Botswana safari in January?

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Jun 17th, 2008, 09:58 PM
  #1
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Botswana safari in January?

Hi all Fodorites

I've had some great advice from this forum recently and hoping you can also help me with this.
We're planning to safari in January 2010, beginning with a self-drive Kruger. Then we plan to come back to Johannesburg, fly to Vic Falls and spend about 5 days there for the Falls but also hopefully for a few days on safari - Botswana/Chobe? Ideally we'd like to drive ourselves (we have a small budget!) but I understand it may be too wet for us to try and drive ourselves at this time of year.

Would someone please like to give us some advice on whether we should self-drive, or alternatively recommend an inexpensive way of seeing the wildlife in the area?
We're also working on plans for an overland tour for about 10 days in Tanzania, in order to make the best of our wildlife opportunities in Africa.

Many thanks
Chrissie
New Zealand
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Jun 17th, 2008, 10:09 PM
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Back again ... I've just read some advice that we shouldn't try self-driving by ourselves through Botswana/Chobe (in case of break-downs etc), so we'll avoid that and just look at taking a tour safari. Any suggestions?
Thanks again
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Jun 17th, 2008, 10:11 PM
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There are still several mobile camping safari operators that run safaris in Botswana.

Don't know what you'd do for 5 days at the falls, though?
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Jun 18th, 2008, 08:16 AM
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Hari, I think WT meant 5 days for the falls AND Bots safari. At least I HOPE that's what she meant. I agree, 5 days at the Falls is way too much. IMO, it is 4 days too much.

WT-One day at the falls, and 4 days mobile would be a good use of those 5 days. Personally, though, I don't think 4 days for safari in Botswana is enough time.

I like your idea of 10 days overland in Tanzania for January. Botswana is wonderful, more remote than Tanzania or SA, so this is also an excellent choice. Self drive in Kruger should also be excellent, and a good use of funds. How long do you have for the entire trip?
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Jun 18th, 2008, 09:29 AM
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Instead of going to the Krüger where it will be rainy and as a consequence you will not see a lot of wildlife, I would go for a self-drive week to the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park (previously called Gemsbok)in the north western part of RSA.
In January, it will be very hot there and the risk of rains is lesser, some heavy thunder storms are possible at that time of the year. The vegetation is almost absent and the wide open spaces are legion. So many more chances to see the wildlife. Gemsbok is a very good place to see lions, cheetahs and leopard, and one of the best places in Africa for birds of prey.

Mike
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Jun 18th, 2008, 11:56 PM
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Thanks guys for all your advice. Yes, we plan to spend a total of 5 days in Vic Falls/Botswana. Overall we plan to put about 3 weeks into safari in Africa.

Interesting to hear it may be better to opt for Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park instead of Kruger. We'll definitely consider that - self drive is good for us particularly in places where huts are available with an electric point, as a member of our party has specific health issues requiring overnight electricity. Kruger is one of those parks that has these.
Do you know, Walrus, whether Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park has huts or similar?

In fact, we'd love to be able to do most of our safari staying in these huts as they're inexpensive and they (apparently) have electricity available throughout the night (I hope I have been given the correct information about this!). I'm searching the internet at the moment for which parks have this type of accommodation, so if anyone knows which parks in Tanzania/Kenya/Botswana have them I'd love to hear. I found the website for the Serengeti Parks and they do have huts but the lady I've emailed (twice) to ask about electricity availability doesn't seem to understand my question.

Thanks again, your advice and suggestions are invaluable in planning our safari trip.

Cheers
Chrissie
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Jun 19th, 2008, 10:31 AM
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Yes , they have huts in KTP, but I do not remember if the electricity was working at night. But you will find that information on the same website you found the information concerning Krüger.

Mike
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Jun 19th, 2008, 12:19 PM
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The main KTP restcamp, Twee Rivieren, definitely has electricity throughout the other night. Some of the others do not.

We did a self-drive in Kruger in late December-early January and loved it. Weather is the luck of the draw.

KTP has less diversity in terms of flora & fauna than does Kruger -- KTP lacks ellies & rhino, for example.

Roads in KTP are reportedly much worse than in Kruger but I have not experienced KTP personally yet -- will do so for the first time in December and will report back.

The sanparks.org website is a gem for planning in either KTP or Kruger -- or any of the myriad other South African national parks.

We went to Tanzania and loved it but did not do a self-drive there, we hired a driver-guide through goodearthtours.com. Self-drives seem much less common in Tanzania than in SA, IMO.

Botswana was great but is pricier than SA and Tanzania.

On a budget and wanting to self-drive, I am not sure you can beat Kruger for wildlife viewing. Good luck with your planning.
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Jun 21st, 2008, 12:05 AM
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Thanks again Walrus and Lisa. I'll take a look again at the SanParks website to suss out which has electricity throughout the night, and review our plans. Your input has been much appreciated. Cheers
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