Where can I go on safari?

Nov 10th, 2004, 05:27 AM
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Where can I go on safari?

I know nothing about safaris, except that I went for 3 days to a game reserve in SA a couple of years ago and loved the experience and want to do it again properly. I would be grateful for any advice on where I should go in May, June or September to see the widest variety of wildlife for a couple of weeks. Also advice on good tour operators would be most welcome. I am UK based, would be travelling on my own and have an open mind to the expense. Thanks.
fentona is offline  
Nov 10th, 2004, 05:40 AM
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Since you have a bit of time between now and your departure, I suggest you read "Africa's Top Wildlife Countries" by Mark Nolting.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Nov 10th, 2004, 05:40 AM
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With such a wide open query it would be helpful if you could narrow the criteria just a little.
To that end, I hope you don't mind my asking a few questions:
How long do you want to be away for?
Do you want the trip to be all safari or include other elements?
What is your maximum budget?
Are there any animals you're particularly keen to see more than others?
Many thanks,
Kavey is offline  
Nov 10th, 2004, 08:26 AM
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In answer to your questions, Kavey, 2-3 weeks, safari only is fine, I don't really have a budget- I will do virtually anything if I like the sound of it- and I would particularly like to see lions, leopards and elephants......I'm sorry it's a bit vague, but any pointers would be most welcome....
fentona is offline  
Nov 10th, 2004, 12:30 PM
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Thanks for the extra information.
Generally speaking you'll see plenty of lions and elephants in most of the more well thought of safari destinations. Leopards can be harder to see, however.

Whilst they are sometimes spotted in East Africa I personally read more reports including sightings of leopards from travellers who have been to either certain areas within Botswana and certain areas within South Africa.

With 2-3 weeks and a generous budget you could easily combine some of the best options in Southern Africa and virtually ensure sightings of all three of your favourite animals.

Others can give better feedback on the best places in Southern Africa to see leopards - I know there are certain private camps in private reserves where it's rare for guests to leave without seeing them.

I have so far safaried twice in East Africa, twice in Botswana and once in Southern Africa. I haven't yet been to Zambia though it's high on my wish list.

I adore the experience one has in Botswana. The camps are small and intimate - the ones I choose often accommodate only 10 guests or less. There is a true feeling of remoteness and really being in the wild rather than a managed park. If you pick the right reserves animals are not nevous of vehicles and very close sightings are possible.

I visited Mombo in 2001 for 4 nights and again for the same duration this past June. Both times we were amazed at the number of leopards (and cheetahs and lions and eles and other animals) we saw. We were particularly surprised at how LONG we were able to spend at each leopard sighting and, because they were day time sightings, how well we could see them. Mombo is in the heart of the Okavango Delta and this area offers a magical experience to the safari goer. Savuti gave us the most amazing wild dog and cheetah experiences. At Tubu Tree we saw many animals including a pair of leopards mating. At Jacana (and at Little Vumbura the previous trip) we glided along the papyrus lined water channels to see the delta from another perspective.

Whilst there are many options that will satisfy your requirements I can't imagine that a trip to Botswana would disappoint. Because the most reliable UK flights go via South Africa it would be easy to include some nights in one of the camps known for leopard sightings too.

For UK agents I can recommend two specialists who are committed to conservation and responsible tourism, seem to genuinely delight in ensuring the very best possible experience for their clients and are staffed only by knowledgeable and helpful staff: Wildlife Worldwide and Steppes Africa. The first put together the marvellous and excellent organised Festival of Wildlife in Kenya this year. The latter showed endless patience and went above and beyond in helping us arrange a two month trip earlier this year.
Kavey is offline  
Nov 10th, 2004, 12:31 PM
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Others can give better feedback on the best places in Southern Africa to see leopards

should read

Others can give better feedback on the best places in South Africa to see leopards
Kavey is offline  
Nov 10th, 2004, 04:26 PM
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A month and a half ago I was in South Africa and saw leopards every day for 7 days. Trip report here if you are interested. http://www.fodors.com/forums/pgMessa...start=0&screen
sundowner is offline  
Nov 11th, 2004, 12:04 AM
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Thanks everyone, that's incredibly helpful.
fentona is offline  

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