We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Okavango Delta, Vic Falls and Kalahari Dessert in March

Buenos Aires...
Level Contributor
13 posts
130 reviews
Save Topic
Okavango Delta, Vic Falls and Kalahari Dessert in March

Hi,

I am planning to go to Kalahari Dessert – Okavango Delta and Vic Falls in March.

1) I am going to go in March. Is this time of the year good?

2) Which are the pros and cons of these areas in comparison to other reserves?

3) My second option is Kenya – Tanzania (Amboseli and Serengeti). Which are the difference with Kalahari and Okavango?

4) Any other recommendation?

Thank you!

Mana

Mentioned in this post
Okavango Delta
Okavango Delta
North-West District, Botswana
Stanley, Falkland...
Level Contributor
33,099 posts
75 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Okavango Delta, Vic Falls and Kalahari Dessert in March

Hi Mana,

You don't say in any of your 4 posts WHY you are going?

For example, if it is to specific wildlife, you should say what it is. You ask if March is "good". "Good" for what?

And it would be helpful if you say what your budget is, or is money no object?

Have you been to Africa before?

The Kalahari is a desert, but with greenery. The delta is a river system intruding into the Kalahari. So parts are wet, and other parts dry. Lots of wildlife and a wilderness.

Buenos Aires...
Level Contributor
13 posts
130 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Okavango Delta, Vic Falls and Kalahari Dessert in March

Hi Peter,

It‘s my first trip to Africa so I am interested in seeing African wildlife, the safari experience and in African culture.

I have always wanted to go to Africa so I am pretty excited but a bit lost.

I would like to know which the differences between these two areas are (Kenya Tanzania versus Botswana).

Would be a similar or different experience? Is the fauna pretty the same?

I have heard that March in Okavango is wet and hot and that some lodges closes between December and February.

Could you tell me how the delta’s fauna behaves at this time of the year?

First I want to decide where to go and then I will see how much will cost the trip.

Thanks,

Mana

Jackson, New Jersey
Destination Expert
for Dominican Republic
Level Contributor
9,115 posts
1 review
Save Reply
3. Re: Okavango Delta, Vic Falls and Kalahari Dessert in March

There's some big differences between Kenya/Tanzania and Botswana. And at different times of year each are very different. I would suggest looking at some youtubes of both to get an idea. The great plains of the Masai Mara or Amboselli/Kilanjaro versus the Delta and Kalahari. That's a good first step. Your budget may guide you as well, Bots can be very expensive. Hope that helps.

Mentioned in this post
Wayzata, Minnesota
Level Contributor
2,932 posts
31 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Okavango Delta, Vic Falls and Kalahari Dessert in March

Mana,

Here is a general comparison between East and Southern Africa that I wrote and posted on Fodors about a year ago.

Here is a comparison of Southern vs East Africa.

Southern Africa and East Africa are two very popular and well-visited areas for safaris. However, the question that I often have to answer is this: If I had to choose, which is better, East Africa or Southern Africa? Both areas are amazing and it’s hard to compare and, of course, I think you should go to both at some point in your life. If you have to choose one, then I suggest you have a look at the below information. You will find a nice and simple comparison between Southern Africa and East Africa – showing you the highlights. It is sort of like asking what is better? Tahiti or Hawaii?

Countries included in Southern Africa

1.South Africa

2.Botswana

3.Namibia

4.Zimbabwe

5.Malawi

6.Namibia

7.Mozambique

8. Zambia

Countries included in East Africa

1.Kenya

2.Tanzania

3.Uganda

**Burundi, Rwanda, and The Democratic Republic of the Congo are generally considered Central Africa**

Landscapes/Scenery and attractions. There are many reserves, parks, and ecosystems not mentioned below. These are just some of the more popular ones.: In terms of landscapes and attractions, the regions are quite different.

1.Southern Africa

Okavango Delta wetland (Botswana)

•Skeleton Coast and Namib desert (Namibia)

Kruger National Park (South Africa)

•Kalahari Desert (Botswana & northern South Africa)

Victoria Falls (Zambia and Zimbabwe)

Chobe National Park (Botswana) and Hwange National Park (Zimbabwe) – savannah.

•Chobe National Park (Botswana) + Linyanti/Selinda/Kwando, Mana Pools National Park (Zimbabwe), Lower Zambezi National Park (Zambia) – River-side & Savannah big-five safari

•Other ecosystems: Kafue (Zambia), Madikwe, Eastern Cape, South Luangwa (Zambia), North Luangwe (Zambia).

2.Eastern Africa

•Mount Kilimanjaro

•Serengeti Plains/Maasai Mara ecosystem

•Ngorongoro Crater

•Tarangire

•Selous

•Many other areas in Kenya

Wildlife: The wildlife species found in the two areas are essentially the same; most of the predators and plains game can be seen in both regions and only some birds and a few mammals and reptiles are distinct between the regions. The major differentiation is in the numbers of certain species and the general experience a visitor will have when viewing them.

•Southern Africa: Botswana and Zimbabwe are home to 80% of Southern Africa’s 300,000 elephants and huge herds are a common sight along their northern borders - especially in July-October.

•East Africa offers herds of zebras and wildebeests in the hundreds of thousands. The annual migration between the Maasai Mara in the north and Tanzania’s Serengeti in the south is a spectacle unequaled anywhere on earth today.

Weather: The weather also varies between the regions.

•In Southern Africa, while each country varies, the rains generally fall between November and March with the rest of the year being mostly rain-free. Most of the camps stay open year-round. The rainy or “green” safari season in Southern Africa offers benefits such as herbivores having their babies, lush green landscapes and dramatic skies, all of which combine to create superb photographic opportunities.

•In East Africa, October marks the beginning of the “short rains” while April brings “long rains.” Some of the safari camps close during the long rains due to difficult driving conditions.

The major differences between East Africa and Southern Africa for safaris are the density of tourists, the safari accommodations and the safari vehicles.

Density of tourists & Accommodation:

•Southern Africa is known for its luxury tented safari camps and huge tracts of wilderness areas with very low tourist densities, making for a private safari experience. For the most part, Southern Africa is dominated by huge land concessions, which are owned or leased by luxury safari camp operators, and these concessions are for the sole use of the individual camp and its guests. With an average camp size of only 10-16 guests and only one or two vehicles for the entire concession, one can drive all day and not encounter anything but wilderness and wildlife.

•East Africa, in general, has earned a reputation for a high density of tourists staying in hotel-styled lodges. However, there are a growing number of luxury lodges cropping up in East Africa, particularly in Tanzania and these lodges offer a far more exclusive experience than the large safari lodges which may have typified Kenya and Tanzania. There are also private conservancies surrounding the Masai Mara and many private conservancies attached to public/national parks throughout Kenya.

Vehicles:

•Southern Africa: In the private safari lodges, the safari vehicles used here are modified, open-air Land Rovers or Land Cruisers which also add to the intimacy of the experience. On scheduled tours companies use converted 10-Seater Land Cruisers, mini-busses & Overland Trucks

•The most common safari vehicle in East Africa is the mini-van with its pop-up roof, whereby passengers stand up to take pictures while peering out of the roof or sit in the enclosed vans. More and more companies also make use of 7-seater Land-Cruisers or Land-Rovers with pop-up roofs

Cultural Tourism:

•Southern Africa Different tribes can be visited in Southern Africa such as Zulus, Swazis, Himbas & the bushmen

•East Africa - Opportunities to witness Maasai or Samburu tribal living are common.

Budget:

•Southern Africa Price can vary a lot with the price of the dollar vs the Rand in South Africa. There really is a wide range of accommodation standard on offer which will suit everyone’s budget

•East Africa Park entrance fees, etc. are more expensive in Tanzania – overnight rates are similar to Southern Africa.

•However, mobile or overland safaris are very popular in both regions and give the price sensitive traveler the opportunity to experience the bush.

I hope this generalization helps.

Craig Beal - owner - Travel Beyond

2011 & 2012 Travel & Leisure A-List agent for Botswana and Zimbabwe

Mentioned in this post
Namibia
Namibia
Africa
Okavango Delta
Okavango Delta
North-West District, Botswana
Namib Desert
Namib Desert
177 Reviews
Namibia
Victoria Falls
Victoria Falls
Matabeleland North Province, Zimbabwe
Chobe National Park
Chobe National Park
355 Reviews
Kasane, Botswana
Wayzata, Minnesota
Level Contributor
2,932 posts
31 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Okavango Delta, Vic Falls and Kalahari Dessert in March

OK – now I will address your other question. I have been to Botswana in every season for a safari. When I wanted to take my kids I went in March. A big part of the decision was because of their spring break vacation but it is also a good time to go. Unlike most of Zambia and most of Zimbabwe, Botswana and South Africa are year round safari destinations. You must simply be a bit more careful what lodges you choose if you go in March.

The Kalahari has a very brief peak season from January to March. The only time the animals really congregate in large numbers is during this short rainy season when deception valley and other grassy areas are lush and green. You can expect to see Oryx, Springbok, Lion, Cheetah, and honey badger along with many birds and other general game during March. The Kalahari is a desert. The Okavango is, in a very simple word, a marsh/swamp with plenty of dry land dispersed throughout.

If you choose the right lodges in Botswana, a March safari can be very productive. In the past few years, Tubu Tree has been one of the best leopard habitats in Africa (read reviews on Trip Advisor!). Clients of my company have never failed to see lions on a 2-3 night stay at Chitabe and the vast majority see lion on every day or every game drive. Mombo is productive year round as is Chief’s Camp. Many users of this forum really like the four Kwando camps and will write reports of excellent lion sightings.

For a first time safari in March, I do usually recommend the traveler visit a safari lodge in the Sabi Sands of South Africa first. This will virtually guarantee (99% chance) of seeing the big five in a three night stay at places like Lion Sands or MalaMala. I have seen the big five (with the exception of buffalo one time) on every game drive ever at MalaMala. With the big five “out of the way” you can enjoy Botswana more if you have to spend a few hours looking for one particular species.

With the current five river specials (Kwando) or seven country specials (Wilderness) March can give you a lot of safari for your money in March.

Here is a plan using South African airways/SAA. Ker & Downey also have great rates.

Day 1 Depart EZE at 555pm. Land Jo’burg/JNB at 810am. Fly on a light aircraft at 11am to MalaMala or Lion Sands.

Day 2,3 Safari in Sabi Sands

Day 5 Take flight back to JNB on a light aircraft and overnight.

Day 6-11 Fly on SAA from JNB-Maun/MUB. Spend 6 nights at Chitabe or Chitabe Ledibe AND Little Vumbura or Tubu Tree or Duma Tau. Or spend 6 nights at Kanana and Shinde.

Day 12,13 Victoria Falls

Day 14 Fly back to JNB and overnight.

Day 15 Morning flight JNB-EZE on SAA.

Craig Beal - owner - Travel Beyond

2011 & 2012 Travel & Leisure A-List agent for Botswana and Zimbabwe

Edited: 10:15 pm, October 24, 2012
Mentioned in this post
Victoria Falls
Victoria Falls
Matabeleland North Province, Zimbabwe
Kasane
Level Contributor
175 posts
22 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Okavango Delta, Vic Falls and Kalahari Dessert in March

Craig has it very well summed up above. A couple of extras thoughts:

a. Kalahari in March is beautiful as the rains will be ending and the place will be alive with young animals. There should also be a sizeable amount of zebra, wildebeast and other assorted game as mentioned above.

b. The delta floods later than the Chobe River (in July/August as opposed to March in Chobe) so game viewing should be ok in the Delta. As mentioned above check out the camps for the variety of activities they can offer.

c. You should have no problems get good lodge discounts in March. Some very good lodges bring down their rates alot.

If I can give any specific info please don't hesitate to get in touch.

Clive.

SGS Africa

Chobe.

Allentown...
Level Contributor
203 posts
Save Reply
7. Re: Okavango Delta, Vic Falls and Kalahari Dessert in March

"1) I am going to go in March. Is this time of the year good?"

Specific to your travel month - March is not the ideal or best time to visit the Okavango Delta at-least for first timers into Africa in order to maximize your wildlife experience. It is considered by guests who find find discounted pricing of the safaris advantageous, attractive,affordable or obviously oblivious of the expectation of the experiences during this season i.e. green season which is basically the rainy season or end of raining season in addition to the flood waters starting to raise in the delta. it is lush and green - beautiful for avi-fauna and floral paradise but its quite thick of foliage and wet compared to the dry season where finding terrestrial game is more challenging. Mostly repeaters return to the delta during the green season to experience a different side of it. Prices for safaris in the green season are highly discounted where accommodation drops by around 50-60% and for a reason. I would recommend traveling in early November to benefit from a price reduction and at the same time benefit the end of dry hot season with maximal wildlife opportunities. I traveled in Nov through Dec last year for around 6 weeks and the photographic opportunities where spectacular. Some picasa google photo gallery photos of the experience uploaded at https:/…

"I am planning to go to Kalahari Dessert – Okavango Delta and Vic Falls in March"

Okavango Delta is part of the Kalahari desert. You are probably referring to Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR).

Central Kalahari offers the Kalahari Desert at its very best - though not typical sand dune experience we think of deserts (Nambia offers sand dune desert experience). December is generally an ideal time to visit Central Kalahari as it is the wet summer season. It is not a big game destination. What differentiates it is the ecosystem - the flat plains bursts with greening of grasses and shrubs displaying the natural scenery that evokes love for nature in people. Central Kalahari is populated with a large number of gemsbok, springbok and wildebeest. There are also predators such as lions, cheetahs, jackals, leopard, hyenas, wild dog and many others. Plains game such as eland, duiker, kudu, giraffe, warthog, red hartebeest are also inhabitants of the place from December to April when the animals converge on the water source.

Okavango delta is Africa’s premier safari destination. It is blessed with a unique ecosystem serving as an oasis for its inhabitants. it offers a myriad of safari activities from day game drives, evening/night game drives, walking safaris, water based activities such boating or mokoro safaris that is not offered in Kenyan or Tanzanian parks. What botswana offers compared to Tanzania and Kenya is low volume homo sapiens density offering uninterrupted, unadulterated wildlife watching & photographic safaris.

South Africa, Tanzania and Kenya gets a lot of beating from its Botswana and Zambia counter parts, and for the right reasons i.e. being too touristy when visiting its core parks e.g. Serengeti, Kruger, Mara, Amboseli, Ngorongoro but ask the question why and how best to deviate from that rather than avoid the destination. If you head to Botswana Xakanaka region Moremi Game Reserve - the public park of Okavango delta ecosystem- you will find similar touristy mass experience where watching a pride of lions - i had 10 vehicles around me and a pride of lions in the public area of Okavango Delta i.e. Moremi. The majority private reserves of Okavango Delta stays away from this experience and that's where Botswana has succeeded in offer high yield low volume tourism,

Kenya and Tanzania being pioneers in the safari industry and blessed with greatest concentration of wildlife in Africa. Yes, it does have high numbers of tourist but also not consistently all year round. March is mid season which is end of the hot dry season of Jan/Feb. if you choose the right camps and destination to stay at, you can deviate from the mass tourist experience. In Kenya, you can experience private reserves such as Lewa - Laikipia region or even Sweetwaters, the private reserves of Masai Mara where cottars camp is located or also Salas camp in the main reserve is an excellent choice to stay, Elerai conservancy in Amboseli Kilimanjaro region - Satao Elerai Camp, Loldia - Naivasha are few to mention. In Tanzania, you have the selous, ruaha off beat parks which offer water and land based activities.

Now if you travel to Tanzania in Feb or early March, it is best to be south of serengeti around Kusini Camp or Ndutu area - part of Ngorongoro ecosystem as the wildebeest migration will be there.

Mahale and Gombe in Tanzania offer wild chimpanzee safari experiences if primates interests you. Nkungwe and Gombe Forest Loge are excellent places to stay.

Get a guide book and get some reading to get you started with the basics of each destination. there is also plenty of information on TA.

post specific questions under Tanzania forum to get diverse points of view too.

Good luck with your planning.

Visram

AfricanMecca Safaris

Mentioned in this post
Okavango Delta
Okavango Delta
North-West District, Botswana
Moremi Game Reserve
Moremi Game Reserve
Okavango Delta, Botswana
8. Re: Okavango Delta, Vic Falls and Kalahari Dessert in March

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

TripAdvisor staff removed this post either because the author requested it, or because it did not meet TripAdvisor's forum guidelines.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 5:58 pm, December 31, 2015
9. Re: Okavango Delta, Vic Falls and Kalahari Dessert in March

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 5:15 am, November 24, 2013