5 Reasons We Love Botswana In May

16th May 2024

May is a tricky month to visit East Africa as it’s in full-on rainy season mode – but at this time of year southern Africa is opening up after months of wetter weather. Zambia and South Africa’s dry season begins in May, and so does luxurious Botswana’s – and this shoulder month means you can get some excellent deals.

Here’s why we love Botswana in May.


Botswana offers perhaps the most spoiling safari experience on the planet in the serene, watery windings of the Okavango Delta, with its world class lodges that over the years have captured the hearts of the rich, famous and royals like Prince Harry. The beauty is somewhat painful though, as a Botswana safari does cost a premium.

However, travel in May – taking advantage of the various free night deals we can secure for you – and you can enjoy the luxury for less, as this shoulder season month brings the price tag slightly back down to earth, even though you’re getting an almost identical experience as in June and July, where prices jump up.

5 Reasons We Love Botswana In May

© Kwando Camps

Okavango Delta 

Confusingly, while the rest of Botswana and southern Africa call May to December ‘the dry season’ – classically the best time to safari – the Okavango Delta is in full flood in these months, peaking in July and August. But while usually water on safari means overgrown grass and dispersed animals, happy to roam with their plentiful nutrition all around making them tricky to find and see – in the Okavango Delta, the opposite is true.

The delta floods from rainwater running down from the Angola Highlands. It reaches Botswana around May, and fills the delta, leaving patches of dry land where animals are forced to congregate. This means the presence of water actually has a brilliant effect on safari sightings, as animals are more concentrated and easier to find. Surrounded by nutrients, the wildlife is also happy, replenished by the rain and not hanging on in the scorching heat as they are in the depths of dry season.


New life 

While May marks the beginning of dry season in southern Africa, it also reaps the benefits of the tail end of the rains – which nourish the ground, trees and wildlife, leaving behind bountiful life and promise.

In May you might encounter many more young animals like trumpeting elephant calves and trit-trotting zebra foals. You might even get sightings dry season safari-goers – paying double the price as you – could only dream of.

5 Reasons We Love Botswana In May

© Kwando Camps


With the lingering vegetation comes birdlife, in all its forms, and they are further drawn in as the delta floods, with lots to eat and drink. Waking up to the dawn chorus in the Okavango Delta in its full twitching glory is unlike anything else you will experience on safari. It’s truly magical, and at its best outside the expensive dry season months. This can be said for the entire country.


The Kalahari 

Not only do you get slashed rates in May when visiting the Okavango Delta, but you also get them in the Kalahari. Because it is a desert, the best time to visit the burnt-earth expanse is actually in the wet season, between November and April if you’re looking for mind-blowing wildlife sightings. But there’s a sweet spot, and it comes, handily, in May. You can still get an incredible desert experience here with an abundance of animals, and for a reasonable price.

May absolutely calls for a multi-destination itinerary in Botswana. Just give us a call and we can take you through your options.