It was a fabulous tour!
We had so many awesome experiences that I am still trying to process and remember through photos!
Here are some we posted (you don't need a facebook account to view)...ZambiaBotswana
Call me confused but...How do I view these photos? Intrigued!
Beautiful photos Dawn!!! Thanks for sharing them!
Thank you! They are a mixture of mine and my husband's, Jim - he has a website if you want to see more (we went on the South Africa Elegant Adventure if February, so those pictures are there as well:Jim's photos (click on the link)
I’ve taken all four Tauck Africa tours. The East Africa experience is very different from the Southern Africa experiences. The animals you see are different too, such as no Gerenuk in SA, more likely to see Wild Dogs in South Africa etc The Elegant S Africa is half culture half Safari. Rules out on safari and the vehicles are different. K and T and Tanzania Zamzibar tours have much lower Landcruiser type vehicles, you can stand on the seats and the top pops up or comes off. In Botswana, South Africa and the other Z countries the vehicles are much higher and you literally have to clamber up the small steps on the side of the vwhcle and launch yourself in, its quite challenging if you are short, there is not always someone to help you and there is not always a platform, or step to help either. You cannot stand in a Southern Africa safari at all. The brush is very thick on the Elegant South Africa camps. So you have to spend a lot more time actively searching for animals and there can be times where you don’t see any for ages. But they can go off road there, so the vehicle goes through the brush, driving over trees that spring back up when you go over them.i enjoyed both Southern Africa tours, but Botswana is the favorite. My favorite African country so far is Tanzania, and of course we have been there twice. The Tanzania Zanzibar tour is great value for money if a budget is of concern to you too.
I can't speak for other Africa tours since we've only taken the Botswana, Zambia and South Africa tour. I can tell you it was a highlight of my life.
As far as spending time looking at animals, I think you will be very happy. We saw animals almost every day on that tour. I thought when we got to SA, it would be the end of it, but driving to the Cape we saw animals. And we took a boat to seal island and saw penguins, seals, dolphins and whales. It was incredible.
As for the falls, we were there in September, so it was low. Still nice to see.
Ah yes. After our third Africa trip, I said I thought we were done. My wife told me that was not necessairly the case. If we live long enough, there is another Africa trip in our future. “Out of Africa”, and “Born Free” wrapped into one big ball. It is our favorite place on the planet. But, it is a long way from California. Our times in Africa are the happiest times of our life. Those of you who are reading this and have not ‘been’, you are in for a special adventure.
I’ve been to the Falls on two separate trips, Zimbabwe trip and Zambia. Zimbabwe time there was plenty of water and the wet mist drenched everything if I remember correctly. Zambia was in the dry season, not much water, but being interesting in geology it was great to see all the rocks that are usually covered by torrents of water. Of course there was still water but you did not get wet, could take pictures much more easily and it was not humid. If you can, take a helicopter ride over the Falls, there are three choices of length of ride, ours ended up being the long one because the couple we took the flight with who was at the tour desk when we arrived at the helicopter place had paid for the longer tour, so the person at the desk whispered to us that we would be getting the longer ride for free! It’s quite expensive but worth it.
Time seeing animals? For us, Africa has a lot more going for it than just animals. Remember to look at the scenery, enjoy the different trees and plants, look how beautiful the sunsets are and try to interact with the local people as much as you can. Especially amazing is talking to the safari drivers who all have different personalities, knowledge and stories to tell, they are a very big part of the enjoyment of the tours for us. Ahhh Africa!
Don’t be envious Sealord. I have never taken one single ocean cruise and haven’t you taken about 50?
I have to confess we still haven’t made it to Alaska, that can wait until we are older, although Mr B passed through Anchorage for a work trip, I think I remember him standing next to a stuffed polar bear in a photo. Yes, so nice to know about his exotic stops while I was at home looking after our kids. Anyway, I can’t compete with your cute wife!
We’ve decided to try to do the land tours while we can still cope with the packing and unpacking. We’ve more recently converted to packing cubes, I decided to try them after reading so many positive reports here. They make unpacking a breeze. Mr B loves them now.
We missed getting to know people better on our small ship experience and particularly hardly getting to know the tour directors who for us are a big part of the attraction of Tauck. But of course we have the upcoming Panama Canal trip.
Well, the 50 number would be an estimate and certainly would include the small boat trips. We have done seven trips on the Wind Surf alone, in addition to 3 other Windstar trips. We are Crown & Anchor Diamond, but stopped cruising with them (one short of 25 cruises) when they took away our benefits and gave them to the newly created Diamond Plus. I’m not in favor of ‘bait and switch’ so we have never cruised with them since. We have also done a number of Celebrity trips, three small boat, and have a number of trips on Princess. but we have pretty much given up big boat cruising. Royal Caribbean probably did us a favor, because their actions introduced us to small boats. That being said, “RCCL” will probably never see our shadow on their entrance again. We will probably take our grandkids to Alaska on Princess.
Dawn - We have been on K/T a Classic Safari. I'm looking at both Botswana and SA - an Elegant Adventure. I realize you've done the latter 2. Did you do K/T as well? I'm looking to understand how different Botswana and SA are vs K/T. Also - which did you prefer - Botswana or SA and why?