Botswana is a unique destination with low-density tourism and eco-friendly lodges. Home to some of the best wildlife viewing in Africa, this beautiful and diverse country is full of amazing and varying landscapes, from dry desert to savannah grasslands to delta waterways. Untamed lands outweigh cities, offering you the best in safari experiences. Insider’s tips are useful, as there are many choices for you to make, such as tipping a safari guide, which areas are malaria-free, etc. We’ve put together some quick facts to help make your next trip smooth and unforgettable.
Botswana is not the easiest or cheapest place in the world to get to. Surprisingly few international airlines fly to and from Botswana. Long distance airlines prefer to fly into Johannesburg or Cape Town in South Africa, where connecting flights depart to Maun or Gaborone. Many people prefer to enter the country overland from South Africa or, more recently, Namibia as part of a longer safari.
Botswana’s public transportation is limited. Domestic air services are fairly frequent and usually reliable, however, Air Botswana (and charter flights) is not cheap, and only a handful of towns are regularly served. Public buses are cheap and reasonably frequent but confined to paved roads between towns. Hiring a vehicle is the best and most practical option.
Botswana is landlocked and has a subtropical desert climate characterized by great differences in day and night temperatures, virtually no rainfall and overall low humid.
May to October – Dry Season – Winter
- Less vegetation and animals concentrate around waterholes and rivers, making wildlife easier to spot.
- The skies are clear, rain is rare and there are fewer mosquitoes.
- Even though most tourists visit during the dry season, the parks still feel uncrowded, except for the bustling Chobe’s riverfront.
- It gets cold at night and in the mornings. Packing warm winter clothing during June, July and August for the cold morning game drives is advisable.
November to April – Wet Season – Summer
- The scenery is greener and there are lower rates during this season.
- Although wildlife is easier to spot in the dry season, you’ll still see plenty, including newborn animals and migratory birds.
- Except for January and February, rains are mostly short afternoon showers and seldom have a negative impact on your trip.
- During January and February the rains can be continuous for days.
- It gets very hot in October and November.
- Some lodges and camps close down during part of the wet season.
Malaria Risk & Vaccinations
Vaccinations are recommended.
Malaria- There is a high risk in Central and Northern Botswana, low risk in the rest of the country. The highest risk of transition is in the rainy season from November to June. For more detailed advice, see the websites below.
Australia – www.travelclinic.com.au
Canada – www.iamat.org – Vaccinations / Malaria
Ireland – www.tmb.ie
New Zealand – www.iamat.org – Vaccinations / Malaria
United Kingdom – www.fitfortravel.scot.nhs.uk
United States – wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel