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private safari vs small group safari

Sydney
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private safari vs small group safari

i am considering doing a private safari through East Africa but have heard that they are unsafe. Has anyone been on one? and how was it?

Isle of Man, United...
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1. Re: private safari vs small group safari

What on earth do you mean by "Unsafe"?

Repair state of vehicle? Ability of Driver? Or liability to be trampled by Elephant?

I went on a Group trip in 1993 and, foolishly, again in 2011(the memory had faded) No way will I go on a group trip again. I have asked my wife to kill me if I suggest it.

All my other trips are "private" meaning we have had full and exclusive use of the Driver and Vehicle for the duration. Our itinerary is ours and is as flexible as we want it to be. No moaning minnies wanting to go back to the Pool, or for lunch or just a Pee!. We stop and go to suit ourselves. If we want to stop and stare at a Tortoise or Hare we will. NO moans from others "Not another bloody bird!"

If you are still awake you will gather that my answer is, "If you can afford to go private, then do it." You can always socialise and compare notes with others in the evening but to have em in the car all day gives me the shudders.

Boston...
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2. Re: private safari vs small group safari

Agreed. ^^^^^^

It won't be cheap, but if you can do it, it's worth it

Dublin, Ireland
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3. Re: private safari vs small group safari

You, cannot guarantee your compatibility with other travellers and their partners so you have no control. A mistake only made once we had a holiday ruined by a personality clash so large group yes but being confided with a small group where it is not tolerable and no place to run -never again.

On your own you and tour Driver/Guide will create the best for you and yours and it will be worth every penny.

Some Private safari operators are however restricted to only carrying guests by road within their own country thus preventing you taking your vehicle and driver into another country.

The well "Trip Advised" Julius at julius-safaris.com {!,000 plus reviews}

email: jtsafaris@yahoo.com gives a great service at a more realistic price for a higher spec tour that many "Name" operators with Margins, Timings and Schedules .

We were doubters but after a totally unforgetable Safari for all and only the right reasons we say if the pockets allow try getting a tailor made Kenyan Safari from Julius and even sharing he has many two and three person groups that he matchs when funds are tight. so only a maximum of six in the vehicle. If the Budget allows the Personal Land Cruiser or Jeep is the natural ideal. A Drive yourself option is completly false economy as you miss the Animals - trained eyes are need for everything except the Zebra Crossings and the Mid road Elephants

Washington DC...
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4. Re: private safari vs small group safari

I would say safaris can be sorted into three main categories: (1) group, either large or small (I'd rather be dipped in honey and placed near a fire-ant mound while being water-boarded than do a group tour), (2) independent customized, where you design the camps/lodges/venues you will visit, either by ground or air transfer, and (3) private.

With a group tour, if you get a bad mix for you, you're stuck. Of course, if you're an extreme extrovert, maybe a group works for you. With the second option, you run the risk of being placed in a car with people who have different priorities than you. But if that happens you can always ask the camp manager to change your car, and, in any case, it's only temporary because after your stay you move on to another camp and meet new people. (Regarding (2), it is also possible on the bright side, depending on the time of year you go and on how busy the camp is, that you could be placed in a car by yourself or with only 1 or 2 others.) As others have said, option (3) is do as you please, clearly the best option.

Edited: 28 July 2012, 15:27
Isle of Man, United...
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5. Re: private safari vs small group safari

Re Steve's #2. I have on occasion been put in a Camp car with people whose company I have actually enjoyed.

It is not always bad news!

Edited: 28 July 2012, 16:32
Washington DC...
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6. Re: private safari vs small group safari

M, you are so right:

My wife and I went on a 2005 Botswana safari and our first stop was Sandibe camp in the Okavango Delta. We were a tad late arriving in

the pm, so the camp transferred us from the plane directly to the car that

had already begun the pm drive. Alone in that car was an elderly British

couple (I think they were named George and Margaret), with whom we shared the car for our stay at Sandibe. They were so staid, but so quietly, but bitingly, funny, that we got on famously with them, with hugs and kisses

when parting, and knowing them was one of the highlights of the trip.

In 2008 when I was at Grumeti (Serengeti) 2 British couples, who

previously had not met, decided to have dinner together and, I suppose out

of sympathy because I was alone, asked me to join them. They discussed

their travels until then and it seemed they had crossed paths, each couple

on their own, with a wonderful elderly couple they described as 'pips.'

After listening to the couples talk, I asked, "Was the husband tall and

were they named George and Margaret?" They said yes and I figured for

sure it had to be our Sandibe friends.

In 2010 some friends of mine went to Londolozi in SA and when I looked at their photos something caught my eye! They'd had someone take a picture of them at dinner and sitting at the table behind them were George and Margaret. I mean, what were the chances they'd be in the background of

that photo!!?? I was especially happy to see them still bouncing

around Africa, clearly having the best times (they told us their bags are

always packed and ready to go).

Amazing coincidence, but I'm thinking it's all part of the magic of Africa.

Edited: 28 July 2012, 16:57
nyc
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7. Re: private safari vs small group safari

Safe - no difference if 'private' versus 'group'... it's safe.

But as others, private is so much better as you aren't committed to set departure/return dates, routing, accommodations and being with a group of strangers that might not have the same interests as you.

Going private, you can decide when you wish to travel, where to visit, for how many days, and select the lodges/camps you wish and whether you drive only, fly only or combo drive/fly.

Prices might be a tad more expensive, but often not, so it's up to you and time to put in some research. Good luck!

Nairobi, Kenya
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8. Re: private safari vs small group safari

Ads every day there are thousands of people on safari in east Africa. Some are driving around, others being driven, some are flying, etc. What do you mean by "unsafe"?

Hertfordshire
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9. Re: private safari vs small group safari

Hi

we are travelling on safari for 3 nights / 4 days in September. Through many recommendations I contacted JT safaris Julius Nzumbi (as previosuly mentioned) and together we have created our own package, staying at lodges of our choice, doing the reserves of our choice in our own vehicle and have to say thrilled with the price and the knowing we can go and do as we wish with the guidance of our guide. Julius has kept regular contact and am now counting down....5 weeks to go YAY....

Sydney
13 posts
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10. Re: private safari vs small group safari

Thanks everyone. Just as I thought, a private safari would be better. Ive been trying to convince my fiancé of this but she is worried about being out in the wilderness with just a driver.