|Mt. Kenya Safari Club|
|Migration Camp, Serengeti, Tanzania|
My first trip was to Kenya in 1981 (my driver/guide on my Tanzanian trip was born in 1990). I was teaching high school at the time and found a program called The American Institute For Foreign Study. The more people I got to go on the trip with me the less I paid. So after doing 3 trips to Europe, I decided Africa was were I wanted to go. Because of my affiliation with TAIFS, all I had to do was pay for airfare. We spent 12 days in Kenya and saw just about all you needed to see and stayed at some very nice properties such as the Mount Kenya Safari Club and Treetops. I came back with the feeling that even though we had seen lions and cheetahs and elephants etc the safari experience in Kenya was not an intimate one. If we saw a cheetah, well, so did about another 10 vehicles. Hard to get a picture of the animal with all of those trucks around. Then in 2001 my husband and I went to Zimbabwe, Botswana and South Africa. In 2011 we went to Namibia and Zambia and I just returned from 9 days in Tanzania. So I've covered just about all of Eastern and Southern Africa.
|The Namib desert Namibia|
|Water safaris in the Okavango Delta|
|The plains of the Serengeti|
A couple of other things to consider. When traveling to Africa, you do need to protect yourself from malaria and other possible ailments. You can go to your local county health department to get some of your shots, some grocery stores now offer vaccinations but you still need a prescription, or you can go to a travel health clinic which can prove to be very expensive and harrowing. Harrowing because even though they recommend certain shots they tell you the shots can cause kidney failure, liver failure, facial deformity, flatulence, growing extra toes...you get the picture. You will need malaria pills, you most likely will need a yellow fever shot (check about this if you are over 60), and the others are optional...Hep A, Hep B, tetanus etc.
And last but not least...Are you susceptible to mosquito bites? Then concern yourself, really concern yourself with traveling to Tanzania. During the heat of the day and when we were traveling through acacia tree groves (which are everywhere), the TSETSE fly comes out to drink your blood! No da*n joke. They like the color black so our poor drivers were eaten alive by these things. Me...I heard each and every one of them saying to me, "I want to suck your blood." They bite through your clothing and even your tennis shoes. I used 99% Deet and it still didn't keep them at bay. I had over 45 bites that after three weeks are still there but, thank God, no longer itching. My sister? O...N...E...B...I...T...E!
Bottom line...what is your bottom line? The prices for Africa keep going up every year. Yes, they say their lead in price is $6000 without international airfare but that is for off season. There's a reason for that. Less viewing of the animals. The trip my sister and I took this year will be $4000 more PER PERSON next year. So, if you're going, go quickly.