CCA Tips - Just Returned

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Nov 15th, 2007, 10:48 PM
  #1
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Join Date: Sep 2007
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CCA Tips - Just Returned

Hi All,

I just got back yesterday from a trip to Kenya and Tanzania. I wanted to give something back to the forum since it gave me so much info before my trip. This isn't so much of a trip report as some tips and answers to questions I had before my trip. Hope it helps.

Here is my itinerary:

1 NIGHT AT THE HOUSE OF WAINE
2 NIGHTS AT BATELEUR CAMP AT KICHWA TEMBO
2 NIGHTS AT LAKE MANYARA TREE LODGE
3 NIGHTS AT GRUMETI RIVER CAMP
2 NIGHTS AT NGORONGORO CRATER LODGE

BUG SPRAY - is provided at all of the lodges in the form of towlettes which contain DEET.

ELECTICITY - Every lodge/tent had plenty of outlets of the 3 pin type. Power was generally turned off for 2 hours in the afternoon and from 12-4 at night.

FOOTWEAR - I wore my sandals the entire time. Big mud boots are provided by the camps in the room.

TOILETRIES - All provided plus hair dryer.

RAIN GEAR - they had rain jackets for guest use & umbrellas.

CLOTHING - color did NOT matter as we never left the vehicle. Don't invest in "safari clothes". HOWEVER, Kichwa Tembo gets cool and Ngorongoro Crater gets very chilly. Bring warm clothes for the evenings and mornings. You will need them. All camps had great laundry service.

CAMERA EQUIP - All of the camps except the crater have open side vehicles. Your best bet is a monopod. Bean bags won't work except at the crater because of the pop up top. The Crater provides bean bags. Also, bring the longest lens you can. I brought a 100-400 on a 1.6 crop which means I had 640. I sometimes wished for more. If you bring less you will miss some shots. I took 2,000 pictures.

GAMES DRIVES - They sometimes tried to tell you the game drive schedule. Don't let them. A few times we told them we wanted full day drives and they said no problem. These were some of our best drives. They will work with you but you need to ask.

BUGS - were not really an issue. Didn't get bit once. HOWEVER, if you stay at Manyara Tree Lodge be prepared for flies and A LOT of them. Our room, including the bed, had thousands upon thousands of flies that just wouldn't stop. So many in fact that we only stayed one night and left for the Crater Lodge early. I have pictures of the bed just covered in 10,000+ flies.

CAMPS - All were nice and provided good service, but the Crater Lodge was on another level all together. The rooms were gigantic with incredible views. Service was truly outstanding. I would suggest a minimum of 3 nights there. The service at Kitchwa Tembo Bateleur was also excellent.

Hope this helps!



scubadoo is offline  
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Nov 16th, 2007, 01:00 AM
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How was the gameviewing? Any good cheetah sightings?
HariS is offline  
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Nov 16th, 2007, 09:20 AM
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Mud boots provided. That's nice. Hope you saw lots.
atravelynn is offline  
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Nov 16th, 2007, 10:07 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2006
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Just curious....was the power at Kichwa Bateleur turned off in the afternoon and late night-early am?

I was there in September and was told the reason the power was being turned off was because of a generator that had to be replaced and until then they were being careful with power use.

Strange that they have not yet replaced the generator or they have now adopted power conservation?

Thanks!
DanaPhx is offline  
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Nov 16th, 2007, 01:06 PM
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FOOTWEAR - I wore my sandals the entire time.

CLOTHING - color did NOT matter as we never left the vehicle. Don't invest in "safari clothes".


Excellent words thanks for sharing
waynehazle is offline  
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Nov 16th, 2007, 01:51 PM
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CLOTHING - color did NOT matter as we never left the vehicle.

Color matters to me. When I look at another vehicle (occupants) I like to see restrained natural colors. Not day glow Batman t-shirts, not a Grateful Dead tie dye shirt.

Just call me an old grouch.

regards - tom
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Nov 16th, 2007, 03:33 PM
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Dear scubadoo,

How were the game drives, the migration,cats,sightings, could u plssss give us a report about your sightings.

What time did u start ur game drives and were all guests u shared the vehicle with on time, or did u have to wait for them ???

Ritu
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Nov 16th, 2007, 10:45 PM
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""How were the game drives, the migration,cats,sightings, could u plssss give us a report about your sightings.

What time did u start ur game drives and were all guests u shared the vehicle with on time, or did u have to wait for them ???""

Most camps "recommended" we started the game drive about 8 after breakfast. We insisted on starting at 6:30 and have breakfast in the bush. No problem, but you have to ask. Sometimes we came back for lunch, sometimes we stayed out for 10 hours. Worth it, but your butt will really get sore from all the bouncing. Sharing the vehicle varied. At Kichwa we had it to ourselves for a few drives. The rest of the trip we had another couple in the truck except for once when we had a total of 6 in the truck which is NOT fun because someone gets stuck in the back and it is bumpy and vis is limited because of the roof. We were lucky because the other couple had the same itinerary as us so we were with them the entire trip. Yes, I saw other people waiting for their group. I can see a problem if someone wants to do a full day or leave early and the others in your truck don't.

The migration was in southern Kenya just north of the Tanzania border.

Sightings... the usual plus a ton of lions, 4 cheetah, 1 leopard, 4 rhinos, 3 serval cats (during the day, and ton of hyenas in the crater. I did manage to get decent shots of the leopard and rhinos but they were a good distance. You need a loooong lens. There are only 3 rhinos in Masai Mara and they claim 30-40 in the crater although they don't seem to be where the roads are. None at the others.
scubadoo is offline  
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Nov 17th, 2007, 10:08 AM
  #9
 
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Usually CCA will send out a driver and vehicle to meet the drive and take whoever needs to leave the drive early back to camp. I have had this happen on drives many times.
tuckeg is offline  
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Nov 18th, 2007, 03:42 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2004
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An 8:00 start seems really late. I'm with you on the earlier start. Good point to ask for it.

Thanks for the update on the rhino #s. Only 3-4 in the Mara now. Sad. But fortunate you got to see at least one.
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