Which Africa Tour to take?



  • Wow, Mike! Here I thought you actually were wanting to understand the emotional attachment of being on safari in Africa. Did you keep asking for our feelings just to slap us with the political realities of South Africa? I have seen the walls around the homes, and the cardboard homes in Jo’burg as well as stayed in the Westcliff hotel, and told not to leave the grounds. This is what we experience in third world countries wherever we visit. Unfortunately corruption exists in these places. I will continue to connect to the local people in the game areas and bring my dollars there.

  • Mil - you are right about at least one gene we have is from Africa, when I did my DNA study I had 60% Spain, 30% Portugal and the remaining 10% were other European cities but I did have a 1% from Africa.

  • 😀. I laughed when I saw my hubby doesn’t have one single African gene detected, that explains a lot!

  • If you had traveled to parts of the US that I have, you would see the same awful housing. We live in a very rich country, many more are just like Africa.

    I have traveled the world and have only seen housing like I saw in the area of Johannesburg in one other place. That was in Saigon during the war. Refugees came into the city and built shacks like the ones in Soweto.

    Being poor, especially when wealth is all around you, absolutely does lead to crime. It's often a matter of survival. The belief that they are happy because they have their family around is a projection we put on them, similar to the belief that plantation workers were happy in the US south prior to the Civil War.

    It's impossible to know the thoughts of another person but people are alike all over the world. I'll bet that many of those poor people would trade their lives in a heartbeat for a middle class existence, with a reasonable income, a decent place to live, education for their children and health care.

    But that's besides the main question that I asked, which is why people feel they are drawn back to Africa. I think most people are saying it's to see the animals.

  • milmil
    edited May 23

    Mike HI.
    Well, yes I saw all the above, but I like to focus on the positive.
    Yes, they have mostly everything we have here... corruption, poor housing, people stealing the cable system, everyday school shootings (well, this is only here in U.S) - legal drugs, etc....
    You can take it as you like and see what you want to see, I choose to see what the country has to offer and enjoy my visit.
    I don't pay that much money to see only the ugly- and Yes! I do connect with the locals and spend time getting to know them.
    To see and hear about the ugly and deal with demanding-rude and entitle people I would stay home go to work and watch the local news.
    Have a lovely day.


  • edited May 23

    When I travel, I try to see the entirety of another country, the reality that its people face every day. I cannot ignore the problems and only see the positive parts. The country is what it is.

    I'm just not a Pollyanna. I'm a realists.

  • British: Amen and profoundly well said. Nothing else needs to be added.

  • @Smiling Sam The reason I asked is because I'm interested. For most areas of the world that I really like, I can give some specific reasons why I liked that area.

    Africa did not resonate wtih me but it apparently does with some others. I'm interested is what draws them back.

  • Mike, how can you be well traveled if you have only seen conditions like that in Soweto, it’s all over the world. Just a few examples off the top of ,my head, the Caribbean and India, come and visit me in Philly and I’ll show you housing that is pretty bad and I’ve seen the same in other parts of the US. There may not be too many dirt floors but it sure isn’t what most people in the world think we Americans live. Don’t forget, the US mass shootings are rarely by people in poor housing or people who don’t have any money, the same with the prescription drug problems.
    I worked in the local community for a while during my job training in England. Within a half mile where we lived I went into homes where there would be a huge color TV and dog poop on the floor. The same peoples’s children went to the same school as my kids….schools are very mixed in England, it’s an eye opener. Their kids would have fancy sneakers on their feet and mine would have generic ones. One day, I overheard a conversation about electric bills, their bills were way more than mine and yet they lived in smaller housing, I learned to be careful with my budget and money. A lot of it is learning what is important in life and schools trying to teach the importance of good choices. No more of those people were criminal than anyone else.
    I guess I’ve changed subjects here, but I’m also trying to make a point. We are all have different ideas of where and how we like to travel. We like to go to Africa and we give back….we donate a lot of money to a hospital in Tanzania, it will always be our favorite African country because that is where we first experienced the magic and we have been to the clinic/hospital and watched it grow, saving peoples’ lives. Our money goes straight to the field. I just wish I could volunteer there but demand to volunteer is so high from super experience doctors and nurses, they can’t accommodate them all and I’m getting too old. When we were not traveling during the early part of this Pandemic, we donated more during those darker times. They did heroic work there and the people were grateful.

  • I personally would not give Mr. Henderson the audience he so desperately seems to require. He has asked the same question repeatedly and when forum members have answered in good faith, he reverts to name calling and continues to promote his own agenda.

    I find it quite telling how an entire continent is maligned because he does not like one city.

  • I don’t go to see ‘ugly’, I go to see the fantastic beauty of the country and the animals. K&T carefully avoids ‘cities’ except for Nairobi which is only visited for debarkation. In the past I lived in San Francisco, and now live only ten miles away, but I don’t go there much anymore.

  • Smiling Sam~Great response. I am new to Tauck and was interested to see these varied opinions. I am on another river cruise loyalty group (AMA) on FB and the format is very different. All interesting points of view.

  • edited May 23

    Here are a couple of photos we took of the unofficial settlement in Namibia. We walked down the streets, spoke to people and were invited into one of the homes of a mother and her children

  • Above are a few photos of the dunes area plus the petrified trees and a market where this photo of tripe was taken along with other meats covered in flies that was being bbqed and offered is to eat, cooked flies and all. I enjoy tripe but not like this.

  • I also live near and also in San Francisco (Pacific Heights) at different times. I grew up at the time, that beautiful city by the bay. My fear is that all of these cities will get worse before they will ever get better. It takes me 2 hours to drive into SF and along the way, one sees homeless tents and homeless camps along the freeway and along the waterfront. There are more and more all the time and it’s not just SF. It is a crisis along with all the other issues occurring now. Whatever happens in a city, also trickles to the outer suburbs. I have no idea what will happen as the years continue with these major problems. I just don’t know what will ever be done to solve these problems in our country. I’m not exposing any agenda, but something with the homeless population, the rampant crime, the drug epidemic, etc etc needs to be done one way or the other.

  • I miss the flagger..!

  • Maybe some like Africa (tours) for existential reasons- Africa is different than most other Tauck tours. It is simple once you get there. There is no need to dress up, no need to compete (of course there is always my lens is longer than your lens, kinda thing), it is just you and nature (the animals and environment), just a few tour-mates, no external influences or complications, little national or international news or politics. With a few exceptions, there is little history to contend with. Again it is touring in its simplest form and easy enjoy and absorb.

  • edited May 24

    Sub Saharan Africa is definitely the simplest trip to pack for which helps it become one of my favorite destinations.
    I think it’s also one of the least active trips to take unless you have back problems…and even many of the roads are paved now when they were not in good shape when we first went on a safari.
    There is a lot of history but most people are not interested in it and I’ve noticed that the Tour Directors barely reference any when back in the day I can remember getting lectures on the history of Kenya and Tanzania while we were on the trip.

  • British - There is a lot of history but most people are not interested in it

    I fall into the 'not interested in history lectures' when on tour. I get what I need from a historical perspective pre-tour from reading. I don't want to spend the time, paying the tour daily rate, to listen to a lecture. The only time listening to a lecture while on tour would be acceptable for me would be if you're stuck on a ship in transit between destinations and far from land so there is nothing to actually see but ocean. Even then listening to the lecture would lose out if there is a possibility for spotting whales, etc.

  • milmil
    edited May 25

    I second Smiling Sam., the lectures are a waste of precious time. I do my homework prior to the trip and I read all the info. I need to know; I rather see sights. with or without the tour group and take pictures.

    On my next tour Singapore/Bali there is 2 lectures :( , on the first one... Tauck got smart, and it will be before we leave the hotel to the Gardens by the Bay and the other at the Four Seasons Sayan- I wish I could skip both, but at least the first one about the gardens will be interesting, now the other one, No Way!

    . We had a lecture on the Boat while cruising in Chobe after lunch.... Well, it happens that everyone was falling asleep.
    I got up and went down to the main floor to take pictures and then took a nice siesta with the Chobe breeze.

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