Drought - Would you cancel safari?

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Jan 18th, 2006, 02:58 AM
  #1
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Drought - Would you cancel safari?

We are scheduled for a private safari beginning 2/23. We're doing the typical Northern TZ route, including 4 nights at a KIBO mobile tented camp in the Serengetti for migration. I read an article on allAfrica.com describing conditions there now. "thirsty and famished animals abandoning normal migration"; "starving animals roam desperately in search of water"; "the young ones have started to die"; "they are witnessing animals breaking their journey midway"; "if rains don't come soon, massive deaths of wildlife"; the Rubana River has almost dried up".

"The safari operators claim this is not unduly alarming"; "a natural culling".

Please no lectures; I was not expecting Disney, but these do sound like unusually harsh conditions even for Africa. I am wondering if anyone else scheduled to leave in the next month is having second thoughts. This is our first trip to Africa and I'm afraid of coming home tramatized from witnessing nothing but starvation and death without any counterbalance.

I'd love to hear from folk who have just returned, but I welcome all opinions.
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Jan 18th, 2006, 03:31 AM
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Have you read the recent thread "Quick Update from Tanzania/Kenya"...? If not do a search for "eben" and it'll pop up in your results. Also "Latest migration report" touches on it - search for "Roccco" if you can't find.

"Sonali74" has rescheduled his visit to Northern Tanzania but he is from India which is practically next door and so can probably be very blase about visiting East Africa.

In addition a number of people from this board are going there soon and will undoubtably provide updates.
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Jan 18th, 2006, 03:31 AM
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There has been some rain lately in Loliondo and the Serengeti. Hopefully this will continue.

Areas such as Seronera have plenty of water so animals have places to go. The young will be the most affected but nature has to take its course on the plains. The wildebeest will probably stay in the woodland areas to protect the young in case of drought and they are not easily seen there thanks to tsetse flies and lack of roads. The majority has not given birth yet so the article is a bit overenthusiastic.

I expect the Kibo camps will be at Seronera so you will have excellent game viewing regardless of the drought.
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Jan 18th, 2006, 03:43 AM
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Hello, I just had a word with my contact in arusha and it has rained heavily in the serengeti yesterday!!!!
They expect the situation to improve.
The main casualities among animals have been the buffaloes who are becoming easy targets of the lions and the hippos who cannot survive without water...

The migration is near the mara river(lobo) and spread out where there are pockets of water,the seronera river is totally muddy with little water, now it has improved
There has been a tragedy in the serengeti, and I being a strong supporter of wildlife and of serengeti eco system feel at this time to support or help the eco-system, which is in peril

Guys if anybody knows how we could chip in and help the serengeti, pls post on the forum or write to me

I hope tanapa has tubewells installed at certain places in the future to tide over such deaths of innocent animals
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Jan 18th, 2006, 04:17 AM
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Hello,Kimburu, first I am a she and not a he.
And I love the serengeti eco-system. I would not blink an eye to spend any$$$ in serengeti if they had problems and the situation does not improve. I just told my outfitter to tell me if there is a problem and believe me if there is a problem with bookings and cancellations i would go to the serengeti in a blink of an eye
I love serengeti
Since I had been surfing on the net and found botswana very attractive because u can drive off road and stay with the animals longer then u do in serengeti. I specifically wanted to go to serengeti to see the wildebeest in ndutu giving birth. I cancelled because I was not getting bookings at ndutu,sopa and seronera and donnot like to stay at campsites. I hope this explains my situation.
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Jan 18th, 2006, 05:54 AM
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Sonali... Normally I am careful about jumping to conclusions and I guess I just had a very tiring day and got careless!

I apologise for misunderstanding your intentions ..... and even more for getting your sex wrong!

Anyway, if I have your attention- even if for all the wrong reasons - do you have any advice/recomemended airlines on flying from India to East Africa? Via India (preferably north) is a possible way for me to go next time but I am not quite sure how to start looking into it.

I am jealous that you live closer to East Africa than me. It's only a few hours difference but it makes ALL the difference I think.
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Jan 18th, 2006, 06:05 AM
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We returned from the Serengeti on 2nd January 2006.

The game viewing around Seronera was very good indeed and this was due to the lack of rain.
Ndutu on the other hand was very disappointing indeed; it is so dry that there is virtually no game to be seen at all.

I am sure that by the time you travel there will have been more rain, so go for it.


Maurice
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Jan 18th, 2006, 06:21 AM
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The wildlife in stress. Foliage nonexistant. Sources of water reduced. Wow. What a time to go to Africa. Viewing game would be a snap. Predators in prime condition and thriving. Breeding like rabbits. This is the best time for my interests to go. Perfect conditions for those photos of kills and feedings. Even the scavengers will be easy to see.
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Jan 18th, 2006, 06:44 AM
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Kimburu, U are forgiven!!!. Well where do u live??? envying me for living in India!!! Actually looking at the Indian economy its fabulous, come and settle down here, africa will always be very close.
Well we have 2 airlines flying to nbo. Kenya airways and air india. to joburg we have south african. Well depending on what part of the globe u live u can take a triangular ticket or take either airindia or kenya airways and get one stop free. That should save u great bucks!! Where is Patty!!! She is an expert at flights!!!
Well if u need any help on India let me know and I am going to kanha to see the tigers feb end, will keep u posted on that
Robbie, I think seeing lions hunting buffaloes looks more promising in the serengeti than duba plains. I can really imagine all the lion prides(2,000 members)fighting for territory, abundant in water, I hope alot of cubs donnot die. I am a softie when it comes to lions.
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Jan 18th, 2006, 06:48 AM
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It's a good time to go and see what's going on... and the drought conditions are not effcting some areas. However, as usual, water is a precious commodity in Africa. Try to use less than you would as home... for example, long leasurely showers are a luxury, but you'll do your bit by soaping up and rinsing. And flushing the WC only when you need to. I have the habit in the UK of just hitting that flush button.

But most of all, pray for rain.

It's not just animals that are dying, but people are suffering terribly. Hopefully your safari will impact people for their good.

Have a good trip.
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Jan 18th, 2006, 07:59 AM
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Sonali
I live near Bangkok and so of course India can be on the way. This is why I am asking.
Everyone
Sorry to interrupt the thread. I seem to have a habit of getting people off topic!
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Jan 18th, 2006, 09:08 AM
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Paul,
Don't you have a nonstop from BKK on Kenya Airways that operates 3x weekly? Or are you looking for stopover possibilities?
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Jan 18th, 2006, 04:53 PM
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thanks for all the encouraging reports on what to expect in the serengetti next month. I seem to be over my panic attack and am once more eagerly anticipating our trip! Let's hope for the sake of all beings in the area that the rains continue.
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Jan 18th, 2006, 04:58 PM
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Patty
Yes, but in December I am concerned this will be pretty full since there are few direct flights to/from Africa. Getting back may be a problem because it is peak season in Thailand. Another thing is that if we have a stopover we can stand economy more easily. Because we get cheap fares we've spoiled ourseleves flying too much business class and long economy flights get more and more stressful (that could also be age, I admit). Our current position is that if we fly Kenya Airways we go business class, but whenever I look at all these wonderful places in northern Kenya I think our money is better spent there!
Who are Kenya Airways allied with - do you know?
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Jan 18th, 2006, 06:11 PM
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Chiquita:

Though not a first-timer, I am leaving Saturday for Kenya. Though I have not considered cancelling, I must say I have been wondering how different I will find things when I get there, not only with the wildlife but with the people you get to know who live there.

The drought, at least in Kenya, is regional. Famine is more a problem in the northern part of Kenya than in other areas.

You may well indeed see a few things that bother you. Please keep in mind though that this is Mother Nature's way of survival of the fittest. The strong will survive to reproduce again.

Most driver/guides will be sensitive to your feelings. If you are in an area that really bothers you just ask if you might please go to another part and see something else. There is so very much to see in East Africa, and I'm sure your driver can find many interesting things that you will enjoy.

Since it is the dry season, your pictures may not be as colorful, but you will absolutely be glad you went.
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Jan 18th, 2006, 07:18 PM
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Sonali........just saw your post.....bearing in mind the drought at the moment.......the lions are probably more active and more visible than anywhere in Botswana.....i wonder.....

 
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Jan 18th, 2006, 08:26 PM
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Hari, at present there is more than enough rainfall in botswana, the drought is in east africa. Well I sincerely hope it rains in east africa as there must be alot of stress among the animals.It has started raining in serengeti. I just hope it continues, Sonali.
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Jan 19th, 2006, 06:10 AM
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On a practical matter, I was told recently to limit turning clothing in to launder because some of the water tanks are running low.
Does anyone know anything about this, as I don't want to stress the water system and will need to pack more for my upcoming Tanz. trip? Still trying for carry- ons only.
I sure hope that those hovering clouds over Tanz. and Kenya will finally let loose and drench all the areas in desperate need.
Thanks;
Sherry
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Jan 19th, 2006, 02:44 PM
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Kimburu, U live pretty close to africa,I think u would get some good deals as india as a stopover.If I come across something I will definately post, Sonali.
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Jan 19th, 2006, 04:21 PM
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for jan,i am heading to uganda & kenya in march. jan when i was in tsavo east in june.heading from voi to satao camp.the closer you drove to satao camp. the worse it looked. all bone white and like the moon. a huge difference from the sept before. i wonder if the dryness found its way down towards voi gate.i'll see come march 20th.
ok take care.
d
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