East / South Africa - 6 weeks in Nov, Dec, early Jan.
Replies: 1 - Last Post: Nov 14, 2012 8:44 AM Last Post By: kaz
Nov 13, 2012 4:43 PM
East / South Africa - 6 weeks in Nov, Dec, early Jan.Hi All -
Just found out I have 6 weeks off and was thinking I would look into some variation of Eastern / Southern Africa (Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa). As it is a BIG BIG continent with lots to do in each country, I just have some general questions based on some of my other world travels.....
1. HOSTELS - I typically travel alone and stay in nice hostels / cheap hotels. I like hostels as it allows to meet other solo travelers and exchange stories while on the road. I usually do the private room though. Is Africa set up like this (ie - Thailand, SE Asia)?
2. CREATE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE - I am not one for tours, or planning too much in advance. I typically like to know my arrival and departure dates, but not be on a set schedule in between unless there is something that requires it. I see a lot of online tour operatours for Kilamanjaro and Safaris. Are these best arranged in advance, or can they be arranged once I arrive in the town the trips leave from? Also, is there a big difference in the online operators or are they all just different agents reselling the tours of a local provider? (When in South America, I just showed up to Machu Pichu and arranged the Inca Trail hike when I arrived).
3. BEACHES - what are the best beaches to consider for relaxing, diving / snorkeling and possibly some surfing / kitesurfing? I have heard a lot about Zanzibar (no surfing but great beaches) but was wondering if there were other 'cannot miss' beach spots for this area.
4. SAMPLE HIGHLIGHTS - Ideally what I would like to do is include some beach time, a safari, a kilamanjaro trek, and probably more beach time. I am not the kind of guy who like to see 5 countries in 5 days. Is 5-6 weeks an appropriate time frame to do this at a relaxed pace.
5. SUGGESTED ITINERARIES - for the time of year (late Nov, Dec, early Jan) I am totally open to an itinerary suggestions. It seems like there is so much on the internet regarding each and every safari under the sun, but for these months, which areas would be best to focus on? I realize that animals migrate and some areas / parks are better at various times of year. As this is my first trip to Africa, I am curious if I should focus on a particular region over another. I don't mind making internal flights, but obviously concentrating on a certain area is easier / more cost effective, and allows for less time in the airports and on the roads.
6. UNIQUE ADVENTURES - if anyone has any absolutely unique adventure suggestions that would be welcome too! While I dont ride a motorcycle, I saw a tour that goes on safari via motorbike. Something on the nature (ie - off the beaten path) would be fantastic!!! Or an Overland Adventure for a short period.
7. SURF / KITESURF SCHOOLS - anyone have any experience with good surf and kite schools? Again, tons online, but hard to tell which are just good, and which are GREAT. I think it would be great to include this on my trip. 10 days of either more or less.
8. Budget - I would say I am on a mid-range budget. Not needing to do the cheapest option, but also not interested in a 5-star holiday by myself. CLEAN and COMFORTABLE is my only requirement.
Thanks in advance for your suggestions. I know this is a broad topic and even more broad questions.. just looking for a starting point in planning my trip.
Nov 14, 2012 8:44 AM
In Kenya and Tanzania (I've not been to RSA) there are fewer hostels, but plenty of cheap hotels/guesthouses. Generally it isn't necessary to book anything in advance, except maybe over xmas, although you may need to spend a day or 2 organising a safari or Kili climb if you wait until you get there.
Best beaches I reckon apart from Zanzibar, which is lovely, are on Lamu (island on the north of the Kenyan coast), Watamu, or the coast to the south of Mombasa.
You could find plenty to do in 5-6 weeks in those 2 countries, or even just one of them. Including South Africa as well would be in my opinion too much - plus it will cost you a fair bit to fly down there.
Time of year is good for Kenya and Tanzania (that's when I go, escaping the UK winter!) weather should be fine, not too hot, not at all cold, not much rain. Dunno about where the animals will be, sorry, I tend to spend most of my time on the coast....
Unique adventures - how about sailing on a dhow? Anything from a couple hours sunset cruising to several days visiting other islands can be arranged in Lamu. Sailing up to Kiwayu is a lovely journey, but maybe not advisable these days being v close to the Somali border, but sailing to Pate Island and exploring for a few days would be interesting.
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