Back from Tanzania Safari

Jun 10th, 2005, 02:15 PM
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 1
Zambezi, I agree with you wholeheartledly on not giving money to children who beg. I just returned from just over two weeks in Tanzania with OAT and our native guide would stop and chase children and tell them off for beggings. He specifically asked us not to give. I would have loved to have taken pictures of the boys who had recently been circumsized who were wearing black and had their faces painted in white patterns, but they were all begging. At Olduvi Gorge Allen did call over a young boy whol had a huge cork in his ear to show us. He gave him a bottle of water and none of us took his picture even though we were aching to do so.
by the way, it was a wonderful trip. There were 15 of us and we spent more than half of the time in tents. Allen took us to Maasi villages and to markets, but he never made prior arrangements, but showed up unannounced and then negotiated with the chief. Learning and discovery was emphasiazed and we were asked to ask the difficult questions many others would have side stepped. I took my granddaughter as her college graduation present and was offered 15 cows for her by a chief! Of course, the animals were spectacular, even the ones roaming the camp at night. We had a machete and a whistle in the tents and Maasai warriors for protection . I had been to Zimbabwe and Botswana a few years prior and will be returning to Africa. There is something about southern Africa that is spell binding and it's not just the animals. It's the expanse of sky, the sunsets that reach all around you, the accacia trees against the sky, the quietness and yet the natural noises. I loved the sounds at night.
Dela is offline  
Jun 13th, 2005, 10:38 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 43
To Kelticmeadows:
I am excited for you because I know what a great time you will have!!!

As far as clothing, beige is a great color to have. On the drive, shorts and t-shirts are fine. In the evening I noticed most had on long pants and what-ever for a top. The only problem with shorts is if the bugs are in the areas you are in and/or if the sun is strong. My husband had the pants that could be zipped off into shorts. Those were popular.

We took as few things as possible we thought and it still seemed too much. Two or three pair of shorts and pants were fine. Tops varied from short sleeve to long (I think we had about 3 of each) plus a sweater and sweatshirt...and a nylon jacket. There is opportunity for laundry along the way.

I took a pair of sandles. I would not do that again because I never wore them. The walking shoes were the best to be comfortable and protect against bugs, sun, etc. Boots were not needed either. [We never got out to walk more than a tiny bit.] So, basically, I packed a pair of atheltic-type shoe, a light canvas shoe (plus the sandals).

I noticed as I read through the comments that some objected to paying a dollar to someone for taking their picture. Our guide did not object. I guess I did not consider it a begging situation when I asked to take their picture and paid them. When you see how few opportunities they have to make money and how little they have, it would be hard not to want to help with $$$.

Have a wonderful trip. I would love to hear about your experiences. You can e-mail me direct with any questions, etc. : [email protected]

MariMari is offline  
Jun 13th, 2005, 07:22 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 596
To Dela:

I have been on OAT tours before & liked them. I want to go to Tanzania, so I am thinking of OAT for that. Did you like staying in the tents? The catalog says there is no electrical outlet in them {duh!}. Was that a problem for you? What kind of camera did you take? Any other comments about the quality of your tour?

Marsh is offline  
Jun 14th, 2005, 11:11 AM
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2
Hi - A lot of great advice in this email chain...
I'm planning a safari/beach trip in late July and would like some input on hotels and itinerary.
Where is the best place to catch the northward migration of the wildabeats?
We're planning to visit:
Arusha (overnight at Coffee Plantation); Ngorongoro Crater -1 day -how is the Serena at the Crater? is there a better option besides Crater Lodge?
Serengeti for 2 days -game drives and accommodation at the Serena - any advice about staying there or another place? We prefer moderately-upscale with privacy.
Is it recommendable to stay in Ngorongoro for more than a day/night? We prefer the safari over walking tours
Lake Manyara -- game drive- Tree House Lodge 1 or 2 nights.
Then onto Zanzibar for 4 days @ Breezes. Hopefully a more private suite. Breezes seems a bit too much of a resort and we'd prefer something more boutique-like, contemporary but simple, not overly touristy, good beach.
Would be grateful for any suggestions...
JAB1 is offline  
Jun 14th, 2005, 11:12 AM
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 236
I am reviewing the available trips at the 2Afrika site. I noted that it includes airfare from the U.S. I hope to use FF miles and get land only rates, but I was wondering -- were the majority of the people in your group from the U.S.?

Thanks for all the great info from your trip
ALadyNCal is offline  
Jun 14th, 2005, 11:27 AM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 4,222
You might also want to consider Tarangire if you'll be on safari in late July--that's a good time to be there. Lake Manyara is a small park; I liked it because I thought areas of the park were so lush and different from the others we visited, but some people skip it.

I'd try to squeeze in another day in the Serengeti as well. It's fantastic!

re:Zanzibar. Check out the hotel reviews, etc,. on the Africa Travel Resource website. Lots of information there. I *think* this is the link:

Good luck and have fun!
Leely is offline  
Jun 14th, 2005, 11:45 AM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 4,222
Sorry, I meant to add that the central Serengeti in late July is probably not the best place to be for the migration...I think they are up northwest-ish usually by then (someone help me out here, I am not an expert). All this varies year to year--those pesky animals just won't commit to firm dates.

On the other hand, your driver/guide can probably take you on a long drive one day to seek out the stragglers; we were there in early-/mid-July and had a great (but long day) up at the Grumeti river watching all the stragglers trying to cross. Fascinating.

You may want to post your itinerary on a separate thread if you don't get a lot of answers on this one.

Leely is offline  
Jun 14th, 2005, 01:49 PM
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 7
Hi ALadyNCal. I am leaving on a Tanzania safari with 2Afrika in just four weeks. I too wanted to use FF miles for as much as possible. The trip was to orignate in NY with a connection in London before flying to Tanzania. I cashed in enough FF miles to get to London and back. I am actually going to London a day early to sightsee there first. I will then fly out the next night to begin with the 2Afrika itinerary. They will work with you to provide costs starting your trip where ever you wish. I have been very impressed with their services thus far, and I haven't even left yet!!! Good luck with your planning.

kelticmeadows is offline  
Jun 15th, 2005, 04:54 PM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 8
MariMari - Just saw your post, very timely as I'm considering booking a Tanzania trip with 2Afrika next month for safari in Jan/Feb. 2006. Sounds like you were satisfied with them. They told me that they take a maximum of 24 people - did you have that many on yours? Trip I'm considering uses Ngorongoro Wildlife Lodge and Seronera Wildlife Lodge - is that where you stayed? I know these are the cheaper lodges, but they sound like they're OK.
Anyway, very curious about no. of people in group. And if you were with a 2Afrika group, did they all do game viewing together - in other words, 3 or 4 vehicles together - or did vehicles go their separate ways?
chriso is offline  
Jun 16th, 2005, 04:37 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 43
To Chriso:
I think there were about 22 people in our group. The only time we were together was at an evening meal because we all went on our own in the van.

Some of the vans ended up at the same places for lunch or viewing an area, etc., but we were usually independent of the rest of the group. There were 5 in our van and room for more.

The places we stayed in were great. I am sure you could find fancier, but why? The ones we were in were fine. As an example, you can see Ngorongoro Wilderness Lodge on this site:

I think you can find pictures of most of the places 2afrike offer if you just put in the name of the lodge on the internet.

I cannot say enough about how great 2afrike have been to work with. I would go back to them again!

We went in March and I am still riding a high over the trip. We have traveled many places, but this trip really is at the top of my list of out-standing memories!!! Don't miss it!
MariMari is offline  
Jun 16th, 2005, 06:21 AM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 1,513
Chrisco I can mirror what MariMari said about 2Afrika & group size. We were with then in Feb and had 20 people but we were split to 4-6 in a van and saw the others at the lodges or sometimes lunch etc. I believe that 2Afrika have a note on their web site that guarantees no more than 6 people per van so everyone has a window seat. We did call them before we left to check this and they reassured us but it was all perfect. For half our trip there was 4 of us in the vehicle which was very nice. The lodges you mention are very nice no complaints at all. We also went to Kenya and the last 3 nights of our trip were spent in a tented camp and that was just wonderful I am looking to include more tents in our next trip! Don't take too many clothes you won't need them. I know you will have a fantastic trip. Don't hesitate to ask any more questions, I could ramble on and on but basically it was all fantastic and within a week of being home we were pondering our next African destination!

jules39 is offline  

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