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Best Time To Visit Okavango

Best Time To Visit Okavango Delta

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Okavango Delta

Best Time To Visit

The Best Time To Visit Okavango Delta depends on your individual preferences and Interests. Because when it comes to this part of Africa, the place where you choose to stay or what your expectations from your Botswana Safari Tours are some of the criteria that will largely determine your travel plan and itinerary. Now, one thing to remember here is that Okavango is a dynamic safari destination with each season being different and every year bringing new and unusual.

When Is The Best Time To Visit The Okavango Delta?

First things first, Okavango Delta is a year-round destination. This means you will enjoy Okavango Safari at any time of the year. But, Okavango is an inland delta with water all around and depending on the rains received locally and in the catchment area, the Best Time To Visit Okavango will vary.

Still, if we can give one particular time as the answer to the popular question “when is the Best Time To Visit Okavango?” The response will be the dry season from May –October. This is the time when the rains have ceased and the floods have arrived. Although called “the dry season”, the Okavango waters are the highest around this time with the flood waters arriving from Angola.

The animals are attracted to the vast floodplains and flock around them. These are good times for bush walks and mokoro rides. This is also the time when travellers on an Okavango Delta Safari Packages can take part in water activities offered by many camps.

An insight for Safari-goers: Okavango is one such safari destination that is not about game and birds only. But, it’s about the ambience, changing colours of the landscape and warm breeze on the face while you gently pad your way through the inland waterways, which makes it one of the most coveted safari destinations in the world.

 Best Time To Visit Okavango Delta

Climate And Weather Of The Okavango Delta

The climate you will experience on Okavango Delta Safari is warm and hot. Also, the region experiences distinct Dry and Wet Seasons. The heat keeps on building up till November or December, which is finally broken by the advent of rain. These rains bring relief from the hot and warm weather conditions. Usually, the last rains fall in the month of April.

DRY SEASON- MAY TO OCTOBER

The dry season in Okavango Delta extends from May to October. There is little or no rain during this season and the humidity is also low.

Okavango Dry Season Months

 Description

May

Cool temperatures in the morning and afternoon. Conditions are mostly dry.

June, July and August

Night temperatures drop below freezing. Afternoons are pleasant. Make sure to pack winter clothing for Okavango Delta Safari drives

September and October

Heat starts building up and it is very hot towards October.

WET SEASON-NOVEMBER TO APRIL

With the wet season, the rain arrives and starts to cool things down. The dust also settles down. It’s normal to experience afternoon thunderstorms and short showers during your stay in Okavango. The weather is pretty hot during the wet season. And, mornings are a great time for a great Okavango Safari experience. 

Okavango Wet Season Months

Description

November and December

The weather is mostly hot and sunny. It rains only occasionally. The first rains come as a relief to the prior high temperatures.

January and February

Most rainfall occurs in these months. Disruptive rains in the afternoon.

March

The rains start to slow down in March. It rains only once in two days.

Now, let us give you the weather details of Botswana. You can correlate the weather details of the safari seasons given above with the temperature and rainfall patterns during Botswana Safari for a deeper understanding of Botswana's Climate. This will ultimately guide you determine the Best Time To Visit Okavango as per your liking and taste.

Month

Average Temperature (Min/Max C)

Average Rainfall (in mm)

January

19/32

94

February

19/31

81

March

18/31

56

April

14/31

44

May

9/28

11

June

6/25

4

July

6/25

3

August

9/28

2

September

13/33

14

October

18/37

40

November

19/34

69

December

19/32

82

An Overview Of The Safari Seasons Of The Okavango Delta

While we have already explained above why visitors often claim the dry season as the Best Time to Visit the Okavango Delta, still we must explain you details and highlights of both seasons. So, let’s learn a little about each of the seasons of the Okavango Delta and their highlights with respect to safari experiences.

Dry Season – May to October

Wet Season – November to April

There is little or no rain and humidity is low.

Wildlife stays in the heart of the delta as it has permanent water

As the dry season progresses, it's better for wildlife viewing

Plenty of baby animals roam around attracting predators. Best for bird-watching

July to October are peak season months, hence high rates of accommodations

Water levels drop low; not suitable for mokoro trips.

It gets hot in September and October

Parts of the delta are inaccessible and some lodges may close from January to March

It gets very hot during the wet season. Afternoon rain storms hamper delta activities.

 Best Time To Visit Okavango Delta

Month-By-Month Run-Through For Okavango Delta

Here is the month-by-month guide which might be quite a useful tool for determining the Best Time to Visit Okavango.

January: Excellent bird viewing opportunities

  • Peak breeding time for many migrant specie with great bird-watching safaris
  • Wildflowers bloom, brilliant green foliage and constant sounds from insects and birds day in and day night.
  • Ideal month for photography due to clear skies, vivid colours and clarity.
  • Reasonable game viewing chances.

February: The Delta is noisy and alive

  • Peak flowering season
  • Reed frogs are audible and colourful
  • Plants grow rapidly and all the small creatures like butterflies, birds, and frogs thrive here.
  • The birding is excellent.

March: Time to see the elephants wander

  • Bull elephants wander from tree to tree in search of the fruit of marula trees. Hence, this is the time you can spot them here.
  • Beginning of rutting season as males try and attract their female counterparts.
  • Lush and green bush with a variety of flowers.

April:  The Impala Rutting time

  • Impala rutting continues in full swing. You will witness dramatic clashes between the rivals.
  • Baboons and Impalas are spotted together with the former trying to protect the latter.
  • Flowering is over and fruits have started ripening.
  • Reptiles breed and feed actively in anticipation of the dry season.

May: Flood waters from Angolan Highlands reach the Okavango

  • The critical period in Okavango Delta. Flood waters reach the Okavango panhandle and start progressing through Okavango Delta.
  • Seasonal pans begin to dry. Buffaloes start visiting the river areas. Herds of elephants begin to move to permanent water resources in the search of water.
  • Migratory birds start leaving the delta.
  • Predators begin to take advantage of dry season colours and camouflage themselves perfectly against a dull background that is no more green but brown and dry.

June: Marks the start of the dry season

  • African wild dogs’ sightings increase as they begin to search for dens for their puppies.
  • Non-permanent water sources dry up. The bushveld is slowly becoming brown.
  • The Inner Okavango delta begins to flood and animals drink water from the Main River and lagoons.

July: Heights of floods

  • Game viewings are fantastic. Best time to visit Okavango for a safari.
  • Grasses are getting shorter with each passing day. This means clear visibility to view animals in their natural habitat.
  • This is the best time for mokoro rides and boat trips.

August: Peak month for visitors 

  • Floods have passed through the delta by august and now reached Maun.
  • Visitors number peak in August
  • An Okavango Delta Safari around the month is very productive with thin grass and great game-viewing opportunities.

September: Carmine bee-eaters return to the delta

  • Climate change continues as the winter ends in Okavango Delta.
  • Sunshine is experienced with clear skies.
  • Carmine bee-eaters return and nesting of storks begins.
  • Okavango water levels start dropping.

October: Great game –viewing

  • October is too hot.
  • Elephants gather in huge numbers to quench their thirst.
  • Fishing activities start with annual catfish running in rivers.
  • Hundreds of birds start to breed and nest leading to excellent bird –viewing.

November: Rains start in Okavango

  • Rains arrive accompanied by dramatic thunderstorms.
  • Animals disperse to eat the new vegetation and again visit seasonal pans to drink water.
  • This is the birthing season; predators start searching for vulnerable young.
  • With so much activity going around the delta; from fresh grasses sprouting to colourful skies with great clusters of clouds- November is considered the Best Time to Visit Okavango for photography.

December: Migrant birds arrive

  • Rains are more regular with thunderstorms occurring frequently.
  • Predators continue stalking their prey and now hide behind the dense bush.
  • Birding is great with migratory birds arriving in the delta.

Okavango Delta Activities As Per Seasons

The Things To Do in Okavango Delta are largely dependent upon the water levels present in the delta.

  • Camps offer Mekoro (traditional canoe) excursions only when the water levels are high. This means this activity can be done for a few months of the year.
  • On the contrary, game drives on Okavango Safari are only available when water levels are low.

In short, it is all about going with the flow on Okavango Delta Safari. Here are a few other activities and their best time tabulated below:

Activity

Description

Best Time To Visit

Mokoro Safari

Glide through the delta's waterways on a traditional dugout canoe

May to October

Walking Safaris

Experience the delta's wildlife on foot with an experienced guide

May to October

Game Drives

Explore the delta's wildlife in a 4x4 safari vehicle

Year-round

Scenic flights

Get a bird's eye view of the delta's stunning landscapes

Year-round

Fishing

Try your luck at catching tigerfish, bream, and more

September - October

Cultural Visits

Learn about the delta's local communities and their way of life

Year-round

Bird watching

Spot some of the delta's 400+ bird species

Year-round

 Best Time To Visit Okavango Delta

Pro Tip: For the best offers on activities and attractions during your Botswana Safari, do check out our Okavango Delta Safari Packages here. https://falconsafaris.com/african-safaris.

Timing Your Visit To Okavango Delta For The Ultimate Safari Success

Botswana Safaris are all about timing. We want you to time your journey to our amazing land well so that you do not miss out on any important highlight present here. Hence, this is our effort to give you a better and broader understanding of the Best Time to Visit Okavango Delta. Hope you liked the read and it helps you effectively plan your safari.

And if you are interested in booking your next trip to Okavango Delta, then do check out our Okavango Delta Safari Packages. Also, you can check our Botswana Safari Tours and Botswana Safari Packages which cover all the prominent destinations in the country. And, for more details regarding timing your visit for a specific Botswana Safari experience, do contact our experts. We are always ready for helping our guests.

Frequently Asked Questions

We Think You’ll Love

The Best Time To Visit Okavango Delta is during the dry season, which typically lasts from May to October. During this period, wildlife viewing is optimal as animals congregate around water sources.

The peak season is between July and September when the floodwaters have reached their highest levels, creating picturesque landscapes and providing the best opportunities for wildlife sightings and water-based activities.

The green season, also known as the wet season, takes place from November to April. This period is characterized by lush vegetation, vibrant birdlife, and occasional rainstorms. Visitor numbers are lower during the green season, and rates for Okavango Accommodations may be more affordable.

During the dry season, daytime temperatures can range from 70°F (21°C) to 90°F (32°C), while night temperatures may drop to 40°F (5°C). Expect sunny days with clear skies and low humidity.

Yes, you can visit the Okavango Delta during the wet season, although some camps may be closed due to inaccessibility. During this time, you can experience vibrant landscapes, and flourishing birdlife, and witness the birth of young animals. However, wildlife viewing can be more challenging due to dense vegetation.

During the dry season, visitors can partake in game drives, bush walks, bird watching, and traditional mokoro (dugout canoe) excursions. Some lodges also offer hot air balloon rides, fishing, and helicopter tours.

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