Will I be happy?

Oct 29th, 2008, 07:42 PM
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Will I be happy?

Aloha all, we went to Bostwana in September 2007 . . . absolutely fabulous trip in 5 paw camps. Lots of people have said we won't be happy with a Tanzania/Kenya trip after going to Botswana and suggested South Africa instead. Others suggested we should just go back to Botswana. Okay you Africa experts . . . where in Africa should we go after Botswana?
DianeJF is offline  
Oct 29th, 2008, 07:49 PM
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I went to Kenya earlier in June ..... I loved every minute of it!!!! No regrets, infact - I hope to return.

Just go!
HariS is offline  
Oct 29th, 2008, 07:53 PM
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I haven't been to either, but am going to Botswana in May. Can you tell me how dusty it is on the drives? My concern is for my SLR camera & assorted lenses. Don't know whether I should take a photo vest that has pockets for quickly needed equipment, or if it is too dusty, and instead I should rely on a zipped camera bag, it just won't be as quickly accessible. Any opinions welcome! Thanks!
karn is offline  
Oct 29th, 2008, 08:12 PM
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A waterproof pillowcase (WalMart variety) works well for SLR on safari. I like to use them and have used them under some of the worst conditions. The waterproof type keep the dust out and can be rinsed out at night and still be used the next morning.
safarichuck is offline  
Oct 29th, 2008, 08:14 PM
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In September it was quite dusty, we kept our Canon Rebel wrapped in a lightweight sweatshirt on our laps or inside our camera bag when not in use. Dust did get inside the lense on last day, but was cleaned for us by a professional photographer in camp.
DianeJF is offline  
Oct 29th, 2008, 09:33 PM
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Of course you would be happy in Kenya and/or Tanzania. Different but wonderful experiences. Unlike what some people seem to think and imply, you don't have to be surrounded by lots of mini vans and tourists in Kenya as there are many options. Do lots of research and look for NP, conservancies and private concessions which suit your type of travelling. Maybe Ngorongoro and parts of the Mara (depending on time of year) will be crowded but reading many of the trip reports show that there are plenty of exciting, wild and isolated places which offer mind blowing safaris.
This Botswana is the best (or the only) destination is tiresome nonsense, IMHO, and experienced travellers will know how to find the most beautiful wildlife and locations in many different countries different animal species, different topography, different cultures, different people. Don't be put off trying something different.
twaffle is offline  
Oct 29th, 2008, 10:38 PM
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Namibia is a lovely counterpoint to a previous trip to Botswana. Desert instead of delta, and plenty of wildlife, fascinating environments and high-end facilities on par with 5-paw camps.

You might also consider a trip with more cultural content this time.


kurt_a is offline  
Oct 29th, 2008, 11:31 PM
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We loved Tanzania -- the Serengeti is still the best game-viewing we have ever experienced. We love Botswana and South Africa too though. They are just different.
lisa is offline  
Oct 30th, 2008, 07:13 AM
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If you do your research and choose parks and camps carefully, you will absolutely be able to have a wonderful experience in Kenya and Tanzania.

Although I first went on safari to K&T when I was a teenager (and enjoyed seeing the animals) we did a standard mini-bus package tour and I remember even then (early '80s) finding the number of vehicles at some sightings offputting.

My first safari trip as an adult (and my husband's ever) was in 2001 to Namibia and Botswana and it was incredible. Small, remote camps and incredible game viewing. Since that trip we have spent 5 weeks in South Africa, another 3 in Botswana and just under a week in Namibia. Marvellous.

Oh and I spend just under a week in the Masai Mara without husband. As it was in April it wasn't crowded at all.

We recently went to K&T and had a great trip. We chose Meru to be able to visit a quieter park and were delighted with our viewing there, though it wouldn't suit a first-time safari goer, I think. We also loved Elsa's Kopje where we stayed. Samburu was also enjoyable for viewing, though in dry season, when game concentrates by the river, that area can be crowded with visitors. But to be honest, that's a minor distraction when you have such marvellous game viewing. I'd rather have it to myself but I can still enjoy it and we didn't usually share individual sightings with any other vehicles at all, with the exception of a lion sighting.

The Mara was busy yes but for good reason. We had an incredible time there.

Tanzania was less crowded though our game-viewing wasn't overall as satisfying, it was still excellent. Oliver's Camp in Tarangire was wonderful. We liked E-unoto too. Gibbs Farm was a superb stop en-route. The Sopa at the Crater was far better than we'd feared and perfect for a short visit.

We weren't as enamoured with Sayari as most visitors seem to be. Tents too close, given lack of bush between them, and net windows to side, meant real privacy problems. Management not as good as at Oliver's.
Kavey is offline  
Oct 30th, 2008, 07:40 AM
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Happiness is expecting/wanting nothing and fearing nothing. Tip of the day

regards - tom
cary999 is offline  
Oct 30th, 2008, 07:51 AM
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Apart from the later I think that is what most 5 paw camps provide to their clients.
Oct 30th, 2008, 04:49 PM
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We were in Botswana and Zambia in June, 2006 and Tanzania in March, 2008. Both experiences were wonderful. I agree with other posters that the experiences are a little different, as in Botswana we flew into the camps and in Tanzania we had our own driver and vehicle. Game viewing in both countries left us wanting more and we plan to go back to Tanzania in 2010. Botswana in high season is just too expensive for us.
raelond is offline  
Oct 30th, 2008, 04:49 PM
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badump bump

I just tuned in to Tom and Ken Show!


Maybe you'll become so enamored with Africa that you'll eventually hit all of these places. Just a matter of when.

First, what time of year will you be traveling? That may dictate where or at least rule out one of the destinations.

What are you looking for in your next trip?

Certain animals, maybe ones you did not see in Botswana? Let us know and suggestions can be made on country and park, though no animal is ever guaranteed.

The wildebeest migration? Then you have to go to Tanzania or Kenya.

If you think you'd like some of the activities around Cape Town such as the vineyards or garden route or baboon walks, penguins, and Great White Sharks, that means South Africa.

I've done back to back Botswana trips and no complaints. If you didn't include the Kalahari the first time, that's a unique destination for Trip #2. Or try a mobile this time. The comfort is close to 5-paw and it gives a different perspective at a lower cost.

From a selfish standpoint, I'll say go to Madagascar, take copious notes, and report back.

atravelynn is offline  
Oct 30th, 2008, 08:12 PM
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I like Twaffle's response ... where they say, both are different! Indeed!!! There really is no comparison ..... In the Masai Mara, even before the prime Wildebeest migration arrived - I was stunned with the sheer volume of animals.

I've read quite a bit about go in the Green Season to Botswana to save money and that it is the ultimate safari destination etc etc., I'm not buying it one bit. Game Viewing during these months in Botswana involves a HUGE element of luck. Although, in some areas of the delta it can be very good still. Yet, nothing to compare with the Great Migration. Don't forget - weather these days are unpredictable and if you are unlucky you will be under ponchos and rain soaked for many days at a time!

Choose the destination wisely! In the end, Africa always draws you!!!!
HariS is offline  
Oct 31st, 2008, 02:29 AM
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Only you know if you can be happy. I believe it is all in the expectations.

I believe the first trip is always a special unique memory -- you've never seen anything like it so all of it is amazing -- almost like a child experiencing something new.

The second time, you know what to expect -- daily routines etc -- but nature everywhere is amazing and always throws in surprises. You know more about the animals this time so everything the guide tells you is not a new tidbit you treasure -- but there are new ones always -- just fewer of them.

I have found that people on this site are a wealth of information and work hard to help steer you well. In the trip reports, I never see people saying they regretted the places they went -- if anything people are always passionate about where they went and their time there.

Just understand that Kenya/Tanzania will be very different from Botswana -- and embrace those differences if that is what you choose. You will find the "experts" here are all very passionate.
mpkp is offline  
Oct 31st, 2008, 03:17 AM
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Hari, it's fantastic to see that you've been bowled over by the great migration!

Wildebeest and zebra surely aren't typically the creatures that people dream about when they start thinking of safari. For me, though, seeing the incredible determination that they demonstrate during the migration is every bit as awesome as tracking a big cat stalking and capturing its prey.

It's like comparing a great French meal with a great Chinese meal. I don't think it's terribly useful to wonder which is the better -- it's absolutely enough to say that, in their own ways, they're both wonderful and memorable.
DonTopaz is offline  
Oct 31st, 2008, 06:38 AM
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Hi Rizzuto,

Well said - Where else can you see the sheer volume of animals? And the predators are all around them, anyways ........
HariS is offline  
Oct 31st, 2008, 07:28 AM
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Indeed. I was initially somewhat concerned that the volume of tourists in the Mara would be offputting but, to be honest, the game viewing was so good that it just didn't matter. Especially as our guide in the Mara was excellent and we seldom shared sightings with more than 2 or 3 other vehicles, often with none at all.
Kavey is offline  
Oct 31st, 2008, 12:08 PM
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It's Africa - how can you not be happy?
napamatt_2 is offline  
Nov 1st, 2008, 01:48 PM
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Diane, you will never again be happy.
Nyamera is offline  

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