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Botswana vs Kenya and Tanzania for first safari experience

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May 22nd, 2012, 07:40 AM
  #1
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Botswana vs Kenya and Tanzania for first safari experience

Hi,

I am planning a safari trip in August for my family. I have already travelled to Kenya and Tanzania but for them it will be the first time. I am torn between Botswana (which I hear is more secluded) or combining Kenya and Tanzania and hopefully catching some of the Migration (I do not mind going back). In addition to seeing wide range of wildlife I want them to experience the beautiful African scenery and the savannah that I remember from my trip.

Would concentration of animals be quite similar in those countries? I remember that in Kenya/Tanzania there were loads of animals and we seemed to spot a different one every 5-10 minutes. In Okavango delta the safari is done on boat wouldn't this limit your the amount of animals you see? Also how do these two options compare in terms of scenery? Any advice and thoughts would be most welcome. Thank you
julie_z is offline  
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May 22nd, 2012, 07:58 AM
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You aren't limited to boat safaris in the Delta. Most "water" camps also do game drives. Check out trip reports posted here.
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May 23rd, 2012, 03:04 AM
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Hey julie

The places you are interested in going to are fantastic. The Kruger National Park and those wildlife safari parks are very popular in South Africa and its definatly an experience of a life time.
Abit of advise, if you want to book accommodation for those months then I would suggest you do u it immidiatly as they get fully booked quiet easily.
If you have any questions or querries about anything then im glad to help.
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May 23rd, 2012, 11:01 AM
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julie - I'd ignore reply #2 and #3 as these are first time posters and while not touting their companies, have not provided any useful info. Sure wish some of these folks would read the Fodor's rules/regulations.

Further to uhoh-busted, safaris don't have to be all water in Botswana. And, possible Botswana will be more costly than East Africa even in peak season. So, yeh.. can be a difficult decision.

Believe for a first-time safari and even though it would be a return trip for you, I believe Kenya or Tanzania or a combo of both would be ideal for these members of your group. Back 18/yrs ago when starting to plan my first safari I automatically went for Kenya and fell in love. Next was Tanzania and then the southern countries, love love. So, it. Still over these years I never get bored and always find something new and am surprised, nor would hesitate to return to East Africa.

August is when the migration is taking place in the Masai Mara and will show the family 'for real' all those pics seen on the National Geo programs... amazing, wow!

I'm sure others will have their comments and preferences, none being right or wrong, so wish you luck whichever you decide because in the end, you're going on safari in Afree-kah, so your half-way there!
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May 24th, 2012, 06:47 AM
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Hi Julie,
I have been in those countries severally in our trips,but according to the your time of travel personally would recommend Tanzania and Kenya,considering that this is the time when the great migration takes place though its not 100% that you will capture the wildebeest crossing the mara river,but the concentration is very high in mara within this time.Another factor you have to consider is the duration of your holiday.The concentration might not be the same since most of the migration will be in maasai mara from Serengeti.But in Tanzania you have Ngorongoro,Manyara and Tarangire which are worthy visiting.In kenya depending with your days you can visit,Lake Nakuru,Lake Naivasha,Maasai Mara as well as Amboseli for the bake drop of Kilimanjaro
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May 29th, 2012, 05:25 AM
  #6
TC
 
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Hi Julie. I agree with the others, you will certainly get more "bang for your buck" in Kenya and Tanzania than you will in Botswana. I also agree that it is the absolute picture of Africa that everyone has in their head the first time out......big open spaces, lots of animals, easily spotted.

Good luck. Enjoy.
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May 29th, 2012, 07:08 AM
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Julie,

I am a huge Botswana fan, and have spent the last 5 years visiting, often twice a year. I was skeptical of Kenya due to the idea of large crowds...

I gave Kenya a go earlier this year, and wow. Completely blown away with the experience.

One issue for Bots at the moment are the flood waters that have really been restricting game viewing areas and dispersing wildlife in the last 2/3 years. I came away quite disappointed with my Botswana 2011 experience. The game viewing does not justify the high prices compared to previous years.

If you are worried about crowds, I would recommend the private conservancies. They are more expensive, though a fantastic experience. We stayed for two weeks at Mara Plains, slightly more expensive, though the area is beautiful.

It is limited to 12 vehicles, and has a real mix of landscapes. Open plains to rugged hills. It is only 5 minutes from the main reserve, so should you want to pop into to see a river crossing, it is close by. You can also off road in this area.

For Northern Tanzanai, I would look at the Lamai Wedge, especially Serengeti Mara Camp.

If it were me, I would split two weeks the following way;

1) 7 nights Mara Plains
2) 7 Nights Serengeti Mara Camp (Tanzania)

That would give you migration immersion....great for a photographer.

If staying only in Kenya, you could swap those second 7 nights for other great areas, again where you can find private conservancies.
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May 29th, 2012, 07:21 PM
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Definitely pros and cons to both. Botswana is much more pricey but the wilderness experience far surpasses most eastern Africa trips. But the profusion of wildlife does tend to be more in Kya and Tanz. While not cheap by any stretch, eastern Africa is less expensive than Botswana, unless self-driving is your bag. This is what we do in southern Africa. Eastern Africa, the self-drive is a bit more problematic. Check out our family blog:

http://cokesmithphototravel.com/Expe...rica_2009.html

If you search the website a bit you will see some older eastern Africa stuff too. We're leaving for two months in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Ethiopia and Central AFrica in a few days! Can't wait. Bon Voyage to you and yours!
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