safe areas to go on safari

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Jan 27th, 2016, 03:41 PM
  #1
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safe areas to go on safari

Planning on a safari hopefully this May or later in the year. What are the safest countries to visit in Africa for a safari? South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, etc?
Thanks!
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Jan 27th, 2016, 04:37 PM
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Yes those are.

To make these destinations or Namibia Uganda, Rwanda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, and others safe for you, go with a reputable safari company.

Stay hydrated, wear a wide brimmed hat, drink only bottled water unless otherwise instructed, and use sun cream liberally. Those are the most important safety tips.

Since they are all as safe as any destination you might choose to visit, you may want to decide on the basis of best time for wildlife. Here is a chart to help.

http://www.africa-adventure.com/plan...ur-safari.html

As climate becomes less predictable, this chart--or any chart--becomes less useful.

About May: it is closer to the end of the big rains in many countries and you'll see in the above chart that wildlife viewing may be less than excellent. That means you'll likely get low season pricing, which may appeal to you and can provide an enjoyable safari at a reasonable price. I've gone off season and had loads of lovely sightings.

But if you want a chance at seeing the wilde and zebra migration cross the Mara River or if large herds of eles at various rivers is important to you, then you may want to go later into the dry season.

Have fun planning your safari, going, and returning home safely with fond memories.
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Jan 27th, 2016, 05:01 PM
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Thanks, atravelynn...

So it looks like a balance between seeing the most wild life - the big 5 - with good weather conditions (not too hot nor rainy, etc.).

My only concern is that Kenya has gotten additional bad press recently - safety concerns for travelers.

Would you recommend either South Africa, Kenya or Tanzania in particular for seeing the most game?

Thanks,
robync
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Jan 28th, 2016, 09:24 AM
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"Seeing the most game." Seeing the most popular game animals, such as the Big 5, in the least amount of time = Sabi Sands of South Africa. There are many concessions to choose from. I'd recommend staying at 2 for a total of 5 nights minimum. I have stayed at Mala Mala in the past and ventured into Kirkman's.

Here are some maps.

http://www.eyesonafrica.net/south-af...and-safari.htm

http://www.sabisand.co.za/ssw-map.html

I'm not sure what is going on now with Mala Mala, it may not be an option now. But as you can see, there are many places.

"Seeing the most game." To maximize the sheer #s of animals, you would need to see the wildebeest and zebra migration where thousands of animals can be viewed at once. That means Kenya's Maasai Mara (July-Oct) or Tanzania's Serengeti (Oct-June). June and Oct can overlap. In the Serengeti, the migration moves around, so you have to be in the right part of the Serengeti, depending on the month.

If a Kenya safari would cause you concern, then don't include it in the options. A vacation should be fun, not stressful or worrisome. However, I will mention, in keeping with "Seeing the most game" that it is easiest in Kenya to get a larger variety of species. That's because in the north, Samburu has a desert environment with different species of zebra (Grevy's), giraffe (Reticulated), ostrich (Somalia), plus 2 antelope--the oryx and the gerenuk, which stands on its hind legs and stretches up to browse.

Kenya, Tanz, or SA would all provide you a wonderful safari with lots of animals and would likely get you hooked on Africa.
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Jan 29th, 2016, 05:38 AM
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>>seeing the most wild life<<

I would say in Masai Mara, Kenya.

>>What are the safest countries<<

Clearly, Namibia. Everything is safe in Namibia:

- the water is safe almost everywhere, even drinkable tap water (although you do not need to provoke it!)
- hygienic conditions are better than in most other African countries
- medical infrastructure is excellent
- only a few places/times of year with malaria and rather low risk of infection
- very low crime rate
- friendly, honest people
- excellent road network, dirt roads are in beautiful condition
- you do not need an organized tour, it is perfectly easy to rent a car, drive yourself, stay in lodges or in tent camps and do everything on your own (we have done with three generations!)
- abundant wildlife in the Etosha Pan National Park (self-driving)
- also abundant wildlife in game ranches - you can even walk through the bush by yourself and watch wildlife on foot!

I assume, it will be your first safari. Check out Namibia. Beyond wildlife, you will see spectacular landscapes. You will have good food, good accomodation and a civilized country with all modern amenities.
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Jan 29th, 2016, 06:07 AM
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We took a fabulous safari in the Northern Circuit of Tanzania, and always felt safe.
Saw LOTS of wildlife.
We used EASY TRAVEL, and recommend them very highly.
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Jan 29th, 2016, 11:34 AM
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Robyn, if it helps you at all, I've put my planned Turkey trip this fall on hold (due to recent bombing in the tourist zone) but I'm leaving for Kenya in a couple weeks. Most of what you hear about Kenya is near the Somali border, which is usually not near where tourists are likely to be or the safari areas like the Mara, Amboseli, etc. A lot of what you are looking for out of safari is found in Kenya, as atravelyn just ably pointed out. This is my second time there in 3 years and I cannot get enough. I loved my Tanzanaian safari too but Kenya won my heart.
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Jan 29th, 2016, 06:55 PM
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Kenya won my heart too.

Go to the Mara & Samburu - you won't be disappointed.
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Jan 29th, 2016, 07:38 PM
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atravelynn - What's going on at Mala Mala? I haven't heard anything new. I know they are involved in that very complicated land suit but I thought it was resolved (very favorably for the Rattrays).

robync - all safari destinations are safe. Most of what you see on the news is in areas that tourists never go. Just avoid times around elections and use your best judgment in cities and towns. Go anywhere in southern or Eastern Africa - you'll be fine. I would choose S Africa right now because their currency (the Rand) vs the U.S. Dollar is extremely favorable. Everything is on sale - just use lodges that quote in Rand (not Mala Mala or anything in Botswana, unfortunately as they are excellent).

No matter where you choose, you'll love it. Return and go somewhere else next time.
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Jan 30th, 2016, 04:56 AM
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"What's going on at Mala Mala?"
Maybe you answered it for my Christabir. I have not kept up.

I noted that one of the maps of Sabi Sands excluded Mala Mala. It stated, "The blank areas are non-commercial concerns, or fall outside of the Sabi Sand Reserve," and the huge chunk of land taken up by Mala Mala was blank.

http://www.sabisand.co.za/ssw-map.html

Robnyc, looks like you have a whole list of safe African destinations that will win your heart and compel you to return for the next several years.
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Jan 30th, 2016, 09:50 AM
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atravelynn - MM is no longer part of the Sabi Sand marketing group. They split off on their own a while back. I think Londolozi did, too.
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Jan 31st, 2016, 05:26 AM
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Thanks Christabir.
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Jan 31st, 2016, 08:28 PM
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Hi everyone:
Thank you for your excellent advice! This will help us narrow down our search. Time of year, volume of animals (and variety) that can be seen need to be factored in which can be tricky. I may be leaning more towards Tanzania, but am now more open to Kenya.
Has anyone gone on a South African safari e.g., at the Kruger Natl Pk?
Thanks again!
robync
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Feb 1st, 2016, 01:22 PM
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Hi robync!

The Greater Kruger National Park area includes not only Kruger National Park but a collection of Private Game Reserves that share an unfenced border with Kruger. These include for example Sabi Sand, Timbavati, Manyeleti etc. Some of the best game viewing in all of Africa is in the Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve, that's for sure. There's a reason why ODP Photography chooses the area for its professional photography trips!

There are a number of differences between Private Game Reserves and National Parks. National Parks are open to the public. To self drive is cost effective but seeing animals depends largely on luck. Don't forget animals can be completely camouflaged within just feet of you and you could miss them entirely. You are also not allowed to drive off road which can be disappointing when an animal slinks off into the thicket and you can't follow it. There are also no night game drives allowed. When you self drive, you miss out on having a ranger/guide teaching you about the animals with insight into their behavior. There are so many neat things to learn in the bush! People who visit Kruger a lot, as well as locals who know the ins/outs of the Park's roads, are better able to maximize the experience. So my feeling is that if you don't have a lot of time and if you are keen to learn a lot from a Ranger then I would recommend that you consider going to one of the Private Reserves instead.

In Private Reserves, only those guests staying in the lodges are in the jeeps around you so essentially there is a limit to the number of people allowed in the reserve. Rangers in jeeps work collaboratively on sightings while you are in the jeep. You can really see quite a bit in mere days. Most Rangers in Private Reserves have a better and more in depth knowledge than rangers elsewhere. Lastly, there is a lodge for nearly all budgets AND with the Rand still so historically low, rates are more affordable than ever.

Going on safari can be done so many different ways depending upon how much time you have, your budget, your interests and needs. No matter what you choose it will be amazing! It's why so many of us keep returning.

I hope this helps explain some of the differences as people post about their safari experiences.

Best
Dianne
Africa Direct USA
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Feb 1st, 2016, 04:44 PM
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Yes, I combine a private reserve and a Kruger NP each time we go. Love both. Lots of affordable options for private lodges and then go to the park and stay in their surprisingly nice accommodations. Drive around the park dawn to dusk, eat breakfast and lunch on the road and dinner at the park restaurants or cook for ourselves. Fantastic experience. It's amazing they let us drive around with lions, elephants and rhinos. Love it!!! Yes, it's luck, but we have seen so much just crossing the roads near us. We've also had the great fortune of honey badgers playing, rhinos jousting and saddle billed storks feeding their young - experiences we never had on a private reserve. I would only do both if you have a week or more - 3-4 nights in a private lodge and 3-4 nights in the park, in that order. Lots of affordable private lodges - Arathusa, Africa on Foot, nDzuti, nThambo, Shindzela. Even more affordable with the current exchange rate.

Wild-Wings-Safaris does a fully serviced trip into the park - game drives, park accommodations and food all provided. They will pick up/drop off at a lodge or airport. Great info on their website (I can't link it for you, I'm on my iPad which is experiencing issues). Affordable and great experience.

You can do Kenya and Tanzania - many people do both on the same trip.

Have fun planning. No matter what/where you choose, you're going to love it!
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Feb 4th, 2016, 06:34 PM
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Thank you, Christabir and Dianne! Great information!
I will now start to delve into the planning!

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