Visiting the Pans question

Old Apr 7th, 2008, 02:01 AM
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Visiting the Pans question

On one of the "best times to go" sites (African Adventure Co.), it indicates that the best months to visit the Pans in Botswana are January-April, and the worst are August-October. If we take the time and trouble and expense to get to that area, we would like to do the trips into the Pans on quad bikes and the overnight in the Pans (and the visit to the meerkats also?), which I understand can only be done in the dry season, starting in June or perhaps May.

My question is, what factors result in the good rankings for January-April and bad rankings for August-October? Obviously it isn't the activities mentioned above, so is it just the weather and the game viewing?

Thanks, I always appreciate all the information and insights from those more knowledgeable than I.
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Old Apr 7th, 2008, 02:03 AM
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Sorry, forgot to finish my inquiry. Perhaps the bigger question, do you think visiting the Pans to experience another ecosystem and do some different activities is worth the time, trouble, and expense?
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Old Apr 7th, 2008, 02:17 AM
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You can't use the quad bikes during the rains, hence you should go in the dry months for that.

Meerkats - shouldn't matter green or dry season. Haven't been in a long time, but, the researchers at Jack's or San should know their whereabouts.
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Old Apr 7th, 2008, 02:58 AM
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January-April is not the best time to visit the Pans if you want to use the quad bikes. I was there last month and did not expect to get out on the bikes as it was still far too wet. However, the meerkats were there, and I was able to walk with them. I was there too last October and due to early rains it was not possible to ride the bikes. Most years you are able to use them from May till October, you are unlucky if it is not pos
sible

It is certainly worth a visit as the area forms a good contrast to the Delta
I'm a Botswana addict and though I vary the other camps I visit, I always visit Jack's Camp

So I would say go

Jan.
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Old Apr 7th, 2008, 09:15 AM
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Hari and Botsfan have already replied. What you will see in the wet season is nesting flamingoes at Makgadikgadi Pans and large zebra/wildebeest herds. All of these move away as the pans dry allowing you to get out on them in the dry season.

I havent been on them on quad bikes, but you might want to check when the pans are expected to dry out enough for it to be safe to go out on them. Botswana has experienced high rainfall this year.
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Old Apr 7th, 2008, 02:14 PM
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pippa13
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we stayed at jack's for 3 nights in october 2003 and it was hot - hot - hot.
we did the biking and sat with the meerkats.
would love to get back one day - but next time in jan/feb in order to witness the migration.
i know from other travellers that it was FREEZING last june! and freezing in a tented camp means something......
 
Old Apr 7th, 2008, 04:21 PM
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I agree with the others. In August, I had 3 full days of fun and some wildlife sightings in the pans, staying at San.

I thought you could visit the meerkats year round, but there is less vegetation in the dry season and viewing them in the rain would not be as much fun.

Here's another point on the meerkats, when it is cold in the mornings (June-July, and even somewhat in Aug or I suppose May) the meerkats spend more time standing up outside their holes in the morning to warm themselves in the first rays of sun. So you have more opportunity for those standup shots.

It is easier to find the ancient artifacts and arrows when it's dry.

You can walk with the Bushmen in any weather.

The famous big baobabs are always there.

In Aug, I saw a couple of aardwolves, some black backed jackals, kudu, ostrich, lots of mongoose, ground squirrels, etc. You could see brown hyenas.

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