10 Days Game View Too Much

Dec 24th, 2003, 07:43 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2003
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10 Days Game View Too Much

Planning first trip to Africa and wondering
if a 15 day trip with 10 days game viewing is
too much. The other alternative is 5 days or will that leave me feeling for more? Can't decide. I've heard it said that some
people are bored after 3 days I guess it's an
individual thing. But If I'm spending the money I thing I want the 15 days - Tanzania/Kenya trip. Thanks
thehighlander is offline  
Dec 24th, 2003, 08:09 AM
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We did 5 days game viewing at the same game reserve (Phinda) and it was too much. Awesome and fun every time but it got a bit repetitive after 3 days or so. Maybe if you split the time between other reserves or areas so you can get a different spectrum of animals. But either way 10 days is a LONG time. Besides you would be too fat to move after 10 days - too much food and booze at every turn! I gained 10 lbs EASY. Trip report is coming.
kewilliam is offline  
Dec 24th, 2003, 08:20 AM
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Highlander you'll get many different responses on this one.

On my last trip to Africa we did 10 days safari (in different location) and it wasn't too much at all.

On our next trip we'll be doing about 30 days on the trot. There are literally about 3 nights within that that won't be safari based. I know most people would surely find that way too much but there is quite a lot of variety within that as well as geographic movement.

I know others feel the same way as I do - that it can't be too much. But there are certainly many here that have much lower limits, varying from 3-4 days to maybe a week or perhaps 10 days.
Kavey is offline  
Dec 24th, 2003, 08:22 AM
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30 days? WOW

You better buy a whole new wardrobe right now so it will be ready for you when you get back.
kewilliam is offline  
Dec 24th, 2003, 08:27 AM
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We were in various parks/reserves in Kenya and Tanzania last year for 17 days, with all but 2 spent with the wildlife.

Kavey: I can't wait for your trip. It is something I dream of ... you will have the adeventure of a lifetime!
SusanLynne is offline  
Dec 24th, 2003, 09:33 AM
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Don't make us wait too long. I can't wait to hear you report, especially concerning Phinda.
Steveboy is offline  
Dec 24th, 2003, 11:27 AM
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thehighlander -

Touring Kenya/Tanzania offer primarily safari. But you can consider breaking up your safari time with a beach break at either Mombassa (Kenya) or Zanzibar (Tanzinia).

Ten days don't have to be too much, depending on what your itinerary looks like. When we did Kenya only, we had 10-days safari, but that was from north at Samburu, then south thru the Lake area, and further south for Amboseli and the Mara.

And when in Tanzania, our time there was 8-days safari in various areas, though we had arrived NBO and spent 1-day there at the start of trip and 1-day at conclusion before heading over to The Seychelles.

What does the 10-day safari itinerary your look like? versus 5-days safari? This would help us comment!
Dec 24th, 2003, 01:06 PM
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It is the 15 day Grand Combo with 2Africak Here is the break down -

1 Day - Arusha
2 Days - Taragire
2 Days - Serengeti
2 Days - Ngorongoro
1 Day - Nairobi
1 Day - Lake Nakuru
3 Days - Masi Mara

thehighlander is offline  
Dec 24th, 2003, 01:11 PM
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Forgot to add the 5 day game viewing

1 Day Arusha
1 Day Tarangire
2 Day Serengeti
2 Day Ngorongoro
thehighlander is offline  
Dec 25th, 2003, 08:45 AM
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I would say that on a person's first trip to Africa that 10 days may be too much. It is likely that during those 10 days that you will be waking very early, spending 4+ hours each day on game drives, and with your itinerary, travelling another few hours every other day between destinations. With your itinerary, I am reminded of the budget tours to Europe that take a person to five countries in 15 days.

If I read it correctly, within 12 nights you will be at 7 different destinations. Originally on my trip planning for next year I had come across similar tours, but then decided that Tanzania really had everything that I wanted to see and then I made up my mind to create my own itinerary that seemed to flow better than most offered by tour companies. Here is my itinerary:
Tarangire (2)
Ngorongoro Crater (2)
Serengeti (4)
Zanzibar (2)
Selous (4)
I put Zanzibar in there for a couple nights to take a break from safari. With your only break from safari in Nairobi, nicknamed Nai-robbery by some, it may not feel like much of a break, as like in the bush, you will not want to venture out on your own without a guide.

Ask yourself what you really want to see on this trip, and if you don't know, you really shouldn't be close to purchasing your trip yet. Perhaps you really want to see each and every destination on your currently proposed tour and wish to be whisked to 7 different places in 13 days. Or, perhaps you are only really interested in four or five of those places and have the flexibility to spend a little more time at a couple places that really interest you.

I wrote a "How To Guide" to planning and executing your own African travel plans. It was just last week or so that I wrote it, so if you are interested just scroll down or do a search and this may really be beneficial to a first-timer such as yourself. I promise you that you will end up saving thousands of dollars and be able to select the very best places to stay.

Good luck.
Roccco is offline  
Dec 25th, 2003, 12:37 PM
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I would be delighted to spend the 10 days viewing wildlife. Actually, some of the days listed on your schedule besides viewing wildlife will be spent traveling to/from lodging for the nite. I can comment only on the Tanzania part of your trip. We had a shorter safari with 2Afrika in June 2002. The day from Arusha to Lake Manyara for example we stopped at the Heritage Cultural Center enroute to Laka Manyara NP where we had a drive with lunch also. Then on to the Tented lodge for the nite. Next morning we drove to Serengeti via the road along the Crater rim. As part of travel to Sopa Lodge we had a game drive. Was great! Next day was all day in the Serengeti. Was a long day but with a nice picnic lunch at rim of the Gorge. So, some of the "game drives" are involed in the actual travel. Our family enjoys wildlife so we preferred more time afield than at a beach or town. Like Kavey, said you will get pros and cons on the number of game drive days. Although I would have enjoyed spending more time at each park I enjoyed seeing the variety we did given the short nature of our safari. One reason I trust our next one will be longer. Good Luck.
rsnyder is offline  
Dec 25th, 2003, 01:56 PM
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Thanks everyone for your replys. Rocco I found your post on planning a trip and have found it helpful. I love doing the research and the more I look the more I want to customize my own trip
and stay in some of the permanent tents instead of lodges they offer. Also I am now looking at an Arusha based operator -Tanzania Serengeti Adventure - anyone hear of them? instead of 2afrika. Planning is half the fun. I love this board and enjoyed reading about your trip Rocco.
thehighlander is offline  
Dec 25th, 2003, 10:28 PM
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Glad I could help.

Regarding Tanzania Serengeti Adventure, I have received quotations from 10+ operators for my desired June, 2004, trip and TSA is either the cheapest or second cheapest. Whichever they are, they are the leading candidate so far for my booking.

TSA was confident enough to give me a list of about 20 references, complete with email addresses, of their past customers, and their operation looks very competent, at least judging from their website.

There are many, many other local tour operators. Just go to Google.com and type in "Arusha local tour operators" and if you will find dozens, and I imagine the same would hold true if you were to type in "Nairobi local tour operators." Beware if their websites give a South African or American website, as these companies will likely only subcontract to a local operator and add their hefty markup.

You will really learn a lot by going and getting yourself a couple good guide books for East Africa. By having the ability to look at detailed maps for each game reserve/national park, their proximity to other parks and reviews on each place including reviews on game lodges/tented camps, it will really help you make an informed decision.

Good luck.
Roccco is offline  
Dec 26th, 2003, 03:10 AM
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We didn't put weight on last time, which was 10 nights/days safari plus 6 nights/days before that in similarly appointed camps in the Namibian desert.

This time we'll be spending the first half of the safari portion on a budget self-drive trip in South Africa, in KwaZuluNatal and also the Kruger area. That certainly won't put the weight on as we'll be self catering for most of it or eating in the rest camp restaurants.
The second half will be mostly in Wilderness Safari camps and whilst the food is good it's not gourmet. It's good, tasty, wholesome and filling food but certainly not like eating out at a restaurant every day. Also, last time because we went in Jume, I think a lot of that energy we ingested was needed to keep ourselves warm in the early morning or late afternoon game drives!

I'd agree that if one is intending on spending a lot of time on safari that one should vary properties and locations and even build in some extra nights so one can afford not to go out on every game drive but to sometimes chill in and around camp.
Kavey is offline  
Dec 26th, 2003, 03:11 AM
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I meant June! DOH!
Kavey is offline  
Dec 26th, 2003, 05:15 AM
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Dec 26th, 2003, 05:42 AM
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Sorry guys, having the same "reply posting" problems, but think I've got it corrected now.

thehighlander - re your itineraries.
As previously mentioned, I would have no problem with 10-days game viewing, and did so on first trip to Kenya and subsequent to Tanzania for 8-days - based on the longer itinerary you listed, I would eliminate Lake Nakuru from that. Also I believe in going to the furthest point and flying back, so instead of Tarangire, Serengeti, Ngorongoro (which is kind of zigzagging) - I would do Serengeti last and fly back from there to Arusha.

And as to the Mara portion, I would at least fly to or from (or both), but not drive both ways.

It's kind of difficult when you first receive itinerary from a tour operator to determine locations of and distances between the various game areas. As Rocco suggest, you should have a better idea of what each area has to provide and if they do interest you. A good guidebook and maps, does help. And options such as flying should be considered for certain legs of these trips.

You also do not mention when you plan to take this trip - if during Migration either in the Mara or Serengeti, that alone can completely change some people's itinerary. Some folks choose to spend a week in the Mara during Migration - not unusual.

Get a few other proposals from in-country tour operators - do come back here with your questions, as you already know "we" have lots to say - opinions and comments, thumbs up/down. But in the end it still has to be your trip, your vacation, your likes and dislikes, and your budget.

But we're here for whatever.
Dec 26th, 2003, 03:15 PM
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I agree with Kavey that being able to spend some time in and around camp ( if possible ) is a plus. We spent 17 nights in a variety of camps in various locations and did two 5 night stays in 2 of the camps during the Botswana portion of our trip.

I was not at all bored and did enjoy spending some time just relaxing around camp and enjoying my surroundings. There are always interesting things to see if one is looking for it.

We were also fortunate to be able to spend time in the city environment after the days in camps, so had a variety of experiences.

I think your plan of 10 days game viewing would be great.

DJE is offline  
Dec 26th, 2003, 03:40 PM
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Kavey is right that you'll get many different responses. My first trip to Africa (Tanzania) was nearly a month long so fewer than 15 days would have felt too short for me. I lost weight rather than gained.
April is offline  
Dec 27th, 2003, 04:05 AM
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kewilliam -

Ten (10) pounds. Boy!
Even with a beer or two and wine in any given day, while on vacation, regardless the destination, I always come back at least 6-lbs lighter (the most 10-lbs) and it's not that I don't eat. In fact, I eat quite well - doing better than if I was trying to diet back at home. It must be something the air.

Well kewlliam, we're here waiting for your trip report and also what you stuffed in your face! (LOL)

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