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Old 02-13-2018, 09:23 PM
 
Location: North Dakota
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Hello fellow travelers. In the next year or two (hopefully not more than three!) I'm looking at traveling to Africa. I have two destinations I've narrowed down.

One is a two week trip to Kenya. It will have more camping but some lodge accommodation. It includes visits to the Maasai Mara, Samburu, Amboseli, Lake Nakuru, and Tsavo East and West. Hopefully I can also squeeze in a visit to Nairobi National Park as well.

The other is a two week trip to Southern Africa. This one includes Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe. Highlights are Etosha National Park, Swakopmund, the Kalahari, the Okavango Delta, Chobe National Park, and Victoria Falls. This one is more lodge accommodation than camping.

Prices are close to the same with Kenya being a bit more expensive but not by much. If you have visited any place chime in, I'm definitely interested in your opinion. If you haven't been to either, I'm still curious what your opinion is.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 02-13-2018, 09:50 PM
 
Location: Kekaha, Hawaii
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Zimbabwe, Namibia, and Bostwana are all awesome. Can't speak for Kenya, but Victoria Falls is something special, and Walvish Bay/Swakopmund is really cool as well.
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Old 02-14-2018, 05:46 AM
 
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I have been to Botswana which is considered the "jewel of Southern Africa". I visited Chobe National Park and did a water safari on the Zambezi River which was great. I didn't get to Victoria Falls due to a technical mishap but I am sure they would be spectacular to see in person. I did stay in a local lodge in Kasane (near the Zambezi river & Victoria Falls) which was great as well. Besides that I also spent time in Gaborone (the capital of Botswana) and while I was there I visited the nearby Mokolodi Nature Reserve.
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Old 02-14-2018, 07:59 AM
 
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Both are great options.
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Old 02-14-2018, 12:22 PM
 
Location: Eureka CA
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All I can tell you is I have a friend who took his family on a Kenya safari and they loved it.
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Old 02-14-2018, 04:17 PM
 
Location: North Dakota
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nn2036 View Post
Both are great options.
Have you visited both? If so, which did you like more?
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Old 02-14-2018, 06:27 PM
 
Location: On the road
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I'd go with B.

You'll see lots of big animals on either trip (Chobe is nuts with elephants) but with B you get Vic Falls (from both sides if you get the Kaza visa and can hop into Zambia), and the spectacular desert in Namibia. Here's a couple pics we took:





We did mostly camping with some guest houses along the way.
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Old 02-14-2018, 07:23 PM
 
Location: North Dakota
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lieqiang View Post
I'd go with B.

You'll see lots of big animals on either trip (Chobe is nuts with elephants) but with B you get Vic Falls (from both sides if you get the Kaza visa and can hop into Zambia), and the spectacular desert in Namibia. Here's a couple pics we took:





We did mostly camping with some guest houses along the way.
Looks amazing.mi take it the Kaza visa allows you to go to Zimbabwe and Zambia? Did you go to Etosha? The elephant population in Chobe is appealing to me.
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Old 02-15-2018, 05:19 AM
 
Location: On the road
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Yeah Kaza gets you both, and since Botswana is free you've got that whole triangle on one visa.

Yes, went to Etosha. Two good things about Etosha:
1. Black rhinos. They have horns sawed off to prevent poaching but it's still a freakin black rhino, pretty exciting to see.
2. Really cool watering hole setup with floodlights at night, can just sit in a chair with a beer and watch the animals come.

Chobe has a ****-ton of elephants, everything from big bulls to infant calves, they go down to the river in the afternoon to splash around so fun to watch.

These are cell phone pics I took, top is rhino in Etosha and next to are from Chobe.





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Old 02-15-2018, 10:02 AM
 
Location: Seattle
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I'd just throw out a third option, that of South Africa.

The safari options are comparable (in fact I'd say preferable, but just my opinion) but the real advantage is being able to travel independently. Get a car and drive all over - the roads are good, accommodation options are far greater than in east Africa or Botswana/Zim, and the real benefit is incredible variety. In the north, the Kruger complex of national park and adjoining fenceless game reserves is without parallel; you can see watery wildlife in the St. Lucia area of KZN, dramatic mountain scenery along the Panorama Route and the central Drakensberg mountains, desert in the northwest, stunning coastal scenery on both the Indian and Atlantic Ocean shores, incomparable Cape Town... it goes on and on. And the human geography is incredible - numerous cultures and languages, terrific food, historic cities, a vibrant arts scene...

I'd look at timing, too. The summer is the wet season in most of southern Africa, and also the bug and malaria season in areas prone to that. Our trips have mainly been in the late winter or spring (August - September) when the wildlife viewing is at its best (no leaves on the trees to obstruct visibility) and because it's the dry season, the animals come to water. And in the spring the wildflowers in the Namaqualand region (between Cape Town and the Namibia border on the Atlantic coast) are justly famous worldwide.

I have to confess I was underwhelmed by Victoria Falls. In the winter the flow is low so the visibility is improved, but of course there isn't much water. In the summer the flow is much greater, but the mist and spray makes the falls all but invisible, so it's a devil's bargain. Combining that with the cost of getting there, well, for me... meh.

Anyway, just suggesting you give it a look.
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