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Advice needed! Tanzania or Botswana for early June 2008 safari?


Dec 19th, 2007, 12:48 PM
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Advice needed! Tanzania or Botswana for early June 2008 safari?

I am getting married in the first week of June 2008 and will probably be going on the honeymoon right after that. My fiance and I would like to go on safari in Africa and I have narrowed it down to Tanzania and Botswana based on things I've read as well as the great advice on this board.

I'd like to ask the people on this board if they could give us recommendations for or against Tanzania and Botswana at this time of the year. We would probably go for somewhere around 10-12 days and would like to maximize our chance of seeing a good variety of animals while we're there. I'm assuming this would be our only trip to Africa so we would like to see as much as we can. Even though it would be our honeymoon we are not looking for something very romantic (i.e. balloon rides etc.).

If we did Tanzania, we would like to consider Zanzibar for a day or two but would not be interested in sitting on the beach. I also understand that there may be some way to see Chimpanzees in Tanzania. Would this be easily worked into a trip which focuses mostly in the north of the country?

One other note, my fiance has pretty major motion sickness. I understand that Botswana has the delta with canoe trips and the roads in general in both countries probably aren't the best. Do you think this will be a major issue for her?

Thank you for any and all advice. I assume I have to get working right away on getting things booked for June, so any advice will help me out greatly.
Grumbo is offline  
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Dec 19th, 2007, 01:38 PM
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Both our trips to Botswana (and Namibia, which we combined into the same trips) have been in June.

It's winter which means warm, sunny days (but not too hot) and cold dark nights (which doesn't bother us as we're tucked in to warm beds with hot water bottles provided too).

Game viewing has been excellent and this time of year is great in the Okavango Delta in terms of water levels.

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Dec 19th, 2007, 01:53 PM
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I have been to southern Africa twice the first part of June (our anniversary is the first part of June), the first time to SA and Botswana and the second time to Botswana only. We love that time of year there. The nights can be cool or even cold, but the days are sunny and warm without being hot. I have not been to East Africa so can't make a comparison. Also, Wilderness Safaris holds their shoulder season rates until June 15th, which makes the price quite attractive. However, these camps do fill up fast for those last weeks of shoulder season, so I don't know what would be open at this time.

I do tend to get get motion sickness a bit, but I have never had any problem in the safari vehicles in Botswana even though the ride may be rough. They are open vehicles, so you are always looking out to the horizon, and always getting fresh air. Also, we have never had a problem at all with mosquitos or flies at that time of year.

You do fly into the camps in small planes, so there is a possibility of motion sickness, but the flights are usually short from camp to camp, maybe 30 minutes to an hour. She may want to take a non-drowsy Dramamine a little bit before those flights. However, we have never had any rough weather flying that time of year, I believe the atmosphere is more stable in their winter season (May to August or so), than in the hot weather seasons.

The camps I have stayed at in Botswana are just naturally romantic. The tents are quite large, (and you just request beforehand king beds) and usually spaced far enough apart for privacy (often outdoor showers or tubs). No one from the staff would think of intruding on you during the midday break. It's very relaxing to be away from phones and TV, etc. Whether you are looking for romance or not, it can't be helped.
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Dec 19th, 2007, 01:54 PM
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I think the issue in Botswana for your fiance might be less with the canoes (mekoro) than with the small planes that you might take from camp to camp. The mekoro glide slowly through calm, flat water with lots of grasses and I cannot imagine anyone having an issue with motion sickness on them.
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Dec 19th, 2007, 02:11 PM
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You can see chimps in Mahale or Gombe but both require long flights from northern Tanzania that do not operate daily, so you'd need to work your itinerary around the flight schedules and probably need to stay a minimum of 3 nights.
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Dec 19th, 2007, 04:59 PM
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This past June - i was in the greater Linyanti area camps. I had some good game viewing. I think i got lucky as the previous summer had less rain and the gameviewing early in the season was pretty good. This combined with quiet camps - hardly many people.
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Dec 20th, 2007, 04:40 AM
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Thanks for all the information. Does anyone have insight on Tanzania at this time of year?
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Dec 20th, 2007, 07:15 PM
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Congrats on the wedding.

I agree with what everyone has said about motion sickness, seeing chimps, romantic tents, etc.

Either Botswana or Tanzania would be good.

I've been to Tanzania in July, not June.

Check these sites for the best wildlife viewing in June and throughout the year.



Pros of Tan over Bots
It is easy to have your own private safari with your own driver/guide and vehicle in Tanzania. In Botswana, you'd likely share game drives.

Some beach time is easily tacked onto Tanzania, with Zanzibar. That is not so easy with Botswana.

In general Tanzania is less expensive than Botswana. That's not true for Botswana mobiles, which I would recommend and have done. But your $$ would go farther in Tanzania.

You want to see a variety of animals. If that includes rhino, you have a better chance in Tanzania. There is only 1 place to see rhino in Botswana and the accommodations can be costly there.

If the variety of animals includes the migration, in June you could see that probably in the Western Serengeti. If you stay in the Western Serengeti near Grumeti, I believe these are some of the more expensive accommodations, increasing the cost of Tanzania. You could also do a mobile tented camp for this Serengeti part of the trip, which is a more costly option, but it would be a wonderful experience.

If the variety of animals includes a big concentration where they are all in one place, then there is the Ngorongoro Crater.

Pros of Botswana over Tanzania
For variety of animals, you have a better chance at wild dog in Botswana, but they are always tough to see.

The is the Okavango Delta. You would have no current on the mekoro rides and I cannot imagine any motion sickness.

You could easily include Vic Falls with Botswana.

The permanent tented camps of Botswana and their secluded, wildlife-rich surroundings are unique.

While the small plane rides could be upsetting to the tummy, they are short-lived. The driving on bumpy roads (and on some smooth paved ones) from park to park in Tanzania can last for hours.

Has your husband to be ever tried Bonine? It is OTC. It has made a world of difference for me. I can't go to Imax or on a merry-go-round because I get sick. I've spend days tossed about in a small boat on the high seas with no problem because I took Bonine.

Either country will be increasingly difficult to book if you wait long.

Good luck and please post your decision.
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Dec 20th, 2007, 08:45 PM
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I've been to Tanzania twice in June and Botswana as well, but in February and August. Lynn has made some great points with the pros and cons of each. Early June is a wonderful time for Tanzania. Usually, the Migration is beginning to move from the central Seronera area to the western and northern parts of the Serengeti. Of course, it all depends on the rains, but I should think you would have an excellent chance of seeing the herds. The weather is great at that time of year; warm days and cool nights. The long rains are usually over by then, although you might get a shower or two. The climate is changing, so none of us can say for sure what the weather will do, or where the Migration herds will be. Their movement depends on the rains.

Regarding the motion sickness, your fiance might try the "scop" patch for that. In the game drive vehicle, she would probably do best in the front seat, as the roads can be rough while on game drives.
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Dec 22nd, 2007, 04:58 AM
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Thanks atravelynn and others for all of your great answers! Both places sound so good that it's hard to decide.

I think I may concentrate on Tanzania for a few of the reasons given here namely cost and possibility of a private guide. The big downside is the long drives as people have mentioned.

It's probably best to narrow things down at this point since time is of the essence in getting things booked. Thanks again and I'm sure I will have more questions for all of you.
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Dec 22nd, 2007, 05:14 AM
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Whether traveling with short-haul flights or roads/game drives in either Southern or East Africa, there might be some "motion" issues.

Unlike some motion sickness that has hit me on small boats, flights and roads in Africa haven't had that effect. And, as mentioned above, sitting in the front seat of the vehicle, next to guide/driver is "my favorite spot."

It is certainly easier to get to a coastal area if in Tanzania; to Zanzibar island and you can spend your time in Stone Town, a World Heritage Site, and not even sit on a beach. However, if you wish... there is beach/sand nearby though most hotels here do have pools.

The weather in Tanzania is lovely in June, with warm days and cool (not cold) nights/mornings. Coming out of the rainy May season, there "might" be a shower or two, but nothing to inhibit activities.

But, if considering East Africa, I'd suggest you get moving on this as space is booking quickly regardless if budget, mid-range or expensive.
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Dec 22nd, 2007, 08:02 PM
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Go book Tanzania, Grumbo!
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