Hi, I want to go to Africa/ Middle East in 09 and am just starting to plan my trip now. I'm not sure how long I'll spend there though, how long should I spend here? I'm wanting to see the culture, way of life, meet other people etc. Where should I go and what are some great things to do? Money isn't so much a issue, just want ideas I do want to go on a safari, who should I book with and where should I do this? Thanks heaps!
I'd just pick a few countries you want to see, you'll easily pick up a safari along the way if you go through east or south africa. I went on one from Arusha, Tanzania, you just need to arrive in a hotel without a safari book and word will get round and people will start offering you safaris. You should be able to get a better deal or group up with other travels to reduce the cost a bit. If you're not going to Tanzania then Botswana, Namibia and Kenya are good bets for a safari.
You can easily travel from Kenya down the east coast to South Africa. The North west is also pretty good, I've been to Mali and that was a really good trip and it is kind of a mix of Africa/Mid East, especially if you combined that with morroco and went from there down the west coast.
Middle East - welcome to Israel!
Egypt is very attractive too,
Probably also Petra in Jordan, if you already in the area
I would recommend both Syria and Jordan - loads of culture and history and very friendly people.
if you will be in south africa,its very easy to book safari directly with the National Parks Service,www.sanparks.org,you book a chalet,tent etc,and when you get there you can book game drives,night safaris etc.its much cheaper than using safari company,can be as little as euro40 a day,and very organised.you can book easily on their website,with live availability.all major parks covered.
i spent 4 months in middle east couple of years back,lebanon,syria,jordan,egypt,iraq,enjoyed it immensely,places not to be missed are petra in jordan,krac de chevaliers in syria(crusader castle,sheer size will knock your socks off),beirut,amazing place,best nightclubs in the world,side by side with bombed out buildings,mount sinai in egypt if you are anyway spiritual,or just in need of a good hike,dozens more,amazingly cheap too