Planning your trip in Botswana
Botswana is one of Africa’s most sought after safari destinations and understandably so, the Okavango Delta provides Botswana with year round African wildlife and breath taking scenery. Botswana offers a large variety of safari lodges and an overall unique safari experience, with safari camps in varied locations in Botswana. A variety of accommodation options and safari locations can make it difficult to know where to go in Botswana and which safari lodge will meet your requirements. Our highly experienced and professional team at Gondwana Tours & Safaris will arrange the logistics for you and the detail into planning a spectacular safari in Botswana to suit your needs.
Botswana Weather - Times to travel
Winter – May to August:
Days in Botswana are dry, sunny and clear and becoming seductively warm, while evening temperatures drop sharply. Day time temperatures generally reach 25º C and evening temperatures can be as low as 2ºC, some areas can plummet below freezing. Virtually no rainfall occurs during Botswana’s winter months. This is the time of year when the floodwaters arrive in Botswana from the Angolan highlands and transform the Okavango Delta into a myriad of channels, lagoons and islets. It’s an extraordinary sight and all the water fanning out to engulf the Okavango Delta is even visible from space.
Summer - October to March: is the summer or rainy season.
In the weeks preceding the November rains it tends to be the hottest in Botswana with temperatures soaring up to 40ºC or more. Cloud coverage and the arrival of the first rains towards the end of November or early December cool things down considerably, although usually only for a short period. During the rainy period, which lasts until the end of February or early March, the days are hot and generally sunny in the morning with afternoon thunderstorms – usually in short, torrential downpours. Day time temperatures can rise to 38ºC and night time temperatures drop to a temperature of 20ºC - 25ºC. Northern areas of Botswana receive up to 700mm of rain per annum while the Kalahari Desert averages as low as 225mm per annum. Rainfall tends to be erratic, unpredictable and highly regional. Often a heavy downpour may occur in one area while 10 or 15 kilometers away there is no rain at all. Rain showers are often followed by strong sunshine, so a good deal of the rainfall does not penetrate the ground and is lost to evaporation.
What to bring to Botswana
With specific needs depending on the time of year, casual comfortable clothing is suitable at all times.
• Long sleeved cotton tops will protect you from sun and mosquitoes
• Shorts and trousers with pockets
• Fleece, thick sweater or a warm jacket and hat for game drives (recommended even in summer)
• Comfortable walking shoes
• Sun block, lip balm, sunglasses, hat and insect repellent
• Binoculars and camera
• Light, compact raincoat is a good idea for the summer, although most camps provide these
• Swimsuit (most camps or lodges have swimming pools)
Layers of clothing are most practical for the fluctuating day/night temperatures of Botswana. Muted and neutral colours are more suitable for safari, but white is not very practical.
Your Health in Botswana
Malaria prophylaxis is recommended for travel in Botswana. All guests must consult their own medical doctor or health authorities regarding the use of anti-malarial tablets prior to departure.
Standard Immunization is requirements for Botswana and up-to-date information should be obtained from your local health department. It is the guest’s sole responsibility to ensure that they have had all necessary inoculations, immunizations and medications prior to departure.
It is the guest’s obligation to ensure that he/she is medically fit to participate in travel i.e. for walking and activities where a reasonable level of fitness is required.
Moving Around in Botswana
We offer a fully integrated private air charter service, which mostly operates single engine Airvans, Cessna 206s or Cessna Caravans. Most of our lodges have their own private airstrips.
Unless a private charter is requested, your usual flight transfers have been booked on a "seat on plane" basis. Flight times are arranged according to each day's requirements and to fit in with activities wherever possible.The plane may pick up and drop off other guests en-route to your destination. Should you wish, private charters can be arranged, in which case you will be the only guests in the plane and you may specify your departure times, although no guarantees can be given. We are happy to quote separately for private charters.
For water-transfers to and from our water-based lodges in the Okavango Delta and Chobe areas, we use private powerboats. This makes your arrival already a truly unique experience.
Our vehicles at the lodges are either open Toyota Land cruisers or Landrover game viewing vehicles. All Land cruisers have individual buckets seats while Landrovers have bench seats and both have a removable canvas roof. Some camps, with their main focus on photography, have removed the roofs on the game viewing vehicle permanently, to ensure an unobstructed view. There is ample storage space for cameras, binoculars, etc.