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Climate

SunsetBotswana straddles the Tropic of Capricorn, located in the southern hemisphere. It is within the high-pressure belt in the southern African interior, away from oceanic influences. In consequence, the rainfall is low and the temperatures are high.

The summer season begins in November and ends in March. It usually brings very high temperatures up to 40°C mark and higher. However, summer is also the rainy season, and cloud coverage and rain can cool things down considerably, although only usually for a short period of time. In summer during the morning period humidity ranges from 60 to 80% and drops to between 30 and 40% in the afternoon.

The winter season begins in May and ends in August. This is also the dry season when virtually no rainfall occurs. Winter days are invariably sunny and cool to warm; however, evening and night temperatures can drop below freezing point in some areas. In winter humidity is considerably less and can vary between 40 and 70% during the morning and fall to between 20 and 30% in the afternoon.

Most of Botswana is at an average elevation of 1,000 metres, with much of the country comprising a vast, and nearly level, sand-filled basin characterised by scrub-covered savannah.

Some 85 per cent of the country (including the entire central and south-west regions) is covered by Kalahari (Kgalagadi), a semi-arid expanse of wind-blown sand deposits. In the northwest the Okavango river flows in from Namibia, soaking into the sands and forming the 15,000 sq km of convoluted channels and islands comprising the Okavango Delta. In the lower elevations of the northeast are the large salty clay expanses of the Makgadikgadi Pans. Due to the predominantly semi-arid land, most rivers and streams inside the country are ephemeral with most valleys usually dry, except during the wettest months which are normally January and February. Perennial rivers, including the Chobe and the Okavango, have their source outside the country.

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