When’s the Finest Time to Go to the Okavango Delta

Always wanted to see some of the most amazing creatures in the world up close? Africa safaris are at the top of many people’s bucket lists and are ideal for seeing fearsome lions, magnificent elephants, graceful giraffes and countless other fascinating species in their natural habitats!

When it comes to where to go, the Okavango Delta is hard to beat. You can find the extremely lush region of northern Botswana and it is one of the best places in the country for a safari adventure. Botswana’s policy of quality over quantity is remote and isolated with few other safari-goers. This makes the Okavango perfect for elite game seekers. Some of Africa’s best guides are employed in this region and promise you delightful encounters with the unique wildlife and landscape of the Delta. As well as being a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Okavango is home to the Moremi Game Reserve and several private concessions – all prime destinations for luxury safari experiences if you get it right.

When is the best time to visit the Okavango Delta?

If this remote part of Botswana is your ideal location for a unique nature experience, then this is the best time to visit the Okavango Delta. Fortunately, the area is a year-round safari hotspot, offering different types of wildlife safari experiences and different activities offered by intimate camps in every season of the year.

Whether you want to fall asleep under a starry sky, go on a water safari or experience the unique wildlife up close on a guided bush walk, there is no bad time to book an Okavango Delta safari. …

Aerial view of flooded meadows in the Okavango Delta

Rainy season in Botswana: November to April

This beautiful corner of Botswana is an ideal place for your winter vacation. While November through April is the country’s official rainy season, it’s still a fantastic time to do it vIt’s the Okavango Delta.

After the dry winter months, heavy rain showers from November burst the delta with a virgin green. The weather is hot and the humidity high. If you vacation in February or March, you are likely to experience some brilliant but brief thunderstorms.

Towards the end of the rainy season, the already spectacular bird life of Okavango comes into its own. Thousands of migratory birds settle on small lakes created by the downpours. Avid bird watchers should have no problem spotting bird species such as the bateleur, African osprey, and the saddle-billed stork, as well as unusual species such as the black coucal, Pel’s fishing owl, and wattled crane.

African Wild Dogs - Discover the best time to visit the Okavango DeltaAfrican wild dogs in the Okavango are chased by a buffalo

When it comes to wildlife viewing, this season is the best time to see animals giving birth to their young. In fact, over 200,000 species flock to the area, making it particularly ideal for viewing predators such as lions, leopards, hyenas, and packs of wild dogs hunting their prey.

Land safaris are particularly popular, particularly north of Moremi in the Upper Delta and in Khwai. However, due to the humid conditions and burgeoning green meadows, bush walks are not possible in most destinations.

Cheetah in the Kalahari Desert - Discover the best time to visit the Okavango DeltaCheetah in the Kalahari Desert

This season you can also combine your trip to the Okavango Delta with a visit to the neighboring Central Kalahari Game Reserve. Thanks to the rain, the Kalahari’s rugged terrain turns into a lush green haven that attracts hordes of wildlife and predators, making them easy to spot.

Best for: Bird watching and dramatic photo opportunities

Winter season in Botswana: May to August

The rainy season may be over, but that just paves the way for the delta’s flood season.

Thanks to the flooding from the Angolan highlands north of Botswana, the water level of the Okavango River rises and flows over the delta. This gives visitors the chance to take in the scenery from the water and watch hundreds of animals migrate to the area from a safe distance.

Mokoro ride in the Okavango DeltaMokoro ride in the Okavango Delta

Not only do guided motorboat excursions, but also a traditional mokoro safari. This way, you’ll glide across the Okavango Delta in traditional dugout canoes manned by skilled rowers – a mode of transport that has been popular in the region for hundreds of years! Mokoro safaris are possible in the south, west and north of the delta. This is the best way to get into hidden corners and spot some of Okavango’s most shy animals.

When it comes to climate, both humidity and temperatures drop continuously during the flood season. Nights can be very chilly, especially July and August, but you are less likely to be plagued by mosquitos during this time than the rest of the year.

Best for: Mokoro safaris and motorboat rides

Summer in the Okavango Delta: September and October

September and October are the driest months in the region and the best time for game drives and bush walks! Due to the lack of rain, which causes many watering holes in Botswana to dry up, you will find many animals migrate hundreds of kilometers to the Okavango Delta.

Leopard in Botswana's Moremi Game Reserve - Discover the best time to visit the Okavango DeltaLeopard in the Moremi Game Reserve of Botswana

The floodplains of the Delta burst with new grass in October as the water recedes and attracts many animals in search of food. This is one of the best times to visit the Okavango Delta for ‘Big Four’ wildlife viewing (lion, leopard, elephant, and African buffalo)! The Moremi Game Reserve is particularly good for wildlife this season, as is the nearby Chobe National Park (a haven for elephants) and Linyanti (large area for big cats).

Baobabs - Discover the best time to visit the Okavango DeltaBaobabs by the Kalahari Salt Pans

You can also take a drive southeast to the lunar-like Kalahari salt pans, which usually dry out during these months and allow for exciting exploration and overnight stays on quads under a starry night sky.

As summer approaches, temperatures in the Okavango Delta can get extreme in late October. Lazy lunchtime siestas in the blazing sun are recommended!

Best for: Dry weather and rewarding game drives

Would you like to experience this great place for yourself? Let our experts help you choose the best time to visit the Okavango Delta for your trip, so you can do whatever you want and more!

Okavango Delta in the green season

Plan a customized Botswana safari

Would you like to experience this great place for yourself? Let our experts help you choose the best time to visit the Okavango Delta for your trip, so you can do whatever you want and more!

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