By February the summer rains are beginning to lessen, but otherwise conditions stay much the same as January. Average daytime temperatures remain in the low 30°C’s, while the coldest nights in the Kalahari may occasionally drop below 15°C. Towering thunderclouds still form an impressive backdrop to afternoon photographs, and the atmosphere stays clear and fresh after each bout of rain.

Central Kalahari in Botswana

February is still prime time for the Central Kalahari, Savuti, and the Makgadikgadi and Nxai Pans, which attract large numbers of zebra, springbok and oryx. Predators, especially lion, are never far away. Elephants can be harder to spot in summer as they tend to disperse due to the abundant vegetation and increased surface water. Birding, however, is at its best with numerous migrant species and large flocks descending on the pans.

Road conditions are at their muddiest in February so make sure you’re carrying recovery equipment and drive in convoy if possible. Driving on or near the pans is particularly treacherous and doing so will almost certainly get you stuck. In Moremi, and around the delta, certain tracks may be closed due to flooding and others will have deep pools that you’ll need to treat with caution. Always ask other travellers about the conditions ahead, and look out for no-entry signs or the equivalent – logs or branches laid deliberately across the road.