Game Warden

Private or group safari - your preference.

   69 members have voted

  1. 1. Please choose from the below options:

    • Private
      60
    • Group
      4
    • Not bothered
      5

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103 posts in this topic

I prefer private safari, that being myself and one or more guides -- no other guests -- in a safari vehicle. To be clear not a normal private vehicle, but a converted Land Cruiser Pick-up and a highly experienced tracker/driver who knows the park we are in in detail -- be this a Masai or someone who completed their training in the park.

 

My guide needs to know what is around and where their normal ranges are. He (or She) needs to know how to get there in the dark and quickly and which crossing to use if the rivers are running full. They need to be very good/experienced off-road drivers. And that is why I use Wilson from Sun-world or James from Entim Mara for the Masai Mara. I would absolutely not be able to achieve the same results in the same time if I had my own vehicle or drove myself - no matter how good an of road driver I my think I am. I also want a local mechanic available who can fix little or large problems as they occur. And, they do. Particularly late on in the season.

 

I am extremely exacting about what I want to find and shoot, and where I want to situate the vehicle. For example, I don't need to see yet another group of lions sleeping partially visible in a bush, particularly if we saw them the previous day in the open in good light -- we just move on, without arguement. I did this twice in the early morning on my recent trip and then we came across a wonderful male black rhino sleeping in the open. We had him to ourselves for nearly 20 minutes, while others were looking at the lions in a bush. I know from bitter experience that this is not what you get in a mixed group.

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I would say private. In Tanzania at least I found that the cost differential between private and group was minimal.

Private allows you to focus on the sightings that matter most to you, and you will always have the best viewing spot in the vehicle due to freedom of movement. Not being restricted by position in the vehicle would be the most important factor for me.

 

That being said I went in a group at Kruger, and there were some positives from that experience too e.g. sharing the experience with others and getting to know people from around the world and hearing their stories.

It was pretty sweet getting to witness someone else's excitement at seeing a giraffe for the first time.

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My problem with group safaris is that I always end up leaving the group and it is always for the same reasons:

 

That guy

 

Everyone knows THAT GUY that always seems to irritate everyone and can spoil even the most beautiful sighting in the world.

 

Timetables

 

I don't like timetables. If I see something beautiful or come across something lovely, I want to stay there. My first group trip included Kubu Island. I wanted to stay another night or two but I couldn't because we had to move on towards Maun. Then we came across some really beautiful lodges on our way to Caprivi and once again I wanted to stay for longer, but I couldn't because the group was moving on. Then we came to Caprivi and then they moved on and I stayed, I extended my trip by two weeks and I enjoyed everything a lot more being on my own.

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