Botswana end of May?

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Apr 12th, 2003, 12:13 PM
  #1
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Botswana end of May?

Roccco, please elaborate on the season in Botswana... you mentioned something about it not really starting until July..? Thx
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Apr 12th, 2003, 12:57 PM
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Clematis,

I think there are others that are better equipped to advise about Botswana. The preferred time, from the little I know of Botswana, seems to begin in early July perhaps due to migrations of game, weather, etc.

I believe high season begins in mid to late June. However, Botswana is one of the countries that I have the least education about. I can tell you a lot more about South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe but I will allow other Fodorites whom are better versed on Botswana to help answer your questions.
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Apr 12th, 2003, 01:00 PM
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I will look forward to hearing from other posters about Botswana.

Re: South Africa and Zambia then, what is their season like Mid-May to early June please?
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Apr 12th, 2003, 02:47 PM
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We were in Botswana in late May and it was perfect for viewing wildlife. We were prepared for the cold mornings with hats, scarves and gloves, in addition to the ponchos available in the vehicle. It wasn't long before we started removing layers and enjoying the ride in just shirtsleeves. What is your question about the season? Where are you headed?

We were in Zambia at that time, too, but mostly to see the falls which were in full force. The weather was delightful and much warmer than Botswana.
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Apr 12th, 2003, 02:50 PM
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We were in Botswana in mid June - cold during the night and for a while after sunrise and before sunset - but hot during the day.

Game viewing was excellent.
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Apr 12th, 2003, 05:40 PM
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Evelyn, where did you stay in Botswana and the falls? I have read so many posts here in the archives they are all melding together in my brain.

I am considering a trip around the last week of May-early June for about 2 weeks to Southern Africa. I know I want to stay at Mombo. One plan that was suggested was to do Capetown first (Grace) and get a driver or day tours for about 3 days. Then one camp that allows night drives like Kwando Lebala (which no one here has written about), maybe Eagle Island (although honestly I think we can skip a water camp), then Mombo. I think finish with the falls before flying back to the US.

Also suggested was King's Pool.

My husband would prefer luxury so he'd rather do Mombo and Singita even if it means doing fewer days. Any thoughts appreciated.
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Apr 12th, 2003, 05:42 PM
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Kavey, I have read many of your posts too. When you say it was cold at night, were you warm enough when you slept? How did you manage to pack enough warm clothes as well as clothes for the hot daytime with the weight limit?? Also, was that time of year green or brown? I have read about trying to wear the right color for the season and that is right in between...
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Apr 13th, 2003, 01:35 PM
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Hi Clematis (pretty nsme btw)...

You're welcome to visit my album of photos from the trip which show the kind of weather/ environment we experienced better than I can describe it. They are't very well scanned (old flatbed scanner) and I didn't know, then, that I could adjust their colour back to true using a photomanipulation package, so they are a little dark, but give a good idea.

Weather was cold but we were warm at night tucked into beds with thick covers - and all the camps put really long lasting hot water bottles into the beds whilst we were finishing dinner - a nice touch.

Going out on drives before or just after sunrise was cold but I wore a Tshirt, then a full sleeve shirt, then a fleece over that and was fine - and the camps also provide incredibly heavy duto ponchos (think blacnkets on inside, tarpaulin on outside) for your use.

When the day got going it warmed up to Tshirt weather and using the plunge pools was a pleasure during the hot midday breaks.

When I felt coldest was showering (wet hair) before sunrise and I changed my habits to have my main shower during the hotter part of the day in some camps.

We were permitted 12kg each and my camera bag was 5kg of that but taking advantage of free laundry at camps meant we needed less clothes than you'd think.

Evening wear wasn't different to daywear - we just changed into a clean set - and then wore those on the next day's game drive...
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Apr 13th, 2003, 02:26 PM
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In Botswana, we stayed at Mombo, Savuti, and Kwetsani. Mombo was luxury (as you know), Savuti was rustic but great and we got to spend a lot of time with three cheetah brothers and Kwetsani was a water camp. We enjoyed the water camp as it was a nice change of pace and we were away for three weeks. The floods had recently arrived so it was very special.

For Victoria Falls, we stayed at the River Club. There was a recent post about this facility so do a search on it if you want a good deal of information. I don't know which lodge is the most ideal for this area. We were in VF the beginning of June and the view from the Zambian side was awesome, however, the Zimbabwe side was so covered in mist (like a heavy rain) we could not even see the falls.

In Cape Town, we stayed at the Victoria and Albert Hotel, almost adjacent to the Grace. We thought it was excellent, helpful staff, adjacent to the wharf mall, right on the waterfront, historical yet modern, and less expensive than the Grace.

Kavey gave you good information about the weather. Do remember to bring gloves and a scarf to cover your face as it gets windy and cold in the open vehicles at 6AM.
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Apr 13th, 2003, 02:29 PM
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Oh gosh yes - I ended up buying a gloves and scarf set from the Mombo shop as I didn't heed agent advice to pack any! They are purple fleece and still my favourites through our UK winters...

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Apr 13th, 2003, 11:14 PM
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Purple fleece?? <s> That strikes me funny - after everything said about wearing bush colors (tan, olive), they sell purple gloves in the camp shop?

Kavey, your photos are awesome. At first I thought 85 photos? But they were beautifully composed and you captured the spirit of these amazing animals so well. I am getting excited. I will put my evolving itinerary in another post. But another wardrobe question, definitely a girly one. Did you bring a purse with you to the camps? When they figure the soft luggage allowance, it looks like you can have the duffle bag and then a carry-on. Can the purse be another carry-on or not? I'll probably have a video and still camera stuffed in my carry-on and then as much as I can stuff in my photographer's vest pockets as possible.
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Apr 14th, 2003, 12:03 AM
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Clematis
All your clothes don't have to be tan/ bush green - just subtle/ IE No colours that wouldn't exist naturally - like dayglo orange etc. No large blocks of white either, as it exists more in tiny flashes than large blocks.
The purple was a dark dark purple and actually very subtle.
You'll also be fine with greys, dark blues, beiges, and any other mid-tone colour that isn't too bright.
I'd avoid pale blue which seems to attract the tsetse flies.

I didn't take a hand bag because my camera bag is huge - it has space in it for my camera bodies, lenses, films, as well as my journal, and the few things I'd carry in a purse such as tissues, moisturiser, mini hair brush and small medicine kit. So I didn't take a separate hand bag. Pete had his digicam bag too.

If you take a small handbag that sits on your lap along with your camera bag I am sure you'll be fine.

I remember Evelyn and I having these same discussions before she went - doesn't seem so long ago!


PS Glad you liked the pics.
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Apr 14th, 2003, 04:26 AM
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Clematis
Would you drop me an email?
[email protected]
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Apr 14th, 2003, 12:02 PM
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I think it is better to stuff your handbag items into your camera bag as Kavey suggested. YOu are on the move so many times that it is one less bag to be concerned about. I put my purse-like items in a zip-lock baggie and kept it in my camera bag so it was easy to get to when needed.

Do you want a specific list of items to take with you? I could try to resurrect a pack list if it would be helpful.
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Apr 14th, 2003, 12:11 PM
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September/October at Mombo were cool at night, and a bit colder in the morning, until about 11 a.m. It can then be hot! Take plenty of water with you on the drives.

At Mombo, some folks dressed a bit for the evening meals. But nothing beyond casual.

Tans are good. Bright colors and whites on drives are not. You can brighten up a bit in ther evening. But pack carefully - you're facing the 12.2 kg limit on the small craft.
 
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Apr 14th, 2003, 12:53 PM
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Yes rhtt, I am concerned about the weight limit. Even though the camps give you a jacket, it seems I would want my own. Can you be a bit more explicit about people dressing for dinner at Mombo, Evelyn?
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Apr 14th, 2003, 01:54 PM
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Dinner was often directly after the late afternoon game drive so there wasn't much time to get dressed. We returned usually between 6 and 7. We tended to wash (or really quick shower) and change into the clothing we would be wearing the next morning... hiking pants, sneakers, tee shirt and fleece. No one I met dressed in non-safari type clothing for dinner. The clothing we had given the lodges to be laundered would have been in our room when we returned so there was always something clean to wear.

Although I had brought a pair of shorts, I never wore them. Didn't get to put on a bathing suit either and did not see anyone in any of the pools. Since they were not heated, they seemed really cold to us even in mid-day. Also, we were too tired to do much more than read, relax, write in our journal, organize our stuff. As Kavey mentioned, there was no time for me to wash and dry my hair in the morning or evening, so I did this during "siesta" time between the morning and afternoon drives. It was the only time to relax as we were kept on the move.
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