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1st Time African Safari - Help!

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Hi All - I am overwhelmed and in need of some direction. I've been pouring over fodors forum threads as well as a plethora of other websites trying to put a plan together for our first African Safari late May 2014.

I'm utterly confused/undecided as to whether to go to: Tanzania - Botswana - Victoria Falls etc.... I also don't know how to plan the trip once I decide where to go (ie which safari planner is best). I love doing the planning of all of our trips but i feel like I'm over my head in planning this one vs say a trip to Europe or Mx or the Caribbean etc...The more threads I read, the more overwhelmed I become :). Can someone net out the differences for me of these locations/experiences?

A few details: My husband and I (46 and 50 yrs old) are fit/active. We'd be coming from Phx AZ and the 2 weeks would include travel time. We would like a smaller (boutiquey) lodge with an authentic African safari feel yet still somewhat upscale. We'd like about 5 days on a safari and another 5 days combination of beach/local village sort of experience. We'd like the beach to be amazing in terms of beach and accomodations that are again authentic african feel (and upscale) - does Zanzibar fit this description? We love the beaches of the Caribbean, Mexican Riviera, Bora Bora etc... Know we won't find that but nonetheless would like to find a nice beach if that's possible...

I haven't determined our budget yet but my initial thought is about $7500 not including airfare. Is this do-able? If not we will consider increasing the budget.

I would appreciate any advise that might point me in the right direction. If there is a recommended book I can get to get me started I'm game for that as well.

Thanks in advance for your input.

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