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Safari FAQ: travel concerns

Question: I love Africa in all senses and that’s why I am thinking of the crazy idea to do a trip throughout Africa some day. The main problem is money (compared to Asia for instance), and time, but I want to think about the possibility of doing it.

Do you recommend doing it by 4×4? I guess it’s the best option; the problem is that they are very expensive to hire. So I will have to check options to go with other people (who have their own car for instance).

Answer: 4×4’s are definitely the best way to travel around Africa (roads can be quite bumpy), but there are other ways too! If hiring a car is an issue, my recommendation would be to do an OVERLAND TRIP in a huge truck! It’s a lot of fun, and rather advantageous when it comes to your wallet! 😉

I’d definitely go for it! I haven’t had the chance to do it myself (yet), but would GUARANTEE the time of your life! They have trips over the entire continent, and you can sometimes even choose the countries you’d like to go to! Two of my aunts did it about 20 years ago, and really had an amazing time!

Here are some websites that you may find useful:

Acacia Africa: http://www.acacia-africa.com

Overlanding Africa: http://www.overlandingafrica.com/

African Trails: http://www.africantrails.co.uk/

Overland Travel: http://www.overlandtravel.com/

Question: Do you recommend some countries more than others? Any suggestions?

Answer: As far as countries are concerned, I know Eastern and Southern Africa best as I used to live there. My top destinations include:

– Tanzania (Serengeti, Ngorongoro, Manyara, Selous, Zanzibar Island,

Mafia…)

– Kenya (Amboseli, Masai Mara, Lake Nakuru…)

– South Africa (Kruger, Cape Town, Drakensberg for hiking…)

– Zambia/Zimbabwe (Victoria Falls, Hwange, Lower Zambezi, Mana Pools,

South Luangwa, Kafue…)

– Botswana (Etosha and the Okavango…) &

– Namibia (The Skeleton Coast…).

The list goes on and on…but it’s a REALLY GOOD START! 😉

Question: We plan to fly into Dar es Salaam and out of Nairobi. This allows us to travel by ground transport between the two and see everything we want to see. We have about 9 days including the day we will arrive in DAR. On the 10th day, we will fly out VERY early in the AM from Nairobi. We would love to see Kilimanjaro, Ngorongoro Crater, the Serengeti, and Masai Mara on our way to Nairobi.

Do you know if trips like these are possible? Everything that I am finding is typically a round trip type of route. We have also thought about having a Tanzanian tour operator get us to the Serengeti and then a Kenyan tour operator get us to Nairobi.

Answer: Your trip looks amazing, well done on the choice of countries! Tanzania and Kenya are top destinations when it comes to African safaris.

Sounds totally doable, you just need someone to organize customized safaris for you! With a customized safari you are in control of the itinerary from A to Z!

Question: Do typical Safaris have 4 people in a vehicle? Is it possible to do a “private” safari?

Answer: Private safaris are possible too: East African countries typically utilize minivans for their trips. As far as numbers of people per vehicle, typical game drives range anywhere from four to twelve passengers (or more; but that’s totally pointless). In my opinion, 4-6 people is most pleasant.

If you’d like more privacy, it is always possible as long as you pay for it! 😉

Question: What is the best time of the year to travel to East Africa? I can go in February, March, or August, September what do you think? Is it hotter during February-March? More animals in either time?

Answer: The best time of the year to visit East Africa is December to March, and from June to late September/early October. It is during the latest months of the year that one can experience the Great Annual Wildebeest Migration; where almost two million animals gather and move together across the plains of the Serengeti and Masai Mara National Parks!

So in your case, either of the months you provided will give you excellent chances of seeing abundant wildlife.

Hotter during Feb/March? Yes usually hot and sunny with no cloud cover during the period.

If you’re keen on seeing the great wildebeest migration, I strongly recommend that you follow HerdTracker’s LIVE feed.

The website gives an excellent explanation of where you can expect to see the wildebeest throughout the year. Play the little multimedia map, it is extremely useful! 😉

Question: What is the best time of the year to visit Southern Africa?

Answer: In Southern Africa, winter months from May to August, and hot spring months in September and October are most suitable! Temperatures are usually mild during the day, while a little cooler on early mornings and in the late afternoon.

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2 Responses to Safari FAQ: travel concerns

  1. Anil March 27, 2010 at 12:56 pm #

    Great advice in this interview, especially the tip about when to visit and see the wildebeest migrations!

    • africafreak March 29, 2010 at 2:50 pm #

      Thanks Anil, it is actually a Q&A of the most FAQ by people who send me emails! I truly hope some of them will be useful to a bunch of you guys out there! 😉

      Cheers,

      Michael

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