Kruger vs Chobe/Okovango and Etosha

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Oct 26th, 2005, 08:36 AM
  #1
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Kruger vs Chobe/Okovango and Etosha

Hi there,

I'm new to this forum but already have found it very useful answering questions on my mind, particularly a recent discussion comparing visiting game parks in Botswana with visiting game parks in Namibia.

But my most pertinent question is: how does Kruger compare to these? My wife and I are considering travelling to southern Africa in the second half of next April. We have limited time to explore northern Sth Africa (or else Namibia or Botswana) before heading south to Cape Town. Specifically, what I would like to know are the pros and cons of 1) a guided safari in Kruger National Park vs a guided safari in Botswana (Okovango Delta and Chobe National Park), and 2) guided safari in Kruger vs guided safari in Namibia (Etosha) - in terms of what wildlife we would see (variety, ease and likelihood of viewing), weather in late April, plus any other possible pros and cons of each?

Thanks!
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Oct 26th, 2005, 09:15 AM
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I have toured most of Southern Africa parks (excluding Kruger), I recommend Okavango and Chobe since they provide remoteness with great wildlife viewing.
Etosha is great but it can easily be done as a self-drive (so it is not worth the guided cost). Late April is
a bit early and you will likely see less wildlife.
To get the value of being on a guided
tour Okavango is the place since the self-drive option provides only for a limited feel of the park.
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Oct 27th, 2005, 04:56 AM
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Thanks Yaser for your response. When you say that late April is a bit early, does that comment apply to all three areas (Etosha, Chobe/Okovango, and Kruger), or just the first two?
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Oct 27th, 2005, 04:59 AM
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Whoops, just re-read your reply Yaser and you mention that you hadn't been to Kruger, so perhaps then your comment about April and timing only was meant to apply to Namibia and Botswana?
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Oct 28th, 2005, 03:41 AM
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Regarding my April is lesser wildlife comment it applies to Etosha and Okavango which I visited several times in both April and Sept. In April Etosha had water at many locations which become dry in Sept. The grass was still somewhat green (as opposed to almost barren landscape in Sept.). As a result
Etosha is quite different. I appreciate both months but if you have a single trip to make the later the better.

As to Okavango (I visited the areas open to self-drive in Moremi in April and the interior of the park in Sept) wildlife was sparse in April since it
was still quite green. April is pre-flood period in the interior of the delta (flood peaks around early July) wildlife has greater territory to roam (add to it the green after the rain) and likely sightings will be a bit tougher in many parts of the delta. In contrast, by Sept the water has receeded the green grass is gone so animals will be closer to the edge of the water.

Regarding Chobe, I visited several times in Sept. In April, I would expect wildlife to be dispersed given what I know about the adjacent Linyanti area (which defintely is much much better in Sept.)

You can look at some of the pictures of my trips
http://www.umiacs.umd.edu/~yaser/pictures.html
(unfortunately I haven't been able to accompany the pictures by text).
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Oct 28th, 2005, 05:25 AM
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We went to both the Kruger area (stayed in Sabi Sands at Elephant Plains for 3 nights) and the Okavanga Delta (Nxabega for 3 nights) and it's hard to really compare them since they are so different. I will say that as far as the big animals go, we saw a higher concentration of them in Sabi Sands. In the Delta we saw more birds. That's also the place that we finally saw a lion (although they had seen a lion the night before we got to Sabi Sands). If you have limited time and are going on to Cape Town after your safari, just from the point of view of traveling, I would say stick with South Africa, but go to one of the private reserves if you can. According to everything I read (and my experience proved it) Sabi Sands has some of the absolute best viewing. I loved Elephant Plains and would go back in a minute if I could. The Delta is hard to get to - most places you can only get to by light aircraft - so you will spend more of your time just getting there and back. That said, I wouldn't have missed the Delta for the world - it is so different - and Nxabega was a fabulous experience.
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Oct 30th, 2005, 05:29 PM
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Andy: This past summer I visited both Kruger and Chobe National Parks. Both are terrific. In Kruger, we saw leopard twice in one day: once around 5:30 or 6 a.m., and again in the late afternoon. It would be hard for me to make a choice, but if forced to, I'd say go for Kruger. I was there in June, and the animal viewing was terrific, including sable antelope. As you can tell from those who post, Africa is one very special place; and I would bet no matter where you choose to go, you will find that it will be beyond your wildest dreams. Best wishes.
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Oct 30th, 2005, 05:31 PM
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Addendum: my message leaves the impression that it was in Kruger where I saw the sable antelope. It was in Chobe--sorry about that.
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