South Africa vs. East Africa


Jan 2nd, 2003, 10:49 PM
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South Africa vs. East Africa

I'm planning a honeymoon safari and wondering which region -- East Africa or South Africa -- is better for a "starter" safari? Any opinions on this?
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Jan 3rd, 2003, 06:52 AM
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The East Africa v. South Africa subject has come up before on this forum. You may want to do a search. Below are my comments I made on a previous message:

As someone who has visited both East Africa (Kenya)and Southern Africa (S. Africa, Zimbabwe and Botswana), there are differences between the two. And I will also say, they are both beautiful in their own way. Note: I visited both in the late Sept-early Oct time period.

I first went to Kenya (Masai Mara & Lake Nakuru) in 1990. In 2001, I returned when I went to visit friends. This time I again visited the Masai Mara but chose to see Amboseli (had to see Kilimanjaro).

In the Masai Mara, you can go offroading to see the animals and you see vast herds on endless plains. In South Africa which I visited in 1995 (I didn't go to Kruger but to a private reserve right outside called Sabi Sand Reserve and stayed at Idube), the herds overall are much smaller and the landscape is more bushland. For example, in South Africa I saw a solitary wildebeest; this would have been unheard of on the Masai Mara plain where I saw herds so large I couldn't count them.

[I would recommend that if you choose South Africa, go to one of the private reserves like Sabi which does allow
offroading vs. Kruger where you have to stay on the roads.]

Types of animals: Animals are similar. If you go to South Africa, you
are more likely to see rhinos in the wild (and I saw my one and only leopard there). And if you like birds, nothing beats the variety in Africa.

Also I always thought God had a funny sense of humor when he made zebras have stripes. On the plains of East Africa, the stripes are like bullseyes; however, in South Africa, in the bushlands, zebras do blend in to the bush. But I didn't see my Big Five until South Africa (I never saw a leopard in Kenya).

Again, they are different but both are worthwhile.

Re: Crime. In South Africa, we had no problem but then we didn't stay in Jo'brg at all. Capetown is BEAUTIFUL! and the Stellenbosch (the winelands) are gorgeous. In Nairobi, take a cab everywhere after dark and don't wear expensive jewelery. You will be fine.

Have a wonderful time...I am already envious and trying to go to Tanzania in the spring of 2003 and hopefully Botswana and Namibia in the autumn of 2004. Once Africa gets under your skin, you will have a difficult time staying away (there is NOTHING like an African sunset!).
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