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Another first time safari goer

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Nov 6th, 2013, 05:48 PM
  #1
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Another first time safari goer

Trying to plan a safari for late June/early July of next year. It will be our first time in Africa and planning this all seems overwhelming. There are 7 of us going, all adults. Our main goal is game viewing. Our budget is around $5,000 USD a person for the trip (including airfare). We have a few itineraries were considering but were really not sure what countries and what areas would be best for game viewing that time of year. I was told the great migration would be in the Botswana/Tanzania area during this time of year. So does that mean we should not consider the Kenya area? Any recommendations on a travel agency with our budget considered. Any info/help would be appreciated!
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Nov 7th, 2013, 02:40 AM
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Suggest you go to only 1 country - Mang is correct about where the wildebeeests will be at that time of year. Kenya is a little less expensive than Tanzania. Your budget of $5000 pp including airfare sounds unrealistic to me. Are you coming from the US? If so,expect to pay anywhere from $1800-2500 for airfare into Kilimanjaro. That leaves little for safari. You could check out a group tour such as OAT - I have not used them but many people on Fodor's report they are happy with their tours and they tend to be less expensive than a private tour operator. You have enough people that even with a few others in your group it might seem like a trip just for you and your friends.
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Nov 7th, 2013, 04:34 AM
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Sounds like a very low budget if you are including air.
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Nov 7th, 2013, 07:49 AM
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GoAhead has a 13 day tour with airfare included for $4,569. i have found others for around that price. I know its a lower budget but i don't think its unreasonable.
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Nov 7th, 2013, 08:07 AM
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I am also working with friend who is a travel agent who can make a custom itinerary around our price. Does anyone have any recommended day by day itineraries i can use as a guide to plan mine? Mostly looking to follow the great migration and game watch.
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Nov 7th, 2013, 08:29 AM
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There are companies which may fit your budget, I think you can communicate with [email protected]/oreta.adventures.com we traveled with them they have very good drivers and tour guides Babu was such an excellent driver and guide for our safari.
they have a good plan for budget safari like yours.
As advised by others Migration during that time will be in Tanzania.
We went to Tanzania last summer it was a remarkable event in our lives as we went over four national parks in Northern Tanzania within 6days we also had a time to spend with maasai people in Tanzania.
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Nov 7th, 2013, 08:41 AM
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I accept with other people ideas your budget is too low for air ticket and safari may be you can try to try the option given by Johnson may be it will work for your safari.


Goodluck.
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Nov 8th, 2013, 12:29 PM
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Would be interesting to see what friend who is a travel agent can put together, including int'l air and safari for $5K/person. Unless it's a 'camping' safari, most unlikely as June/July is peak season at the highest prices.
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Nov 8th, 2013, 01:17 PM
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With that price it must be camping safari and not other wise.
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Nov 8th, 2013, 01:39 PM
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This one? Curious as to what the veterans think of the itinerary. Is it camping? Cannot tell from the quick look I took on the site:





http://www.goaheadtours.com/kes/keny...#2013-overview
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Nov 8th, 2013, 01:41 PM
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Looked more closely. Not camping.
But they only give "sample" hotels.
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Nov 9th, 2013, 12:46 PM
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Why are you only considering Kenya and Tanzania? When your group size is 7 (itinerary won't have to be so budget, when you have 7 people staying at each lodge) and you want to get the most of your trip, why not choose Uganda? I went with a company in Uganda (www.instinctsafaris.com) and we saw different landscapes from the hills and rain forests in Bwindi to the Virunga volcanoes, and the savannah, all with their respective wildlife, including mountain gorillas and lions. On top of that we swam in the white nile when rafting just 1hr east of Kampala city. I can only recommend Uganda. A budget of roughly 3500 USD is realistic when your group size is high enough.
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Nov 9th, 2013, 03:35 PM
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That's a lodge itinerary, but suggested properties only which can change by time of booking. There's also quite a bit of transit time. As coming from Nakuru it's 5/hrs drive to the Mara and though if using Siana Springs which is outside the Reserve, still part of those roads are really nasty. In the end you spend only 1/full day in the Mara.

Know also that there are few flamingoes at Nakuru... they've gone off to Lake Bogoria as the water levels at Nakuru were too high for them and how they feed. This park though does have Rothschild giraffe and white rhino if they haven't moved most or all of them to Lewa to protect them from poachers.
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Nov 9th, 2013, 08:01 PM
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LeePr- Thanks for the info! Never really looked into Uganda until now. Is Uganda safe for Americans to travel in? Any precautions necessary? They have competitive rates and i like the idea of seeing the jungle too.
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Nov 12th, 2013, 11:14 PM
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I don't think if you Uganda is such a cheap destination?? Traveling is somehow expensive there. If wildlife viewing is the area of your interest I would recommend to stick your plan in Tanzania, and your budget it's okey for Northern Safari Circuit(As it's common, less expensive) and you can Overnight on mid range lodge/tented camps and not camping as other suggested.
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Nov 14th, 2013, 08:29 PM
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A couple of years ago I did a very inexpensive almost all safari for about $200 per person per night in South Africa. It was lots of fun and we saw all the wildlife we would have seen at the more expensive lodges. With seven of you, you can get inexpensive private drivers between camps instead of self drive if you are not comfortable driving. No tour required!! Click on my name and look for the Waterberg- KwaZulu Natal trip. There are lots of inexpensive opportunities in South Africa - I am in the process of planning another one for the same time you are considering next year to the Tuli Circle in SE Botswana, a private reserve around Kruger and Zululand Rhino Reserve (well, just two of those areas - we will not have as much time as our last trip!). It will be way less than $5000 pp, everything included, for about two weeks.
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Nov 15th, 2013, 10:04 AM
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I think with 7 adults you should be able to do a good Tanzania or South African or Zimbabwe adventure. click on my name to see my trip reports....our 2012 trip Zimbabwe portion could easily be done and possibly for less than your budget with 7, although I would try to add Mana Pools. The 2004 Botswana trip was shorter and before it got expensive. Christabir outlines a very good itinerary and definitely find out more about that. (I would jump on that one for next year but we are already going to India, so it will be another year or two before we get back to Africa. )

The downside to posting 1st timer requests here is we will start flooding you with itineraries that make you second guess which country(ies) you want to visit!
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Nov 15th, 2013, 02:09 PM
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Hi Tmd008,

I think it is very safe for travellers. When I went, as a UK citizen, I had no problems with any people we met. I also felt very safe with our operator and with the lodges they booked for us. Seeing the jungle actually was one of the main aspects for me because of the gorillas there. Hope I could help!
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Nov 15th, 2013, 07:19 PM
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Hey uhoh - we are trying for SA next year, but definitely doing a trip to Botswana for their 50th anniversary of independence in September 2016. I'll be posting details when it gets closer. I've been talking about it since our first trip in 2006, so there is an implicit open invite for all to join us!! We will be in Gaborone or Duba Plains on Sept 30, 2016 to celebrate the date!!
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Dec 13th, 2013, 09:33 PM
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There is no great migration in Botswana, however the game viewing in Botswana is absolutely fantastic.

There is a small travel agency in Botswana called Rides on the Wild Side www.ridesonthewildside.com Although primarily for horse riding safaris the owner may be able to put help you. Send her an email from the site with an idea of an idea of an itinerary. With 20 years in the tourism industry, 15 of those years being in Maun she may be able to help.
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