Botswana -- timing

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Oct 15th, 2015, 01:40 PM
  #1
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Botswana -- timing

We are looking at a 2016 trip to Botswana, Vic Falls, Linyanti, Moremi, and Okavango Delta. Would it be better to go early May or early June? (These are the times that suit our schedules.) I'm worried that the nights in June are too cold to enjoy a tent and that perhaps game viewing isn't quite as good in May.
Any thoughts appreciated!
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Oct 15th, 2015, 10:11 PM
  #2
 
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What sort of tent are we talking about here? Are you planning on self driving with basic tents? Or doing a mobile with more luxury tents and non participation? Or are we talking about permanent tented camps? It makes a big difference (or it would do to me).

If permanent tented camps, there will also potentially be a big price difference, depending on which company owns them. Some camps move to peak pricing on 1 June, others on 1 July and others in between. If permanent tented camps, do you have an idea of which ones?
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Oct 16th, 2015, 06:03 AM
  #3
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This is a Wilderness Safaris trip, but not all are their luxury camps. Some are Discovery camps, which have more basic tents -- but still with ensuite baths, we are told.
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Oct 16th, 2015, 10:59 PM
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Hey samcat -

The tents, even at Discovery camps, are very nice. No A/C or heat, but very comfortable. If it's cold, they provide hot water bottles which are great until you have to get up before dawn (or in the middle of the night). I sleep with a robe under the covers to keep it warm so it keeps me warm. I have had warmish weather in June and cold, wet weather in May and vice versa (and climate change is hitting Southern Africa terribly so it's hard to forecast). I have to say the Discovery camps were more my style and comfort than the higher end camps.

But let me give you a little different take. You go to bed after dinner which is after a game drive that returns about an hour after sunset. It gets pretty late. Then you get up before dawn for coffee and head off 15 minutes before sunrise. That's early. I like to safari during June because the nights are longest and I feel well rested and no naps in the afternoon. And the animals adjust - they are most active near dusk and dawn so you don't miss anything, just gain sleep.

Botswana is a fantastic wildlife experience - you can't go wrong any season. The rangers are some of the best in the biz at WS, so finding creatures should not be a problem no matter when you go. Just FYI - there are very few rhinos in Botswana, so if you want to see them add a lodge near Kruger. Leopard are seen most often in Sabi Sand, if they are a priority. Very easy add on to the trip you currently plan. (Don't miss the rhinos - I'm really worried about them).

Have fun - sounds like a very nice trip. Be careful - I did a similar trip on my first safari (our one and only trip of a lifetime!!). I am now planning #5 and looking at retirement homes.

Get itineraries for both times - and see if there is a significant price difference. Any agent should do that for you. Flights might be less expensive in May.
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Oct 17th, 2015, 03:23 AM
  #5
 
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I hope May will be good because I've planned a trip for that month! I've been in Sept/Oct and lookingn forward to a different season. Pricing is certainly lower; I thought my agent mentioned that prices will rise June 1 in some camps. You might check that if pricing is important to you.

And what IS the opinion of the experts here? Did I make a mistake choosing May? (We like to be home at the beach after Memorial Day)
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Oct 17th, 2015, 06:07 AM
  #6
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Thank you for this helpful information, Christabir.
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Oct 17th, 2015, 06:29 AM
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I agree that with tented camps, even the Discovery ones, I wouldn't worry too much about the weather. I was thinking more of basic camping or even more luxury mobile camping where you might have an outdoor bucket shower- then I might think twice about June.

I think May and June would both be good and not that much to choose between them. In theory June might have lower grass and animals might be congregating more around water but honestly I doubt there will be much in it. So for me the choice would be based on the price difference. If this is one of the Wilderness "explorations" then there probably isn't a huge price difference, so I'd probably go for June. If it's a bespoke itinerary, their fixed camps do move to peak prices in June so it could make a bigger difference, then I'd probably opt for May.

I went in late June this year, next year I'm going for late May. I had a fantastic trip in late April a few years ago.
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Oct 17th, 2015, 04:47 PM
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No ekscrunchy - Botswana is always great. Any time you can get to Botswana is a good time (and saving money is an excellent bonus). Enjoy the beach at home, it's such a short season.

My pleasure, samcat. See rhino!
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Oct 18th, 2015, 02:53 PM
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Botswana winter is not that too cold even in tents but. Try a mobile camping trip with a mobile safari company. I reccommend www.armbushsafaris.com
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Oct 31st, 2015, 06:29 AM
  #10
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We leave May 30 for the June trip!
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