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Your favorite Safari in South Africa? Where? And most important Why?

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I posted earlier wanting advice on a safari destination. But I then wondered where do people want to go? What one may find just ok another may think it is fabulous. There has to be something that gives you the memories of the space.

My first safari was at Earth Lodge. I can remember the overwhelming out of body experience I had that first night on the game drive, and the reassuring voice of the ranger. And the feeling of sadness when I left because seeing the wildlife had stirred an emotion that I had never felt before. I am excited to be planning another one, but I am fearful that nothing can compare to the first one. Hopefully I am wrong.

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    Now that we've been on many, many game drives and priorities have matured, it is important for us to spend our safari money differently. We visit reserves that are supported by NGOs like WWF, community owned and/or important in other ways to the local community and wildlife. We visited Tembe Elephant Park because it is community owned and provides the only jobs in the area, Hluhluwe-Imfolozi because they saved the rhino population the first time we tried to wipe them out, Pafuri - another community owned lodge that is now closed - and our favorite, Zululand Rhino Reserve, a relatively new black rhino expansion project, where we were able to do a rhino conservation project. There are many small lodges on very nice reserves all over, including the reserves around Kruger, that aren't marketed to US and European safari outfitters. We also like to support the national parks, which are excellent.

    If I could go anywhere, no matter the cost? The Okavango Delta in Botswana. I would also love to do a horseback safari.

    Mashatu in SE Botswana far exceeded expectations, Entabeni was tons of fun and had an outstanding golf experience, iSimangaliso is stunningly beautiful and so many different ecosystems, penguins on Robben Island and Boulder Beach, driving our own vehicle and following a huge male lion or having to wait over a half hour for a buffalo herd to cross the road in front of you, Kruger because it's Kruger!! We have had so many great experiences that I can't give you the answer to your question. But I don't compare one experience to another. They are all different and great for different reasons.

    Enjoy your planning. It's fun.

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