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Safari destination - southern Africa or Tanzania?

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Jan 20th, 2012, 04:58 PM
  #1
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Safari destination - southern Africa or Tanzania?

We are planning a safari for the last two weeks in June - it is our first trip to Africa. I am looking at either:
1. Tanzania visiting Tarangire National Park, Lake Manyara, Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti National Park - overland to destinations
or
2. Southern Africa visiting Maun/Okavango Delta/ Chobe National Park (Botswana); Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe) ; Ngala Private Game Reserve and Johannesburg (South Africa). - flying between destinations.

We are traveling with our sons ages 18 and 20 - I am most interested in where we will see the most wildlife.

Thank you for any advice or thoughts.
Barbi is offline  
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Jan 20th, 2012, 05:53 PM
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Most wildlife.
The big 5 up close and often. Sabi Sand reserve South Africa. (Forget Ngala). And then, if you don't mind another two days travel, go to Ngorongoro Crater simply because it is so unique and wonderful.

regards - tom
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Jan 21st, 2012, 04:57 AM
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www.porini.com
www.jenmansafaris.com

2 good providers Tanzania usually most prolific but either will be fine travelzoo.com vacationstogo.com deals discounts.
www.safaritalk.com moreexpertise ideas.

Have fun!
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Jan 21st, 2012, 09:44 AM
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"And then, if you don't mind another two days travel, go to Ngorongoro Crater simply because it is so unique and wonderful."

Yes, 2/days travel then at least 2/days in Tanzania? Well, only if the OP has the time, can find flight schedules and fares to work, Visas for entry, but....

OP - as it's last 2/weeks June, ideal for the Migration in the Western corridor of the Serengeti. At which time also, Tarangire with their mini-migration and, of course, the Crater.

So, I'd go for Tanzania! Southern Africa will be there for another visit down the road.
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Jan 21st, 2012, 07:09 PM
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First trip to Africa and a ready-made group of 4 makes me think Tanzania. If you would like to see huge herds across plains, the Serengeti can give you that. With 4 people you can have a private vehicle in Tanzania affordably.

"Most wildlife"
Most is the migrating herds of zebra and wildebeest in Tanzania.

Finding rhinos and leopard is easier in Sabi Sands of South Africa than anywhere else. I see you have Ngala, but if you opted for South Africa, I'd pick something in Sabi Sands rather than Timbavati.

Good luck and have a fantastic family trip.
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Jan 22nd, 2012, 08:32 AM
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Is there a reason Kenya is out of the mix? I just reconsidered my response that "finding rhinos and leopard is easier in Sabi Sands...than anywhere else."

Lewa Downs in Kenya is the best place for both black and white rhino sightings in Africa in my opinion. But Sabi Sands is still tops for that elusive leopard.
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Jan 22nd, 2012, 09:23 AM
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Couple of more of my 2 cents. If looking to see the "Classic Africa", go to Kenya or Tanzania.

Nagala, Ngala Lodge and Ngala Tented are neither in the Timbavati nor Sabi Sand reserves. They are in private Ngala (&Beyond) property that is not shared/traversed by other camps nor likewise does Ngala. I was at Ngala Lodge for 8 nights in 2008 and would not go back. Ngala Tented I hear/believe is much better but the rate is also about double. For $$$$ much better camp choises in Sabi Sand

regards - tom
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Jan 24th, 2012, 03:39 AM
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I really enjoyed Ngala Walking Safari a few years ago. Cold in winter though...

For leopards, the Tuli in Botswana is also great, but it is a bit out of the way if you want to go near the Kruger, unless you would want to drive from northern Botswana, and stop over there for a couple of days.
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Jan 24th, 2012, 10:23 AM
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I just got this. I know nothing about East Africa, but thought I'd pass on what looks like a good deal:

http://monograms.com/deals/africa-vacation-packages/

Monograms is independent travel, so it's not with a big group. You can also make changes to the itinerary. Comments please!
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Jan 24th, 2012, 03:18 PM
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christabir -

Checked the Monograms link and while it appears they'll go out with 2/pax min, of course, the price gets cheaper with more peeps. And, if traveler would prefer more people, do they really want to go with strangers and thus then be on a 'group' tour.

As to the routing, whether Kenya or Tanzania only, or the combo Kenya/Tanzania, these are what you'll find on traditional 'group' tours... long transit times (some at minimum 6/hrs between segments), insufficient times at certains parks (i.e., the Masai Mara), traditional lodges, whether the Sopa or Serena with the former less expensive than the latter. And, none offer tented camps.

Also, especially the Kenya itinerary, has visitors stopping at both 'elephant' parks - Samburu and Amboseli. And for the Kenya/Tanzania, they include besides Samburu & Amboseli, also Tarangire, another elephant park.

And, when it comes to the Serengeti, and as the 'migration' moves, not always at the best place in this very large area for best game viewing.

Yes, the price is very attractive and tempting if on a budget, but often it's better to design the itinerary to one's specific wishes - where, for how many days, and choice of accommodations. And though traveler might be able to make changes, no doubt, by the time they do they'd be better starting out by doing so and not trying to 'tweak' what the tour operator would really prefer selling.

My 2-cents.
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Jan 24th, 2012, 05:06 PM
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There are four travelers according to the OP and it's independent travel, not a group. Going on game drives with others at camps is SOP.

No idea what the rest means. Is an elephant park bad? (i had excellent lion and rhino sightings at an elephant park). Do you know that tweaking an itinerary will make it prohibitively expensive? Not trying to be argumentative, I just have no idea. I do prefer tented camps and longer stays, but not always possible on a budget. Is it an ok itinerary, or is it just trash? It might work for many people, but not sure of its value. A lot of us don't know where to even start when planning a trip to a place we've never been. I usually start with tour co scheduled tours and plan an independent trip from there.

I was just putting the sale out there. The price is valid most of the year, so "timing" the migration, or trying to, is possible. The discount is valid as long as multiple "hotels" from their list are booked.
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Jan 24th, 2012, 06:29 PM
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To the OP, in June I'd go to Tanzania though I've not been to southern Africa. June just screams Great Migration to me.
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Jan 25th, 2012, 09:47 AM
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christabir -

Certainly not argumentative, rathat simply pointing out those things that had my antennea go north and for consideration when planning.

Nothing wrong with a so-called 'elephant' park, but when there are other possible stops, often it's simply not necessary to visit two and certainly not three. Granted the eco-systems are different, with Amboseli rather flat with views of Kili, Samburu with species not found elsewhere and Tarangire that has a mini-migration from late-June thru Oct.

Another was the extended 'in-transit' times with insufficient time at some areas, that by the time you arrive, barely time for lunch and then a game drive and moving on next day. Also, these are 'all lodges' when being able to have one tented camp would be nice for a few days and which doesn't necessarily increase the price.

Of course, if it's 4/pax... price is looking better and if OP wishes to custom design, it would be interesting to see how the prices change.

OP is in the planning stage. None of the info is set in stone regardless where they may choose to visit, but feel it's good they have as much input when doing so. I'm sure they'll decide on what works best!
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