Back-to-Back Africa trips

Has anyone done back-to-back Africa tours with Tauck? How did you like it? Which tours might work as back-to-back tours? Any issues booking Africa air transportation on your own to get from one tour to the next one? Clean clothing issues?

We're looking forward to first Africa trip in 2018. We did back-to-back Tauck tours in Spain/Portugal and are really glad we did it that way.

Thanks in advance for any advice!


  • edited December 2016
    Hi, I've taken all 4 safari tours that Tauck offers. As long as you are fine with lots of early wake-up calls, like 5 or 5-30 in the morning, you will be fine. also, Africa is one of the easiest and cheapest places to get laundry done. Some places it is included and free. The hardest part is organizing yourself so that you send laundry out the first night you arrive at the camp so it is back in time before you move on to the next place. You could get away with just two dress up outfits for both tours, the rest should be safari type clothing and colors.
    My recommendation would be to do the Zambia, Botswana tour, followed by the Kenya and Tanzania tour. I would fly to Livingstone Zambia two days early, relax the first day, then the next day take a helicopter flight over the falls and into the canyon. At the end of the tour in Cape Town, I would stay on and have two, or better three days longer there, see the places not included on that tour, like Table Mountain. Robben Island, Kirstenbosch Gardens, maybe a Winelands tour. Then fly to Arusha for the next tour.
    You would have to research, weather, wet/dry seasons.
    Vaccinations, you are more likely to not escape requiring a yellow fever shot because of coming from one African country to another and take malaria meds for many weeks.
    Flights, you have lots of research to do, but we noticed that British Airways flies extensively in Africa. Plus, I would think Tauck could advise you here, after all you will be paying out many thousands of dollars to take two tours with them..
    Southern African and East African safaris are very different, different vehicles, different rules, different animals, never mind the different cultures and types of landscapes. Lucky you!
  • edited December 2016
    First I would print out the tour maps (and itineraries) and place them side by side. You will see a lot of duplication in the East Africa tours (K&T; TZ, Serengeti to Zanzibar; and Tanzania: A Grand Family Safari) so I think British's recommendation is good- K&T and Botswana, SA, Zambia, however I would also look at doing K&T first followed by Botswana. I know there is at least one non-stop flight from Nairobi to Livingstone and multiple flights to Johannesburg, a typical feeder to Livingstone. It might be a bit harder (multi-stop, long layovers) to get from Capetown to Arusha (Kilimanjaro- JRO).

    The next task is to evaluate the schedules which for me is by making a linear (bar graph) calendar - dates across the top and tours stacked one above the other. I have done that kind of planning for a couple tours but haven't actually done back to back, yet. Once you find a combination that works - in the worst case, you may need to kill time somewhere, and at worst, leave one tour early, or start a tour late- then see if you can find airline flights that will make it work. Tauck might help in this regard. Update: Though I may be wrong, I think Tauck will only make flight arrangements (itineraries) if they originate or terminate in the US.

    Here is a quick look at just two of the mentioned tours for 2018 (note, Tauck may add more departures in the year ahead). It looks like at least three combinations will work:

    K&T: 23 Jun (Arusha) - 4 Jul (Nairobi)
    Botswana: 7 Jul (Livingstone) - 18 Jul (Cape Town)

    Botswana: 9 Jun (Livingstone) - 20 Jun (Cape Town)
    K&T: 23 Jun (Arusha) - 4 Jul (Nairobi)

    Botswana: 7 Jul (Livingstone) - 18 Jul (Cape Town)
    K&T: 21 Jul (Arusha) - 2 Aug (Nairobi)

    Also note that these Botswana departures are during the winter- nippy nights and mornings in the camps and quite cool in Capetown. The 9 Jun departure might be the best. When you include your flights realize you will be away and on the go for over a month. I would be game but not my wife. She starts thinking about home on day 9 or 10 of a 14 day tour before she gets her second wind!
  • edited December 2016
    The reason I suggested the tour my way, was that the Victoria Falls hotel is a nice place to chill out and accclimatize in before the tour begins, whereas the Arusha hotel is more basic. In addition, I feel you need more time in Cape Town but also use it for time between the two tours to see more of Cape Town and to have a few days to be less hectic and have a few days where you can get out of bed at a more civilized time. You will also be more familiar with Cape Town because you will have been there with Tauck a few days. If you leave Nairobi at the end of K and T and go to Cape Town at the beginning of the next tour, you will not be familiar with the place even if you do decide to get there for a few days in between tours. As it is possible that a low budget for a trip is not that important to you, I would even say that you could spend a whole week in Cape Town and find plenty to do.
    As far as leaving before the end of a tour or joining a tour late, it really is not practical, how are you going to do that, and to me a waste of money. Taking both tours together, we would find it difficult from a stamina point of view but also, we love Africa so much, we like to savor our time there and would prefer to do the tours separately. Or do one tour and then head north to somewhere like the Canary Islands to chill out for a week.
    The logistics of actually achieving doing the research for dates to do this is another thing, I can't advise you here without doing lots of research into the dates Tauck offer, you can do that.
  • edited December 2016
    I would just like to add, that this would be an epic back-to-back adventure. It will take you a year to write and edit one of the typical blog/slide shows you have done for your other tours! Yikes!

    Again, I think it comes down to how much time you are willing to devote to this adventure and your health and stamina.

    While British's suggestions for routing and longer stays between tours sound good, only you can decide if they will work for you. If you spend more than just a few days between tours, then I don't consider that back-to-back. I think the 2018 examples in my earlier post are reasonable. In my opinion a week or two are not. As far as where and how much extra time you spend between tours is up to you- you can stay longer at the end of the first tour or arrive a few days early before the start of the next one- remember, you will generally be in the same time zone so won't have nearly the problems adjusting your body clock as you would flying from the US. But again, only you know how much time on tour and between tours is right for you.

    FYI, I just modified my earlier post with 2018 tour start and finish locations- it might help you visualize it.

    Laundry- you should have no problem getting it done (sending it out) between tours- cost? who cares, it is budget dust compared to what you will be spending on the tours and flights.
  • Thank you both for your replies! Excellent information...just what I was looking for to help me with my pre-booking planning. I'll do my homework and see where it leads me!
  • Greetings

    Another advantage to traveling with Tauck is their attention to detail in coordinating multiple journeys. Today a Tauck Reservations Sales Counselor confirmed a revised itinerary for me making it possible to do back to back tours.

    It required canceling my original reservation, changing the order and dates of the two journeys I had originally requested, and taking advantage of a cancellation on one of the them.

    Now I am off the wait list and will be joining the June 16th Kenya & Tanzania: A Classic Safari, followed by a post tour "A Gift of Time", a connecting flight, followed by a pre tour "A Gift of Time", and then joining the June 30th Botswana, South Africa and Zambia journey.

    The best part is I now have a complete back to back journey with two days of free time in between at each of the Tauck hotels, and Guest Protection for both journeys at no extra charge for the 2nd journey.

    Thank you, Tauck!
  • maybe you should check this guide site, it tells about what to do in Africa Safari..
  • tito32 wrote:
    maybe you should check this guide site, it tells about what to do in Africa Safari..

    Maybe you should take your SPAM to another website!
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