Travelling in Africa

Jul 22nd, 2009, 12:16 AM
  #1  
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Travelling in Africa

We are in our 50's and are looking to travel to South Africa and East Africa in Jan 2010. Has anyone any suggestions as far as some of these safaris tours. Its very confusing trying to pick one. We are on a limited budget.
bomo is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2009, 03:15 AM
  #2  
 
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hi,

very few clients of mine ever visit easy africa and south africa on the same trip unless they are retired. each destination, if on your first trip, should be at least fourteen days long. nairobi to johannesburg is almost like flying NYC-LA so they are really far apart.

you will get much better and more relevant advice if you let the people of the forum know your budget and where you are from (for flights). in GENERAL east africa will be more expensive because the option of self-driving is not reasonable for most people. you have to get from place-to-place by car&driver or charter plane. south africa is easily done by rental car which can save you much $$$. i have been to south africa 25+ times and self-drive my safaris any time i can when i am not with my wife and kids.

so, basically, let everyone know your budget per person (once in africa), the time you have allocated for this trip, where you are from, and a few things you wish to do. this will improve the quality of response quite a bit.

also - i do not recommend going on any type of scheduled or group tour. it does not save you money and you will be limited to whims and fancies of the group. especially in south africa, every lodge has their price on their web site. it is quite easy to use the forums to put your trip together and book direct or use a good agent knoweldeable on africa do book, advice, and wrap everything into one transaction. with open pricing, you can easily check if the agent is ripping you off/not providing value.

even thought you are traveling alone, you can arrange to be met everywhere you go and have contacts to help you within africa. this is normal for people traveling along anywhere in africa.

once again, a few more details and better advice will follow.

enjoy!

craig beal
Safari_Craig is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2009, 07:32 AM
  #3  
 
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just to repeat craig - what is your budget (not including air to/from Africa) and how much time there? Costs vary widely from say self drive in Kruger for $200 per day for two of you to $2,500 per day at Singita private safari camp.

We have done both East Africa (Kenya) and South Africa (South Africa), and Zambia in one trip (from USA) but took 3 weeks to do it comfortably. Here's my Fodors trip report FWIW - http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=34881694

regards - tom
cary999 is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2009, 07:34 AM
  #4  
 
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Self-driving may not be an option if you're uncomfortable driving on the "wrong" side of the road. If that's case, then I'd say that East Africa is actually a more affordable option. A private safari can be booked directly with outfitters fairly easily in Kenya or Tanzania. It will probably be more than a group tour, though (depending on the group.) If you can share with us your general budget and time allowed, we can offer more suggestions. You can also check out the East Africa trip report index that Lynda has put together.
ShayTay is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2009, 07:41 AM
  #5  
 
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Here's one bit of advice: World Cup in South Africa is June 11-July 11. Fans will likely be booking travel, safaris, etc. before and after those dates, especially in South Africa and nearby. So I'd avoid those dates to avoid the crowds and the higher prices that will result from increased demand.

Here is a chart to further help you decide where and when.
http://www.africa-adventure.com/dsp_besttime.html

If you could be more specific on your limited budget, then advice can be more specific as well.

As Craig Beal states, going to both East and Southern Africa in one trip is not all that common. You need a good deal of time and that translates to money. Also if you can tell us what you want out of the trip, that helps. Are there certain animals you want to see? How important are cultural interactions? Are you birders? Do you want to see Victoria Falls or Cape Town?

Since you mentioned "tour" one company that comes up frequently is OAT. There are some good and not so good comments about OAT. I've even made some of the "not so good" comments. For the keen photographer or someone who is really into communing with nature, it probably would not measure up. For the average traveler and first time visitor to Africa, I think it can offer a great value and a nice trip. If nothing else, it is a good place to start to see how their itineraries are constructed.

Again, you mentioned both East and Southern Africa. OAT does both and I recall seeing an offer if you hook the two trips together, which would be like a month of travel, there is a discount.

Ideally, I'd recommend a personal trip for just the two of you in East Africa with your own guide (this is common and not just for jetsetters). Then if you added Southern Africa, you could use an Africa specialist agent to book the types of lodging and activities tailored to your desires. You'd join others in the vehicle, or in the boat, or on the walk each day. If you self drove (which I've never done but is common) in South Africa in the cities or within Kruger, that saves even more money.

Here are some of the OAT comments in past links.

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=35097205



http://fodors.com/forums/threadselec...4&tid=35087243


http://fodors.com/forums/threadselec...4&tid=35085119 report

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=34897294 report
http://www.winkflash.com/photo/publi...?u=ajennerjahn pics

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=35120290

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=35097205



http://fodors.com/forums/threadselec...4&tid=34954868

http://fodors.com/forums/threadselec...4&tid=34960960

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=34828547

Please post again as your trip develops.
atravelynn is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2009, 07:43 AM
  #6  
 
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This thread has good info for those just considering a first trip to Africa
http://www.fodors.com/community/afri...ng-my-trip.cfm
atravelynn is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2009, 05:53 PM
  #7  
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Hi to everyone that responded

Many thanks we will certainly define our needs. We will be posting again shortly.

thanks again
bomo is offline  
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