The climate in Botswana is semi-arid. The dry months are typically April through November, so the days are nice and warm but the nights and early mornings can get quite chilly.
A good deal of travelers assume that since they are going to Africa, it is going to be warm all the time. This isn’t so in Botswana and Namibia in winter, particularly in months like June, July, and August. Days can be totally beautiful and sunny, but nights can be chilly and almost near freezing, so you should bring as many layers as necessary to ensure you stay warm on your trip.
A light down jacket or fleece pullover jacket would come in handy here, along with gloves, hats, scarves, and long, warm pants can be essentials for this time of year during wildlife drives.
In the middle of September and later through to April is the warmer period in the area. Late October tends to be the hottest time of the year, with temperatures reaching triple digits. During green season, rainfall can be erratic and unpredictable.
It is not infrequent that rain can be pouring down in one area and no rain at all in another area just a few minutes away. Showers can be followed by intense sun, so a good deal of the rainfall is lost to evaporation. During the summer months, humidity can range from 60 to 80 percent, dropping to around 30 to 40 percent during the afternoon hours.
January is the middle of the green season in Botswana. Besides Okavango Delta and the eastern part of the country, Botswana is almost entirely made up of the Kalahari Desert. This means rainfall is rather low, and phrases like “rainy season” and “afternoon thundershowers” should always be taken in context.
Here, rain can fall in short bursts in the late afternoon and give off beautiful dark clouds and spectacular rainbows before the skies clear up again. Temperatures in the daytime can reach into the upper 80s or lower 90s, so you’ll want to bring some short sleeved shirts and shorts in addition to lightweight rain gear, like a rain jacket and rain pants.
February is more of the green season in the area. Warm days can be in the upper 80s or lower 90s, with brief afternoon rain showers. With Botswana’s climate, rain can still be erratic and unpredictable during the green season. It is no surprise when there is a downpour in one area and no rain at all just a few miles away.
Showers are usually followed by intense sunlight. Because of this, a good deal of the rainfall doesn’t penetrate the ground. It is instead lost to evaporation. In the summer months, during the morning times, humidity can range from 60 to 80 percent and drops to 30 or 40 percent in the afternoons.
This is another month where travelers will want to make sure they’re good to go with some short sleeved shirts and shorts, along with some light rain gear like a rain jacket and rain pants.
March is the last month of green season in Botswana, and is much of the same as January and February in its weather patterns.
April begins to wrap up the green season in Botswana. In April, rainfall occurs in roughly the same patterns as December through March, albeit in lesser amounts. Temperatures begin to taper off around April, reaching low to upper 80s in the daytime and going into the 50s and 60s overnight.
It is still recommended for you to bring a lightweight and breathable rain jacket and some rain pants, although the amount of time you use them (if you have to use them at all) is unpredictable and is entirely dependent on the weather at any given time.
May is usually the beginning of the dry season in Botswana. Rain isn’t very likely in May. The nighttime temperatures begin to cool down, with temps hitting between the 40s and 50s. You might want to bring a hoodie or a fleece pullover to keep you warm when it gets chillier, along with a warm hat, scarf, or glove for in the early mornings.
Day temperatures are sure to be in the 70s or 80s, so you can consider wearing warm layers that you can peel off as the day gets hotter during our wildlife drives. A handy tip to remember is that zip off pants are a very versatile option to work with.
In June, there is typically no cloud cover. This makes Botswana’s winter nights exceptionally cold, with June tending to be the coldest month of the year. Night time and early morning temperatures can be in the 30s at times.
Because of this, you might want to consider bringing some of the same things you’d wear on a very cold day in the United States. A nice and cozy down coat would come in handy here, along with warm hats, scarves, and gloves, and nice warm shirts and long-johns.
Temperatures during the day can still get warm, however, with some June days reaching 70 degrees. Shorts may not be a necessity here, but you should still consider some short sleeved shirts in case you get too warm.
Travelers can expect warmer temperatures in July. The night time will show a dip into the 40s, so a light jacket may come in handy. On some of our early morning wildlife drives, you can expect temperatures in the 40s, so you may need a hat and gloves, as well as a scarf if you feel so inclined.
The days are still quite warm in July, up in the 70s with sunshine. For these days, short sleeved shirts and shorts could come in handy.
August marks the end of Botswana’s winter, with temps going up in the 80s during the day. The temperature can still reach below freezing at night and in the early morning hours, though, so you’ll still want to pack some warm clothes to bring with you, like a coat and warm hats and gloves. Short sleeved shirts and shorts will be your best friends during the day time.
One of the hottest months in Botswana, September is typically very dry and dusty. The day time temperatures can reach up into the 90s. You might still consider bringing a hoodie or other light jacket for the nights and early mornings, but you will be thankful for short sleeved shirts and shorts during the September days in the region.
Late October can be one of the hottest times in the year for Botswana. Temperatures can reach into the triple digits. You should be prepared for lots of sun and bring sunscreen, sunglasses, a hat, and maybe a light long sleeved shirt to protect your arms from the sun. You might also consider a bandana to protect your face from dust during wildlife drives.
November usually marks the end of the dry season in Botswana. This doesn’t mean it isn’t still going to be hot, however. Day time temperatures in November can reach up to around 90 degrees, staying quite hot. Botswana’s green season typically begins in November, but the extent of the rainfall can differ from year to year. This can also affect the temperature.
You might still consider bringing a hoodie or other light jacket for nights and early mornings, but short sleeved shirts and shorts are still a must in November, with the days being so hot. You might also consider packing a rain jacket just in case, in the off chance that it does rain during the trip.
December is usually the beginning of the full-fledged green season in Botswana. Temperatures are still quite warm and can go up into the 90s. There can be a lot of afternoon thunderstorms, too. You should be prepared with plenty of sunscreen and sunglasses, as well as a hat. Short sleeved shirts and shorts will still come in handy here during these hot days. You’ll also want to consider bringing a lightweight rain jacket in case one of those unpredictable rain showers turn up, along with a light hoodie or pullover for nighttime and early mornings when it might be a little chilly.