Africa: First Timer requests help

Nov 5th, 2007, 02:44 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 41
Africa: First Timer requests help

I'm a newbie. Dream trip is a photo expedition/safari to Africa. The time is nigh ...
I'm 43, married, husband has no interest (and would kinda be in the way). I'm an advanced photog who has no problem travelling alone.
Where should I go?
How long?
How do you fly with photo equipment re: theft/safety?
Money isn't really an object (this is a dream trip, after all).
I definitely want to do the tent accommodation but quite like the idea of mixing it with a high end lodge, too.
I've reviewed the various posted itineraries, but don't know the country well enough.
Any and all advice welcome!
Carol - Ontario, Canada
mydogspud is offline  
Nov 5th, 2007, 03:51 PM
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 369

There's a group from Ontario going on a photo safari to Kenya in January 2008.

If you're interested, send us your email address, and they can send you all the details.

Apart from that, there are quite a few photo safaris offered on this board... namely Andy Biggs and Jonathan Scott (Big Cat diary)
simbakubwa is offline  
Nov 5th, 2007, 03:56 PM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 617
I am a fellow Canadian who moved from Ontario to BC. Welcome to the forum!

Here's a chart that a lot of newbies refer to in getting started with the planning:

Where should I go? How long?
These might be answered if you can determine what time of year you can go. Another consideration is whether you'd like to plan a private safari or group trip.

If budget is no object as you indicate, you can consider either East Africa or Southern Africa, with East Africa generally considered less expensive. If you are interested in seeing the greatest migration of wildlife on earth, then East Africa is a photographers dream.

I personally go for as long as my budget allows, and only consider private safaris.
Calo is offline  
Nov 5th, 2007, 04:59 PM
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 421
I am a fellow Canadian, and like Calo I based the length of my trip to Botswana and Zambia on how much I could afford. As one pays in US dollars, our strong Canadian dollar is a bonus. I decided on Botswana and Zambia for my once in a life time trip and I wouldn't have changed anything. I am now returning, but this time to Tanzania in March. Both trips are private safaris and it will be interesting to see how the two compare. I loved Botswana and wonder if anything could top my experiences there. Which time of year are you thinking of?
raelond is offline  
Nov 5th, 2007, 06:36 PM
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Where should I go?
In addition to the chart Calo posted, your budget comes into play, but you mentioned that is not a problem. Unless you do a mobile, Botswana is more expensive, but very worthwhile for photography. It is easy to fly from camp to camp alone. The tented accommodations are very high end.

Do you want to see the migration of wildebeests and zebra and the predators that follow? Then Kenya or Tanzania.

Would you like to photograph gorillas or other primates? Then Uganda and/or Rwanda.

How about photographing the sand dunes? That's Namibia.

The Big 5 (lion,leopard, elephant, rhino, buffalo) in minimal time? South Africa--Kruger, Sabi Sands, and nearby locations.

How long? In my opinion that's a function of how long the money lasts, how long your obligations at home allow you to be gone, and how long you feel comfortable leaving your husband. Typcial trips are just over two weeks, including international flights. You could easily enjoy several weeks or months.

Fly with photo equip? That is trickier going alone because you don't have 2 parties to carry on the essentials. I go alone carry mine with me and never pack it. Rarely do I leave it in a room/tent unless it is locked in a safe. Most reputable accommodations are very safe for you stuff, though. The photo experts can give more advice or you could state your specific equipment pieces that you are concerned about.

I know what you mean about not knowing the countries and then seeing all these unfamiliar park names and accommodation names. I feel the same way investigating other parts of the world.

You could look at some photo trips mentioned in the thread below and see what they do and where they go. Then you could design your own trip or join them.

atravelynn is offline  
Nov 6th, 2007, 03:59 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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One comment to add to the good advice: you do not necessarily have to choose between tented accommodation and high end lodging. Some of the camps I've been to in Botswana and Kenya, for example (Lebala and Nxabega in Botswans; Governor's Il Moran in Kenya) are tented and offer surprisingly high levels of comfort and style.
DonTopaz is offline  
Nov 6th, 2007, 04:53 AM
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Posts: 41
Simbakubwa, my email address is I look forward to the itinerary. Thanks.

And thanks to all your replies. I'll check them all out and ... I'm sure I'll have more questions.

Looking at some of the posted photos in other threads gives me butterflies - and I know that those of you whom have been there know exactly what I mean!
mydogspud is offline  
Nov 6th, 2007, 06:30 AM
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 6,047
For a "newbie" I recommend Masai Mara in Kenya.

Kenya is easily accessible and has a rather good infrastructure. The wealth of animals is fascinating..

Masai Mara is the best park in Kenya becauso you will drive on open range not just on roads. You will come unbelievably close to the animals (one time, when we were sitting in an open LandCruiser, a lion's tail touched me).

Masai Mara has excellent camps, some of them luxurious, others middle-class (we stayed at Kichwa Tembo and enjoyed it).

It is very important what type of vehicle they have. Some have buses, others have LandCruises or LandRovers which are open (which is much better for photoshooting).
traveller1959 is offline  
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