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Which countries for African Safari
Old 10-18-2019, 06:45 PM   #1
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Which countries for African Safari

One of the items on our bucket list is an African safari but I'm having trouble deciding which countries we should be looking at. We're considering a 12 to 14 day trip. Any suggestions on which countries to focus on or good tour companies to consider?



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Old 10-18-2019, 07:00 PM   #2
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Contact https://www.bushbaby.co.za/, Karen and Pierre Duval. They do only custom tours in Africa. We have been with them in Kenya, Tanzania, RSA/Kruger, Zimbabwe, Vic Falls, Botswana & Namibia. Also a couple of weeks in the RSA south, Capetown and the Garden Route. We'll be back with them at the end of February next year for another three weeks in Botswana and a couple of lodges in Greater Kruger. (Zimbabwe looks a little rough right now IMO, so we can't go to our favorite camp: https://www.bigcavematopos.com/. )

Look at their web site for sample itineraries. These are only starting points. Then email your ideas, no matter how rough, and Karen will work with you to polish the trip to be exactly what you want.

You can also search on "Pierre" at https://www.intltravelnews.com/ to read some readers' experiences with Bushbaby.
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Old 10-18-2019, 07:28 PM   #3
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Me, I'd go to The Selous, (southern Tanzania), Botswana, and (although I've never been there, but have heard it's good), Zambia.

Kenya was overdone 35 years ago....Kruger was good 36 years ago...don't know what it's like today.
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Old 10-18-2019, 07:56 PM   #4
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I think you will get generally good advice for many alternatives. If your goal is to see animals outside of a game reserve, I would definitely include the Ngora Ngora crater in Tanzania https://www.tanzaniaodyssey.com/tanz...rongoro-crater
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Old 10-18-2019, 11:12 PM   #5
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Are you looking to bring trophies home, or just take pictures? I have many friends that have been to Africa and brought home some very nice trophies.
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Old 10-18-2019, 11:19 PM   #6
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I'm thinking the giant in the safari business is a division of VacationsToGo.com, the largest cruise ship wholesaler. Their African tours are advertised on their website.

My sister went on an airplane safari--where every couple flew their own Cessna 210 in formation from bush camp to bush camp. And the camps were extremely luxurious. One had a pool and a tent on a tall pedistal to keep the hippos out of the tent, as they're known to get in the pool in the night. They also flew to Victoria Falls--when it was dry.
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Old 10-19-2019, 06:06 AM   #7
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Texas?

https://www.wildliferanchtexas.com
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Old 10-19-2019, 07:10 AM   #8
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We just returned from 8 days in the South Luangwa National Park in Zambia. The park only has the big four, no rinos, but has Wild Dogs not seen everywhere.
This was a walking safari with nightly game drives. We spent 2 nights at Mfuwe Lodge where we did walking and vehicle game drives. After that we walked 5-7 miles to the next bush camp that we stayed in rinse and repeat for 2 more bush camps.
During one walk the camp set up pizza ovens in the bush, and we made our own pie for lunch
On another walk not far from camp a lunch was set up in the middle of the river(to shallow for crocs) so we could sock our dogs.
We saw the best critters in the bush camps themselves all were on the river or an oxbow with deep(hippos) water.

https://www.bushcampcompany.com/
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Old 10-19-2019, 07:45 AM   #9
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but has Wild Dogs not seen everywhere.
LOVE the wild dogs...here's a great place to see them:

https://www.kwando.co.bw/lagoon


(We were there in 2010.)

One of the breakfast waitresses was late reporting to work one morning.....an elephant asleep outside her tent!
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Old 10-19-2019, 04:23 PM   #10
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I think you will get generally good advice for many alternatives. If your goal is to see animals outside of a game reserve, I would definitely include the Ngora Ngora crater in Tanzania https://www.tanzaniaodyssey.com/tanz...rongoro-crater
+1 on Ngorongoro Crater. It is truly like a little Eden.


Travel by road is very slow in Africa, so flying is a lot more time efficient if you want to see multiple places though more expensive. My best experience was going to one spot and spending most of my of time there and getting to know the area and people.
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Old 10-19-2019, 04:51 PM   #11
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... Travel by road is very slow in Africa ...
Supreme understatement! Our experience:

We spent 3 weeks in the North; crater area, the Serengeti, and Masai Mara in Kenya. Travel there is indeed slow and incredibly uncomfortable. Ruts, potholes, ... whatever you envision for bad roads this is worse. Worse than India! It is not a trip for people with back problems, mobility problems, or weak bladders. Some transits can be made by air, but long periods of rocking and rolling in a pop-top Toyota were unavoidable.

In contrast, the South (Kruger, Botswana, Namibia, etc.) has much better roads. Much more hard surface and comfortable. DW and I like to travel by road because we see so much more than by flying, the North was pretty awful.

Tents in the South were more comfortable too. Typically on raised semi-permanent wood platforms with electricity, air conditioner/heaters (with remote controls!), Western bathrooms, etc. In the north it was more tents on the ground, big and comfortable, but dim lighting/solar powered, and no piped water. You schedule your shower and they bring hot water to pour into the overhead shower tank.

Animal viewing is about the same IMO, with the exception of seeing the Great Migration in the North. Said to include 2.5 million wildebeest and a million zebras it is really amazing. We saw the big five in the south and all but rhinos in the north.

We wouldn't have missed the Migration but our February 2020 trip will be back in the South. We've served our time on those Northern roads.
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Old 10-19-2019, 07:21 PM   #12
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+1 on Ngorongoro Crater. It is truly like a little Eden.


Travel by road is very slow in Africa, so flying is a lot more time efficient if you want to see multiple places though more expensive. My best experience was going to one spot and spending most of my of time there and getting to know the area and people.


+2 on Ngorongoro crater in Tanzania. I might couple this with a Wildebeast migration and if possible, a trip to Victoria Falls.

I worked for the World Wildlife Fund many years ago and had the opportunity to work in Tanzania and Namibia for extended periods. Etosha National park is cool as you would be able to see the Big 5.
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Old 10-19-2019, 10:32 PM   #13
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We went in 2000 so almost 20 years ago, but really enjoyed Botswana and a 3-day canoe safari on the Zambezi River. Capetown for 3 days at the end of the trip was wonderful too.
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Old 10-20-2019, 12:17 AM   #14
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I like the South - South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Zambia.
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Old 10-20-2019, 11:50 AM   #15
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Our 2013 safari with Good Earth Tours included the Ngorongoro crater and the Masai Mara migration. Since there were four of us, we had a guide and jeep to ourselves, and so we were able to customize the trip however we liked, but we basically did this itinerary, with a few small additions/upgrades.

Our guide was really wonderful, and after I got back I realized I hadn't saved as much Tanzanian money as I had wanted (I like to collect coins from around the world), so I emailed their US office to ask if I could pay the shipping and the exchange rate for some Tanzanian coins, and they FedExed me a pocketful of change and wouldn't accept any (more) of my money, which they certainly didn't need to do.

Check your PMs, I'll send you a link to our safari photos. (There are a couple in the Photographer's Corner thread.)
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Old 10-20-2019, 12:21 PM   #16
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Here's our excruciatingly boring Botswana slideshow:

https://docs.google.com/presentation...dit#slide=id.p

(Hit Present, top right, to load)
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Old 10-20-2019, 04:28 PM   #17
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Here's our excruciatingly boring Botswana slideshow:

https://docs.google.com/presentation...dit#slide=id.p

(Hit Present, top right, to load)
Nemo, that was wonderful!
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Old 10-20-2019, 05:55 PM   #18
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Nemo, that was wonderful!
Thank you.....we had a laugh with our Kalahari spotter.....Oryx (pic #47) abounded in the area and he was forever calling out "Oryx" and waving a hand towards the direction where they were located, before our weaker eyes could see them....so one time I yelled "Oryx", (there weren't any), and he thought I'd one-upped him, (because he couldn't see them).

As soon as he clued in he, we, and the driver shared a giggle.
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Old 11-06-2019, 01:01 PM   #19
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We just returned on Sunday from a fabulous two week trip to Dubai and Kenya! We flew Emirates and had to have a one night layover so decided to take two nights and see some of the city. It was incredible!

For Kenya, we went with Gamewatchers.com. They own four or five different porinis in conservancies. They also own a couple of the conservancies so when you are out of game drives, you only see trucks from your camp. The conservancies are private so no other trucks are allowed. We visited Amboseli, the rhinos at Ol Pejeta Conservancy (on the equator and we have a picture of us on the equator!), and two different camps in the Mara.

We saw every animal we could think of and met the nicest people - both the Masai staff and fellow travelers. Food was excellent (the chefs are culinary trained), the tents were very nice and the trucks they use are nice because they have open sides. We saw many people in vans where the windows barely open.

Can't recommend Gamewatchers highly enough! From the booking process to the departure when we our trip was over, everything worked perfectly! Meet and greets at the airports, the flights, the welcoming to the camps, the food, the game drives, etc.

If you want to book other countries also, they can help with that as they are a full service travel agency.

We can't wait to go back!


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Try Tanzania
Old 12-29-2019, 03:00 PM   #20
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Try Tanzania

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Originally Posted by nels52 View Post
One of the items on our bucket list is an African safari but I'm having trouble deciding which countries we should be looking at. We're considering a 12 to 14 day trip. Any suggestions on which countries to focus on or good tour companies to consider?



thanks,
Hi there - we went all in to Tanzania last October and it was the highlight of our life. Highly recommend Access2Tanzania and a private guide. It was worth the extra money. Our guide (Alfred) was soooo good. We joked on our 1st night that we wanted to see a leopard, rhino, baby elephant and a bunch of other stuff. Well...he did it! We had a leopard right under our Rover and watched him climb into a tree, saw a wildebeast crossing at the Mara River (and a GIANT croc get one whole into its jaws), a rare black rhino at a tree line on our last day, a lioness creep through camp one night, and we did the balloon ride across the Serengeti. Food was great...you can pick your camp/accommodations...love love loved it. Plus, flying into Kilimanjaro is a event - usually a night flight and boy it is dark out there. I spent 18 months learning basic Swahili and had so much fun with everyone and they were so thrilled that an "american" would learn their language. Sealous would be my next trip...but they permit hunting down there and I'm not a fan. South Africa is great - loved Pilanesberg park 2 hours outside Johannesburg. It is just like Jurassic Park.
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