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Couple of real concerns- have stopped me from booking !

WA
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122 posts
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Couple of real concerns- have stopped me from booking !

Hello,

I have been all set to sign up for a safari for awhile now, there are just a couple of things that have been nagging at me after researching and was wondering if I could get some advice/guidance. I am going to be completely honest so I'm sorry if I offend anyone.

1. Animals killing each other- I love animals and have a lot of compassion for them. I have read that many people are able to witness "animal kills" which I think would be devastating- I can't even watch them on National Geographic. I also would get really sad if I saw old animals left to die or other things of that nature. Can someone please tell me how often one encounters "sad" things on a safari? I can't tolerate to see creatures in pain or suffering.

2. Rampant AIDs- I am fully aware of how the disease is contracted and I have no fear of that. However, I remember reading that at certain camps, like Richards branson's Ulusaba he has lost many employees to AIDS and the surrounding villages have high cases of the virus. Does this concern anyone at all for any reason- even just that it would be hard to meet these people and know deep down that many of them are afflicted with such a horrible disease?

3. Safety in Johannesburg- I have to stay here for a night before I fly out. You always hear so much about how dangerous it is etc. is this a concern for anyone? You never hear any of these issues mentioned on the forum, so I just wnat to make sure that this is the right thing for me to do- because I do really want to go. I just want to make sure that I have thought of everything.

Thanks so much for taking the time to read this.

Finland
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1. Re: Couple of real concerns- have stopped me from booking !

Firstly I must say, that you seem to worry way too much.

1. I don't have that many experiences on safaris in Africa and none in Kruger NP, so I can't actually give you information on how often one can witness a killing. However, I'd like to say something about nature. You'd feel sorry for a dik dik that is killed by a leopard, but I think you wouldn't want to see the leopard starving either. Not all animals can be vegetarians. In contrast to human civilization, nature doesn't waste anything. If an animal or a plant dies, it always means life for other organisms. This enables all the beautiful diversity in nature. Of course it can be sad to see animals dying, but it's good to remember the whole picture.

Sorry if you've already thought all this through, but I can't really understand why you want to go on a safari. Perhaps a zoo would be better, if you just want to see cute animals, that aren't able to live a natural life.

2.Do you want to do something in your part to improve the HIV issue, or just avoid awkward situations? I think it's good you asked about this, because it must be something people think quite often when travelling to Africa. There aren't any easy answers, though.

I've visited an orphanage in Tanzania, because of a project that I participated in when I was in high school. No need to tell, that many of the kids were HIV positive. You can't tell from the looks, who has it and who doesn't have, and there shouldn't be any reason for trying to guess. I'm quite sure, that no-one wants to be comprised in terms of having HIV / AIDS or any other awful illness. If for some reason, the issue would come up in a conversation, I don't think there's any way to be prepared for it. People are after all very different, even if they were affected by the same illness. Being openly horrified is one thing I would avoid.

I hope my writing isn't too hard to understand and that I didn't say anything that would sound mean.

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2. Re: Couple of real concerns- have stopped me from booking !

I'm not offended but come on now, thats ridiculous why on earth are you bothering?

Live in one of those biospheres thats a thought!

Nothing bad happens in fiji?

:(

Port Elizabeth
Destination Expert
for South Africa
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3. Re: Couple of real concerns- have stopped me from booking !

1. I think it best for you to go to DisneyWorld safari world instead.

Stanley, Falkland...
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4. Re: Couple of real concerns- have stopped me from booking !

1. animals killing each other. Seeing kills as they happen, is,in my limited experience, rare. Seeing the remains of a kill is fairly normal.

Think of it this way - old animals have had a long and happy life; have had a quick and humane death; and are prolonging the lives of some young predators, probably lions. There is virtually no suffering. I think you may be confused with Nat Geo. 'documentaries' showing baby elephants trailing after the herd for months.

Much better than being a hamburger.

2. Why is it hard to meet these people? If you are talking 'sad' about the odd wildebeest being a lion's meal, how much more sad is that millions are afflicted by this disease. That's what I call 'sad'.

But by going there and meeting these people, and contributing to the economy, you are doing something positive and concrete to help them.

Go, contribute, learn and meet people. and then make up your mind. Not beforehand.

3. To say that safety in South Africa, especially Jo'burg is never mentioned is totally wrong. There's hardly a day goes by without someone mentioning it.

I've been there 4 or 5 times. Of course I am wary. I don't want to be a victim, so I listen to advice, and take precautions. But they are not significantly different from anywher else - know where you are going; know how you are getting there; use reliable transport; don't wander around in dodgy areas....

You will be fine - you just need to realise that nature involves recycling old/unfit animals so that others can survive; and that people with diseases need help and understanding, not horror and rejection.

WA
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5. Re: Couple of real concerns- have stopped me from booking !

I really appreciate your responses, I knew I was going get some of a certain "tone" but that is unavoidable(:

I do want to go, see, experience, help, enjoy etc.

Not all people are like the people that frequent this board and travel to S.A. Many people I have experience my desire to go to have mentioned all of these things that I addressed in my initial post. I just wanted to see if you any you had these initial reservations when travelling.

Having said that I very much want to experience Africa and not Disney World or I wouldn't have taken the time to write this, do the planning, or frequent the board every day.

I just want to do my due diligence and that includes asking you fine seasoned travellers about these issues in the very back of my head that I keep hearing echoed by numerous people.

But I am not going to worry about what they say and listen to your fine responses. I am very excited to go and I can't wait.

Toronto, Canada
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6. Re: Couple of real concerns- have stopped me from booking !

I have been on many safari's and also been at the Disney Safari that someone mentioned, which is not a bad idea for your situation. The disney safari is well done and gives you a bit of a safari experience. There are many other driving safari parks in North America which are good for what you are looking for.

It is impossible to go to Africa and be assured that you will not see old, lame,ill, dying or dead animals. You don't see alot of it, but it is likely that you will see some of it in a few day safari...it happens....its nature. It is the wild. If you can not even stand seeing it on TV, I would strongly recommend you do not go. African safari's are not for everyone.

Tempe, Arizona
Destination Expert
for South Africa, Sabi Sand Game Reserve
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7. Re: Couple of real concerns- have stopped me from booking !

Your real question about the wildlife was how often you might encounter dead or dying animals - or even a scene where predators are still on site, eating their prey. Honestly one or the other of these might happen on any game drive. And, also honestly, the Rangers who conduct the game drives seek these out. "Kills" are the most dramatic element of game drives and always will be.

It would be unfair to others in the vehicle on the game drives if your feelings about not wanting to see such happenings became a "thing" that they had to deal with. I hope you understand my point. Most travelers hope to see a kill - even knowing how harsh and tough it might be to see it - right there in front of them. The drives cannot be tailored or altered to suit your sensitivities.

AIDS? It's a horrible fact of life, but I cannot imagine any experience you would have that would threaten you. It's unlikely that you could even distinguish someone working at a camp who might be HIV-positive.

Safety in Johannesburg is not an issue, either. You will (I presume) be provided with a hotel and the transfers to and from the hotel by your agent. This is normal in every way, just as it would be wherever you live.

California
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8. Re: Couple of real concerns- have stopped me from booking !

Hi, I shared some of your concerns about what I might feel in regards to seeing animals in nature. I have to say that the key word here is nature. Coming upon a cheetah eating a freshly killed impala was one of the most perfectly natural things I have ever experienced. There was no feeling of devastation or upset, but more a feeling of serenity. Can't explain it and I can't say you'll feel the same. I hope you give yourself the benefit of the doubt and sign up for the experience.

Stanley, Falkland...
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9. Re: Couple of real concerns- have stopped me from booking !

Hi,

You mention 'due diligence'..

Have you checked out the video (amateur - soon to be major motion picture) of "The battle in kruger" between lions and a buffalo herd (and without spoiling it, a crocodile)?

Check youtube or whatever. Put yourself in the position of those visitors. Do you ask the guide to drive off because the calf is looking like todays lunch, or do you sit and watch?

Your choice, but don't be surprised if others get upset if you say, "Let's go back for brunch!".

Redmond, Washington
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10. Re: Couple of real concerns- have stopped me from booking !

1- Was in SA last year,didn't see a kill.Saw dead animals.Of course not unheard of in my own country (US) as I have a cat that goes outdoors and drive on roads

Going again in a month to Kruger,hope to see one.Dying is a part of life in the wild and believe me as a critical care RN a quick death in Kruger is preferable to what IO see every day

2- Are you going to have sex with someone there? if you are make sure they use a condom

3- You have to stay for a night in Jo-burg- stay at an airport hotel and order in

I hope my "tone" didn't offend you

Really,you would be better off in Disneyworld