Climate of Botswana
Where is the country of Botswana located? Botswana is a country in southern Africa, directly above the center of South Africa. Most of Botswana consists of the Kalahari Desert, which only partly consists of real desert area based on the amount of precipitation. The rest is actually a kind of semi-desert, which turns in a northeasterly direction into steppe-like hill areas. Botswana has two climate types: the warm desert climate (type BWh) and the warm steppe climate (type BSh). The winter months are quite warm and very dry. In the summer, the chances of precipitation increase and the mercury rises in many places to tropical values of thirty degrees or more.
Botswana has a so-called semiarid climate, in which there is clearly a wetter season in addition to a dry period. From October (locally November) the chance of precipitation increases rapidly. This wetter season lasts until about April. During this summer period the mercury also rises towards thirty degrees or more and the relative humidity increases. This regularly translates into spectacular sunrises, with the sky above the beautiful landscape showing beautiful shades of red and purple. In the winter months, not only does the chance of precipitation fall to a minimum, the relative humidity also decreases because clammy air has little chance of reaching Botswana in this season. Locally, extreme drought can occur towards the end of winter,
In summer, it is warm to downright hot locally throughout Botswana. Daytime temperatures between 30 and 35 degrees are very normal in the period November to March. In the southwest, the mercury can rise a bit further, especially in the months of December and January: 36 or 37 degrees is very possible in the middle of summer. The average minimum temperature in summer is relatively not too bad. At night, the mercury drops on average to 18 to 21 degrees in the summer. In the winter months the temperature can drop considerably at night and night frost is possible in most places in Botswana. During the day the maximum temperatures are still between 18 and 24 degrees Celsius.
The figures below are based on long-term average climate statistics. The temperatures are displayed in degrees Celsius (°C).
|Maximum temperature||Minimum temperature||Hours of sunshine per day||Days of rainfall per month|
Best time to visit Botswana
Do you want to know when is the best time to travel to Botswana? You can determine the best time to travel to a destination based on the weather and climate. In addition, there are other factors that are not directly related to the weather and that can influence the best travel periods for a travel destination. Think, for example, of holidays or festive periods, which makes traveling more interesting or not, because daily life comes to a standstill as a result. The South African country of Botswana is quite a popular holiday destination among people who want to spot wildlife during a safari. Good planning when you travel to Botswana is important if you want to travel somewhat comfortably and spot enough animals. The country, which lies on average at about a thousand meters altitude, has two climate types: the warm desert climate (type BWh) in the southwest and within the Central Kalahari Game Reserve and the warm steppe climate (type BSh) elsewhere in Botswana.
Throughout the country there are two seasons: the dry and mild winter and the warm wet summer. Since Botswana is in the Southern Hemisphere, these seasons are opposite to our seasons. The best time to travel for a holiday in Botswana is therefore from May to August. An ideal holiday destination for the Dutch summer holidays.
The best time to travel for a safari in Botswana is from May to September. Our preference would be July or August, when the chance of clouds and precipitation is at its lowest. The increasingly drier landscape makes it easier to spot animals, partly because they migrate to the scarcer water sources. Due to the fairly large differences in day and night temperatures, it is important to dress in layers during the local winter. If you go out early in the morning to spot the animals, it can be just a few degrees above freezing. A few hours later, the mercury can exceed twenty degrees. Going on safari during the local summer means it’s hot (usually warmer than 30 degrees), more cloudy and most importantly, significantly more likely to experience a rain or severe thunderstorm. This makes the trails in the national parks much less accessible and it is much more difficult to see the animals.
In Botswana you can suffer from cyclones. In the period November to May, such hurricanes can form over the Indian Ocean, after which they can migrate to Mozambique. From Mozambique, these cyclones can move further inland as a major depression and cause fairly large amounts of precipitation in the eastern regions of Botswana. Because Botswana is deep enough inland, these types of tropical systems have largely lost their strength before reaching Botswana. You will therefore not have to deal with wind force 12 (hurricane force) as quickly.