Thanks @everyone for your comments so far: I've been reading @Geoff's recent Zambia camp reviews, here, here and here, and I think they reflect exactly what has been mentioned above in that one can rely on the opinion of other Safaritalk members when planning a safari. It does please me that such a level of trust and respect has built up here over the years - that members are influenced by trip reports etc., and go on to have memorable safaris themselves. And that members can and do ask each other questions about where to visit and why, that those with a lot of experience are willing to help those with little, and that takes away some of the worry when making a decision.
So, don't forget upon your return home, not only to write a trip report but let others know about the property/ies in which you stayed.
Ok, first things first. My name is James from the USA(Texas) We are planning our first trip to Africa next year in August. Just getting started but have been doing some pretty heavy research so far. This trip is being planned for our 25th wedding anniversary so trying to make it a good one. I think we've narrowed down our guide for an 8 day safari in Kruger National Park. (wild planet safari) Haven't pulled the trigger yet and wanted to get some advice from the experts. Me and my wife usually plan our vacations around wildlife. We're wanting a safari that we have the best chance to see the most wildlife possible. I do understand that they are wild and very unpredictable as far as seeing them. Am I picking a good place for a first timer? I mean, as far as being safe from the crime and stuff and being able to see lots of animals? What can you recommend for first timers? Like do we need certain types of vaccinations? I do have a decent camera(Nikon D5000, with a 300 mm lens) was thinking of getting a 500 mm lens. Would you recommend the 500? Any and all information will greatly be appreciated!! Thanks and look forward to your responses!!
I'm sure they have a safe distance, but this distance is much shorter for a sit and wait hunter versus a courser. You'll often see impala actually approaching a leopard or lion, and keep their eyes on them. But for wild dogs they usually run much earlier. In this paper we measured vigilance, and not flight (which obviously is also a risk effect). There are interesting questions in the whole predator prey system which we only start to understand now. But if you think about it, both parties have been around each other for a long time, and very tuned in to each other, picking up clues we are not aware of yet. I once for example followed 2 wild dogs chasing 2 oribis. For several 100 meters they were right on the heels of 1 oribi, while the other was maybe 100 meters ahead and 100 meters to the left. Suddenly the dogs just switched to the oribi which was further away. Me and my colleague wondered what was going on, they nearly had this oribi and now they went for one which was much further away! They managed to bring down the other oribi and pulled out a fully grown calf, it was actually bleating when they pulled it out (and then was snatched away by a hyena). Clearly the dogs somehow picked up that they had a better chance on taking down the other oribi, something we had completely missed.