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Novice Safari question

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Feb 14th, 2014, 04:32 PM
  #1
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Novice Safari question

Am considering a safari trip in Sept - it is being organized through a local group with a tour operator - don't know the name of operator at this time.

I read in the description that they are anticipating 40 people on the safari - so question is, is that a lot of people to be caravanning and hoping to see animals. I have no clue as to whether that is normal or too large and will limit our viewing possibilities
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Feb 14th, 2014, 04:40 PM
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Yeah, that's huge group! Can you find out more, in terms of who the tour operator is, where you are going, etc.? I often put together groups and I think the maximum I've ever had was 12. Most people on this forum prefer to just travel as one or two couples.
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Feb 14th, 2014, 04:51 PM
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ShayTay- Are you really in Coburg, Or? I am just down the road in Eugene.

The trip is being organized through the Far West Ski Assoc.- have never done any of their trips but everyone I know who has, has thought they did a good job.

I am thinking 40 sounds like a lot too-
Will get more details and get back to you
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Feb 14th, 2014, 05:07 PM
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We fly into Pt Elizabeth and fly out of Capetown. We will do the Eastern Cape and Garden Route tour and Victoria Falls - some of the stops are the Featherbed Nature Reserve and Victoria Falls Private Game Preserve -

Still don't know the name of the Tour Operator
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Feb 14th, 2014, 10:18 PM
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Sorry but 40 people together sounds like a nightmare to me. South Africa is a very easy country to visit on your own, especially the Eastern Cape and the Garden Route (never been to Victoria Falls). And where are the actually safari destinations ? You don't mention the Kruger or surrounding private reserves and I would be sure not to miss this for a first trip.
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Feb 15th, 2014, 11:08 AM
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sunburn1944, yep...Coburg! Send me an e-mail at divedive99 at aol dot com. I'll be home in a week (currently on a business trip.) I've been to Africa 15 times and will be happy to share some of my expertise.
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Feb 15th, 2014, 11:13 AM
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Sorry, sunBUM1944, not sunBURN1944! Need to check my glasses...
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Feb 16th, 2014, 05:01 PM
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ShayTay, I would love to talk to you more about your travels to S. Africa. I am planning my first trip and will be doing it solo. Please email me at worrelybird at yahoo dot com. Thanks!
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Feb 18th, 2014, 01:52 PM
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how many people will be in each safari vehicle?

I met a group of 50 Americans n Kenya . Theywere having a blast!!!! i don't think the TOTAL number is what matters as much as how the tour company plan the lodging and vehicles. Do you know some of the other people in the group? If you do ,that could be grew fun!!!

You will see animals no matter how many people are in the group!!!! the animals don't care if there are 6 people or one person in a vehicle--the relevant question is WHERE they are planning to take you.
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Feb 22nd, 2014, 04:00 PM
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I'm somewhat with calinurse. First, there are some people who can only afford or wish to travel with a group and others who prefer private. Most of us prefer private, but some don't. So I feel it's more the actual itinerary, how many people per vehicle, type of lodging and overall costs.

Curious - who is the company offering this itinerary and what does it include? Where going, staying, how many days, other info?

I'd personally run if I heard up to 40/pax, but if it's truly a great itinerary and one doesn't mind being with a bunch of strangers, personalities... decisions often made by committee... as well as all you can afford, go for it. Then report back.

But doesn't mean you shouldn't check out other options. Best to have something to compare.
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Feb 23rd, 2014, 10:48 PM
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Sandi, you can see the itinerary on the Far West Ski Assn's website. It's more of a South Africa tour with a couple of game drives in Addo Elephant Park thrown in.
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Feb 26th, 2014, 01:33 PM
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Thanks Sharon -

A ski association is offering an African safari?
Guess they have to expand their business. But I'd personally avoid. If you wish Africa, go with someone who specializes in Africa whether Southern (only Addo... duh)) or Eastern?
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Feb 26th, 2014, 06:59 PM
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A lot of organizations offer foreign trips. They don't do the actual planning, but leave that up to a travel or safari planning organization. For instance, Ntaba Tours in Kentucky does South Africa trips for alumni organizations. Persons on the tour may never see the planner's company name.
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Feb 28th, 2014, 12:32 PM
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Sharon -

You got me on that. I've seen many African tours set for alumni associations. Unfortunately though these have much the same negatives as do other 'group' itineraries. Wrong place for particular time of year, lots of time spent on road transfers and traveler spending quite a bit of $$$ for not the best accommodations.
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Mar 1st, 2014, 02:46 PM
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Agreed, Sandi! Too often, they are just a tour with a few game drives thrown in. I actually had lunch with the OP and we discussed safaris in detail. I think she's got a better idea of the direction she wants to take now.
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Mar 9th, 2014, 01:59 PM
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Thanks Sharon.
Another thing Alumni Assoc do is include an extra person traveling with the group to provide 'talks' on whatever subject. Guess who pays for that individual to travel with the group? The individual traveler/s in their rate. No one gets a truly free ride.
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Mar 15th, 2014, 06:55 AM
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Recently returned from a 34 day tour of South Africa -- traveled with 20 people who I know very well and I would say that should be the max. Ideally 10 to 12 -- We found that it was okay but even with 20 we were restricted on where we could go -- a smaller vehicle would be much better for seeing the animals and traveling the "roads" -- I realize the smaller the group probably the higher the price, but it is worth it -- how many times are you going to be able to go back and repeat this experience?
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Mar 15th, 2014, 03:23 PM
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ronko -

Not to put my hand into another's pocket, but many of us travel to Africa yearly, twice a year or if necessary we alternate and go even other year.

I would though admit that 34 days only in South Africa is a bit much.
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