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Hi All, I'm still rather green behind the ears when it comes to posting, but I've been lurking in the background for quite a while reading up on all things safari. I must commend all of you on the wealth of information that is on this forum, it's amazing! We just returned from our honeymoon which was both of ours first safari. We figured this trip would be a once in a lifetime splurge kind of thing. We played it safe and picked South Africa as our destination. Not knowing whether we would love safari or whether we would find it boring staring at yet another elephant/rhino/lion/etc. Needless to say it never got boring. It will come to no surprise to any of you though that now we are hooked :-) The only problem is: money. Safaris don't come cheap. We would love to return anywhere on safari this year. This once in a lifetime splurge has became a need. But we need to stick to a budget. In all fairness, we cannot justify spending more than 10.000 eur on a two week holiday (incl. flights so leaving about 4000pp for safari for say 12 nights - a tight budget by any standards). We are young professionals, still need to build a life, a house, have kids, etc. We need to keep it within reason. For any Belgian (not into safari) the number I just gave you would blow their minds, but keeping that aside and between us :-) So I was hoping to tap into you guys' vast knowledge and expertise. Are there any affordable safari's out there? Of course ideally we would love to see a different country than SA. I know you can keep the cost down by self driving in Kruger. And I know it is loved by many, but being in a closed car on a tar road with 20 other vehicles around a sighting just isn't my ideal of safari (though my experience is limited). I had found my ideal Kenya safari, but as some of you might still remember my then fiancé and now husband considers Kenya to be "dangerous". If anyone is interested , it was a mix of Porini camps, porini adventure camps (basic but seemed like great value for money) and Brian Freeman's safari camp. it came out to a bit more than the quoted 4000 but amazing value for money with small camps and private vehicle included at Freeman's (which after a honeymoon at a high end 5 star sabi sands lodge with 2 kids of around 8 years old in your vehicle you see as not a luxury but as a must ). I'm more than willing to pay the price if i get the feeling it is worth it, and with this itinerary i absolutely felt that way even if it stretched the budget. (In all honesty credit for that Kenya safari goes to @Flytraveller as it was entirely based on his trip report). I have read through the whole under 200 usd thread but nothing really jumped out at me. Ideally we would like to go around september but we'd be willing to wait off to November to have off season rates if need be. We had conceived the crazy notion that we wanted to see Botswana next. Before we go there we probably need to win the lottery. Though i'm being a tiny bit unfair since the only option worth considering that I have come across in my last days of researching safari was actually in Bots. And it is honestly very much appealing to me. The only reason I haven't pulled the trigger already is that i am maniacal about research (which given the budget is a reasonable stance to take I suppose). Another small reason may be that I haven't read anything/very little about about Kingfisher safari on here. Martin himself is an avid poster but I haven't seen any trip reports from people who actually went on their mobile safari (I saw a few mentions of Moses' Unlimited travel but the Kingfisher still comes out at about 100 usd pppn cheaper). Next I looked into Zambia, hoping that was cheaper. But it seems South Luangwa also comes with its price tag. And I would prefer to not only do walking safari. I would love to do a bit like x's trip report between camps (sorry x, but I read so many in such a short time frame that by god I can't remember your name - loved your report though!). If anyone would have any good priced options there? I was hoping to get discounts when booking multiple nights with the same safari operator but the savings still aren't even getting us close to our budget. I know 12n is pushing it, but since the flights wherever we'd go would already be about 1000, i want to make the most of it. Anyone have anything to suggestions for Tanzania? Please don't say something like serana lodges though because those types of places are my worst nightmare (overcrowded mini bus tours). I'd rather wait a year and save up than go to a place like that. The focus needs to be wildlife and not generally nature so i think Namibia is probably out. We were in Zim for a short leg of our honeymoon as well, around the zambezi river and the vic falls, and though i loved our camp, loved the people, in terms of wildlife it was a big bust (not only in comparison to SA but just generally). I can do a mobile camping private safari but I don't want to do a big bus group tour. Though they are mightily frowned upon on this forum I love plunge pools but I can happily do without :-) (if you give me lions and leopards in exchange - yes I'm sorry another unoriginal big cat devote joins the ranks ;-) ) I will do a trip report on SA soon and a lodge review (because they were all great and definitely earned our support!), but none of it compares to what I've seen on here in terms of sightings and photography. If I were you guys I would start buying some bulk lottery tickets because you are a lucky bunch from what I can tell! Longwinded post in the end to just ask for your advice on a next destination that hopefully won't break the bank, nor will require a second mortgage (fyi, they don't do those for some reason in Belgium - must not have enough safari lovers among bankers). Any help would be greatly appreciated! PS I wonder if anyone is going to read this bulk of text without any pictures :-)
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