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World Travel Guide > Guides > Africa > Botswana

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Botswana Weather, climate and geography

Weather and climate

Best time to visit

The landlocked Botswana is semi-arid and has two main seasons: wet and dry.

The dry season is from May to October. This is peak season for wildlife safari as animals are much easier to spot because the vegetation is less dense, and animals tend to congregate around waterholes. Temperatures are around 25°C (77°F), but they are at least 10 degrees cooler in the south. The Kalahari Desert, in the southwest, may experience cold and frosty early mornings and evenings too.

The wet season is from November to April. November can be very hot and humid, while January and February are the wettest months. Some safari lodges and camps are closed during this period too.

If you are visiting the Okavango Delta and Chobe National Park, the months from June to September are the best time.

Required clothing

Loose, natural fabrics are recommended, with wet-weather gear and warmer clothes according to the season and area visiting.

Geography

Botswana is landlocked, bordered to the south and east by South Africa, to the northeast by Zimbabwe and to the north and west by Namibia. It also touches Zambia just west of the Victoria Falls. The tableland of the Kalahari Desert covers the centre and south. The principal wildlife areas are the Okavango Delta to the northwest, the largest inland delta in the world, which includes the Moremi Game Reserve; Chobe National Park in the north, including Savute and the Linyanti Marshes; and Kgalagadi Transfrontier National Park in the far southwest, co-managed with South Africa.

The majority of the population lives in the southeast around Gaborone, Serowe and Kanye along the South African border. The vast arid sandveld of the Kalahari occupies much of central and western Botswana. The seasonal rains bring a considerable difference to the vegetation, especially in the Makgadikgadi Pans and the Okavango Delta.