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Anyone ever done on of the more "rustic" tented safaris?


Jun 29th, 2005, 05:45 AM
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Absolutely! They know you can't possibly make a decision on whether they are the operator for you unless you know what they can put together for you and at what price!

I personally don't feel it's fair to approach tens of agents/ operators for quote after quote after quote but would certainly ask your shortlist to put together an itinerary and quote for you. From this you can narrow down to one or two that you'll likely book with and fine tune your itinerary with them, then get final quotes and make the decision and booking.
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Jun 29th, 2005, 11:09 AM
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Yes, you should contact a few companies for custom itinerary proposals. Only after you've had a few email exchanges will you get a feel for how comfortable you are working with them and which tour operator to choose.

I think I contacted 4 in country tour operators and 2 out of country agents. I narrowed it down to one particular operator fairly early on based on their replies and further fine tuned my itinerary with them.

Have you mentioned what time of year you'll be going?
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Jun 29th, 2005, 01:02 PM
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A zillion and one thanks to everyone. NOw I need to talk to my travel partner and get it nailed down. The reason I can't say when we're going is because I don't know where we're going. So allow me to pose this question: If we decide on southern Africa, Bots, Zim, Namib, etc, when is the best time to go? And if we choose Tanz/Kenya, when is the best time to go there? (I'm talking about optimal game viewing first, good weather second.)
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Jun 30th, 2005, 12:17 PM
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When we went on our Botswana/Nambia trip, we went from May 21 through Jun2 10, 1002. It was an ideal time to go.

This time I am planning to go to TZ/Kenya in February to get away from our cold NE Connecticut weather.
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Jun 30th, 2005, 01:46 PM
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Best time for game viewing in Kenya is also the high-season and expensive. This would be for the Migration that takes place in the Masai Mara between late-July thru September and into mid-October (latest). This is not to discount other areas of Kenya, such as: Amboseli, Tsavo, Samburu, even the Laikipia area. But know that even prices for these other areas are high between July-October.

In Tanzania, if considering the Northern Circuit, July-October are excellent for Tarangire National Park. For the Serengeti, January-March in the Southeastern/Central area for the wildebeest "calving" season; and between late-June-July for the Western Serengeti as the wildebeest herds move toward the Mara in Kenya. The Ngorongoro Crater is busy year-round. And like Kenya, when the game viewing is best, the prices are high.

Hope this helps in your planning.

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Jul 1st, 2005, 09:28 AM
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Absolutely. Thanks!
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Jul 3rd, 2005, 08:50 AM
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Hi Cooncat,

My husband and I have just returned from a fabulous 10 day mobile, non-participation camping safari from Maun to Victoria Falls. We chose this type of safari initially because of the price of the fly-in lodges took our breath away, but having done it that way, we are glad we went the camping route. It was not rustic compared to my camping experience. We had warm washing water, great food cooked by a great chef, and comfortable beds - all of which I consider pretty luxurious when camping. We had a knowledgabel and hilarious guide, and everything was well organized.

The fact that we drove from site to site rather than fly, was actually one of the best parts (although one view from the air would have added to the experience).

If we were to do another safari, though, we would likely combine some camping days with some lodge days just for a little variety (and that aerial view). We did find that the days become very much the same (crazy, I know when the landscape and wildlife are ever changing).
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Jul 3rd, 2005, 09:48 AM
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Thomson's Safaris (out of Mass.), the company my son and I traveled with offers classic camping safaris at around $5000. for two weeks including air. That doesn't sound so expensive to me considering we paid that back in 1998. Although you spend virtually no money while you're there, one of the expenses that people tend to overlook is the cost of immunizations. If I recall, they were well over $500. for the two of us and the only thing insurance covered was the prescription for the Malaria meds. Lorraine
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Jul 3rd, 2005, 02:51 PM
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Hi Cooncat,

I haven't gone yet, but Africa Adventure Co www.africaadventure.com has several trips in your price range to Botswana. They are non-participatory mobile tented camps (which is what I am doing with them later this year). They limit the participants to 6-so the large groups wouldn't be a problem. They will also take care of the air arrangements if you wish. I will give a trip report when I return in October. They have been just fantastic with me (lots of questions and changes to my itinerary (my requests). Its just another idea. I would shop around, but then I dont want to go to Africa to be with lots of other people. I do want to be comfortable, and have some choices.
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Jul 5th, 2005, 06:14 AM
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Thanks everyone! I am checking everything out - have e-mailed Africa Adventure ... we'll see!
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Jul 6th, 2005, 04:29 AM
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I can't remember if it's been mentioned but Wilderness Safaris used to do mobile camping safaris as well as their regular permanent camps... they were cheaper for sure...
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