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A good Africa problem to have, but I need help deciding!!!

A good Africa problem to have, but I need help deciding!!!

Jan 15th, 2010, 01:00 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Feb 2004
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A good Africa problem to have, but I need help deciding!!!

Hi Guys,
Haven't been on here in a while but that doesn't mean I don't still travel to Africa.
You can usually find me on Facebook or farming! (Some of you will know what that means! )

So here's my dilemma. Been working with Bill of The Wild Source on a last minute safari (so typical of me) scheduled for mid February depature.

We've come up with two different itineraries for basically the same price, +/- $100-200. One is for East Africa, the other for Botswana.

Bots safari would be:
5 nights Kwara/L. Kwara (requesting Hobbs as my guide but no private car)
3 nights Lebala
3 nights Sandibe
2 nights Stanley's

East Africa would be:
5 nights Mara (L.Governor's camp) my fav camp.
5 nights Serengeti (mobile tented camp in Ndutu area)
1 night Tarangire (en route to Serengeti)
The TZ portion I'll have my own guide and private vehicle so it will be sweet! Photo gear spread out everywhere with no worries.
The Mara I'll request my usual/fav guide Samuel but will possibly have to share a vehicle but that's fine.

I know some of you are biased to southern Africa and others to E. Africa and I LOVE them BOTH. Wilderness of Bots. vs. a boatload of animals and the herds in Southern Serengeti and my favorite place, the Mara. But I would get 2 additional nights in Bots but having a private car in TZ for 6 days is a HUGE advantage. Hence my dilemma!

So...both incredible itineraries and I have to make up my mind in 48 hours. I need your help and input.

What say you?
divewop is offline  
Jan 15th, 2010, 01:47 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
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East Africa!
... and with luck you might not have to share in the Mara. Somewhat sneeky - just ask for full-day game drives and return whenever.
sandi is offline  
Jan 15th, 2010, 02:20 PM
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I've been to Bots and Tanzania in February and I'd choose the latter (with Kenya.) February is between the short and long rains in Tanzania, but it can rain buckets in Botswana, then. Also, the grass can be high and the wildlife dispersed in Feb. Would you fly out of the Serengeti to Arusha, and out from there, or go back to Nairobi?
ShayTay is offline  
Jan 15th, 2010, 02:38 PM
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For those of us who don't know about Facebook and farming, do you really grow crops? Could you offer us a tidbit of info to follow up on that interesting tease?

I like both places and do not consider myself biased to either. But I lack the experience of visiting them in Feb.

Private vehicle for 6 days would tilt my scales toward Tanzania. Do you have any migration info to date that might indicate this year is turning out to be unusual and not a good one for a visit? Barring such information (which I have no reason to believe will surface) I'd opt for TZ.

If you factor in international flights and visas, you can see if the price differential gets any larger and therefore more significant. That might sway your decision.

I think you might get a special in Feb in Botswana again some day. If you like last minute travel, I also think it is easier to do Botswana last minute in Feb than Tanzania (and a mobile in Ndutu!!) last minute in Feb. That also points to grabbing the TZ option when it presents itself.
atravelynn is offline  
Jan 15th, 2010, 02:49 PM
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Which mobile in Ndutu? What camp in Tarangire? Just curious... If you end up in East Africa, tell Samuel "hi" for me!
ShayTay is offline  
Jan 15th, 2010, 03:47 PM
  #6  
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Well, a kink has now entered the equation. The airfare is a little ridiculous. Been playing on different websites for the past few hours and since a couple of days ago...it's gone up both to JNB and to NBO. If it doesn't come down within the next few days I might not be going anywhere! Did I mention how much I hate the airlines?!

Lynn...virtual crops. And it's all Carla's fault. She started it! ;-)
divewop is offline  
Jan 15th, 2010, 04:44 PM
  #7  
 
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I echo what Sandi said!

East Africa!
... and with luck you might not have to share in the Mara. Somewhat sneeky - just ask for full-day game drives and return whenever.

This is a good plan. As for the air - it's like playing roulette!!
safarimama is offline  
Jan 15th, 2010, 04:57 PM
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Figured I'd answer here instead of FB.
First question, do you clean your cookies out after searching airline fees? Some companies increase the fares each time you put in a request.

Second question;
As much as I love Botswana, I think it wouldn't be so great in Feb.
Just my humble uniformed opinion.
cybor is offline  
Jan 15th, 2010, 04:57 PM
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When are you going? Kayak is showing DEN - NBO fares of $1315 in February on KLM.
ShayTay is offline  
Jan 15th, 2010, 04:58 PM
  #10  
 
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Sandi,
We used the same trick at Wolwedans in Namibia except just the opposite. We said we weren't going on any full day excursions. OK it wasn't intentionally sneaky on our part but it worked! Haven't had to share in East Africa so far.

Good luck with the airfare, divewop!
Patty is offline  
Jan 15th, 2010, 05:06 PM
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Oh I thought maybe you were farming ginseng, or clover, or llama wool, or flax seed, you know, something interesting.

I hope the airfares cooperate. What a disappointment when everything else seemed to be in place.
atravelynn is offline  
Jan 15th, 2010, 05:22 PM
  #12  
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Thanks for the heads up ShayTay...I didn't get that earlier today or I might have if I remember correctly with those long...long...like 20 hour layovers in AMS or ATL which is what I don't want. I think w/out the long layovers I was getting like $1700 and upwards of $2-3K!!
divewop is offline  
Jan 16th, 2010, 07:39 AM
  #13  
 
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Just checked Kayak for DEN/NBO - 16th Feb + 2/wks forward (into early March) - $1315 on KLM via Memphis/AMS. Total flight times about 30/hrs to/from.
sandi is offline  
Jan 16th, 2010, 08:08 AM
  #14  
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Thanks, Sandi. Been checking too. I thought with the Delta/NW merger that delta would show flights for NW so that's where I got confused. They don't! And delta was pricing out at $1700+.

When I went to NW's site last night I found some decent pricing. My usual route from Den to NBO for the $1315.
Was going to try and use miles too so may call and see if they'll let me 'cause when I plug it in it says no flights available which probably means they have no FF seats left. All 4 of them are probably gone! ;-)

And thanks, everyone, for your feedback. Will probably be E. Africa, I think. since last year with the Kili climb I really didn't get to play in my usual haunts. But one more day to make up my mind if something earth shattering should change.
divewop is offline  
Jan 16th, 2010, 12:50 PM
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FOUR FF seats! Hah! South AFrican airlines used to have only 1 per flight!
We couldn't get NW FF seats 11 mos. in advance. Going, LAX-AMS-Dar Es Salaam, was fine, but going back, nothing. Until we called and called and finally found an agent who found seats!
Except......she didn't. It was a screwup. So we called DElta and complained and they immediately got us seats.

I would say aat this late date you're pretty much not going to find FF seats unless at the VERY last minute if thge planes aren't full. So maybe you could buy a refundable fare and hope setas open up. (Tho I assume the refundable fare is not the $1315 one.)
LAleslie is offline  
Jan 16th, 2010, 04:44 PM
  #16  
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Well, I know that plane from AMS to NBO hasn't been full for the past few years so hopefully I'll have some room to spread out on that leg.

But, heck, it is worth a phone call. And what's the worst that can happen? They say no?!
divewop is offline  
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