African Safari

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May 30th, 2012, 05:09 PM
  #1
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African Safari

Our family is planning our first African safari. Travel time August. We have looked into Nairobi,Samburu national reserve, Sweet waters game sanctuary,Lake nakuru national park, Masai Mara national reserve, Amboseli, Tsavo national park.
Suggestions on where to go, guided or self guided tours, where to stay, best time to travel, safety, most welcome.
Serengeti or no at this time of the migration time? What else are we missing?
jhasikirani is offline  
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May 30th, 2012, 05:22 PM
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Fodors has some excellent guide books on Africa, have you looked at those?? But your travel date is rather soon, August, so you obviously need to make some decisions sooner than later!!!

regards - tom
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May 31st, 2012, 03:04 AM
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Hey jhasikirani,

An African safari is definatly a once in a life time experience. Have you considered going to the Kruger National Park as it is the most popular National Parks in the world. If you are truley wanting an all out African safari then I would highly reccommend the Kruger National Park.

There are many different places in and around the Kruger Park that are amazing and they offer many different accommodations, bush drives, 3 - 6 day safari packages etc.

If you need any information please dont hesitate to ask as I dont mind giving you some advise on your holiday.

Regards,
Shondre
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May 31st, 2012, 03:59 AM
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I would not recommend Kruger National Park for your first safari. Because the big 5 are to difficult to find and see. I have been there three times totaling 16 days and have seen leopard only once and lion four times. Rhinoceros never. But elephants and buffalo often.

For viewing the big 5 go to one of the Sabi Sand private reserve camps adjacent to Kruger NP, such as; MalaMala, Lion Sands, Londolozi, the &Beyond camps.

regards - tom
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May 31st, 2012, 06:07 AM
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August is ideal for safari in Kenya, but know this is probably the busiest months, so I wouldn't wait in getting moving on this. So as 'peak' season, expect prices to be up there.

Have you established an estimated budget?
How many total days in country?
- determines how many areas of the many you listed that can be visited.
How many people? Adults? Children? Ages?*
* children often eligible for discounts many properties

Safaris can be done by private guide/vehicle between the various areas; or flights to/from. Flights are also often recommended, even if on a driving itinerary due to the long distances.

As mentioned above, best you get a good guidebook as: Fodor's Complete Safari Planning Guide, for an idea of the areas, some accommodations, prices, health, Visas etc.

Once you have decided where and for how long, contact a tour operator or outfitter (see KATO www.kato.com) for names, select 5-6, send individual but same email to each with your details and await their replies. Then compare apples-to-apples.

Assuming a 12/day driving safari, you can spend 1nt Nairobi for sightseeing, then visit Amboseli, Sweetwater's (at Nanyuki), Lake Nakuru/Naivasha and Masai Mara (the latter for at least 3/nts minimum... the others 2/nts); avoid 1/nighters if possible though some stops only need 1/nt especially to break up otherwise long drives.

Of course, you can consider a flying safari especially if visiting Samburu which otherwise is a 6/hr drive from Nairobi. So... get going on this.

Good luck!
sandi is offline  
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Jun 1st, 2012, 12:57 PM
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no, I'm not
cary999 is offline  
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Jun 1st, 2012, 01:12 PM
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Cary999,

I too agree Kruger is not nearly as easy as Kenya but we did see the Big 5 in our 2 full day/2 half day safari. I feel bad you didn't see rhino, we saw them everywhere both white and alas only one black.

We found the "bush" safari opposed to the "savannah" safari made the differnce in the animal viewing.
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Jun 1st, 2012, 01:45 PM
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There is "seeing" and then there is "seeing". Seeing lion (in Kruger) 200 meters away is not the same as seeing lion 2 meters away (in an open Land Rover).

If you want to see the "classic" African savannah grass plains, go to Kenya or Tanzania. If you wany to see the big 5 up close, personal, and often go to South Africa Sabi Sand. Simple as that.

Here is a professional photographer and safari guide that says same -
http://www.bythom.com/botswanaworkshop2.htm

regards - tom
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Jun 1st, 2012, 02:58 PM
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Tom,
Sorry I can not agree with you on this. In Kenya we were so close if we would have stuck our hands out of the vehicle we could have touched, lions, a leopard & elephants, couldn't get any closer unless we were holding them!
As for the the hippos & buffalo they were within feet. Even our guide was impressed by the proximity.
But we definitely prefer savannah over bush.
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Jun 1st, 2012, 03:33 PM
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N605 - my mistake, thought you were talking about Kruger NP.

regards - tom
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Jun 1st, 2012, 04:53 PM
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Tom,
Can you give me an opinion on Namibia or Zambia? Not sure which one next....
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Jun 1st, 2012, 05:53 PM
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N605 - I've not been to Namibia. From what I know seems like a fascinating place. Zambia I believe would be "just" more safari? While Namibia has more variety in people and scenery? Why don't you put up another thread with the question, it's a good one.

regards - tom
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Jun 4th, 2012, 07:03 AM
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hi tom,
my husband and i are planning a trip as well in august and are looking at tanzania - serengeti and selous/ruaha. we've allotted 9 nights for this leg though. what are your thoughts on this? should we be focusing on either northern OR southern or possible to do both?
the boat safari's at ruaha/selous sound very appealing. thanks and warm regards!
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Jun 6th, 2012, 06:03 AM
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My husband and did a three week safari last July and it was perfect. We went to both Kenya and Tanzania and saw the big 5 plus everything else you could want to see and happily all were very close to us. I personally would not do a safari without a guide as they are extremely knowledgeable about where certain animals "hang out" in the different parks. The guides we had (one for each country) were extremely knowledgeable and gave us a ton of information about the habitats and each of the animals plus anything else we asked. They were also knowledgeable about the local tribes. We would never have learned as much on our own. Once we decided on the company they planned with us so that we were not planning in the dark and I must say their itinerary and accommodations were perfect. I personally recommend Jacko Africa Safaris (http://www.jackoafricasafaris.com) - I don't work for them or get any kickback but they were wonderful to deal with and left nothing to chance. Your timeline is tight but they would certainly deal with it.
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Jun 6th, 2012, 07:49 AM
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seeker - I replied to your other thread as to what you can or cannot do with only 9/days.
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