Solo on Safari

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Apr 22nd, 2004, 01:23 PM
  #1
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Solo on Safari

Roccco asked me about experiences travelling solo, and I thought this is a good question to toss to the group.

Personally, I find that travelling solo is great...and especially easy on safari. Let's face it: at safari camps, you'll NEVER lack for things to do...or be lonely. You'll be thrown together with a string of (usually) interesting travellers on drives and at meals. If you ever end up at a camp alone (and I have) you will have a guide or manager ALL TO YOURSELF. And these folks are unfailingly fascinating. You'll learn more than you ever could imagine about local life, wildlife , conservation and travel in Africa...

Yes you miss experiencing the trip with someone you love...or with a good friend. (And this can be a real loss...I'm not minimizing it!) But travel with others is a "vacation"...travel on your own is more of an
"exploration"--of both new place and yourself. It is a selfish pleasure...

What is your experience? Would you choose a solo trip? Take one if it was the only way to do what you wanted to do? How do you handle situations when one partner wants safari...and the other prefers another vacation?
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Apr 22nd, 2004, 01:59 PM
  #2
sandi
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Great subject! For me, I've never traveled solo, as I haven't had to, rgardless the destination. While I thought after my first African trip, I'd want to go every year, that wasn't always the way it worked out.

I found what worked for me was Africa every second year; the alternate year somewhere else, and all have been wonderful. And to me a "vacation" is sitting on a beach and doing no more than eyeing the beachboy who will bring me a drink.

All our holidays have been more "exploration" - and whether with a male or female partner, we're never attached at the hip, as many couples are. We have always managed our own time regadless where we've been. And it's very important to compromise.

I know when planning our Southern Africa trip, with CPT being our first stop, knew that my partner would just love being able to dive with the Great Whites (realize I hate water, boats, and am allergic to fish, if I had to eat it); and there I was booking a day with the sharks. The last place I wanted to be was on that boat, but I went, I was the photographer for everyone on board and had a ball; though there was a point when I had to lie down in the cabin as I was actually getting seasick, but nobody noticed I had done so. As far as my partner was concerned I was just the most thoughtful and "best" person for considering something he would enjoy, despite my own anxiety.

Even when traveling with female friends, we have no trouble taking time for ourselves - whether one goes for a massage, the other shopping, or to a museum or to breakfast or lunch on our own.

But you are absolutely correct as far as solo safari travelers. Rarely will an individual traveler be left out on their own. We have always inivited solo travelers to join us for meals, whether male or female. If it's not guests who welcome solo travelers, the staff definitely do. And game drives are rarely alone, unless like you being the only guest and that has its advantage.

Unfortunately, however, I know only too many women who enjoy travel - adventure travel for that matter - and their husbands/partners would rather read a book. So they go it alone and safari is perfect for this.
 
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Apr 22nd, 2004, 06:19 PM
  #3
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
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I so appreciate this thread as I will be traveling solo for the first time come October. I have been on 2 other safaris and traveled with my 83-year-old dad. After going to Uganda last September, he decided his safari days are over. I'm nervous about traveling solo, especially to Africa, because it's been so nice to share the experience. Plus, it's helpful to have someone there in case you misunderstand or didn't hear something that was said ("What did he say??"). Anyway, I will be interested in reading about others' solo travel experiences.
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Apr 23rd, 2004, 06:52 AM
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I have often seen people traveling by themselves and I completly and utterly envy those people. Don't get me wrong, I love my husband and had some wonderful travel experiences with my Mother, but there is something about traveling alone that really appeals to me. I think of a lone gentleman we saw at the Mara River Camp in Kenya. At meals, he was invited to sit with various people, so he was not really alone. But when we passed his tent enroute to ours at night, I could see him sitting in his chair on the patio, looking completely at peace and ease. Another time on the island of Anguilla, I saw a young woman sitting out on the patio of her room, sipping a glass of wine, watching the sunset ... again, completely and utterly at ease with herself. We met her on the beach the next day and she said she makes an effort once a year to travel by herself - no husband, no children - to rejuvenate her soul and strictly focus on what she wanted to do - or not do. Heavenly! Absolutely heavenly!
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Apr 23rd, 2004, 07:02 AM
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I will be travelling alone in September for 15 days to Vic Falls, Botswana, and South Africa. I have no fears of doing so as I have heard many wonderful things about travelling solo. In terms of trips where you would be travelling alone, I think a safari is the best type of trip to do that. You will be with a group of people at camps and will be able ot meet some amazing people, not that you wouldn't be able to this when travelling with someone else. I guess the point I am making is that safaris are more of a spirtual trip in that you are getting in touch with nature and seeing animals in their natural habitat that you will totally forget that you are not travelling with someone else. I hope this all makes sense.
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