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Botswana safari in September-how cold is early morning?

Botswana safari in September-how cold is early morning?

Jul 10th, 2019, 01:11 PM
  #1  
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Botswana safari in September-how cold is early morning?

We are gearing up for a trip to Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, Botswana and South Africa. We will be at two separate safari camps in Botswana in the first two weeks of September. There are strict weight and dimension requirements for luggage (soft sided duffels) and I want to ensure that we pack appropriately for variable temperatures. Just how cold is the morning game drive? Will a light fleece under a soft shell or windbreaker jacket suffice? It seems overkill to bring packable down when daytime temperatures appear to be in the mid to high 20's. Some travelers have also suggested that warm blankets are also offered. I would be grateful for any insights from those who have done a similar trip.
pirouette is online now  
Jul 11th, 2019, 07:20 AM
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I was in Botswana (I assume you mean northern areas, Okavango/Linyanti) early Sept on one trip and South Africa/Sabi Sands on another, and I found Botswana not to be as chilly. And I'm always cold. A mid-weight fleece, and maybe a hat or scarf if you like (to cut wind from moving vehicle), should suffice. The And most camps do have some sort of blanket or other wrap in the truck, which I would put on my lap, since, as I said above, I'm always cold. It typically warms up within an hour or so after starting out on the morning drive. Evenings get cool quickly (in the moving vehicle) if you stay out for sundown and drive back to camp afterwards, but not quite as cool as start of morning game drives.
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Jul 12th, 2019, 02:33 PM
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Which camps will you visit? I just wrote a long post only to have it disappear, so give me the camps (I've visited quite a few) and I will give you my advice. For sure, bring a knit or fleece cap for early mornings and after-sunset drives. Inquire if there are nights when you will go straight from the game drive to an outdoor boma dinner; if so, bring a shawl or sweater on the afternoon drive.

We will be in Zimbabwe this coming September..where will you be in that country? We will not be returning to Vic Falls, only to game lodges.
ekscrunchy is offline  
Jul 12th, 2019, 03:30 PM
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I am also interested in this, though itís early October weíll be there. I understand itís going to be very hot in the afternoon, but am concerned about night, early morning and evening drives.

In Sept in South Africa I brought, and needed, many layers of wool in the a.m. it was freezing in the vehicle!

Will be solely in the north for twelve night.
shouldbewriting is offline  
Jul 12th, 2019, 09:34 PM
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I was in Botswana at that time, in the Delta, Linyanti and Moremi. It is only cold in the vehicle for an hour or so in early morning and after dark. Do you know if you can do night drives at your camps? I would bring a fleece and a windbreaker to cover it with, along with a knit cap and maybe gloves.
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Jul 12th, 2019, 11:33 PM
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We will be at the River Lodge in Vic Falls, then on to the Machaba camp followed by the Gometi Plains camp. The all have morning and night drives with other activities as well. I am stressing as to how to survive with a 30 lb luggage allowance. We are ending our trip in urban settings, Cape Town and stellenbosch. It is a challenge to pack for both environments!
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Jul 13th, 2019, 08:51 AM
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Thanks ekscrunchy. We’ll be at Bushman Plains, Kwando Splash and Lagoon. There will be night drives. We’re allowed 44 lbs.

Sounds like I’ll be taking all the same stuff I used in SA. Will just have to look like a hick on the plane and in Cape Town. There are worse things!
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Jul 13th, 2019, 09:03 AM
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pirouette, are you certain that your allowance is only 30ibs? Just checked my info from our TA, who states that all countries of Southern Africa allows 44 lbs.
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Jul 14th, 2019, 04:10 AM
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It is not the regulation of the countries; it is the small planes that are used by some camps. No hard-sided bags, no wheels, limited weight.
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Jul 14th, 2019, 06:48 AM
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Yes, ekscrunchy, that’s what my TA was referring to.
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Jul 17th, 2019, 05:55 PM
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I was in Botswana In October, 2015. And it lived up to the hot-October reputation that year.
Here's a small excerpt from my trip report from that trip:
Before I signed up for this trip I knew it was going to be hot. I was oh-so-right. It was so hot. So very hot. During the mid-day breaks when we hung around camp it was so blanking hot. Too hot to take a nap. Too hot to look at pictures on the computer. Too hot to read a book. Too hot to breathe. I finally got the spray mist bottle out of my tent and just sprayed myself, face, arms, legs - whatever was exposed - and just hoped for a breeze to cool me off. I ended up carrying that bottle on game drives too. BUT, we would leave for the afternoon game drive around 4 and shortly after it felt like someone turned down the heat. Not that it got cool. It just wasn't quite so hot. So by the time we returned at dark you could actually sit around the fire and have sundowners. (Far away but still around the fire.) It usually cooled off enough around 1AM or so that you could fall asleep pretty well. Some nights I would have to find the blanket (that I had kicked off the bed) before morning. The 2 days we knew the temperature it was 120 and 122.

And another little section:
In the ride to the last camp, we talked about how we could translate to our spouses how hot it really was. We decided we would sit them in front of a 400 degree oven (to simulate the heat) and turn on a fan (to simulate driving in The Beast) and mist their face (to simulate the sweat) and then throw some baby powder in the fan (to simulate the dust). They would have the perfect example of what we went through. We stopped on the side of the road under a big tree for lunch. Almost too hot to eat.

But we saw some of the best game I've seen in Africa.
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Jul 18th, 2019, 05:40 AM
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That sounds terrible! I am guessing that those camps had no fans, right? The hottest I remember being in Africa was in Sabi Sands in early October, but as you know, many camps there have a/c so we just huddled in the room during the middle of the day.
I imagine I was lucky the time II went to Botswana in mid-October. Pretty sure we had fans there. Despite the heat, one place had a plunge pool and it was freezing!
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Jul 18th, 2019, 07:07 PM
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We were mobile camping. No electricity. But lots of wildlife at water holes.

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