When’s the Greatest Time to Go to the Okavango Delta

Ever wanted to see some of the most amazing creatures in the world up close? African safaris are at the top of many people’s bucket lists and are ideal for taking a look at awesome lions, lovely elephants, cute giraffes and countless other exciting species in their natural habitats!

Wherever you go, the Okavango Delta is hard to beat. You will find the extremely rich area in northern Botswana and it is one of the top places in the country for a safari adventure. Remote and isolated with a few other safaris, Botswana’s policy of quality over quantity makes Okavango ideal for elite seekers. Some of the best guides in Africa are used in this area, offering you the promise of wonderful close encounters with the unique wildlife and delta landscape. In addition to being a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Okavango is home to the Moremi Game Reserve and many private concessions – all prime destinations for luxury safari experiences, if you will.

So when is the best time to visit the Okavango Delta?

If this secluded part of Botswana looks like your ideal location for a unique wildlife experience, you will want to know the best time to visit the Okavango Delta. Fortunately, the area is a hotspot safari all year round, with each season offering different types of wildlife safari experiences and a variety of activities offered by home camps.

Whether you want to sleep under a starry canopy, go on a sea safari or get to a unique wildlife on a guided sidewalk, there is no bad time to book a Delta Okavango safari.

Aerial shot of flooded meadows in the Okavango Delta

Rainy season in Botswana: November to April

This beautiful corner of Botswana is the perfect place for a winter getaway. While November through April is the country’s official rainy season, it’s still a fantastic time bis the Okavango Delta.

After the dry winter months, heavy rains from November onwards cause the delta to erupt with virgin green. The weather is hot and the humidity is high, as you are likely to see some bright but small thunderstorms if you are on holiday in February or March.

Towards the end of the rainy season, Okavango’s spectacular bird life really comes into its own, with thousands of migratory birds settling in small lakes created by the downpour. Intense poultry farmers should have no problem spotting bird species such as the Bateleur, the African fish eagle and the stork with a saddle penalty, as well as unusual species such as the Black Cuckoo, the Pel Fishing Owl and the Wattled Crane.

African Wild Dogs - Discover the Best Time to Visit the Okavango DeltaAfrican wild dogs in Okavango are hunted by buffaloes

When it comes to promoting toys, this season is a great time to watch the animals give birth to their young. In fact, more than 200,000 species flock to the area, making it particularly ideal for spotting predators such as lions, leopards, hyenas and packs of wild dogs hunting their prey.

Land safaris are especially popular, especially north of Moremi in the Upper Delta and Khwai areas. Nevertheless, the wet conditions and the green meadows mean that the walks with bushes are out of cards in most destinations.

Cheetah in the Kalahari Desert - Discover the best time to visit the Okavango DeltaCheetah in the Kalahari desert

This season, you can also combine your trip to the Okavango Delta with a visit to the neighboring Central Kalahari Game Reserve. Thanks to the rain, the hard soil of the Kalahari turns into a lush green refuge that attracts hordes of wildlife and predators, making it easy to spot them.

Best for: Bird watching and dramatic photo opportunities

Winter season in Botswana: May to August

The rainy season may be over, but that just paves the way for the delta flood season.

Floods from the Angolan Highlands in northern Botswana have raised the Okavango River and leaked beyond the delta. This gives visitors the opportunity to enjoy the scenery from the water itself and see hundreds of animals migrating to the area from a safe distance.

Ride with Mokoro in the Okavango DeltaRide with Mokoro in the Okavango Delta

Apart from motor boat tours, why not take a traditional mokoro safari? This will take you to the Okavango Delta in traditional dug-out canoes manned by skilled rowers – a mode of transport that has been popular in the area for hundreds of years! Mokoro safaris are possible in the southern, western and northern parts of the delta and this is the best way to get to hidden corners and see some of Okavango’s most shy animals.

In terms of climate, both humidity and temperatures are constantly decreasing throughout the flood. The nights can be very cold, especially in July and August, but mosquitoes are less likely to plague you during this time of year than the rest of the year.

Best for: Mokoro safari and motor boat rides

Summer in the Okavango Delta: September and October

September and October are the driest months in the area and the privileged time for game moves and walks! With the lack of rain causing many watering holes to dry across Botswana, you will find that many animals walk hundreds of miles in the Okavango Delta.

Leopard in Botswana Moremi Toy Reserve - Discover the best time to visit the Okavango DeltaLeopard in Botswana Moremi toy reserve

Delta floods erupted with new grass in October as the water receded, pulling many animals in search of food. This is one of the best times to visit the Okavango Delta for the Big Four (Lion, Leopard, Elephant and African Buffalo)! Moremi Game Reserve is particularly good for wildlife during this season, as are nearby Chobe National Park (elephant sanctuary) and Linyanti (large cat area).

Baobabs - Discover the best time to visit the Okavango DeltaBaobab trees from the salts of the Kalahari

You could also take a walk southeast of the moon like the Kalahari Salt Pans which usually dries out during these months, allowing for exciting quad biking explorations and sleeping under the starry night sky.

As summer approaches, temperatures in late October may be plummeting in the Okavango Delta. Loose sun loungers are recommended!

Best for: Dry weather and good game moves

Do you want to live this wonderful place for you? Get help from our experts to choose the best time to visit the Okavango Delta for your trip, so you can do whatever you want and much more!

The Okavango Delta in the green season

start designing a personalized Botswana safari

Do you want to live this wonderful place for you? Get help from our experts to choose the best time to visit the Okavango Delta for your trip, so you can do whatever you want and much more!

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