Botswana in February??


Apr 8th, 2006, 03:03 PM
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Botswana in February??

We recently spent a month in Tanzania and can't wait to return to Africa. We're interested in Botswana but given our work commitments, the weather here in Canada, etc., the only time we can really get away for any extended period is January to March. If we travel to Botswana at that time are we in for lots of rain and mosquitoes? If the January to March season is our only travel option, are we better off sticking to Tanzania and Kenya? What about South Africa at that time of year - are we also in for a lot of rain? It's not that I mind a little rain, it's just that it makes wildlife viewing much more difficult and game drives somewhat less enjoyable.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Karen47 is offline  
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Apr 8th, 2006, 07:05 PM
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I went to Botswana during the green season this past rained all the time for 10 days, barring one day. I guess, it's the luck of the draw, but, be prepared for a lot of poncho time. If you really want to go to Botswana in Feb, stick to camps in the delta if gameviewing is your priority. i.e.,Chiefs camp, Mombo, Kwara, Chitabe........

If SA is another option, i would say go to the Sabi sands etc., where it may not be Botswana, but, you are still going to have some top notch gameviewing......

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Apr 8th, 2006, 10:38 PM
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I was in Botswana and South Africa this past February. Yes, it rained a lot and the animals had dispersed into the bush, but we still had some great sightings. I've been in August to these same locations and know that you'll see more then because of the lack of tall grass and fewer waterholes, but the trade-off, as such, is browner backgrounds for photos and colder weather. It's hard to say in advance what type of weather you'll experience. In February 2005, it hardly rained at all in Botswana from reports I read. This year, they had more rain than in the past 20 years. Even with all the rain, we didn't experience many mosquitoes, but that seemed to vary according to how tasty you were to them.

The other thing to consider is that you won't experience the Delta floods in February, which is a magical experience. They don't usually start until about April.

Finally, the price is much lower in February and March, but, there are those tradeoffs!
ShayTay is offline  
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Apr 8th, 2006, 11:11 PM
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The Serengeti gives you much more to see than most camps in Botswana that time of year.

The thing is you can't predict is the rainfall. When I was there in March 2004 I experienced lots of heavy rains. In April 2005 it was clear and sunny all the time. Gameviewing at Chief's camp was outstanding in both cases.

If you are going to Botswana, I would prefer to go in March because the chances of rain are less than in the first two months of the year.

Although in case of heavy rains, the vegetation is thicker and higher, you are still able to make decent pictures.

If you take the price and quality of gameviewing into account, I would opt to go to Chief's camp,Kwara and Lebala.

Mosquitoes, it depends from year to year and from camp to camp. Mosquitoes bothered me the most in the following places: Chief's camp (March 2004) + Duba plains (June 2005) + Jacana (June 2003).

But I was at Kwara and Lebala in December 2005 for twelve days and although it rained from time to time, I didn't get bitten by mosquitoes.

Also a trip to Botswana makes a great combination with Capetown. You can have a direct fly between Maun and Capetown.

I must warn you that I have a special relationship with Botswana. So it's good to hear opinions of others.


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Apr 9th, 2006, 09:26 AM
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Hello Karen,

You may want to take a look at this trip report, written by someone who just returned from a green-season trip to Botswana:

If you do go to Botswana in the green season, guiding will be the most important factor in your experience. The animals are still there, but it takes more effort to find them and a good guide is essential.

jasher is offline  
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Apr 9th, 2006, 06:16 PM
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hi karen,
i have visited botswana in both jan 2004 and 2005 and had a fantastic time. you can have viewing as good as any other time of the year if you visit the right areas. i went to mombo both years and cant imagine better gameviewing (especially of the cats). i made posts on this forum about both my visits so search for those. my recommendation for lodges are as follows:
1. mombo
2. chiefs
3. savuti
4. duba plains

if you combine mobo and savuti, u will have a phenomenal trip. let me know if you have more specific questions

bigcountry is offline  
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Apr 10th, 2006, 02:56 PM
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Thanks, everyone, for your advice. I am feeling quite a bit more positive about Botswana in February. I just have one more question: what about mosquitoes? I can put up with getting wet, but I really like to avoid being eaten alive.
Karen47 is offline  
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Apr 10th, 2006, 03:12 PM
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Hi Karen,
We we just came back Botswana. I think that it depends on the camps you visit the closer you are to the water the more mosquitos and bugs you have. Most of the camps have powerful sprays. We used the insecticide towelettes. Dab a little around your neck , ears, hands, and worked fine especially at night
Good Luck, Daddog
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