Back from Tanzania


Apr 1st, 2005, 04:21 AM
Join Date: Feb 2005
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Sorry I was not clear enough (I am at work and already spend too much time reading on this forum

I wanted to say that I enjoyed reading your stories a lot, because I will go to Tanzania myself in September. It will be my first time to Africa and that's why I showed my itenary. Of course you may comment if you like to.

The story about the shooting of the animals sounds horrible and I really hope this is a hoax. When I posted I had not read the articles and thought (and maybe hope) that it sounded a bit too much like a horror story to be real. I still hope that it is just something like an urban legend.......
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Apr 1st, 2005, 04:36 AM
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Liz - The photos are great. I can never get enough of the sunrises - another day of wonder ahead of me - but especially the sunsets, my favorites. There is nothing like an African sunset. Thanks so much for sharing.
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Apr 1st, 2005, 05:21 AM
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I can assure you that this is the truth. I saw with my own eyes these pen/compounds with the razor wire. They were built to keep animals in. There must have been over a hundred of them. They are very large. When you go to the camps in the surrounding areas during June, July, and August, you will hear the proof you may not want to hear. The guns make a lot of noise. Those articles that were posted were identical to what I heard from the local people. I did not talk to tourists about this. I talked to people born and raised in Tanzania. They are heartsick and their government has done this to them. How can anyone help from the outside when the government signed legal contracts allowing this poaching and bush meat export? What about taking live animals out? They can take anything. Anything. Yet from what I've read here, apparently local poachers are shot? Is that just in Kenya? I didn't ask about that. Imagine ending a wonderful trip to such a beautiful land with this news?
I didn't even hear that anyone is concerned about the young girls they bring in to supply their camps. They are young, real young.
The Arabs contribute nothing to the economy of Tanzania. The planes land, the cars drive out and head for their private camps. They don't buy fuel, they don't buy food, they bring everything with them. That is what I was told by a very reliable source.
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Apr 1st, 2005, 05:58 AM
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Marynus- I don't generally comment on the itineraries, but those one nighters are killers. You have about 5 nights to start like that. You cannot get laundry done unless you spend 2 nights at a place, and Eunoto and Ngorongoro Farm House are very close together. Ngorongoro FH is a stop to visit either Ngorongoro Crater or Lake Manyara. I looked up Eunoto Retreat and it is located outside of Lake Manyara Park, so I am not quite sure just where it is because I had never heard of it till now. It looks like a nice place, but the location would seem to be an either Eunoto or Ngorongoro Farm House to me. The Eunoto website also says it is for Tarangire. So did you find these or did someone recommend this itinerary to you? Liz
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Apr 1st, 2005, 10:05 AM
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Liz, Iíve had a look at your wonderful photos. Thanks for sharing them.

Iíve read the report written by the MERC about the impact of Ortello Business Company in Loliondo. It says nothing about a 99-year lease. Maybe itís just a rumour thatís spread to make people feel thereís nothing they can do. The report says itís a 20-year lease (starting 1993) and the hunting license is revised more frequently. It was briefly revoked in 1999, reissued in 2000 and expires this year. Even if there was a 99-year lease, OBC canít break Tanzanian law and international treaties signed by Tanzania, or, apparently they can but it has to be stopped. Iíve no idea what to do. Iíve been to Kenya twice, but never to Tanzania. Maybe I could write to the tourism minister saying I will not visit the country until something is done about OBC, but after reading about the park fees being raised to $ 100 (I almost screamed) I donít think theyíre that interested in having me as a tourist. Obviously Brigadier Mohamed Rahim Al Ali is more of a ďquality touristĒ (the expression used for visitors with lots of money at a touristy place where I used to live) than I am, and his money goes more directly into the pockets of people with power. I have to do something though. Who could put pressure behind demands for an independent investigation?
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Apr 1st, 2005, 11:04 AM
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You really sound interested and I hope and pray you can find out something. The person who told me about the 99 year lease is very reliable and would not have made such a grave mistake. All other things matched with the information you found for us. Of course I have no proof but his word. Please continue, you seem to be able to get information better than I could.
I cannot comment on the park fees. I imagine they will be rolled up into the camps charges, but the first word is the camps don't want any part of it due to the bank cheque requirements.
Please don't despair. Continue with your efforts. This will impact Kenya too. Thank you. Liz
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Apr 1st, 2005, 12:27 PM
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This brings back wonderful memories of our trip last October. I particularly love the photos of the zebra in the hippo pool - we watched them for hours as they slowly approached pools or rivers, suddenly and so often getting spooked and running off.

The lions in your photos look very intelligent and thoughtful - our lions usually just look fat and lazy!

Also, the photos of you and Max show two people having a wonderful time - such joy and contentment in your faces. I really hope that you experience this same feeling in your upcoming trips.

Happy travels & keep visiting us here on Fodors.
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Apr 1st, 2005, 12:30 PM
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Oops! posted this on the wrong thread!
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Apr 1st, 2005, 07:28 PM
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Welcome home! I'm delighted you had such an amazing time. And heartsick about this news. I don't even want to believe it, but...ugh, of course I do in fact believe.

I remember when we were there last summer our guides and other locals we met were murmuring with dismay about how their government is "selling" everything of value.

Well, I guess I'll read the other threads and find out more.

On a brighter note: thank you for posting. And I can't wait to see your photos!
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Apr 2nd, 2005, 03:06 AM
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Leely- Thank you for commenting here, please see our album. There is a picture I took and included especially for you. Even though there are no crocodiles under it, the rope bridge over the Gumeti River made me laugh when I recalled how you thought you were being considered the "special of the day for lunch" by the crocs below. Liz
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Apr 5th, 2005, 05:34 AM
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Thank you for the information regarding Kusini and Ndutu. You are really helpful in giving specific and detailed information. I really enjoyed your trip report and photos.
It seems that you were not totally satisfied with Roys as your safari provider, even though they have received a lot of recommendations on this board, but I guess it may also depend on who gives the best price (I haven't gotten that far yet).
I'm sorry that you may not get back to Africa, but I'm sure that you have many amazing and wonderful memories of all your trips.
Thanks for your help.
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Apr 5th, 2005, 07:01 PM
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We'll be finishing up a 12-day Tanzania safari this June with 2 nights in Tanganire. Any thoughts about Treetops vs. Mawe Ninga?
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Jul 14th, 2005, 05:31 PM
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I appreciate this trip report even more, now that I am looking at visiting some of the same places.

However...WHY DOES EAST AFRICA HAVE TO BE SO COMPLICATED? Different companies with their own little camps that are only for their guests, American operators booking the entire lodge, whether or not they have sold the rooms, unpredictable rains/migration patterns, etc. I guess that is what makes it so special when it all comes together, huh?

This really has been quite a little education for the past couple days trying to "learn" Northern Tanzania.
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Jul 14th, 2005, 06:19 PM
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The most amazing thing:

Some of us like to plan everything down to the last detail - best camps at the best price at the best time of year using the best operator with the best guide!

I am one of these perfectionists. And it feels great when it all comes together!

On the other side of the spectrum, some get colorful brochures in the mail and sign up for group safaris regardless of the details that are so critical to me!

I've seen people at Ndutu on 4-night stays in September! I've seen people going to climb Kilimanjaro in May while Arusha is flooding!

Yet, we all seem to come back with the same enthusiasm about East Africa! BLOWN AWAY by the experience!

Amazing. Such is the magic of Tanzania/Kenya/Uganda. Complex, yet simple. Predictable, yet surprising. Populated, yet wild. Frustrating, yet satisfying.

Hang in there, Rocco! Your road of discovery is a good learning experience for all of us! I have more info/photos of the places you are looking at but other deadlines are limiting my participation right now!

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Jul 14th, 2005, 06:50 PM
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Hi Rocco, welcome to mass tourism!

After reading this thread, two remarks:

I've seen a lot of compounds in East Africa with walls and razor wire - private properties, small farms in urban areas, industrial areas... this doesn't necessarily mean something negative. Just everyone tries to protect his properties against robbery... (in our world we use more invisible fences and video cameras.)

I've read about these problems in Loliondo GCA some years ago. However, since then a lot of concessions are used now for photo tourism, so I think this "UAE problem" is more something of the past...

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Jul 14th, 2005, 07:22 PM
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I'd say your comments apply more to Tanzania specifically than East Africa as a whole. I haven't run into any camps in Kenya which my tour operator can't book (yet). Also I think Tanzania has fewer tourist accomodations relative to the number of visitors, hence the availability issues that seem so common in high season. You run into this ocassionally in Kenya (Mara in July/August) but I don't think it's the norm, at least not in my experience.

As to the unpredictable rains and migration patterns, well that's just nature!
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Jul 15th, 2005, 06:16 AM
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Climbhighsleeplow -Did you ever talk to your Maasai friends about the Arab hunting compound issue?

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Jul 15th, 2005, 07:24 AM
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As best as I can find out the Loliondo Game Controlled Area hunting concession was renewed in January 2000 for a five year period so it could have been renewed again or not in the last six month.

I can find nothing to say yes or no about a renewal.

The issues or concerns seem to still be current in the last 12 months.

I do not know much more nor do I know why this is such an issue compared to hunting in the south which attracts little and no attention in general.

In general hunting is not something that attracts a lot of attention or media coverage so it can seem shrouded in mystery.

You people that can and do go there and do write what you can see and hear are maybe the only way those that can't will get to know what is happening in that silent quarter.

If you could ask if the concession has been renewed and for how long that would be good to know
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Jul 15th, 2005, 09:09 AM
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I expected a lot more "noise" about the hunting in Loliondo. The truth is that no-one I talked to seemed overly concerned!

For my small circle of friends and the people they know, the hunting there is more of an inconvience than anything else.

We went to the hill tops to the east of Lobo and I could see an airstrip and some structures in the distance. These are apparently used by the UAE hunters during their season - from Jul to Sep or something like that.

My friends were quite willing to drive me down to the airstrip and so on (I first thought they may be afraid or something), but since we had a broken windshield (from rocks kicked up by the migrating wildebeest a fews days earlier), I decided against it.

There appears to be some kind of truce. Also apparently the hunters don't come as often anymore or they don't stay as long as they used to. I was told that they found better hunting grounds in Southern Africa but my sources were not reliable!

The safari mobile camps in the area mostly move in at the end of the hunting season to avoid run ins between hunters and safari clients.

Since I did not unravel anything newsworthy I decided to move on to other things!
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Jul 15th, 2005, 12:46 PM
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Roccco -

Patty is right in regards the selectiveness of who can book what properties, especially in Tanzania. Kenya does't seem to have similar situations, but there are so many more offerings in Kenya... they've been at it a long time; Tanzania came late to the safari business.

But in Botswana as example - if you want a Wilderness Safaris camp you have to go thru an agent, no direct bookings. And, the big guys - A&K, Micato, Tauck, etc. all prebook space even at the high-end camps in Southern African countries and don't release them till 30 to 60-days prior departure. Nothing new there.

As far as weather - the same holds true in Southern Africa - each country has their own weather patterns - wet, dry, cold, high and low seasons.

So there aren't that many differences, just different when it's new to you. You'll get it together, I'm sure.

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