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May 13th, 2003, 09:17 AM
  #21
LizFrazier
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Hi Cindy-
I will take notes on everything and share them. Think I'll see you there? haha.
Gina-Someone posted about www.game-reserve.com. Great site! I'd look at Ruaha and Selous. I would like to see both of those, but we have decided to concentrate on one thing for our trips from now on. A few days here and there is too frustrating for me. When one place is good it seems the next place isn't good for animal viewing and I don't want to waste time or money on that. Plus I've been to East Africa four times and this will be the fifth trip. I loved most all of Kenya, but Tanzania wasn't the same to me. Since it was so long ago I won't go over that part because everything has changed and I don't have recent enough information. I absolutely KNOW that all I want in Tanzania is the Serengeti. Like the Mara it is magical to me. I would go to www.go2africa.com and click on Tanzania, then find the interactive map. I look at each region and review the camps and select which would fit our needs then do research using the search engine Google, and find the best places to book it. If you visit a number of parks you cannot book it yourself. In Tanzania you need your own car and driver. The most reliable operator I have seen mentioned is www.roysafaris.com. There are others that might be better, but I found their prices are terrible inflated. Roy Safaris prices matched quite closely to what I found the camps advertised their charges were. I didn't find that with the other places. The reason it is difficult to book yourself is the transfers between camps and local air. Our trip in Sept. is very simple. Go to Nairobi, stay overnight at a hotel, transfer to Wilson Airport, fly to the Mara and stay at one place. Don't need an agent for that. When I tried to add a second camp I ran into a problem. So we decided that since we only wanted to see the Wildebeests on the Mara we could hire a car at the camp we chose to stay at and go off each day on our own and follow the Wildebeests or just sit there for hours and soak up the magic. I will spend every minute I can just out on the Mara. Smelling it, feeling the breezes, communing I guess you could say.
In Tanzania, in February, all of the Serengeti action will be in the central/southern area. The Wildebeests will be there. They give birth sometime in February. I have heard the 10th, another time I read it happened as late as the 20th. We will go early in February and hope to catch it. Because of the size of the migration, the central Serengeti will have lots of the animals too. There are a number of lodges there. Also a small tented camp or two. www.serengeti.org or www.balloonsafaris.com have lots of information if you click around on their sites.
If I've missed your point here, just post again. I'm not too sure how much info you want or need from me or if I have it to give to you.
We hope to also go to Tanzania in February, and I am in the process of trying to book it myself, but it will only be to Ndutu Safari Lodge for the migration there. I'll keep my fingers crossed for the rains to be normal this year and take my chances. I see it is raining in Nairobi now and I'm hoping it is also raining on the Mara. Let me know if I can help you in any way. Liz
 
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May 13th, 2003, 11:05 AM
  #22
 
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I think Liz's description of Roy Safaris is very accurate and one of the reasons we opted to book our trip last year with them. Like Liz, I found Roy Safaris to not have outrageous markup prices. They are a good outfit and Cindy, if you look into going to Tanzania, make sure you check them out. I sound like a broken record, but if you consider Tanzania, please look at going to Selous. It is far less crowded then the northern circuit and just as awesome. We loved the three nights/four days we spent there and I would have no qualms about going back there.
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May 13th, 2003, 11:08 AM
  #23
 
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The following website also has good information about Tanzania, including lots on Selous and Ruaha.
www.intotanzania.com
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May 13th, 2003, 06:08 PM
  #24
 
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SusanLynne
I had not even given a thought to Tanzania but I think I should. Thanks for the tip.

I pulled out my East Africa book and read some of the info about Tanzania and it looks great!

It appears to me that in all the websites of the safari packages, you spend a great deal of time moving from place to place - a day or two here and then on to there and on and on. I think I would like to go to one or two places and go on long game drives and just sit and watch for as long as is needed. I think you said you did that with the wildebeest migration. I'll be traveling alone and an agent suggested it would not be a good idea to go on a private game drive alone. What is your opinion of that?

There is so much to read about these different places to go!
It will be hard to pick a place!
~Cindy
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May 14th, 2003, 03:24 AM
  #25
 
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Liz, thank you so much for all information you posted. And now it is time for me to start research. So it will include lots of reading, visits to bookstores, imternet search. I already checked out the palces you mentioned.

Selous sounds fascinating but if we decide to go to Kenya and Tanzania in February is this a right time to go to Selous?
Anyway, it is so exciting to think that we are going back for another safari.

I hope that your safari will be unforgettable and you will post all details here.

When in the Governors Camp if for some reason you won't like your tent (our had no trees above it so it could get very hot during a day) ask them for another one. The staff in the Camp is very accommodating. And watch out for all those hippos that sometime you will find in the camp. Don't worry, you will be escorted to your tent by one or two Masaii carrying a stick. Then you will get to your tent and two hippos will be waiting for you. You'll see what I mean. And if your tent is on the banks above the river you will see crocodiles waiting there. Don't go swimming!!! LOL
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May 14th, 2003, 05:34 AM
  #26
 
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Hi Cindy!!
I am not sure if you mean you are traveling alone from camp to camp and use a camp guide or if you will be renting a vehicle and driving around by yourself. If you will be traveling from camp to camp through the use of a tour operator and/or using camp guides, I think it will be one of the most fantastic experiences of your life. While at the Mara River Camp, we met a man who goes to Kenya by himself for a couple of weeks every year. He used a tour operator to book the camps, but was alone in the vehicle with either a camp or tour operator guide, depending on which camp he was at. Anyway, I never saw someone who looked so relaxed and at peace. We would see him sitting on his tent porch just staring at the scenery, and I must admit, I envied him. As much as I love my husband, I would go alone to Kenya and Tanzania in a heartbeat. They are places prime for reflection and a lot of soul searching. Having said that, I would not recommend a woman rent a car by herself and drive around Kenya or Tanzania. Outside of major cities, the roads are atrocious and flats are commonplace. Also, let's face facts that foreigners are viewed as wealthy, even though that may not be the case. While the Kenyan and Tanzanian people are gracious, generous, helpful and genuinely nice, I still would not want to drive myself around either country by myself. Myself with a driver/guide, yes. Completely by myself, no. I am sure others would have a different opinion, but I always like to err on the side of safety. Does that help?
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May 14th, 2003, 05:41 AM
  #27
 
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Gina: Selous is very hot December through February, and you can expect humidity. Game viewing is supposed to be good during that time. The rooms at Sand River in Selous have ceiling fans above the beds and the camp has open air vehicles. When we were there in September, we went in the pool each day we were there. Remember, you don't necessarily have to use a pre-set itinerary, so if you think there is too much jumping from place to place, you can establish your own itinerary.
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May 17th, 2003, 02:49 AM
  #28
 
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Just wanted to try out some stuff they're playing with over on Fodors Europe!



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