Where to safari in late May?

Jun 11th, 2019, 09:50 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 18
Where to safari in late May?

We are a family of 2 adults and 2 teenage boys travelling from Southeast Asia. Travel days are 20 May - 31 May, plus minus 2 days.
This will be our first Africa/safari trip and it might be a long time before our next one. I am honestly overwhelmed by all the information out there.

Based from initial reading, it seems that at that period, we should be better off weather wise in South vs East Africa. Is this correct?
My next question is whether we should concentrate on Botswana and Victoria Falls, or should we go more South Africa and Cape Town. I dont think we have enough time to do all.

On land, we are usually 4* hotel people and prefer smaller hotels compared to big box hotels. How much should I be looking at for safari?

Any recommendation for an agency to help with the trip?

Thank you!
pigletthepug is offline  
Jun 11th, 2019, 01:34 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: May 2019
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Hello piglethepug,

Just came back from Tanzania and Kenya safari. I thought going in last week of May had great benefits. Not many tourist, so no congestion at the sights of Lions or Leopards. Service was good and reasonably quick. We had experience rain on two evenings, for an hour or two. Not a big deal breaker. I have been to South Africa many years back, but the game we saw in Tanzania is nonparallel. We stopped counting Lions after 70, in Serengeti. Also yyou will be able to see famous migration of Wilde Beast. I am assuming you are planning for next year,
sonalkishore is offline  
Jun 11th, 2019, 05:32 PM
  #3  
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Thanks sonalkishore. Its good and bad to know the selection is narrowing
pigletthepug is offline  
Jun 11th, 2019, 08:46 PM
  #4  
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I mean the selection IS not narrowing
pigletthepug is offline  
Jun 12th, 2019, 05:16 AM
  #5  
 
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Take a look at Expert Africa's site by country to see their monthly climate info to get an idea of weather during May.

Here is the one for Kenya: https://www.expertafrica.com/kenya/weather-and-climate
Here is the one Tanzania: https://www.expertafrica.com/tanzani...er-and-climate
Botswana: https://www.expertafrica.com/botswan...er-and-climate
And South Africa: https://www.expertafrica.com/south-a...er-and-climate

Historically, April-May are rainy season (the long rains) in Kenya and Tanzania and some camps close and roads on safari can flood. It is definitely not ideal.

I'd caution against planning any journey around Mother Nature. Planning to see the wildebeest migration has become very hit or miss the last couple years. Historically the herds are in the Maasai Mara August-September. But last year they were quite late and this year they are there now! Just keep that in mind if that is something you're interested in.
amyb is offline  
Jun 12th, 2019, 05:36 AM
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Just a personal view, but I'd choose South Africa for a combination city/safari experience. In the north of the country, in the Kruger National Park complex (which includes the national park but also numerous private reserves, most of which are are contiguous with Kruger, thus allowing free movement of wildlife) is entering the autumn period, with cooler temperatures and less rain (the winter is the dry season.) Farther south, along, say, the Garden Route to Cape Town, it's still sunny and fairly warm in the days, really quite ideal.

One of the benefits of South Africa over Botswana and Victoria Falls is that in the safari zones the range of accommodations is VERY extensive, ranging from self-catering cabins to ultra-deluxe game lodges, so you can tailor your experience to your budget and preferences.

If it was me, I'd start in Cape Town for a few days, then hire a car and drive up the Garden Route to Port Elizabeth and Addo Elephant National Park. From Port Elizabeth I'd fly to either Johannesburg or Nelspruit, then get a second car and drive up to the Kruger area, including a detour to the "Panorama Route," a stunning region of canyons and mountains, just a short distance from Kruger Park and the nearby private reserves. Spend a few days on safari, possibly a combination of self-drive touring in the national park and two or three nights in a private reserve (where the game drives can go off-road and travel at night). I think this would give you a terrific introduction to southern Africa; if you're like most of us, you'll be planning your second visit shortly after the first one has started.

Google the places on the maps. Note the maps are more for orientation than as suggested routes.

Cape Town to Port Elizabeth - https://goo.gl/maps/fwPyH5v9t5hR5J8r9
Johannesburg to Nelspruit/Kruger - https://goo.gl/maps/3YtLwBq5rK9vSFC18
Gardyloo is online now  
Jun 12th, 2019, 02:50 PM
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We have just come back from almost doing the very trip Gardyloo has described. Port Elizabeth to Cape Town via Garden Route with stops in Storms river, Knynsa, Klein Karoo and Franschhoek - self drive with Avis hire car. A few days in Cape Town then fly into Kruger National Park. Picked up a car and spent 4 nights in Lower Sabi and Satara rest camps then drove to Simbambili Private Game reserve in Sabi Sands for three glorious nights.

Back to Johannesberg via 2 nights in Graskop exploring the Panorama Route. We dropped the hire car back at Johannesburg airport. Perfect weather with one day of rain in 3 weeks. We feel we got a good introduction to South Africa and the time in Kruger was an absolute highlight. The self drive and private reserve combination worked beautifully, giving us two different experiences of the park. We found driving to be no problem and South Africa in general to be good value for money and it has very nice food and wine.
ale1000 is offline  
Jun 14th, 2019, 11:45 AM
  #8  
Ian
 
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Originally Posted by ale1000 View Post
The self drive and private reserve combination worked beautifully, giving us two different experiences of the park. We found driving to be no problem and South Africa in general to be good value for money and it has very nice food and wine.
I couldn't agree more. We did a similar combo on our first trip to Kruger. We went in early May - expect warm days but cool nights & mornings.We combined Kruger with Capetown, Franschhoek & several days in Namibia to see the desert at Sossusvlei - skipping the SA Garden route. I know a lot of people recommend it but I have also heard from some who said they had wished they had spent their limited travel time elsewhere.

We have been back to Kruger twice but only self-diving now because it is so addictive.

Ian
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