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Tanzania v. Botswana/South Africa....1st Safari..HELP!!

Tanzania v. Botswana/South Africa....1st Safari..HELP!!

Oct 1st, 2002, 02:01 PM
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Tanzania v. Botswana/South Africa....1st Safari..HELP!!

PLanning 1st Safari for 2003 with group of 4-6 for a 10-12 day safari....Any suggestions would be very helpful...mainly why one area over another? And, WHY?

Thank You
Oct 1st, 2002, 06:08 PM
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East Africa (Kenya, Tanz) has traditionally been the African destination for the US. This brought US $ to the region and also the expectation of a lot of money, what you see compared to what you pay is way less value for money than southern countries like Botswana and Namibia South Africa and Vic Falls. Think about this, why do they charge you in US$ in these regions?

Diversity of the region has nothing on Namibia and Botswana and South Africa. The changes in landscape coming up from the old Skeleton coast driving towards Botswana's Okavango Delta is amazing. If you combine this with Cape Town, it is unbeatable.
The people, in Namibia you will still find a few of the original inhabitants, like the Ovahimba and Bushman. They are what they were 1000 years ago in this region.
In Kenya and Tanzania they westernized completely. Even the masai wearing the clothing brought to Africa by the traders a few hundred years ago.

Africa is a place of amazing animals and mystery in the ancient cultures and civilizations.
Unless you really plan on seeing the Ngorongoro Crater or climb Kilimanjaro specifically, the Southern regions offer more value.
We have been doing tours in Africa for many years and some areas offer something unique, but if it is a trip of a lifetime, go to a country that offer the best diversity and value.

Hope this helps in your search for the perfect holiday.
Also use these as a guideline:
Budget, (value for money)
Format, (self drive, overland on a truck, bus, fly in lodge)
Sites to see, (the land and what it offers, for instance bushman paintings or petroglyphs)
Cultures, (diversity in one region)
Animals, (rather visit the less traveled and less accessible areas)
Security, (this is Africa and it will always have its issues)
Reputation, (get references from the operator)
Good luck and enjoy the planning
Oct 2nd, 2002, 08:33 AM
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Thank you for the info....those were some of my suspicions re:Tanzania...but hadn't been able to confirm. Part of our group will be an older couple and probably one and only time traveling to Africa...would like to make it well worth time, effort and money!! Thank you again for sugeestions and feedback.
Oct 2nd, 2002, 06:44 PM
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Definetly Tanzania; it has some of the most pristine national parks in Africa. I did a tour w/ A&K through Serengeti, Ngorongoro, Tarangire N.Park, Arusha, Kilimanjaro,Maasi village. The nice thing about Tanz. is there are not a lot of tourists. Why is that important you ask... well when you take a picture of a lion you'd like it to have a beautiful background of it's natural inhabitants. Not of 20 other Range Rovers in the background looking at the same lion.
Oct 8th, 2002, 03:21 PM
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I would highly recommend Tanzania. The parks are beyond compare. I have been there three times, and used a local company called Fortes Safaris. They are excellent and very reasonable in price. The e-mail address for Lucas Fortes is [email protected] I am planning on using them for a safari next summer. If you'd like more information, please contact me at the above e-mail address.
Oct 14th, 2002, 01:03 PM
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I just returned yesterday from an absolutely fabulous safari/vacation. We spent 15 days on safari divided up between camps in Zimbabwe, Victoria Falls, and Botswana. We then ended the trip with 4 days in Cape Town.
I totally agree with Jaco's posting. The landscape and wildlife we saw in the various areas of Zimbabwe and Botswana was amazing and incredibly divers. True wilderness. True beauty.
Although we are in our 30's, we ran into many older couples who made this their once in a lifetime Africa trip.
If you have any questions or want to see pictures, email me at [email protected]
Oct 14th, 2002, 04:52 PM
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Hi Kathi:
I tried to email you, but it was sent back. A few questions if you don't mind. My wife and I are going to Zimbabwe in November and Botswana in May. When you were in Victoria Falls, how was the "atmosphere"? Did you feel threatened or in danger at any time? Did you go to the craft markets? If so, how was the experience and approximately how much did you pay for souvenirs (we're trying to figure out how much money to take)?
In Botswana, which camps did you stay in, and did you see any cheetahs? Thanks.
Oct 15th, 2002, 04:39 AM
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To get a good idea of what's available and prices you can expect to pay - why not browse through a whole load of tour and safari itineraries on The Africa Guide website here


There are close to 100 for Tanzania alone....

The Africa Guide also has comprehensive and essential travel information for every Africa Guide.
Oct 15th, 2002, 07:42 AM
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Sorry, Chrissie, but I have to disagree with you about crowds in Tanzania. Maybe it had something to do with the time of year we were there but the Ngorongoro Crater was crowded. We stopped for lunch around a small lake (more like a large pond) and there were over 30 vehicles also having lunch each one loaded with tourists. Wherever we stopped for close up pictures there was between 10 and 15 other vehicles each one competing for the best position to take pictures. This happened other places we went also - when one vehicle was spotted pausing for pictures other vehicles would race up. Although the herds of animals in Kenya and Tanzania are amazing, the peace and quiet of Botswana and the feeling of being at one with nature is awe inspiring. I have heard though, that tourism is much down in Kenya and Tanzania.
Oct 15th, 2002, 08:09 AM
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This forum is for people to get first person help from others who have actually been to these areas. Obviously all of us have perused the miriad of websites open who are trying to sell something. The temptation to promote a website is too much for some people, but if you contact Fodors, I believe they sell advertising and that is how you legitimately promote yourself. Not the method you are trying to use here. Please pay for your ads like other commercial sites do. xxx
Oct 16th, 2002, 12:49 AM
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Message understood - I will not post again

Oct 21st, 2002, 10:48 AM
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Joey, at Mombo in the Okavanga Delta in Botswana, we saw cheetah, and all the other predators. And the landscape it amazing. Be sure to look at Kavey's posting about Botswana.
Oct 21st, 2002, 12:37 PM
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Visited Okavango Delta 2 yrs ago with Ker & Downey. Fantastic! Can't remember the camp names. Hardly any people. Saw everything except cheetahs, though other people in the camp did see them. Spent 2-3 nights per camp (total of 3 camps). Also spent some time at Vic Falls (Ker & Downey lodge above the gorge, downstream. Later, spent 2-3 days in Capetown and area - winelands, Cape of Good Hope, etc. Another visit, I would eliminate Capetown from my itinerary, nice as it was. The safari portion is just so much more interesting. I think I would spend more time at parks in W. Zimbabwe, too. (The people in that area were glad to see us. The "troubles" in Zimbabwe have really affected their tourism economy.) You might consider visiting camps along the Zambezi River, downstream from the Falls.
We chose Botswana because we expected fewer people, fewer circling LandRovers. (How do you find an animal on a Kenyan safari? You look for the circling LandRovers!) We wanted (and got) a more intimate, personal experience. Will return someday.
That said, I want to go to Kenya, too. I expect to see more herds of animals there.
Easy flights to Vic Falls from S. Africa. Then fly to Maun near the Delta.
Before you go, read Cry of the Kalahari by Mark & Delia Owen.
Oct 22nd, 2002, 04:36 AM
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Hi Kim
I would like to infor m you that we are Tour Operator Comapny dealing with toursit for 15yrs we can help you for arranging your Safaris let us know and start help you now and we can offer you very nice rate


Oct 22nd, 2002, 05:22 AM
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It is against Fodors' policy for commercial business' to advertise on this board.
As xxx says above, this forum is for travellers to share information with other travellers about their experiences, destinations etc.

Oct 24th, 2002, 03:29 PM
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As I have been to Kenya (Masai Mara which is the northern end of the Seregenti) twice (1990 & 2001) and Southern Africa (S. Africa, Zimbabwe, parts of Zambia & Botswana) once (1995), they both are wonderful but they are different.

In East Africa, you see endless plains and very large herds of animals. In S. Africa et al., the land is more densely foliaged and you don't usually see herds as large. For example, both times when I was in Kenya, I saw incredibly huge herds of wildebeest; when I went to Sabi Sand in S. Africa, I was amazed to see one wildebeest by itself.

At the same time, when I was in Kenya, I always wondered why zebras had stripes - everyone can see them on the plains; however, it is incredible in the bushland environment, the stripes blend in.

My next safaris will be on to Tanzania (I've got to see the Ngorongoro Crater) and then Namibia & back to Botswana.

However, from what it is worth, I would consider East Africa (either Kenya or Tanzania) first as the sheer numbers of animal herds is awfully impressive.
Oct 30th, 2002, 01:21 PM
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I have not been to Tanzania. However I went on an amazing safari starting in Victoria Falls down through Botswana. The diversity of life we saw was amazing. I would recommend going in a small group with a local who will take you off the beaten path to areas where there aren't large groups driving around. Try to find a guide who matches your group's life style (rugged vs. Catered). We did everything from driving to waterholes to hiking in the Okavenga Delta to flying over the dried up Delta watching the zebras (don't forget "z" is pronounced "zed" down there ), elephants, and giraffes. Absolutely amazing. I wish I had time to see Namibia. I did see other tourist's photos of Namibia while I was in Cape Town (another fabulous city!), and i was hoping to squeeze it in. Also, Victoria Falls was safe while I was there in '99, but I was always with a male. The only danger I encountered there was their wild city pet, the elephant, who roamed the dirt streets at night!

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