Safari with dh and teen(39 Posts)
We've decided that next year dh myself and I and my dsd who is a teen will go on safari.
There's so many choices, would prefer somewhere that has traversing rights privately so there's not too many of us in 1 spot.
If anyone has been please could you tell me where you stayed and any info you might think I need.
I am going to the Pilanesburg in 2 weeks time which is in South Africa. There is Black Rhino Game Reserve to the northern corner of this which is private and so there are no self drives allowed. I have been a few times before and stayed at Tambuti lodge which only caters for 10 guests at once. This time we are staying at Black Rhino lodge which is a little larger but still quite small. One other perk is that it is malaria free.
Gosh! So many places to choose from. For a personal type of safari go to Zambia or Botswana. Zambia does walking safaris. Nearly all the camps are small and there are fewer vehicles in any area. The Luanguwa Valley is magnificent for wildlife and there is fantastic variety of reserves in Botswana including the ones in the Okavango Delta. I think these countries are hard to beat.
There are private reserves such as Sabi Sands in South Africa adjacent to Kruger and there are many options there. There are also many reserves in SA which are private but they are re-used farmland. They also have fenced boundaries. Depends how wild you want your wildlife! However they can be combined with reserves such as Imfolozi which are wonderful. Tanzania has very widespread camps in the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Crater is always wonderful.
You are far more likely to see other vehicles in the Masai Mara and other Kenyan reserves. For a road trip, a friend speaks highly of Namibia and you can include Etosha for wildlife viewing.
We did Tanzania last Oct with a small company run by a good friend of mine who moved there 12 years ago and married a local. There's only your group in the lorry and she tailors the trip to your requirements and price bracket. We did 3 parks plus the crater. Then thro Serengeti to Mara river to view the migration. I loved every minute of it and would go back in a heartbeat. We stayed in a mix of safari lodges and tented camps.
Dh is really wanting to see rhino, dsd gets bored fairly easily so whilst I could do different camps seeing the wildlife I think 4/5 nights is enough, what do we do with our other 5 nights??
Don't really want to do the garden route, who did you all book through so far the prices I've seen are eye watering!
I've been to the Black Rhino reserve mentioned above which was really good value for money.
The best one I've been to is Madikwe. They have a system of only so many vehicles out at once, only so many at a sighting and only so many in a vehicle. We had the most incredible, up close sightings there with the most knowledgeable rangers. DP is South African and grew up in the bush so knows a lot about animals/nature and he was impressed at how they manage to tailor things for guests.
I also organised one for a friend at Nambiti near Ladysmith. She adored it and is going back next year. Was one of the slightly cheaper ones but she was impressed with the accommodation and the sightings.
They had a few days in Joburg, drove to Nambiti and then did a few bits of the Panoramic route before heading to Ballito.
Thanks Red, looking at Madikwe now. Did you book everything yourself? How long did you go for?
We were living in SA at the time so a little easier to organise but yes, booked it all directly with the lodge. We did 4 nights there - DP has a short attention span so this was the perfect amount of time.
We saw all the big 5, wild dogs, hyena, cheetah, a million giraffe. A v special moment was parked up with 60 elephant around us playing in water.
It's in the top 5 biggest reserves in SA but no one seems to have really heard of it. It also has a really unique biosystem, apparently it is where two systems converge so you see plants etc that you wouldn't find anywhere else.
Which lodge did you stay in? Really helpful Red thank you. I was losing the will to live searching through Kruger.
I'm wondering how my dsd will cope having to get up really early for game drives..I hope the experience keeps her moodiness at bay!!
Madikwe Hills Lodge. I never wanted to leave and the food is amazing. I like how the days are structured but there's so much time to relax as well.
On a couple of our drives we had a teenager and her face when we saw the elephants was just amazing. It is such a special experience that she will probably forget herself and can't help but love it!
What time of year are you thinking of going?
Hoping to go this July but I think everything is probably already booked, if so will wait until next year.
Teenagers are just fine and she will get up! Buy her a camera and binoculars. Madikwe is a private concession so probably has a good stock of animals as their role is conservation.
I can highly recommend the Hluhluwe Imfolozi reserve for white rhino and a black one if you are very lucky! We stayed at the Hluhluwe River Lodge where there are lots of activities. At Sabi Sands (Kruger) we stayed at Nottens Bush Camp. There are leopards around there!
South Africa has very high end lodges but bush camps can be authentic and brilliant. Our children went on a number of safaris as teens and loved it. We also booked holidays in Kenya with Explorer Lodges which welcome younger guests.
Thank bo, we are looking at the Makanyane in Madikwe but also want to twin it with somewhere else, logistics aren't my strong point!
Dsd is lovely however she's never flown such a long distance and when she's tired she can be very difficult and shouty. I guess I'm a little worried that this trip could be affected by her tiredness/moods. It's not a trip we plan to repeat so I want to make the most of it.
I'd probably have a day or two in Joburg when you arrive, take it easy and give her the choice of whether to head out exploring or whether she wants to chill in the hotel. Then she should have slept enough and recovered before heading to Madikwe.
At least there will be no jet lag to contend with. I'm normally miserable that first day if I haven't slept on the plane so always make sure my first day or so are chilled.
Good idea red, we could head straight to Madikwe and perhaps miss the 1st Morning game drive and stay an extra night, I think after a good nights sleep in such lovely surroundings she'll be ok.
When mine were teens they did get into the game drives. They were able to get up (you are woken up) and were never late. They went back to bed after breakfast if they were tired. Do make sure she has something to do during the day. Whatever she pleases but you are rather captive in your camp. The ones with a few more activities might be good. I haven't been to Madikwe but I am sure it will be great. I have heard of it though as it is malaria free.
The Hluhluwe River Lodge is about 3 hours drive North of Durban. The wetlands areas around here are worth visiting. South Africans fly everywhere and you can hire cars easily.
BA and SAA both do evening flights from Heathrow so you arrive relatively ok the following morning. I would spend the first night in Joburg if you fly there.
So after all the research dsd decided she didn't want to go. So dh and I are off on an adventure in July, Madikwe and Botswana bit concerned about the logistics but I'm sure it'll be fine!
I did a 9 day Safari with my nan.
Started off at Nairobi and travelled in a big circle to get back there at the end.
Stayed in several different hotels over the trip and saw a real variety of animals.
Each stay at the hotel was long enough to be able to do something like going in the pool or horse riding. Or even camel riding.
It was a real once in a life time experience
Oh dear Lazy. At least you have saved some money but she has turned down a wonderful experience. Botswana is great. It is a 6 hour drive from Joburg to get to the border but of course you can fly. We have had a couple of great safari holidays there. Botswana tends to have small camps and very distinct safari areas. Where are you going?
I know she has but neither of us wanted to force her, this is our dream and not hers so we'll do something lovely with her next year instead.
We haven't yet chosen a place in Botswana we were looking at another Sanctuary property the Chobe Chilwero but it's peak season apparently and oh my goodness silly prices PER PERSON per night..so we are as yet not quite decided. Any opinions? If it's completely out of budget we might go to the Kruger and have a few nights there too which isn't really what we want.
I have a lovely lady from Turquoise Holidays organising things and I'm also doing my own pricing I'm hoping we aren't poles apart on price because she's been so helpful.
Sou what did you do in your 9 days? I'd be interested in hearing where you stayed and what you enjoyed most
We combined a beach holiday in Mombasa both times we went on safari
Pilanesberg has the benefit of being close to Sun City if your teen would like a couple of days upon the water parks there
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