June or October - Which is best for game viewing?

Jan 16th, 2006, 09:17 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2004
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June or October - Which is best for game viewing?

My friends are deciding which month to plan their safari which will take them to Kruger, Chobe, Hwange, Caprivi and the Okavango Delta.
They want to go the month that has the best game sightings. Opinions?
ROSEBROOK is offline  
Jan 16th, 2006, 09:54 AM
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for those places in general, october would be better for game viewing as its the driest time of the yr. also too though oct is the hottest month of the yr and can be quite uncomfortable. if i were you i would go in june as the game viewing is still great and the weather a lot easier to deal with.
bigcountry is offline  
Jan 16th, 2006, 11:19 AM
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I can't tell you which time is best for game viewing because I haven't been there in June. I was in Chobe and the Okavango Delta in the first half of October, 2005, and it was pretty hot. This is from my journal:

"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."

If I had the choice of June and October, I would choose June. If I had the choice of October or don't go, I would choose to go in October.
sundowner is offline  
Jan 16th, 2006, 02:44 PM
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I've travelled in both June and late August/early September, and the weather was much more pleasant in June -- crisp, clear nights and warm clear days. From a photographic standpoint, having a bit of green (and less dust) made a big difference in my photos.

I had excellent game sightings at both times of year (I spent about a week at Londolozi both times, so I can do a direct comparison in the same reserve). The bush is definitely lower later in the year, but everything becomes rather monochromatic (basically a lion-brown colour) which makes spotting some animals (notably lions and leopards) challenging despite the state of the bush. I found the cats easier to see in June.

jasher is offline  
Jan 16th, 2006, 07:45 PM
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If October........do early October to ensure that the first rains have not arrived.......

I know the official rainy season starts mid-nov......but some yrs they may have some t'storms late October and the animals go away deep into the Mopane.

I am talking about Botswana
Jan 16th, 2006, 11:16 PM
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 148
For Botswana, game sightings are definitely better in October. Can you stand the heat? If you can, do that.

I've been in Bots in early June, and it is highly variable. Grass can still be very high, and that impacts viewing significantly. You might be lucky. You might not be. Late June is definitely better than early June. And if Mombo or Chiefs is on the itinerary the fact that it is an island makes this good year round, as the (potentially) high water in June concentrates the wildlife on a smaller island.
ddgattina is offline  
Jan 17th, 2006, 06:27 AM
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Hi there,

“Which month has the best game sightings” this is a really difficult one. Unfortunately everyone has their own opinions on this one.
At the end of last October we were in the Moremi Game reserve in Botswana, there we met people who had driven down from come from the Chobe National Park through Savuti to Moremi. This journey effectively takes you along the Botswana side of the Caprivi strip. They claimed that the game viewing was fabulous.
We on the other hand had no luck at all in Moremi (due to the lack of rain), so we drove up to Chobe (via Nata on the tar road).
At Chobe it was a different story altogether, we saw all of the available game within 5Km of the entrance gate. At least 300 elephants daily!!! Again this was also due to the lack of rain; the only source of water in the park was the river. As soon as it starts to rain the elephants dissipate into the rest of the park and sighting them is not that easy.
The same applies to the South African parks as well; we live here (and can go to Kruger every weekend if we want). We find that it is that always that “pot luck” is much more important than the weather. Someone can spot a pride of Lions, but more often than not by the time you arrive on the scene there is not a great deal to see. If you really want to make sure of some special sightings, then book a night in Sabi Sands. Here they drive off road, have drivers in radio contact with each other and if you do not see at least one lion here then you will not see one anywhere.

Book whichever month you want to, but remember the game does not respect that fact that theoretically they should be easy to see just because the grass is short, or it is not too hot today, or it has not rained recently.

Maurice_M is offline  
Jan 17th, 2006, 06:46 AM
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Well, Maurice - hate to prove you wrong, but we were in Sabi Sands for three nights and the Okavanga Delta for three nights and we saw all of our lions in the Delta ! Oh well, there is an exception to every rule.

As to the viewing in June - it was fabulous. The Delta was quite warm during the day (I was down to shorts and a sleevless shirt during our "siesta" time at noon) and cool enough to be comfortable sleeping at night. I can't speak for October, but I can definitely recommend going to all of those places in June.
jcasale is offline  
Jan 20th, 2006, 09:12 AM
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Thank you everyone. They have made their deposit on the June trip.
ROSEBROOK is offline  

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