After Botswana, would I like Tanzania?

Jun 28th, 2007, 01:40 PM
  #1  
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After Botswana, would I like Tanzania?

I have been to Kenya twice and Botswana 7 times. I would love to see Tanzania but I am so spoiled by the privacy and lack of vehicles at the camps in Botswana. Are the sights at Ngorongoro Crater and other prime locations in Tanzania worth fighting crowds? Or am I mistaken about the crowds? In Kenya, they were definately an issue, but the Mara is worth it, in my opinion.
And what time of year is good there? I have always been in August.
patiricia is offline  
Jun 28th, 2007, 02:16 PM
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We went to Tanzania, Kenya, and did a gorilla trek in March, 2006 and loved it! We picked March because it is "calving season" - lot of babies. We went with International Expeditions and would recommend them to anyone. THE GUIDES ARE THE KEY!!!!

The Ngorongora Crater, Serengeti, etc were wonderful! If you liked the Masai Mara, you will like the Serengeti. And, Mount Kilimanjaro was superb!

Tell me more about Botswana - I have heard some neat things about that area
RTR1944 is offline  
Jun 28th, 2007, 02:22 PM
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Botswana is great. It is mostly private concessions over extremely large areas with very few people. We have traveled with Wilderness Safaris and they have a policy of a maximum of 3 vehicles at any one sighting (sometimes only 2). In the Mara the last time I was there, we were surrounded by at least 15 vehicles looking at a few cheetah. Plus the camps are great and the company is first rate. It is great fun to transfer between camps by small airplane or even helicopters. Hmm, maybe I should just go back to Botswana! I am keen to try something new though.
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Jun 28th, 2007, 03:21 PM
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Patricia: After four visits to Botswana, I opted for a change of scenery and have just returned from Tanzania. What an absolutely stunning country! We did the northern circuit and really enjoyed Western Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Crater. There were a lot of vehicles in Central Serengeti, but very few in the western part. ALSO, it is quite reasonable to hire a private driver/guide and have a large Land Cruiser for two people. At the upscale camps in Botswana, we always shared with other guests. It's nice meeting people, but even better to see the animals you want to see in a private vehicle. I'm sure private vehicles are available at Botswana camps, but when you are paying $800/per person it's hard to then spring for a private vehicle. The Crater was a bit more crowded, but still lots of room to roam on one's own. We would occasionally pass a vehicle or have two or three others at a lion sighting. The Ngorongoro Crater was breathtaking and wondrous.
We just returned, so mid-June seemed ideal for great weather and fewer vehicles. Our trip exceeded our every expectation.
girlpolo33 is offline  
Jun 28th, 2007, 03:26 PM
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Excellent! Just the info I was looking for. What company did you use and where did you stay?
patiricia is offline  
Jun 28th, 2007, 04:41 PM
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If you do a search on my screen name you will find report from 2007 May/June trip to parks in northern and southern Tanzania. Wish I had commented a bit more on extent of traffic. On our one day trip to Arusha NP (fairly small by park standards) I think we saw only one other safari-related vehicle in park all day. Western corridor of Serengeti was lightly attended. In Ruaha except for vehicle or two from our lodge I don't recall seeing others during the three days we were there. Mikumi had a bit more traffic but given it is so close to Dar and with some roads impassaable it is no wonder. Even then I don't recall "sharing" a site. Don't recall crowding while in the Crater. When we pulled over to glass over an area where a rhino was bedded down but not visible at the time, we were only one of two vehicles there. Given we did not get into crater until early afternoon may have resulted in lighter traffic. On previous trips to northern Tanzania (both in June) we encountered more vehicles then this past trip. Even then, those conditions were tolerable. I recall one time when traffic bothways was jammed at one spot so everyone could see a cheetah in the grass. When we drove down the road less than 1/4 we spotted a leopard on the ground and had the site all to ourselves! In my humble opinion, Tanzania even when crowded is well worth it. Given the number of lodges and visitors I hear for the Mara I don't think the northern parks are any worse.
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Jun 28th, 2007, 05:35 PM
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We used Africa Serendipity travel out of New York City. Sandi is a frequent contributor to this message board and she did a fabulous job in planning our trip. Part of our trip was spent on Horseback Safari. After that portion was completed, we stayed at Simiyu Mobile Tented Camp which moves to follow the migration. Next time around we would go a bit more upscale, although this camp was perfectly fine with ensuite shower and toilet. Any lodge at the edge of the Crater would be fine, because they all have a million dollar view! We stayed at Sopa because Crater Lodge and Serena were already booked. I believe Crater Lodge is almost $1500/night per person, so I'm not sure if that would have made the itinerary anyway! Sandi booked our vehicle and guide with Roy Safari and our guide, Daniel, was superb. Hope this helps!
girlpolo33 is offline  
Jun 28th, 2007, 06:39 PM
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Thanks for posting this question Patricia, as I am also interested in perhaps trying a different country for safari next time.

Besides the issue of vehicles, could someone please clarify the off-road driving again. Particulary in the northern areas of the Serengeti, it seems that could be a rather uncrowded area, is off road driving allowed there?
Also, in the southern parks Ruaha and Selous - off road driving allowed there?

Thanks!
brandywine is offline  
Jun 28th, 2007, 07:30 PM
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We have just the opposite question. After camping in Kenya and Tanzania twice and being used to a private vehicle, how many people would we have sharing vehicles in Botswana and Sabi Sands? We are usually a party of 4 or 6.
Novak is offline  
Jun 28th, 2007, 07:39 PM
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Very interesting thread, indeed!!!

Back in 2001 and 2002, during the migration.....the animals in the Mara were absolutely plenty!!!

In my only trip to the Serengeti, i saw more lions there (even when the migration was absent) than in either Botswana or Sabi Sands. However, the guiding experience left a lot to be desired. But, i didn't know which company to travel with......and i think i shall soon plan a visit to Tanzania. Especially, i hear February around Ndutu is stunning.....need to check it out.

Hari
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Jun 28th, 2007, 08:54 PM
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typo....plentiful!!!
HariS is offline  
Jun 28th, 2007, 08:56 PM
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Novak,

Party of 6....you are guaranteed your own vehicle! 4....you may get your own vehicle depending on the camp/lodge
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Jun 29th, 2007, 06:50 AM
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Thanks Hari. Do you know which lodges/camps would give us our own vehicle for a party of 4? Or does it depend on how many persons are in the camp?
Novak is offline  
Jun 29th, 2007, 06:54 AM
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Yes, depends on the camp and the number of guests at camp during your stay...for 5, you should have your own vehicle.

At Selinda main camp, my stay coincided with my Sister and her family so we got our own land cruiser.

Rgds,
Hari
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