Africa Plans for 2005

Dec 25th, 2004, 01:09 PM
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 359
Your entusiasm is well understood here. And if it bubbles up and you cannot contain it or have other things to ask about, always feel free to post it here because we all understand and love to share the thrills with you of your first safari. Nice time of year for your trip and it sounds like a wonderful itinerary. We also will love to hear all of the details after you arrive home. Liz
Liz_Frazier is offline  
Dec 25th, 2004, 05:22 PM
Join Date: Mar 2004
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Still trying to decide between Southern Tanzania and Zambia...I'm leaning toward Southern Tanzania, but Roccco's Zambia reports keep me from actually making a final decision....If only I could go to Africa twice a year, but that thing called work keeps getting in the way...
phernska is offline  
Dec 26th, 2004, 10:26 AM
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thit_cho - Unless we hear otherwise, I also understood that time spent at Aldabra is onboard some boat. The island has been used primarily by scientists with few if any roads on the island. Like you, out of curiosity, would love to hear more above diving here, how, etc.

Some minutea stored in my grey matter - years back the US wanted to use Aldabra as a base for their B52s... and the Seychelles gov't said "no way." The US eventually reached an agreement settling on Diego Garcia, from where the B52 bomber flights departed from during Gulf I.
Dec 26th, 2004, 11:43 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
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they run live-aboards to Aldabra, but they sell out quickly. I have been considering these trips for awhile, but haven't planned anything yet, but the website gives a lot of info on Aldabra.
thit_cho is offline  
Dec 26th, 2004, 04:25 PM
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thit_cho - Great link, thanks. I'm not a diver... I'd rather dip! But a dear friend is an avid diver and he's often looking for something new and different. In fact, he said that the diving at Mafia Island (short flight from Dar-es-Salaam) was excellent. You might want to leave a few days for Mafia on your next trip to East Africa.
Dec 26th, 2004, 07:06 PM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 226
Thank you! You are right about the excitement. And to think I have 6 more months!! I promise to attempt a report when I return. I have learned so much from these posts. Thanks. As a matter of fact I recieved Mark Nolting's "African Safari Journal" yesterday and am already making entries to record my thoughts. Now if I can jst figure out the camera/video questions. We certainly don't want to carry too much, but want to capture as much as possible on film/tape. I am not a camera person, although I own a point and shoot and a Nikon FG (old SLR that I never really figured out beyond the auto mode). Here is an off topic question. Any advise for a complete amatuer in terms of photographic equipment? Should I get a 70-300 zoom lense and spend the next 6 months learning how to use it with the Nikon FG or just use our point and shoot camera? And what about the camcorder? I am quite comfortable with capturing video, but how about re-charging video batteries? From my research from past posts it sounds like most lodges/camps in Kenya and Tanzania will have power to re-charge batteries. But is this a hassle? I certainly don't want to haul all the equipment (and worry about theft)if there are hassles with power or security when we are away from the equipment. Any thoughts?
JazzDrew is offline  
Dec 27th, 2004, 03:59 AM
Join Date: Jul 2004
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JazzDrew- There is so much wonderful information posted here by the experts about the lens, cameras, etc. Kavey is the or at least one of the top experts. Phil, Ruthie's husband, is another. Those two just come to mind, there are others. We've had really amazing photos posted for review and they are just breathtakingly beautiful. I just use auto mode and while we like them and my friends think they are good, compared to the ones here they are very amateurish, but we love them. One young lady went to Africa and was so disappointed with her photos, she took classes and got the good equipment and went back. Her second set was really spectacular and professional looking. So you have plenty of time with a couple of classes to be real comfortable with it all if that is what you want to undertake. I enjoy the experience of being in Africa so I just keep going back. The pictures are there to jog the memories back. Others will post and give you much better advice though. Just stay tuned. Liz
Liz_Frazier is offline  
Dec 27th, 2004, 04:02 AM
Join Date: Jul 2004
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JazzDrew- On second thought, why don't you start a thread and ask the pertinent questions you have and we'll leave this one for the purpose it was started for. Liz
Liz_Frazier is offline  
Dec 27th, 2004, 04:21 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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We are very close to making choice between southern Tanzania and Botswana for June of 2005. Selous, Mikumi, and Ruaha really caught my eye and chance to be with wife and daughter in a much less visited part of that country has real appeal. So does....
rsnyder is offline  
Dec 27th, 2004, 04:39 AM
Join Date: Dec 2003
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hey rocco,
in january the rates for makololo are very low. i think i am paying $200 pppn. the itinerary wasnt broken down but backing it out its right about 200. i'm also curious to see how many other guests will be there. zim is low to begin with, let alone in jan. so may have the place to ourselves which would be incredible. i'm trying to get my wife to join me on bush walks but i dont think i can convince her. anyway, less than 2 weeks to go. cant wait.
bigcountry is offline  
Dec 27th, 2004, 07:33 AM
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There is no scheduled transportation to Aldabra. The only way are privatelky operated boats or charter flights. There are no public accommodations anywhere in the Aldabra group although at the ranger station there are basic rooms for visiting scientists, but no "hotel" services are provided.

There are a couple of liveaboard diving and/or fishing boats which go there. As Michael mentioned, the Indian Ocean Explorer is the main one ( I was on that boat to Aldabra a few years ago and it is one of a couple I am considering for this year. As you observed, there are no roads at all on any of the islands, other than an couple of copra farm tracks on Assumption.

The diving was terrific. I was on a 14 night sailing from Mahe to Aldabra with the first 6 days spent traveling southwest and diving at many islands on the way down. The wall at Astove was the best, where I got to dance with a hawlsbill turtle for about 8 minutes! The diving at Aldabra was world class, most notably the high-speed drift dives from outside to the lagoon on the incoming tide.

In addition to the Explorer, I use New Adventures ( for my arrangements in that part of the world. I'm considering combining Aldabra with a week on Reunion Island this time!
NoFlyZone is offline  
Dec 27th, 2004, 08:42 AM
Join Date: Oct 2004
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I've book my plane tickets for July/August 2005 (AA miles!).... now just need to book the rest of the trip! So far the plans include Zambia - South Luangwa and then Sabi Sands. I'm hoping to get it all nailed down over the next month or so.
dreaming is offline  
Dec 27th, 2004, 09:58 AM
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NoFlyZone - Thanks for your post which is already on its way to my friend. While I was aware that Aldabra was mainly used by the scientific community with no infrastructure for tourists - hotels or access, it was the mention of diving above that caught my interest. I thank both you and Michael.
Dec 27th, 2004, 06:51 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 252
My May 2005 itinerary to Botswana includes a week at Horseback Safari (Macatoo Camp) and then on to Kwetsani. I look forward to reading about everyone's African travels!
girlpolo33 is offline  
Dec 27th, 2004, 08:39 PM
Join Date: Aug 2003
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I am sooooo excited!!! We head off on Jan 29th for Tanz & Kenya. For 3 weeks. I was there in 1990!!! My Hubby has never been but it has always been a dream. I am so looking forward to it all.

jules39 is offline  
Dec 28th, 2004, 09:02 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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We finally committed for 2005 - 1st time to Africa! Look for my trip report at the end of September.

King's Pool (waitlist for Mombo)
Couple nights in Joburg
Ericka is offline  
Dec 29th, 2004, 06:42 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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I've also already paid my 25% deposit for my first safari next August: 7 nights in Kenya followed by 5 nights in Zanzibar. Can hardly wait.
Still have to book my flights, I am waiting for January to come as airfares go down.
Thanks to everyone that helped me plan my safari.
Happy New Year and Happy Travels to all.

Tere is offline  
Dec 29th, 2004, 01:11 PM
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Tere - while airfares do go down after January 3 or 4, those fares are often only to Europe, i.e, London, Paris - and good for travel to mid-April (maybe May) only. You still have to get to Nairobi and it's rare to fine "special reduced" fares worth waiting on. Besides August is high season for travel to Kenya (Migration time). Below is a consolidator that offers very competitive fares to Africa - check them out and see what they can do for you.
Dec 30th, 2004, 04:41 AM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 15
We're off to Namibia for a week in July. Really looking forward to it. It is somewhere I've wanted to visit for some time. It was a toss up between there and Zambia, so Zambia will have to be on the list for next time.
Happy New Year to everyone
alicoll is offline  
Dec 30th, 2004, 01:17 PM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 23
We just received our tickets for our Feb. trip to South Africa. We fly from Atlanta to Johannesberg, will take in a few nights at Kruger National Park then on to Cape Town. We'll be on the ground for a total of 11 days. It's our first trip to Africa and I'm can't be more excited.
aggiewriter is offline  

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