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Best African Wildlife Viewing in Late July Early August

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Jan 3rd, 2006, 10:01 PM
  #1
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Best African Wildlife Viewing in Late July Early August

Want to take my family (wife and I and two young adult children) on a once in a lifetime trip to Africa. Want to see the wildlife (not too excited about other sightseeing). Where should we go? It sounds like Masai Mara Park in Kenya is best. Understand most animals have left south Serengeti in Tanzania by then. Understand Botswana also good but more expensive. Also understand Etosha Park in desert of Namibia of all places may also be good for wildlife that time of year. Any opinions on where we should go and where we should stay?

Thanks from an adventurous family in California
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Jan 4th, 2006, 07:12 AM
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Hello Stakerk,

Everyone should have a dad like you!

If you can give us a bit more information, you can help us help you...

What is your budget (per person, excluding flights)?

How long do you want your trip to be?

Is there anything you really, really want to see (if you want to see the Migration, Kenya is it; however, if you want to see lots of leopards or have a chance at seeing wild dogs, you're probably better off further south)?

Do you want to do any activities which are unique to one place (mokoro-ing in the Okavango, sand dune walking in Namibia)?

Do you prefer tented or lodge accommodation? How much comfort does your family need? Safari options cover everything from five-star luxury in the bush to scout-style basic camping.

Cheers,
Julian
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Jan 4th, 2006, 07:29 AM
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I have been to all three destinations (Masai Mara, Botswana and Etosha) in different Augusts, and based on my visits, from a purely wildlife-viewing perspective, the Masai Mara during migration is unmatched. For a first (and perhaps only) safari, I would recommend the Masai Mara. Botswana also has great wildlife viewing, but its very pricey and you'll see many more animals in the Masai Mara. Etosha is also excellent, but its very dry, and therefore lacks certain animals (buffalo, hippo, crocs for example). Etosha is also more of a self-drive destination, and for a first trip, a guide would be valuable.
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Jan 4th, 2006, 09:13 AM
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We want to see as much African wildlife as is possible, especially predators and big animals: Elephants, rhinos, hippos, buffalo, etc. Would prefer tented lodging, want to get as close to the old time safari experience as is possible. We have spent many a night in a tent in our adventures in the Western U.S. If the guides will cook for us, we are game for just about anything. (However, Little Governor's camp in the Masai sure sounds nice.)

Budget wise we want the best value for our dollar.

Thanks,

Kevin Staker
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Jan 4th, 2006, 11:40 AM
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Hello,

Much as I love Botswana, for sheer numbers nothing can beat East Africa (the Serengeti or Masai Mara) during the Migration.

You'll probably want to pick your country based on when you are going, as the herds are in different countries at different times of year. Obviously animals are impossible to predict, but roughly speaking, June or July would mean northern Tanzania, and September or Ocrober would mean the Mara.

There are very nice tented camps in both areas. If you do Tanzania, Nomad do a wonderful mobile camping circuit which follows the herds (www.nomad-tanzania.com).

Cheers,
Julian
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Jan 4th, 2006, 12:09 PM
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I agree with Julian, and you likely can't go wrong with northern Serengeti (Tanzania) or Masai Mara in late July/early August, but the herds are unpredictable. That being said, there are lots of resident animals that don't migrate so the Mara should be excellent even if the full migration hasn't reached its plains by the time you visit.

But, if you're thinking about July 2006, you may want to send some requests to operators since top lodges tend to fill early.

I haven't stayed at the Governor's lodges, but they get great reviews and have an excellent location. They are on my shortlist of places to consider for my next visit to the Masai Mara.

Michael
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Jan 4th, 2006, 06:36 PM
  #7
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Thanks for replies. Our dates have now firmed up. We would be arriving in Nairobi in early August. In addition to wildlife viewing any recommendations on visiting with real local natives and buying their crafts (this is a question from my wife really)?

Thanks,

Kevin
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