Differences in game preserves

Trying to decide between the Botswana and Elegant Adventure tours. The former visits preserves in Zambia and Botswana (Okavanga Delta, Moremi, Makgadakigadi Pans), and the latter visits Kruger National Park and the Sabi Sabi game preserves.

Has anyone been on both trips? Any special things seen at one game preserve, but not others? For those who only went on one of the trips, any particular reason you chose one over the other?

Any advice appreciated.


  • There are certainly differences among the game preserves, but there may be even greater differences within each preserve with the season. I opted for the Botswana et al tour because the entire package is appealing. I opted for April because shortly after the rainy season I hope to see more lush vegetation, more young animals, less dust, etc. However, I risk encountering too much water in places. I recommend lots of Internet research or a plan to visit multiple parks muliple times.
  • Thanks, Nick. Your thoughts are appreciated. Yes, all of the African web sites agree that which season you should go largely depends on what you want to do or see, and various preserves change over the seasons as you indicated.

    The problems with April can be impassable, muddy roads in some preserves, vegetation hiding animals, and dispersed water sites (meaning no water holes for animals to congregate around). But, as you mention, there will be more young animals and better bird migrations, along with less dust. Water flow at Victoria Falls should be near peak. Likewise, Cape Town weather should be much better. One of the Tauck agents I talked to went in April and had a wonderful experience.

    My research so far indicates animal viewing may be ideal in SA winter (our July-August) because foliage is down and animals are more congregated around watering holes. But, Cape Town weather can be bad that time of year.

    My question about which animal preserves are best is probably unanswerable because there are so many preserves and it's doubtful that many people have been to them all. The forums and other sites indicate no matter what time of year visitation occurred and which preserves were visited, everyone saw animals and enjoyed their trip.

    Those on the forum that have been on multiple African trips often indicate that they return at different times or to different preserves in order to see things they missed on prior trips.
  • I've been on the Kenya and Tanzania Safari and the Elegant South Africa Safari. For me the local people i meet and the places I visit are just as exciting as the animals I might encounter. I also love to learn about the vegetation and the geography of the areas. I will be going on the Tanzania and Zanzibar trip later in the year, I'm mostly excited about going back to Africa and the wonderful places and people I will encounter, animals are the bonus.
  • Hi Larry...Got to agree with Nick on the need to do heavy Internet searches. At least, that gives you a fighting chance of seeing the animals you seek and experiencing the environmental conditions you prefer. We leave in ten days for our 4th safari since 2012. We will return to Kenya and Tanzania for rarely seen segments of the Great Migration.

    In 2012, we were in Kenya and Tanzania with Tauck in January and February. The weather was perfect. Animal sightings were fair to good. The trip was awesome.

    We returned to the remote Tanzanian parks of Ruaha, Katavi and Mahale from mid-October through early November 2012. It was scalding hot (often over 100 degrees) but the wildlife viewing was excellent. Again, the trip was super.

    In 2013, we visited South Africa, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe from mid-June to early July. It was winter there. Our early morning and evening game drives were cold....really cold. However, there was little foliage so the animal viewing was awesome as was the trip.

    These are our blogs from those trips if you are interested.

    Zambia-Botswana-Zimbabwe Safari (June-July 2013)

    Remote Tanzania (October 2012)

    2012 Tanzania / Kenya Safari (January 2012)

    Good luck...Leo M

  • Leo,

    The travel blogs were comprehensive and very detailed, allowing me to get a real understanding of your trips. Thanks.
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