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South and East Africa safari: what's the best time ?


Dec 16th, 2012, 12:51 PM
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South and East Africa safari: what's the best time ?

We would like to have safari in both East (Tansania or / and Kenia) and South Africa. What would be the best time of year to combine both ?
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Dec 16th, 2012, 01:33 PM
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I'd say mid/late June to early October. Mid/late June through early October is a great time for South(ern) Africa and July-September gets you into the Great Migration time up in the Masai Mara. September/October is also a great time for Tarangire in Tanzania. Of course, during that time soup to nuts (flights, camps, whatever) will be most expensive.
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Dec 16th, 2012, 02:37 PM
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Thanks sdb2. I am wondering what would be the best option to organize such a trip (both to South and East Africa) ? Are there tour operators that can combine both destinations into one package ?
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Dec 16th, 2012, 06:31 PM
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If you had a trusted and knowledgeable agent, and if you had a fairly good idea of the places you'd like to see and how you would like to do it (fly-in safaris vs. private car with guide (mostly East Africa)) a single agent could handle things for you. There's a convenience to dealing with one outfit and some people go that route. Others prefer to use local operators, especially in East Africa, who may be able to offer some better prices than rack rates and who may better customize your trip.

I'd suggest you do some research on the places you wish to visit. Fodor's "The Complete African Safari Planner" is a good place to start. If you're thinking of doing something like South Africa, Botswana and Vic Falls, and Tanzania and/or Kenya, it's important to set aside the appropriate amount of time. Some try to do too much with the time available to them. Flight schedules can be less convenient than you anticipate and days almost certainly will be lost to travel between countries.
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Dec 17th, 2012, 05:17 AM
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Africa Adventure Company, based in Florida, could arrange the entire trip in multiple countries. I used them for a trip to Botswana and Zimbabwe, but they cover East Africa as well. I was very happy with everything. You can click on my user name if you want to read my trip report.
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Dec 20th, 2012, 11:14 AM
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It depends...for instance in Tanzania Parks divided into 3 parts-Northern,Southern and Western..the weather of the region is the key factor to determine pleasant time to visit.Unfortunately many company's website are famous to prepare itnerary with price,but no essentials details to guide a visitors to know the best time
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Dec 24th, 2012, 10:41 AM
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Have you considered just doing Southern Africa this time and East Africa on another trip? East Africa and South Africa are as far apart as LA and New York. I usually don’t recommend combining the two unless your trip is more than 2.5 weeks in length.

The absolute peak of peak season for Southern Africa (Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana & South Africa) is Aug 15-Sep 15 when the weather is perfect in the first three countries I listed. The peak season for game viewing is July-October in Southern Africa and South Africa has good game viewing year round. Before August 15 can be colder and after September 15 can be hotter then very hot in October. If you did want to overlap East Africa with South Africa then I think September would be the ideal month combining Kenya, Cape Town, Sabi Sands (Kruger) and maybe one more spot in South Africa.

Scheduled flights tie together South Africa with Zimbabwe, Zambia, & South Africa much better.

Where do you live in the USA? I am on the board of Safari Professionals of the Americas (SPA) which is a trade organization of US and Canada based safari specialist agents and tour operators. I can very likely refer you to an expert in your area that you could meet face to face to plan a comprehensive trip. Mark Nolting owns Africa Adventure Company and I know him quite well. He would be a good resource and you may want to pick up his book at Barnes and Nobles called Africa’s Top Wildlife Countries.

Craig Beal – owner – Travel Beyond
2011/2012 Travel & Leisure A-List agent for Botswana and Zimbabwe.
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Dec 24th, 2012, 01:33 PM
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Agree with Craig - if you don't have a minimum of 2.5/weeks, can be difficult to visit both south and east in one visit. The flying time between the two is minimum 4/hrs and that doesn't include airport check-in/security with possibility of an overnight somewhere. You almost have to allow 3/days for travel to/from, when flight schedules can be at odd hours and rather costly.

Besides, even if you do have 2.5/wks, you'll have to be very careful in deciding where or what the absolute 'must sees' are in both south and east.
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Jun 23rd, 2014, 12:41 PM
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