Planning first safari..suggestions?

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Aug 16th, 2011, 04:49 PM
  #1
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Planning first safari..suggestions?

Our first safari! How exciting, but we need help. We are in the EARLY planning stages so any suggesionts will be gratefull. We are two friends staring at retirement and decided it is now or never. We are thinking of going to Tanzania and Kenya perhaps May 2012, for about 16-18 days and we are on a budget. From what I have read here about $300. ppn is fine. Any comments, suggestions?
bettyboop08 is offline  
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Aug 16th, 2011, 08:36 PM
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Have you picked up Fodors Complete Safari Planner?

That's where I started and then bombarded this forum with questions!
KathBC is offline  
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Aug 16th, 2011, 09:11 PM
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The Fodors books are the best place to start.

And, Thom Hogan who leads wildlife photo safaris world wide sums up nicely the African safari choices here (note - his emphasis is on photography) -
http://www.bythom.com/botswanaworkshop2.htm

regards - tom
cary999 is offline  
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Aug 17th, 2011, 03:25 AM
  #4
 
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www.kenya.com/great_migration_overview.asp

travelzoo.com great sales with friendlyplanet.com

www.porini.com eco-camps great value

Happy Planning!
qwovadis is offline  
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Aug 17th, 2011, 06:09 AM
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May is "low" season in both countries; end of the "long" rains period, but that doesn't mean it will or daily... if any a brief thunderstorm or overnight shower.

Best is that prices are also lowest.

Time to start your research.
sandi is offline  
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Aug 17th, 2011, 06:50 AM
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No better way to kick off your retirement than an African safari!

If you'd like to see the migration of wildebeests and zebras, then you'd want to be near the western Serengeti, TZ in May.

Since you mentioned Kenya and Tanzania, here are a couple of itineraries with the company that I used for my 1st African safari to Kenya and Tanzania.

This itinerary would put you in a good spot in the Serengeti
http://www.africaadventure.com/safar...a_and_tanzania


Choosing Sopa in the Serengeti from the lodging options listed would put you in a good spot and the Maasai Mara accommodations are nice because they are tented camps
http://www.africaadventure.com/safar...a_and_tanzania

If nothing else, these offer a good starting point in building a Tanzania/Kenya itinerary.

You might also want to contact a Kenya or Tanzania based company. I've used Eastern and Southern Safaris in Nairobi a couple of times. For the Tanzania portion, they have a partner in that country so everything is seamless for you. E&S does private trips for just the 2 of you.
My testimonial is the 11th one from Wisconsin
http://www.essafari.co.ke/testimonials.php

For Tanzania based companies, visitors have had good results with Roys and Good Earth. Good Earth does trips with a minimum of 2, but more participants on the departure decreases the cost. Roys generally does private trips and private TZ trips will likely come in at more than $300 per person per day.
http://www.goodearthtours.com/

I've talked with both Roys and Good Earth and would be comfortable traveling with either.

Since you are just beginning your research, you may not have thought about including the gorillas. Though it is an expensive option, it is very worthwhile. In May, a Tanzania and Rwanda trip would be ideal.

To help you narrow your choices, are there any animals of particular interest to you? Is seeing the wildebeest migration important to you? Are you more interested in concentrating on maximizing sightings in a couple of parks with highest density of animals or are you more interested in seeing a variety of terrain and habitats? Do you want to commit about 4 days to tracking the mountain gorillas, knowing permits are about $500. There are many excellent travel companies to choose from that can offer an itinerary for whatever your interests.
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