How MuchTime for a Safari

Oct 25th, 2007, 11:30 AM
  #1  
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How MuchTime for a Safari

There are so many combinations of tours from tour companies about doing a Safari.

Some do only a 7-9 days in Kenya.

Others do a 7-9 day tour in Tanzania.

Yet other have a combination of, say, 14 days doing both Kenya and Tanzania.

I have read (on this forum)where some tour guides have told some their clients that in many case doing both Kenya and Tanzania will be a repetititon of events.

You are in different places, but you are still seeing lions, zebras, rhino's. leopards etc.

What is your opinion about this.?
I know some of you could spend 6 months on a safari but that is not what I am asking !!

Am I better off to do just a 8-9 day safari in Tanzania and then head off to South Africa to spend a good 7-8 days there touring around.

Thank you for your help
jmvp
jmvp is offline  
Oct 25th, 2007, 12:33 PM
  #2  
 
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I usually prefer about 11 to 12 days on safari, as a minimum. Then, I might add some beach days (East Africa) or other touring areas such as Cape Town if I'm in South Africa. While you may see some of the same game in different areas, the landscapes can be quite different and each area may have different concentrations of game. In Kenya, for instance, Amboseli is known for its elephants, Samburu for its unique subspecies of giraffe and zebras, and the Mara for the vast Migration herds at certain times of the year.
ShayTay is offline  
Oct 25th, 2007, 12:58 PM
  #3  
 
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Seen one lion, seen them all! For some visitors, yes! For others, each and every lion is never enough and each unique in their own way. Much like people.

While there are set itineraries of 7-9/days for either country, you have to decide what you want to see/do/accomplish on this adventure. As many who post here do, they plan an independent trip to the areas that are of interest to them, the the number of days they have, type of accommdations they wish, and their budget.

Time of year warrant stops in some areas, while others can be skipped (save for another trip at a different time); different parks offer diverse environments and species. Do you want to drive or fly between locations; conclude your safari with some R&R at a beach resort.

Unless you wish to stay with set-itineraries, where there is little choice of where, when, how long, type or accommodations... a trip to Africa is an investment and an awakening and should be the kind of trip you'd like.

Read some of the trip reports under East African* Index to see the various types of safaris those who have posted here have arranged.

* or the Southern African Index.

Same old, same old... not really!

sandi is offline  
Oct 25th, 2007, 01:02 PM
  #4  
 
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My take is if you are doing both Masai Mara (Kenya) and Serengeti (Tanzania) then as you wrote "doing both Kenya and Tanzania will be a repetititon of events", especially in the months when the 'migration' is off the short grass plains. This is because these two areas are part of the same eco-system.

However if you do one of these and then something like Samburu and say Lake Nakuru (or other lake areas) in Kenya, followed by some combo of Tarangire and/or Lake Manyara and Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania then each area will seem very different, especially the scenery, and a longer trip makes more sense.

You are in different places, but you are still seeing lions, zebras, rhino's. leopards etc

Some people have an animal checklist and grade the safari based on how many animal species they see (ask about the Japanese and the pangolin list joke). Others don't mind seeing the same lions repeatedly as long as they are doing something different each time.

First group will probably be fine with a shorter trip, second group will be better off with 10 - 15 day trip, I feel.

There is no right or wrong way to do it (it's your money, after all) but generally if you want to see several different areas and/or watch the same species exhibiting varying behavior then the longer trip is better.

I'll bet there are a lot more people on short safaris wishing they had sprung for more days than there are people on longer ones wishing they were elsewhere though

Bill
Bill_H is offline  
Oct 25th, 2007, 01:45 PM
  #5  
 
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It's very hard for one person to judge another person's tolerance/ interest in safari.

My husband and I find that we just don't get bored with safari. Back in 2004 we did about 6 weeks cotinuous and were still sad for it to come to an end.

But we have overheard people comment that they are safaried out after just a week!

For me, most animal sightings (though I'll confess not all) are unique, especially where the animals aren't simply fast asleep, as they give me the opportunity to observe and learn yet more about the behaviour of that animal.

And I just can't get bored of some animals like cheetah and elephants.

I would definitely advocate choosing a safari itinerary that takes in a range of different environments so that, even if much of the game is the same (though not all), the landscape itself will be different.

Beyond that, only you know quite what your interest/ fascination/ tolerance level is for somewhat repetitive safari!

Good luck!
Kavey is offline  
Oct 25th, 2007, 04:57 PM
  #6  
 
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There are so many offerings because they appeal to a variety of tastes, not to mention budgets and available travel time.

Are you a nature and wildlife lover? Then you'll want the longer trip where you can enjoy animals in a variety of habitats. Samburu in Kenya has species not found in much of Kenya or anywhere in Tanzania, so going there is not repetition.

Are you just interested in seeing what a safari is all about and checking out Africa? Then shorter is better, and you'll save money.

Also consider the fixed cost of the airfare to get over there. Even if you are using FF miles, you are still sacrificing another big trip for Africa. A couple thousand dollars (or close) and 4-5 days of travel warrants a good bit of time on the ground once you arrive.

Do you have specific interests in South Africa? If you do, then it would not make sense to go all the over to Africa and remain on safari and miss all that South Africa has to offer. Maybe you want garden route, wine country, Cape Town to be the focus, with just a taste of safari in addition.

Here is another option, why not just stay in South Africa, saving the travel time and money to/from Tanzania? You can have an excellent safari and then do your touring--or vice versa. If you always wanted to see the Serengeti or if the migration is of interest, then SA for safari will not work.
atravelynn is offline  
Oct 25th, 2007, 06:40 PM
  #7  
 
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Atravelynn is right - there's a large number of options. The question is: what are you looking for out of your safari?

If you stick to the main northern circuit in Tanzania, then you might not see much variation, but if you include some parks like Mahale, Katavi, and Ruaha, then you'll see a number of different environments. Add some gorilla trekking in nearby Uganda, and you've got plenty to fill a few weeks of safari without being repetitive.

Then again, in Southern Africa, if you include Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, and Zambia you can have a huge amount of variety in environment, animals, and experiences.

What do you want out of a safari?
lifelist is offline  
Oct 26th, 2007, 01:21 PM
  #8  
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Thank You everyone ,you have all given such good answers.

I love animals and wildlife, I did a seven day yacht cruise in the Galapagos ..others had had enough efter 4-5 days even though each island was different!

I am not really worried about the cost, but rather, want to make sure I hit all the "major" places.

Since I am going with 3 others I have to consider their desire also.


I am sure I would not tired of the big cats... I never tired of the Koala "bears" in Australia but you know after a while I did see enough kangaroos.!!!

Thanks ShayTay, Ihave read a lot about Amboslei and Samburu.

Thanks sandi....not sure about those small planes, but some of the driving from place to place seems to take many hours. Hope there is lots to see!

You are right BillH , there is no right or wrong way!

Kavey...Thank you, right now we are deciding when in 2008 we want to go.( not the rainy season for sure)

atravelynn:

Do you mean doing a safari in Kruger Park in South Africa.!

lifelist:

That is the problem , there are "so many options."

Ahh , decisions decisions

Thank you all
jmvp

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Oct 26th, 2007, 03:59 PM
  #9  
 
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If you are an animal lover and you've tested out your level of interest other places, then you won't find repetition of animals to be tedious. That's the nice thing with wildife, every sighting is always a little different and findng the similarities can become the reward.

But you mentioned accommodating the others. If they are just so-so about wildlife viewing, then you are back to the original dilemma.

If you stayed in only South Africa, you could do a safari in Kruger, even driving yourself. Or you could head into the Sabi Sands, the private reserves bordering Kruger, or other nearby concessions.

Was there a reason you mentioned Tanzania? The Ngorongoro Crater, the Serengeti and migration?
atravelynn is offline  

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