We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Serengeti/Ngorongoro Crater Group Safari Options - July 2013

Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
55 posts
2 reviews
Save Topic
Serengeti/Ngorongoro Crater Group Safari Options - July 2013

Hi there,

I'm in the earliest stage of planning a trip that, if I can finance it, will include Southern Africa, Ngorongoro Crater and the Seregenti. An imminent change in life circumstances may prevent me from visiting Africa again, so I'd like to visit both Southern Africa (Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg and Zululand in South Africa, and some destinations of interest in Lesotho, Mozambique and/or Swaziland) and Eastern Africa (the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater) if I can manage it over a period of 3 to 3.5 weeks. I have four preliminary questions for you sage TripAdvisor Ngorongoro Crater/Serengeti safari experts:

1) Would I be at greater risk of contracting malaria or another disease on an East African safari in July than I would in Kruger National Park?

2) What are some Ngorongoro Crater/Serengeti safari options that are known to be especially hospitable to solo travelers or people in their late twenties and early thirties? I have in mind a safari that would last between 4 and 6 days, cost no more than $1,500 excluding miscellaneous expenses (i.e., my flight or bus ride to Arusha), include food service and a guide who is educated about the fauna, and accommodate a group of at least four people. As I'd likely be traveling alone, I prefer a group tour/safari that promotes social interaction. I don't mind tents or public restrooms as long as using them doesn't require an extreme compromise of lower middle-class American health and safety standards. The last thing I need is to return to the U.S. with a new and unfamiliar illness.

3) I'm a fan of the sort of wildlife documentaries involving lions and crocodiles fighting wildebeests for their calf and don't want to pass days with only a few animal sightings. Given that and my other stated interests, are there any reasons why I might prefer Kruger National Park over the Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti?

4) Is there a (generally) cost-efficient route that you recommend for a trip that includes the destinations I mention in both Eastern and Southern Africa?

Please advise. :)

Many thanks,

Ramon

Edited: 6:13 pm, March 05, 2013
Mentioned in this post
Arusha
Arusha
Arusha Region, Tanzania
Isle of Man, United...
Level Contributor
39,075 posts
408 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Serengeti/Ngorongoro Crater Group Safari Options - July 2013

Not expecting too much are you Ramon?

1. You can get malaria in Kruger and most of Tropical Africa. You take Prophylactics to prevent it.

2. Your trip is very rushed. 21 days to see the highlights of south and East Africa. You can probably find a group to join to keep the Safari costs down.

Be wary of flycatchers and no doubt some PMs will be heading your way soon. Ignore them all! Try contacting a few Operators listed here and ask if they have a small group you could join.

3. Forget it. those Documentaries take months to edit and put together.

but you will see far more animals in Tanzania than you will ever see in Kruger NP.

Mentioned in this post
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
55 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Serengeti/Ngorongoro Crater Group Safari Options - July 2013

Hi mfuwe! Thanks for your thoughtful and expeditious reply. (Not expecting too much???) It sounds like you're clearly in favor of the Serengeti/Ngorongoro safari over Kruger National Park. But can the former be done on the terms I've indicated (budget, accommodations, sociability)? I get the sense that most of the people on Serengeti safaris are affluent honeymooners while Kruger is more likely to attract solo travelers on a tight budget.

I can manage a full month and would likely just include South Africa, Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti if a time crunch was the most important factor. Three to 3.5 weeks was just my projected timeline. Everything is very hypothetical at this point.

Mentioned in this post
Isle of Man, United...
Level Contributor
39,075 posts
408 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Serengeti/Ngorongoro Crater Group Safari Options - July 2013

<<I get the sense that most of the people on Serengeti safaris are affluent honeymooners >>

That will come as one heck of shock to many folks on here of a certain age.

You may well get some form of Young single persons party in Kruger at the bigger camps where self catering, Camping is the norm. I don't know. I do know you won't get the same wldlife experience.

Mentioned in this post
london
Destination Expert
for Zambia, Selous Game Reserve, Ruaha National Park
Level Contributor
5,469 posts
Save Reply
4. Re: Serengeti/Ngorongoro Crater Group Safari Options - July 2013

I've heard safari clientele described as "newly weds and nearly deads" :)

Realistically, on that timescale you are going to have to do 2 trips and fly between East Africa and South Africa. If you want a budget group trip with other younger people then try some of the overland companies- Acacia, Africa Travel Company, Drifters (for South Africa), Exodus. There are loads of them around.

However, I think what you are proposing in Southern Africa- "Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg and Zululand in South Africa, and some destinations of interest in Lesotho, Mozambique and/or Swaziland" just isn't feasible in the time you have available. You probably couldn't even cover that in the whole 3-4 weeks.

Isle of Man, United...
Level Contributor
39,075 posts
408 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Serengeti/Ngorongoro Crater Group Safari Options - July 2013

<<"newly weds and nearly deads" :)>>

That's Africa. No middle way. Where does that put KG and I? Wed 50 yrs (NOT to each other :) )and not anywhere ready for the alternate yet.

Have I really been "Nearly dead" these past 20 years?

So that is how you folks in the trade think of us? Hmmm. Maybe I should stop referring to my "Great White Hunter" spotters as "fresh faced Cub Scouts?"

london
Destination Expert
for Zambia, Selous Game Reserve, Ruaha National Park
Level Contributor
5,469 posts
Save Reply
6. Re: Serengeti/Ngorongoro Crater Group Safari Options - July 2013

You're the outliers.

I'm not "in the trade" by the way, but I've spent some time working in camps when I took a year out from lawyering a few years ago. Although I did hear the phrase from a camp manager in Zambia.

Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
11,794 posts
153 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Serengeti/Ngorongoro Crater Group Safari Options - July 2013

I grew up in a town known for their "newly wed and nearly dead" residents, so must be why I love safari, as a middling solo traveller.

OP, whilst we joke on your thread, young people travel to Tanzania. Often they climb Kilimanjaro and then do safari. But it is difficult for a solo traveller to find a group that matches dates. There is not the hosteling environment there as in ither countries.

I suggest to either do one of the tours, or split the countries and do Tanzania later. Things are slow in Africa, particularly travel times and public tranport....that is safe..so our lists hsve to shorten up.

Mentioned in this post
london
Destination Expert
for Zambia, Selous Game Reserve, Ruaha National Park
Level Contributor
5,469 posts
Save Reply
8. Re: Serengeti/Ngorongoro Crater Group Safari Options - July 2013

When I was in my 20s I did some of the budget overland tours but that was 10 years ago.

I have used some of the companies I mentioned above but I fear my knowledge is now woefully out of date. You could try the Lonely Planet Thorntree- you will probably get a lot of people there suggesting you backpack independently, which is certainly an option (especially in South Africa) but if you want to cram all the things you mention into such a short space of time, a tour is likely to be your best bet.

One option in South Africa is the Bas Bus- a hop on hop off bus that connects various hostels. However, it's mainly good for the coastal regions, especially since they shut down the route via KZN and Swaziland.

Isle of Man, United...
Level Contributor
39,075 posts
408 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Serengeti/Ngorongoro Crater Group Safari Options - July 2013

Thanks for that Stokeygirl. We are 'Outliers"! I shall go and break that news to Lady M. I may be some time!

10. Re: Serengeti/Ngorongoro Crater Group Safari Options - July 2013

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 1:16 am, March 08, 2014