Something Different for April 2008

Feb 7th, 2007, 01:35 PM
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Something Different for April 2008

Thanks to those who posted in response to my question about the migration in April 2008 (for my 50th birthday). It seems to me that April is not the optimum time for that particular trip, so we're going to put that off until a later time.

Would still like to go to Africa, so I'd like to hear from those of you who have been to southern or eastern Africa in April for about two weeks (does not have to be all safari, but not really interested in beach-destinations). At this stage, the budget is pretty much open (without going too much over the top) since this will be a special trip. After all, my husband got to spend his 50th in Antarctica .

Thanks in advance for your ideas.
eenusa is offline  
Feb 7th, 2007, 06:35 PM
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Hijacking thread for a was the trip to Antactica??? Where did your trip originate? My husband thinks I'm nuts, but that's what I"m thinking about for my 50th! I've been to all the other continents - might as well his that one, too!
Grcxx3 is offline  
Feb 7th, 2007, 10:00 PM
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Botswana safari......

April 2008 for migration maybe the Serengeti another good option...


PS:Antartica sounds fabulous...

Any of the luxuary lodges in teh Sabi Sands in SA. ie.,Mala mala etc etc.,

Feb 8th, 2007, 03:04 AM
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Thanks for the ideas Hari. I'll check out the links you provided. We loved Botswana and would definitely consider going back.

GRCXX3: In a word Antarctica was "fabulous". I'd say you would be "nuts" not to go there.

We were extremely lucky with the weather; did about 25 landings in 20 days. S Georgia, with its incredible wildlife, scenery, and history was just as much a highlight as the Peninsula. We picked a relatively common itinerary for this first visit (R/T from Ushuaia - Falklands, S Georgia, and Peninsula). Can't wait to go back to try one of the "sexier" itineraries (we passed on those this time; too much like putting all of your eggs in one basket if you go on a "Quest for the Circle" and the ice prohibits you from reaching your goal).

We traveled with Quark and would recommend them in a heartbeat. We were on the Prof Molchanov, a 48-pax vessel and I know that the size of the ship made all the difference to our experience.

Working on a summary, which I will be happy to share. Pictures are also in the works as are videos. Will post a link, but it will be a while.

By the way, somewhere in this thread is link to Kavey's brief description of her trip to Antarctica - she went on the Akademik Ioffe/Peregrine Mariner. You might want to do a search to read it.
eenusa is offline  
Feb 8th, 2007, 04:52 AM
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You saidquot;It seems to me that April is not the optimum time for that particular trip"
This depend on what you are looking for.Of course you will not see river crossings because this happens some time between august and October,neither you will see the calving that happen in February,but you will be able to find the big herds because they are some place.
The great migration is the annual cycle of movements made by wildebeest, zebra, Thomsonís gazelle and eland.Game viewing is spectacular during wet season in the southern Serengeti, as over two million animals will be spread across the open plains. In addition to the large migratory herds, predators will be abundant and easily seen. Cheetah densities will be at their highest as many have followed the migratory Thomsonís gazelles onto the southern and eastern plains. Lions should be easily visible, both resident prides and the nomads which have followed the wildebeest and zebra onto the plains. The most abundant predator, the hyena, will be in large numbers as many clan members will have commuted to the plains from their den areas located along the woodland/plains border. However, the game-viewing highlight in the wet season will undoubtedly be the immense herds of migratory animals.
If you find the right company you can have a memorable time in April.
We visit the serengeti in April 2006 and was fabulous.We spend 2 days in central serengeti,3 days in the south around Ndutu and 2 days in Ngorongoro.If more days available,spend them at south serengeti.

PacoAhedo is offline  
Feb 8th, 2007, 06:44 AM
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This is based on hope rather than experience - the Kalahari, the Namib desert and Kaokoland/the Skeleton Coast. April is just at the end/after the rains (what little there is in those places) and so it just might be the time to go (any experience anyone?). Watch this space for a general picture after I get back at the end of April (although who knows whether it would be the same in 2008). There are certainly lots of special things to do there (especially the Namib and Kaokoland) if budget is not a problem this time around.
kimburu is offline  
Feb 8th, 2007, 07:01 AM
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I may be mistaken, but I understand that the wildebeasts/zebras/gazelles make an annual circumnavigation of the Masai Mara/Serengeti ecosystem, and while there are times they are more spread out than as compared to the dense concentrations during migration, they have to be somewhere in April. Even if you don't see the dense migration, the Masai Mara/Serengeti, and in April I would guess you'd be better in Serengeti, is incredible.

PS -- I just received my Quark brochure. I had initially thought about visiting Antarctica this December, but recently booked trip to NZ and South Pacific instead, but I may get to Antarctica in December 2008 (and I was really impressed with Quark's materials and recommendations from friends that traveled with them).
thit_cho is offline  
Feb 8th, 2007, 08:13 AM
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Thank you all - I understand the herds will still be around, but I was really hoping to see the mass migration -- we'll just plan on doing it at a later time. For my 50th I want that extra special experience. I'll read the comments and respond in depth when things quiet down a bit at the office - it's a zoo today.

Thit_Cho - a comment directly from a lady on our trip who was on her 10th visit to Antarctica. Having done the trip on big ships and small, and with Quark as well as others: "This was the best wildlife, the best weather, and the most landings." I have nothing to compare against, but I would heartily endorse any recommendations for Quark. The enthusiasm of the expedition team made a huge difference.
eenusa is offline  
Feb 8th, 2007, 09:02 PM
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Namibia is certainly a good option for April. If there is rain, then you'll get the benefit, but the real issue is the heat -- April is late enough to avoid the real scorching summer sun. At night it gets very cold in winter, so April is a good balance. The pan at Etosha is unlikely to have water, but that makes for the best game viewing in any case. I usually go a bit later in the year (May-June), but that has more to do with the off-season half-price specials than anything else...

You can also combine Namibia with Botswana and see the Okavango, but April in the delta has its own trade-offs that vary from camp to camp, which others can probably detail better than I can. You could add Zambia too and see Vic Falls.

kurt_a is offline  
Feb 9th, 2007, 03:50 AM
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kurt_a: thanks for the words about Namibia; it's looking like a really good option right now. We were in the Okavango Delta two years ago (late June), but I would love to go back ... one of my fondest memories is the peaceful mokoro rides through the papyrus lined channels.

I'll check out the blog link over the weekend - things are zoo-like at the office again today!
eenusa is offline  
Feb 9th, 2007, 06:03 AM
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My understanding is that Botswana is not migratory. It's more expensive because there's a lot of fly-in. My most memorable was a campsite that we flew into, then had to take a 30 minute boat trip to get to a remote camp. Along the way, we had to speed by the hippos!

My 2 week trip to botswana with Ker and Downey was expensive but fabulous. The one thing i'd change was maybe only 9-11 days on safari and the rest something different (ie maybe with PEOPLE/Culture, etc). My mother was ready to end the safari after 7 days--- she'd just recovered from some ankle surgery and was very uncomfortable in the jeeps - so we ended up skipping some drives.

I didn't go in April, but if indeed it non-migratory, you would incurr a similar experience.
midwestgypsy is offline  
Feb 9th, 2007, 07:43 AM
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Midwestgypsy: Thanks for your comments.

I've given up on seeing the migration (at least for my birthday trip) and am looking at other ideas now . We did a custom trip to Botswana for two weeks in June/July 2004 and had a fantastic time. I wouldn't mind repeating some of that experience, staying at different camps this time, but I do want to add something different along with it.
eenusa is offline  
Feb 9th, 2007, 11:21 AM
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If money is not an issue, I'll recommend the following trip:

Skeleton Coast (4 days);
Duba Plains (4 days);
Mombo (6 days).

Skeleton coast is something you'll have to see for yourself ... completely different from what you have ever seen in Africa.

Duba plains offers probably the best lion viewing in Africa (have a look at Relentless enemies from the Jouberts) and James knows his cats.

Although many places offer superb gameviewing in Botswana, Mombo is a class of its own. Normally you should still be able to reach most parts of the island.
Feb 9th, 2007, 02:29 PM
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Skimmer - thanks for your post. You're mirroring my initial thoughts, although 6 nights at Mombo might be squeezing the budget a bit. I had not given thought to Duba - but now that you reminded me about Relentless Enemies, I'll have to add that as a consideration. We were privileged to hear the Jouberts talk about the filming of Relentless Enemies at a National Geographic event last year.
eenusa is offline  
Feb 9th, 2007, 05:30 PM
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Botswana is expensive...not just because of the fly-in safaris, due to the concept of private concessions....what do you mean by non-migratory?
Feb 9th, 2007, 07:12 PM
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sorry, another question: i havent done much research on Ker & Downey camps in Botswana.....what was your experience and why did you pick them?

Feb 10th, 2007, 12:48 AM
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If you go to the Skeleton coast,donīt forget to stop 3 or 4 days at Palmwag Rhino Camp.It takes about 3 hours driving with your guide after you drop your vehicle and with 1.000.000 acres for 8 austere but magnificent tents , the wilderness and private sensation are incomparable.
The landscape is breathtaking and watching desert adapted elephants,giraffes or rhinos it was one of best moments of my 4 safaris.
Then ,at night while you watch the magnificent sky at the fire boma ,Chris will recite some poems for amazement of all.This camp is really something different,at list it was for me.

PacoAhedo is offline  
Feb 10th, 2007, 05:48 AM
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Paco: thanks for the info. It sounds like an incredible experience and just the kind of thing I would want to make sure is part of this special trip.
eenusa is offline  

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