Is 16 nights too many?

Nov 3rd, 2005, 02:54 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 453
Is 16 nights too many?

Hi everyone - just pondering my trip, only about six and half months away. ;-) For those of you who take more "average" vacations, say, a week or two at a time, was that enough for your safari? Like 12 or 13 nights? I most certainly could have saved some cash by not being greedy and opting for 16 nights - that doesn't count travel time to and from Africa! Just curious how many people have gone on shorter safaris, whether you felt it was worth it, to little time, etc....just food for thought.
cooncat2 is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2005, 02:55 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 453
That should be... "worth it, or was it too little time...".
cooncat2 is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2005, 03:45 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,916
I have gone on safaris as long as two weeks, and as short as several days, when I combined a safari with cage diving in Cape Town and a visit to Mozambique. Longer is better, but I'll take what I can get. Next year, I'm flying to South Africa for 10 days and having six days of safari (three in both Hluhluwe and Kgalagadi), which I think is about right for me for those parks.

thit_cho is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2005, 04:08 AM
Posts: n/a
Can't say whether 16-days of safari is too long, as I always break up my "safari" vacations with down-time. This can be up-front, as doing CPT before Victoria Falls, Botswana and Kruger in Southern Africa. Added the Seychelles onto the back-end of a Tanzania safari which was a three-week trip. On our most recent trip (total 16-days in-country) was broken with Zanzibar between safari in Tanzania and then heading onto Kenya. When arriving in Kenya, we had a leisurely day in/around NBO; likewise a day at the conclusion. And while on safari, especially if staying at one place 3+days, I don't go out on every game drive, especially morning drives (everyday, unless we're moving from place-to-place).

Did I miss something fantastic by passing on a game drive or two? - probably! Was it a big deal? - no! Because I knew I would be back... another year, another country. It's still a vacation, so I try to pace myself. Even my very first safari had R&R time built-in!

It's easy to just go with the flow when in Africa. So play it as it lays.

There's no one answer for everyone.
Nov 3rd, 2005, 04:10 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 9,220
Longer the better for me.
Of our 9 week trip last year we spent 5 weeks in South Africa, 3 in Botswana and a few days in Wolwedans. Of South Africa the last 19-20 days (with the exception of a night in Jo'burg) was safari. This was followed immediately by 3 weeks safari in Botswana and the Namibia stay could loosely be described as safari as we did go out looking for birds, oryx and smaller animals each day. We could have happily carried on with more safari if we'd had more time and money!!!
Kavey is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2005, 05:06 AM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 504
We did 13 nights and I think next time I would opt for 10 or so unless it is broken up in the middle somehow. The reason is that after a while it all starts to be the same and you spend the time looking for the special moments -- that you get but they are fewer and further apart. I wanted to see just one thing special on the game drive by the end of the time. We had a few game drives that there just wasn't much to see and sitting in the vehicle got old.

Also, the last camp we were at was full of people who had never been on safari. So they could sit and watch lions sleeping for a long time but by then I wanted to see the lions doing something. -- such as the female lion who was not giving up the buffalo carcass -- she would move it a foot and stop to pant because she was so tired but she wanted to hide it in the shade so she would get a hold on it and drag it another foot and drop it and pant-- she was great. But if they were all just lying around sleeping -- the first couple of times you see that it's fun but after that I want to see them doing something.

I have tried to figure out how to post photos for you cooncat but the web site says I have to invite people to see them.

Kavey, I invited you and asked you if you could figure out how to post it so that others could see it.

mpkp is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2005, 06:05 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553

My first year on safari, I only allowed 5 nights on safari. It wasn't nearly enough although I did not realize it at the time. It did not really allow me to develop any bond with Africa.

My next year out was only 8 nights on safari, but fortunately 5 of these nights were in South Luangwa at Kafunta River Lodge and Kafunta Island Bush Camp. While again too short, and this time I realized it was too short, it did allow me to start getting Africa in my blood.

Last year, although I was not in a very good financial position, I forced in an 11 night Zambian safari after I spent 10 nights in Italy. On this occasion I did not even allow a single night in South Africa, regardless of the fact that I was using South Africa as a connecting point to Zambia. Now THIS, 11 consecutive nights, felt like a real safari and I am only sorry I did not have more time.

This year I allowed 15 nights for safari, and it was still too short. Really, a couple more nights would have been perfect.

Although 16 nights IS a long time for your first safari, it also the right amount of time to really enjoy your Zambian safari. You are staying at the very best lodges and will be well attended to on your safari. With the combination of South Luangwa and Lower Zambezi you will really have the opportunity to do so many different game activities, as well as paying a visit to wonderful organizations such as Conservation Lower Zambezi and Chipembele. Furthermore, a daytrip to Kawazaa Village while in South Luangwa would also be interesting.

I only WISH that I would have had 16 nights on safari since the very beginning! Instead, it took me getting caught up in the Singita hype to even make my first trip to Africa but fortunately I have progressed from there!
Roccco is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2005, 06:39 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 859
This is interesting, and I thank everyone for the different perspectives. The first time I went to Europe (Well, just France, but I'm not complaining!) I was lucky enough to spend 21 days. Some might think this was too long for a first trip abroad but in all honesty I could have stayed forever. I was so depressed upon "re-entry!" I've been wanting to get to Africa for so long, that I'm sure 16 nights won't be too much. I will miss my cats, however!

Kavey - That's just wild to spend so much time away! I ewnvy the vacation time you Europeans get. (Though, after awhile I begin to miss my home and my routine, believe it or not!) Thanks - let's hear from others on your "length of trip philosophy!"

cooncat is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2005, 07:01 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,844
Our first safari was only a week in length and I felt it was too short. I think 12-13 nights would be a good length for a first safari.

We're going back to Kenya/Tanzania and will be on safari for 17 nights (plus 2 nights in Nairobi). I personally couldn't go on vehicle game drive after game drive for that length of time, so we've built in a lot of varied activities on our itinerary as well as a couple of days of down time from game viewing (a little 'mini break') in the middle.

My yet to materialize Uganda trip will probably only be 9 nights due to time and financial constraints next year.
Patty is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2005, 07:54 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 9,220
MP, I haven't received your email yet... but here's what you do:
Use the Share Photos tab to send an email to your OWN address instead of a friends. Then when you get that email copy the link RIGHT AT THE BOTTOM of the email here to Fodors. I'm off to FLA tomorrow so may not get your email before I go.

Cooncat - we don't get 9 weeks holiday allowance even in the UK! Pete and I are self-employed so we saved for a few years plus blew one of our long term investments that came due in 2004 and we just closed for business for the 9 weeks. Not best business plan ever but great for our personal satisfaction!
Kavey is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2005, 08:21 AM
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 1,172
While we haven't gone on safari yet, on other trips where we've travelled a great distance (China & Australia), we spent a minimum of 3 weeks at our destination, just because of the exhausting travel time. I have a hard time acclimating to different time zones, and so I always allow myself a few recovery days BEFORE I want to do anything really meaningful to me - such as safari. I can then actually appreciate what I'm seeing instead of being a walking zombie. Plus, just because it IS such a great distance, it's not something we can do easily, and so we spend as much time as we can when we get there. I don't think you were greedy - I think you were smart!

cynstalker is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2005, 09:37 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 859
That was my thinking, too, of course. It's a long way to travel for a short period of time. However, I'm barreling through to my first camp after two nights of flying, so we'll see how well I adapt. I usually do OK with jet lag on my way out. It's when I get home that I have more trouble adjusting. (Or maybe I just don't want to!)
cooncat is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2005, 11:18 AM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440
16 has not been too many for me
No boredom or wondering when it will end
I have not hit a max but have not done more than about 20 days in a row

atravelynn is offline  
Nov 4th, 2005, 07:42 PM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 7,391

I just got home...12 days was NOT enough, could have easily done 112 days! You're gonna love it!!! I'll do a trip report tomorrow or sunday when I recover..damn, wish I was still there! it was everything I dreamed of and 1000 times more!! except for one incident of stolen luggage, everything went smoothly...and I WILL GO BACK!!
matnikstym is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 02:17 PM.