Oh Where oh where to go ???????

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Feb 21st, 2010, 05:57 PM
  #41
 
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http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/Botswana.aspx
http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/tanzania.aspx

You can consult the CDC website and most importantly your own doctor or travel clinic.

I doubt you'd need rabies or Hep B. You'd want the Yellow Fever for Tanzania.
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Feb 21st, 2010, 08:43 PM
  #42
 
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ok - then the price sounds better!

i still would try to get the four days under canvas instead of grumetti.

you pretty much nee malaris pills. heb a and heb b are recomended but it is too late for heb b as it is three shots three months apart.

craig beal
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Feb 21st, 2010, 08:44 PM
  #43
 
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how do you plan on flying from east africa to southern africa?

craig
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Feb 21st, 2010, 09:50 PM
  #44
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I think we'd have to go back through J Berg, but right now I'm not sure we'll even do this special one now. It's just that, as my husband became more involved, and started looking at the stuff that I'd gathered, he found these specials. I'm kind of trying to see if he'd be interested in doing just a Botswana trip soon and leave E Africa for later on. Coming from Australia, we are pretty used to very long flights as there's hardly anywhere we can go without them, so that's not important to us.

I think if we could be convinced that going to certain places in Botswana now would give us a great experience at a better price, that might be appealing. So your opinions on where to go in Botswana in March, are much appreciated.

We're waiting to hear back from our contact at &Beyond, but the conversation has opened up the possibility of splitting the destinations into two trips, so maybe that's progress, albeit not very much.
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Feb 22nd, 2010, 01:58 AM
  #45
 
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Hi tinydancer

I'm from Melbourne and have only been to Africa once (last year) but noted many similarities between the issues you are working through now and what I researched (with much help from forums like these) last year. We only had 5 weeks leave but had similar aims to you such as gorilla trekking, seeing the wildebeest migration, and seeing a variety of wildlife including the big 5. I love wildlife and Botswana was a place I became really interested in visiting after realising we would have spare time after going to East Africa and Rwanda. Unfortunately the main way to link East Africa and Southern Africa (Vic Falls, Botswana or South Africa) is to catch a flight down to Johannesburg and back up again.

In the end we went to Rwanda (gorilla trek), Kenya (Masai Mara), Tanzania (Tarangire, Ngorongoro Crater), Vic Falls, Botswana (Linyanti, Okavango Delta) and Namibia. We had an absolutely wonderful time and were fine with all the internal travel but I can understand some people like to spend more time in each place and travel a bit less.

Specialised Africa travel agents can offer heaps of great advice but I assume that by coming onto these forums you like to also do some of your own research. Besides these forums, one of the websites I found useful was www.africatravelresource.com (a UK based company but their website is quite handy), which shows the location of the various camps and some info about most of them. Note that their descriptions are biased towards camps which are less touristy.

We travelled in August/September so sorry I can't comment about the safari experience in March. I will say though that we found that East Africa (Kenya or Tanzania) is unsurpassed for large herds, general game, predators in abundance, especially with the wildebeest migration which was amazing, whereas Botswana had less overall game numbers but was a more intimate, possibly more pure, safari experience in the private concessions(far less vehicles, freedom to drive offroad). Botswana was far more expensive than East Africa. I mulled for hours over whether to go to Serengeti in addition to Masai Mara and ended up deciding against it. I'm still not sure whether we made the right decision but it certainly seemed to be a hassle travelling all the way around (via Nairobi) to get there; even though they are technically continuous with each other, the alternative of crossing the border overland through the western side is a long convuluted bumpy journey.

Incidentally you should book in for a travel clinic to check your Yellow Fever, ADT (tetanus), Hep A, and typhoid is up to date. I would recommend malaria prophylaxis. Hep B is optional but if you want it, it can still be given as an accelerated schedule within 3-4 weeks. Rabies is also optional.

Sorry for rambling on, I'm not sure whether you had any specific questions you wanted to ask, but if you're like me sometimes organising the trip is actually quite enjoyable as it builds the excitement/anticipation of your upcoming trip. Don't stress too much about it though, in the end, I'm confident that any safari you choose to do in Africa is going to be a truly amazing and memorable trip. In fact I'm meant to be organising a trip to Europe now but for some reason I keep coming back to read these Africa forums lol... there is just something alluring and magical about the place.
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Feb 22nd, 2010, 11:41 AM
  #46
 
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wow... I see you have been inundated with replies. I am a specialist African travel writer and editor (I'm South African) and I agree that you should do no more than 3 countries in about four weeks in southern Africa and then do East Africa on a next trip. A tour guide friend of mine is absolutely fantastic - his name is Ceaser Zandberg and he will tailor-make a trip for you. He runs his own lodge in Namibia as well. His details are: PO Box 1648, Swakopmund, Namibia

È: +264 81 129 5265

(/Fax: +264 64 402779

š: [email protected]

Web: www.kunenetours.com

In my experience (of five years as travel writer and editor), South Africa is not the "real" Africa. In Botswana you HAVE to go to the Delta - I would recommend Delta Camp and of course the Kalahari - here I would go for Grasslands and Deception Valley Lodge. If I were you I would do Botswana, Zambia (the Vic Falls) and Namibia.
Have a splendid time. If you need info from me, you are welcome to contact me at [email protected]
Best wishes
Jo
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Feb 22nd, 2010, 11:51 PM
  #47
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We're still working on it. Have a few questions we asked &Beyond, but no reply so far. I'll be back!
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Feb 23rd, 2010, 06:55 PM
  #48
 
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Go beyond AndBeyond for more info. You may end up with them in the end, but it's good to know your options. I'm sure if they are offering last minute deals, so are other agents. On the other hand, you might decide to spend your entire holiday in Swakopmund.

Did you know you are in violation with your ampersand? Really. The font has copyright problems. It's why I write out AndBeyond. Seriously.

Good luck in your planning, whether in the near future or a ways off.
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Feb 23rd, 2010, 07:26 PM
  #49
 
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Just to throw in a little info, check the site

luxurylink.com and go to southern Africa.

They have an andBeyond Bots special running. It's certainly tempting - no, christabir, no safari this year! : ) I don't know if the specials noted earlier above were the same as this one.
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Feb 23rd, 2010, 10:08 PM
  #50
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We haven't heard back about going to Botswana this month, so I think we are back to Sept/Oct and only doing East Africa: Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania. I have put our ideas forward to a company here (Australia) that I was put on to by Wilderness Safaris (which do not do E. Africa) called Encompass Africa. Right now, the two companies that are staying in my mind are Encompass Africa (here) and Africa Adventure Co (USA). Maybe we're making this too complicated, but I don't think so. Thanks again! See ya soon I hope!
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Feb 26th, 2010, 07:43 PM
  #51
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We are making lots of progress, but need some opinions on the following:

Aug or Sept:

So far we are looking at this possibility: fly directly from Kigali into Kilimanjaro, drive to Tarangire staying at Oliver's Camp 2 or 3 nights (we think 3)

Drive to Manyara doing a game drive there but continuing on to Ngorongoro Serena Lodge for 2 nights, with one drive into the crater. (staying here for the view, not the lodge)

Drive ( a bit bumpy but via Olduvai Gorge) to Serengeti Plains Staying 2 nights at Dunia Camp.

fly to N Serengeti.

Stay 4 nights (5?) at Sayari.

So, here we are so far. Questions: if we stay 4/5 nights at Sayari, can we skip the Masai Mara completely and not really miss doing something very, very similar?

We also had thought of visiting Amboseli, or Samburu, but Amboseli doesn't really appear to be at it's best currently, and Samburu seems to be much more touristy than we thought. Although, a new place has been recommended to us called Saruni Samburu which is outside of Samburu and looks to be in a spectacular location with drives into Samburu mid-day (this place entices me, but not my husband). The other option in Samburu is Elephant Watch, which looks o.k. But, my husband thinks that based on what we've read on the Tanzanian trip and what we've read about Kenya, we might skip Kenya altogether and save our $ for a river cruise in Europe.

If you think there is something really, really, REALLY special in Kenya at the time we are going, we'd love to hear about it.

Can't wait to hear your thoughts!
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Feb 26th, 2010, 11:29 PM
  #52
 
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I don't know Dunia Camp but I'd spend those 2 nts in Central Serengeti rather than Southern Serengeti in Aug/Sept.

I think Tanzania would be a very good trip.

The migration in Sept in the Mara is quite special and I believe the variety and quantity of wildlife seen would be more than N. Serengeti. Though I have not been to N. Serengeti in Sept, only Aug., there was no comparison in that the Mara had a lot more activity. But there would definitely be more people in the Mara.

I do think 5 nts Sayari is a good amount of time so that you maximize your odds of seeing a river crossing at that location. It also gives you more time to track down predators and other interesting species. I've considered this area and have thought 5 nts would be just about right, certainly no less.

Though I have not gone and only investigated Elephant Watch Camp, I think that would be very special to accompany the researchers and get near the elephants and have a more intimate experience with these creatures than you can other places. Samburu has 5 unique species not found in most of Tanzania or further south in Kenya. There would be more people in Samburu than Sayari in N. Serengeti (which should be very remote) and there will be even more people in the Mara. But I would not call Samburu touristy. It has great elephant activity, but then so does Tarangire, which you will be visiting.

I am terribly biased, but I would not skip Kenya for a river cruise in Europe. I would skip Kenya if adding it meant my budget was beyond what I could comfortably spend on a holiday.
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Feb 27th, 2010, 06:10 PM
  #53
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I'm still not sure about skipping the Masai Mara completely. Once we have everything else sorted, I will broach the subject again. It occurred to me yesterday, when trying to fall asleep, and all the details of going to Africa kept popping into my head so I couldn't, that skipping the Masai Mara because it's too crowded with tourists, reminded me of several other places which people complain about. One is Yosemite National Park. Lots of people complain it is too crowded, but it is so beautiful that even the crowds don't spoil it! Then there is Churchill in Canada (we went 2 years ago), many people say it's too touristy and the bears look for food in the local garbage dump. Well, yes, the bears come too close to town, and yes, there are a number of tour vehicles on the tundra, but you'll see dozens more polar bears around Churchill than anywhere else in the world for special reasons, so going there means your experience of seeing many bears is unique. Finally, I think of Bali, Indonesia. 28 years ago my Australian friend complained that she didn't want to go there because it was too over run with Australian tourists. We went anyway and found most of it to still be pristine and untouched; and it remained so until the past 10 years. Your comments are very much appreciated! I've also read that in the Masai Mara there are large herds which are resident, so that would add to the impact when the migration enters those areas and they join up. It's all still being developed. (P.S.: river cruise is husband's idea)
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Feb 27th, 2010, 07:02 PM
  #54
 
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I was in the Mara in August 2008 - I could not imagine a trip to East Africa without spending time there. The migration was incredible. Predators were plentiful - (saw many, many lion, several leopard and cheetah). I was lucky enough to hit 2 crossings. The only time that I felt "crowded" was at the crossings - but the site was so incredible it didn't really bother me. The rest of the time sightings were so plentiful that I never encountered more than a few vehicles. I was fortunate enough to be in private vehicles most of the time and could sit and enjoy each opportunity until I was ready to move on. Personally, I wouldn't pass up an opportunity to visit again - particularly during August/September. I've not been to the Serengeti, so I don't have anything to compare the experience to, but I can't imagine anything better than the experience in the Mara that time of year.
Here's a link to my photos from that time period (late August).
http://eastafricaaugustandseptember2...utterfly.com/#
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Feb 27th, 2010, 08:27 PM
  #55
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safariwannabe, thank you for your thoughts and thank you for the link to you fantastic photos! I think we are probably going to add in at least a few nights in Masai Mara.
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Feb 27th, 2010, 09:11 PM
  #56
 
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Tinydancer … don't miss the Mara at that time of year! Just go.
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Feb 27th, 2010, 11:36 PM
  #57
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Yes, I think we're pretty certain to do 3 or 4 nights there as well. The person we have been working most closely with tended to agree with us about 'doubling' up by going to the Serengeti and also the Masai Mara, so we are running it by him to get his opinion once again.

I also wanted to let atravalynn know that the person we are working with suggested Dunia Camp, and one description of it we found here: http://www.africatravelresource.com/...lodge/01intro/

It's also supposed to be good for leopard spotting, which is very high on my list, so if I see them in more than one location I will be thrilled. We will then drive to Sayari, which is fine with us. It means a full day game drive across the Serengeti. We are keeping our car and our guide for the entire time in Tanzania.

We must be getting close to our final plan as I am getting SO excited I can feel my heart racing just as I am writing this! In the beginning, my head was spinning so much I couldn't feel the excitement. Even letting go of the idea of also going to Botswana on this trip is now a distant memory and mentally Botswana now really does feel miles away from East Africa (which is why it just didn't really fit with this trip)(next trip though!)
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Feb 27th, 2010, 11:41 PM
  #58
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PS: artavelynn: the Sayari we are going to is the Sayari Mara, not the Sayari South.
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Feb 28th, 2010, 02:04 AM
  #59
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atravelynn: Sorry, I totally missed your message much earlier about the ampersand. Just read it again and it took awhile to sink in. Thanks for the info again.
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Feb 28th, 2010, 07:54 AM
  #60
 
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No apologies to me, I'm just the ampersand messenger. AndBeyond is the one getting their legal undies in a bundle. With the prospect of big lawsuits, I can understand the concern.

My comments did apply to Sayari Mara, which is in the northern part of the Serengeti in Tanzania. So there was no missunderstanding on that. With all the camps starting with S all over the Serengeti and Mara, it can be confusing. Further confusing the issue is that Sayari Mara has the name Mara in it, but it is not in the official Maasai Mara. It is probably as close as you can get to Kenya's Maasai Mara, while being in Tanzania. And that offers a unique location.
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