Game Warden

Your favourite safari destination

Which is your favourite safari destination?   113 members have voted

  1. 1. Please vote below

    • South Africa
      11
    • Kenya
      20
    • Tanzania
      18
    • Zambia
      16
    • Zimbabwe
      6
    • Botswana
      38
    • Namibia
      3
    • Mozambique
      0
    • Angola
      0
    • Rwanda
      0
    • Uganda
      1
    • Other
      3

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103 posts in this topic

Which is your favourite safari destination and why? Take the poll above and then share your reasons below.

Just click on the reply button, say which you voted for and what it is about that place that puts it on the top of your list!

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Which is your favourite safari destination and why? Take the poll above and then share your reasons below.

 

Just click on the reply button, say which you voted for and what it is about that place that puts it on the top of your list!

 

A difficult choice this - different places are great in different ways.

 

Kenya was easy to rule out - far too many tourist mini-buses for my liking, particularly in the Masai Mara.

 

Zambia's South Luangwa national park is very high on my list of favourite places - the best place to go for leopards and a lovely peaceful place that isnt over-run with tourist vehicles.

 

For me though, Namibia gets the top spot - its such a beautiful place , its got a lot of fantastic wildlife, and for tourists its good roads make a self-drive trip more realistic than in most African countries.

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I picked Zambia, because my soul told me to. South Luangwa and Lower Zambezi are amongst the world’s premier safari parks, but for me Kafue is the most beautiful park in Zambia. Just not as famous or as well looked after as the South Luangwa and Lower Zambezi.

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I chose "other" because I like all of those listed, but have not been to Mozambique or Angola. Rwanda and Uganda were not on there and they were outstanding. Madagascar was missing and maybe I'll get there and vote for it, or Gabon.

 

I should click wherever I've been last and hope to cast many votes. That's not illegal on safaritalk is it?

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I haven't visited all the places in the poll but of those I have I voted for Botswana.

 

Simple reason: I have had the best wildlife viewing there in terms of proximity to animals, duration of sightings, excitement of sightings, variety of game/ birds seen and being able to enjoy it all without too much interruption from others.

 

If I could choose a second place it would be Namibia though I'm choosing that for it's sheer beauty. I did enjoy the wildlife viewing there very much, though less dense and less varied, it was extremely rewarding. Photographically, Namibia is stunning.

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I should click wherever I've been last and hope to cast many votes. That's not illegal on safaritalk is it?

The voting machine will remember you and won't allow any further vote.

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The voting machine will remember you and won't allow any further vote.

Well that takes all the fun out of it. Guess I'll stick with other.

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So far I have been to about a dozen different countries in eastern, western and (mainly) southern Africa. I prefer Kenya and Botswana. Kenya for the diversity in landscapes and the sheer number of wildlife. Botswana for the best sense of Africa. It is great to hear from the rangers that you are the only guest in a certain region for over a week. Being there completely alone on your own gives a great feeling of freedom. But of course you have to be sensible in case something happens to you. So I am still very reluctant to make such a trip with my (still very young) kids. With the kids, we decided to head for Kruger and stay in bungalows there, which is quite different.

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Botswana had to be my choice (so far) because that's where I've been most often.

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Pulling this topic up - those of you that haven't voted here before may do so!

 

So far from the first 22 votes - no surprises, that most of the votes went to Botswana with 9 (I think it's a biased poll with many of our members being fans of the Kwando/Selinda and we all joined this forum around the same time frame). What's interesting is, Kenya beats Tanzania hands down - 7 to 2.

 

SA lags way behind....... with 0. So, there really isn't much in the Sabi Sands, i agree.......

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Yes, It's Botswana for me. I first visited Botswana in 1990. My husband and I did a five day add-on after a trip to

 

Zimbabwe. We met the girl who now organises all my safaris. The next year she and a friend started their own travel

 

company and I've been with them ever since. I've been to Kenya, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Zambia.South Africa,

 

as well, but my favourite is Botswana. I love the camps and I've made many friends there. I went with a girlfriend last

 

October, a safari virgin, and when we got home she said to all our rugby friends 'Whenever we got off a plane, or

 

arrived at a camp, there was always someone hugging Jan! Hari can vouch for this because he saw me in action in

 

Maun. And we, too, parted with a hug.

 

I know there are many places that I haven't seen, but you can't go everywhere. I have been to 68 camps, many

 

repeats. In October Mapula will be 69.

 

Another reason why it is Botswana for me is that in October 2000 I took my husbands' ashes and cast them into the

 

Okavango River because he had loved Botswana too.

 

 

Jan

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Indeed, Jan knows everyone in Botswana - at the airport terminal, on the Air Bots and definitely at the camps!!!! I won't be surprised if she bumped into someone she knew in the JNB airport too!!!!

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No surprises that I chose Kenya. Zaminoz says it well … his soul told him to and that would have a lot to do with his childhood. Well my childhood began in Uganda, but it never spoke to me like Kenya did.

Kenya for its diversity of landscape and sheer variety of species.

Who cares about the mini buses, it is so easy to avoid them apart from the certain times of year in the Mara. So we have to share with people with less money who can't afford Botswana, tough.

There are many wilderness areas with few tourists, there is a fascinating history, there are many areas which the average tourist just doesn't consider.

 

Having said that, I have never been to Botswana and I can imagine that it will come a very close second just from all I have heard. I doubt it would replace Kenya because of my personal history with the country, but I am all for giving it a chance.

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Very, very difficult question.

 

My first three safaris, as a kid, were to Kenya. Then I have visted Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Zambia, Tanzania, Malawi and (briefly) south Africa. I would say that my personal favorite safari destination has changed with the passing of time.

 

Throughout the Nineties, Botswana was my absolute love and the centerpiece of all my travels.

 

Lately, probably due to the fact that I perceived a kind of "commercialisation" (for lack of better words) of many parts of Botswana, I privileged Zambia and, most of all, certain remote areas of Tanzania.

 

Having said that, next forthcoming August I will go back to Kenya after a 23 year hiatus,,,,,,so, who knows?

 

Maybe it would be easier for me to single out certain areas or parks rather than countries.

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Maybe, if we discover a new destination - keep it an insider secret? Ofcourse, that's if any good locations remain from the commercialization? I'm sure there's something in Mozambique or Angola or even Zim for that matter? who knows......

 

No trip reports, no photographs on the internet etc etc.,??? :angry:

 

It would be hard to keep our mouths shut and stay off them keyboards :(

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I know the right person who could sort us out with a tent and machete in Malawi, we'd have to cut our own access paths and it would certainly mean having to do everything ourselves. Certainly not commercial at all... Yankari Game Reserve in Nigeria I'm sure is well worth investigating, and because of the situation in country it is not seen as a high tourist traffic destination.

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Okay, Malawi it is ......... no strawberries, No Dom P, no spas for sure or anything close to wooden walkways, no getting back home bloated from those High Teas (I assume there's a lot of work to be done from GW's description). Eventually, we'll find them elusive dogs (if not, I'll bring my basset hound and we'd pretend he's a wild hound :( ) after all the tracking and searching. We'll set up our own tents and not tell anyone else........ sound good? :angry:

 

 

Paolo,

 

If you are reading this, can you tell us more about Botswana in the 90s? Sorry many of us couldn't experience it ...... but, would love to hear stories and anecdotes from the good old days.

 

That reminds me - Ken you owe us a few stories about Selinda back in the day........... 1990s or just after.

 

Hari

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Indeed, Jan knows everyone in Botswana - at the airport terminal, on the Air Bots and definitely at the camps!!!! I won't be surprised if she bumped into someone she knew in the JNB airport too!!!!

 

Hari, I did!

 

After I left you I passed a young man sitting on a bench with his family. He looked at me and said 'Did you enjoy

 

Nxamaseri? ' It was the co-pilot who flown me up there, and he was returning to Canada for a holiday at home.

 

I really have to keep my eyes open!

 

 

Jan

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Too funny, Jan. I'm sure both Spencer and I are bound to bump into you again!!!

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Paolo,

 

If you are reading this, can you tell us more about Botswana in the 90s? Sorry many of us couldn't experience it ...... but, would love to hear stories and anecdotes from the good old days.

 

OK. I will try..... (I guess also Jan might have similar experiences).

 

A good indicator of how things have progressively changed is to me Maun Airport. When I first went to Botswana in 1989. Maun airport was just a tarmac strip and little more; by 1993 or so it was upgraded to an "international airport". Last time I was there (2001) Sefofane was using golf carts to drive you one hundred metres yo your plane!

 

Obviously camps were much simpler those days, and I think that Ker & Downey was the leading force until the early Nineties. WS began to buid its reputation in 1992-1993, due to the different experiences offered by its two camps, Jedibe and Mombo. The latter, as everybody knows, began to build its stellar reputation thanks to its fantastic wild dog packs. You might be surprised to know that, when in the mid nineties, WS started to manage other camps, Kwara was briefly one of them.

 

Generally speaking, game viewing in areas other than Moremi, Savuti or Chobe riverfront was much harder those days, since many concessions had an hybrid use (photographic/hunting), or had just been turned into photographic concessions.

 

I remember that famous photographer Frans Lanting spent the entire 1989 in Botswana on assignment for National Geographic and in all that time he managed to take ONE good picture of a leopard. In August 1989 I was at Linyanti Camp (which I reckon was located approximately where the Bushlife camp is now placed) and I saw a grand total of 4 elephants in two days.

 

Still, my 1989 trip was magical: from being awaken by hippos feeding in front of my tent (Pom Pom), to watch my first wild dogs and having my first glimpse of a roan (both at Machaba, along Khwai river), to the heronry at Gcobega......

 

In particular, I recall a longish flight (planes were small, no Caravans!) from Linyanti to Kasane: I was marvelling at the endless miles of wild, ininterrupted mopane below us telling to myself; "but this is relly untouched"; then a few pans, and a couple of giraffes here, a herd of buffalo there. And, finally, the Chobe river, literally grey of hundreds, or rather thousands, elephants. Everyone in the plane screamed of joy, and then we remained in awe of such a view. There was no internet at that time, no documentary about Chobe had been shown in Italy (my country) yet, so nothing or nobody had prepared ud to that pristine, magnificent spectacle.

 

In the following years, game viewing improved dramatically, and, sadly, Chobe became overcrowded. You could already feel it being too pressured in 1993. Still, Savuti was great, and Lloyd's Camp the place to be if you were serious about wildlife (elephant everywhere and lions liked that camp a lot for their early morning strolls).

 

Thereafter, my "Mombo period" began (I visited Mombo or Mombo Trails 5 times). The camp was really rustic, even more than the other WS camps during that period. But the game!!!! We witnessed lions fighting, the Steroid Boys (famous cheetah brothers) hunting a female kudu after having attempted a go at a zebra, cheetah cubs on our bonnet (a' la Mara), leopard cub playing in front of our vehicle, cheetah cubs chasing (and being chased by) bat eared foxes..... and all the rest.

 

Finally, in 2001, the old Mombo Trails was replaced by Little Mombo, with its wooden walkways and a room so large you could have lost yourself.... and the vibes, that anticipation, were no longer there (luckily the game was - and I think it is - still very abundant). Flying over the Delta you could see so many airstrips servicing so many camps.... I thought maybe it was time to try something new, to move somewhere else.

 

Obviously, I am facing the risk now to appear too (hopelessly) romantic. I think there is a lot of love lost between myself and Botswana, and I will return some day, maybe when other places in Africa will have taken the full circle and become Botswana -like, with camps more and more upmarket, and a diminishing soul. For sure, your description of Kwando suggests that I should take one more chance soon.

 

Still, I am happy I can treasure my memories of my first look at the Delta from the air, and of those elephants engulfing the Chobe like they were fur seals in a colony.

 

Paolo

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Still, I am happy I can treasure my memories of my first look at the Delta from the air, and of those elephants engulfing the Chobe like they were fur seals in a colony.

Excellent prose Paolo - but as they say a picture is worth a thousand words: so get busy scanning those old slides to upload here... please.

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maybe when other places in Africa will have taken the full circle and become Botswana-like, with camps more and more upmarket, and a diminishing soul.
I hope this will happen after my death!

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Still, Savuti was great, and Lloyd's Camp the place to be if you were serious about wildlife (elephant everywhere and lions liked that camp a lot for their early morning stroll

 

 

Paolo,

 

I think that you and I share some memories. I, too, was a regular, with my husband, at Mombo in the early days when

 

Dave Hamman and Helene were managers. I remember when the first make-over was done with the swimming pool,

 

and I was thinking then that it was becoming 'too posh'! Little did I know what was to come! It really was a great little

 

camp.

 

Now, Lloyd's at Savuti was the place to be in the early 90's. We had some fantastic times there with lions and

 

elephants. One night after dinner we were still sitting talking and drinking at the table when a call came through from

 

a nearby camp for a doctor. An Italian [yes, true] had a bad stomach, and one of our friends , Philip, was a doctor.

 

As he got up from the table there was a tremendous roar, and there stood at the end of the table, a male lion at the

 

birds water fountain! We all leapt in the air , too! I was quite nervous going back to our tent. Yes, the lions did

 

think that they owned the camp. Lloyd himself is another story. I'll tell you more tomorrow. I'm so pleased to hear

 

from someone who was there in those mad days.

 

 

Jan

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It's really hard to pick one place. I've been to Botswana, Namibia, Tanzania (X3), Kenya (X2), Uganda and Rwanda and loved every trip...but they've all been very different.

 

I guess I will have to pick Tanzania, as I really love the Ndutu area.

 

Sadly, I think this may be another area that is under increasing pressure due to popularity.

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Maybe, if we discover a new destination - keep it an insider secret? Ofcourse, that's if any good locations remain from the commercialization? I'm sure there's something in Mozambique or Angola or even Zim for that matter? who knows......

 

No trip reports, no photographs on the internet etc etc.,??? :unsure:

 

It would be hard to keep our mouths shut and stay off them keyboards :blink:

We could just PM.

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