Please sign in to post.

14 days in Africa...where to go/not go and what to see/not see

Hi,
My husband and I are planning 2 weeks in Africa in July (flipping hot but thats when we will be kid free) and we want to get a big bang for our buck. We are not looking for fancy stays/dining we want to have an authentic experience (cosy/clean/safe) and see as much as we can while we are there. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Definitely want to hit Tanzania for a 3 day safari and maybe South Africa to Cape Town but otherwise we are open.

Where to go?
How to travel around?
Tour guides? Any recommendations?
Where to stay/accommodations?
What to eat?
Safety?

Thanks a million!

Posted by
4377 posts

Actually, it won't be "flipping hot" as you are looking at the southern hemisphere, which will be winter in South Africa. I think you need to understand that traveling around Africa is not like traveling around Europe. Switching between countries can be a multi-day task. If I were you, I'd focus on either Kenya/Tanzania or South Africa, but not both. Personally, I love West Africa - Ghana specifically. Very safe, English speaking, and the friendliest people on Earth.

Posted by
4882 posts

I agree with Emily. You can't rush Africa. As wildlife is unpredictable, to stand a better chance of seeing all that you want, a 5 day safari would be better, if not a week. You will get a much better experience in small open topped vehicles.

Check websites of various specialist safari companies. Eg if you want to see the spectacular wildebeest migration in July, this will dictate where you go.

Kenya/Tanzania or South Africa are options, but don't combine SA with Tanzania. SA is easy to cover yourself by hiring a car. Plenty of great B&Bs around. The camps in Kruger offer organised early morning and after nightfall drives. They are brilliant. Other parks offer similar services. I booked my Kruger accommodation almost a year ahead, so you may struggle for this July.

Most game reserves have their own restaurants. Elsewhere, food is good and cheap.

Posted by
20 posts

So if we really want to do the safari it sounds like we should just do Tanzania? If we spent a week there then we would only have time to go to Kenya? I really wanted to visit SA because we heard it was a great place to visit. Is there no way to do a safari and SA?

Great information ladies...thanks so much! Keep it coming.

Posted by
20 posts

We had about 5 friends suggest a safari in Tanzania...otherwise no real reason so that means I need to look into it more.

Posted by
1187 posts

You might want to check the CDC recommendations for immunization before you go. Yellow fever immunization is required by Kenya. You must have an immunization certificate or the authorities will force you to get one on the spot when you arrive. We will be in Tanzania in August and are getting the hep a b, antimalarials, dpt, polio boosters, etc.

Posted by
20 posts

Yup...we are planning to get vaccines by the end of the month. This trip wasn't exactly planned so everything is last minute and rushed.

Posted by
20 posts

Do you recommend a private tour over a group tour? I definitely don't want a big group but a small group of 6 I wouldn't mind.

Posted by
8293 posts

There is a wonderful You Tube video about a lodge in Zambia, named I think Mfuwe, where once a year a family of elephants turns up, walks through the reception area and out the back, where ripe mangoes are plentiful. I know I will never get the chance to go to Africa again, but how I wish I could see that spectacle.

Posted by
4882 posts

My previous comments on Kruger - Kruger is the most well known wildlife park in SA. SA is more mass market than Tanzania, but from my visits to both, the wildlife viewing is better in Tanzania.

I felt safer in Tanzania. Wherever you go in SA and park your car, even at supermarkets and at restaurants, you will be expected to pay the car "minder". Houses and hotels in SA have high walls, electric fences and security cameras everywhere to keep the locals, not the animals out. I had 3.5 weeks in SA and didn't get to see much of the country. With only 2 weeks, you could cover Kruger then fly to Cape Town and explore this area.

Posted by
203 posts

We loved Tanzania. Keep in mind that I have been there since the late 1990's so cant give up to date local info. But Ngorongoro crater was worth the trip and maybe have a couple of days over on Zanzibar. If I had a really short time in Africa like you have that is probably where I would head back to. we had an awesome local guide but it is too long ago to be relevant. have fun. Like the others have said border crossings can potentially take a while so I wouldn't combine too many countries for a short trip.

Posted by
20 posts

Hi,
Is it with it to go to the Victoria Falls? It would eat up about 3 days I think so we are tying to decide if it's worth it.

Posted by
4377 posts

I think a safari in SA, Victoria Falls and Cape Town/Wine route combo would be a nice way to spend 2 weeks.

Posted by
20 posts

That's kind of what we were thinking but then thought if we skipped VF we could have more time for the safari.

Posted by
4377 posts

Safaris are nice and all, but 3 days is enough ft me.

Posted by
24 posts

In my experience, traveling in South Africa is no more dangerous than travelling in the United States. Just use the same common sense safety precautions you always use. The overwhelming majority of South Africans from all of the country's many ethnicities are very friendly and welcoming and most people speak some English. Like the United States, violent crime is concentrated in impoverished areas that are easily avoided. East St. Louis may be the most dangerous city in the US, and yet millions of people safely visit St. Louis every year. The car minders aren't going to rob you, it's little burden to tip them the equivalent of $0.30, and sometimes they can be legitimately helpful.

Posted by
203 posts

I haven't been for 20 years so can't comment on current Sercurity but would suggest Tanzania (ngorongoro crater,Zanzibar) and either Kenya (Masai Mara etc) or zimbabwe( Victoria falls)

Posted by
20 posts

We have friends who recently travels to SA and they did not seem bothered by the any security issues so I think we should be ok. I think we have decided to skip Victoria Falls, do the safari in Tanzania (because it sounds like the best place to visit even though it eats up half of our time) and spend more time in SA. We will probably spend a couple days doing the garden route and wineries as well as a couple days in Cape Town. It will be busy but since it will be cold there is no reason to just stay in one place. Now we just need to decide if we should drive back to Cape Town or fly after driving the garden route.