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Advice on green season safari for 2018

botswana zimbabwe green season

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8 replies to this topic

#1 mtanenbaum

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Posted 20 February 2017 - 06:10 PM

Hi, Safaritalkers, I just got back from my 2017 vacation (Israel and Jordan) and am back on track to go back to Africa in 2018! I realized that is where my heart is and I dream about going back there all the time. (my son is studying abroad in Jordan so that was great to go see him there as well, but no lions....)

 

I've done two Africa trips--one to Botswana in June 2012 (3 camps in the Delta, Sandibe, Okuto, and Shinde), and Victoria falls. The second trip in 2015 I visited in May and went to Mashatu (Botswana), and Sabi Sands, and Phinda in South Africa. I'm very interested in trying a "green season" trip for the different experience, especially in terms of photographic potential, but I wanted to get some frank advice. First of all the bugs--I don't love bugs, but I understand of course there are more of them in the summer. But how bad is it? Are there mosquitos constantly buzzing in your ears all night long? (LOL) Also, I'd like to be able to see baby animals, and am trying to figure out which month is optimal, January, February, or March. Also, the heat--is it really bad, i.e. like you can't sleep? I'm a Southern California person so I'm not used to humidity, but I also don't plan to be doing walking safaris, which I believe is not usually done at that time of the year anyway.

 

I'm thinking Zimbabwe because I haven't been there and I really would like to economize a bit on this trip. I saw some camps in Zimbabwe in green season where you can get specials for as little as $250-$350 a night, and I would like to stay in that range if possible. I also may be traveling on my own, another reason for Green Season since I understand you can often get single supplements waived or lower at that time. Has anyone here done Hwange in green season? Or should I look at going back to Botswana? I think Botswana even in green season will be out of that price range. If I went back there I would be interested in Chobe and maybe the Nxai pans, but I'm not sure about Chobe in green season.

 

Also I am very interested in hides--I loved the hides at Mashatu, but I"m not sure if hides work well in the summer months. I'd love to hear from anyone who has experience with green safaris about your thoughts. 

 

One other thing, having done very luxurious camps like Sandibe and Phinda I am actually looking for a more "camping-like" experience this time (although not participatory camping). I'm thinking I may try to include Mashatu and do their tented camp instead of the lodge, where we were last time. Also, I was wondering if anyone has any experience with &Beyond's mobile camping trips in Botswana? They look very nice but are still pretty expensive. 

 

Thanks in advance for your thoughts.


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#2 theplainswanderer

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Posted 21 February 2017 - 10:38 AM

I never done green season but I'm told it's great for birds and of course much quieter and cheaper - if Zimbabwe is on your radar you should consider imvelo's Bomani tented lodge in hwange - I know they do specials in the green season - camp is awesome with personalised safari drives - they will take you for as long as you like - apparently very interesting in the wet months - you can get a train I think from vic falls down to Bomani - we stayed there for 6 nights and saw wonderful wildlife - anyway one worth checking out cheers david taylor

#3 firmin13

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Posted 04 March 2017 - 04:28 PM

Back from Bots in February, a very good (rainy) rain season this year. Bugs are a bit more than during the dry season. It's much less than I witnessed in June in BC, Canada.

Can't comment on ZIM from experience, but Hwange is very close to where we've been (Khwai River, highly recommended with stunning wildlife sightings)

If you know that region in the dry and you want to see and photograph the animals in front of a green background (or more precisely within, the grass gets in your way all the time) AND MOST IMPORTANT YOU DON'T CARE that you might get stuck, will probably get wet, may have days of overcast and will definitely see less animals, than go for it.

If you are planning to Nxai Pan, think about going to CKGR as well. Instead of camps you could consider a mobile safari to reduce cost (works for a couple), but if you're travelling single, you have to do the math. There are different offers, starting with participation and ending up with quite comfortable tents with en suite facilities


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#4 pault

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Posted 06 March 2017 - 05:55 AM

Not sure why you are so lacking responses. It's a good question. I can answer it if you move to East Africa......   :D   Budget is likely a bit too low for Botswana and pretty difficult but possible elsewhere. I've only done green season trips to Botswana and Namibia - both were very good but we did take account of the season when deciding where to go and what to do. Some places are more seasonal that others, boith in terms of wildlife concerntrations and conditions (heat and ability to move around).


Edited by pault, 06 March 2017 - 05:56 AM.

Waiting again... for the next time again


#5 optig

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Posted 06 March 2017 - 08:38 AM

I've never been on safari to either Northern Botswana or Hwange National Park in the green season, however, I may say that after seeing @bushdog's trip report I would definitely  consider it as an option. The birding is far better, there are far fewer tourists, and the scenery is lush and green. Furthermore,the rates are not only far lower in green season, but Great Plains and other operators are willing to waive the single supplement. Also as @Kitsafari told me you'll see plenty of wildlife in the green season and you may be able to spend more time on safari.


Edited by optig, 06 March 2017 - 08:43 AM.

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#6 michael-ibk

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Posted 06 March 2017 - 07:25 PM

I´ve been to Botswana in March and had a really great time there. USD 350,-- a night will not be possible but USD 500,-- could be realistic. Talking about the concessions here nut sure about Chobe or Moremi, no experience there. Bugs were not an issue at all, and it did not rain much, we never missed one drive and had many days of blue skies and lots of sun. The heat was absolutely tolerable and not very humid. This is probably worse at the start of the Green Season. Lots of baby animals, and we had good sightings of predators. Lions every day, a few Leopards, also Wild Dogs. February/March is the best time to be in Nxai Pan and especially the Central Kalahari Game Reserve which is actually at its best this time of the year. Wonderful place, really loved it there.

 

Hwange is a great park though I have only been there in October. It could easily be combined with Vic Falls and Botswana.


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#7 Atravelynn

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Posted 08 March 2017 - 02:19 AM

No green season experience in Zim.

 

But I was in Zam--Liuwa Plains.  Green season is THE time to be there for the carpet of pink lilies and a wildebeest migration and birthing.  Few people around, gorgeous scenery, hyenas, wild dogs, the famed lion Lady Liuwa.  Then there are the bats in Kasanka, the largest mammal migration on earth from Nov through about Christmas. And Bangweulu Swamp.  The downside is that green season does not make this inexpensive as it takes rains for the drawing cards of these areas to happen.

 

You mention Phinda--I was there in December.  The grass was long, but still lots to see in beautiful lush backgrounds.

 

Tanzania--the latest into the green season that I was there was March 20, in Ndutu. The crowds really thin out, the pricing drops, of course so do the raindrops, but it is a beautiful time of year and the cheetah families are well settled in by then.  The huge wilde herds are all there with calves.  I'm really thinking about a trip later than March 20 in Ndutu, maybe parts of Central Serengeti, and the crater.  Maybe that would appeal to you too.

 

Also, though I have not gone, it is likely that my next Kenya trip, if I am fortunate enough to make one would be in Jan or Feb.  Great reports here and the people I talked to in Tanzania had wonderful things to say about the Mara in Kenya at that time.

 

Bugs were no problem for any of the above.  Good luck.


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When you think of a rhino, think of a tree (African proverb)

#8 Raelond

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Posted 12 March 2017 - 06:15 PM

I also was in Tanzania in mid March and we had a little rain, but everything was so green and beautiful with not a lot of people around and lots of animals. Going to try November in Zimbabwe this year so am hoping that if we have some rain it will just add to the beauty.
Teela

#9 AndyH1000

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Posted 13 March 2017 - 10:58 AM

Jan would be preferable to Feb and March as the grass should be shorter. It will be green and the animals dispersed. I haven't been to Hwange at this time but I would like to go there then; the Wilderness Camps of Davisons, Linkwasha and Little Makalolo. May be too galloping for what you are after though, but the landscapes in that area look great.







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: botswana, zimbabwe, green season


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