I started doing research 14 months prior to booking our trip. We wanted a combination of city touring, cultural experiences, food and wine discoveries and most importantly safaris! Africa is a huge continent with many countries, and I was initially very overwhelmed. I knew we didn’t want to visit countries with significant political strife or places where we would fear for our lives. After some basic research I ruled out Kenya, Tanzania and Zimbabwe. I read books on Botswana, South Africa and Namibia. I started with basic Fodors Guides for general information. Then I searched for e-books on specific countries – both travel guides as well as travelogues, to get a feeling for each country or region. I sought out bloggers who had traveled to the places I was considering and followed their adventures for several months. I scoured the fabulous Trip Advisor Travel Forums and I spoke to everyone I knew who had traveled to this region of the world and asked them to share their thoughts and insights.
I narrowed it down to South Africa and Botswana, both very large countries, each worthy of a three week trip unto themselves. Zambia was added later for reasons which will soon be explained.