best months for game viewing

Old Jan 22nd, 2003, 07:59 AM
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best months for game viewing

We are limited to either the months of June or Sept. for travel into Johan. and then for safari. Which time would be better and for what reasons? I am interested of course in all the fab. wildlife, big game and would love some input. Thanks, Connie
Old Jan 23rd, 2003, 02:36 PM
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I have done quote a bit of research regarding Safaris in South Africa, as I am planning a trip this September.

South Africa's Kruger park and private reserves have excellent game viewing between July-October, but the dry season is just beginning in September, which is good. Too much rain could be a downer. I wouldn't want to go before September.

Also, the animals are more active when it's cooler, so September and October are ideal months - it's the begining of their spring.

If your safari is in Botswana, then it's a different story. Different game preserves there have different temperatures, etc.
Moremi, Okavango Delta, Linyanti & Chobe have excellent game viewing between May-November. The other areas are not so great around that time.

Also consider that not all game preserves are created equal. They each contain different types of animals, and some just don't offer the best game viewing possible.

We have reviewed other people's opinions on a few areas and found that there are some camps/reserves we shouldn't go to, due to the sparse animal population.

Kruger is smaller than Botswana, so the animals are all concentrated in certain areas. You will probably see more animals in Kruger, BUT Botswana is more authentic - the animals are spread out more.

It all depends on what you are looking for. Kruger has roads and a lot of rules you have to follow - no open-top vehicles. It's scrubby, dry and a lot of the watering holes are not natural.
It's like a drive-thru zoo - BUT it's famous, has a lot of animals and has super expensive lodges and luxury.

Botswana is lush, more untouched and you go offroading a lot more. Animals are harder to find, making it a true safari experience. Camps/lodges there are cheaper for the most part - there are excpetions with the Mombo area.

Anyway, based on all that - we are trying to decide what to do.

We want a lodge/luxury tented camp that offers night drives, day drives, bush walks and offroading. It's possible to find this in SA in the private reserves bordering Kruger.

Make sure the reserve you choose offers the activities you want. They all have similar schedules, but some don't offer night drives, etc.

Good Luck!

Old Jan 23rd, 2003, 08:30 PM
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Thanks Ingrid, all very helpful. I wonder; If we are flying into Joberg and planning a 3 week stay, could we do both Botswana and Kruger? I would think we could get a flight between the 2 places. Have you looked into this? Thanks, Connie
Old Jan 24th, 2003, 04:42 AM
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Hi Connie

You will be able to do both SA & Bots safari in 3 weeks. Just a point to note - Kruger is hardly small, and with the recent removal of border fences in this area between SA, Mozambique and Zim to allow for natural migration it's even bigger. From your posting I'm guessing that you are a real bush baby, so my advice is to get the two different bush experiences that SA and Bots offer. Botswana has the wetlands and Okavango Delta - it is different to the savannah which is more prevalent in SA. Also - remember that Kruger is not the only game reserve. There are any number of quite excellent government run and privately owned reserves.
In terms of the time, June or September would both be good times being mid-winter or early spring respectively, and before the rains kick in (hopefully) so the bush will not be so thick that you cannot see anything. Don't let the thought of mid-winter put you off - while the evenings will be cool, day time temperatures on the highveld climb to mid-20's (celsius).
Old Jan 24th, 2003, 03:13 PM
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Tracie is right!
Kruger is smaller than Botswana, but it's something like 40 million acres, or is it Hectares?? It's the size of a small country.

We have received some quotes on both reserves bordering Kruger and also for Botswana - BOTH SUPER EXPENSIVE

I am not sure where people manage to pay 16,000-20,000 US for a two-week trip, but I can't and won't do that.

The flights I saw are all from J'berg. We didn't check into anything direct to Botswana.

If you can afford it, go to both.
It would be awesome!

Old Feb 2nd, 2003, 08:55 PM
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Okay - we have flip-flopped a billion times while planning this trip. We have created spread sheets and all that...

We have decided to not visit Kruger, but rather we are going on a mobile tented luxury safari in Botswana. We belive this is going to offer us a more authentic experience - BUT with all the creature comforts we are used to.

I am not willing to rough it too much. Vacation is a time for fun, after all.

The flights to Botswana are costing around $300 for two of us. It's cheap, cheap. it's the actual safari portion that will cost you an arm and a leg if not careful.

Do a lot of research. We have decided to book the safari portion with Afrian Horizons in Louisiana. They charge the same that the ground operators charge, and the international airfare is the best we have seen.

I sat one night last month pricing international airfare through all the online consolidators and nobody had airfare as cheap as African Horizons.


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