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Solo Safari - is that possible?

Windsor, Canada
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757 posts
27 reviews
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Solo Safari - is that possible?

Heya,

I'm a 29 year old female... and I REALLY want to go on an African Safari this January - ordered books (still waiting for them to come in), read threads here, recommendations, contacted a few agencies, checked out the vaccines...

But I have a problem - no one wants/can come to me... friends are all married with little kids, brothers have scheduling conflicts, dad = NO way and my mother is trying to convince me that I will hate it (aka convincing herself). Last thing I want is to find a guy or wait for one/make new friends before I do my safari.

So... I'm all alone now - I was wondering - is it possible/advisable or even safe for a sole female to go on a safari? I don't even think that's possible (the agencies I contacted, my initial count was 3-4... haven't even bothered e-mailing them back at this point).

Anyone know if there are any possible solo groups that I can join or an agency that teams singles (NOT looking to hook up - just to have fun) together?

Open to any suggestions.

Thanks

Easy Travel & Tours Ltd
Safaris, Nature & Wildlife Tours, Cultural Tours
Gosheni Safaris Africa
Safaris, Nature & Wildlife Tours
African Scenic Safaris
Hiking & Camping Tours, Safaris, Nature & Wildlife Tours, Climbing Tours
Toronto, Canada
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1,134 posts
9 reviews
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1. Re: Solo Safari - is that possible?

Have you tried checking or posting on the Lonely Planet Thorn Tree Forum? I've frequently seen posts for people looking for others to join. Might be worth a shot. Personally if I could afford it, I would have no problem going solo. It's totally safe. You would be with a guide the total time. I guess it depends on how badly you want to go.

I guess if you did a camping safari it might not be worth it to the tour operator to have a guide and cook for one person. If you are in some of the tented camps, it may be worthwhile. I would send out more enquiries.

2. Re: Solo Safari - is that possible?

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Removed on: 22 August 2013, 15:41
Ottawa, Canada
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11,501 posts
152 reviews
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3. Re: Solo Safari - is that possible?

Yes, it seems that solo women travelers have commented on several occasions that TOs don't take their requests seriously and they get ignored.

It is also not so easy to find groups, but actually, there have been several posts here this week asking for extra bodies to reduce the costs, so if your dates are flexible, you may be in luck. Look through the past 10 pages and see what you can find.

Thorntree is a good option, but you have to be very careful about what 'opportunities' get offered to you. If you get a response from a Tanz company, be very wary. They actually shut down the site last winter because there were so many problems with unscrupulous TOs contacting folks and scamming them.

And ignore the fella from Zanzibar who is self promoting on this site and will be shortly removed.

Edited: 21 August 2013, 19:05
Chicago
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4. Re: Solo Safari - is that possible?

But... keep trying to contact companies. I am not a female, but I had a solo safari in June and loved it. The guide was married with children and would be perfectly safe. The company was Shidolya and the guide was Crispin. It sometimes gets lonely at meal time as everyone else had company, but during the day to be flexible and have plenty of elbow room was great. Feel free to contact me with questions.

nyc
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15,035 posts
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5. Re: Solo Safari - is that possible?

Plenty of solo male and female travelers do safari on their own, but do know you get hit with that darn single supplement.

In fact, Quiltingmama, stokeygirl, Michigan Laurena and even myself have done so. It's perfectly safe and most will tell you on their return, 'it was like I had adopted a big brother' by the time safari was over.

Sad to say though, if for this January which is peak season in Tanzania, is also at the highest prices and many of the lodges/camps are already booked. If our time is flexible and to save some $$$, consider Apr/May which though the 'long' rains (it doesn't rain daily, all day or even if), rates are at low-season, less overall visitors and vehicles. But the new baby wildies are still with their moms in the Ndutu and/or Central Serengeti; by June thru Oct, rates go back to peak-season, but come down somewhat in Nov, the 'short' rains (again no guarantee of wet... and even if, doesn't inhibit safari). By mid-Dec, rates go up again to peak season.

Maybe the lack of replies has nothing to do with fact you're a solo traveler, but what your budget might be? It might just be too low... so have to ask 'what to you hope to spend? estimated budget?

whether during peak of low seasons? All have an impact. You almost have to expect your cost as a single to be 1.5% higher than if sharing with another for the accommodations and you're paying for the vehicle/guide yourself and not sharing with another.

Whom have you contacted so far?

Would you be willing to go on a 'group' safari? Trying to put together an itinerary for solo travelers once in Tanzania is doable, but you might have to wait a few days to get this accomplished and sure you don't want to waste vacation days like this. And likely, not the routing (places you wish to visit), but where the group is going, often trying to cover long distances in too short a timeframe.

Otherwise, there are 'group' departures out of the States (sorry I just don't have names) that have descent routings, good lodging/camps and what I consider reasonable rates (and some don't assess a single supplement if willing to share with another). You might have to search a bit more to come up with what will best meet your desire.

Keep us posted and don't give up.

ld
Manchester, United...
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1,730 posts
20 reviews
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6. Re: Solo Safari - is that possible?

Mostly people advise going on private safaris with your own driver/guide, this can be expensive for solo travellers so it would be worth asking TOs for fly-in options, looking for camps where communal dining is the norm and you use camp guides so you will likely be sharing a vehicle. Now I know its not for everyone but there are lots of destinations outside of Tanzania where this kind of safari is the norm, such as the private concessions in Botswana. Flying can add to the cost, but its worth asking how much on the off chance it turns out similar to paying for a private guide and vehicle. Its quite likely as a first-timer you wouldn't notice the plus points of a private vehicle and although its pot luck who you share drives with in camp as a solo traveller you could always have a quiet word with the camp manager if you get paired with dodgy vehicle buddies. I really like it when its communal dining as it nice to exchange news of the days sightings and there always seems to be someone around with tall story to tell after a G&T. I haven't been on safari as a solo traveller, but I've met my share in camps over the years and they always seem to be having a great time. I recall the Scottish fella nearing retirement, the American guy who worked on Capitol Hill, the middle aged lady from Italy who was a lecturer back home and the girl in her 20s from the UK who's friend bailed on her at the last minute. My lasting impression of most safari goers is we are a welcoming bunch be us young honeymooners, octogenarians, middle aged mammal junkies or obsessive birders. We are all joined by a love of nature, Africa and each countries people.

Ottawa, Canada
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7. Re: Solo Safari - is that possible?

To back up 4Sandi's comment, coworkers have used GAdventures for a Tanzania/Kenya camping trip and raved about it. There is a choice of either share or with a single supplement. OAT carries no single supplement, but definitely for your parents or grandparents age group. Do give GAdventures a check out. Though I usually recommend using a local company, perhaps as a start, do a tour. You may have to compromise itinerary and time on game drives for budget, but you can then plan how to do a private safari a little later in life.

My first trip was with OAT, second was a month volunteering and then a solo safari - in May at lower season.

Toronto, Canada
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1,134 posts
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8. Re: Solo Safari - is that possible?

My first trip was an overland tour of Kenya and Tanzania for 13 days with Gadventures. It was definitely a fantastic trip. The only downside I felt at the time was the use of the big overland trucks in the parks. For a single person with a somewhat limited budget, these can be great trips. A lot does depend on the group you get as well as the guide. In our case although the trip usually has approx. 20 people on the truck, we lucked out with only 8.

melbourne
Destination Expert
for Tanzania
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7,405 posts
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9. Re: Solo Safari - is that possible?

You have pretty good advcie above I can't add much.

After reading the review of many other Solo travellers I would not hesitate to go on one.

Now your specific questions....

1. is it possible/advisable...yes very much so and you will have great fun.

2.or even safe for a sole female to go on a safari? It is safe for a sole female to go on safari go with a reputable operator. Should I say very safe.

I would also consider group safaris but a private trip will also be fantastic.

I would persevere with operators give them a few days to reply after your first email kepp trying don't give up easily ..you will find what suits you.

10. Re: Solo Safari - is that possible?

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TripAdvisor staff removed this post because it did not meet TripAdvisor's forum posting guidelines with prohibiting self-promotional advertising or solicitation.

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We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 22 August 2013, 15:41