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African Safari POSIBBLE Trip - NEED help + Info

Windsor, Canada
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African Safari POSIBBLE Trip - NEED help + Info

Heya!!!

Basically vacation picks for next year are starting soon! I’m VERY interested in doing an African Safari trip! I honestly have NO idea what I’m getting myself into! I have a few questions first

1- I hear Tanzania is the place to be at for the best experience – is that true? What are your recommendations?

2- What is the best time of year to go… looking for no rain, not super terribly hot, maybe avoid high season since it might be crowded + prices are $$$. Weather vs Crowd? Advice anyone?

3- How many days do you think is enough for the trip

4- Any good sites/sources/agency that I can trust or look into before knowing what I’m getting myself into

5- How expensive would you say this is… approximately what am I looking at in terms of pricing

6- I HATE asking this in the fear I sound prejudice. Is it safe?

7- Any other information that might help me get started?

People: me (female 29), mother (56), brother (25). We love adventure, thrills, culture, animals etc.

Thanks!!!!

nyc
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1. Re: African Safari POSIBBLE Trip - NEED help + Info

Pick up a copy of Brandt Guide on Tanzania.

Or Fodor's "Complete Safari Planning Guide."

You'll find many answers to your questions, then return here with specifics as generally 'anytime is a good time for safari.' Based on time of year, prices are seasonal and whatever your budget might be to provide the safari you wish.

There is no one answer for all visitors.

Bristol
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2. Re: African Safari POSIBBLE Trip - NEED help + Info

I really think your questions are far too vague for anyone to really be able to give you any sensible answers. People write whole books in order to cover the questions you are asking. Sorry to be blunt bi put you really need to do some research yourself.

I will answer one question of yours about "where to get started?. I would suggest you buy a good guide book (Fodors to a good one entitled something like "How to plan a Safari", read this and perhaps also keep an eye on the the posts people put on this forum and then come back with some more specific questions about the sort of trip you plan to do .....IF you decide this is a trip you want to.

Bristol
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3. Re: African Safari POSIBBLE Trip - NEED help + Info

Ah Sandi you beat me to it!!

Stanley, Falkland...
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4. Re: African Safari POSIBBLE Trip - NEED help + Info

Also read the TOP Question about Tanzania, on the right. Yes - just over to the edge of the screen. "Some tips to help you plan a safari"....

Findlay, Ohio
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for Tanzania, Ngorongoro Conservation Area
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5. Re: African Safari POSIBBLE Trip - NEED help + Info

You need to look on the right side of this web page and look over the Top Questions about Tz as mentioned above. This will give you a good idea of what needs to be done. Look at Question 1 and 4, Q #1 will tell you how to get started planning for this and q #4 will provide some safari operators you might like to contact giving them what you wish to do, when you wish to go, what parks you want to visit, and the kind of accommodations you wish to stay at and the number of people involved. They will provide you with a quote of the cost and it will be an all inclusive quote.

Los Angeles
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6. Re: African Safari POSIBBLE Trip - NEED help + Info

I can help with a few of your questions.

Yes, Tanzania is the best place to go on safari. I say this as someone who has only been to South Africa and Tanzania, but the Serengeti is truly magical, the Ngorongoro Crater is unlike anywhere else on earth, Tarangire has an abundance of animals -- particularly elephants -- and is absolutely beautiful, and Lake Manyara offers a wonderful view of the escarpment of the Great Rift Valley, as well as a groundwater forest environment full of baboons, vervet monkeys and blue monkeys. And the great migration is a spectacle which makes "unbelievable" an understatement. The minute I leave Tanzania I'm scheming to come back -- which I'll be doing in February.

If you want to do justice to the northern circuit, I really think you need at least 10 days -- 2 weeks, if possible. For one thing, the Serengeti is huge -- I mean, really, really huge -- and you'll want to sample at least two areas when you're there. Where you go within the Serengeti should depend upon the time of year you choose, and where the migration herds will most likely be at the time. During the December - February time period, they will most often be found in the southern Serengeti plains and at Ndutu in the Ngorongoro Conservation area. From there, the begin to move towards the central (Seronera) area, and then to the west. By June, they're usually somewhere around the Grumeti River, and proceed east towards the north of the Serengeti, where for roughly two months many of the herds cross the Mara River into Kenya. Around October, they begin to wander back into Tanzania and circle round to the south again. It's a continuous loop, and you can't be absolutely certain exactly where the herds will be at any one day, as they can stay in an area for days or even weeks and then be gone overnight. For that reason, it's good to book at least two locations within the Serengeti which are proximate, and where the herds might be at either place at the time you select.

February is high season at Ndutu, as the migration almost always arrives there to give birth. It's something you'll pay more to see -- the new calves walking within minutes of birth and running within the hour. Predators drawn to the opportunity. More animals in a concentrated area than you can even envision.

You don't want rain, and don't want high season. Unfortunately, for the most part, the rainy season is low season, and everything else is pretty much high season. You can save money by planning your trip at the very beginning or very end of the wet season, when incidents of rain tend to be fewer. But safaris aren't really spoiled by rains, even in the middle of the season. You won't get rain every day, and rain showers tend to last only a brief time. Rain overnight is not uncommon, but, obviously, less inconvenient. The real problem can arise with washed out roads or vehicles getting stuck in mud. For this reason, the beginning of the wet season might be best -- rain hasn't yet had a chance to make a mess.

Pricing will be, to a great extent, determined by the camps and lodges you select -- from basic camping to "moderately-priced" lodges and tented camps (very comfortable, by the way), all the way up to ultra-lux camps with butlers and hot tubs. Your best bet would be to contact five or six of the reliable and well-reviewed outfitters provided under bullet point #4 at the top right side of this page and outline your needs: e.g. how many days, rough dates, budget, etc. But before you do this, you should read, as others have suggested, at least the first bullet point, a few trip reviews on this forum and a handful of posts which ask questions you find interesting, with the answers given. When you have a better idea of what you're looking for, and what your budget and number of days will be. Remember that safaris (as well as the accommodations) get quoted on a per person per day basis. And prices can vary thousands of dollars for the same number of days depending upon the outfitter and your choice of lodging.

Yes, it's safe. In cities, of course, you don't go walking around on your own at night -- actually, you don't do that in a tented camp, either -- but for very different reasons. And don't flaunt expensive cameras, jewelery or money. But violent crime against tourists isn't common here, and you'll certainly be as safe as in any major city in the world. The people of Tanzania are warm and welcoming, and they know how much their country depends on tourists for income.

One of the outfitters with high recommendations here, and very good prices, is Basecamp (noted in bullet point four above). I've never used them, but they seem ideal for people attempting to do a great safari at a very fair price. I use Access2Tanzania (for several reason), who tend to be priced a bit higher, but who provide absolutely wonderful service. Swala is also well-recommended, both on price and quality. Do a bit of research, come back with any further questions you need answered, get a general idea of the itinerary you want and then contact some outfitters for a quote. You can then return here for advice regarding comparing the quotes you'll receive, which can help in making your final selection.

As the vast majority of safaris in Tanzania are private safaris, the planning process can seem daunting. But (and I speak from experience here), the planning can be part of the fun, building excitement and anticipation. Once it's planned, of course, you face the interminable months of waiting. . . . waiting . . . . waiting . . . until that moment you find yourself at last in Africa!

Happy planning, and don't be shy about asking questions. That's what we're here for. You can even private message folks if there's something you want to ask privately.

The adventure begins . . .

7. Re: African Safari POSIBBLE Trip - NEED help + Info

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Removed on: 07 January 2014, 12:17
Edited: 07 January 2014, 12:17
Toronto, Canada
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8. Re: African Safari POSIBBLE Trip - NEED help + Info

Sent you a pm. There is a chance you could join my group for August 2014 for a 10 day safari if interested.

9. Re: African Safari POSIBBLE Trip - NEED help + Info

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Removed on: 12 March 2014, 18:35
Findlay, Ohio
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10. Re: African Safari POSIBBLE Trip - NEED help + Info

Loisujaki... You cannot do self promotion on this forum, it is against the forum rules. Please read them.