Anyone ever been underwhelmed by a safari???

Jul 19th, 2007, 11:57 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 34
Anyone ever been underwhelmed by a safari???

Hi, all.

We're planning a visit to South Africa (Cape town and neighboring areas, mainly) and of course we're considering going on a safari, likely in Kruger.

Considering the steep price involved, with many lodges costing $500 per person per night, and the several hours in journey time each way, does everyone agree it is all worth the money/effort or have many been underwhelmed/disappointed by the experience?

Much thanks.
uluvbs is offline  
Jul 20th, 2007, 05:27 AM
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I'm sure many have, but I would not expect them to frequent this forum. I typically don't participate in forums where I have little interest or enthusiasm.
thit_cho is offline  
Jul 20th, 2007, 05:51 AM
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Are there days that you don't see the game you expect, or as much, sure! But game and weather can never be guaranteed.

For the $500 you get room, 3/meals and snacks, game drives (other activities), park fees, a guide, vehicle, petrol, insurance.

So while the number seems high, it does cover quite a bit. Usually the more you pay, the amenities at the particular properties will be larger, nicer.

You can usually get much the same for a lesser amount - why there is a wide range of prices for accommodations. But depending on the lodge/camp, where it's sited and proximity to game is what is the deciding point for most visitors.
sandi is offline  
Jul 20th, 2007, 06:00 AM
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Yes, I have. It was a cheap trip and my fault for booking a safari for the wrong time of year without researching it...
Lynneb is offline  
Jul 20th, 2007, 08:15 AM
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I agree it is worth the time and effort. It will probably one of the most amazing things you have ever done. I would stay at least 3 nights, even at the hefty price.
atravelynn is offline  
Jul 20th, 2007, 08:58 AM
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Ditto Thit_Cho...
Kavey is offline  
Jul 20th, 2007, 11:25 AM
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Depends on your expectations. The more realistic your expectations, the better the trip is likely to be. Most people on these boards tend to be on the obsessive-side when it comes to travel planning, so I figure most here know what to expect on a safari. Moreover; they tend to love what they're expecting (and what they subsequently get), hence the enthusiasm.

A certain flexibility is also a good personality trait for a traveler. Being able to roll along when things don't go quite as planned goes a good way towards a good trip.

lifelist is offline  
Jul 20th, 2007, 01:21 PM
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The more realistic your expectations, the better the trip is likely to be.

Yes, the big thing to remember is that you are not going to a zoo with animals just standing there, waiting for you to show up. (see footnote at bottom) They move around huge areas and move when they please.

Animals are on their own schedule in a large large area. Many animals, lions in particular, aren't active in the heat of mid-day. In fact they do a lot of hunting at night, so during the hotter parts of the day they are sleeping in brush somewhere.

On my drives through Serengeti & the Mara our driver had to do a bit of work to find us lions, leopard and cheetahs. But it actually made it more rewarding. (see Lynda's report and others).

Just be realistic, remember that when you see those Animal Show specials the video may be pieced together from potentially hundreds of hours of footage. I am not discouraging you, just watching a male lion sit there is still one of the greatest experiences I have ever had.

**FOOTNOTE: You can search for Kruger on this board and see some discussions on Kruger. I have heard that the density of animals is so high that it is almost zoo like. But it is just a few people's opinions.
waynehazle is offline  
Jul 20th, 2007, 05:30 PM
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I haven't, but I work all year long and don't go on a holiday to have a bad time. So, while I'm certainly not a little Mary Sunshine (my phony Fodor's persona notwithstanding), I do try to roll with the punches and enjoy what it is I've traveled so far and spent so much to see.

It helps that like animals, trees, flowers, grass, clouds, stars...and most people.
Leely is offline  
Jul 20th, 2007, 06:17 PM
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If anyone is underwhelmed during a safari- it is only because they have travelled for all the wrong reasons....i.e.,media hype, glitzy pictures in magazines, name dropping at parties etc etc.,
HariS is offline  
Jul 20th, 2007, 10:41 PM
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I can't imagine not coming back and saying it was the best and most amazing trip I have ever taken.

I do not care how high your expectations are you will not be disappointed. We have traveled to many parts of the world and this was the best trip we have ever taken.

By the way I really do not ever want to go to a zoo again,but will probably have to as my grandchildren love it.
spiegelcjs is offline  
Jul 21st, 2007, 05:25 AM
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I have friends (well acquaintances really) who went to Kruger, (as an incentive trip, and said upon returning that Disney Animal Kingdom was better as you see more animals.
They coudn't understand how I could come back from Tanzania last year longing to return.
So yes it is possible to be underwhelmed by a safari, but only if you expecting the animals to be in a safari park type situation.
hetismij is offline  
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