Is it possible to do a cheap safari?

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Jul 13th, 2005, 12:05 PM
  #1
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Is it possible to do a cheap safari?

My husband and I are looking to plan a trip on or around Dec26th for about two weeks. We would love to do a safari. Don't mind camping, but would feel safest on some sort of guided tour. Is it possible to do this for under $1500 pp not including air? Thanks!!!
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Jul 13th, 2005, 12:12 PM
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Hi jen,
Where?

My short answer is, yes, it's possible. I was quoted $1700 pp (for 3 people) for a private, lodge-only 9 night safari in Tanzania for June 2006. December, around Christmas, would be higher, I believe.

So if you add some camping into the mix, and maybe made it a night or 2 shorter, I'd say you can do it. If you camped the whole time, certainly.

But again, where?
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Jul 13th, 2005, 12:40 PM
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You can self-drive in a 2WD rental car in Kruger (South Africa) and Etosha (Namibia) very affordably, although I don't think you can spend two weeks in Etosha.

You could rent a car and visit Kruger and Hluhuwe in South Africa and camp or stay in national park lodging.

Its easy and you don't need a guide in these easily traveled parks.

Michael

However, things book quickly around Christmas, understandably.
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Jul 13th, 2005, 12:55 PM
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We do the sorts of things Michael describes fairly often, and always have a wonderful time. It's a great way to see wildlife without going into hock, and the guides in Kruger and Hluhluwe are as knowledgeable as anywhere.
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Jul 13th, 2005, 01:01 PM
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Take a look at Lion World Tours at http://www.lionworldtravel.com/
My husband and I will be traveling with them in March. Most of their safaris include guides, meals, lodges or tented camps....not sure if they offer actual camping. I have posted on a couple different travel message boards and have heard good things about them. The only downfall is their packages are pretty short, most fall between 9-15 days.
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Jul 14th, 2005, 05:26 AM
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Check out www.wssafari.com. They are based out of Arusha and very competitive. We did the camping safari & Kili and were very pleased. It was not "luxury camping" though if that is what you are looking for. Let me know if you have more questions. Katie
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Jul 14th, 2005, 05:49 AM
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Hi Katie,

Sorry to hijack your thread, jen, but my fiance and I are thinking about safari/Kili probably in Feb 2006 (or maybe the summer, we're not sure, but we know to avoid rainy season in spring).

Can you tell me more about the trip - expecially the Kili part? What route did you do, and how did you find it? We are quite athletic but I'm a little worried about the altitude. How did you come to pick this company? Any details you want to share would be helpful.

Thanks!
Karen
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Jul 14th, 2005, 06:16 AM
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Hi Karen!

I loved climbing Kili! Possibly one the biggest highlights in my life so far. We did the Machame route, which I hear is the most scenic. Also, it's a longer trek so you get used to the altitude. After day 1 you have a clear view of the summit every day. I was a little worried about the altitude as well. My dr gave me a prescription for Diamox but told me not to take it until I felt I really needed it. That said, the altitude hit me like a ton of bricks about 30 minutes into the ascent to the summit from Barafu camp. A terrible feeling, all you want to do I close your eyes and roll down back to camp. I took a dose of the Diamox and it kicked in about 1 hour later and I was loving life. The side effects are strange though, random traveling numbness in my extremities for about 36 hours. So I am glad I did not take it the entire time I was on the mountain. While the summit was the toughest thing I have ever done, the last day going down the mountain was tough as well. It was all mud and downhill. My feet did not hurt at all until that day!

My brother did the research for the Kili trek/safari. A friend of his had recommended WS Safari to him. Also, another friend of mine used Thomson Safaris for their trek/safari. They come highly recommended. They are a bit more expensive but you have more amenities like your own toilet (instead of the permanent outhouses) and a dining tent (we either ate on a blanket outside or in our sleeping tent if it was too cold). We wanted to do the trip on the cheap so that's why we chose WS Safari. I guess it just depends of how "rustic" you really want to get.

Let me know if you have other questions. I am more than happy to help!
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Jul 14th, 2005, 09:53 AM
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Thanks Katie! I probably will have more questions. We are in such the early stages of planning, that we're not even sure when we are going to go. Part of the issue is that we are planning to do this for our honeymoon, but we wanted to get married in the spring. Since that's rainy season at Kili, we are trying to figure out when to get married, or whether to honeymoon a few months after we get married etc. (We're having a small, casual wedding, so no big planning issues for us).

I'm sure I'll be back here soon, asking questions! Thanks for the starter tips.
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Jul 15th, 2005, 01:32 PM
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Karen,

Congratulations on your engagement! All the planning is so fun, lots to look forward to.

We honeymooned last year at Macchu Picchu. It was a great trip, though we didn't meet one other couple on their honeymoon. I think Kili would be an awesome place to honeymoon, not many people do that either in the first place.

We did Kili in mid-June and we did not get rained on once. Although my friend did it the year before in July and it rained on them almost every day. So I guess you are never really sure what is going to happen with the weather.

Good luck planning!

Katie
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Jul 16th, 2005, 03:40 AM
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sandi
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kaudrey -

There is no rule that says your honeymoon has to be immediately after the wedding. That said, if you marry in the Spring, then mid-June would be good as most all rain has ended... though Kili may be a problem.

Also, if you pick June you have the advantage that most prices won't increase until July 1. From July thru October prices will be higher.
 
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Mar 31st, 2006, 07:40 AM
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Megtr: How did your Lion World Safari work out? We've been considering using them too.
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Mar 31st, 2006, 11:40 PM
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africnow
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megtr If you are still around I too would be interested in your reaction to the Lion World safari. Thanks.
 
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Apr 1st, 2006, 06:47 AM
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Congrats on the forthcoming wedding!!

If you want a trip that is just for the two of you then ignore the rest of this post.

But if you don't, and just in case of any interest, you could check out:

explore worldwide
exodus expeditions
guerba
intrepid
imaginative traveller (tho maybe not for Africa).

They offer a variety of itineraries and a variety of comfort levels. They are not purely safari companies but offer rounded trips to a country or region. Some include the Kili climb.

There are other companies but the aforementioned are at the top of the scale.

Sorry no urls - just do a google and they'll pop right up.
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