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Old 04-21-2014, 10:09 PM   #21
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We saw a pine marten and a yellow-bellied marmot on a hike today...
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Old 04-21-2014, 10:33 PM   #22
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Ngorogoro crater in Tanzania was my favorite for seeing animals. We lived in RSA for a couple of years and visited many safari locations but not all. The gorilla tracking in Rwanda was my favorite experience but it is not an easy walk and is expensive. The suggestions to pack as much in as possible are very good. It's a long way.
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Old 04-22-2014, 02:29 AM   #23
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So far I have been to South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe.
South Africa and Namibia was self drive as student.
The trip to Botswana/Zimbabwe was expensive, organised stays in nice camps with excellent guides. If you can afford it it is so worth it IMO as you do not lose time and the local guides in the camps know exactly where and when to find the animals you want to see.
Last year we wanted to do Namibia again, self drive with nice camps. We had it all prepared and organised with the help of a local tour operator but unfortunately had to cancel 2 weeks before due to health problems. The operator did an excellent job to help uns with the cancellations and all. If you think of South Africa or Namibia I can send you the link to the operator - or you will find Gemma Dry regularly answering questions at the Trip Advisor forums.
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Old 04-22-2014, 05:06 AM   #24
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I'm not interested in birds, I'm very interested in being in close proximity to the larger mammals listed above.
One of the things I appreciated about my visit to the Selous, (albeit 25 years ago, so things may have changed drastically in the interim), was that the animals were truly wild......no blase "Oh, there's another truckload of tourists".

We were chased off by elephants who became annoyed by our presence......likewise a male lion got quite irritated by what he apparently considered infringement on his territory........and when we encountered a group of resting giraffes they fled...(we were trying to be as low key as possible but we were obviously considered invasive).
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Old 04-22-2014, 06:54 AM   #25
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We went to Kenya and Tanzania with Globus a couple of years ago and loved it. I agree with Travellover that if you have the $ flying between parks would be ideal since the roads suck. We did not have a problem with rushing in and out of the hotels. We saw all of the big 5 and then some. Here is an album of our photos (including a map of the stops) if you want to see what the area is like.
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Old 04-22-2014, 08:28 AM   #26
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Anybody looking to save some money and have more fun, self-driven safari,
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Old 04-22-2014, 09:13 AM   #27
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Anybody looking to save some money and have more fun, self-driven safari,
In 1983 my late wife and I rented a camper in Jozi, drove up to Kruger and spent about a week there.......we were first out of the enclosed camps each morning, drove until we found a viewpoint, (usually a waterhole/river), brewed up coffee and sat and had breakfast. It was great.
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Old 04-22-2014, 09:18 AM   #28
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All you who have been: what did you do about malaria risk? Recently, there seems to be a lot of info surfacing about the risk of anti-malarial meds to the nervous system, some of them serious and some moderately long to permanent in duration.
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Old 04-22-2014, 10:27 AM   #29
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> All you who have been: what did you do about malaria risk? Recently, there seems to be a lot of info surfacing about the risk of anti-malarial meds

All medicine is a trade off to some extent. Taking anti-malarial meds seemed much less risky to me than getting malaria.
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Old 04-22-2014, 10:30 AM   #30
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What did you take and did you have any side effects?

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> All you who have been: what did you do about malaria risk? Recently, there seems to be a lot of info surfacing about the risk of anti-malarial meds

All medicine is a trade off to some extent. Taking anti-malarial meds seemed much less risky to me than getting malaria.
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Old 04-22-2014, 10:39 AM   #31
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I've taken a lot of mefloquin over the years and never noticed any effects.

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk
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Old 04-22-2014, 11:25 AM   #32
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We all took Malarone. Daily dose; starts a couple of days before your trip; and continues afterward for a week.

On a later trip my wife took efloquine. It's easier because it's a weekly dose.

None of us had any side effects.

We also got a boatload of other vaccines, but that may have been because we were going to Malawi. Not sure if they recommend fewer for South Africa or Kenya.

More info: CDC - Malaria - Travelers - Choosing a Drug to Prevent Malaria
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Old 04-22-2014, 11:54 AM   #33
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I'd avoid it like the plague.
And ebola, and dengue, and malaria, and TB...
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Old 04-25-2014, 03:55 AM   #34
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For Botswana we took Lariam.
No side effects for us, but some people in the camp talked about bad dreams.
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Old 04-25-2014, 05:37 AM   #35
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I took larium and had side effects. I rarely remember my dreams but with larium I did. I was fortunate however, for the few weeks I took the drug, that my dreams were VERY vivid but no nightmares. Others I know, had no effect or nightmares. I can't remember the percentage of people who were not effected vs. those with bad dreams.

As recommended earlier, you may want to consider setting up the safaris when you arrive or doing them on your own. For example, you could rent a car and go to Krueger on your own. And/or you can easily find a company that you can hire for the day. A little more planning but a doable trip that can save a few bucks.
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Old 04-25-2014, 07:32 AM   #36
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DS did Peace Corps in Mali, then worked in Lesotho and now Tanzania, so we have been to Africa several times; were it not for him it's unlikely we would have gone. We have had some great experiences thanks to him being there. Unfortunately have no contact information/sources as he arranged all the visits, travel and safaris. That has been a tremendous help; we've been to places we would never have gone and experienced things we never would have otherwise.

Agree with positives about Selous; DS lives in Morogoro so it was only about a 4 hour drive there. There are no permanent structures allowed there so we "camped" in quite nice tent combos that had a chemical toilet/shower annex to each one. The alternate, to go to the north, would have been very crowded. In the three days we were in Selous we rarely saw other tourists. Animals were very plentiful but never did see a leopard. One night awakened by gunshot from guide scaring off elephants trying to get into camp for the provisions (fruit)!

On other trip went to Botswana, Chobe park. It was good too but not as plentiful animals. It's not far from Victoria Falls so you can hit that too. On that trip we flew to Capetown and did that area as well, with the "little Carou" which is similar to CA wine country I'm told (have not spent any time in CA myself).

Yes, these were some very long flights, so if you're going plan on making the most of it. If you don't like flying, avoid the Joberg-Atlanta flight, especially during the hurricane season. The turbulence from the conveyor belt of disturbances that come from the Sahara to Americas makes for some very uncomfortable flying.
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Old 04-25-2014, 07:42 AM   #37
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Forgot about the malaria. DS avoids the meds as doesn't want the long term use. Also had some awful dreams. He did have malaria twice when in Peace Corps; pretty brutal. Where is now is more highlands but he is fanatical about mosquito avoidance.

When visited in Mali we took meds. DW took Lariam and she had bizarre dreams that she could not distinguish from reality. Including having coherent discussions with the family dog!

Last trip I did not take meds. However, had to overnight in Das Es Salaam hotel where I distinctly recalled being bit by mosquito. After returned home came down with all the symptoms; I'm blessed with very good health so immediately was suspicious. Saw doctor, gave meds, and within 12 hours symptoms gone. However, the blood samples were negative, but doctor said they often get false negatives. I suspect my case was very early stage so likely not a lot of bugs were running around in me yet.

My recommendation would be to take the meds, avoid the Lariam.
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Old 04-25-2014, 08:05 AM   #38
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However, the blood samples were negative, but doctor said they often get false negatives.
Reminded my of my post (#12) on this thread: Malaria Meds In India

(I've had subsequent tests, all showing negative, but the doctors are unable to tell me what I do have that recurs periodically and exhibits all the symptoms.)
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Old 04-25-2014, 09:45 AM   #39
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I've been getting some mailings from Oceania cruise line about some marvelous African cruises they are offering for sale, the price seems fairly reasonable for what's included. Just go to Oceania.com and click on Africa...they bundle airfare in the price and are giving large discounts too. If your Mom has somewhat limited mobility that might be a good option. I like that you can book all your activities by the day, so everyone can do what suits there physical limitations.
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Old 04-25-2014, 11:01 AM   #40
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The malaria info is really helpful. Sounds like Larium should be avoided and Malarone is ideal except for a limited (and easy to define) set of people.

Nemo2 & H20: those are some scary stories.
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