Safari in January?

Reply

May 24th, 2014, 04:39 PM
  #1
P_M
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 22,462
Safari in January?

I've been wanting to go on safari for a long time and I'm looking at Overseas Adventure Travel's web site for a trip to Botswana, Zimbabwe and Zambia. The least expensive trip seem to be in January but surely that's because it's hot and very rainy in January.

Has anyone gone on safari at that time of year? Is it worth doing in January? The price difference is huge if I wait until dry season but I'm wondering if it's worth the extra money to wait.

Thanks.
P_M is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 26th, 2014, 02:36 PM
  #2
TC
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,859
We were in Botswana in Nov/Dec last year. It wasn't rainy at all. It was a bit hot in the afternoons, but not unbearable. Can't speak to your other destinations. We have been to Kenya and Tanzania twice - both times in January and the weather was outstanding. I wouldn't hesitate (obviously). The savings is worth any small inconvenience a bit of rain might bring. Added bonus.....many fewer vehicles around.
TC is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 27th, 2014, 06:32 AM
  #3
P_M
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 22,462
Thanks TC, that is very helpful. I realize good weather is not a guarantee at any time of year but I still wanted to hear from someone who had been there.
P_M is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 27th, 2014, 12:42 PM
  #4
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 8,675
January shouldn't be the rainy season. Who said it was? If it was Mar-May or even Nov/early-Dec, yes more likely whether in East or Southern African countries. That though is Not to say it might not rain or there be showers, but nowadays who ever really knows. But for sure if the price is that much lower than other times of the year, I'd take a shot at it.
sandi is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 27th, 2014, 08:17 PM
  #5
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 5,285
I can't find the trip report, but someone did a "green season" Botswana trip and loved it. Go for it - it's a great way to save money and get a great experience. So what if it rains - we've had some great viewing days when it was pouring! It's worse when it's windy. Look for that trip report. It was well done.
christabir is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 27th, 2014, 08:20 PM
  #6
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 5,285
Here it is:

http://www.fodors.com/community/afri...een-season.cfm
christabir is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 27th, 2014, 09:37 PM
  #7
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 268
January is definitely the rainy season in Botswana. In East Africa there are short rains Nov-Dec and long rains March-May but the further south you go the more these converge into one. In Botswana the rains typically start in Nov and go through until March-April, with the highest rainfall being in Dec, Jan and Feb. Having said that, Botswana actually has a very dry climate, with rainfall in the rainiest months being less than half that in the rainiest months in East Africa (about 100mm vs 250mm). People think of the Okavango delta as wet (which it is!) but most of the water drains in from Angola, with the actual rainfall being relatively low.

I've done 3 trips now in green season and whilst the game viewing may not be quite as good as in the dry season, there is still plenty to see and the reduction in pricing makes it excellent value. In Jan/Feb 2013 we only really had rain twice in 15 days.

There are a lot of great specials around in green season and I would recommend at least looking at something tailor made rather than a prepackaged tour. If you are travelling solo, there are no single supplements and most camps have communal dining and shared game drives and there's really no need to be in a group.
stokeygirl is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 28th, 2014, 05:04 AM
  #8
P_M
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 22,462
It's great to get so many helpful responses, thank you all. Before posting this question I had almost talked myself out of going in January but now I will give it a lot more thought.
P_M is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 29th, 2014, 11:26 AM
  #9
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 8,675
There it is, whether it will or whether it won't. Who ever knows if/when it will rain, in the so-called rainy season if Jan is in Botswana, when some friends have visited that time of year and only reported light showers on 2 or 3 evenings. While in 'dry' season, people are surprised if there is wet.

Apparently, no one can be certain as worldwide weather is wacky these past many years. So if you're not sure about a January visit, more research is needed, if wishing to select another period and hope it doesn't rain then.
sandi is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 31st, 2014, 11:13 AM
  #10
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440
Check these weather sites:

Weather month by month in Botswana
http://www.climateandweather.com/weather-in-botswana

Weather overview Botswana
http://www.uyaphi.com/botswana/weather.htm

Depending on your goals and budget, Jan could be very well worth it. If you want to see a variety of wildlife and save $$, then I'd strongly consider January. I like stokeygirl's comments "There are a lot of great specials around in green season and I would recommend at least looking at something tailor made rather than a prepackaged tour. If you are travelling solo, there are no single supplements and most camps have communal dining and shared game drives and there's really no need to be in a group."

But there is a reason for all the good deals in Jan and that is more likelihood of rain and the concentration of animals is less because water is abundant and dispersed.

I've traveled to East and Southern Africa during Nov, Dec, Feb, March (not Jan) which are wetter months than the winter dry season of July-Sept. Saw fantastic stuff every outing. In numerous trips, only lost about 3 total hours of wildlife viewing to heavy rains. In my experience the prey species, such as antelope, actually are less skittish in the rain than the sunshine.

I would not hesitate to go on safari in Jan if it fit my plans and budget.

Have fun whenever you go.
atravelynn is offline  
Reply With Quote
 


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 09:34 AM.