Questions re planning Africa trip

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Mar 12th, 2006, 07:55 PM
  #1
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Questions re planning Africa trip

A bunch of posters have mentioned deciding to not go on a tour, opting instead to plan their own itinerary and hire a private driver.
Who did you contact to hire a driver?
How did you decide where to go?
I have planned a lot of trips, but Africa feels so overwhelming. Maybe the problem is that I'm thinking of the trip as "once in a life-time" instead of "the first of many."
Thanks!
Marian





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Mar 12th, 2006, 08:28 PM
  #2
santharamhari
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Marian,

You have come to the right place, but, where do you intend to travel to?

Kenya?
Tanzania?
Southern Africa? i.e, SA, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia?

If you are specific, you will find a lot of help here.....no stress!!!
 
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Mar 12th, 2006, 09:34 PM
  #3
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I guess I'm leaning towards East Africa; Kenya and/or Tanzania.
Moderate rates, minimum of 2 weeks, preferrably closer to 3.
Smallest travel group possible. (Hence my inquiry on how to find a private guide.)
Not really concerned with fancy stays, though my travel partner will be a little more selective than I am. She is adventurous, but would probably not be happy sleeping on the ground in mobile tents, especially as she has recurring back problems.
Hope this helps!
Marian
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Mar 13th, 2006, 07:13 AM
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Marian,

I don't know if you've seen Patty's report from her trip to Kenya in late November, but I believe they kept their ground costs to around $250pppn. I don't know if this price would work for you, and it's an unusual itinerary, but take a look-see anyway:

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=34719569

We are returning to Tanzania in June, private safari for three people, but it's sort of a half-budget half-not trip; you could certainly do better. We are using Africa Travel Resource.

Other operators frequently mentioned on this board are:

Sunny Safaris (TZ)
Roy Safaris (TZ)
Good Earth
Africa Serendipity
East Africa Tours and Safaris
Gametrackers (Kenya)
Let's Go Safaris (Kenya)

and many more.
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Mar 13th, 2006, 07:22 AM
  #5
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Hi Leely!
Thanks for your response.
So does that mean that people hire private drivers/guides through tour operators?
Does the tour operator also make your lodging reservations for you?
I'm used to making all of my travel arrangements myself, I take it that is not the case here?
Sorry for the dense questions!
Marian
PS Knew a "Leely" at UCSB, don't suppose you were there in the 90's?
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Mar 13th, 2006, 07:35 AM
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Marian,

What people tend to do in East Africa is arrange an itinerary with a tour operator. So it is a "tour" in a sense, but private. Just you, your traveling companion and your driver/guide. Your tour op would make your accommodation arrangements. But you should devise your own itinerary based on your interests. Basically, the only money you bring other than what you're paying to your tour op is for booze, laundry (if not included), tips and trinkets.

Sometimes people do arrange their safari--accommo and guide with vehicle--themselves, although this tends to be people who already have a friend/driver/guide in country. Or say if you're flying from camp to camp and plan to use the vehicles and guides at said camps.

Is that unclear?

Depending on time of year, a typical Tanzanian Northern circuit safari would look something like this:

Tarangire-2 nights
Manyara-1 night
Ngorongoro-2 nights
Serengeti-4 nights (or as many as you can spare/afford)

Then you could fly to Zanzibar or perhaps Lamu if in Kenya or somewhere else on the Swahili coast and spend some days there.

I haven't done a Kenyan safari, though I hope one is in my future.

Leely is just my sister's nickname for me--my real name and all permutations were already taken when I registered for Fodor's. I went to UCB.
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Mar 13th, 2006, 07:50 AM
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Oh, Marian, also here is the East Africa trip report index:

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=34725679

People have generally included the name of their tour operator and sometimes costs as well. These trips run the gamut from modest to extravagant so it can help you with your planning.

go-safari.com is climbhighsleeplow's website. He has lots of photos of camps as well as google earth maps. It's a work in progress.
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Mar 13th, 2006, 05:05 PM
  #8
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Thanks, Leely!
That is exactly the info I was looking for.
Marian
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Mar 13th, 2006, 06:26 PM
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If you need more trip reports to read (warning - they are addicting!)so that you can have many, many operators & accomodations to choose between - there is a trip report index that has links to all of the East Africa trip reports from 2005 to Feb 2006 on them (I have to post the Feb/Mar trip reports in there yet). The small intros to the links will give you the operators for all, and the later ones will give you the specific accomodations.
http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=34725679
Hope this helps you!

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