Best Time to Visit – Makgadikgadi Pans NP

Anthony Ham
Expert
By Anthony Ham

Anthony is a renowned Africa expert and author of many Lonely Planet guidebooks, including the guide to Botswana.

Anthony is a renowned Africa expert and author of the Lonely Planet guide to Botswana.

Anthony is the author of the Lonely Planet guide to Botswana.

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The Makgadikgadi Pans can be visited throughout the year. It’s a seasonal park and wildlife migrates through it with the seasons. The actual pans attract wildlife in the wet summer months, from December to about May. This is also the best time for birding and seeing the flamingos on the pans. However, most of the park and lodges are concentrated around the Boteti river area – which is best visited for wildlife viewing in the Dry season – from June to December. The Dry season is also best for viewing the pans, as you can drive onto them.

Best Time June to December (Best wildlife viewing at the river) and December to May (Best wildlife viewing and birding at the pans)
High Season July to October (The park never gets crowded, but high season rates may apply in lodges)
Low Season November to June (Low season rates may apply)
Best Weather May to August (Less hot during the day with dry conditions)
Worst Weather January to March (It is hot, and it can rain a lot)

April to October Dry Season

  • June to December are the best wildlife viewing months at the river area
  • Roads are in good condition, and it is easier to drive in the park
  • It is possible to drive, onto the pans
  • It is cooler in the middle of the day, from April to August
  • July to October is high season, and some lodges might have higher rates
  • It gets very dry and dusty

November to March Wet Season

  • The pans fill up, and animals congregate to drink
  • Best birding time as migrants are present, and many birds are breeding
  • Big flocks of flamingos come to feed on the algae and might breed if conditions are right
  • It is very hot
  • Roads become boggy, and it isn’t possible to drive on the pans
  • Afternoon thundershowers can interfere with activities

Wildlife Photos

Best Time to Go to Botswana by Major Park

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  • JanJ
    FebF
    MarM
    AprA
    MayM
    JunJ
    JulJ
    AugA
    SepS
    OctO
    NovN
    DecD
  • JanJ
    FebF
    MarM
    AprA
    MayM
    JunJ
    JulJ
    AugA
    SepS
    OctO
    NovN
    DecD
  • JanJ
    FebF
    MarM
    AprA
    MayM
    JunJ
    JulJ
    AugA
    SepS
    OctO
    NovN
    DecD
  • Makgadikgadi Pans NP
    JanJ
    FebF
    MarM
    AprA
    MayM
    JunJ
    JulJ
    AugA
    SepS
    OctO
    NovN
    DecD
  • JanJ
    FebF
    MarM
    AprA
    MayM
    JunJ
    JulJ
    AugA
    SepS
    OctO
    NovN
    DecD
  • JanJ
    FebF
    MarM
    AprA
    MayM
    JunJ
    JulJ
    AugA
    SepS
    OctO
    NovN
    DecD
  • JanJ
    FebF
    MarM
    AprA
    MayM
    JunJ
    JulJ
    AugA
    SepS
    OctO
    NovN
    DecD

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