Maitisong Festival, March
Zebra Migration, March–April
Maun Festival, April
Kuru Dance Festival, August
Traditional Dance Competition, March
After a peak around Christmas and New Year, when those delta camps that stay open fill with visitors paying peak rates, January is a generally quiet month. The two main exceptions are in the Kalahari (where it's high season) and among birdwatchers, who love this month in the delta and over at the Nata Bird Sanctuary.
February is a good time to visit the Central Kalahari Game Reserve with its warm temperatures and generally dry conditions, although thunderstorms are a possibility. Elsewhere, expect rain, impassable roads and good birdwatching in the north.
The zebra migration is in full swing out on the eastern pans (especially around Ntwetwe Pan), but driving conditions remain treacherous as the rains continue.
Held in Gaborone over one week in March and/or April, this festival is the highlight of the Botswana calendar for lovers of local and regional music, dance and drama. The festival features an outdoor program that takes place on several stages throughout the capital.
Ditshwanelo Human Rights Film Festival
A series of screenings on various human rights subjects is held at the AV Centre, Maru a Pula School, during this festival, and guest speakers are invited to talk about their experiences.
Traditional Dance Competition
Often seguing into the Maitisong Festival, this competition for traditional dancers in Gaborone is part of the government's efforts to promote local culture and traditions.
Still high season for the Kalahari, while the zebra migration in Makgadikgadi begins the return journey west. Although the rains are easing off, and may even have ceased altogether, water levels are still high in the delta and driving on the pans can be difficult and dangerous.
A two-day celebration with plenty of music, parades, poetry, theatre, craftwork, dance and food; visual arts also feature. The festival, held in Maun, raises funds for local schools while commemorating northwestern Botswana’s rich cultural roots.
May is a lovely month to travel in Botswana with fine conditions and generally low-season rates still available in the delta. Depending on flood levels, some water-based activities may not be possible in the delta. Night-time temperatures in the Kalahari can dip towards freezing.
Tjilenje (Ngwao Boswa) Cultural Festival
Celebrations during this festival are rural, taking place in Nlapkhwane, (northeastern Botswana) and include traditional Tswana dancing, games and yummy homemade cooking.
High season gets underway in the delta, with availability and prices at a premium. If you don't mind the cold nights, it can be a good time to visit the Kalahari, where daytime temperatures are mild and low-season prices kick in.
High season in the delta is in full swing, with waters close to their highest level. Very cold nights in the Kalahari.
Another busy month in the delta, with high water levels, high-season prices and availability at a premium.
Kuru Dance Festival
A worthwhile cultural festival, held near D’kar in the Kalahari Desert, with all aspects of traditional Bushman culture on display. Traditional dancing and local music feature throughout the three days of the festival.
Temperatures are rising in Botswana, but it’s still a popular time for travel to the region and tourist numbers are high.
Domboshaba Festival of Culture & History
Held near the Domboshaba ruins in Botswana, this cultural celebration pays homage to a period 1000 years ago when the Kalanga inhabited the valleys around Limpopo. Kalanga dance features, as does choral music, crafts and traditional foods.
During the build-up to the rains, October can be very hot. Wildlife is often concentrated around the few remaining waterholes, and delta lodges are booked out months in advance.
Orange Youth Cup
Every year Botswana’s top youth football teams get together for a showdown. Unearthing talent is a prime goal of the tournament and it can provide a break for some talented youngsters.
This is normally the month when the rains arrive and, with them, migratory birds in their millions, both in the delta and out on the pans (such as at the Nata Bird Sanctuary). Low season begins in the delta.
The rains should be in full swing. It's low season in the delta and high season in the Kalahari, but there's a special peak period in the delta over Christmas and New Year.