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Safari in September - Kruger or Kenya or Botswana?

Manchester, United...
6 posts
Safari in September - Kruger or Kenya or Botswana?

Hi I'm planning to do a safari trip with my husband in September 2013. We want the main aspect of our itinerary to be solely focused on safari and a variety of big game viewing. We're not sure which of the three locations would be best for the best game viewing during September, can anyone help with some advice? We'd like a private trip rather than a group booking and luxury would be a great added bonus if all three are available in the different areas.

Please help! Thanks!

SOUTH AFRICA
Level Contributor
2,600 posts
6 reviews
1. Re: Safari in September - Kruger or Kenya or Botswana?

These 3 destinations are all excellent, and September is a great time of the year to visit Kruger, Kenya as well as Botswana! I think you should try to determine what you would like to see? In Kenya, September is a very good time of year to view the large herds of wildebeest as they attempt to cross the Mara River, Botswana is great as it is the end of the dry season, so game viewing is excellent, and the Okavango Delta is in flood, and then for Kruger, which is in any case excellent all year round, you also have excellent game viewing as it is the end of the dry season, animals tend to congregate at water sources and the bush is more open than in the summer months.

How long would your trip be? This would also determine how many of these 3 destinations you could possibly include in your itinerary. Botswana and South Africa are easily combined in the same itinerary as the travel time between these 2 countries is very short.

As for luxury - all 3 destinations have a variety of lodges/establishments to choose from, ranging from basic to luxury.

It all depends on what you are hoping to see, how much time you have, and what your budget is...

Tanya * owner * Africa Direct

Johannesburg, South...
Level Contributor
287 posts
239 reviews
2. Re: Safari in September - Kruger or Kenya or Botswana?

You will get more for your money travelling in South Africa / Botswana than in Kenya.

I have been on game drives in kenya and was hugely dissapointed.

Tempe, Arizona
Destination Expert
for South Africa, Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Level Contributor
9,498 posts
65 reviews
3. Re: Safari in September - Kruger or Kenya or Botswana?

Sarah might have had some bad luck.. and that can happen. But we operated tours to Kenya, Tanzania, Zanzibar sometimes - for 18 years. And September is THE time to be Kenya. With few exceptions, that's when our groups were there. And it's not just for the Great Migration which is there in the Masai Mara and surrounding areas in the Masai tribal homelands - but also for wonderful wildlife in Samburu, Tsavo, Amboseli too. My point? if you are considering Kenya, then September is perfect. The best month to be there.

And it certainly is a good month for both South Africa and Botswana, too, as Tanya pointed out.

Washington DC...
Level Contributor
4,784 posts
13 reviews
4. Re: Safari in September - Kruger or Kenya or Botswana?

As others have stated, September is an excellent month for game viewing in all three countries you mention. I would add that it is also a good month for Tanzania.

You can design your safari to meet your needs. That is, it is unnecessary to do a group tour. By doing some research you can decide on the country you want to visit and then decide on the parks and camps/lodges. You can then find a reliable operator to make your bookings and arrange for transport (fly-in safari or private car to get you from one place to another).

September is an outstanding time to visit Kenya because of the Great Migration of zebra and wildebeest in the Mara region. But know it is accordingly the time of the great migration of human beings who come to see them. But the Migration is a remarkable sight, and well worth it.

Botswana is about as pristine as you get and offers the chance for great game viewing, including species such as the wild dog, under low density tourism conditions. You will have to pay dearly for that though in September, probably in the $1000/person/night range at most places offering luxury tents/chalets.

South Africa's Kruger region has many luxury camps that offer great game viewing (leopard viewing is especially good here) and great attention to you as a visitor. The camps have amenities you won't find in the other countries, for example, including a/c and telephones if that's of importance to you. Prices are a bit less than Botswana and a bit more than Kenya.

You didn't mention Tanzania, but I thought I'd throw it in the mix. The Northern Circuit (Serengeti, Manyara, Ngorongoro Crater) gets most visitors to Tanzania, for good reason given the iconic nature of those places. But the Southern Circuit, including places like Selous and Ruaha, provides excellent game viewing (including wild dog in Selous and lion-buffalo interactions in Ruaha), the chance to do boating safaris (making it feel a tad like Botswana), fishing, and fly camping, all with very few humans about. Prices are perhaps equal or a bit less than Kenya.

Good luck with your planning.

5. Re: Safari in September - Kruger or Kenya or Botswana?

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