Africa rookie needs help please!

Old Jan 11th, 2009, 07:13 AM
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Africa rookie needs help please!

I'm considering my first safari trip. Needless to say, there's a huge amount of info and possibilities to consider. For the sake of brevity on this post, could you experts help me think about: For a first trip - Kenya, Tanzania or Botswana? I've been surpirsed to see that the airfares to VFA are similar to Nairobi. Short particulars are: I'm traveling solo, quality wildlife viewing and good guides are more important than luxury (though at age 52, I do want a clean, comfortable bed). Travel dates are flexible, and I'd like to stay around $5,000 NOT including air to/from Africa (I'll be flying out of Washington DC area).

Also - any thoughts on which company to use for a first trip?

Thanks for your help!
rwhiting is offline  
Old Jan 11th, 2009, 09:27 AM
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Hi rwhiting,

I can recommend Donna from Maasai Wanderings. We had an excellent experience traveling with them last year in Tanzania. We went with a more rugged trip (camping), but our guide Dennis and our cook Hans, were amazing. We never guessed we could eat that well! We booked a private safari for our group of 4, but I know they put groups together as well.

Donna was extremely helpful in the planning process and even helped us secure a room (and better rates) in Zanzibar when we ran into the New Year's busy time. The rates she was able to get were better than I could get with the same hotels directly.

Have fun!!!
travelbug19 is offline  
Old Jan 11th, 2009, 09:28 AM
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Forgot to post the website for your convenience:
travelbug19 is offline  
Old Jan 11th, 2009, 01:29 PM
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gosh - that's difficult....

just give us some particulrars:

roughly date of travel
exact budget WITHIN africa excl. long-haul
any kind of pariculars: allergies, preferentials, etc.

the more we know about your travel history and alike the more we can help you.

do ahead....and don't hesitate to post!

date of travel is essential for maybe avoiding single aurcharges. preferentials in view to culture, hesistant to visit "difficult" destinations like zimbabwe etc.

- length of stay within the continent?

just be a bit more precise.

divine54 is offline  
Old Jan 11th, 2009, 03:52 PM
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i am not by any means an expert, as i have only just put together my "first"safari.
i would suggest that you look at some of the trip reports and photos to help decide on the WHERE
for me that was my biggest hurdle- (i was deciding between tanzania and Botswana-and chose Botswana because of the chance to see Vic Falls)
i think however you might find Tanzania less expensive as you tend to drive between camps rather than fly as one does in Botswana.
The first thing i did and what eventually led me to this site was to buy the Fodors Complete safari planning book. it gives a short description of the various parks and reserves in all of africa and also gives some tour operators that they recommend.
for me, i took that list and then hit the internet to see what things looked like.
given that you are travelling solo, you definitely i assume are interested in NOT having to pay a single supplement, so when you contact various tour operators etc make that one of your first questions.
and keep posting questions.
everyone on this site is so wonderfully helpful, even answering what i posted and thought the most boring of questions

good luck, and enjoy the process,

amycyma is offline  
Old Jan 11th, 2009, 04:03 PM
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This thread might help with all of your questions.
atravelynn is offline  
Old Jan 11th, 2009, 04:40 PM
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you might want to check out my thread from a year ago:

i posted a rather similar call for help and received an overwhelming number of responses, all extremely helpful. best of luck to you!
aknards is offline  
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