African Safari: Worth it or Hype?

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: African Safari: Worth it or Hype?

Post by TomatoTomahto » Mon Jun 18, 2018 8:05 am

financeguy88 wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 7:54 am
We were watching a female lion and her cubs stalk a pack of buffalo close to sunset, one of the few times we were on the main roads. The tourists not staying at the lodge had to leave just as the action was heating up. Also most of the time we were on roads or paths in an off-roading vehicle that no normal vehicle could drive on, or we'd drive through deep mud or knee deep water. Sometimes we'd go off the roads through the high grass to get closer to the game. Perhaps somewhere in the park there are dirt roads that are open to the public.
6 of us (4 family and a friendly couple) were in a converted Range Rover. The conversion opened the vehicle up so that there wasn't a bad seat in the house. I don't know how much was Range Rover capability and how much was driver capability, but we didn't bother too much with roads, dirt or otherwise. As good as the guide was, the tracker was almost supernatural in his ability to track animals during night rides.

It cost us a lot. It was worth every penny. This thread has reminded me that perhaps we should arrange a return visit.

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TheTimeLord
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Re: African Safari: Worth it or Hype?

Post by TheTimeLord » Mon Jun 18, 2018 8:32 am

Worth it imho, also worth doing right. Its been a while but still 1 of my top 3 vacations. Stayed in a permanent tented camp on a river. Game drives twice daily. It was magical and so cathartic at 5:00 in the morning waiting for dawn. It was like being in another world, a very peaceful tranquil world.

All that said I really believe good travel is 80%-90% attitude and openness.
Last edited by TheTimeLord on Mon Jun 18, 2018 8:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
IMHO, Investing should be about living the life you want, not avoiding the life you fear. | Run, You Clever Boy! [9085]

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TheTimeLord
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Re: African Safari: Worth it or Hype?

Post by TheTimeLord » Mon Jun 18, 2018 8:34 am

zlltt wrote:
Sat Jun 16, 2018 4:42 pm
People usually overrate their travel, since they had spent so much time and money.



I have a unique way to judge if it's a hype or really worth it, check the revisiting ratio.
More returning customers, the more worth it.

The rule is also good for restaurant.

What do you think?
Seems like a poor way of judging things unless you believe the height of dining is McDonald's and the pinnacle of travel is Las Vegas.
IMHO, Investing should be about living the life you want, not avoiding the life you fear. | Run, You Clever Boy! [9085]

Nate79
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Re: African Safari: Worth it or Hype?

Post by Nate79 » Mon Jun 18, 2018 10:12 am

These safari's sound wonderful. I traveled once to South Africa for business and am kicking myself I didn't take some time and do something besides the business meetings....

How much do these Safari's cost (per person or for a couple)?

bnrtgb
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Re: African Safari: Worth it or Hype?

Post by bnrtgb » Mon Jun 18, 2018 10:16 am

Worth it.

We had a private guide driving us around Serengeti for a week for us and two other couples (friends of ours). We spent a week in a beach cottage on Zanzibar afterward. Absolutely best vacation experience we've had. 7000 pictures, 2 coffee table books, one "published" journal, and 14 hours of video were the result.

an_asker
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Re: African Safari: Worth it or Hype?

Post by an_asker » Mon Jun 18, 2018 11:00 am

Lynette wrote:
Sat Jun 16, 2018 3:28 pm
[...]That lady would have been better off in a zoo.
I know you were not meaning this, but it comes out very funny ;-)

PS: I'm PMing you ...

kevinobes
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Re: African Safari: Worth it or Hype?

Post by kevinobes » Mon Jun 18, 2018 11:05 am

Definitely worth it. I went in September 2014 to climb Kilimanjaro via the Machame Route and then spent a week on safari in Tarangire, Serengeti, and Ngorongoro Crater. I don't know if it is by design or just coincidence, but Tarangire did not seem to have any predators so mainly just elephants, giraffes, zebra, antelope...but the Serengeti is where it's at. The first day we had was a bit rainy so we didn't expect to see much but within the first hour we came upon a pride of lions feasting on a fresh wildebeest kill no more than ten yards from the road. I don't suspect I'll ever see anything that can compare. Multiple leopards, cheetahs, crocs, hippos, baboons, zebras and antelope for miles and miles, and the rest of the cast. I actually found myself most excited by the exotic birds (other than the lion feast of course).

We were lucky to see the Big 5, though we could barely see the outline of the rhino in Ngorongoro Crater since you must stay on the roads there and he was pretty far out. I believe this is the only park where you must stay on the given paths at all times...I know there is some discussion in the comments above, but I believe everyone has permission to be on any of the roads, paved or otherwise. I'm sure the willingness of the driver to go all out is somewhat dependent on what you pay. I didn't think the price was outrageous relative to the experience and lifelong memories. For reference, my entire trip with Tanzania Journeys was around $4500 ($1,300 flight from NY to Tanzania, $2800 for 6 day guided Kilimanjaro trek and 5 day safari, plus a few hundred for miscellaneous tips/food/souvenirs).

I've had the fortune to also travel to Nepal and Peru to trek to Everest Base Camp and the Inca Trail...and hopefully Europe for Mont Blanc next year..but I can say that Kili and the safari were the best so far and I see myself returning to the continent in the future.

Lynette
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Re: African Safari: Worth it or Hype?

Post by Lynette » Mon Jun 18, 2018 11:41 am

an_asker wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 11:00 am
Lynette wrote:
Sat Jun 16, 2018 3:28 pm
[...]That lady would have been better off in a zoo.
I know you were not meaning this, but it comes out very funny ;-)

PS: I'm PMing you ...
Yes, I did mean it. This is why I am recommending that visitors who do not know much about what to expect do some research. A starting point is to look at a map of Africa. I sometimes get quite discouraged when I meet new people and find out how little they know about Africa.

I've been away from South Africa for a long time and when I return I like to discuss the changes with the locals. The African guide who was driving the vehicle was a nice guy who was trying hard to please everyone. This lady was cooing about how she had to see the big five in the eleven hours that she was there. This put the guide under unreasonable pressure. I think that the Kruger National Park is the size of Israel and the animals aren't puppets that appear when a tourist wants to see them. This tour guide likely had a family to support and this unreasonable lady probably gave him a bad review and complained to his employer.

This is why I'm harping on researching what is available and what to expect. All of this information is currently available on the internet.

Loz1444
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Re: African Safari: Worth it or Hype?

Post by Loz1444 » Mon Nov 05, 2018 7:33 am

wilked wrote:
Sat Jun 16, 2018 4:07 pm
Amazing

We did safari / Kili / Zanzibar. Best traveling I have ever done

I’m looking at doing something similar soon - what company did you go through etc? Where did you go? Where you there long? Any details would be great!

DiMAn0684
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Re: African Safari: Worth it or Hype?

Post by DiMAn0684 » Mon Nov 05, 2018 11:09 am

I have done a 7 day safari in Kenya with two more friends in 2015 and this was perhaps the most epic trip of my life so far.

With that said, the prices people throwing around seem ridiculous to me. A colleague of mine did a two week trip to South Africa with a small group of friends this summer, and each person paid roughly the price comparable to a brand new family sedan (~$25k). When we went, we found a local company that arranged everything for us, and paid them ~$1600pp. We stayed in luxury lodges and had an awesome guide. One thing we didn't do was a hot air balloon ride in Masai Mara, but that would have probably added ~$300 to the price of the trip.

wilked
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Re: African Safari: Worth it or Hype?

Post by wilked » Mon Nov 05, 2018 4:43 pm

Loz1444 wrote:
Mon Nov 05, 2018 7:33 am
wilked wrote:
Sat Jun 16, 2018 4:07 pm
Amazing

We did safari / Kili / Zanzibar. Best traveling I have ever done

I’m looking at doing something similar soon - what company did you go through etc? Where did you go? Where you there long? Any details would be great!
We did a 21 day trip or so...week-long safari (Tarangire, Ngorongoro, Manyara, and Serengeti), as well as a week-long Trek on Kili. We also did a week at Zanzibar, but coordinated that on our own.

We used Swala Safari for the first two weeks. This was 7 years ago or so, for what it's worth, and we paid $1300 pp

Tiffku08
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Re: African Safari: Worth it or Hype?

Post by Tiffku08 » Mon Nov 05, 2018 11:49 pm

DEBTINATOR wrote:
Sat Jun 16, 2018 3:24 pm
The trek up Kilimanjaro was even better. Safari was terrific too.
Totally agree with this. You definitely have to do the trek while you're there.

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