Poll: Are you a repeat visitor?

Old Feb 22nd, 2008, 06:37 AM
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Poll: Are you a repeat visitor?

Veteran safari-goers---is there one favorite safari destination that you have returned to multiple times? Or do you always try to go somewhere different?
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Old Feb 22nd, 2008, 07:19 AM
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Several years ago we went to Kenya and Tanzania. Last year we went to South Africa, Botwana, and Namibia. If we go back, we would go somewhere else for a different view and experience. We think variety is the spice of traveling.
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Old Feb 22nd, 2008, 07:30 AM
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I like to vary my destinations, but have also returned to some of my favorites: Tanzania, Botswana, Victoria Falls and the Sabi Sands area in South Africa. I had planned to return to Kenya this year, but that will have to wait. One of the reasons I return is to introduce these favorite places to friends who have not traveled there before.
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Old Feb 22nd, 2008, 07:45 AM
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I have been to Africa many times and I have never returned to a safari destination (I have returned to some cities, like Cape Town, Nairobi and Johanesburg since they are travel hubs).

My visits to Africa since my first safari in 1999 have been to the following countries:

August 1999 -- Kenya (Masai Mara and Amboseli) and Tanzania (Ngorongoro and Serengeti)

May 2000 -- South Africa (Kruger/Sabi Sands and Cape Town)

November 2000 -- Benin, Togo, Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire

May 2001 -- Cairo

August 2001 -- Botswana (Okavango and Chobe), Zimbabwe (Victoria Falls and Harare), Zambia (South Luangwa) and Malawi (Lake Malawi)

August 2002 -- Swaziland (Mkhaya), Mozambique (Maputo), Namibia (Ongava, Etosha and Sossosvlei) and Cape Town

August 2003 -- Uganda (Queen Elizabeth NP and Bwindi), Rwanda (PNV) and Kenya (Sambura)

May 2005 -- Madagascar (Perinet, Kirindy and Berenty)

December 2005 -- Tunisia

May 2006 -- South Africa (Hluhluwe and Kgalagadi) and Lesotho

I did not visit Africa in 2007, and I don't plan to in 2008. My next expected visit will be in December 2009 to Djibouti and Ethiopia (and perhaps short visit to Eritrea).

There's a lot to see in Africa -- its a very diverse continent, and I much prefer to explore new places than to retread familiar ground.

Michael

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Old Feb 22nd, 2008, 10:53 AM
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Michael - wow, you've seen a lot. Could you pick a favorite from that list?
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Old Feb 22nd, 2008, 11:04 AM
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I will list a few since 1990. I really can't remember them all. All of these were for pleasure.

1990 - Kenya - Scotland
1991 - China
1992 - Bali
1993 - Singapore - Hong Kong - Thailand
1994 - Hawaii
1995 - Egypt
1996 - Europe (most of the countries)
1997 - China
1998 - Ireland
1999 - Italy
2000 - Bali
2001 - Cruise/Tour Alaska
2002 - US (Canyonlands)
2003 - Yosemite - Western US
2004 - Cruise/Tour New England - Canada
2005 - Canadian Rockies - Calgary Stampede
2006 - Italy
2007 - Tanzania

Plus various trips to Vegas and FL (2nd home).

We have decided to spend more time in the winter in FL, so our travel time outside the US will be very limited.
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Old Feb 22nd, 2008, 11:08 AM
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<<Could you pick a favorite from that list?>>

For wildlife viewing, the decision is simple -- the Masai Mara/Serengeti is unparalleled for game viewing.

For culture, I would like to revisit Tunisia -- lots to see, and very little hassle (unlike Morocco, which may have more to see, but where I was continually hassled).
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Old Feb 22nd, 2008, 02:32 PM
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I'm not a veteran (yet), but I will be going back to Kruger NP after visiting it a couple of years ago. I thought about going somewhere different (S. Luangwa), but I didn't want to spend the extra money for activities that I could do in Kruger.

I do look forward to visiting different parts of Africa later.
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Old Feb 22nd, 2008, 03:55 PM
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I went to South Luangwa, Zambia on my first two safaris. Once in the hot season and then went back in the green season to see the contrasts. My next two safaris were to different locations, but would love to go back to Zambia and Hwange in Zimbabwe. Next up seems to be Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park in South Africa for a totally different experience- but still considering Zambia.
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Old Feb 22nd, 2008, 04:32 PM
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I like to visit during different times of the year and in different seasons to experience different things ..... but, have also combined with new areas most times. Especially, with global warming etc etc., weather is unpredictable and makes every season different.
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Old Feb 22nd, 2008, 06:22 PM
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Maybe you can verify this for me. A long time ago I read that 40% of travel to Africa was repeat.

I like Jed's variety, and can relate to ShayTay's meeting up with friends made on previous trips, and we know Thitcho goes to different places because he's a fox--meaning he seeks out new experiences/destinations as opposed to a hedgehog that hangs around one place. He explained that distinction to us earlier. Due to some forgetfulness that dssxxx admits to, I am glad I've kept at least rough notes on all my trips.

I often mix old and new. It also depends on how you define destination. Is it narrowly defined as a camp or lodge? More generally defined as a national park? Or more broadly defined as a country?

This next trip is a perfect example of mixing it up. New place: Cape Town and Simonstown. Repeat park, new camp: South Luangwa (3rd visit) but a new camp, Kakuli. Repeat visit to Kutandala Camp in North Luangwa.

The consistent factor in my travels, whether Africa or elsewhere, is nature.
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Old Feb 22nd, 2008, 07:16 PM
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It does get tricky though to travel to new destinations, and this year I will be visiting

March: Nicaragua
May: Easter Island and Tahiti/Bora Bora
July: Cayman Islands
August: Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia
September: Guadalajara, Mexico
October: Copper Canyon, Mexico
November: Andorra and Mallorca
December: Guam, Saipan, Yap, Palau, Philippines and Brunei

And its only possible b/c of frequent flyer miles, which I'm using to fly to Easter Island/Tahiti (70,000 AA miles -- I have literally 1 mile left); the Caucaus (50,000 Delta miles -- they count that region as Europe, instead of Asia, for frequent flyer purposes); and Micronesia and Philippines (120,000 Continental miles -- I have less than 500 miles left on Continental).

Planning for 2009 is underway, and I only have penciled in trips for May (Syria and Jordan) and December (Ethiopia and Djibouti).

I have friends that spend every vacation in the Caribbean (I visited them in St. Barths last weekend, and while they stayed put, I also visited Saba and St. Kitts), and they are content with spending every vacation doing exactly the same thing.

As Gary Coleman said, "different strokes".
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Old Feb 23rd, 2008, 01:46 AM
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Over recent years returning to the same areas has become far less attractive. This has resulted from the influx of a new type of tourist together with the necessary luxuries to fulfill their requirements. Luckily there is still a great variety of places to try and when I find them they will be kept secret.
 
Old Feb 23rd, 2008, 03:38 AM
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Hi Katie,

I have been to quite a few places in the past few years in a few african countries. I have also travelled to many countries over many years prior to going to Africa.

I am now a one stop shopper - I have found a place I love, where I love to be more than any place in the world, other than my home!

I love MalaMala in the Sabi Sands next to Kruger for quite a few reasons. I normally go twice a year and stay from 21 - 29 days! I absolultely love it and it has given me a real passion!

Kind regards

Kaye
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Old Feb 23rd, 2008, 03:55 AM
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I have been on safari to many places in east and southern Africa. Since 1974 I have been to Kenya,Tanzania, South Africa, Mozambique, Zambia, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Botswana.
I have been to some of them several times. The two camps I have been to most are Jack's and Nxamaseri, both in Botswana. In fact in two weeks time I shall be off to Jack's for the 11th time.
My total of camps visited is 64 and this next time I shall add Little Kwara and Kwetsani.
I have been to other parts of the world, but Africa remains my favourite.
Jan
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Old Feb 23rd, 2008, 03:22 PM
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Hi katie, well u have a repeat visitor here... i have been to east africa 4 times... as I love lions and i think it is the best place in the world to spot lions....also i travel alone so it's easier to go to places u have visited once....but now looking forward and planning to go to other destinations in africa with fellow fodorites,

Sonali
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Old Feb 26th, 2008, 06:12 AM
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Just checking back in-- thanks for posting. I'm surprised how incredibly diverse your wanderings are for the most part. Just seems that it would be difficult to pick an entirely different part of Africa after having an amazing time in another part. Yet I imagine that you take the best moment from one trip and pursue that moment or interest elsewhere.

Sonali---where are you thinking of heading to next?

I was wondering too where travelers go who typically visit Kenya--- do you feel like many are putting off travel there until things settle down more or do you think people are choosing another destination entirely. What destination do you think people are choosing if they've decided to skip Kenya? (I do realize that the decision to not travel to Kenya is a large discussion in itself, but I'm curious what the alternative destinations are.)
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Old Feb 26th, 2008, 06:42 AM
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Katie

I think the repeat visitors are still going to Kenya but first timers lookimg elsewhere. I've visited the Mara area regularlry over the past 5-6 years and recently returned having seen no problems. I see from the news today however that the politicians are not helping matters.
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Old Feb 26th, 2008, 07:52 AM
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Hi Katie... well I am planning a shark safari trip in july with lynn.....(lynn i have to send u the mail) and then go to some game reserve in south africa.... I enjoy being with nature and animals... it is a wonderful feeling

Well about kenya, i believe that it is quite safe to travel now to areas which are not riot sensitive... we have so many trip reports of fodorites travelling and any traveller being seriously injured otherwise would have been publicised by the press... I feel it is perfectly safe to go to most parts of kenya... and the best properties are available at fantastic prices

Sonali
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Old Feb 26th, 2008, 08:32 AM
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I would travel to Kenya now. I would even throw together a last minute trip if I could. (I wish I could!)

I haven't been to Africa nearly as many times as some here but I have returned to the same places several times.
2002 - Namibia, cattle ranch
2003 - Mabula, Mashatu and private farms in South Africa
2004 - Nottens (1 night) MalaMala (6 nights)
2005 - Mobile camping in Botswana with Game Trails
2006 - MalaMala and cattle ranch in Namibia
2007 - Rwanda for gorillas and 5 camps in Kenya
2007 - mobile camping in Botswana with Maun Rest Camp
2008 - (leave June 30th) Mashatu and MalaMala

I would love to repeat any of the trips I've done plus go other places. I want to see the migration in Tanzania, go to Zambia and Zimbabwe, return to Kenya and Rwanda. If the flights over were shorter and cheaper I would find a way to go more often. The shortest trip I took was in 2004 and was in-country for 8 nights plus 3-4 days travel. The flights and jet-lag once I get home just kills me.

For some of my trips the deciding factor in going/not going was if I could use FF miles to pay for the airfare (4 trips). This year we planned the trip without regard to FF tickets and then I couldn't find any flights. I decided to let my youngest daughter join us (it's a college grad trip for oldest daughter) so I'm paying over $6k just for airfare for the 3 of us. Ouch!
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