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Old Jan 24, 12, 9:21 am   #1
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
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General question about "safari fatigue"

I recently booked a two week trip to Tanzania for a Kili climb + post Safari. The climb will soak up the first week, so we have one week left for Safari type activities. I am trying to get information from people that have spent time in general on Safari about when you feel like you might have better spent your time on some other activities.

The operator we are going with has many offerings outside of just game driving, including spending days with bushmen learning survival skills, hunting, etc. and Climbing Ol Doinyo Lengai.

We are both very very fit and active, and usually chose to immerse ourselves when going abroad, wherever that may be. That being said, we have never been to Africa, so what I want to avoid is coming home and saying "I wish we had gone on more game drives", or "I wish we had gone on less game drives".

I am wondering from people that have been on safari, at what point did you wake up in the morning and the excitement was not quite what it was the first day? I think we definitely want to do a few days of game drives, but a week, I just do not know if the time would be better spent on other things.

Any opinions would be appreciated. Not just from people with experience in TZ either!

Thank you,

Chris
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Old Jan 25, 12, 1:31 am   #2
 
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Did a three day Safari at Sabi Sands (next to Kruger National Park in South Africa) the weekend before last. We did a morning drive and an afternoon drive each day, each about three hours. Saw an enormous variety of wildlife, and was absolutely delighted. Would have happily done a fourth day, though a fifth might have become repetitive. I guess if you're unlucky and don't see much wildlife, you might be getting bored after two days.

To give you an idea of the variety of wildlife at Sabi Sands:

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?...1&l=963e2430c2
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Old Jan 25, 12, 12:09 pm   #3
 
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Enjoyed your photos acunningham- just returned from Sabi Sands sfter teh new year. It doesn't look like you were affected by the recent serious floods that impacted Kruger and sabi sands.
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Old Jan 25, 12, 12:11 pm   #4
 
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Enjoyed your photos acunningham- just returned from Sabi Sands sfter teh new year. It doesn't look like you were affected by the recent serious floods that impacted Kruger and sabi sands.
Glad you liked them! I was lucky, and left a few days before the floods.
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Old Jan 25, 12, 6:54 pm   #5
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I camped for 8 weeks in Africa, did safaris in Serengeti, Ngorongoro, Chobe and Etosha.

It never got old.

But the longest was 4 days in Serengeti. That was enough of driving around in a jeep with sometimes nothing to see for a long time

If you are out safari'ed, there is always Zanzibar and chill out for a couple days after all the adventure.
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Old Jan 26, 12, 6:00 am   #6
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I agree - it never gets old.

We've visited various times in Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Botswana, South Africa, Namibia - activities as varied as two week land-based safari (do it yourself plus, camping and travelling in safari built vehicles), walking safaris, tented safaris, "do it yourself" safaris where we rented vehicles and arranged for park accommodation in advance in Malawi and in Namibia (where you can easily arrange a vehicle pickup in Windhoek and make arrangements for lodges ranging from government rest camps in Etosha, Waterberg or other parks or lodges as upscale as you want) and flying safaris with camping on the ground - and am planning to repeat.

In a zoo, you tour a couple of hours and see the animals in a manufactured habitat. On safari you observe and learn about the habitat itself and see its denizens, including people of different cultures.


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Originally Posted by rankourabu View Post
I camped for 8 weeks in Africa, did safaris in Serengeti, Ngorongoro, Chobe and Etosha.

It never got old.

But the longest was 4 days in Serengeti. That was enough of driving around in a jeep with sometimes nothing to see for a long time

If you are out safari'ed, there is always Zanzibar and chill out for a couple days after all the adventure.
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Old Jan 27, 12, 3:46 am   #7
 
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How much time on safari is "enough" will first and foremost depend on your general level of interest, and whether you have any special interests.

You get people who think one elephant is more than plenty and prefer to spend all their free time in the disco, and those who want to live their entire lives in the bush. Most people fall somewhere between these two extremes.

Special interests such a birds, butterflies, trees or flowers give you more to look for and look at than just the big & hairy and fangs & claws, so you can spend more time in the bush without getting bored.

Location is aonther factor. Private lodges that operate on private land or in concession usually have fairly small traversing areas, so after a few days you can end up going around in circles viewing the same five sleeping lions again and again. Some lodges do have very large traversing areas, but often only utilise a small core section, with the same results.

If you visit several lodges, or travel through large national parks such as Kruger or the Serengeti, a change of scenery, landscapes and animals could keep things interesting for longer.

The diversity and abundance of animals is also important. The southeastern Serengeti (or, more accurately, the northwestern Ngorongoro Conservation Area) in January and February, when the short grass plains are studded with hundreds of thousands of wildebeest, zebra, and antelope is not quite the same experience as spending days looking for a handful of desert elephants in the arid interior of Namibia.

Finally, weather and climate can be a factor. If you choose to visit in the rainy season, you make get tired of getting soaked on game drives after the first day or so.

As a very general rule of thumb, I would suggest that for those for whom the safari will be a one-off experience, and who only want to see the big stuff, three or four nights will suffice, provided the area visited is rich in game.

Johan
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Old Jan 27, 12, 11:05 pm   #8
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Gad, how did you know all that about me? I even enjoyed looking at the giant yellow sapsucking bugs and their scarlet predadacious Reduviid bugs inhabiting the Welwitschia, or getting on my belly, reversing my binocs and looking at the various grains of coloured sand in the Namib and camping in a draw near an ancient, leaning omumborumbonga tree.



OTOH I have met folks who actually enjoy staying in luxury accommodations, eating and drinking (often in reverse order), with the occasional foray into the veldt to look for, usually, megafauna.

It makes it much easier when somene gives an idea of what they ideally would like to do and see - safari fatigue is not my thing, but for some a few days is the "trip of a lifetime". And with that information members, includig our resident expert, johan rebel, can offer some great suggestions.


Quote:
Originally Posted by johan rebel View Post
How much time on safari is "enough" will first and foremost depend on your general level of interest, and whether you have any special interests.

You get people who think one elephant is more than plenty and prefer to spend all their free time in the disco, and those who want to live their entire lives in the bush. Most people fall somewhere between these two extremes.

Special interests such a birds, butterflies, trees or flowers give you more to look for and look at than just the big & hairy and fangs & claws, so you can spend more time in the bush without getting bored.

Location is aonther factor. Private lodges that operate on private land or in concession usually have fairly small traversing areas, so after a few days you can end up going around in circles viewing the same five sleeping lions again and again. Some lodges do have very large traversing areas, but often only utilise a small core section, with the same results.

If you visit several lodges, or travel through large national parks such as Kruger or the Serengeti, a change of scenery, landscapes and animals could keep things interesting for longer.

The diversity and abundance of animals is also important. The southeastern Serengeti (or, more accurately, the northwestern Ngorongoro Conservation Area) in January and February, when the short grass plains are studded with hundreds of thousands of wildebeest, zebra, and antelope is not quite the same experience as spending days looking for a handful of desert elephants in the arid interior of Namibia.

Finally, weather and climate can be a factor. If you choose to visit in the rainy season, you make get tired of getting soaked on game drives after the first day or so.

As a very general rule of thumb, I would suggest that for those for whom the safari will be a one-off experience, and who only want to see the big stuff, three or four nights will suffice, provided the area visited is rich in game.

Johan
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Last edited by JDiver; Jan 28, 12 at 2:23 pm. Reason: add photo
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