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Planning trip to Africa #12449
07/24/2010 05:11 PM
07/24/2010 05:11 PM
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 29
C
CanadianSailor Offline OP
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CanadianSailor  Offline OP
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Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 29
Hi,

We are looking at going to Africa in 2012. It is still in its planning stages. So i am looking for some input on the following:

When is the best time to go? I am getting views that cover cost, rainy season, the lack of bush cover in winter and the number of young animals. At this point I am thinking Oct-Nov.

If anybody has some suggestions for a tour operator as well, feel free to post them as well. We are not planning to rent a car and I am thinking of flying to Cape Town from Canada and spending 2-3 days there. Then joining a tour that balances 1-2 Game reserves plus Vic Falls. The tour would get us back to J'berg or CT for the trip home. So far the early favorite is Londolozi which lists a half dozen or so these types of tours.

We are not beach people so there are no plans to visit the coast.

Thanks,

don

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Re: Planning trip to Africa [Re: CanadianSailor] #12450
07/24/2010 06:28 PM
07/24/2010 06:28 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 64,176
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Carol_Hill  Offline
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Posts: 64,176
Central Florida!
Here is the link to the first section of our Africa trip report. The TR is in 8 sections, (I think??) so it is extremely long, but covers a lot of things. You could take a gander at it, and skim the stuff that doesn't interest you.

Unfortunately that is the only AFrica trip we have taken so far, but it was FANTASTIC!! <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/circle.gif" alt="" />


Carol Hill
Re: Planning trip to Africa [Re: CanadianSailor] #12451
07/25/2010 08:35 AM
07/25/2010 08:35 AM

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We used Frikkie du Toit. We met Frikkie in Pennsylvania at an Eastern Sports and Outdoor show a few years ago. We had a chance to talk with him at length about touring SA. He also introduced us to another vendor (from CO) whose parents had used his services. They were kind enough to provide there parents phone number and we spoke with them at length about their trip. It was all positive, so we took the plunge. It was great. Note, this is not a group tour, but a private guide. He also does big game hunting, so if you find this offensive you probably should look elsewhere.

Re: Planning trip to Africa [Re: CanadianSailor] #12452
07/25/2010 10:58 AM
07/25/2010 10:58 AM

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We were in South Africa and visited Londolozi in August 1999. August was good because it was their "winter" and while it was chilly in the mornings while viewing game, there was not a lot of brush so viewing the animals was easier. They provide blankets in the vehicles so you are not too cold.

Londolozi is hard to get to but once you do, it is so worth it. You have to fly into Kruger Park and then take a very small plane to Londolozi's private air strip. As we were leaving, someone had to get in a vehicle and chase the warthogs off of the runway! Our room at Londolozi has a view of the river, and elephants came up to drink and a large troop of noisy baboons came through, it was quite a show.

Re: Planning trip to Africa #12453
07/25/2010 02:11 PM
07/25/2010 02:11 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 64,176
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Carol_Hill  Offline
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Posts: 64,176
Central Florida!
We went to three game parks in Botswana and had to fly in on a Cessna to all of them. The animals were all around the camps. It's not a zoo where they are caged up and separate from you, that's for sure!


Carol Hill
Re: Planning trip to Africa [Re: Carol_Hill] #12454
07/29/2010 06:00 AM
07/29/2010 06:00 AM
Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 1
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shiffersmith Offline
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shiffersmith  Offline
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Thanks for such a nice link in this post,although it take time to read all stuff but is was nice and informative.i have been always dream to travel to Africa,i hope next year my dream comes true.... <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Clapping.gif" alt="" />

Re: Planning trip to Africa [Re: shiffersmith] #12455
12/21/2010 02:05 AM
12/21/2010 02:05 AM
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 10
Ashburn, GA, USA
S
sanntick Offline
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sanntick  Offline
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Ashburn, GA, USA
The time of the year you calculated is right. It's god to visit at that time. Tour operators are numerous. You will get a lot. That is not an issue. But choosing to go the right place at the right time is most important. Are you planning to do the jungle safari? Then there are special packages for it.

Re: Planning trip to Africa [Re: CanadianSailor] #12456
12/29/2010 10:17 PM
12/29/2010 10:17 PM
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 1,340
South East US, Carolinas coast
sailn Offline
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sailn  Offline
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Posts: 1,340
South East US, Carolinas coast
we went in may both trips, with wilderness safari,as did Carol.
we liked them.
S Africa, Bots, andd Zambia one trip. 2nd trip was to Namibia.

Re: Planning trip to Africa [Re: CanadianSailor] #12457
02/03/2011 06:33 PM
02/03/2011 06:33 PM
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 2,429
Villa Euphoria Leverick Bay, P...
mdoyle9999 Offline
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mdoyle9999  Offline
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Villa Euphoria Leverick Bay, P...
We went in April - end of rainy season. The bad news is that the ground was quite damp in some locations. The good news - and it was very good news - we had the safari to ourselves - our own driver and guide. We went with Micato Safari and very highly recommend them. They are usually ranked number one in Travel & Leisure.

We went to Kenya and flew between three safari camps and drove to another three lodges. To call them camps is a misnomer. They are handsomely furnished tents with showers and running water. The lodges were also five star including the famous Mt Kenya Safari Club.

Given the strife in Kenya at the moment, we would opt to fly to South Africa and take a guided safari to Botswana.

It is the experience of a life time. It is on our list to go back.


Mike
"The journey is the thing." Homer
Re: Planning trip to Africa [Re: mdoyle9999] #12458
02/04/2011 09:34 AM
02/04/2011 09:34 AM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 64,176
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Carol_Hill  Offline
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Posts: 64,176
Central Florida!
I would agree, at the moment, Botswana is the way to go. We were there in 2005. I would love to go back. It is a very expensive trip to do correctly, but a wonderful one.


Carol Hill
Re: Planning trip to Africa [Re: CanadianSailor] #12459
02/07/2011 04:50 PM
02/07/2011 04:50 PM
Joined: Jun 2010
Posts: 3
Central Virginia
mario2 Offline
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mario2  Offline
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Central Virginia
We will be visiting Africa for the 5th time in March. The rainy season can affect photography as well as your ability to see the wildlife. In addition, it also breeds mosquitoes and therefore the added element of malaria. All-in-all, we thought late June-early July were the best times in South Africa. Vic Falls is quite tremendous at that time of year as well.

All that said, we have been to Londolozi which is an excellent and varied destination and virtually guarantees quality game sightings. Likewise, we have had two very fine visits to Lion Sands where the staff made us feel like family! Both would be great choices. In my opinion, you want at least three full days to enjoy any of the lodges in South Africa. IMO, you don't need to visit more than one lodge unless you plan to be there for a week or more.

If you get north to Tanzania or Kenya, the biggest attraction is the great migration. In the fall (Sept-Oct) the animals are near the Mara River where National Geographic films the crocs feasting on them as they try to cross the water. In the early spring the herds are south near the NgoroNgoro crater for calving season. Personally, I would recommend visiting the crater where you have 30,00-45,000 animals in a small space surrounded by steep hills that make game viewing easy and plentiful. Also, the accommodations can be 5-star!

From personal experience, if you plan to fly via Cape Town and Jo-berg, limit your safari to South Africa and perhaps a 2 day excursion to Vic Falls from Jo-berg. Adding points in Botswana, Kenya or Tanzania will make your travel arrangements awkward and you'll spend a lot of time in transit that you'd wish you'd spent looking at wildlife.

Our favorite tour operator is &Beyond Safaris (ask for Ian Michler) Dry season means less foliage to hide the animals and they tend to congregate near water holes, making them easier to find.

Re: Planning trip to Africa [Re: Carol_Hill] #12460
02/28/2011 02:15 PM
02/28/2011 02:15 PM
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 304
Wyoming
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juicyfruit Offline
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juicyfruit  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 304
Wyoming
Have a friend that won a hunt in Pretoria that he has to take before Jan. 2012. We were discussing plane fares and how mine to the BVI have doubled since I booked them in Oct.(for May.) Any thoughts or experiences with the best time to buy tickets for Africa? Thanks!

Re: Planning trip to Africa [Re: juicyfruit] #12461
02/28/2011 02:29 PM
02/28/2011 02:29 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 11,423
Eric_Hill Offline

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Eric_Hill  Offline

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If they have to go before January they had better start looking now. From the midwest you are looking at Chicago, NYC, Atlanta, Washington as your jumping off points to get to Johannesburg.


Eric Hill
TTOL Shop
Re: Planning trip to Africa [Re: Eric_Hill] #12462
03/01/2011 05:47 PM
03/01/2011 05:47 PM
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 304
Wyoming
J
juicyfruit Offline
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juicyfruit  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 304
Wyoming
Thanks Eric. He has a quote of $1378.00, flying from Salt Lake through DC and straight to Johannesburg(?). Is that a pretty good deal?

Re: Planning trip to Africa [Re: juicyfruit] #12463
03/02/2011 05:02 AM
03/02/2011 05:02 AM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 11,423
Eric_Hill Offline

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Eric_Hill  Offline

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Posts: 11,423
That probably is not that bad. It is a long flight! Probably the only way to do it cheaper might be to go via london or amsterdam.


Eric Hill
TTOL Shop
Re: Planning trip to Africa [Re: Eric_Hill] #12464
03/02/2011 03:45 PM
03/02/2011 03:45 PM
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 304
Wyoming
J
juicyfruit Offline
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juicyfruit  Offline
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Posts: 304
Wyoming
Thank you sir!

Re: Planning trip to Africa [Re: juicyfruit] #12465
04/10/2011 04:56 AM
04/10/2011 04:56 AM
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 1,726
Med/ Caribbean
sailbynight Offline
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sailbynight  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 1,726
Med/ Caribbean
Hey all, I am looking at a safari and beach visit next month. Probably Masai Mara and Lamu. I have an operator I am comfortable with, just looking for current info on the mood in Kenya right now. How is Nairobi? Does anyone know of unrest there? Thanks

Re: Planning trip to Africa [Re: sailbynight] #12466
04/11/2011 12:06 PM
04/11/2011 12:06 PM
Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 195
Dallas, TX
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Bdawg3511 Offline
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Posts: 195
Dallas, TX
We were there this past September and it seemed fine. We stayed one night in Nairobi. Apparently they have a new govt and things seemed quite stable. That being said, I still wouldn't walk around the city at night.

We also visited the Mara. Absolutely breathtaking.

Re: Planning trip to Africa [Re: Bdawg3511] #12467
04/12/2011 12:36 PM
04/12/2011 12:36 PM
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 1,726
Med/ Caribbean
sailbynight Offline
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Posts: 1,726
Med/ Caribbean
Thanks for that. We just looked at the weather, it is the heavy rainy season, and the Peponi on Lamu is closed. We are going to try later in the year. I did a budget safari last time I was in Kenya, and it was still amazing.

I was in Nairobi in 1995, and it was rough then. Being a bit younger, I didn't think twice about walking from my hotel to the Hyatt for cocktails at night.

I do recall reading a story about someone attacking a tourist and being beaten severely when the lady called out for help. That made me feel better back then.

Re: Planning trip to Africa [Re: Carol_Hill] #12468
04/18/2011 03:03 AM
04/18/2011 03:03 AM
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 1
dennyma Offline
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Don't planing, just go there next month if u can. I had been to most famous places in last three years time, which was my plan, and it had come true yesterday.

Re: Planning trip to Africa [Re: Carol_Hill] #12469
06/14/2011 11:53 AM
06/14/2011 11:53 AM
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 186
SF Bay Area
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OneEyedJack Offline
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OneEyedJack  Offline
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Joined: May 2008
Posts: 186
SF Bay Area
We went from Mid-May to the first part of June 2 years ago. The weather was perfect! Cool in morning and evening and shirt sleeves by about 10AM. No rain. We went on the Ultimate Africa tour by OAT (Overseas Adventure Travel). We had an excellent experience and would use them again. We also did our own side trip to Cape Town for a few days - it's worth it since your're in the neighborhood. The trip was the best thing we have ever done. The guides are phenominal in their knowledge and the food was good.

Re: Planning trip to Africa [Re: OneEyedJack] #12470
06/28/2011 11:55 AM
06/28/2011 11:55 AM

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Lots of great suggestions here. I'd recommend you look on tripadvisor forums as the African ones are hopping. We recently returned from a repeat trip to Kenya and Tanzania, and I found the TA forums most helpful. We also booked through &beyond for our TZ safari; I can't speak highly enough of their service.

Re: Planning trip to Africa #12471
07/16/2011 07:16 AM
07/16/2011 07:16 AM
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 1,340
South East US, Carolinas coast
sailn Offline
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sailn  Offline
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we went in early May twice

Re: Planning trip to Africa [Re: Carol_Hill] #12472
12/28/2011 03:22 AM
12/28/2011 03:22 AM
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Posts: 2
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flyboy Offline
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flyboy  Offline
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Any Sailing trips going from South Africa to the Caribbean need a hand?

Re: Planning trip to Africa [Re: flyboy] #12473
05/28/2012 10:11 AM
05/28/2012 10:11 AM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 376
Perth Ontario Canada
BarMer Offline
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BarMer  Offline
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Perth Ontario Canada
I am finally heading to Africa on July 15th with the best guides possible....my son who has produced and directed TV shows seen all over the world and filmed in africa.
The shows are 'Ultimate Africa' and 'Ol Pejeta Diaries. This time the trip is to film the Great Migration in Tanzania and to Ol Pejeta game reserve in Kenya.
The safari guide is my son's on camera specialist. He is a guide I have got to know through my son and his name is Jean Duplessis. Jean is the founder of 'WAYO Africa' which you can investigate by googling.

Re: Planning trip to Africa [Re: BarMer] #12474
06/10/2012 05:11 PM
06/10/2012 05:11 PM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 12,439
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
islandgem Offline
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islandgem  Offline
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That sounds wonderful Barry. You will have to write a trip report for us upon your return. You can't get a better tour guide than that for sure. Enjoy this special trip!

Re: Planning trip to Africa [Re: CanadianSailor] #12475
06/19/2012 07:11 AM
06/19/2012 07:11 AM
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 11,691
Peaceful Eastern North Carolin...
GaKaye Offline
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We're all over the place in trying to plan a 25th anniversary vacation, and are now looking at a safari. I see lots of references to the rainy season in this thread, but I don't see any specifics. Our anniversary is February 27, so we were thinking of going around then. Good or bad idea, weather-wise?


[Linked Image]


[Linked Image]
Re: Planning trip to Africa [Re: GaKaye] #12476
06/20/2012 04:18 PM
06/20/2012 04:18 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 11,423
Eric_Hill Offline

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Eric_Hill  Offline

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Will have to look up our stuff, but yes there is a difference. If that is the time of year then that is the way it is. I think/know we were after the rainy season. There are pluses and minuses for the time of year. Even what you take makes a difference.

But everyhing is like nothing that you have experienced before!! <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Yikes.gif" alt="" /> You will not believe it, that is a sure thing.

There are a lot of logistics and everything else, but it is worth all of the time and effort.

Will dig out some of our old information, etc. Just ask.

Which country/countries are you interested in maybe that is the first start or does it make a differnce at all? Also photo safari I presume -- and then what is the budget, as that also makes a difference. Everyhing is for the most part all inclusive, if it is not then I am not sure how good it really is. Going to the zoo and seeing it live are two completely different things. I will say all inclusive is because you are in the middle of nowhere -- so thterfore all inclusive, if it is a tour for the day that is not the same thing. Having a water buffalo sleeping and snoring under your bed at night (ok under the unit not the bed) is not the same as the holiday inn!! <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/jester.gif" alt="" /> But it is something else and something that you will remember for ever.


Eric Hill
TTOL Shop
Re: Planning trip to Africa [Re: islandgem] #12477
06/21/2012 12:46 PM
06/21/2012 12:46 PM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 376
Perth Ontario Canada
BarMer Offline
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BarMer  Offline
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Posts: 376
Perth Ontario Canada
Quote
islandgem said:
That sounds wonderful Barry. You will have to write a trip report for us upon your return. You can't get a better tour guide than that for sure. Enjoy this special trip!


Thanks Elizabeth...I'm really looking forward to it.


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