@bluebird How exciting- your first safari- I think I can say with almost 100% assurance, that you are in for a truly life altering experience. There are sooooo many options and I understand the feeling of being overwhelmed with the big question of "where". You will get lots of good advice here. And so, my two cents A big question is what kind of camp experience you want. I see small (definitely the best). Camps (heck yes- nothing beats lying in bed and hearing a lion roar or a hyena giggle or have "something" walk by your tent- oh so many sounds and don't let that deter you...I don't sleep well at home but despite all the "noise", my best sleep is when I'm in a tent in Africa). Camps can be extremely luxurious or just the basics- and that is a good thing to think about with your planning. I personally like a little comfort- after all I'm on vacation. Nothing off the chart luxurious (honestly, I say skip Mombo- just not worth the cost), but running water (but bush-showers are fun), laundry done each day (makes for easier packing)- all nice perks. Another thing I look for at camps is how much privacy there is between tents- I'm a flaps-open girl and don't want to scare my neighbors so I like the privacy Many long-time permanently-tented camps have that privacy. Low tourist density- (other ST folks, please correct me if I'm wrong) this is higher season in Southern Africa (Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Namibia) so camps may be fuller. Of course, they are pretty remote so that probably doesn't mean much. You will most likely be sharing a jeep with a couple other people. I'm usually a solo traveler so I'm always sharing So...where? I am a huge fan of Botswana. I've seen just about everything there (except rhino and that is changing). It's always a crap shoot on any safari- safari is like a box of chocolates...you never know what you are going to get I like the country's wildlife policies and that is a big draw for me when I plan trips. Unfortunately Wilderness Safaris has a monopoly there. Don't get me wrong, I was a fan of theirs for years. Just lately I've felt like they are becoming "boring". As they renovate each camp, they all start to look the same, routines are mundane and revolve around very soft guiding. I don't know...I've just become a little "puckish" with their camps. They do really good things, from all reports (by the staff) treat their staff really well...it's just a personal thing with me. That being said, they are in some of the best areas (check out Pelo camp- never been there, but it's on my bucket list). So, Botswana has a lot going for itself. I've never been able to afford a private safari as a solo traveler- there are lots of folks here at ST that rave about it, particularly in Zimbabwe. I will admit, I went to Zim very reluctantly (I struggle with their politics and wildlife policies), but it turned out to be one of my most memorable trips. I went to Zambia for my 50th in late Oct/early November- loved Zambia but also learned, at least for me, that is NOT the time to go. Hellishly hot and dry and ugly and animals are stressed due to the lack of water...I could go on forever. I will go back, but definitely not at that time of year. I like green Africa. I'm starting to wander here....sorry. There are just so many choices. Oh...just to throw into the mix....GORILLA TREKKING! Yikes...what an experience. Back...yank me back. If you are into birding, any place that has permanent water is a plus. Namibia is mind-blowing beautiful, but if you are into animals and this is your first safari, not the best choice. I will stop... you are sooo going to love this. And how cool to take your dad. You have lots of time to plan and have fun with that...I love the planning!!!