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Planning to go on safari in 2017... any advice?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Richdog, 12 Aug 2016.

  1. Richdog

    Caporegime

    Joined: 8 Sep 2005

    Posts: 26,619

    Location: Utopia

    So, in 2017 during July/August I am looking to go on a safari trip, see the wildlife and take some photos of some of my favourite animals while they are still not driven to extinction. While I have of course been doing my own research on Google etc, it would be good to benefit from the advice of anyone here who has been on one.

    I hear that Kenya and Tanzania are the two best places, and in terms of budget, while I don't want to pay the upper limit I am not looking to slum it either. I could put £5k into it for a great and comfortable experience.

    So, any ideas or suggestions please for places and tour operators etc? :)
     
    Last edited: 12 Aug 2016
  2. dpbadger

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 9 Jul 2009

    Posts: 1,727

    I have always gone out of Arusha, Tanzania, last one 5 years ago. I believe it is cheaper than the Kenya option. You can book a joint Serengeti and Ngorongoro crater safari. Then have a week relaxing and touring Zanzibar. Arusha can also be a start point to climb Kilimanjaro if you want.
    I camped the whole holiday apart from in Zanzibar, on safari they put dome tents up for you. You can go for luxury camping depending on budget, you won't be spending much time in camp though as you will be up before sunrise and back late driving around looking for animals.
     
  3. do_ron_ron

    Capodecina

    Joined: 23 Oct 2002

    Posts: 10,824

    I went to Kenya for a safari trip about four years ago staying in a hotel and a week in a safari lodge. It was brilliant. The place I went to had numerous trips to see the wild animals in their natural habitat. We even got close to a rhino. A dawn balloon trip was magic, soaring over the countryside as the sun came up and seeing the herds down below followed by a descent and breakfast in the bush.

    Some of the other holidays to better known safari reserves had bush trips but the jeeps never went into the bush but stayed on the roads through the bush so something to check before you book. Look at various review sites.

    I also had a week a week in/just out side Mombasa which was equally interesting. It cost me about £2K for the trip plus extra for tours, balloon trip and extra for the safari park experience. As far as I was concerned it was a once in a lifetime thing so it was well worth it.
     
  4. Zogger

    Mobster

    Joined: 1 Aug 2006

    Posts: 3,468

    Location: GU21

    I hear there's a company called Rekall that can help you out with that
     
  5. peterwalkley

    Mobster

    Joined: 23 Feb 2009

    Posts: 4,044

    Location: South Wirral

    Wife and I went on a couple of safari holidays to South Africa before the children - this is going back 12/13 years. We went with Kuoni as the interweb wasn't really good enough for bookings at the time.

    I would suggest:

    - A good DLSR with a shedload of storage - you will take LOTS of photos, better to take too many and delete the rubbish ones later. Make sure you can recharge batteries between trips.
    - A decent set of binoculars ... EACH - sharing sucks !
    - Layered clothes. You often start early in the morning and its noticeably chilly, but once the sun comes out, much hotter.
    - Mosquito repellent and take the travel advice for where you're going on malaria tablets, yellow fever etc.
    - Lip balm ... it gets really dry driving around. I was lucky enough that the lodge sold it, but would have been unpleasant without it.
    - Be very careful in african airports - lots of crooks around and often in uniform or with official looking badges.
     
  6. rickjames

    Mobster

    Joined: 27 Oct 2011

    Posts: 4,070

    Location: London

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Richdog

    Caporegime

    Joined: 8 Sep 2005

    Posts: 26,619

    Location: Utopia

    Not really interested in climbing Kilimanjaro, the animals are what counts the most. As far as camping goes I will definitely be on the luxury side, I have no interest in roughing it while in Africa!

    Sounds awesome. Which companies/operators did you go with, do you have any more specific details?

    Camera kit won't be an issue. Rest of the tips seem like they are certainly worth bearing in mind, thanks!
     
  8. Avenged7Fold

    Capodecina

    Joined: 12 Sep 2012

    Posts: 11,696

    Location: Surrey

    Just to add to the malaria tablet advice... go get a jab. Do yourself a favour and avoid tablets. Apart from tasting awful and requiring to take them habitually, they come with an insane amount of side affects for a good fraction of people. Side affects can be from mild nausea/diarrhoea to severe enough to ruin a holiday. Considering the money you are putting forward, dont bother with tablets.
     
  9. neilw

    Hitman

    Joined: 14 Feb 2007

    Posts: 618

    I went to Kenya for my Honeymoon it was awesome. One place we stayed at was built on stilts above the ground. 40+ Elephants wandering around under you, it sounded like Jurassic park at night. Only animal we didn't see was a Rhino but they are super rare.

    Food and Service in Kenya was really good. You do get hassle A lot to buy stuff, the locals will make out that there really poor and need the money. When they thing your not looking they all get their iphones out...

    Don't forget Yellow Fever Jab, I tool Malarone and only side I effect I got was month ulcers.
     
  10. Jamesyboyjim

    Mobster

    Joined: 30 Oct 2008

    Posts: 3,137

    Location: South

    My advice... Lock and load... :cool:



    ... The camera. :D
     
  11. The_Baron

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 11 Nov 2011

    Posts: 1,209

    Location: Northern Ireland

    Went to Gorah in SA in May of this year and had a wonderful time. That was a luxury experience and we enjoyed sitting out on the veranda listening to the lions and hyenas
     
  12. Jono

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 13,261

    Location: Northallerton/Harrogate

    Last edited: 12 Aug 2016
  13. MooMoo444

    Caporegime

    Joined: 4 Jul 2008

    Posts: 25,784

    Location: (''\(';.;')/'')

    Close the windows
     
  14. NexusK

    PermaBanned

    Joined: 24 Apr 2014

    Posts: 5,258

    Location: Caledonia

    If the lions and monkeys look like they are about to team up on you dig in and get ready for the zoopocalypse.
     
  15. peterwalkley

    Mobster

    Joined: 23 Feb 2009

    Posts: 4,044

    Location: South Wirral

    I remembered the names of the lodges we went to:

    - Londolozi
    - Bongani
    - Nyala

    First one was Bongani and Nyala, second was Bongani and Londolozi. If you do the Kruger as opposed to Kenya, Tanzania etc, go for a private lodge as when you are out on the Land Rovers they can go off-road as they own the land. 'Public' tours have to stick to roads and tracks, so see less of the game.
     
  16. Amp34

    Caporegime

    Joined: 25 Jul 2005

    Posts: 28,855

    Location: Canada

    That's why you take malerone. :p Is the jab cheaper than Malerone? If so then I'll have to look into that for my next trip.

    Haven't done anything in Kenya or Tanzania but have done stuff in Botswana and Namibia. Chobe national park (Botswana) is ok, the river is nice but there are just too many people. This may be the same issue with Kenya and Tanzania as well. Etosha in Namibia on the other hand was stunning. Loads of wildlife lovely and quiet. Definitely worth having a look at before booking.

    Also if you want something a bit different you can look at Gabon and Petit Loanga. A slightly different safari experience, where most of your safari will be done in a boat or on foot. The wildlife is a bit different too, things like forest elephant rather than plains elephant and no big cats but there is the chance to see gorillas. it's a pretty unique experience as you're hiking through the forest, not just plains. I didn't go to petit Loanga as we didn't have the budget to stay there, we roughed it a bit and went slightly farther south and stayed in a community run place instead (but the same Loanga park). Your money goes a lot further for things like transport and guides though. We had a huge boat, driver and two guides for the week we were there (4 of us), and we're pretty much the only ones on the water.

    May be worth doing the traditional safari experience first though as you will see more animals.

    One thing I would recommend anywhere is to do as many walking safaris as possible. Being in a car means you can get closer and cover more ground but there is nothing like walking through the bush and actually being at the same level as the animals. It's a totally different experience.
     
  17. Bunka

    Soldato

    Joined: 18 Jan 2005

    Posts: 5,558

    Location: West London

    Another vote for Malarone, took it for a few weeks when I visited Nigeria, had zero side effects.
     
  18. Avenged7Fold

    Capodecina

    Joined: 12 Sep 2012

    Posts: 11,696

    Location: Surrey

    AFAIR malarone is one of the more expensive ones and depending on how long you go, jab can work out cheaper. I dont remember how much it cost but fractions of all the other jabs.
     
  19. do_ron_ron

    Capodecina

    Joined: 23 Oct 2002

    Posts: 10,824

    I went with a regular company, First Choice iirc in July/August to Diani Beach and I chose 1 week on safari. Tsavo or Tsavo East Reserve with the lodge type dwellings... no tents these but log type dwellings with mod cons. Well Mod Cons meaning big bed, shower etc but no TV, Wifi but you can do without that for a week with so much to see.
    On the Diani Reef Beach Resort and Spa week I went on a reef snorkelling trip and saw whales which was a massive bonus. I even managed to get shots on my camcorder despite the boat rocking as everybody dived into bags etc to get cameras/camcorders.
     
  20. Amp34

    Caporegime

    Joined: 25 Jul 2005

    Posts: 28,855

    Location: Canada

    There's a reason it's expensive. It's better than the rest. :p Doxycycline on the other hand is supposed to be nasty stuff, but it's cheap which is why people take it.

    You can get generic Malarone now, which is still more expensive than the other anti malarials but about half the price of Malarone. I think the generics work out at about £1 a tablet, and unlike the other anti malarials you only need to take it for a few days before and a week after (rather than a month).

    Also worth pointing out you can get online prescriptions from decent online shops, so no need to go see a doctor, especially if they charge for the prescription.

    Will definitely be looking into the jab next time though. :)