​Weather & Climate – Makgadikgadi Pans NP

Anthony Ham
By Anthony Ham

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

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

Anthony is the author of the Botswana & Namibia Lonely Planet guide.

Climate Chart Makgadikgadi Pans National Park

Climate Chart Makgadikgadi Pans National Park – 904-945m / 2,966-3,100ft

* Averages based on 50 years of monthly climate data, taken from 1km² (0.39mi²) interpolated climate surfaces.
© chart & park data: SafariBookings. © climate grid data: WorldClim project. All rights reserved.

Makgadikgadi Pans National Park's climate is hot and desert-like. As with the rest of the country, the park experiences a distinct Dry and Wet season. In the Dry season, temperatures tumble at night, making it advisable to bring warm clothing for early morning game drives.

Dry Season April to October

The last rains typically fall in April. The park begins to look parched as the Dry season progresses. June and July represent the most pleasant daytime temperatures, but the mercury starts rising in August, and peaks in October and November.

  • April & May – The beginning of the Dry season is mostly dry, sunny and enjoyable. The middle of the day has an average temperature of about 29°C/84°F.
  • June, July & August – It is cooler during the heart of the Dry season, with temperatures rising to around 26°C/79°F in the afternoon. Rainfall is very limited. Be prepared for chilly conditions in the early morning (temperatures are about 7°C/45°F).
  • September & October – Conditions at night, and in the morning, are agreeable at the end of the Dry season. However, the days get sweltering before the rains finally break. By October, temperatures of 34°C/93°F make the park extremely hot.

Wet Season November to March

There is great relief when the first rains fall. It immediately cools down a bit, and it’s less dusty. It seldom rains the whole day but short showers are common. It continues to be very warm throughout the season.

  • November & December – The end of the year is hot and frequently sunny, and it only rains sporadically. Early mornings have average temperatures of around 19°C/66°F, making them very comfortable.
  • January & February – These months receive the most rainfall. It can rain in the afternoon, but generally not for too long. This time of year is associated with heavy storms.
  • March – This month sees a decrease in rainfall, but it can still rain every couple of days, and thunderstorms are still around. Mornings have pleasant conditions with temperatures of about 17°C/63°F.

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