Best Countries for Safaris

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Best Countries for Safaris

Postby worldtraveller » Sat Dec 10, 2011 3:34 pm

Ok I am having a hard time trying to decide to focus on one destination.

For doing a safari ttype of trip in Africa.

What countries are the best for Safaris.

I was told Tanzania is really good.

But what else can you all recommend? from all your experiences?

More less trips that GAP does or sorry. I meant G adventures.

IS Zambia good?
thanks
JR
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Re: Best Countries for Safaris

Postby AdamfromCanada » Sat Dec 10, 2011 4:58 pm

I've been on safari in a few different countries. There are always some differences, including what animals you want to see. There are also many different places in each country, and not all of them are the same at all. For example, in Tanzania, there's a stretch with three big destinations: Lake Manyara, Ngorongoro, and Serengeti. Manyara is fairly small, with a very large lake, lots of elephants, tree-climbing lions, and it's the only place I've seen blue monkeys.

Ngorongoro is a very small area, with an incredible density of wildlife. You have a very good chance of seeing four of the big five there, with leopards harder to spot. Because it's such a small area, the animals are used to being in close proximity to themselves and to humans, so it's a bit of a strange place. The animals don't run from the cars as much as they might elsewhere. Lions will actually lay down in the shade of safari vehicles even!

Serengeti is a gigantic area, which seems more wild than Ngorongoro, although harder to see animals up close at times, because they have more options. That said, I've been to Serengeti twice and seen a LOT of animals there. It's also home (along with the Masai Mara across the border in Kenya) to a huge wildebeest migration, and if you're in the right spot at a given time of the year, you'll see an incredible number of these animals.

Kenya has several great spots as well - I've been to Samburu (has baisa oryx, reticulted giraffe, Somali ostrich...all species not found elsewhere), Lake Nakuru (famous for flamingos!), Lake Naivasha/Hell's Gate NP, Nairobi NP, and the Masai Mara. I'm hoping to add Amboseli to my list as well this year.

If you go to East Africa, chances are your tour will take you to a number of these destinations, so you'll get a bit of a sampling.

In southern Africa, I've never been to any big park in South Africa, but have heard they're very good. Etosha in Namibia was fantastic, as we stayed up late at night and watched the drama at watering holes by the campgrounds. In Botswana, Chobe has a ridiculous amount of wildlife, and it's the only place I've seen Sable Antelope. The Okavango River Delta would be an incredible experience even if you didn't see wildlife, but we saw elephants, zebra, giraffes and antelope while walking on foot.

The only Zambian safari I was on was an elephant-back safari near Livingstone. It's not quite the same thing, and we didn't see more than a few antelope, but still a cool experience. I'm not sure what the parks in Zambia are like, because the only one I've been in is Mosi-oa-Tunya NP near Livingstone. Victoria Falls are incredible to see though.

My suggestion is that you should figure out what you most want to see and then do some more in depth research in to the regions. Look at a couple of the G Adventures trips and where they go, and google the parks to learn a little more.
Feel free to check out my travels on http://www.adammallonphotography.com
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Re: Best Countries for Safaris

Postby worldtraveller » Sat Dec 10, 2011 6:28 pm

thanks so much for the information.

I just have too many places on my list to visit in the world. have trouble narrow it down usually.
tanzania looks amazing
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Re: Best Countries for Safaris

Postby DanielBMe » Sat Dec 10, 2011 8:09 pm

For a first time safari I would recommend Tanzania. In comparison to Kenya you have Tarangire, Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater, plus some of the smaller ones too. The amount of wildlife is simply incredible. Not only that, but it has far less traffic than the Mara in Kenya which has become very overcrowded with lodges and vehicles. Tanzania has about 90% of the Serengeti eco system but only 10% of the lodges compared to Kenya.

Botswana tends to be far more expensive compared to both Tanzania and Kenya.

You will need to decide on how long you want to go, when you want to go, and how much you want to spend. That will partly dictate where you go. But if you had to just pick one, I would say go with Tanzania.

You may want to check out the TripAdvisor forum on Tanzania, http://www.tripadvisor.ca/ShowForum-g29 ... zania.html. Loads of good info there.
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Re: Best Countries for Safaris

Postby IncaTrail50 » Sat Dec 10, 2011 8:20 pm

I've only been to Kenya and Tanzania but I preferred Kenya. I felt I had to go to Tanzania for Serengeti and Ngorongoro and I'm glad I did but the game viewing was better in Kenya. As Adam said, Samburu in Kenya has some game only seen in that northern area. We were also fortunate to see four leopards in Kenya, up close! The one we saw in Tanzania was far away on a tree branch. We seemed to go long distances in Serengeti without seeing anything although we did have a lion lounge in the shade of our jeep. Ngorongoro was much greener than the other areas so spectacular pictures of herds.
Also, the best G Adventures CEO is Hellen in Kenya. Hands down, no one better.
My suggestion would be to go to both Kenya and Tanzania as your first, to hard to choose!
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Re: Best Countries for Safaris

Postby lesliew » Sun Dec 11, 2011 11:12 pm

I don't think you could go wrong with Tanzania or Kenya, but I'm personally partial to Tanzania because that's where I went. I went the first week of October and it was perfect. We saw all of the Big 5, plus pretty much every single animal there is. They were all really close too. Since it was the dry season, the grass was low, which made it easier to spot animals on the Serengeti. It was also lion mating season, and there were several lion couples lounging right next to the road. We also saw 3 leopards and 6 cheetahs. Lake Manyara and Ngorongoro also had lots of wildlife (Manyara was great for elephants and Ngorongoro had more lions than I can count). I enjoyed Tanzania just because there was such a variety of scenery too (the landscape of the Serengeti is much different than the landscape of the crater...plus I also got to see Mt Kilimanjaro on the way to the airport). October was great because it wasn't very crowded or very hot, and our G staff was fabulous!
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Re: Best Countries for Safaris

Postby AdamfromCanada » Mon Dec 12, 2011 3:57 am

worldtraveller wrote:thanks so much for the information.

I just have too many places on my list to visit in the world. have trouble narrow it down usually.
tanzania looks amazing


Two more things to consider:

1) what time of year - is there a time you have to go? Is there a time you'd prefer to travel? Check the climate on the places you're considering to see what you can expect. I've heard that travelling during rainy season can be quite rewarding, but if you decide to do so, you'll want to be prepared.

2) type of safari vehicle - the bulk of the cheaper trips you'll find are overland trips. These use a large truck that fits 20 odd people. Personally I think the safari experience itself suffers for using the big vehicle. Because the vehicles are large and loud, animals may run away quicker than in small vehicles, and because there is limited window space, you're likely to have to at least share your window. I'f you're hoping to take photos, this type of vehicle isn't as good in my opinion. However, if you're looking for a trip like the Dunes, Delta and Falls trip from G Adventures, the overland truck is very good for travelling the long distances. Depending on what you are looking for out of your trip, either can be okay, but if you're trip is to be wildlife focused, then I suggest looking for one of the trips with smaller vehicles, like the Kenya & Tanzania Wildlife Adventure tour.
Feel free to check out my travels on http://www.adammallonphotography.com
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Re: Best Countries for Safaris

Postby tletter » Mon Dec 12, 2011 8:54 am

worldtraveller wrote:Ok I am having a hard time trying to decide to focus on one destination.

If you've never been on a safari then there are many places in Africa that you'll enjoy. We've enjoyed visiting East Africa, Rwanda (mountain gorillas), Botswana and South Africa (Kruger).
worldtraveller wrote:For doing a safari ttype of trip in Africa.

Not sure what you mean here - do you mean an overland trip? On our overland trip we changed from truck to Land Rovers to visit the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater. However elsewhere we did game drives in our truck and profitted from the extra viewing height afforded by the truck.
worldtraveller wrote:What countries are the best for Safaris.

It all depends on what you are hoping to see and the time of year that you go. There was a posting on this forum awhile ago for a list of animals and the best time/location to have a chance to see them.

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Re: Best Countries for Safaris

Postby DanielBMe » Mon Dec 12, 2011 11:05 am

If you can afford it, the DKTW is a good trip that does both countries, http://www.gadventures.com/trips/kenya- ... DKTW/2012/. In Search of the Big 5 is also good, http://www.gadventures.com/trips/in-sea ... DKBF/2012/. As far as I can tell both do not use the overland trucks but rather a 7 seater 4x4.

This one is also good as it's the only one to hit Tarangire, http://www.gadventures.com/trips/tanzan ... TTWD/2012/.

Here's my post about what animals you can expect to see during each month, viewtopic.php?f=2&t=17612
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Re: Best Countries for Safaris

Postby worldtraveller » Mon Dec 12, 2011 2:43 pm

Looks really great. I was looking at doing a safari and also trek kilimanjaro, that be neat. I am still considering Zanzibar as well, maybe i might cut it out. suggestions
JR
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Re: Best Countries for Safaris

Postby worldtraveller » Mon Dec 12, 2011 6:09 pm

Hello I have another questions regarding your trip of Tanzania Encompassed.
Code is
DTTE
the price that G adventures has to pay. Is that full price or is there any local payments or fees that must be done when at actual destination?
thanks
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Re: Best Countries for Safaris

Postby AdamfromCanada » Mon Dec 12, 2011 6:16 pm

worldtraveller wrote:Looks really great. I was looking at doing a safari and also trek kilimanjaro, that be neat. I am still considering Zanzibar as well, maybe i might cut it out. suggestions


If you are looking to tackle Kilimanjaro, you are probably better off doing your safari in Kenya and/or Tanzania. Anything else and it just means extra travel time between stops.
Feel free to check out my travels on http://www.adammallonphotography.com
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Re: Best Countries for Safaris

Postby DanielBMe » Mon Dec 12, 2011 8:37 pm

All G prices include the local payment, so for DTTE that is the full price. Of course you still have to factor in tips, alcohol, food etc. The trip overview indicates 16 Breakfasts, 10 Lunches, 9 Dinners are included.

That's a pretty popular trip. If you search the forums you will find some info on it.
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Re: Best Countries for Safaris

Postby thecakeisalie » Tue Dec 13, 2011 10:10 am

worldtraveller wrote:Looks really great. I was looking at doing a safari and also trek kilimanjaro, that be neat. I am still considering Zanzibar as well, maybe i might cut it out. suggestions


If you're going to climb Kili, stick with Tanzania. Depending on how much time (and money) you're willing to commit you could make the trip into Kenya (or Zanzibar, or both), but Tanzania will have plenty in the way of safaris to keep you entertained.

May I also suggest that you plan your safari around the climb, not the climb around the safari. The climb will be the most demanding portion, and if you want to reach the top you will need to put yourself in the best possible position mentally and physically. This will involve choosing the best route for you, best time of year to go, number of days spent on the mountain, etc. In contrast, the safari portion is not demanding; show up, take a ride, see some awesome animals and scenery. Also, I would recommend tackling the mountain first so that you can relax more on safari. The other way around would be daunting.

Enjoy!
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Re: Best Countries for Safaris

Postby kuunsirppi » Tue Jan 24, 2012 3:32 pm

Hey,
I don't know if anybody are reading this anymore, but I have a plan to go to a safari in a couple years, and I have some questions without answer.

I've been thinking to go to Kenya, so can anyone tell me something about G Aventure's safari trips to there? Are they fine?

I would probably travel alone to Kenya for the safari, and I know it's maybe not the best alternative, but is it totally unsafe or could I do it (I'm a young woman) by myself? And how safe it is to take a taxi, for example from the airport to the hotel or a some place where the safari stars?

It would help me so much, if someone can answer to my questions :) I'm sorry if there already is an answer to my questions in this topic, but at this moment I haven't had time enought to read all of the answers.
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