Game Warden

Your favourite safari destination

Which is your favourite safari destination?   114 members have voted

  1. 1. Please vote below

    • South Africa
      11
    • Kenya
      20
    • Tanzania
      19
    • 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

Posted (edited)

Favourite country or favourite park/reserve?

 

favourite country - Tanzania - because there are so many terrific reserves - Tarangire, Serengeti, Selous, Ruaha, Katavi

favourite reserve - Samburu (I know it's in a different country - that's why I asked :D ) It's not even the best for wildlife but I just love the whole landscape there

 

Mana Pools comes high up on the list though - mostly because you can get out of the vehicle and walk when you find something interesting.

Edited by Soukous
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"Your favourite safari destination"

 

....the next one

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Posted (edited)

This is just a basic comment and is not directed at anyone in particular, but rather, is simply predicated on the comments I've seen over the course of the evening:

 

I will agree with @@ld1. I don't mean to raise ire here, I truly don't, but as a safari newbie, I sometimes don't feel welcome here. We had a phenomenal time in South Africa last year, and we are going back next year (to different areas). No question that there are less trammeled areas of Africa, but the sightings that we had in Sabi Sands as newbies has made us committed to the rest of Africa. You don't do the cause any favors by rolling your eyes at people like me. We are on the same team. We'll eventually get to places like Ruaha if you'll give us the time, patience and chance to do so. By dismissing us as amateurs, you are discouraging the very people who are most likely to become committed to your cause. I find the term "Ferrari safari" to be insulting, although I understand where you are coming from. But has it ever occurred to you that those of us who do Ferrari safaris at the start will eventually become your biggest champions over time and will see, probably sooner than later, "the light"?

Edited by Alexander33
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@@Alexander33 please do NOT feel unwelcome here. Most of us travel to Africa to different areas and we do it differently. "Ferrari safari" to me is racing through the landscape as fast as our guide will go to following wild dogs. Speed. Not fancy cars. All of us had a first trip to Africa. The more often we go, the more we learn and the more we love it. We are the ones who get it... some people just don't. And, probably the more fussy/opinionated we get as well. It is just like growing up and going to school....the more that we learn and experience the more we change the way we look at things and are wiling to do things differently. Our trips to Africa change. Hope that this helps!

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@@Alexander33 Sorry I don't follow, does your comment refer to past postings in this topic or elsewhere on Safaritalk? Your comment above does not follow on from the discussion prior here.

 

Matt.

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Posted (edited)

This is just a basic comment and is not directed at anyone in particular, but rather, is simply predicated on the comments I've seen over the course of the evening:

 

I will agree with @@ld1. I don't mean to raise ire here, I truly don't, but as a safari newbie, I sometimes don't feel welcome here. We had a phenomenal time in South Africa last year, and we are going back next year (to different areas). No question that there are less trammeled areas of Africa, but the sightings that we had in Sabi Sands as newbies has made us committed to the rest of Africa. You don't do the cause any favors by rolling your eyes at people like me. We are on the same team. We'll eventually get to places like Ruaha if you'll give us the time, patience and chance to do so. By dismissing us as amateurs, you are discouraging the very people who are most likely to become committed to your cause. I find the term "Ferrari safari" to be insulting, although I understand where you are coming from. But has it ever occurred to you that those of us who do Ferrari safaris at the start will eventually become your biggest champions over time and will see, probably sooner than later, "the light"?

 

I can see where you're coming from @@Alexander33, but you certainly should not feel unwelcome here.

Yes, there are some very experienced travellers and they are constantly searching for new places to visit, but there are also many more who love going back to the same place time and time again.

Those that don't have the opportunity (either through money or time restrictions) to visit the more exotic places get a lot of pleasure just reading about someone else's adventures.

I think you'll find that Trip Reports to just about anywhere are followed with enthusiasm and I for one have never noticed anyone regarding novice travellers with any disdain.

 

What we all share is a love of travel (with a heavy bias towards Africa) and a willingness to share our experiences and experience.

Edited by Soukous
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Posted (edited)

@ marg; @ soukous

I think your comments are spot-on. Thank you for your insight.

 

@ Game Warden

My observation did stem from an earlier post in this thread about why South Africa had no votes (at that time, at least), which, upon further reflection, may not have been intended to be taken seriously. But it's really just more of a feeling based on periodic comments scattered throughout, usually taking the form that certain places are not wild enough and thus don't amount to "the real Africa" or that people who go to lodges that offer a certain level of amenities are more interested in lingering over high tea than in seeing wildlife. While there may be elements of truth there, that can sting those of us who are just now succumbing to the safari addiction. In a current trip report, the poster expressed reservations about reporting on his recent adventure in Kruger because he didn't think people here would be interested, so perhaps it's not just me being oversensitive?

 

In any event, even though I'm a newbie (here and to Africa), everyone I've encountersd here has been most generous, kind and helpful, so I hope my impressions will not be misconstrued otherwise. Thank you, thank you for this site. And, with that, I vote for South Africa (because that's the only place in Africa I've had the chance to visit so far!). Happy travels to all!

Edited by Alexander33
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Other than South Africa, we've never returned to any "safari destination" until this year and having just returned from a second visit to Ruaha, I've had to vote for Tanzania but it's a tough call. All things considered, the real "wilderness feel" & beauty of the Ruaha NP swayed it.

 

Botswana - absolutely stunning, best standard of guides we’ve had (Moli in Ruaha excepted!!) and the biggest range of wildlife we’ve seen. Very low “people density” + the ability to go off-road & come back to camp well after dark make it a top destination.
Kenya - stay in the concessions adjoining the NP to avoid the crowds and it still delivers an excellent safari with good guiding & accommodation at reasonable prices.
South Africa - a safari for every budget, if you can't find what you want here (other than isolation) then it probably doesn't exist!
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I'm delighted to hear that you went to Ruaha this year and stayed at Kichaka. I quite agree with you about Moli.

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Dear Africain,

 

Have you been to South Luangwa National Park in Zambia yet? I can guarantee you that you'd love it.

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Hi @@optig

 

Walking in Zambia, either SLNP or Kafue was going to be our destination this year until we heard about Kichaka. We'd "experienced" Moli 7 years ago and still have great memories of that trip so when we found out he'd set up Kichaka the only question was when could we return!

 

We've not been to Zambia yet and having thoroughly enjoyed our first walking safari, a visit to SLNP or Kafue is high on our wishlist.

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Assuming that you visit SLNP I'd urge you to do a combination of walking, and night drives. As many other people on Safaritalk can attest there is no place where you'll find more fruitful night drives.

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As many other people on Safaritalk can attest there is no place where you'll find more fruitful night drives.

Well, this is arguable. Night drives in SLNP are excellent ( in particular for leopards) but personally I had more fruitful night drives elsewhere.. SLNP would probably rank #3 or 4 in my list.

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I hope I haven't started an argument between @@optig & @Paolo :unsure:

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you must remember that Paolo's list is a very long one.

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Posted (edited)

I couldn't possibly argue with Paolo because he has been on far more safaris than I have. I should visit Gorongosa National park.

Edited by optig

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Posted (edited)

I'm also a novice. I've only been on 3 safaris to Serengeti (Tarangire, Ngorongoro, Central serengeti Lamai), Okavango and SLNP (northern part). But I thoroughly enjoyed all 3 so I can't answer the question as to what is my favourite destination. but if I am asked which I would go back again, after weighing everything - of the 3 i would pick SLNP for the golden opportunities to drive off road (although technically it is not allowed), for the precious fruitful night drives, the high density of wildlife and the fact that it is either just you or at most with two other vehicles at viewings.

 

@@Alexander33 pse don't feel slighted at all by certain comments made by the more experienced members. I've been there before, and the comments are not to look down on us newbies, but are merely their opinions and their preferences. as you go on your next safari you will somehow find that when you get a viewing all to yourself, you will treasure the quietness, and savour the length of time you won't otherwise get with 10 other vehicles around to enjoy the beauty and rarity of the viewings. and that grows on you until you wish for such remoteness and tranquil moments everytime you next see an impala, or a giraffe, or a lion, or an aardvark (which I have yet to see!).

Edited by Kitsafari
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Look all these wildlife places are great and each has its own appeal and I like to go to all of them. But if there is only one - and this is what this question is about - then I will take South Africa, more specifically Sabi Sand and greater Kruger area, hands down ! For a start the prices are in Rand and not Dollars. You get a very comfortable room / bed, top lodge and great food with the most diverse animals (biggest mammal variety of any park), exceptional and abundant leopard viewing, consistency (and excellence) in every department - the least negatives and the most positives - by far.

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favourite reserve - Samburu (I know it's in a different country - that's why I asked :D ) It's not even the best for wildlife but I just love the whole landscape there

 

~ @@Soukous

 

Me, too.

The overall look is exhilarating.

Now that Buffalo Springs is readily accessible by the repaired bridge, looking back at Samburu's landscape is a joy not to be missed.

I'm so pleased that you feel this way.

Tom K.

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Kenya for me. I find it easy to get to with regards to flying hours and have always loved the friendliness of the people and the variation of landscapes. Samburu as you know is my home from home it is a really beautiful atmospheric place and I have only rarely been bothered by "too many tourists and vehicles".

 

~ @@samburumags

 

You said it!

Everything that you wrote above is what I also feel.

Thank you so much for eloquently expressing Samburu's charms.

Tom K.

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I will take South Africa, more specifically Sabi Sand and greater Kruger area, hands down ! For a start the prices are in Rand and not Dollars. You get a very comfortable room / bed, top lodge and great food with the most diverse animals (biggest mammal variety of any park), exceptional and abundant leopard viewing, consistency (and excellence) in every department - the least negatives and the most positives - by far.

 

~ @Knowafrica:

 

I like your advocacy of Sabi Sands and the greater Kruger region.

Although I've never been there, it sounds like an appealing destination.

When I read an enthusiastic recommendation like yours, I respond positively to the passion, no matter where the destination might be.

All that you've listed above are very good to know, especially as they derive from your experience.

Thank you!

Tom K.

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Yes, there are some very experienced travellers and they are constantly searching for new places to visit, but there are also many more who love going back to the same place time and time again.

Those that don't have the opportunity (either through money or time restrictions) to visit the more exotic places get a lot of pleasure just reading about someone else's adventures.

I think you'll find that Trip Reports to just about anywhere are followed with enthusiasm and I for one have never noticed anyone regarding novice travellers with any disdain.

 

What we all share is a love of travel (with a heavy bias towards Africa) and a willingness to share our experiences and experience.

 

~ @@Soukous

 

You've put into words what I've felt.

Tomorrow will mark two months since I joined Safaritalk.

In that time I've had such enjoyment reading about others travels, seeing what they saw through their often excellent photographs.

I strongly agree with you about returning to a loved destination time and time again.

Each visit adds to my appreciation, bringing out nuances which I overlooked on prior visits.

For example, two weeks ago I was on my 5th visit to Masai Mara. There's a certain small bridge there which invariably has a substantial cluster of swallows.

During the final morning game drive, we slowed to appreciate the swallows, but were surprised when three dark waterbirds flew away. I 'd never known they were there before, but will look for them on my next visit.

Thank you for these comments.

Tom K.

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I fortunattely have the chance to visit eight countries in Africa and since I´m a wildlife photographer my main concern are obviously the animals. Africa is the land for real adventurers, people that loves lonely places and the total feeling of freedon of the big open spaces. I would love to live a thousand years because Africa s to diverse with so many places to explore and travel, the life is too short, simply too short to everithing Africa has to offer. Cheers.

 

~ @@Serengetiman

 

When I read your wish to live a thousand years to explore throughout Africa, my heart instantly sang out:

YES !!!!!!!!!

Tom K.

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Not a lot of experience in terms of countries but explored Botswana and Tanzania thoroughly over 10 years and as self campers who do it alone, its Tanzania for us (Mrs and Me). Yes its crowded and camping can get messy with over 25 vehicles in the camp ground and at sightings, but the sightings are simply amazing. You would be awfully unlucky (even on your own) not to catch 2 or 3 prides a day on top of Leopard, Cheetah and other great sightings. Its the full house of game viewing on top of amazing scenery and opportunity to photograph.

 

Botswana offers a great "wild" factor with wild roads and camp sites. When we first reached 3rd bridge Moremi in 2005, just reaching the camp site was a major achievement and there were no facilities at all. 4th bridge was already flooded but crossable, and after a few days of rain, and the only way out was through second bridge which was also flooded! We have camped in the Kalahari and not seen another vehicle the whole weekend and went prepared to survive 2 weeks with dry food and water (hopefully till help arrived). It was a totally different feeling and challenge to camping at say Seronera where there is a tourist centre, food, drinks and maintained roads.

 

There is best of both worlds - Ruhaha Tanzania.

 

At the end of the day we go to shoot (with camera of course) and the Tanzania package is simply hard to beat.

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~ As I first read through the posts on this topic over six months ago, it seemed like the time for a fresh reading.



During the intervening period there's been considerable exposure to Safaritalk posts about various concepts, experiences and specific locations.



I've visited both Kenya and South Africa during that time, conscious of issues aired in Safaritalk.



I'm more certain than ever that I'm not at all in a position to tip any given location as being a favorite, let alone a specific nation.



Reading the comments in this thread from 2009 to the present, convincing reasons are presented for various safari destinations.



What dogs my thoughts is the sense that without having feet-on-the-ground direct experience in most major safari nations and parks or reserves, there's no meaningful basis for comparison.



I'm solely speaking of myself with no intended reference to what anyone else might do.



Having visited Kenya and South Africa but nowhere else, I'd feel awkward in asserting that one of them was best.



I've loved Samburu and Meru in Kenya, and last month's Sabi Sands visit far exceeded my expectations.



Yet after reading trip reports, other topics and books about Africa, I realize that my experience is so limited, having never yet embraced prominent safari destinations throughout southern and eastern Africa.



Anything that I might post would amount to little more than flimsy conjecture. By contrast there's a sizable number of Safaritalk members with rich experience in terms of both years and geographical locations whose views would have validity.



Hence no favorites yet due to inadequate sampling to form a meaningful conclusion.



I ought to add that most — not all — of the parks or reserves I've visited have offered highly satisfying experiences in terms of outdoor interaction with vegetation, landscape and wildlife.



What I have enjoyed is reading what others feel, as that sharpens my own understanding.



Who knows? If I ever visited a lodge or camp where zorillas gambolled about on the grounds throughout twilight, I might be persuaded to dub it as my favorite...



Tom K.


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