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Travel to Africa

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Hello from me. I want to go with my family to a holiday in Africa. Tell me where to go, I think Tanzania or South Africa. Give me advice? Thanks

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    Dear Rokon

    How exciting that you are wanting to take your family to Africa! South Africa and Tanzania are both wonderful choices. What is the demographic breakdown of your family? I’m presuming you have children, if so what are their ages? In my opinion both countries offer exceptional game viewing, it would depend on the time of year that you are thinking of traveling. South Africa offers a more varied experience if you wanted to combine other aspects into your itinerary where as Tanzania would be safari heavy. In South Africa, you could for example combine the safari experience with a visit to Cape Town or the Garden Route and you could include things like wine tasting, water based activities like sea kayaking or whale watching that sort of thing. Depending on the ages of your children you could visit a malaria free safari region in South Africa or spend time in the Kruger region of the country. Keep in mind that Cape Town gets winter rain (May-Aug), while the Kruger region receives summer rain (Nov-March). I personally find that the game viewing experience in South Africa always delivers if you select the right lodges/areas for a 3+ night stay. With children (more relevant to younger children), their attention span is a lot shorter and the high density of wildlife in the Kruger region would offer an experience that would keep young minds occupied. There are specific safari lodges that offer exceptional children’s programs; Kambaku Safari Lodge in the Timbavati region is a great example. The property is owner run and they are raising their own two children in the bush, therefore they really know what to cater for.

    If you focus on Tanzania, there are various types of activities you could include for example Gibbs Farm which is a working coffee plantation, from where you could visit Lake Manyara or Ngorongoro Crater. While staying here you could have a hands on experience, your children could milk the cows in the morning for milk for breakfast, bake the bread that would be shared on the table and pick the vegetables from their amazing veggie garden. This is such an amazing place to visit while emerging yourself into local farm life, I highly recommend a stop here for any family traveling with children.

    For Tanzania weather would be more of a factor; are you interested in following the migration? The short answer is the migration would be in the Serengeti (again this is weather pattern dependent) but for arguments sake let’s say the following would be true;

    Migration would be around Lake Ndutu and Serengeti in Dec – March (the rains start falling in March) – They have long and short rains in East Africa. Babies are dropping so the Serengeti flourishes during late January/February over this period specifically for calves.

    In July/Aug the migration patterns start moving across the Serengeti to the Mara in Kenya which would be optimal over this period. Most river crossing however happen on the Kenyan side as wildlife cross over the Mara and Talek rivers. Resident game is good in Tanzania year round depending on the region you visit. As mentioned about, Ngorongoro Crater is also a highlight in Tanzania and worth the trip. This is usually a full day excursion into the Crater floor. It’s a national park so you can’t off-road or night drive. One full day here is really enough, so 2 overnights. There are a few lodges on the rim with breathtaking views of the crater, if you have the budget this would be the place to stay! Asilia is a great option in this region, and they have quite a few specials, if you book multiple lodges or a certain number of nights, worth checking out; If not, you could look at doing a day-trip into the Crater and from a property like Gibbs Farm; It makes for a long day but it’s often much more cost effective and as mentioned Gibbs offers such an in depth experience.

    Other areas of interest would be Arusha National Park, Selous Game Reserve, Tarangire National Park and Lake Manyara National Park. Here is a quick breakdown; The best wildlife viewing months in Tanzania are during the dry season from late June to October. The best chance of seeing the wildebeest migration in the Serengeti is during June and July and the time to see the wildebeest calving is late January to February. The southern circuit (Ruaha National Park, Mikumi National Park and Selous), and western circuit (Gombe National Park, Mahale National Park and Katavi National Park) are best visited during the dry-season (June to October), unlike the more popular Northern Circuit Parks (Serengeti National Park, Arusha National Park, Ngorgongoro Crater National Park, Lake Manyara and Tarangire National Park) that can be visited year-round. Tarangire is the only exception, since its wildlife viewing is considerably better in the dry-season as well. Chem Chem which sits outside the park and offers walking only is a good option (you can do a game drive into the park on a 3 night stay), it’s sister property Little Chem Chem sits inside the park and is intimate and offers regular game viewing activities.

    Remember that March and April is the peak of the wet season while July to October offers the best weather as there is no rainfall. If you wanted to add something different Kenya has some amazing options! Samburu and Lewa are both amazing; This region is known for large herds of elephant and big cats, as well as the Reticulated giraffe, Grevy’s zebra, Beisa oryx, Somali ostrich and the Gerenuk antelope. These species are only found north of the equator. The Lewa conservancy is known for their conservation efforts relating to Rhino. Black and White Rhino are often seen here. It is truly a very special area and would offer you something uniquely different. You can do activities like camel rides vs. 4x4 game viewing, or horse riding if you are a good rider. Lewa Wilderness and Borana are both great options

    Either way, Africa would be an unforgettable destination for any family – you have so many options to choose from, the best advice I can give you is to plan a tailor made trip that would suit your family best in terms of expectations, budget and overall experience. There are many group tours out there that offer a good experience, personally I feel that nothing beats something tailor made specifically for you! Best of luck in the planning process,

    Marguerite Smit

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    We had an amazing time on a Northern Circuit safari in Tanzania.
    We used EASY TRAVEL to make all arrangements and they did an excellent job. They were extremely responsive to our wishes and the manager, Musaddiq, gave us the benefit of his expertise without seeming to try to sell us something. Our satisfaction was truly his goal.
    If you can get Emmilian as your guide, you will be lucky indeed.

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