Interestingly, the Kalahari is not classified as a desert. The area experiences both wet and dry seasons making it a semi-arid region. Only certain parts of the south west can be considered true desert due to a lack of rainfall.
Kalahari summers are made of incredibly hot days and milder nights. Summer bring rains; peak rainy season runs from February to April with the Kalahari receiving between 50-100mm on average. Although the rains can be unpredictable, visitors can expect occasional afternoon thunderstorms and arid areas which become lush and green after the rainfall.
The rains bring out the Kalahari’s flora and fauna. Acacia trees are stoic across the landscape, wildflowers bloom and meerkats pop their heads above ground.
Autumn brings with it cooler weather where the days become mild and the evenings cool. Following the summer rains, autumn is also the greenest time of the year in many areas of the Kalahari.
Winter is the Kalahari’s dry season. Visitors can expect mild, pleasant days but cold nights where the temperature can sometimes drop below freezing. The lack of humidity that hangs over the Kalahari during summer creates dry conditions during winter.
Winter is also one of the best times for game viewing as the animals are forced to congregate around watering holes and riverbeds to stay hydrated.
As spring arrives, the days become hotter and the nights warmer too. The Kalahari anticipates the summer rains and plants begin to come into bloom.
Deciding on the best time to visit the Kalahari region depends on what kind of safari experience you are looking for as there is game to view almost year-round. If you are hoping to see tons of game then the dry season is preferable. If it’s experiencing the Kalahari in bloom then the wet season would be ideal.