WOW, costs add up!

Old Jul 21st, 2006, 07:09 AM
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Don't count the cost....count the memories, the pictures, and the once in a lifetime encounters with the animals, and getting the chance to meet the local people! We (my family and I) consider ourselves very lucky, we have lived here and there around the world...Czech Republic, India, Uzbekistan to name a few and now Namibia. As is mentioned by another fodorite, unfortunately so many people's first response when you tell them where you are moving to or travelling to is "Why do you want to go there?". In most cases, they couldn't find it on a map.
Oops, sorry for getting on my soapbox. As I mention above...don't count the money...count the blessings of being able to make the trip!
I can't wait to go on my first gorilla trek!
Bill
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Old Jul 21st, 2006, 07:13 AM
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Ha ha - love that idea of knocking off the savings of not being at home! Lucia, the full cost of going on safari can be a real shocker, even if you've gone the budget route - especially if you're a photography addict and end up spending more on equipment, let alone clothes, repellents, sun block, bags/ padlocks, vaccinations... it's scary.

But, as everyone has said - it IS worth it!!!
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Old Jul 21st, 2006, 08:00 AM
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Oh yes, I forgot to include..$450.00 each for balloon ride...and our Malaria pills...oh, what the heck, it's only money, right? But, to put it in perspective, our friend so badly wanted to join our group, but by the time she was able to rearrange her patients, the places we are staying at, which are all very small, were already booked up. If you could have heard the dissapointment in her voice! It made me think, we are so lucky to be going! Of course, my husband has gripped and complained the whole time about this trip...I sure hope he's happier when we are finally there!
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Old Jul 21st, 2006, 08:16 AM
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I have been ignoring this thread up till now.
As everyone else said NEVER NEVER add up all the costs from your safari. You are investing in yourself, your life and your memories.

OK, I will share one cost with you...
developing more than 35 rolls of film, double exposure + CD, plus another 300 digital into regular sized prints, + albums at Costco + enlargments and large frames to go on my wall. Over $800.

More than my plane fare to India!
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Old Jul 21st, 2006, 08:24 AM
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Well, lets see...since I have ALREADY invested in clothing, camera, portable storage devises, battery chargers, duffle bag, and not to mention vaccinations, etc., for my safari last March, wouldn't it make sense for me to return? I mean, I can't just let it all go to waste..this sounds like a financially responsible plan, doesn't it to you?
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Old Jul 21st, 2006, 08:37 AM
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I have certainly spent more than I should have on safaris BUT I don't regret one penny.

And a bonus is that some of the initial expense is a one time expense. The shots, the clothes, the cameras and lenses, the medicines and on and on. So after you get back from the first trip you might as well plan one for next year because you've already invested all that money. The next trip will cost so much less!
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Old Jul 21st, 2006, 08:41 AM
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Almost nobody is ever shocked or feeling guilty about buying a car!... A car for goodness sake! OK it's useful and (may) last a long time. But it's NOTHING compared to the life-long memories you will bring back. It's nothing compared to seeing a bunch of lion cubs jumping up to their mother coming 'home' from chasing some game...
Just forget the money and abandon yourself to this great adventure. You'll understand us better once you have done it!!! ENJOY IT!
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Old Jul 21st, 2006, 08:43 AM
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countingdown, we were typing at the same time with the same idea - and it does make total sense! The second (third, fourth, fifth ... ) trip is so much easier.
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Old Jul 21st, 2006, 08:49 AM
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That photo stuff cost more than my trip...and binoculars too.

When I got home the total kept going up...new photo printer,ink cartridges, photo paper, photoshop software, photoshop classes, subscription to kodakgallery.com...worth every dime!

Ready for the next trip since I have everything now.
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Old Jul 21st, 2006, 08:52 AM
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The Mom who took our recent trip with us normally does not travel; she has plenty of $, but is a very conservative spender and this trip was waaaay outside her comfort zone. On the flight home, her daughter asked her, "Mom, is this the best vacation you've ever been on?"

She said, "Hell YES! I'm trying to figure out if I can mortgage my house so I can come back for a month!"

So, Lucia, if you're hoping for an inheritance don't encourage your parents to go to Africa.
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Old Jul 21st, 2006, 08:54 AM
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Oops forgot that when I returned home I switched from dial up to cable for my internet since it was taking forever to download my photos, which lead to purchasing a new laptop since my desktop was a dinosaur. Plus a wireless router for the house so I can read Fodors in any room now.
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Old Jul 21st, 2006, 09:24 AM
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Well, in all the trips my husband and I have taken, we have never regretted even one. In fact, we always say the memories we have are priceless. He doesn't want to go to Africa at all, he is doing this for me, but hopefully, this will be another wonderful memory for us. But admittedly, this is BY FAR the most we have EVER spent on any trip before...best not to think about it!
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Old Jul 21st, 2006, 09:46 AM
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Do you veteran Africa travelers find that you generally spend more or less after each trip?

I just made my first trip last year, and like Lucia I mistakenly calculated the total cost. Wow--expensive, but worth it. However, after being there, I think I now know how I might be able to cut costs significantly on my next trip.

Plus, all of the travel clothes, camera gear, etc., have been put to good use since my trip.
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Old Jul 21st, 2006, 09:56 AM
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Carla; blame it on Afreek-ah

Cindysafari; some of my best memories are of my somewhat price shocked husband sticking his head out thru the sunroof of our vehicle with a beautiful smile of total contentment on his face - ahhh. Your DH will be fine on arrival - if not, there's always a trade in option, no?
Sherry
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Old Jul 21st, 2006, 10:04 AM
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Countingdown and Sundowner,
You both expressed my sentiments exactly! The new camera, all the memory cards, the new binocs, the clothes, etc, etc. Really, the only practical thing is to go back.
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Old Jul 21st, 2006, 10:29 AM
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Lynda, does that include the wine gums?
How fortuitous the timing of the rise in the Canadian dollar, "eh"? Just in time for Africa! I think we were MEANT to go!

This thread also comes at the BEST time, as we prepare to pay the balance on our trip, yikes!!! More cost justifications to add to our list! I was glad to be reminded by Predatorbiologist that the household expenses drop to nothing for that month...especially since I'll be having to take a leave of absence without pay!

But I trust you all, that a safari will be more than worth it!!! Can someone please tell me how to cope with the suspense for another SIX MONTHS??
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Old Jul 21st, 2006, 02:30 PM
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Carolines, this gives you time to read up on Africa books, both fiction and non-fiction. To day dream about it... We didn't have that luxury on our first trip as it was planned 6 weeks ahead - and as you all know, the planning of the itinerary took up most of our free time.

Pred, you are so smart - you're right about some of the costs being reduced not being home. but then for some of us there are added costs like a pet sitter (Rocco listening?)... and then therapy for the pets to recover from us being away (just kidding). Leely, I love that story about the winning over that woman.
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Old Jul 21st, 2006, 06:23 PM
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Carolines-
That didn't include the wine gums - oops forgot about those! And I forgot about the cost of the new camera for the girls.

It DID include the pet/house sitter, the developing of 38 rolls of film, replacing the stolen money, absolutely everything I could think of other than clothes that will get used for way more trips.

It also included the gifts for drivers and their families, the America Shares donations to the orphanage (I hit up Value Village and the Dollar Store big time), the visas, the couriers for the visas, the travel shots and malaria medications, our two days in London, etc - pretty well the whole nine yards!

What can I say, I'm a bookkeeper by trade, I have to tally stuff....
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Old Jul 21st, 2006, 08:51 PM
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Well, Lucia, you really ought to be a therapist. You only started this thread at 8:20 PM on July 20, and already there are 38 posts...surely a record for this forum.

So, misery loves company. In all my travelling, the only thing I have done that costs more than Africa is heliskiing. Somehow, since we know Africans are poorly paid, we imagine that it must be cheap to travel there, as in many other developing nations.

Since I just returned, I am still paying off the trip. Check in with me in a decade: I am sure I will be able to say the price has been long forgotten, but the memories remain.

At least that is what the veterans of this board seem to promise ;-)
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Old Jul 22nd, 2006, 04:18 AM
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A trip more expensive than Africa is visiting the relatives in Eastern Europe!
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