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Botswana, South Africa

Is Botswana worth going to in December versus Kruger?

I am going to be in SA around 20th December in 2016- is it too wet in Botswana for game and will land and water sightings be good. If so, which are good camps for family (15 year old) 

Other option is lion sands in Kruger 

Thank you

3 Answers

top answer by
Keith from Denver

I recommend spending your time in Botswana over Kruger National Park. Botswana will have "free" animals. Meaning they aren't caged in like how you might see them in Kruger. 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Botswana (attraction)
  2. Kruger National Park (amusement park)
3 thankscomments (2)

answered by
Anthony from Vancouver

I have travelled the Trans-Kalahari Highway across Botswana from Nambia to Zambia. The two big tourist destinations in Botswana are the Okavango DeltaDelta and Chobe National Park.  I was there during the "wet" season in January 2012, when "they" say the animals tend to stay hidden in the forests, but I still saw lots of impressive game everywhere - lions, giraffes, elephants, hippos, zebras, big horn cattle, hyenas, baboons, warthogs - you name it. Don't believe what you hear just go and enjoy regardless of the time of the year. The inland Okavango Delta is famous for their pole boat all-inclusive camping safaris and is probably Botswana's most outstanding tourist activity. See if you can visit the local tribal bush camps too to see how the "locals" live they make supplemental income doing dances and selling souvenirs to tourists but otherwise live in pretty basic conditions although they have Nokia cell phones tucked in their loin cloths LOL. BTW there is KFC in Botswana.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Okavango Delta (attraction)
  2. Chobe National Park (attraction)
1 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Erik from Cape Town

The Kruger National Parkin December will be hot and humid, but the bush will be verdant and lush - it is the height of summer and it is the rainy season. It is a beautiful time to see the park, but wildlife is much harder to spot because the bush is so much fuller, so most travellers prefer the dry winter. If you stay at a good lodge (i.e. a lodge with well trained private guides) then this is less relevant and your only concern is that of temperature (but, given that your alternative is Botswana, you're in for some heat either way).

In Botswana, the more expensive and luxurious option would be the Okavango Delta, which is stunning year round provided you go to the appropriate lodge for the season (the ecosystem is heavily influenced by floodwaters, and is still interesting when the floods recede, but as I said you have to go to the right parts). Chobe National Park is a bit more affordable, and will be similar to the Kruger, but offer a wetter landscape.

To be honest, if this is a once in a lifetime kind of thing, then I would do the Delta - you'll end up ponying up a fair bit, but it is an amazing environment. If you think you might come back for a safari again in a few years, then skip the Delta (aim to see that towards the end of flood season, e.g. June) and do the Kruger.  

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Kruger National Park (amusement park)
  2. Okavango Delta (attraction)
  3. Chobe National Park (attraction)

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