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Has anyone who has been to Africa have also gone to the Galapagos islands?

Has anyone who has been to Africa have also gone to the Galapagos islands?

Mar 1st, 2010, 01:30 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 89
Has anyone who has been to Africa have also gone to the Galapagos islands?

My husband and I have traveled to Africa several times and absolutely love it. We have stayed at small camps and have enjoyed the fact that there are limited people and they appear to co exist with the animals naturally.

We thinking of planning a trip to the Galapagos islands but are worried about the number of people on the islands at one time. After being on safari in Africa will we feel like we are in a zoo at the Galapagos? Will we be bothered by hundreds of people roaming the island distrubing the animals?

I would love to hear feedback from anyone who has traveled to both places. Also open to other ideas of places to travel.

kch246 is offline  
Mar 1st, 2010, 04:22 PM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440

Galapagos 2x with hopes of another visit or 2.
Africa lots more than 2 times with hopes of many more visits.

The Galapagos National Parks Service tightly regulates how many people are at each landing point and when. The max in a group is 16, plus a naturalist. Sometimes another guide/naturuals goes too. On larger boats, the groups split up and then swap locations to maintain the 16 max.

There are not packs of visitors by the hundreds roaming around at any given moment, though sometimes we saw others in the distance on another part of the island.

As for "disturbing the animals," the naturalists I had were vigilant about not disturbing the animals. You could not even step off of the designated paths for fear of disturbing vegetation or making too large of a footprint.

What I recall from both trips was the unhurried nature of the walks. Much of the time was just stopping and looking with no forward motion. You could really immerse yourself in the surroundings, which included wildlife that stayed put.

Then there were the snorkeling activities (if you choose) that allowed admiring the marine life in a different environment.

While on the boat there were often frigate birds flying past. Plus we had dolphins at the bow and on one trip lots of whale watching. This would be similar to animals in camp.

When you are way out at sea with no boats in view or just a few in the distance, the feeling of remoteness is the same as in small camps.

In Africa, even if you share a vehicle, there is more flexibility on where to go and how long you stay. In the Galapagos, you have a set itinerary, you can not step off the paths, and you cannot decide to stay on the island all day. But the viewing times were always adequate.

If you are a wildlife and nature lover, the Galapagos is a treasure of a destination.
atravelynn is offline  
Mar 1st, 2010, 05:54 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 13,024
Me too

I agree with what atravelynn has said.

There will not be a lot of people everywhere disturbing the animals and birds.

It is fairly well regulated.

Certain of the Galapagos Islands have specific species, as some islands are know for birds..while other are more for animals and some just for the site and vegetation.

Like a Safari, it is a unique adventure.
Percy is offline  
Mar 1st, 2010, 06:03 PM
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 28
Me three.

I have been to galapagos 2x and africa 1x. Both are incredible experiences, both i want to do multiple times again. I really think the experience of being in the galapagos, on the land, in the water, and on the boat, is just absolutely beautiful and amazing. atravelynn described everything quite well. I have to add that the snorkeling experiences were unforgettable.
aestuo is offline  
Mar 1st, 2010, 06:07 PM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440
A double Galapagos for you too aestuo!
atravelynn is offline  
Mar 1st, 2010, 06:48 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 13,024
The Galapagos is such a great memory that if I went the second time I would have to go to as many other islands as I could.

Same with another Safari, I would for sure do different National Parks for the game drives.

Ahhhh ..... so much world, so little time
Percy is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2010, 01:16 AM
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 409
Yes, I've been to both. Very different experiences and I'd love to return to the Galapagos one day.

I didn't feel we were disturbing the animals at all and I don't really remember seeing much of other groups except in towns or when moored up.

It was fantastic being able to wander along the paths and take our time - nice not to be in a vehicle. Snorkelling was fantastic.
Lynneb is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2010, 08:27 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,843
We went to the Galapagos before Africa. It was the trip that got us started on wildlife trips. While I thoroughly enjoyed it, I don't have the overwhelming desire to return again and again like I do Africa (probably a good thing given a limited amount of time and funds ). Part of that I think is because we go on private trips in Africa and have a lot more freedom to go when and where we want. You can't do that in the Galapagos.

I didn't feel that it was zoo like nor were there hundreds of other people. We chose a small (16 pax) vessel and at some snorkeling and landing sites, there were other groups present (I would say 3 other small vessels max) and at other sites, it was just us. At the landings where we encountered other groups, once we were on the trails, each group spaced themselves out though we could sometimes see the other groups in the distance. At the snorkeling site it was harder to do so but there was still plenty of elbow room. I didn't feel that crowding was an issue.
Patty is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2010, 09:11 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 9,216
I really enjoyed Galapagos (and Lynn's description is spot on). That said, whilst I'd like to go back for a more extensive trip it doesn't call me back and back and back like an African safari does.
Kavey is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2010, 03:56 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 89
Thanks for all your responses. I completely agree that Africa is addicting and keeps callimg me back as well. That being said I am trying to tear myself away and see other parts of the world...but it is difficult not to be planning for another African adventure.
kch246 is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2010, 11:43 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 9,216
Well, if you're into birds (especially penguins and albatross) I can recommend a) an anarctic cruise including South Georgia and the Peninsula and b) at least 2 weeks in the Falkland Islands - you can fly there via Chile or direct from the UK with the RAF
Kavey is offline  

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