When is the best time ... Botswana?

May 3rd, 2007, 04:17 PM
  #1  
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When is the best time ... Botswana?

Ok, yes, I have officially caught THE BUG. lol

I am still 8 months away from my first safari, and I'm already mentally planning my second.

Thinking I want to do Botswana for the next one.

What is considered the "best times" for Botswana? Is it primarily based on the Okavongo flooding? Or is there some other unpredictable phenomena that is the "thing to see" (such as the Mara crossing)?

oh, then I'll have to get there another time for a gorilla trek. This is insanity. lol

Anyway, back to the Botswana question.

Thanks all,

Shane
going_2_africa is offline  
May 3rd, 2007, 04:54 PM
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If you are talking about best time in terms of game densities....then late Aug/Sept/Oct when there will be huge herds of elephants, buffalo etc etc.,in a normal year.

But every year and every season in Bots is different and unpredictable....

Hari
HariS is offline  
May 3rd, 2007, 07:58 PM
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When I saw your name I had to laugh. You have indeed caught the bug.

I've been to Botswana in late July and it was good too. Sometimes in August it can get very windy. Haven't noticed it in July.

You can check this thread.
http://www.africa-adventure.com/dsp_besttime.html

I've counted Trip #3 with the gorillas.

It seems quite logical really to me and not the least bit insane.

atravelynn is offline  
May 3rd, 2007, 09:03 PM
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Thanks, Lynn, for the link. DUH!!! I have the book that has that chart on it. Forgot all about the chart.

Looks like fall time is good. and then, hell, might as well make a 4 or 5 day stop in the Mara and try to catch a crossing.

See how much you guys have taught me already. hehe ;-)

Shane

P.S. Lynn, I emailed you.
going_2_africa is offline  
May 4th, 2007, 01:30 AM
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We went to Botswana in April - the flood was coming in so waters rising might have mean't animals dispersing from the waterholes because there was more water about, but we were astounded by the richness and diversity of the wildlife we encountered. A selection of our trip report (long) & link to photos (in the post dated: 03/07/2007, 02:45 am) are here
http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=34957250
and will give you a feel for April in Botswana

April is off season so prices too were a little lower (little being the operative word!)

The grasses were all long and golden and green, and after one (peeved) TA who we didn't book with stated (nastily) "you won't see anything anyway because the grass is too long" we were a bit worried. But our TA who we did book with said - "Go enjoy - you will see heaps" She was right.

I don't know the "BEST" time to go, and our next trip is in Aug/Sept 2008 so we will get to experience a different season. Whatever time you go you will have a fantastic time, I am sure!
Thembi is offline  
May 4th, 2007, 03:21 AM
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Shane - to answer your question, Aug/Sept is considered the best time because (1) the floods are in the Delta (2) there is no rain (3) the dry season short grasses make game visibility optimal (4) the temps are most comfortable.

Ericka is offline  
May 4th, 2007, 04:19 AM
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Both my trips have been in June - the flood waters have been in, the game viewing has been phenomenal and the temperatures have been comfortably warm in the day but cold at night and early morning/ evening.

Can anyone who has been in June AND also in August/ September tell me how the game viewing, day and night time temperatures and humidity vary between these two periods?

THANKS
Kavey is offline  
May 4th, 2007, 04:30 AM
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Linyanti region: June, cool/cold at night, warm during day, calm; August, mild at night, v. warm to hot during day, windy; September, hotter, windier, dustier.

John
afrigalah is offline  
May 4th, 2007, 04:36 AM
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Sorry, Kavey...trigger finger beat me. I haven't noticed any difference in humidity. Game viewing has been about equal on my trips (v. good to excellent) but generally it can be expected to be better the later in the season when it's hotter and the permanent water attracts more wildlife.

John
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May 4th, 2007, 07:24 AM
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Thanks very much! I think then that it's best for us to stick to June as neither of us can tolerate higher maximum temperatures even if the trade off is milder nights... Good to know your opinion on game viewing.
Kavey is offline  
May 4th, 2007, 11:59 AM
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One other reason that Sept/Oct is best for game viewing is that this is fall and the trees and shrubbery don't have leaves. This makes game spotting much easier. I was there in early October and the difference in visibility was quite evident over a week's time. The leaves were just beginning to come out when I first arrived but had "leafed" out quite a bit by the time I left.
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May 4th, 2007, 12:05 PM
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Sorry, meant to say Sept/Oct is Spring there not Fall.
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May 4th, 2007, 01:57 PM
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Depends on what you are looking for.

Visibility is better towards the end of the dry season but it can be very hot and hazy due to bush fires.

During wintertime driving can be challenging due to the high water levels and most of the places in the delta are affected by it.

To advice you in a proper way, I would like to know which areas you want to visit and which special intrests you have.

Kind regards,

Johan



 
May 6th, 2007, 06:31 AM
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should we consider Botswana and particularly the Delta in first 2 weeks of January, 2008 - or is it too hot in Botswana and are the mosquitos too heavy to enjoy the parks?
gene1414 is offline  
May 6th, 2007, 06:19 PM
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If that's the only time you can travel.....then go for it!!!

Yes, delta camps game viewing should be better than the linyanti area at that time. But, game viewing is always unpredictable......just have to be at the right place at the right time!!!

Hari
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May 7th, 2007, 07:12 AM
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The only time I could get time off work this year was in February. I had an amazing time, with a lot of great sightings...

To Hari's point... go if you have the chance... the viewing is still luck of the draw, but I think in Botswana any time of the year is a good time...

Richard
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May 7th, 2007, 09:07 AM
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I think I'm going to shoot for a late summer (Northern Hem) time frame and combine Botswana with a 4 or 5 day trip to Kenya (Mara) and make an attempt to see the migration crossing.

Have done a bit of reading up on Botswana (not a lot), and I'm thinking I want to see the Okavango, Moremi, Linyanti and Vic Falls (I know the falls is not in Botswana). Linyanti is part of Chobe, is it not? Or did I misunderstand something?

So that's my initial thoughts. This trip will not happen probably until 2009, as I'm using all of my vacation time for next year on my Kenya/Tanzania safari in January.

Shane
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May 7th, 2007, 10:54 AM
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Shane,

I don't how much time you'll have and if you have a particular intrest (birds, predators, photography, ...).

Let's say that you have 15 days to spend in Botswana/Vic Falls. In that case I would opt for 3 camps (4 nights each and a 3 night stay in Vic Falls)or do a mobile tented trip within' the National Parks.

Good water activities combined with drives I would recommend Kwara or Little Kwara in the delta. Little Vumbura has also a combination of water and land activities on offer but by boat you wouldn't see that much birds or game.

Mombo could be your best option in Moremi if you go late enough in season (so you could go to the Boro floodplains). At the moment, lions are the dominant predators in the area which makes seeing the other cats a bit more challenging. According to my own experiences, when it comes to general game (herbivores) Mombo is hard to beat.

For your stay in the Linyanti I would opt for one of the smaller camps "Savuti"/"Zibalianja" where if you are lucky, you'll have a chance of seeing wild dogs and lots of ellies.

While staying at Vic Falls, I would opt to do a boat cruise on the Chobe river which is in my opinion still one of the highlights of a first visit to Botswana. (excellent birding/lots of hippos/ellies and crocodiles).

Another option (should be less expensive) is a mobile tented trip starting in Maun and ending in Vic Falls/Livingstone. Masson Safaris, Letaka Safaris and Gametrails are three companies that have some good trips on offer.

www.gametrailsbotswana.com;
www.masson-safaris.com;
www.letakasafaris.com.

Kind regards,

Johan











 
May 7th, 2007, 12:11 PM
  #19  
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Thank you, Johan, for the insight and the links. I have also looked at Uyaphi. It seems they have pretty good itineraries and fairly reasonable prices. Wouldn't mind doing a camping safari in Botswana and then up to the Mara and splurge a bit up there for a few days of a bit more luxury.

The wheels are spinning. ;-)

Thanks again,

Shane
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