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About ice

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  1. Male, from Greenville, SC? That fits
  2. With your budget restrictions, I think a combination of Kruger and Mozambique will be the best option. Rent a car from Johannesburg Airport, drive to Kruger and spend a week there. Stay in camps like Lower Sabie, Crocodile Bridge, Skukuza and for sure Satara. Use some of the money you have left to book guided morning, sunset or night drives, starting and ending at the camps. Then either continue driving to Mozambique (the border is right next to Kruger's South) or head back to Jo'burg and then fly to Mozambique. Booking camps for Kruger is as easy as it gets - as long as they are available. Not sure when exactly you want to go but keep in mind these camps I suggested are in great demand, especially during ZA's school holidays. Sometimes they fill up a year advance. And no, it is not a good idea to stay outside of the park. You would have to stand in a queue at the gate each morning and miss the best hours of the day. Also, if staying outside the park, your options of participating in guided SANParks drives are limited.
  3. I'm not sure how fixated you are on Zanzibar; however, Kruger and Zanzibar are an odd combination. I wouldn't be surprised if flying from Jo'burg to Zanzibar is more expensive than to Jo'burg from whereever your home is. I do believe, though that Kruger is your best choice under the given circumstances, so why not look into a beach holiday in Mozambique? Much closer and more convenient than Zanzibar.
  4. Places like South Africa and Namibia, self driving is easy. Countries like Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Kenya and Tanzania - not so much, so I am with @Seniortravelleron this. It's not only safety issues; parks (and regular roads) in southern Africa are much better maintained and marked than further up north and east.
  5. Hello Ice.  I understand your reluctance to post any criticisms or disappointments.  I don’t post often, and even less after a ruckus I created by simply posting a negative experience with Porini Camps who I still like and would use again!  

    I am very interested in hearing your experience with Doug McDonald as I have an interest in joining one of his safaris.  A bad experience in a particular area could possibly be bad luck, but a bad experience with a guide grabs my attention. I would really appreciate your candid thoughts regarding your Mana Pools experience with Doug.  Thank you in advance.

  6. as someone else has pointed out: if you want to avoid masses of people you will have to pay for it, either in terms of money or in terms of travelling off season (which usually means less people but also less animals). You still did not really tell us if you'd be willing to self drive (perhaps even on the "wrong" side of the road) and if the budget you mentioned includes int'l airfare or not. I guess you should also explain if you have time restrictions, like having to obey certain school holidays. With your funds, though I am sure you will either have to self drive or to join a group, a private guided safari will be more expensive, no matter when or where you head (btw: 1.600 € spread over 12 nights equals roughly 130 € pppn, 2.200 € divided over 7 nights come up to 315 € pppn, a huge difference when travelling to Africa.)
  7. @janzin thanks for your kind words but I am absolutely sure that whatever negative I have to say my trip with Doug to Mana Pools will lead to heated discussions and arguments and I don't have the time nor the nerve for these. I am, however, willing to talk about my experience in private, especially to folks who are considering a similiar trip. One member has already contacted me by PM and received an answer.
  8. I certainly don't want to hi-jack your topic and my comment is most likely also completely off-topic - but when I came back from my last safari I had exactly the same thoughts (albeit for different reasons): everybody in this community was and is raving about Mana Pools and everybody in this community was and is raving about Doug McDonald, so I was extremely looking forward to my November trip. Turned out to be the worst trip to Africa I ever had (in 15+ years and 30+ safaris). So much so that I paid a few hundred dollars to leave the park and the country earlier than initially scheduled. And that's all I will say about it, I certainly don't want to argue with all those "Mana Pools is the best place on earth" lovers and "Doug McDonald is one of the best guides in Africa" fans.
  9. @Savannenfuchs I am not sure how you managed to sleep in the front of a car in Kruger Park, I am in fact surprised that you got away with it. SANParks is usually very strict when it comes to obeying to their booking rules so I'd rather not suggest that other people try out to sllep in a car in Kruger Park as well.
  10. In four weeks (and a bit) I shall spend three nights each at Kwando Kwara, Kwando Lebala and Kwado Lagoon. Anybody else heading that way the first weeks of March?
  11. no, they call that sports hunting
  12. yes, he was perhaps a father and a loving husband, but no, I am not sorry for him or for his family
  13. I have my Kenya Trips for more than 15 years now always had arranged by Raylenne Tours. It's a very small company but they are very competitive. If you intend on contacting them, send me a PM and I will give you me contact details so that you can mention my name.
  14. January - 2 weeks, mostly spent in Yellowstone, with a short (shopping) stopover in L.A. March or April - 2 weeks, split between DRC and Kenya (Ol Pejeta, mostly) July or August - 3 weeks in the US and Western Canada November - 2 weeks in Kruger, probably another week in KTP
  15. not sure if Photoshop Works qualify as artwork but here are some the DVD cases I made for my trip reports

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