Africa 2008

Old Aug 12th, 2007, 07:26 PM
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Africa 2008

Hi there,
My husband and I are planning a 3 month trip to Africa in Jan 2008. We are thinking of flying into Nairobi and then working our way down the east coast eventually ending in South Africa & Namibia.
We're starting to put our itinerary together and would love some feedback.

Arrive Nairobi, spend 1 night there before flying the next morning into Kigali. Spend 6 days in Rwanda to see the Gorillas before returning back to Nairobi to start our Kenya & Tanzania portion, which includes:

Samburu National Park - 2 nights
Nakuru - 1 night
Kisumu - 1 night
Homabay - 1 night
Magina Village - 2 nights
Masai Mara - 2 nights
Amboseli - 2 nights

We included Kisumu, Homabay & Magina Village since we wants ome off the beaten path places which aren't so touristy and will give us a feel for the people of Kenya. From Amboseli, we are thinking of going straight to Arusha for the Tanzania portion:

Arusha - 0 nights, just passing to get into the Serengeti (which we'll get to in the beginning of Feb)
Serengeti - 4 nights
Ngorongoro Crater - 2 nights
Lake Manyara - 2 nights
Taragarine - 2 nights
Kiliminjaro - we MAY do Kili (still TBD)
Zanzibar - 3 nights

Suggestions we are looking for:
- we don't want to feel very rushed on this trip. Are the number of nights in each place good enough or should we add/subtract in certain spots?
- since we are gaming in many parks in Kenya & Tanzania, does it make sense to do all of the parks? (from a time and cost perspective). We know we're going to see many different animals in all of the parks, but once we see the Mara, Crater & Serengeti, are the rest really going to compare? i.e. should we really go to Amboseli?
- we would love some advice on the days in each spot plus transportation methods. We don't mind driving unless the entire length of the trip includes horrible roads.

We haven't yet confirmed with a tour operator but once we firm up this leg of the trip, we'll be sending our itinerary to many of the good operators people have recommended on this site.

So this is definitely the first of many posts looking for advice.
Thanks so much!

flyingaway2 is offline  
Old Aug 12th, 2007, 08:19 PM
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If you plan to drive, have you thought about crossing at the Isebania/Sirari border since you'll be spending time in western Kenya? You could cross there and continue to the Serengeti or overnight along the shores of Lake Victoria on the Tanzanian side. This way you can make a circle loop back to Arusha. Otherwise, to go from the Mara to Amboseli is a 10+ hour day and likewise from Amboseli to the Serengeti. I'd spend a night in the Aberdares on my way from Samburu to Nakuru. This is a high elevation forested park which is quite different from the others you'll visit and a chance to see some more diversity. Very few visitors here too. Where is Magina village? There's a poster on the Tripadvisor Kenya forum who lives in western Kenya and she'll be able to better advise on the western areas.

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Old Aug 14th, 2007, 04:32 AM
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first I would advise against driving yourself, most of the roads are rough and would beat the purpose of relaxing since you would be so fatigued.

glad you seem to like the 'off the beaten track' kind of thing.I strongly reccommend a village homestay while youre in Kenya. My husband and I tried one ealry this year. We stayed in a cute little village in Baringo for a few nights and we loved the way we got to hang out with the locals without all the 'touristy' pressure you get in other big towns.
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Old Aug 14th, 2007, 08:59 AM
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Thanks so much Patty & Mickey for your replies.

Patty - your suggestion on the route makes perfect sense and we'll definitely make some changes so that we're not wasting time going back & forth between places.

Mickey - we're not planning on driving ourselve, but rather with a tour company who will arrange a car & driver or on bus.
Can you tell us what types of accommodations you had while in Baringo and how you booked them? i.e. through a travel agency in Kenya or when you got there?

Can someone also tell us if all of these places are worth going to on one trip? We're trying to save money where we can so are wondering if doing all these games are worth while or if after 3 or 4 games we're not going to see much else which is new.

Thanks again!
flyingaway2 is offline  
Old Aug 14th, 2007, 10:05 AM
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I think you have a flaw in your plans. By the time you get down the coast further, you will be smack in the middle of the rainy season in southern Tanzania and Mozambique.
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Old Aug 18th, 2007, 11:49 AM
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hello. Namibia, being in western south africa, I am assuming you are looking at the whole of the southern african penninsula? Jan isn't a good time to go, you're in the wet season, which is hard work for any kind of DIY transport, and for game. Now is the dry season in southern Africa, reaching until the rains start around November, and therefore as water resources get concentrated and reduced animals also conctrate around what remains and their behaviour becomes more predictable - and so they are easier to track and find. I would go to this region from June-November and given it is clearly a big trip of a lifetime for your, for the sake of a few months just wait a bit. Very few of us are blessed with the opportunity to go to such an incredible place, and very, very few for such a long time. So, my advice would be, if you can wait, leave it until the dry season, and your patience will be well rewarded.
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Old Aug 18th, 2007, 01:08 PM
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Hi WildDogs,
Thanks for the response. We're not planning on doing any games in Namibia or SA while we are there since we're going to be gaming in Kenya & Tanzania.

We also probably won't head south until mid-late Feb. Do you think this would be a better time for Namibia & SA? They say Cape Town etc area is great from Dec to March..not sure about Namibia.

Thanks so much!
flyingaway2 is offline  
Old Aug 19th, 2007, 03:31 PM
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Since you are planning a trip to Rwanda, I would recommend spending more time in the area. Too often, people hop over for a gorilla viewing trip and overlook the many incredible possibilities that the Albertine Rift has to offer, such as:

The Rwenzoris National Park, Uganda-- the legendary Mountains of the Moon

Nyungwe Forest-- in southern Rwanda, home to 25% of Africa's primate species

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest-- another great option for gorilla viewing, though in more dense habitat.

I've traveled with Volcanoes Safaris in the region and have found their services to be perfection.
wildlifeartist is offline  
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