Best time of year to go on Safari with kids!


Feb 4th, 2014, 07:04 AM
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Best time of year to go on Safari with kids!

Planning a Safari for next year - we plan to bring our children who will be 11 and 12yrs.

Originally thinking to go during the summer - August - as we have more flexibility with kids out of school. I know this is a busy time of year and very popular one - game viewing is to be excellent, however it also is their winter months and we have considered taking Cape Town out of itinerary for this reason. CT can be very cool wet and rainy in August.

Our itinerary is shaping up as arrival in JNB - transfer to Sabi Sands where we spend time at a Lodge and then move to a tented camp. Next we transfer to Chobe Park Botswana and end with time in Victoria Falls.

We are interested in adding either a few days in Okavango Delta region or Namibia.

Our only question is would August be too cold or should we care. I see these great Lodges and picture myself after morning game drives, lounging by the pools. How warm would it be in these places in August?

My children have two week vacation times at Christmas holidays and in March. We first considered March and the green season because of price, but felt it may have been too much to try and cram in and then return kids to school.

Thoughts and advice from families that have travelled as to when is best time?

kthompson360 is offline  
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Feb 4th, 2014, 07:24 AM
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I think August is the perfect time. It's not too hot (chilly in the mornings and evenings but not very) and no bugs, so no need for malaria prophylaxis (that's your business as a parent of course.)

Cape Town can be rainy and cool, or it can be lovely - more like San Francisco in the winter than Seattle.

We've seen lots of (northern hemisphere) kids in July/August/September safaris.
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Feb 4th, 2014, 07:42 AM
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Thank you - just what I wanted to hear! I imagined CT to be similar to San Fran… good to keep in mind that time of year.
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Feb 4th, 2014, 04:11 PM
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In addition/alternate to the Okavango Delta, also consider Lower Zambezi National Park. It is a beautiful destination and has a wealth of activities from the typical morning and late afternoon/early evening game drives, to walking safaris, to river cruises to canoeing and also, one of my favorites, tiger fishing. Here are a few camps I've really enjoyed (with Chiawa being my favorite in all of Africa). (for Chongwe River Camp and Kasaka River Lodge) (for Chiawa Camp and Old Mondoro Bush Camp)

From Livingstone (the Zambian side of the falls, you would be able to charter a small plane right to Lower Zambezi National Park or there is scheduled air service from Livingstone to Lusaka (about an hour) and Lusaka to Lower Zambezi (half an hour?).

The Sabi Sand is awesome but given you are not even going to Cape Town, don't rule out a safari without the Sabi Sand. Another great park in Zambia is South Luangwa National Park and I think your kids would really enjoy a place like Kafunta River Lodge. My very first trip to Africa, a dozen years ago, I splurged and stayed at Singita in the Sabi Sands but the next time, two years later, I took a risk and spent less than half as much and went to South Luangwa National Park (to Kafunta River Lodge and to Kasaka River Lodge in Lower Zambezi National Park) and I fell in love with it.

The Sabi Sand is great at immediate gratification but it is also, in comparison, a manufactured result, while in Zambia, you will see way they tout themselves as "The Real Africa."

South Luangwa National Park is a one hour flight from Lusaka and if you keep your safari in Zambia, there isn't even a need to fly into Joburg anymore but rather you can connect in London and fly direct to Lusaka and then have that as your base to visit Victoria Falls/Livingstone, South Luangwa National Park and Lower Zambezi National Park. In my opinion, Zambia is the most underrated place in Southern Africa and my favorite.

But, wherever you go in Southern Africa, you cannot go wrong. I do agree that it may be best to skip Cape Town at that time of year. Enjoy.
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Feb 4th, 2014, 05:25 PM
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Thank you Roccco - this is wonderful advice about the Lower Zambezi National Park and great info on Zambia - I look forward to researching your suggestions!
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