Calling all Serengeti experts ...

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Jul 5th, 2003, 01:02 PM
  #1
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Calling all Serengeti experts ...

Am in the process of planning a trip to Tanzania, with probably a few days in Kenya for good measure, for 2004. Am giving serious consideration to doing some mobile/semi-luxury camping in the Serengeti. Would travel with a cook, camp attendant and guide. Please share experiences if you have done this. Also, heard that off-roading is allowed only in the southeastern part of the Serengeti. True? Thanks in advance.
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Jul 6th, 2003, 12:55 PM
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I haven't done mobile/luxury safari, but friends have done combined lodges/tents and mobile safaris and enjoyed very much.

As to the off-road driving in the Serengeti, we stayed on roads unless there were animals "out there" and in that case our driver drove to those animals. This was in every park we visited on our trip to Tanzania. However, we found that most animals actually stay close to the roads, even resting and sleeping on them - for some reason the roads are cooler than being out on the savannah! How true or not, I'm not sure, but even when going off-road we didn't go great distances.

My understanding is that generally off-road driving is frowned upon and may actually be illegal as it does destroy the environment, but drivers do go off-road especially if there aren't hoards of vehicles around, nor park security. Rarely did we ever come across park security.
 
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Jul 6th, 2003, 01:45 PM
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Off-roading can be done a little on the land butting up to the Serengeti in the south. It is part of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and includes the area between the Crator and Serengeti Park proper. I believe the Maasai are also allowed to graze their animals there. Ndutu Lodge, is located in this area, but the Lake (Ndutu) is in the Park. I would love to try some mobile camping. We did get stopped off-roading need the border, our fisrt day there!
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Jul 7th, 2003, 06:41 AM
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Hey SusanLynne, my wife and I did a mobile camping safari last September in Tanzania that included 4 nights in the Serengeti. It was truly incredible. It really spoiled us and I can't imagine seeing Africa any other way. On our trip there was our guide, a cook and two camp staff. They waited on us hand and foot. There is nothing like sitting around a campfire at night and shining a light out into the savannah and seeing the eyes of the hyenas glowing back at you. It's also quite an adrenaline rush when you have to get up and leave the tent to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night, right after you've heard the hyenas moving around the camp. And to be able to go to sleep to the sound of the lions and elephants is indescribable. And the experience of encountering an elephant on the way to the dining tent for breakfast. To my way of thinking, mobile camping is THE way to experience Africa, so if you get the chance, go for it. It's an experience you will never forget. We are already planning our next trip.
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Jul 7th, 2003, 08:31 AM
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Hi there...

I just returned from the Serengeti although I did a lodge safari (next time the mobile safari!).

Anyway, within the Serengeti itself, there is no off-roading. As someone who has also gone to the Masai Mara where off-roading is allowed, I do think it is more ecologically sound to limit off-road. I thought the Serengeti looked healthier than the Masai Mara. The area abutting the Serengeti (Ngorongoro Conservation Area) was available for off-roading and we were allowed to go off-road there.

I will tell you that I still saw the Big Five (including leopard) while staying on the road. So that wasn't a problem.

Have a wonderful time!
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Jul 7th, 2003, 11:52 AM
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TeresaandGreg: Well, your posting was the clincher. Will do mobile camping in 2004! The trip will also include some permanent tented camps, but the thought of camping in the Serengeti is just too irrestible. Maybe I have watched "Out of Africa" too many times! Thanks.
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Jul 7th, 2003, 02:34 PM
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Sigh!

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Jul 7th, 2003, 03:49 PM
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Hi Kavey!!! I knew you would put your two cents in .... So, this is what I am thinking for 2004. Fly into Arusha, Tanzania for a week mobile camping in the Serengeti, followed by five or so days somewhere along the coast or maybe Mafia Island. Then cross the border into Kenya for five days or so in Tsavo or Meru, two areas that have been subject of a lot of poaching, but I won't give up on the parks. I just won't. Then fly from Nairobi back home. Not a lot of running around, but focusing on two prime wildlife areas and one beach area to appease my husband, who is less than enthusiastic about going back to East Africa "just to look at more animals." It's a good thing he is cute and I love him to death, because not wanting to return to Africa is serious grounds for divorce! Ha! So, Kavey and others, give me your thoughts about my itinerary. If I go to Meru in Kenya, then I will stay at Elsa's Kopje. In Tsavo, it would be Finch Hatton's or Galdessa Camp. Feedback?
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