Africa Safari Tips, Ideas??!!

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#1
Columbus, Ohio
19,911 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
From the CNN cable news network earlier this week, they have this headline: "11 tips to get the most from a South African safari game drive". Lots of ideas to consider in this article. Below are six of my sample visuals from our visit to South Africa. Many more pictures and details can be sampled on the full live/blog connected by the link at the bottom of this posting.

Here are some of the top highlights based on our experiences earlier this year: "There are many arguments to visit a park during a specific season. Most recommend going during the dry season when wildlife is concentrated around the few watering holes. The wet season is just as spectacular, with greenery, baby animals and storm clouds to enjoy. Many safari companies focus on the Big 5: lions, leopards, buffalo, elephants and rhinos. In the search for these animals you'll end up seeing most other species on your list. The guides will often use radio and phone communication to keep each other informed when a rare animal is spotted. While not always the primary mission of many safari groups, there are amazing bird-watching opportunities. It pays off to develop a relationship with your guide. Their keen eyes are honed to spot wildlife, but they also have to focus on staying on the road. If you do your part to help pick out animals, they'll be even more willing to go the extra mile and take you to special places off the beaten track. Take the time to sit – Morning and evening game drives can be intense and don't allow a lot of time for relaxation. April is prime time to see baby animals in Kruger. Pairs like this Chacma baboon mother and infant have many seemingly human interactions as the mother teaches the youngster how to live in this brand new world."

Full story at:
http://www.cnn.com/2016/12/14/travel...ips/index.html

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio


AFRICA?!!?: Lots of interesting and dramatic pictures can be seen from my latest live/blog at:
http://www.boards.cruisecritic.com/s....php?t=2310337
Now at 24,129 views for this reporting and visual sharing that includes Cape Town, all along the South Africa coast, Mozambique, Victoria Falls/Zambia and Botswana's famed Okavango Delta area.


When the park is called an “elephant park”, what would you expect there? Yes, elephants!! Here is one sample elephant visual to share from Addo Elephant Park near Port Elizabeth (or PE) along the South Africa Coast. Don’t you just love these baby elephants that are so super cute?:




While at Addo Elephant Park near Port Elizabeth, we saw several ostriches, including the adult male and female, both with very different colorations/coats. But, I also managed to get several shots of just of their three “babies”. This one view is a top favorite as the three heads are aligned in a special and very interesting angle. Agree that this one picture is a “super keeper”?:




Here is a sampling from Hluhluwe–iMfolozi Game Reserve near Richards Bay, South Africa, during our two-day, overnight adventure at this location. First shows a dramatic and wind-blown example of a male Kudu right after sunrise. Second shows two types of monkeys lovingly check each other for mites. The third picture shows what it is like being surrounded by a herd of Cape Buffalo. Is this being close enough to get that "stare"? At this park location, we found out what was so “personal” for being with a large White Rhino and to see this male ring both spraying (peeing) over and over, plus pooping right near us. I will spare showing those details here. This park has been a world leader in saving the White Rhino.:










From Hluhluwe–iMfolozi Game Reserve near Richards Bay, South Africa, during our two-day, overnight adventure at this location, here is a wind-blown example of a male Kudu right after sunrise. This was taken with the longer zoom at 210mm, f/18, 1/320 of a second, ISO 800.:

#3
USA
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We were on a safari Oct-Nov, it was amazing.
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#4
Columbus, Ohio
19,911 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
Appreciate these nice follow-ups and these excellent posts. Below is a connection for the live/blog from our March experiences in doing this fun "adventure" through the Panama Canal. This includes our first stops in Colombia, Central America and Mexico, plus added time in the great San Francisco. Very special and interesting in seeing the Panama Canal and learning about its creation/construction.

Getting ready in six days to be departing for Lisbon and our first visit to Portugal. Then, we will be seeing NW Spain, Bordeaux and Brittany also for the first times in these charming regions. Will do a live/blog for these "adventures". Join in and feel free to ask any questions as we sail. It will be on the Silversea Cruise Critic board.

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

Panama Canal? Just completed Feb. 28-Mar. 15, 2017, Fort Lauderdale to San Francisco adventure through the Panama Canal with our first stops in Colombia, Central America and Mexico, plus added time in the great Golden Gate City. Lots of fun pictures!! Those pictures start on the second page, post #26. See more at:
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2465580
#5
Punta Gorda
1,759 Posts
Joined May 2004
Terry:
You are always a font of incredible knowledge. I know that before you went to Africa you contacted Alan's tours.
Did you take a trip to Addo with them and was it a good day?
We are on Queen Elizabeth World Cruise in 2018 and I am planning my tours.
Thank you
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#6
California
42 Posts
Joined Jun 2017
Not sure how you do a cruise to Africa and do a safari. I guess through a land tour pre/post cruise. We had an amazing time in Botswana and Zambia books through Lion World and Sanctuary resorts...

mochatruffalo.wordpress.com ( scroll down to the African entries)
#7
Punta Gorda
1,759 Posts
Joined May 2004
Originally posted by LuvBotswana
Not sure how you do a cruise to Africa and do a safari. I guess through a land tour pre/post cruise. We had an amazing time in Botswana and Zambia books through Lion World and Sanctuary resorts...

mochatruffalo.wordpress.com ( scroll down to the African entries)

I am trying to comprehend your post.
This is a cruise message board.
Not all of us have the opportunity to spend a long time in Africa.
We do what we can. It might not be something that you would want but it is what we came to this site to find answers.
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#8
California
42 Posts
Joined Jun 2017
Originally posted by bananavan
I am trying to comprehend your post.
This is a cruise message board.
Not all of us have the opportunity to spend a long time in Africa.
We do what we can. It might not be something that you would want but it is what we came to this site to find answers.
????
The title is African safari tips, ideas? I was just sharing.
#9
Punta Gorda
1,759 Posts
Joined May 2004
Thank you for sharing the fact that you were able to take more than a week in Africa when most of us, on cruises, cannot.
Most of us have one to two days when we are on a cruise.
That is what we are here for. To discover what we can do in one to two days.
Now for Alaska, please take an extra week like I did. Make sure you take the air trip over the glacier like I did.
Were I to see a question about Alaska by cruise ship I would not be posting that nobody in their right mind would think that they were seeing Alaska without going inland.

Thanks
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#10
Arizona
1,837 Posts
Joined Feb 2008
Originally posted by TLCOhio
Appreciate these nice follow-ups and these excellent posts. Below is a connection for the live/blog from our March experiences in doing this fun "adventure" through the Panama Canal. This includes our first stops in Colombia, Central America and Mexico, plus added time in the great San Francisco. Very special and interesting in seeing the Panama Canal and learning about its creation/construction.

Getting ready in six days to be departing for Lisbon and our first visit to Portugal. Then, we will be seeing NW Spain, Bordeaux and Brittany also for the first times in these charming regions. Will do a live/blog for these "adventures". Join in and feel free to ask any questions as we sail. It will be on the Silversea Cruise Critic board.

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

Panama Canal? Just completed Feb. 28-Mar. 15, 2017, Fort Lauderdale to San Francisco adventure through the Panama Canal with our first stops in Colombia, Central America and Mexico, plus added time in the great Golden Gate City. Lots of fun pictures!! Those pictures start on the second page, post #26. See more at:
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2465580
Was this the Island Princess? We were on it too. Great cruise.
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#11
Arizona
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We are thinking of booking a cruise out of Cape Town next year. The options are to take a one day safari out of Port Elizabeth, or a three day from Cape Town and end in Port Elizabeth. We are more of a 4 or 5 star hotel type, not campers.. Do you think the accommodations would be comfortable? Do you think we would be able to see enough on a one day tour? We are particularly interested in the Big Cats.
Thank you for all your help.
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#12
East Yorkshire, UK
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I would advise doing a 3 day tour to be more likely to see the 'Big 5' including Lions. We have done a number of 1 -2 week safaris (tho' in Kenya & Tanzania rather than South Africa) and found that on some days we just didn't see anything much. Although guides are very good and know the best places to look, there are no guarantees as animals move around a lot, depending on weather, water or lack of it, where prey animals are etc.


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#13
Bunbury WA
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Originally posted by chloe kitty
We are thinking of booking a cruise out of Cape Town next year. The options are to take a one day safari out of Port Elizabeth, or a three day from Cape Town and end in Port Elizabeth. We are more of a 4 or 5 star hotel type, not campers.. Do you think the accommodations would be comfortable? Do you think we would be able to see enough on a one day tour? We are particularly interested in the Big Cats.
Thank you for all your help.
Check out Umzantzi Tours umzantsi.co.za Say hello to Lyn from Kaye. She orgainised tours in different ports for us last January 2016. Also check trip advisor. Lyn is based in Port Elizabeth.
https://www.tripadvisor.com.au › ... › Port Elizabeth › Things to do in Port Elizabeth K
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#14
Columbus, Ohio
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Joined Mar 2006
Originally posted by bananavan
I am trying to comprehend your post. This is a cruise message board. Not all of us have the opportunity to spend a long time in Africa. We do what we can. It might not be something that you would want but it is what we came to this site to find answers.
Originally posted by chloe kitty
Was this the Island Princess? We were on it too. Great cruise.
Appreciate these follow-ups. For Chloe Kitty, YES, we were on the Island Princess. Things worked well. Probably too many sea-days for our personal tastes, but we made things happening in a nice and interesting way.

For bananavan, YES, timing in doing Africa is a serious challenge. If coming from the USA, it take a long, serious amount of travel time/logistics to get there. Some of us are, fortunately, more flexible to be able to spendthe time to get there AND maximize what can be done while there. Others, however, are more limited. I understand fully!! Ideally, if you spend that much money and time to get there, it is nice to do as much there as possible.

Fortunately, we were able to have five days in Cape Town prior to our ten-day cruise along the South Africa coast. And, then after the cruise, we pushed in being able to spend two days in the Victoria Falls area and then six days in Botswana. Realize that not all can be away for that much time, depending on work and/or family situations. Do the best you can, but if there is one part of the world where you need to "push the limits", it is for being in Africa. Finances can also be a factor/challenge, as doing safari days in places such as Botswana are not cheap. That is part of the "Botswana plan" in keeping the numbers down lower and doing high-quality, higher-cost safari tours.

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

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http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1974139
for more info and many pictures of these amazing sights in this great part of the world. Now at 183,008 views for this posting.
#15
Arizona
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Joined Feb 2008
Thank you for all the help. Now we must decide.
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#16
Columbus, Ohio
19,911 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
Originally posted by chloe kitty
Thank you for all the help. Now we must decide.
Originally posted by Host Grandma Cruising
I would advise doing a 3 day tour to be more likely to see the 'Big 5' including Lions. We have done a number of 1 -2 week safaris (tho' in Kenya & Tanzania rather than South Africa) and found that on some days we just didn't see anything much. Although guides are very good and know the best places to look, there are no guarantees as animals move around a lot, depending on weather, water or lack of it, where prey animals are etc..
YES, making that choice is challenging. Excellent points and background comments by Host Grandma Cruising. The more time spent doing safari, then your "odds" improve for seeing certain animals, especially with the "cats". These are excursions in the "wild". It's not a zoo and things can be very unpredictable. We did not see any lions during our three safari days in South Africa. Agree there are no guarantees. Good luck with your choice and actual experiences.

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

For details and visuals, etc., from our July 1-16, 2010, Norway Coast/Fjords/Arctic Circle cruise experience from Copenhagen on the Silver Cloud, check out this posting. This posting is now at 217,533 views.
www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1227923
#17
Lee-on-the-Solent, England
12,577 Posts
Joined Mar 2009
I'm no expert on South African safaris, but I think if you dig deeper you'll find there are far better prospects of seeing all of the Big 5 in Kruger Nat Park & the adjacent private reserves, way over near S A's eastern border, than in the Cape Town / Port Elizabeth area.

The routine with safaris is normally that you arrive lunch-time, perhaps have an afternoon drive, then an evening drive, then dinner & overnight in the lodge. Then an early morning drive, breakfast, pack up & leave.
Routine for two days or more is much the same - so a three-day safari means a half day at the start plus two full days & a half-day at the end.

That works well with Nat Parks & Private Reserves from Port Elizabeth. For instance Addo Elephant Nat. Park is less than an hour away, and even Mount Zebra is under 3 hours.
Or is this a quickie day-excursion, ie back to PE same-day?

Wildlife, even on Reserves, is much rarer in the west.
So I'd be very wary of safaris in easy reach of Cape Town
If the three-day one from Cape Town is to the same area - around Addo or Mount Zebra - then either it involves flights or you lose a great deal of your time travelling.

At Addo NP you'll see plenty of elephants, zebra, antelope (esp kudu & hartebeest), warthogs & such. But your prospects of seeing lions, leopards, cheetah & white rhino are practically nil despite the Park's claims.
Amakhala game reserve is across the road from Addo - the two are separated by the road and fences. From the road we saw stax of animals In Amakhala - that Reserve will be weaaaaay more expensive but a far better bet than Addo, which was easy to tour in a day but quite limited.

Best bet by far, as mentioned, is in or around Kruger.
In a half-day + overnite rest-camp + full day self-drive we saw all except lion.
In a fairly expensive 3-day safari in a private lodge in the adjoining Klaserie Reserve we saw less - disappointing, but that's life.
On another occasion my partner & daughter stayed in Sabi Sands Reserve. Eye-wateringly expensive, but saw many examples of all 5 including kills.
But from CP or PE the Kruger area would mean an internal flight or a full South African roadtrip

You really do need to research deeply.
TripAdvisor is a much better source than Cruise Critic.

Good luck

JB
ps Terry - I think it was you who put us on to St Lucia. Very grateful, never seen so many hippo in one place. And a brilliant day at the adjoining NP at Cape Vidal
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#18
Punta Gorda
1,759 Posts
Joined May 2004
John and Terry,
Thank you for this information.
I wish we could do an overnight, perhaps we still can but we are on the QE World Cruise in 2018.
I found your information to be exceptionally informative.
Terry, I believe that at one point you were thinking of touring Addo with Alan's tours.
We will be in Port Elizabeth.
Did you in fact do Addo with his tour or did you chose a longer safari experience ?
Thanks in advance.
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#19
Columbus, Ohio
19,911 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
Originally posted by John Bull
I'm no expert on South African safaris, but I think if you dig deeper you'll find there are far better prospects of seeing all of the Big 5 in Kruger Nat Park & the adjacent private reserves, way over near S A's eastern border, than in the Cape Town / Port Elizabeth area. The routine with safaris is normally that you arrive lunch-time, perhaps have an afternoon drive, then an evening drive, then dinner & overnight in the lodge. Then an early morning drive, breakfast, pack up & leave.
You really do need to research deeply. TripAdvisor is a much better source than Cruise Critic. JB
ps Terry - I think it was you who put us on to St Lucia. Very grateful, never seen so many hippo in one place. And a brilliant day at the adjoining NP at Cape Vidal
Originally posted by bananavan
John and Terry, Thank you for this information. I wish we could do an overnight, perhaps we still can but we are on the QE World Cruise in 2018. I found your information to be exceptionally informative.
Terry, I believe that at one point you were thinking of touring Addo with Alan's tours. We will be in Port Elizabeth. Did you in fact do Addo with his tour or did you chose a longer safari experience?
Appreciate so much these great comments and excellent follow-ups from bananavan and John Bull. Yes, doing safaris in Africa is not quite as easy and simple as it might seem on the surface and/or on paper. PLUS, it does take lots of "luck" to make the right sightings happen, especially for lions, leopards, etc. From doing three safari days in South Africa and six such days in Botswana, we improved our "ODDS" to see and do more.

As noted by JB, our experience was much as described: "At Addo NP you'll see plenty of elephants, zebra, antelope (esp kudu & hartebeest), warthogs & such." Yes, we did a full day at Addo. Worked super well for us. But, we did not see any lions. Our tour at Addo was much better than the shorter ship excursions. Yes, we did our great day with Alan Fogarty of Alan Tours as our skilled guide around this park. He was super excellent and being the only two guests with him made our "experience" much more personal and meaningful.

For Alan and three other excellent private guides in South Africa, we did used TripAdvisor to locate them. My method to research such guides for such tour? I will search and identify three or four highly-rated such guides on TripAdvisor. Then I write to them by e-mail, am very specific as about our personal interests, travel style, etc. Then, I evaluate what I hear back with each response. Some guides/firms do not read/understand our interests well and only send back a "formula" response that gives an impression that they are not good at "listening". Nor, for being that "personal" with such potential tours. Interestingly, it is TripAdvisor that owns and now controls Cruise Critic. Lots of "connections" with these various info and booking sites.

Glad for JB that St Lucia worked so well. It's an excellent area, especially with good guides and people helping you there.

THANKS for the great sharing and questions! Keep it coming. Lots of learn about how to be successful in Africa. Sorry for my delay in responding as we have had our two grandsons from Virginia here in Central Ohio and they are nearly ages five and seven. That kept us very, very busy. Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

AFRICA?!!?: Lots of interesting and dramatic pictures can be seen from this live/blog at:
www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2310337
Now at 32,692 views for this visual sharing including Cape Town, along South Africa’s coast, Mozambique, Victoria Falls/Zambia and Botswana's famed Okavango Delta area.
#20
Arizona
1,837 Posts
Joined Feb 2008
All info provided is great. We have decided to do a 4 day Safari out of Johannesburg to Kruger. Now, we just have to decide on the company (and that is not easy).
Thanks everyone.
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Aprl 2020 Ovation of the Seas-SYD to HNL
Sept 2019 Sky Princess=TA
Apr 2019 Spectrum of the Seas-BCN to Dubai
Nov. 2018 Symphony of the Seas-Eastern Caribbean
Aug. 2018 Serenade of the Seas-Iceland and TA.
May 2018 Radiance of the Seas-Hawaii to Vancouver
Jan. 2018 African Safari and Cunard cruise
Sept. 2017 Anthem OTS Canada
Jun. 2017 Majestic Princess Dubai to Singapore.
Feb. 2017 Island Princess Panama Canal transit
Oct. 2016 RCCL Harmony of the Seas-TA
July. 2016 NCL Getaway Olympic Charter
May 2016 RCCL Ovation of the Seas-BCN to Dubai
Apr. 2016 Golden Princess SYD to HKG
Nov. 2015 NCL Getaway Caribbean
Oct. 2015 Celebrity Silhouette Med and Holy land
July 2015 Diamond Princess Japan
May, 2015 Quantum of the Seas TA
Jan. 2015 Emerald Princess West Caribbean
Oct 2014 Oasis of the Seas Transatlantic
Jun. 2014 Celebrity Sillouette Med.
Feb. 2014 Diamond Princess SYD to SIN.
Jul. 2013 Caribbean Princess British Isles
Apr. 2013 Carnival Legend Transatlantic
Oct., 2012 Pacific Princess ATH to FCO
Aug, 2012 Rotterdam Rotterdam RT(Norway).
Apr. 2012 Sea Princess SYD to SFO Transpacific
Feb. 2012 Allure of the Seas Caribbean
Oct. 2011 Celebrity Eclipse Transatlantic
Jul. 2011 Mariner of the Seas Med and Holy Land
Feb. 2011 Diamond Princess SYD to Beijing
Dec.2010 Celebrity Eclipse Carribean
Dec. 2010 Diamond Princess SIN to SYD
May.2010 Celebrity Century Transatlantic
Apr. 2010 Diamond Princess Beijing to ANC.Transpacific
Mar. 2010 Sapphire Princess Mexico
Nov 2009 Grand Princess 3 continent
Sept 2009 Golden Princess Coastal
Sept 2009 NCL Star 1 night
May 2009 Sapphire Princess Alaska
Mar 2009 Star Princess So. America
Dec 2008 Rotterdam Panama Canal
Feb. 2007 Sapphire Princess Austraila NZ
Aug 2006 Sapphire Princess Alaska
May 2006 Maasdam Canada/New England
plus others

Diamond on RCCL
Elite on Celebrity
Elite on Princess
one can never cruise too much