South Africa,,,April or October?

Jun 26th, 2003, 02:42 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 69
South Africa,,,April or October?

Due to unforseen circumstances, I will have to change my vacation to South Africa to next year. Now I have to options: going in April 2004 or in October 2004. Need to know the pros and cons of going on either of these months. How the game viewing, the weather and cost will be affected?

This was my itinerary for the trip (the same for next year):

6/5 Cape Town
5/4 Victoria Falls/Chobe package
4/3 Kruger (Djuma Lodge)

Please, need your experience and comments on when will be the best time to go.

Gilberto is offline  
Jun 26th, 2003, 03:24 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 251

The weather will be much the same in April and October. However, October would be better for game viewing as it will be after the (dry) winter as opposed to April after the (wet) summer. When the vegetation is not as lush it is much easier to spot and view the animals. On the cost side, most places (including Djuma) have a low season from April to September. In Cape Town the majority of low season rates are only from May to August/September. Personally I would opt for April as the likelihood of rain is slightly less than October, and the veld does look much better after rain. I am sure that a professional game tracker will be able to track enough down for you to see. Oh, and Vic Falls is always more spectacular after the summer rain than before it.
traci_local_in_sa is offline  
Jun 26th, 2003, 04:29 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553

An a positive note, the Sabi Sand is very drought stricken right now and if you wait until next April it will probably be a lot more scenic than it is now.

I hardly recognize the pictures on my wall right now, taken at Singita in March, 2002, because there is so much greenery in these pictures. The pictures that I just took at Djuma Vuyatela have mostly a brown and sparse look to them.

If you are planning on taking a lot of photographs, I would go for April. You may even be able to get low season rates by late April. The low season vs. high season rates at Djuma and other places are very significant. Vuyatela for example, with the current exchange rate, costs around $525 USD per night per room, while in high season it is $900 USD!!!
Roccco is offline  
Jun 26th, 2003, 07:11 AM
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I just came across a website (African Adventure) that charts the game reserves for best and worst time for game viewing. It rates from excellent to poor. For Sabi Sands and Chobe (April-good; October-excellent). Does "good" means less animals or more difficult to see them than excellent?
Gilberto is offline  
Jun 26th, 2003, 07:21 AM
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If you post at MalaMala's website, you can see their rangers' animal counts for different months. I was told the data are updated every four days. That would be the prime issue regarding timing, I would think.

In SA, before you complete plans, take at look at Phinda Forest Lodge. Have had much better viewing there than in Kruger, but perhaps that was just our results. Others may have fared differently.

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