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Choosing a Safari

Hamilton, Canada
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Choosing a Safari

We have decided to go on safari for our honeymoon. We have two options on our plate and cannot decide. We will be travelling in mid-to-late August. We our deciding between the Elewana Sky Safari (Tanzania) which takes us through the Serengeti and Ngorongoro or the Royal Concord (Kenya) which goes through the Massai Mara and includes accommodation at the Ark. Both are 8 days in length. Having never been to Africa we're not really sure for that time of year which option will provide us with the best opportunity.

Any advice would be fantastic.

Destination Expert
for Tanzania
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1. Re: Choosing a Safari

For mid to late August Northen Tanzania is the better location. What accomodation do you have for each of the trips, how many days at each location and then the cost. By providing more detail you will get better advice. Also who are you booking with.

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2. Re: Choosing a Safari

No one person can know every routing of each safari out there.

Suggest you post the details for each Tanzania and Kenya.

Day 1 - Arrive @, o/n - where

Day 2, 3, 4, etc etc. where - o/n which lodge/camp

... along with how transiting, by road or flights.

Are the prices for each the same, close or big differences?

Then we can comment. Elewana has very expensive accomm and it says 'flying' so that adds $$$.

Haven't the foggiest what the other routing in Kenya might be. That's why we need details.

Edited: 08 May 2013, 23:03
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3. Re: Choosing a Safari

Since you are a new poster... you are probably like most of us, pretty unfamiliar with how safaris work. Most of us in North America get our first "information" from brochures and descriptions produced by agencies that sell packages. Typically, they are referred to as middlemen. Many of these companies don't actually provide services in Africa - they subcontract to African providers.

The result is that many of us fall in love with the glossy color brochures and get an idea of how a glamorous safari might be. I'm guessing from the reference to a Sky Safari, this is a plan that flies you from camp to camp and you would do game drives from camp with guides in residence there. Sandi, who is very knowledgeable about these things, describes the Elewana properties as very expensive.

Some folks say "you get what you pay for." I think this is often not true - especially with safaris. It is possible to do a lovely honeymoon trip, complete with very nice accommodations... and see the same, or better, animals... doing a more traditional driving safari.

There's lots of good information to read on this forum, but in simple terms... most of us pick a good company and design a private safari. You have your own driver/guide and you stay in a number of locations, doing game drives and returning to the same camp, or moving on to a new location. You choose accommodations that range from very nice to luxurious.

At first blush, the idea of flying from place to place may sound exotic and it does save driving time.

On the other hand, you are at the mercy of flight schedules. And, most importantly, you lose out on one of the highlights for most people - developing a personal relationship with your guide. At the end of our trip it was very emotional saying goodbye to a friend who had started out as a stranger.

As for avoiding the drives - it was the drives to Tarangire and through Mosquito River and Karatu and the wild lands between Ngorongoro and Serengeti that gave us a taste of what life is like for the people of Tanzania. It is often remarked that people go to Tanzania for the animals and return for the people.

Please do not take this as a personal comment, but rather a generic response to some of the incredibly rich and insensitive visitors to Africa. The idea of flying into a country, then flying from exclusive camp to exclusive camp, being chaufferred to some animal sightings, fed Western food designed to keep me in a comfortable bubble, wasting water and resources in a pool and jacuzzi in the Serengeti, and being kept totally in isolation from real Tanzanian life... well, to me that kind of safari does not just sound unfullfilling - it reeks of imperialism and elitism and it repulses me.

Read through some of the Top Questions threads in the right column and come back - you'll find perhaps TA's finest group of friendly experts (and amateurs like myself) willing to help you plan an even better honeymoon that also is less expensive.

Ottawa, Canada
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4. Re: Choosing a Safari

In addition, for consideration, you can still get some mighty fine and romantic tented camps with room service and screened porches for a reasonable price, and save enough to take a winter cruise for the next several winters, instead of just dreaming about how warm it was in Africa.

But this is your honeymoon. You hsve worked hard to plan your dream wedding and want a honeymoon to mstch, I assume. Choose the still that fits yourbudget and inclinations.


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5. Re: Choosing a Safari

Charlie B and others planning a safari.

I haven't been on my East African Trip yet but I would like to offer some advice.

The planning is daunting but worthwhile in the end, be very wary of the private messages that are blatant solicitation. One regular poster was down right rude to me.

I received another the other day even after I had said I have finalised my trip, which was surprising.

I would recommend you use a local operator rather than a US based or overseas agent. We were quoted $11,936 for a 11 day safari from a US agent while a local operator quoted us $ 5720 for a 20 day Ugandan Tanzanian trip. Half the price for double the days.

The accomodation in both trips for the Tanzanian part were similiar.

Edited: 10 May 2013, 02:02
6. Re: Choosing a Safari

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