Botswana in June/July/August

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Oct 2nd, 2005, 03:14 PM
  #1
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Botswana in June/July/August

Are the summer months a good time to visit Botswana? Thinking of staying in the Orient Express camps. Would we be able to see lots of animals?
dhberry is offline  
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Oct 2nd, 2005, 04:17 PM
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The short answer to both questions is Yes.

Those months are the southern hemisphere winter moving into spring, and in Botswana that means mild, sunny, dry days and cool to cold nights, at least in June & July. Days are warmer, nights milder as August progresses. Wildlife viewing is generally better the hotter it gets (August, September, October) as the animals concentrate around the permanent water.
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Oct 2nd, 2005, 05:17 PM
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A wonderful time to go. It's when I've always gone.

I must admit that I am unfamiliar with Orient Express camps. Care to enlighten me on these?

Thanks.
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Oct 3rd, 2005, 01:08 PM
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Hello,

Our summer (the African winter), June and July, is in my opinion, the best times to go to Botswana -- the Delta is in flood so you have a full spectrum of water and land activities, and the weather is comfortable -- around 70-75F during the day. The floods concentrate the animals so they are easier to find, and the greenery makes for excellent photography. Later in the year it tends to be hotter and things are more monochromatic (brown/gold).

I looked into the Orient Express camps for my first trip to Botswana, and the lodges seemed too much like hotels -- they are rather large and seemed more orientated towards luxury for its own sake rather than game-viewing. I would recommend either Wilderness Safaris or CCAfrica camps. If you travel before the end of June, you can also benefit from green-season discounts.

If you give us a bit more detail about your plans, I'm sure many people here would be happy to recommend specific camps for you. A few questions to consider...

How long do you plan to stay? Do you want water activities (a must for a first visit to the Delta, IMO), land activities, or both? Are there any particular animals you hope to see? Do you prefer tented camps, non-tented, or do you care? Are you travelling with someone, or alone (single supplements can be a real pain)? What is your approximate budget?

Cheers,
Julian
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Oct 3rd, 2005, 05:02 PM
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Ditto on Wilderness Safaris.
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Oct 4th, 2005, 08:28 PM
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dhberry
I was at Orient Express Khwai River Lodge three weeks ago. We were there for 4 nights. 3 nights would have been enough. Many people were there for 2 nights. Think elephants, lots of elephants. It is next to Moremi reserve, but, they/you can not go into Moremi at night and you can not drive off road during day. Our best viewing was outside of the reserve at dusk or night. I think, but dont' know, that I would have prefered Savuti. The lodge/rooms at Khwai were great, large, beautiful, double sinks. The food was also great.

Having said all of that, we were also in Zambia, south Luangwa Robin Pope, and Mala Mala. Khwai would rank after those two.
regards - tom
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Oct 5th, 2005, 05:32 AM
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Game is plentiful around OE camps, they are super too. Not sure why some on this board are so hell bent on "promoting" others, when you have obviously done your research on the camp styles that you prefer!

Seems to me that there might be some agends here.
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Oct 5th, 2005, 02:50 PM
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Mkhonzo,

I realise you are new to this board, but thought it might be worthwhile to make a few points:

While it is nice to hear different opinions, I'm sure other people on this board would appreciate it if you express your opinions without denigrating those whose opinions differ from yours, e.g. by calling them 'nonsense', 'rubbish,' or, most recently, claiming that anyone whose opinion differs from yours has to have an 'agenda'.

Unlike you, neither Napamatt nor I are tour operators, and therefore neither of us has an 'agenda' in terms of selling particular camps or companies. We are simply speaking from our own travel experiences and our own extensive research. That is what these board are for -- sharing the benefits of that experience. People are of course free to take it or leave it.

Please do not take this the wrong way - many of your contributions have been very interesting and helpful, and I hope that you will continue to post here. However, it would be to everyone's benefit if you could do so in a way which does not devalue the opinions and experiences of others.

Cheers,
Julian
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Oct 7th, 2005, 12:45 PM
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Just wanted to add my comment that June (at least) is a wonderful time to visit Botswana. We were in the Okavanga Delta at one of CCAfrica's camps (Nxabega) and had a wonderful experience. We saw lots of animals including finally finding a pride of lions. We also saw a leopard, elephants, giraffe, hippos, etc. The only disappointment was that we didn't see any crocodiles. Apparently the winter months are not the right time to see them. Oh well. The birds were also incredible - very colorul and plentiful. Enjoy!
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Oct 8th, 2005, 02:39 PM
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Thank you for your helpful comments. In answer to Julian's questions, I have been on safari to the Masai Mara, and this time, I would like to take my son, who is 14. I am not sure whether to return to Kenya or go to Botswana. We are looking for a stay of 5 - 7 days, and our budget is around $500 per day for each person. There will be 3 of us traveling.
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Oct 8th, 2005, 04:28 PM
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"Are the summer months a good time to visit Botswana? Thinking of staying in the Orient Express camps. Would we be able to see lots of animals?"

Once read, the poster was asking about Game, not the relevence of the properties she had chosen. Meaningful comment would have been to support her choice based on your experience of the camp. It did not sound as if she were asking for other recommendations that JASHER voulenteered.

I guess JASHER you know more than I about my tour operating business?

I believe my comment was relevent, not sure though where I have "bashed" other posters comments, should their opinions differ from mine. In fact on the contrary, if my insight is of no use I don't post.

And yes it appears that my use of this board is recent, on the contary I have been a reader for a long time.

And in closing, of course I will continue to post and if I can give objective advise I certainly will regardless of the consequences to others whose persepctive might not be the same as mine.
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Oct 8th, 2005, 07:13 PM
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mkhonzo,
Your mistake was to say others might have an 'agenda', a suggestion which might well be very unfair. Why not confine your response to your opinion about dhberry's choice and her question, and not question the motives of other responders? At times, many of us stray from the exact point of a question, for no other reason than our enthusiasm for a particular view.
afrigalah is offline  
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Oct 9th, 2005, 07:28 AM
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dhberry,

Thanks for adding details about your budget and safari participants.

At $500 per person per day, Botswana may not fit your budget. I checked out the Orient Express camps and they were more than $500/day. But the 3 camps looked like a nice variety for Botswana.

Maybe a Botswana luxury mobile camping trip would be more in your price range.

I've gone and loved the mobile camping, which is definitely quite luxurious. Wilderness brought out a variety of new camping options this past season and other companies have good moblile itineraries too.

Looks like you are also considering Kenya, which would be well within your budget. With a 14-year old, Kenya would offer more interaction with teenagers from the Masai or Samburu tribes, something your son might enjoy. Also there's the snake zoo at the museum in Nairobi, camel rides in Samburu, Lewa Downs (and probably elsewhere).

The Mara would be in its prime in August, but good in June and July too.

You might even consider Tanzania, which would offer hiking at Ngorongoro (Olmati Crater), walking and canoeing (new activities I've seen lately at Manyaya)
and mobile or semi-mobile camping in the Serengeti. June or July would be good in parts of the Serengeti and these activities would appeal to a 14-year old boy.

To answer your first question of seeing animals, all these options would produce an abundance of wildlife.

Wherever you end up, make sure that 14-year olds are allowed to participate in the activities offered.

Lucky kid! If the Africa bug bites him at this early age, you may be back.
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Oct 9th, 2005, 03:17 PM
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We took our 14yr old son to Botswana in Aug. 03 and stayed at the Wilderness camps which had family tents so we all could stay together yet had plenty of privacy. They have wonderful properties in Botswana and it was an incredible experience for him and us and we saw many animals, including wild dogs making a kill!
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