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November Safari Help: Botswana or Kruger?

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Hello -
My boyfriend and I are planning a last minute safari and are going the last week of November (4/5 days). We know this is not the best season to go and was wondering what you would suggest: Botswana (and where) vs. Kruger?

Also, do you have any suggestions of what safari booking companies we should use to book our camps? We are most interested in the seeing the Big 5 and a plus would be doing a water safari. Looking for the most animals!

Thanks!!

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    Hi tsadev,

    I would not be discouraged by the timing. I have said many times on this forum (and others) that November offers the best value for money of any time of year in Botswana. By "value" I mean animals seen per dollar spent. Also, it is very early in the rain season so, if you do get any rain, it should be quite light and have very little impact on viewing. I have been traveling to Botswana since 1984 and I am going next month (November) so I am pretty excited!

    Seeing big five in Botswana is tricky. Rhino were sadly wiped out in the 80s and started being reintroduced in 2001. Today, Chief's Island is at environmental carrying capacity for rhino so Mombo and Chief's Camp are great choices to offer high odds of seeing the big five in late November. They are both on the Island. I would choose Mombo Trails or Chief's Camp and combine it with possibly one more lodge. Many rhino where reintroduced this year in the area around Sandibe, Chitabe, and Duba but sightings are not consistently reported yet.

    I looked on their agent access site and Mombo is sold out Nov 25 but has one or more tent available Nov 26-30. Chief's Camp has one or more tent Nov 24-30. Rates are $1,003 per person per night for a four night stay and Chief's has water activities but they are water level dependent which is something you should consider in November. Mombo Trails should be $1,158 per person per night in November but I don't have accurate rates on hand and this could be low.

    Neither camp takes direct bookings so you need to use an agent. Where do you live? In my opinion, it is best to buy local and meet an expert agent face to face to plan the trip if at all possible. I know many across the US and Canada and can recommend 1 or 2 if you let me know your region. If you are not close to one, I can tell you a good agent for these particular camps.

    If the budgets above are way off, just perhaps consider a Ker & Downey circuit like Shinde and Kanana or perhaps a Mashatu/Kamabaku River Sands option in South Africa and SE Botswana.

    Craig Beal

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