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Holidays

African safari or Rio de Janeiro

28 replies

Summersun2020 · 28/01/2021 22:28

Both bucket list trips and can’t decide which I’d prefer. I know they’re completely different and would love to do both but realistically I can afford to do one at the moment, possibly second in a good few years.
Would love recommendations from anyone who’s done either of these trips. I’ve previously been to Kenya but didn’t get the opportunity to do a safari and have always regretted this. Not limiting myself to Kenya, would consider anywhere else people could recommend (have looked at uganda, Tanzania and South Africa and would consider any).
Rio has just always been a dream place to visit but definitely once in a lifetime trips. Planning this trip in 2022 so plenty of time to plan! Thanks Smile

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Neonlightning · 28/01/2021 22:48

African safari! I had to rain check my trip due to COVID. There are some incredible options. I'm hoping that borders reopen in 2022, but given the nature of a developing world, wouldn't be surprised if it's a few years off yet.

I've been to Rio de Janeiro, and it's amazing during mardi gras, but you would struggle to have enough for a holiday there beyond a few days. Very high crime rate, one day our towels were stolen off the beach. Had to walk back to the hotel in bikinis. Suggest to consider a South American holiday with a couple of days there at the end.

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Summersun2020 · 28/01/2021 22:51

Ooh OK, South American holiday may be an option actually-I hadn’t really considered it due to logistics and expense but maybe will look at it as an option.
Have you been on safari @Neonlightning or do you just have one planned? Recommendations would be fab. Who have you booked with, have you booked as a whole package? Thanks Smile

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Sunbird24 · 28/01/2021 23:18

I did a safari trip in 2009 - Kenya & Tanzania with 4 days in Zanzibar at the end. It was amazing! We were camping (except in Zanzibar) in little 2 man tents, which was interesting on the Serengeti when you were sitting round a campfire and could hear lions...

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Summersun2020 · 28/01/2021 23:50

Sounds amazing @Sunbird24 exactly what I had in mind.

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Svalberg · 29/01/2021 00:01

Safari, any day. We've done both, for the safari we also drove the garden route starting in Cape Town & ending up with a safari. We also did 5 days in Rio, 3 in Iguazu and 8 in Buenos Aires- if I did it again, I'd do 4/5 days in BA, 3/4 Iguazu, 3 Rio and 5 in Buizos, which is near Rio

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Silkiechickscat · 29/01/2021 23:17

We've done a safari in South Africa and a trip to Brazil (Rio and Paraty) and preferred South Africa, we also saw penguins on the beach there not far from Cape Town.

Rio it was nice to see as its iconic but seemed quite dangerous - we could hear gunshots and waiter told another customer it was normal and also lots of prostitution and in a nice hotel on Copacabana and a man on next table was trying to buy prostitutes and it was only breakfast time Shock Was glad we weren't there with kids. Paraty seemed much safer and was quite idyllic with cobbled streets and rainforest and fishermans boats / horse and carriage rides for a few days. We both preferred Costa Rica as safer and more wildlife - saw sloths, monkeys, gecko, pelican, toucan in wild and preferred there over both places for a family trip. If you've got longer the best place for wildlife we went to was Queensland in Australia were we saw tree kangaroos, kangaroos, possum, whales, dolphins, platypus, cassowary, wallaby, bettong, pademelon etc in the wild and went to Great Barrier Reef as well so lots of fish and turtles.

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OnlyBejoking · 29/01/2021 23:25

I been on safaris in Kenya, Tanzania, Botswana and zimbabwe. And I've been to Rio and elsewhere in Brazil.

Safari trips were all magical. Rio was interesting but also not relaxing.

I would go for safari every time.

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Mumski45 · 29/01/2021 23:37

South African Safari would be top of my list. We did it a few years ago with boys of 9 and 11 and it was amazing. A real trip of a lifetime. We also went to Victoria Falls and travelled the garden route from Port Elizabeth to Cape Town.

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PresentingPercy · 02/02/2021 18:11

We went to Rio as part of a trip to Brazil. So you can include rainforest, beach resorts, Spanish colonial cities, Iguazu falls and Salvador. So much more to see than just Rio. That has its limitations. Always stay somewhere in a smart neighbourhood. No worries when we were there. Close to Ipanema beach.

We have done safaris in Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Zambia. Just missing Namibia and Uganda in terms of mainstream safari destinations.

Botswana is very special and very expensive. The Okavango delta is an amazing experience though. The ngorongoro crater in Tanzania is too. Kenya has a well used infrastructure for safaris and all destinations have up market lodges.

It also depends what you want to see. What animals are you keen on? Different lodges have better sightings of certain animals. We have enjoyed all our safari holidays and I would include tiger reserves in India too.

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Mirrorxx · 02/02/2021 18:13

We’ve been on a few safaris and have had 2 cancelled due to covid. As soon as it’s possible we will be going again. I think south Africa is good for a first safari but otherwise Zambia, Tanzania, Botswana or Zimbabwe.

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BillieSpain · 02/02/2021 18:17

I was extremely underwhelmed by Rio. The food was fabulous though.
I stayed on a beach somewhere nearby (was working) it was a nice beach. That's about it.

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Panozzo · 02/02/2021 18:54

I would not recommend Rio at all. Was there this time 2 years ago and did not enjoy it. It's really not the paradise that the pictures show it to be. We did all of the usual touristy things - Copacabana and Ipanema beaches, Christ the Redeemer, Sugar Loaf Mountain, etc. And were left underwhelmed. The city is very dirty and unsafe and outside of the attractions mentioned above, there really is little else.

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PresentingPercy · 02/02/2021 21:33

We found the beach life fascinating and did a tour of the Maracana stadium. There is enough for 3 days. But Brazil has so much more to offer. Argentina has even more! Ecuador and the Galápagos Islands are brilliant!

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macshoto · 03/02/2021 00:19

Highly recommend Botswana. Expensive, but so worth it. Private reserves allow you to get so much closer to the animals than the national parks - where off-road driving is restricted.

We used a specialist agency to create a custom trip - most expensive holiday we have taken, but good enough we are itching to go back.

Happy to recommend them if you DM me.

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Figgyboa · 03/02/2021 01:49

African safari! I spent 5 days in Kruger national park, best 5 days of my life. Planning my next trip to see the gorillas in Rwanda.
For some reason, aside from Peru, South America has never interested me

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longtimelurkerfirsttimeposter · 03/02/2021 01:57

African safari!
It is an amazing experience

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colouringindoors · 03/02/2021 02:18

Rio x a million.

have been fortunate to do both.

African safari is amazing, breathtaking.

But Rio, wow. City, music, art, beaches, landmarks just fantastic. Plus if you go for two weeks you can go to Isla Grande (like Caribbean) and Iguazu falls - outstanding. Two week trip of a lifetime.

Rio.

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colouringindoors · 03/02/2021 02:20

Stayed in Ipanema area in Rio, with kids. Safe if you're sensible, like many places. Taxis elsewhere. Have felt far Less safe in South Africa.

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Dreamscomingtrue · 03/02/2021 02:31

I did the South African Safari route with my family in 2000. From Port Elizabeth to Cape Town. It was one of the best holidays that we’ve been on. But I think the crime rate is probably worse there now. Equally I’ve heard the same about Brazil. So just do plenty of research and the which are the best months to go to either for the weather.

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PresentingPercy · 03/02/2021 08:11

Port Elizabeth to Cape Town is the Garden Route. The safari reserves in that area, like Addo, are rewilded farm land. Worth visiting but emphatically not Kruger.

I cannot think why anyone wouldn’t consider South America! There is such variety. Apart from the obvious game parks and scenery, the cities of the major countries are nearly all more interesting and there is fantastic rain forest and the Galápagos Islands. Not to mention ancient cultures which are unique to South America. Apart from South Africa, restaurants and hotels in many South American countries are superior. I cannot understand why anyone wouldn’t be interested in numerous countries there.

We are lucky enough to have been to both Africa and South America quite a few times and I don’t really think you can compare them but overall South America has greater variety.

There are great lodges in the Okavango Delta in Botswana and then other areas can be added in such as Linyanti, Nazi Pan or Chobe which are good for elephants.

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PresentingPercy · 03/02/2021 08:19

Crime is everywhere. Rio has no go areas which the hotels tell you to avoid. Common sense would too!

South African crime tends to be non tourist. Other than robberies. It’s safe if you are sensible. Don’t go into places that are obviously unsafe looking. (Ramshackle townships). Don’t wander off. Especially at night. Don’t ask the way in a car and keep your windows closed at traffic lights. Pay attention to all the security advice your guest house host will tell you! Invaluable.

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Summersun2020 · 07/02/2021 00:13

Thank you so much for all your advice and suggestions. Have to say I feel more torn than when I started Grin some fabulous points to both! Perhaps am erring toward safari though. Will continue to research. Thank you all x

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Happymama24 · 07/02/2021 00:49

Brazil. Is a fab country to visit but avoid Rio, so many nicer options in Brazil

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PresentingPercy · 07/02/2021 08:36

Well Rio is iconic so don’t avoid it altogether but be realistic about what is there and stay in a safe area. Take the advice of the locals.

It’s always worth buying the Lonely Planet Guide to Brazil to see if it interests you.

In South America I can highly recommend Equador and Peru. They interested me more in some ways than Brazil. Both have reserves in the Amazon biosphere and lots of interesting cities and sights. Brazil is brash by comparison but good for that.

You cannot really go wrong with a safari. It’s just a case of deciding where and what animals you would like to try and see.

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JayAlfredPrufrock · 07/02/2021 08:39

Kruger Park.

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