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First Safari/Kilimanjaro - Advice please!

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Hi, myself and a friend are thinking of going to Africa next year.

We are both girls in our late twenties and will be travelling from Ireland.

Our (very) preliminary thoughts are that we would like to spend a few days on safari, possibly climb Kilimanjaro, and take in a few days of relaxing in the sun at the end.

We are completely flexible as to dates and plan to go for 3 weeks in total. Our budget is also somewhat flexible. We would like to do the holiday properly as it is a trip that we have wanted to do for a long time but are more concerned with the best experience in terms of what we see than a luxurious trip. We are not interested in paying much higher prices for luxury accommodation but would be willing to for a better tour.

Our main questions are:
• Recommendations for safari county – travel agent has suggested Kenya or Tanzania. Any preferences for one over the other or any other suggestions as to alternative location? I presume it depends very much on the time of year that we go, but given that we are completely flexible, is one preferable? Is there any tour company/guide that anyone would recommend?
• Advice on climbing Kilimanjaro? Difficulty of climb, any suggestions as to guide/company to use, any suggestions as to which route to take.
• Recommendation for relaxing sun holiday at the end of the trip? We have been thinking of Zanzibar. Any recommendations as to resort, travel company or alternative location?
• Is there a big price difference between doing the holiday as a package with trailfinders etc. or booking each part independently ourselves?
• Any other advices or anything else that we should bear in mind when planning the trip.

My questions are very general at this point, but I wanted to get some Fodors advice before I was too deep into the research, as in the past it has sent me in a completely different direction on my travel plans!

I would really appreciate any advice and guidance on this.

Thanks!

.

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