Safari and Beach Honeymoon in September

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Feb 23rd, 2014, 07:54 AM
  #1
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Safari and Beach Honeymoon in September

Hi everyone,

I'd like to plan a safari and beach honeymoon in mid- to late-September 2014. I would like to combine luxury accommodation and safe, convenient/comfortable travel with the opportunity to see unforgetable landscapes and the big 5. We're willing to sacrifice sleep and miss meals to see great things. If this is the only safari we are likely to go on, where should we go?

I've done some research, and it looks like Tanzania might be the best choice. I'd love opinions from people who have been multiple places, though.

And is there a sweet spot between luxury and budget, so we can be comfortable and get the most out of our safari experience?

Thanks so much in advance!

Patricia
San Francisco, CA
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Feb 23rd, 2014, 09:24 AM
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I would take a look at the Sabi Sands in South Africa. Many options on flights into Johannesburg, and from there it is an easy drive or short flight into the reserve. Great range of accommodations ranging from moderate/upscale to unabashed luxury. Book with a good agent and everything is taken care of..I've not experienced such a combination of cosetting and sheer excitement in any of my many travel destinations. Vehicle densities are low so you will not share a sighting with 10 other vehicles, which might happen in the most popular East African destinations.

Having said that, my one visit to Tanzania, years ago, was excellent; I just think you need to take care to get out of the most trodden tourist trail if that is a concern. There are experts here who can give opinions.

For my South African/Botswana trips, I've used SouthernDestinations.com, based in Capetown. I've sent a few friends to them and all have been more than pleased with the arrangements. I've written two trip reports here on my experiences; you can find them by clocking on my name. There are many reports about Tanzania, too, and others on SA.
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Feb 23rd, 2014, 09:24 AM
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Sorry..for beach component of SA trip, many go to Mozambique islands and coast; there are several possibilities to combine with Tanzania.
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Feb 23rd, 2014, 10:40 PM
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Hi Patricia,

For African Honeymoon Safari I would highly recommend Tanzania, it's for sure a beautiful country and nature blessed. You can guarantee yourself with the Big 5(I saw many elephants, Lions, Buffalo, 5Leopards, and 3 Rhino). September is among of the best season for gamedrive in Tanzania, and there are great ranges of accommodation to fit in your taste.

From Luxury, there are mid range accommodation and after budget. Mid range are comfortable, with great services. During my visit I stayed in Mid Range accommodation and It was really nice. For Safari Outfitter in Tanzania I highly recommend Happy World Safaris,we had an amazing experience with them, and our driver guide Frank was fantastic.
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Feb 25th, 2014, 10:57 AM
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We went to Southern Tanzania. It is beautiful with many fewer vehicles than Northern Tanzania. We used a combination of camps, all owned by Selous Safari Company. The combination of the three camps will give you both safari and beach. They offer nice discounts for using their camps exclusively. I believe during our trip it was free airfare from camp to camp. The camps are amazingly beautiful and the staff is wonderful. Highly recommend.

http://www.selous.com/
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Feb 28th, 2014, 07:14 AM
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Patricia,

May I introduce you to a fantastic luxury safari combined with the beach in Kenya? It is Saruni.com No, I am NOT with the company, I am a safari specialist that was just introduced to their properties. They have a superb lodge in Samburu (Northern Kenya) with 360 degrees breathtaking views and are located in the middle of the Kalama Wildlife Conservancy. They have an airstrip where you can easily arrive from Nairobi and from there you can fly to their second property in the Mara North Conservancy (outside of Masai Mara),where you can experience amazing wildlife and the classic Kenya of yesteryear in beautifully designed camp with special touches, luxuries and great guiding. From there you can fly directly to the Ukanda airstrip, which is near Diani Beach, on Kenyan coast, for a few days of beach fun in the accommodations of choice. They recommend a few properties, and are in the meantime building a spectacular hotel which will open later this year.

Hope this appeals.

Rgs...
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Mar 1st, 2014, 12:14 AM
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hi Patricia

if it's september. i would recommend Kenya over TZ since the migration should still be in Mara

i've been many times to both countries, i love Tanzania but Kenya has an advantage
1. in September at Mara
2. there's nothing like Samburu anywhere south of Kenya. you can see unique species
3. a night viewing lodge like Ark / MT. Lodge / Treetops
no such thing in TZ
4. the spectacular Nakuru with the flamingo masses (should check before cause sometomes they move, still can see at Bogoria or Elementaita

Tanzania has its strong points as well. seeing the hunter-gathere Hadzabe is one

Coast: you can still do Kenya + Zanzibar if this is your coast choice, or do the Kenya coast (many options from Diani, Malindi up to special Lamu)

happy honeymoon

beware of the "bug" - many thought it is a once in a lifetime experience & got the bug...

aby

p.s. my advice: don't go searching for "big 5" it is all propaganda, it is superficial and irrational.
go to watch th animals and their behaviour without lists. You'll enjoy much more!!
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Mar 1st, 2014, 12:58 PM
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Actually by late Sep the migration can be located in both the Mara and Northern Serengeti. What many do is visit both as there is now a flight that takes you between the two on the Western side of the border. You can go by road also, but that's about 8-10/hrs not always on the best roads.

Otherwise, honestly feel there are more diverse areas and species if in Kenya than Tanzania.

Sept is still peak season both countries so the highest rates. And then depending on how many total days you plan to be in-country - have to be considered.
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Mar 4th, 2014, 07:54 AM
  #9
 
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Patricia,

Have you made any headways with you planning? The more questions you ask, the better prepared you will be to start putting your plans into action...

Regards....
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Apr 11th, 2014, 02:51 PM
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Hello all,

Thank you SO much for your responses!!! I had not received any emails that I had gotten any responses, so I thought no one answered. I see that it is quite the opposite!

The more I read about safari, the more I am confused on where to go! A little about our travel styles maybe can help you give me some guidance?

We love to go places off the beaten path and get an experience unlike our homes in the coastal U.S. Last July, we took a trip to Indonesia. We wanted to go to Southest Asia and narrowed it down to Malaysia and Indonesia because it was the rainy season elsewhere - we chose Indonesia because from what we have read, it's more "exotic." We went to Java and Bali - we loved Java (what an experience!) and wouldn't go back to Bali (too touristy for our taste).

Another favorite trip was a drive across the U.S. We loved seeing beautiful landscapes and don't mind a lot of time in the car. I guess maybe I'm more interested in the atmosphere of safari then seeing particular animals, if that makes sense? I think we would love to see the sight of the great migration.

To be honest, I'm concerned about security in Kenya, which is why I thought Tanzania would be a better choice - but what are your thoughts? I considered South Africa to be too "boring"/not exotic enough/too tourisy, but is that wrong?

Thank you all again!
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Apr 12th, 2014, 09:41 AM
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Kenya vs Tanzania = security - know there have been incidents in both countries, so Kenya isn't alone when it comes to security. For that matter, no country is immune, even South Africa which supposedly has more issues than the other two... ugh! And or sure it is NOT boring, rather one of the prettiest countries I've ever visited. But might not be your taste.

Remember also that the US State Dept info re Kenya is a 'warning" and NOT a 'do not travel' much as it is, sadly, most everywhere in the world these days.

Depending on how many total days you have for safari might determine which country/ies you visit. Often with 10/days or less it's not recommended to visit both, regardless how close they appear on a map, though if with at least 14/days you can and for end-Sept take in both the Masai Mara in Kenya and Northern Serengeti in Tanzania if properly planned.
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Apr 12th, 2014, 11:13 AM
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South Africa is anything but boring. i can't imagine why the prime safari areas there (Kruger/Sabi Sands) would be any more "touristy" than those in Tanzania, or Kenya. Also, you can go off-road in the Sabi Sands.

I've made two safari-type trips to South Africa in recent years and hope to return a third time in 2016.
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Apr 12th, 2014, 03:18 PM
  #13
 
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Congrats on your upcoming marriage.

If you are the kind of people who "will miss meals and sleep to see great things" AND you live on the coast AND you prefer "an experience unlike [y]our homes" I suggest you do all safari activities and skip the beach.

Sept is a great time to be going on safari and is one of my fav times of year for both Kenya and Tanz.

To be honest, I'm concerned about security in Kenya, which is why I thought Tanzania would be a better choice - but what are your thoughts?

If you will be visiting the national parks, driven by a guide from a reputable company, then I believe Kenya is safe. So is Tanzania. My last Kenya visit was 2011 and I hope to go back soon. So I consider it safe for me to go alone.

Kenya often has a bit of a price advantage and a bit more diversity--a point Sandi mentions. However if you include the Southern Tanz parks (as TC advocates), the diversity is even. Tanzania has an advantage of fewer people when looking for the migration. Both countries are wonderful, and with enough time, you could enjoy them both.

I considered South Africa to be too "boring"/not exotic enough/too tourisy, but is that wrong?

Happy to share with you: wrong! wrong! wrong! I thought that too way back before I ever went to South Africa. After several visits, I'm planning more.

If Big 5 is important to you, there is no better place than Sabi Sands, the many private reserves bordering Kruger in South Africa. Having written that, I do like aby's comments on not to just go searching for Big 5, which you, yourself have reinforced with your statement on preferring to enjoy the general atmosphere as much as particular animals. Also beware of that "bug" mentioned by Aby.

To help you decide, would you care to share a monetary and time budget?
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Apr 12th, 2014, 03:21 PM
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Here is a rather recent honeymoon thread that focuses on South Africa.

http://www.fodors.com/community/afri...-in-africa.cfm
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Apr 16th, 2014, 08:27 AM
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I am surprised nobody is suggesting prime safari country-Botswana! Why not get lost in the wild of Botswana on your honeymoon. Another often overlooked safari paradise would be Uganda, where you can combine a safari in off-beaten the track Kidepo Valley National Park with gorilla trekking in Bwindi. Now that would be a memorable experience, I think! Wherever you choose to go, Africa will overwhelm you with travel possibilities.
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Apr 17th, 2014, 01:32 PM
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Honestly, you can't go wrong with most any of the often visited safari countries. Depends on when visiting, for # of days, estimated budget. And don't forget your international air which can vary widely.

Certainly there's something for everyone in each country - Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia and even Uganda and Rwanda.

Though doubt you will get all you want in each and everyone of these countries.

And sure wish the phrase "Big-5" was removed from our vocabulary as even over the 19/years I've been visiting, there was 1/year that I never saw a cat and 5 safaris before I saw my first leopard. But on other visits was amazed by the surprises found around the next bend.

You have to leave whatever happens or you see up to Mother Africa and her mood any given day.
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Apr 17th, 2014, 02:38 PM
  #17
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We have been on safari three times. Yes....its get in your heart and doesn't go away. Our first trip was the more typical Kenya and N. Tanzania. Our second was all Southern Tanzania and our third was Botswana. I would return to Botswana in a heartbeat. It was amazing! We had our most outstanding wildlife encounters there, such as watching a mother cheetah spend the morning teaching her cubs to hunt. We certainly saw more wildlife in Botswana than any of the other trips.

I agree with Lynn, skip the beach. Spend as much time as possible in the wild. And don't move around too much. Packing and moving from one camp to another every two days is such a waste.

We used all Wilderness Safari camps in Botswana. We spent 4-5 days in each of five camps (Tubu Tree, Xigera, Vumburu Plains, Chitabe Lediba and Savuti). If I were going back tomorrow, I would spend 7 days in each of three camps. I would use one in the Jao concession -- Tubu Tree, Jao, or Jacanna. I would splash out for Mombo. Then I would use the best guide in Botswana, Phinley, and spend a week with him at Chitabe.

http://www.wilderness-safaris.com/

Our photos at: www.tonna.zenfolio.com
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Apr 18th, 2014, 08:30 AM
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Further to Mother Africa - one safari (13/yrs ago) we visited Chobe in Botswana (didn't have time to do the Delta), known for very very very large herds of elephants, in excess of 50,000 (if the poachers these days haven't slaughtered many)... we saw only three (3) - yes only 3 ellees over three-days. Mother Africa had her way with us on that visit and when I learned and understood there are never any guarantees.
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May 8th, 2014, 04:56 AM
  #19
 
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Hi HeHeLOL5 (?)(",)
I strongly suggest Kenya - you can catch the great wildebeest migration in September. Some tour companies (e.g Tour Africa Safaris - I used this one) allow you to tailor your safari to the tee, or just take a package deal and tweak it as you prefer. They were extremely couteous, patient and helpful in my case...
After that, you could consider Baraza Beach Resort in Zanzibar, or the neighbouring Breezes beach club (Search for websites). The two are sister resorts and offer wonderful service and attention to detail/fine touches, especially if you inform them that you are honeymooners when making your booking! I wish you a lovely honeymoon
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May 8th, 2014, 05:27 AM
  #20
 
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I would have liked to edit my previous post but hey...
Well, I currently live and work in Kenya. The security situation as a whole is not as bad as depicted on say cnn or the bbc. I often have a laugh comparing local news items to the corresponding stuff in international media. ('_')
Truth tip: The country's economy is highly dependent on tourist income therefore travelers and popular travel destinations/routes are incredibly well protected. They even have a Tourist police unit...would you believe it!
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