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wlbox Oct 6th, 2007 02:41 PM

Will I be sorry to skip Tanzania?
We are in the early stages of planning a safari to Africa. Never been before. Wanting to go in August or September 2008. We have a budget of $4000 and wonder if we will be sorry if we skip Tanzania and just tour Kenya?
Please help

kat729 Oct 6th, 2007 03:15 PM

When we went on safari in Tanzania, our guide told us "for every lion in Kenya there is 20 tourist, but for every tourist in Tanzania there is 20 lions". We have never been to Kenya but have no regrets for choosing Tanzania over Kenya. Another thing to consider is that just Serengeti is probably 3-4x bigger than Masaai Mara. One of the days we spent in Serengeti we saw no vehicles for most of the day! When we we doing research on our safari, we were told that Tanzania has more wildlife animals than any other country in Africa. This convinced us that Tanzania was were we wanted to go!

cary999 Oct 6th, 2007 03:25 PM

We? Two of you? $4000 is not a lot of budget for two people on safari. So cost per day may be the deciding factor. And, sorry, I can't help you any there with $$$ comparisons, just trying to clarify the starting point.

regards - tom
ps - the $4000 excludes the airfare $$$ to Africa, yes?

Calo Oct 6th, 2007 03:28 PM

wlbox, it would be helpful to know what your interests are. In general, July/Aug are considered best for the migration in Tz, and Sept/Oct are better for the migration in the Mara.

Are there reasons why you're focused on Kenya in particular? Have you chosen which parks to go to, or what other activities you'd like to include in your trip?

Is the $4000 per person or total?

bombasticlife Oct 6th, 2007 03:57 PM

I have not been to Kenya but have been to South Africa and Tanzania. Tanzania by far blew South Africa away and from what I have heard, it is better than Kenya. I would not worry to much because I bet one you do a safari in Africa you'll be booking one again in a few years and then you can go to Tanzania. I have info, pictures and reviews on my site I just redid my site so not all the pictures are added yet but I think its still worth stopping by to see it. Have a bombastic time, whatever you decide to do.

sandi Oct 7th, 2007 04:53 AM

Your "early" stages is going to get very tight if you hope to travel Aug/Sep '08... space is booking rather quickly.

That said, if $4,000 total (w/o Intl Air) then you'll barely make 1/country other than basic camping. If per person, you can probably do each country individually or get in both countires, if planned properly. But, how many days total in-country (not your travel time to/from Africa) do you have?

Both are at "peak" season rates, but doable if you stick with a mostly "drive" itinerary. For Aug/Sep, I'd definitely select the Masai Mara for the migration. Many select the Mara only in Kenya and they head to Tanzania (in either order depending on your int'l flights).

Provide more info.

wlbox Oct 7th, 2007 06:01 AM

we meaning a friend and I. So it will be about $4000 each. We are looking at a Friendly Planet or Smartours trip. this does include airfare.
I am a newbie and not sure if these trips are what will give us the best trip for our money. I would LOVE any help. and
thank you so much

atravelynn Oct 7th, 2007 07:24 AM

If you are sorry you missed it when you come back, you can plan Tanzania for another time.

With a $4000 budget and the months you are going, I think just Kenya would make more sense.

Do you have preliminary itinerary? With that more specific comments can be made.

Novak Oct 7th, 2007 07:42 AM

For about $3000 we spent 15 days in Kenya in August, with a private vehicle and driver. We stayed in lodges not smaller tented camps. However, we spent about 9 hours game driving each day and did not spend much time in the lodges. Enjoyed the pools in the afternoon rest time. Too tired in the evening, dinner and bed. I know everyone talks about the private bush experience in the small tented camps, but we have done basic camping too and much prefer the lodges. Can't afford the private tented camps. Would rather have more time in the parks. Spent two or more nights at each lodge. Mara Serena was the best place, 5 nights. Would perhaps do four here next time. Hope this is helpful.

jesron Oct 7th, 2007 08:30 AM

I been to both Tanzania and Kenya(and Namibia, Uganda, Zimbawe, South Agfrica and Botswana just to brag(hope you understand the meaning, I have no idea how the word is spelled) a little bit) and since you are a newbie :) I think that you will love both places. Tanzania is more expensive than Kenya and they have much bigger and( my opinion)better parks. Serengeti is not just 3 or 4 times bigger than Masai Mara but 10 times as big. And the southern parks in Tanzania are just awesome. Ruaha, Selous and Katavi. But as it is your first time to Africa you propably wanna see the migration in the Serengeti (or Masai Mara).

Kenyas parks are smaller but is still great and they have a wider(and cheaper) range of accomodation. I am no expert but I would propably go for the country were I could get the most day on safari. And even if there are more tourists in Kenya, you can still find places with few tourists. Parks like Tsavo and Meru don´t get that may tourists. And the 4000 US$ will get you some great accomodation and guides, just use a proper tour operator.

Cdnfolks Oct 7th, 2007 02:43 PM

Having just returned from Kenya/Tanzania and South Africa, I can say that each had something unique and would have been a great loss if we had only gone to one country. Our Tanzania trip consisted of Lake Manyara, the crater and the Serengeti.
The physical beauty of Tanzania was incredible. Had no idea of the mountains. We saw our best close lion encounter in the Serengeti and the only experience of watching a female lion take down a gazelle. Kenya was a totally different experience with the massive herds in the Mara Masai and the diversity in Samburu and the ability to do a night drive in Sweetwaters. I go on...My suggestion is to experience as many locales as you can. You will not regret any.

atravelynn Oct 7th, 2007 04:16 PM

$4000 a piece makes sense. Then Kenya and Tanzania is a good combo.

I only saw South Africa for Smartours. Maybe I was looking wrong. Friendly Planet would be over your $4000 limit and a bit rushed. But you’d see lots of Kenya and Tanzania--the highlights.

Check out Good Earth. You can easily get a private trip for 2 or a group.

Or try Africa Serendipity for a completely customized trip.

The East Africa Index, prepared by Lynda, is helpful to find itineraries and operators.;tid=34860283

But don’t delay because your time to travel is a good one and accommodations book fast.

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