Climate & Seasons
What weather should you be expecting?
Please read this passage, for a short explanation of what weather to expect in Botswana during your visit. As this question no doubt relates to what time of year is best to travel, please refer to our Best time to visit Botswana section for further information on the subject.
The assumption is that it is hot in Africa year round, which is not entirely true. Botswana weather is very pleasant during the day for most of the year, nights can however reach below freezing temperatures.
The seasons can be reduced to summer and winter. The weather in Botswana's northern regions (Okavango Delta), is known to be milder as opposed to that in the drier areas (Kalahari), where days can be hotter and nights much cooler. As the below mentioned temperatures are based on averages, you may experience some days to be hotter or cooler.
Rain in Botswana: The average rainfall in Botswana can reach up to 650mm in the far northeastern corners, and is as low as 250mm per annum in the far southwest. Rain in Botswana can however not be compared to that in Europe and excuse my french when saying, it does not "piss down" with rain for days on end. When it does rain, we traditionally have downpours which don't last more than a couple hours, if not less. There are of course exceptions to the rule, but don't let this disrupt your holiday. One of our favourite things in Southern Africa is the smell of rain and you can watch what a big smile it put's on the locals faces.
SUMMER (November - April) - also referred to as the "Wet Season"
November: Maximum 37º / Minimum 20º. November is the month of mystery, like it is in several countries in Southern Africa. It is a mix of the dry and wet season, in that it may offer hot and dry summer days, or humid and occasionally wet, cooler days. It would be best to assume you will experience a bit of both.
December: Maximum 35º / Minimum 20º. In December the rainy days start increasing ending, with an average rainfall of 70-80mm per month. One can expect some very hot days reaching up to 40°. Temperatures rarely drop below 15° at night.
January & February: Maximum 33º / Minimum 19º. These months are referred to as the wettest and most humid months of the year, with an average rainfall of 100-110mm per month. Temperatures can reach up to 40º, but regular cloud cover helps to counteract some of the heat. Humidity reaches up to 80% and nights are mostly pleasant.
March & April: Maximum 32º / Minimum 14º. The rains start subsiding from March through to the end of April and one can expect only the occasional shower. As the temperature cools more and more towards end of April, there is less cloud cover and one can expect the odd night below 10º, especially when visiting the Kalahari.
WINTER (May - October) - also referred to as the "Dry Season"
May: Maximum 28° / Minimum 9°. In May, the rains should have subsided and most of the clouds will have disappeared. April and May are the introduction into the winter months and the closer you head to June the cooler it will get. Definitely expect some cold nights, especially when travelling to the drier regions.
June, July & August: Maximum 25° / Minimum 6°. June & July are the coldest months in Botswana and temperatures can drop below freezing at night (although not on a daily basis). Days are warm enough to wear summer clothing, but just to be sure, pack something warm as the temperature can drop quite drastically as soon as the sun disappears. August is similar, although a teency bit warmer than June & July.
September & October: Maximum 38° / Minimum 19°. September & October are the driest months of the year and the heat starts picking up to reach it's peak in October. You could still expect the odd coolish night in September but October is mostly hot. The humidity is at it's lowest during these months and ranges between 20-40% on average.