We picked Botswana in the ‘Green Season’ for our honeymoon adventure last December and discovered some amazing benefits for visiting this time of year! From the beautiful colours of wildflowers in the Central Kalahari to the adorable tiny new-borns of the Delta. And with fewer travellers and safari vehicles around, it’s worth getting to know what each season has to offer before you go.
Botswana’s green season is generally from December through to March. Although we prepared for showers, they were very sporadic and some days we had no rain at all. They need rain for the land, so whenever a downpour came we did a rain dance with the locals! We were also told that animal sightings were going to be tougher to spot because they hide in the thick, lush grassland but we actually had incredible experiences each day; especially in the Kalahari desert where animals such as the Kalahari black-maned lion gathered near our camp – you could hear them roaring at night!
The highlight of travelling in the ‘green season’ has to be the birth of baby animals. In the delta, we saw playful warthogs, young impala, zebra hiding behind their mothers and baby lion cubs. You could sit and watch them all day but you also realise how vulnerable they are with predators at large on the hunt. You never know what might happen!
If you decide to travel in the low season you will be pleasantly surprised as it’s a much more affordable time of year to visit Botswana. The lodges offer good deals and rates significantly drop after peak season. The game viewing is just as plentiful and it is more budget-friendly – a hidden gem!
Botswana is committed to sustainable wildlife conservation and the lasting impact of keeping visitor numbers low to protect this special wilderness. You won’t see crowded parks and congested safari vehicles on paved roads any time of the year in Botswana. In the green season, you’ll be lucky enough to have the reserves and watering holes all to yourself. It’s the perfect time of year for a honeymoon couple! Our guide helped us track a leopard into the stillness of the night, just for us!
Botswana’s dry season typically runs from June to October and is considered the most popular time to visit. You can expect bright blue skies and sunshine with incredible sunsets and cosy nights sitting around the campfire. The great advantage is that the grassland is sparse which makes animals easy to spot. You can sit quietly by a watering hole in the delta or cruise along the Chobe river and watch as animals flock to the water. It’s important to book at least 8 months in advance to experience Botswana at this time of year – but you’ll need to prepare for the high price tag to match!
Confusingly, the floodwaters of the Okavango Delta start arriving in the dry season, and not the green season as you may think! The floods come all the way from sub-Saharan Africa and it takes a few months for them to slowly reach the lagoons and waterways of the delta. As the camps are in remote locations, you’ll likely have to travel by light aircraft to each location which is a very exciting element and gives the very best views of the delta from high above as you watch elephants and hippos swimming in the river below.
As the delta floods rise to their peak, it is prime time to enjoy the ultimate water-based activity, the mokoro! You can take a tranquil water safari on a traditional dugout canoe along the reed channels to spot wildlife in abundance such as crocodiles, hippos and many birds. It is a great way to work your way through the delta and a highlight for any wildlife lover!
If you are interested in the exhilarating experience of a safari on foot, then the dry season is the best time to go because the short grass will give you once in a lifetime predators sightings! A professional guide can show you how to identify tracks and animal smells so you really become a part of the experience and not just an observer! In the Kalahari desert, you can walk with the San Bushman to learn about their lifestyle in this amazing wilderness.