semi-desert, offers a remarkable contrast.
Other important bodies of water in the country are the Botswana rivers Linvanti, Chobe, Zambezi and Limpopo. The capital of Botswana is the city of Gaborone.
Climate in Botswana
The travel destination Botswana is characterized by a subtropical, quite dry and at the same time hot climate. Basically, the seasons in Botswana are always opposite to the climate in Europe. Although one generally speaks of a rainy season during the African summer, there is comparatively little rainfall even in the rainiest months from December to March.
The amount of rain is also very different from region to region, in the north there is usually significantly more precipitation than in the south and southwest of the country. The hottest months are from October to January, the dry season of Botswana is around April to, depending on the region.
What is particularly pleasant about the climate in Botswana is the comparatively low humidity, so that the weather, in contrast to tropical areas in Africa, remains bearable even at very high temperatures. The coldest months are June and July (5 to 7 degrees at night), at this time of the year you should pay attention to appropriate clothing, especially for a safari holiday with animal observation in the early morning and late evening.
When is the best travel time for safari?
Basically, it is worth taking a trip to Botswana all year round. Whether the “green season” (the rainy season, also known as the emerald season) or the dry season, Botswana shows special natural spectacles and offers unforgettable adventures in every season.
As the best travel time for animal observation on safari in Botswana, we recommend the months of September to the beginning of November, especially for the Okavango Delta and the Chobe National Park. Due to the dry weather, the animals gather at the few water points and offer unique observation opportunities.
But also from May to August shows Botswana from its most beautiful side, the African winter is one of the most popular and therefore most expensive travel times in Botswana. This is mainly due to the flood in the Okavango Delta, but of course also due to the vacation times in Europe.
The rainy season from December to March ensures that the animals are distributed over a large area, and violent thunderstorms can also occur. Some lodges are now even closed, safaris are now much more demanding. Experienced Botswana travelers appreciate the charm of this travel time, but it is not a recommendation for first-time visitors.
Optimal travel time for the regions
In the following overview you can see the best travel time depending on the region (Botswana).
|Place||Best travel time|
|Maun||May, June, July, August, September and October|
|Tshabong||May, June, July, August, September and October|
|Okavango Delta||May, June, July, August, September and October|
Temperatures, precipitation, sunshine in Maun (Botswana)
|Daytime temperature||32 ° C||31 ° C||31 ° C||31 ° C||28 ° C||25 ° C||25 ° C||29 ° C||32 ° C||35 ° C||34 ° C||32 ° C|
|Night temperature||19 ° C||19 ° C||18 ° C||15 ° C||10 ° C||6 ° C||6 ° C||9 ° C||14 ° C||19 ° C||19 ° C||19 ° C|
|Precipitation in mm||104||95||81||25||5||1||0||0||1||17||43||81|
|Hours of sunshine||9||7||8||9||10||10||10||11||10||10||9||8|
The annual average temperature in Maun is 22.4 ° C. For comparison: Munich reaches an average of 8.6 ° C, in Berlin it is 9.6 ° C. The warmest month is October (26.6 ° C), coldest month of June with averages of 15.7 ° C.
The annual precipitation is 453 mm on 44 days with precipitation. For comparison: In Munich, 967 mm, in Berlin 570 mm, precipitation is measured annually. There is no rainy season, i.e. months with more than 175 mm of precipitation. You cannot expect snow in any month in Maun.
As our climate table shows, August is the sunniest month with an average of 10.7 hours of sunshine per day. On average over the year the sun shines 9.2 hours per day. For comparison: In Munich and Berlin, the sun shines an average of 4.7 hours per day throughout the year.
The best places for safaris in Botswana
Many Botswana trips are offered as safari combinations and include a visit to the Victoria Falls between the border towns of Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe and Livingstone in Zambia. In Botswana itself there are several world-famous safari areas such as the Chobe National Park with its inspiring marshland in the north and the neighboring Okavango Delta further south-east.
Typical safari adventures lead from Kasane along the river bank on the Chobe to the areas of Savuti to Khwai and Moremi, before most guests enjoy their conclusion in the Okavango Delta or one of the adjacent private concessions (for example the Selinda Reserve).
The salt pans of the Makgadikgadi Pans in the national park of the same name are just one of the many sights in the vastness of the surreal Kalahari. In the center of Botswana the Central Kalahari Game Reserve inspires, in the southwest border area lies the transnational Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park (with Namibia, South Africa). Most Botswana safari trips also include lodges in reserves such as Moremi and Savuti.