Southern Africa is surprisingly dry, with more desert and arid areas than you might imagine. The Kalahari alone takes up part of South Africa, Namibia (which also has the Namib Desert), nearly all of Botswana, and parts of Zambia. Allied to this is the ephemeral nature of many of the Rivers in Southern Africa, with a good number being seasonal, but when they do flow, it can be a torrent.
Generally speaking, summers in Botswana are hot, and rains fall in afternoon showers, whereas winters tend to be cold, but quite dry. You could argue that Botswana generally has only two seasons: summer (October to March) and winter (late May to September).
The in-between periods of April/early May and September/October still tend to be dry, but the days are somewhat cooler than in summer and the nights are warmer than in winter.
Most of the rain falls between December and February, although there can still be long dry spells during this period. Rains can start as early as November and end in March (generally this period is known as the "Green Season"). This rainfall can be erratic, and surprisingly regional – with heavy downpours mere kilometres from areas where this is no rain at all.
Rainfall does not generally last for long periods, and such showers are often followed by good sunshine (which also means that much of the rain is lost to evaporation, and doesn’t have the chance to penetrate). Rains are generally in the afternoons and evenings.
The mean annual rainfall is variable – from a maximum of over 650mm in the extreme northeast area of the Chobe District to a minimum of less than 250mm in the extreme southwest part of Kgalagadi District. During the winter months (June, July and August), nightly temperatures can drop below freezing, although the days are sunny, and surprisingly warm.
The Okavango Delta is classified as dry/ semi-arid with high temperatures and a definite winter dry season. Botswana's climate is technically tropical, but the country's overall elevation (an average of 950 metres above sea level), means that the weather is actually temperate. The Okavango's annual flood is during May-September (although there can be some variation). This flood is not due to rains in Botswana, but to rains in the Angolan Highlands which is the source of the Okavango River. It is this rain, as it travels the length of the River, which ultimately fills the Delta.
January and February - these tend to be wettest months, characterized by torrential downpours in the afternoon and sometimes continuous rainfall. Daytime temperatures are around 32°C/90°F.
March and April - rainfall decreases and temperatures start to drop. This continues through April, which has lovely, clear weather and few clouds. The nights tend to be cooler but the days are very temperate at 30°C/87°F.
May - relatively cool, typically 10°C/50°F in the morning; 28°C/80°F by the afternoon.
June, July and August - average morning temperature is 6°C/42°F. Night temperatures can drop below freezing, particularly in the dryer Kalahari areas. In general, afternoons are much more pleasant with temperatures around 25°C/78°F.
September and October - the heat gradually builds and it can get very hot in October (38°C/100°F), but the average temperature remains around 34°C/93°F in the afternoon.
November and December - clouds start to appear, bringing cooler temperatures and an occasional late afternoon shower. This pattern continues into December, with typical temperatures between 20°C/69°F in the morning and 33°C/91°F in the afternoon. The more extreme Kalahari areas can still have very hot days, and cold mornings.