safaris? culture?

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Apr 22nd, 2003, 04:27 AM
  #1
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safaris? culture?

After extensive planning for a trip to Thailand in Nov 2003 I am deciding not to go because of SARS.
Now I am thinking of using my vacation time (3-4 weeks) to go to Africa. I am a single woman and was thinking of flying to Cape town and trying to pick up a last minute safari.
My questions are can someone give me pros and cons to different times during the year? Weather etc?? And the safaris... I am interested in seeing game etc, but the culture probably interests me more. I'd like to see towns and villages and people just as much as I'd like to safari.
Anyone have a direction for me to go to start researching??
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Apr 22nd, 2003, 08:13 PM
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Since you are interested in culture as well as wildlife, I highly recommend that you check out this organization http://thomsonsafaris.com They have a Culture/Wildlife Safari that is incredible--I know because we went on it. You will have the opportunity to spend time with the Hadza peopel--one of the last remaining hunter/gatherer tribes left on earth. If you go to my website and naviagate to Tanzania you will find a report on our trip as well as photos of both people and wildlife. Also,on our safari, there were two single women who shared accomodations so did not need to pay the single supplement. Thomson was able to arrange this for them. It worked out quite well. Finally, I would recommend that you make arrangements before going rather than once there. You will have much more control over the quality of whom you select. Have a great time!
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Apr 22nd, 2003, 08:14 PM
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Oops--just realized that I did not provide my website address--making it rather difficult for you to check out. It is www.janeandken.com
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Apr 23rd, 2003, 06:54 PM
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Crosbie, I am not sure how set you are on going to South Africa, but I know that the tour operator we used for our trip to Tanzania last year offers numerous cultural exchanges with local people. They are mostly day trips, but that would allow for ample game drives. Here is the web address for their cultural activities:
http://www.roysafaris.com/cultural.html The weather we had in September/October in Tanzania was ideal. Warm (not hot) and no rain. Good luck with your search.
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Apr 24th, 2003, 03:40 AM
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Thanks for your replies and ideas!!
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Apr 26th, 2003, 01:46 PM
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hi, I am trying to find the best way on a budget to experience safari in kanya/tanzinia as well as climb Kilimanjaro this July- any suggestions for this grad student? how can you tell which companies are good to go woth if you wait till arrival to set up?thanks!
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Apr 27th, 2003, 05:10 AM
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Hi!! One of the most valuable research tools I found when planning our trip was the Lonely Planet East Africa guide book. Fantastic tips, etc. I hate to sound like a broken record, but the company we used for our trip in September 2002 is based in Arusha, Tanzania. Anyway, they conduct hiking excursions of Kili. The company is called Roy Safaris. Here is what the Lonely Planet book said about them. "Well established, reliable and efficiently managed tour operator offering mid-range wildlife safaris and Kilimanjaro trekking packages." I know that Kili is a very popular destination, so I am not sure if you want to wait until you arrive to book a spot. I didn't want to wait until my arrival either to decide on a tour opertor, so I did a lot of research. I think that Roy offers what they call "adventure camping," which is decidely less expensive than the lodge/permanent tented camp accommodations and may suit your budget. Check out their website at www.roysafaris.com Good luck with your planning. There are a lot of people on this board who can offer you tons of advice.
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Apr 28th, 2003, 05:35 AM
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To Vivace:

I climbed Kili a few years back. I would highly recommend the Shira Plateau/ Western Breach trail. It does take a day or 2 longer than the other routes, but your chances of summiting are much better (slower elevation gain), and your chances of general enjoyment are much better.

I believe only a few of the climbing companies in Arusha take this route - most do the 3 day up/down version which will leave you in a zombie state (in my opinion)

Also, I would recommend tent camping. Do not agree to stay in the mountain huts under any circumstances - they are NASTY!

I would make my plans before you arrive. You don't want to waste 1 or 2 days of your precious African vacation frustrated by blindly running around outfitter shops in Arusha.

Enjoy - you will have a wonderful time!
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