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About mtanenbaum

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    Tourist (first-time visitor)
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    California USA
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    photography, animals, culture, scenery, meeting locals

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  1. A question on your cheetah photos--do you mind my asking what kind of settings you used to get them so clear when they were running? Did you use shutter priority and if so what shutter speed did you need? Thanks for advice.
  2. Your photos are terrific! I love the colors with the green grass and the blue sky. I will be in the Mara in early January for my first trip there (4 nights at Offbeat Mara) and hope I have the wonderful sightings that you had!
  3. Your photos are amazing! I can't believe this is your first safari...your photos would make me guess that you're a very experienced wildlife photographer! Thanks for sharing with all of us. I will be going to the Mara in January for 4 nights after a trip to Uganda, and hope I am as lucky with my sightings as you were.
  4. I think it's not easy to get to Northern Botswana from Mashatu and that's why it isn't on more itineraries. We went from Jo'berg and flew to a nearby airport--it was still around a 2 hour drive to Mashatu.The travel agent had a local driver pick us up and ferry us to Mashatu. It's right near the South Africa/Botswana border. Unless new options are available, you probably will have to go through Joberg. I still think it's worth it if you have the time! Margo
  5. I have a stupid question (from ignorance on my part of how this works). You were self-driving, right? So did you get these fabulous photos through the glass of your vehicle? or did you rent a pop-top vehicle? I was wondering how that works when you self-drive.I'm assuming you don't get out of the car to take the picture, or roll down the window (LOL)?
  6. Love your photos and also your daughters! Kgalagadi is on my bucket list for future trips to Africa!
  7. I have had good experiences using booking services. I have my miles on Chase which means they can be transferred to a number of different frequent flyer programs. I found the options to be overwhelming and it was helpful to have someone who could navigate all of that. I had about 200,000 miles and was able to book business class round trip to Africa (Los Angeles to Uganda on Turkish Air, returning from Nairobi) plus one way for my son from LA to Entebbe (he will be coach, LOL). I paid for his return ticket from Africa. Good luck with your arrangements! A stopover in Europe is nice but I have limited vacation so I don't want to cut into my AFrica time!
  8. You might want to consider contacting a travel agent I used in South Africa to plan a trip there. They are called Rhino Africa, and I used an agent named Bianca ( She is very responsive and She knows the camps in South Africa inside and out. I'm sure there are camps there with tents. One of the things I liked about her is that she was very good about keeping within the budget I set out (even offering lower priced options). The nice thing about SA is that you can incorporate some non-wildlife things if you want, i.e. some of South Africa's fascinating historical sites. This is what I did on a trip with my then 19-year old son a few years back, and it was a great trip.
  9. I will also be in Offbeat Mara this January! When will you be there? I am going there for 4 nights after a 2 week trip to Uganda. I will arrive there on January 10 and leave late on the 14th. I can't wait! This will be my first trip to Kenya although I have been on two other trips to Southern Africa. Margo
  10. I must add my enthusiasm for Safaritalk. I'm not sure how I found it exactly, whether it was a referral from Tripadvisor or I just stumbled upon it while surfing the web about safaris, but since I discovered it I use it as one of my most trusted sources for safari information. In fact, I also decided to change my upcoming safari from Zimbabwe to Uganda after reading the reports of gorilla and chimpanzee trekking in Uganda on this site! I also discovered that another Safaritalk user, Amy T, is practically my neighbor and we are looking forward to meeting in person soon! Plus I love to read Safaritalk to see everyone's great pictures!
  11. I am also flying to Africa on Chase miles, with the 100,000 mile bonus! (and business class, hurray!) my son will be in coach, but too bad, he's only 21 and he's lucky to get to go to Africa! No tears shed for him...We are flying Turkish Air but he will be returning on Ethiopian on the same flight you'll have in the fall. I didn't have enough miles for his return flight, so that one I'm paying cash, although we did discuss that it might be interesting for him just to stay in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest (I just love saying that...)
  12. I have not flown them, but here's what I heard from a frequent flyer travel agent that I just used to book our tickets to go to Uganda in December. My son will be flying back on Ethiopian I think. "I myself have flown Ethiopian - from Arusha to Addis Ababa. Even though a relatively short trip, it was perfectly fine. Beyond that, if memory serves, your son would route through Dublin. The DUB - LAX flight is on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner, which is the newest, most comfortable plane in any airline fleet. I put lots of clients on this flight because its a great option to get to/from Europe using United miles. In addition, these planes are also serviced and staffed with mostly European crew, and to the standards of any other US or European carrier. So I wouldnt hesitate to recommend that airline from a safety standpoint - which is of course, most important."
  13. Your trip reports are fantastic! I really enjoy seeing your photography and also your stories. Zimbabwe is on my list for a future trip....
  14. Your pictures are amazing! I'm planning on Uganda for after Xmas this year and will plan to do a gorilla trek and also the chimps! I loved reading your report.
  15. Hi, Safaritalkers, I just got back from my 2017 vacation (Israel and Jordan) and am back on track to go back to Africa in 2018! I realized that is where my heart is and I dream about going back there all the time. (my son is studying abroad in Jordan so that was great to go see him there as well, but no lions....) I've done two Africa trips--one to Botswana in June 2012 (3 camps in the Delta, Sandibe, Okuto, and Shinde), and Victoria falls. The second trip in 2015 I visited in May and went to Mashatu (Botswana), and Sabi Sands, and Phinda in South Africa. I'm very interested in trying a "green season" trip for the different experience, especially in terms of photographic potential, but I wanted to get some frank advice. First of all the bugs--I don't love bugs, but I understand of course there are more of them in the summer. But how bad is it? Are there mosquitos constantly buzzing in your ears all night long? (LOL) Also, I'd like to be able to see baby animals, and am trying to figure out which month is optimal, January, February, or March. Also, the heat--is it really bad, i.e. like you can't sleep? I'm a Southern California person so I'm not used to humidity, but I also don't plan to be doing walking safaris, which I believe is not usually done at that time of the year anyway. I'm thinking Zimbabwe because I haven't been there and I really would like to economize a bit on this trip. I saw some camps in Zimbabwe in green season where you can get specials for as little as $250-$350 a night, and I would like to stay in that range if possible. I also may be traveling on my own, another reason for Green Season since I understand you can often get single supplements waived or lower at that time. Has anyone here done Hwange in green season? Or should I look at going back to Botswana? I think Botswana even in green season will be out of that price range. If I went back there I would be interested in Chobe and maybe the Nxai pans, but I'm not sure about Chobe in green season. Also I am very interested in hides--I loved the hides at Mashatu, but I"m not sure if hides work well in the summer months. I'd love to hear from anyone who has experience with green safaris about your thoughts. One other thing, having done very luxurious camps like Sandibe and Phinda I am actually looking for a more "camping-like" experience this time (although not participatory camping). I'm thinking I may try to include Mashatu and do their tented camp instead of the lodge, where we were last time. Also, I was wondering if anyone has any experience with &Beyond's mobile camping trips in Botswana? They look very nice but are still pretty expensive. Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

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