Map from Google - Botswana

In Botswana, a country occupied by a plateau with an average altitude of around 1,000 metres (3,300 feet), the climate is sub-tropical, arid or semi-arid depending on area. The winter, from May to August, is dry and sunny, mild during the day but cold at night, especially in the centre and south. The summer, from November to March, is hot and moderately rainy, due to thunderstorms in the afternoon or evening. Therefore, there's plenty of sunshine even in this season, especially in the morning. In spring, in September and October, the heat is often intense especially in the north, however, hot days are possible throughout the country from September to April.
In the country there are several parks and nature reserves, which are still little known but of great interest, being home to the savannah wildlife. Being in the Southern Hemisphere, the country has reversed seasons compared with the Northern Hemisphere.


The driest areas are the south-west, where the Kalahari desert is found, and precipitation drops below 300 millimetres (12 inches) per year, and the far east, in the valley of the Limpopo, where it goes below 400 mm (16 in) per year. The wettest areas, where more than 500 mm (20 in) of rain per year fall, are the north and the south-east, where the capital Gaborone is located. In general, rainfall in the warm season is not very abundant, but in some years it can be more abundant than usual, when the country is reached by moist air masses from Congo.
The average daily temperature of the coldest months, June and July, are around 11/12 °C (52/54 °F) in the south and 18 °C (64 °F) in the north. Temperatures in summer are more uniform, as they swing between 25 and 27 °C (77 and 81 °F), depending on latitude, but also on altitude, which in any case is fairly uniform. The hottest months are December and January in the centre-south, while in the north the hottest days occur in October and November, before the rains manage to lower a bit the temperature: in this period, the daytime temperature stays normally around 35 °C (95 °F), but it can even reach 40 °C (104 °F).
Here are the average temperatures of Tshabong, located in the far south-west, near the Gemsbok National Park: you can notice the remarkable temperature range in winter, when nights are cold but days are mild, as well as the summer heat.
Average temperatures - Tshabong
Min (°C)1919171262149131618
Max (°C)353432282522222529313335
Min (°F)666663544336343948556164
Max (°F)959390827772727784889195

In this southern area, the rains are scarce, given that they amount to about 300 mm (12 in) per year. Here is the average rainfall.
Average precipitation - Tshabong
Prec. (mm)50605035124134203530308

In the arid southwest the sun shines all year round.
Sunshine - Tshabong
Sun (hours)111010101010101111111111

The capital Gaborone is located in the south-east, a short distance from the border with South Africa, and, like most of the country, at 1,000 metres (3,300 feet) above sea level. From October to March, the maximum temperatures are around 30 °C (86 °F) or slightly above, but moisture is higher from December to March, at the height of the rainy season. Sometimes the temperature can reach 36/40 °C (97/104 °F) from September to April.
Here are the average temperatures.
Average temperatures - Gaborone
Min (°C)19191713855813161819
Max (°C)333230282523232630313232
Min (°F)666663554641414655616466
Max (°F)919086827773737986889090

In a typical year, 590 mm (23 in) of rain fall, of which 100 mm (4 in) per month from December to February. In winter, from May to August, the sun shines and it almost never rains; daytime temperatures are pleasant, while at night they become cold, even close to freezing (0 °C or 32 °F): therefore even here, in this period the temperature range between day and night is noticeable.
Here is the average precipitation.
Average precipitation - Gaborone
Prec. (mm)1001008540201063174565100591

In Gaborone the sun shines all year round, however in the summer rainy season the sunshine duration decreases a little, due to afternoon thunderstorms.
Sunshine - Gaborone
Sun (hours)99989101010101099

In the north, winter is milder, so that the maximum temperature is around 24/26 °C (75/79 °F), and the minimum around 8/10 °C (46/50 °F). Moreover, as mentioned in the north the hottest period goes from September to November, because in summer the temperature slightly decreases, due to the prevalence of more humid air masses of tropical origin.
Here are the average temperatures of the northern town of Kasane, in the Chobe National Park.
Average temperatures - Kasane
Min (°C)201919161310101216192020
Max (°C)313131312926262933353331
Min (°F)686666615550505461666868
Max (°F)888888888479798491959188

In this northernmost area, which is the rainiest of the country, rainfall exceeds 600 mm (23.5 in) per year, though as usual the rains are concentrated in summer. Here is the average rainfall.
Average precipitation - Kasane
Prec. (mm)1601358015110002065150625

In the northernmost area the sun shines regularly in the long dry season, while in the rainy period the hours of sunshine decrease a little more than in the rest of the country.
Sunshine - Kasane
Sun (hours)68891010101110997

Sometimes, however, on winter nights it can freeze even on the edge of the Okavango Delta, the river that gets lost in a vast marshy area, in the north-west of the country, without having access to the sea. To the south-east of the Okavango delta we find the Makgadikgadi Pan, a group of dry salt lakes that during the rainy season receive the waters, respectively of the Boteti River (which carries the waters of the same Okavango delta) and the Nata River. The area is protected in the two neighboring national parks, Nxai Pan and Makgadikgadi Pan.

When to go

The best time to visit Botswana is the austral winter, from May to August: the sky is clear, the air is dry, it's warm during the day, and the animals of the savanna are easy to spot because they are concentrated in the few mud puddles left. Certainly, one must take into account some cold at night, especially in the centre-south, even with possible slight frosts. Given the remarkable daily temperature range, it is necessary to dress in layers.
Wanting to travel in the austral summer, for example at Christmas, you will have to reckon with rains and thunderstorms, especially in the north and in the south-east, and with the heat during the day, especially in the south and in the Kalahari. In September and October, before the arrival of the rains, the heat is intense especially in the north, but sometimes throughout the country: those who are sensitive to cold and do not suffer from the heat, can choose this period.

What to pack

In winter (June to August): spring/autumn clothes, in layers, even light for the day, as well as sweater, warm jacket and hat for the evening.
In summer (December to February): light clothes for the day, sun hat, a sweatshirt and a spring jacket for the evening; light raincoat or umbrella.