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How long would you wait to book???

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I'm planning a trip to Tanzania and Rwanda early October 2012.

Got some great advice here recently on what day/time was best for booking (from a cost perspective). Also was advised late January was optimal booking time. But I've been checking the KLM and kayak.com website almost daily and not much change in flight pricing from US mainland west coast to JRO.

When I booked a trip to Kenya August 2010 it cost ~$2,000, which is similar to what I am seeing now (San Francisco or LA to JRO). However, I recall looking at flights in Sept 2010 and the price was about $600. less. I figured this was relative to Aug being high season, and low season starting in Sept. So how come Oct is so expensive? I checked flight costs for Feb and March 2012 which are running <$1500!

So now I wonder if it's best to book a few months (vs 9 months) before I want to leave? If that's true, then the concern is there might be no seats available? Does anyone know if these flights typically get fully booked throughout the year?

Can some of you seasoned travelers comment on this from your personal experience? How many months in advance is the latest you would wait to book (without inducing too much stress about not getting a seat)?

Appreciate your feedback!

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