Best place to safari???

Old Oct 9th, 2007, 03:07 PM
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Best place to safari???

Starting to do some research for an upcoming trip.

Have heard that Kenya, Tanzania, and South Africa are all good places to go to for a safari. Is 1 better than the other? There will be 2 of us....I have been to Kenya and S.A. (but 27/28 years ago--S.A. was only an overnight due to flights) while my friend has not been at all.

I'd be interested in any views/opinions and also thoughts on time of year and tour company.

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Old Oct 9th, 2007, 03:30 PM
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I had been looking at Kenya and it is on the state department list of problem areas. I am switching my thoughs to Botswana and South Africa
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Old Oct 9th, 2007, 06:11 PM
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They are all good. Depends on what you are looking for, your budget, if you'd like to do some self-drive, and what time of year you wish to travel.

Here are two sites that show where wildlife viewing is best when. That correlates closely with highest costs too.

If you want to see the wildebeest and zebra migration, then choose Tanzania and/or Kenya. Those are also good choices for a private safari. If you wish to add Cape Town and wine country, then South Africa is best. Driving on your own is easier and more common in South Africa. Seeing the Big 5 in the shortest amount of time also points to South Africa.

As for companies, when you decide on where you want to go, then specific companies can be recommended.

One word on timeline. Key properties in high season book sometimes a year in advance.

Have fun planning and please post again.
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Old Oct 9th, 2007, 06:16 PM
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A lot depends on what your preferences are, when you want to go, what your budget is. I have been to Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Namibia and Botswana, and they are all incredible for different reasons.

Others can elaborate, but IMHO Kenya and Tanzania are what people who have never been to Africa think of as a safari. But, this need not be. The Mara in Kenya is beautiful, but more crowded than anywhere else. Northern Kenya is beautiful as well, and very different from the Mara. The Serengeti in Tanzania is the same ecosystem as the Mara, but more prolific for gameviewing, IMO, and less crowded. Botswana is much more remote and while it seems it is harder to find game because you don't have the wide open plains of the Mara or Serengeti, my game drives in the Linyanti area of Botswana were the most productive perhaps of all of my safaris. And the birding in the Delta was amazing. For me, South Africa is somewhere in between the two. Namibia is more about scenery, not safari. These are very broad generalizations based on locations I've been to in each country. You should read some trip reports and look at some photos. Give us some more information, and we can give some more detailed advice.
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Old Oct 9th, 2007, 06:21 PM
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I see I crossed posts with Lynn. If you are new to this board you should know she always gives great advice. If you've been reading posts, then you already know that. Have fun planning.
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Old Oct 10th, 2007, 06:40 AM
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Thank you very much for those thoughts. At this point not too many things have been decided. I know we don't want to spend too much $, but not going for the least expensive either. I know you get what you pay for AND I don't want to camp in a pup tent . I think we're leaning more to not having a self drive, mostly because it's a new experience for both of us, and we both like to take pictures.

Lynn - thank you for those websites. Will look at them today.

I will most definately post here again once I have something more concrete in mind. I have used these boards to plan trips to Ireland, England, France, Italy and Australia. You guys have NEVER steared me wrong!
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Old Oct 10th, 2007, 09:40 AM
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Another element that might sway your decision on destination is access.
Currently SA is the easiest to access from the US as Delta and SAA operate daily flights to Johannesburg.

Kenya and Tanzania require travel through European ports.

Since you have indicated in your heading that you wish to Safari, I assume that it is a game viewing extravaganza that you are seeking? If that is the case then I would encourage you to visit Kenya, where you can enjoy relative comfort for competitive prices with each destination that you travel to being a wildlife experience.

I would say the typical Kenatn circuit of Shaba/Samburu - Nakuru - Mara would be the a simple solution of seeing most species that east Africa has to offer over a ten day period.

You can improve your comfort levels by choosing more exclusive properties and by flying between destinations instead of hitting the rugged road.

There are other phenomenal destinations in Africa that could hold your attention too, however due primarily to their remoteness, they are expensive in access and accommodation. I'd leave those for your next trip.

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Old Oct 10th, 2007, 02:08 PM
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Just FYI, starting next June, Delta will also be flying to Nairobi (via Dakar) 4 times a week.
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