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tamrab Mar 29th, 2019 08:31 AM

Safari help
Iím in the midst of planning a safari first part to mid part of May

what country ??? This is our first safari

Ive reached out to several outfitters and Iím getting much information back.... maybe too much info Iím more confused than ever but anxious to decide on the country so we can move forward to planning the trip

we want decent luxuries not too rustic of a trip but donít need five star animals locations Iím happy to put above lodge rating but indoor toilets gotta have and outside Zambia seems no issue

short list

Tanzania easy but east africa in early May will we have rain issues and be sad ?

botswana ..

zambia suggested by outfitter but seems not as prestine ?

zimbabwe - interesting me more and more as I read about mana pools walking safari etc .. accommodations more simple landscape canít figure out if pretty or not ?

So many of you have been multiple times Iíd love some advice or your opinions on what country


ekscrunchy Mar 29th, 2019 09:46 AM

Much of what you wrote is not accurate but that is understandable since this is your first trip.

You can find tremendous luxury in each of the countries you mention...there are very high end lodges in Zambia, not sure why you think not. I'll be traveling to Zimbabwe in September and believe you me, the places we chose have normal toilets and I would not be surprised to see a Toto Washlet in one of the places. There are also tented camps in all those countries, with few facilities. Depends on your desires and budget...

You did not mention South Africa..???

You are pretty late to be planning for little more than a month or two from now. Many people plan a year ahead. You will have very little availability , I would think...

Botswana is the most expensive safari destination in Africa, in general.

Which outfitters have you reached out to??

tamrab Mar 29th, 2019 10:03 AM

Sorry Year 2020 planning a year out


Alluring Africa
Kerr and Downey

several camps suggested have outside toilets none had no toilets thus my opinion
many look lovely
im more concerned about experience and location itís not easy to pick only one country as they all have much to offer
botswana most expensive is it worth it animal wise ? Many lodges say best time to visit May through ...
orher countries say June through .... so is Botswana a better choice for a May travler ?

ekscrunchy Mar 29th, 2019 10:31 AM

For first trip I might recommend South Africa but any of the countries you mentioned would provide great safari experience. Day to day sightings are a matter of luck and no one can predict, but most camps can assure good animal viewing.

It is so difficult to answer which one is best. NO, the sightings in Botswana are not necessarily better than elsewhere but it depends on WHERE in Botswana, or where in any other country. In general, Botswana requires flying in tiny planes..are you ok with that? When I say tiny I mean that you might be in a four or six seater. And you cannot predict that for certain until the day of travel. I never get seasick or airsick but when I was there last year, I spent the entire time on one flight terrified as almost never before. Just a word to the wise. Not ALL camps in that country require small planes but many, many do. So keep that in mind.

Botswana rates tend to rise from May to June...I went last year the week before the rates rose and it was in mid-May. Fabulous beyond belief, except for one camp, which was among the most highly touted in the country. The viewing there was less than stellar, and this was a camp owned by most celebrated wildlife photographers that gets fabulous ratings. I was not lucky that week, and that CAN happen. ANYWHERE! But then my visits to SAfrica camps (Sabi Sands and once in Kalahari) were also stellar. YOu may find that the actual day to day sightings can be eclipsed by the general excitement of the game drives and the camp itself. And you WILL see wildlife anywhere you go. Just do not go with a checklist of things you MUST might be disappointed that you see no wild dogs, but you might see a bush baby or a honey badger, or even an anteater! Be flexible and try to tame down expectations.

This fall, will be in Zimbabwe, if all planets align.

I would recommend contacting a safari planner in the country you plan to visit, or at least in southern Africa. NOT the big names, although since I've never traveled with any of those (except for Micato in Kenya but on a private trip) I really should not comment. Just hearsay, but pretty much a given among repeat visitors, I think.

Your budget has to be considered, and if you want expert advice (not from me!!) you need to be clear on that.

If you do not mind, can you post here the camps recommended by the various agencies you contacted? Then we can say whether we like them or not,, if any of us have been there......

Are you from US? UK?

Ian Mar 29th, 2019 04:48 PM

Originally Posted by ekscrunchy (Post 16895512)
This fall, will be in Zimbabwe, if all planets align.

I will look forward to your report on that, eks.

Each country offers a different experience. Read some trip reports. Do some research. We can't tell you what you would like or the budget you are comfortable with. My wife & I zero'd in on South Africa's Kruger Park as being the style of safari we wanted (and the budget). On our 1st trip, we combined a couple of days of self-driving with a couple of days of pampered lodge viewing. We are going back for our 3rd bout of Kruger self-driving in 10 days (with a few days in Swaziland/eSwatini at the start) so I guess that tells you what we like.

Since you have time (although the best cabins in public Kruger usually sell out 11 months out) do some reading & decide what you really want.

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