Safari - South Africa, Kenya or Tanzania.

Nov 8th, 2009, 05:24 PM
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Safari - South Africa, Kenya or Tanzania.

I am currently planning a round the world trip, which will definitely include Egypt and I would like to include a safari somewhere in Africa. I will be restricted to places where Egyptair or South African Airlines flies to since I will be on a Star Alliance RTW ticket. On this trip I will spend about 3 and half weeks in Africa (10/11 days in Egypt and the rest elsewhere). I plan on travelling in Africa in September or October 2010. Which country is best for a safari, South Africa, Kenya or Tanzania. I welcome other country suggestions too. I know culturally each country is a little different, and South Africa does have winerys, other sights are secondary to the safari. What are the main differences in a safari in South Africa, Kenya and Tanzania.

Any information will be appreciated.
germanblonde is offline  
Nov 9th, 2009, 12:26 AM
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I'd certainly not choose Kenya. IMHO too crowded, too much mass tourism. And the word on the street is that parks & wildlife are not doing good at all. There'll certainly be exceptions, and it's perhaps not as bad as they say. But on average, and compared to TZ and RSA, there < is > a great deal of truth in the general remarks about Kenya that you hear a lot.

But to choose between TZ and RSA... it depends on what you want, the period you go, and on your budget. A few differences;

- IMHO TZ has the more beautiful parks. Certainly the northern TZ parks are visually more appealing (landscape wise).
- Then again, if you've got plenty budget, you could opt for a safari in a private concession (like the ones in Sabi Sands, next to Kruger). Wildlife-wise, it'll be hard to top that if you go to TZ. No offroading there.
- Make sure you choose a country that does not have a rain period while you're there. If you opt for the Northern parks of TZ, make sure you see the migration in the Serengeti. They come into TZ around feb-may, and leave in june-july.
- RSA's got more than just safari; you could visit the cape region, the garden route, the Drakensbergen, etc.. you name it. But word to the wise; most of those other "attractions" are in the southwest, while safari parks are mostly in the east, and if you want to visit both thoroughly (and you really should do it that way, to be honest), then you need at least two weeks in either part of the country.
- Another remark; next summer it's the world cup football in RSA. So prices everywhere tend to be a little bit higher.


pixelpower is offline  
Nov 9th, 2009, 01:04 AM
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Hi J,I want to try assist you.There are so many questions you should ask yourself before you consider any country for your holiday-by this I mean,what do you want to see or experience among so many other questions.First,great you chose Egypt to be your first choice-great! as it has different tourist attractions as compared to the rest of the 3 African Countries you are planning to Visit.I did a combination of Tanzania and Kenya safari sometimes back and the results were good.I saw a lot of animals and experienced culture in the two countries as well.I would therefore advise you to do Kenya and Tanzania for about 8/ 9 days and consult some travel agents in these countries,I can also advise you the one I used for my holiday and was good.As you have been advised above,South Africa might be so expensive due to the world cup and you will even be more expensive to do either Kenya and South Africa or even Tanzania with SA.
marshal6060 is offline  
Nov 9th, 2009, 01:21 AM
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First of all, I should say that I am not a seasoned Africa visitor - we went to Kenya/Tanzania/Botswana for our first ever safari in August/September this year. We did not visit any game parks in South Africa. East Africa (both TZ and Kenya) had plenty of game, huge herds, but like the previous poster wrote, it is a bit more mass-market/commercial. Botswana had less game, but far fewer vehicles (although we stayed in private concessions) - a more wild type experience.

For a first visit, I would probably prefer East Africa mainly for the impressive herds (acknowledging the more mass-market feel), but if you really want something more intimate/isolated, Botswana would be a better choice. Having said that we saw a wide variety of game in both places (ie. I don't think you'll miss out seeing any particular animals if you only go to one place but of course there's always luck involved). I'm not sure if it's an issue for you but I will say Botswana was much more expensive.

Many of the people we met on safari had been to South Africa and described some amazing close up wildlife experiences in places like Sabi Sabi, with very high chances of seeing "the Big 5" in one trip. However some of the wildlife behaviour is perhaps not as wild as one might expect as they are very accustomed to human presence (eg. leopards walking right up to huts etc).

With about 10-14 days to go on safari, you could probably almost reasonably try safari in both Tanzania and Kenya, but it may be a squeeze. I think you could do either country comfortably in that time, but I suppose it depends how thoroughly you want to visit places. With that much time, I think it's worthwhile to see a few different parks/landscapes.

One other thing you may consider is the timing of your trip and how it fits into natural wildlife movements/migration etc. In September/October I think the wildebeest migration will be in Kenya or perhaps starting to head back down to Tanzania, so that may influence your choice. Incidentally Sept/Oct is a wonderful time to visit the Okavango Delta/Linyanti in Botswana.

Lastly FIFA world cup is next year in South Africa but i'm not sure if it will all be finished by the time you visit (sorry i'm from australia so soccer is not the main sport =P).

Ultimately no matter where you choose to go I'm sure you'll have a wonderful trip - going on safari was an absolute ball. All the best.
billysnr is offline  
Nov 9th, 2009, 07:25 AM
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You should also be able to fly Lufthansa, a Star Alliance partner. They fly to South Africa. I wouldn't write off Kenya completely. The Masai Mara in September and October would be spectacular, even with "the crowds." I was there in September and had fantastic sightings. You could fly from Egypt to Nairobi, go to the Mara for 4 days, then continue on down to South Africa on SAA and either go to the Sabi Sands area for the wildlife or Cape Town for the Winelands and scenery. Tanzania is nice, but in September, you may not be able to see the Migration in the northern Serengeti. It's all a matter of the rain patterns. You'd still have a nice safari on Tanzania's northern circuit, though.
ShayTay is offline  
Nov 9th, 2009, 08:06 AM
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pixelpower, Marshal6060, billysnr and ShayTay, thank you for all the detailed and helpful replies.

Based on the information I have recieved here and what I have read I am thinking of dividing my the time in Kenya and Tanzania , especially after being reminded about the World Cup in South Africa.

I would like something in with mid range prices, both luxury safaris and camping safaris are definite no nos.

I would like to visit Botswana, Victoria Falls, (on both the Zambia and Zimbabwe side) and Namibia, since these countries are closer to South Africa, I will leave them for a future trip, since I can only spend a maximum of 3 and a half weeks in Africa on this trip.

While LH does fly to some destinations in Africa I will travel to Egypt first and will need to fly Egyptair or SAA within Africa. Tanaznia is closer to Egypt, and there is a limit to how many miles I can fly on a RTW ticket. My routing is eastbound, Europe - Africa - Asia - North America. I need to check flights from Tanaznia to Asia, I may have to return to Egypt to fly to Asia depending on flight schedules.

Marshal6060, I would like the name of the tour company you travelled with.
germanblonde is offline  
Nov 9th, 2009, 08:23 AM
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Maybe you give some hard facts before anybody starts giving advise and 90% of that will be invalid because of routing, re-routing etc.

- budget is the major concern!
- lengths of stay regarding safari/safari days in one country?
- main interest animal wise/nature wise?
- East Africa + South Africa or either/or?

spassvogel is offline  
Nov 9th, 2009, 08:38 AM
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spassvogel, thank you for your comments.

My budget is a maximum of US$ 3500 for the safari portion of the trip, this doesn't include airfare, which will be part of my RTW ticket.

I have 2 weeks to visit a safari destination on this trip.

My main interest would be seeing the animals, especially the big 5.

I think East Africa suits my needs better. I will not have enough time to visit both East Africa and South Africa.
germanblonde is offline  
Nov 9th, 2009, 09:42 AM
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Foremost: You cannot "order" seeing the big 5. It will enhance you overall safari experience if you could agree on "you appreciate what you see and ask your guide to try his best" ;-)

Than I would recommend KENYA. Witness the migration in the Massai Mara.
Some favourable camps:
ENTIM within the reserve (approx. 250US$pppn plus reserve fees of 60US$pppn plus the flight return approx. 270US$) and
KICHECHE (almost double the rate!) outside the reserve and charges also concervancy fees which add up with the reserve fees to 85US$pppn.
Entim is an intimate camp at the River Mara's bank and Kicheche is also tented with 11 tents/22 people max.
ILKELIANI 11 tents close to the Talek Gate of the reserve: approx. 220US$pppn plus reserve fee - but no conservation fee like Kicheche!
Additionally I would recommend TSAVO for the elephants and here you could have a look at SATAO camp.
The longer you stay in the Mara at e.g. Entim the further your budget gets you.

Depending on your intl. flight's arrival you must spend one night in Nairobi prior to your safari.

spassvogel is offline  
Nov 9th, 2009, 02:44 PM
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Billsny, That's a Power Itinerary--Kenya/Tanzania/Botswana.

So, GermanBlonde, it will be Kenya with hopes of Big 5 for 2 weeks in Sept/Oct. Great time for Kenya.

I'd spend at least 4 nts in the Mara, which has the Big 5. There are several recommendations above and there are many Mara camps and lodging. That time of year is popular, though, and the smaller camps may be filling up.

I'd include Samburu to increase the odds of leopard, plus it has unique species for 2-3 nts.

Maybe Lewa Downs, which is a rhino sanctuary for 2-4 nts and Lake Nakuru for 1-2 nts, which has rhino and a lot of leopards, but they can be hard to see. Lake Nakuru also has flamingos.

Lewa, Samburu, Nakuru, Mara works by road or flying.

Good luck on your Africa plans and the rest of the world.
atravelynn is offline  
Nov 9th, 2009, 03:11 PM
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$3500 is going to be really tight for 2 weeks on safari especially if you're traveling solo (I'm assuming the latter but perhaps I'm wrong). Most of the prices you see posted here are per person based on double occupancy and single occupancy rates may be higher. 10 days may be more doable. If you're open to joining a group that could possibly bring the cost down.
Patty is offline  
Nov 9th, 2009, 03:36 PM
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Here are some group trips to give you an idea of costs
atravelynn is offline  
Nov 9th, 2009, 03:48 PM
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I think you'll find it expensive to go to both Kenya and Tanzania, especially if your budget is only $3500. With Star Alliance, Nairobi or Dar es Salaam are your only options. They don't fly to Kilimanjaro Airport, which is where the "northern circuit" Tanzania safaris usually start. Going to both countries would probably mean purchasing another ticket, perhaps on Precision Air or Kenya Airways (and they aren't cheap!) With your budget and flight restrictions, I'd say stick with Kenya. It's a great time of year to be there. You might also consider going to Kenya first, then go to Egypt. You could fly Swiss or EgyptAir from Europe to Nairobi, then hop back up to Cairo for your Egypt tour. From there, you have better options going east.
ShayTay is offline  
Nov 9th, 2009, 06:34 PM
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spassvogel, atravelynn, Patty and ShayTay thanks for the comments and suggestions.

Patty you are correct, I am travelling solo and I will need to pay the single supplement.

If need be I'll increase the safari budget and remove a stop in Asia. I was planning on stopping in Singapore, Thailand (Bangkok only) and Japan, I've been to all these places, so omitting one wouldn't be the end of the world. I know that Japan is the obvious choice since Japan is much more expensive than the other two countries but Japan is an absolute must. It'll Singapore or Bangkok that I'd omit. Much of this would depend on flight schedules on Thai and Singapore Airlines from Africa (realistically Cairo) to Asia. I've never been to Africa so sightseeing in Africa is a priority. I would like to see some wildlife and I understand that you don't see all the animals on every game drive.

ShayTay, I did check flight schedules eastbound from Dar es Salaam and Nairobi, and both TG and SQ do not have flights. I would need to fly back to Egypt first and then fly to Asia. I do like your suggestion to travel on the safari first and then visit Egypt. This definitely works better for flight schedules.
germanblonde is offline  
Nov 9th, 2009, 06:57 PM
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germanblond, just wanted to mention that &Beyond's Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp in Kenya ( does not charge a single supplement. I've stayed at &Beyond properties in SA, Tanzania and Botswana and always get a warm feeling knowing I'm not forking over a single supplement when my wife decides not to make a trip with me.

Good luck, Steve
sdb2 is offline  
Nov 10th, 2009, 03:35 AM
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Thank You.I used a company by the name africa veterans with their offices in Nairobi.for details about their safaris and prices you can check out their site.
marshal6060 is offline  
Nov 10th, 2009, 08:16 AM
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You lucky you! Not because your wife might not be travelling with you. ;-)

Only the first 2 singles are free of charge of single supplements at any andBeyond property. So it's not kind of GUARANTEE!

spassvogel is offline  
Nov 10th, 2009, 08:42 AM
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By the way, GB, it's very possible to sample both Kenya and SA on a RTW. I recently had a Star Alliance RTW ticket (which alas I had to abort mid-trip, but that's a different story) that was routed Zurich-Nairobi-Jo'burg-Hong Kong. All of the flight times were convenient for safari connections: The ZRH-NBO flight is in the daytime and arrives around 6pm so that you can overnight in Nairobi and be well-rested for a next-day safari trip, and the NBO-JNB flight leaves early morning and arrives around 10am so that you can catch an onward flight to a safari camp in SA or Botswana. The JNB-HKG flight leaves late afternoon and arrives in HKG the following midday.
DonTopaz is offline  
Nov 10th, 2009, 08:46 AM
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There used to be a list here that someone created about camps without single supplements (sometimes this is seasonal)...but that was long ago and if I recall correctly the list was rather incomplete. It would be a great resource if we could get one going again.

At some camps the SS isn't exorbitant although it certainly adds up. Says one who is taking her next trip solo!
Leely2 is offline  
Nov 10th, 2009, 02:03 PM
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The mention of South Africa from rizzuto would help you out with your Big 5 game viewing if you chose camps/lodges in the Sabi Sands, which is the private area bordering Kruger.

A 3 to 4 night stay at one of the many Sabi Sands properties would very likely produce the Big 5. Many people see them in a single drive.

If that was your main goal, it would free up more days to focus on something like:
-enjoying Cape Town, one of the most beautiful cities in the world

-visiting another SA game reserve, maybe Phinda, which is a cheetah sanctuary--Phinda is one of those AndBeyond properties mentioned regarding a waived SS.

-spending 3-4 days in the Maasai Mara in Kenya during the time the wildebeest migration is going on, without concerns about having to see other particular species.
atravelynn is offline  

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