East Africa camps- the norm?

Feb 15th, 2007, 05:45 PM
  #1  
santharamhari
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East Africa camps- the norm?

Hi! I have been reading some of the East Africa itinerary threads recently (trying to research for a potential future trip)....i notice a lot of two night stays....

The reason i ask is, some areas like the Mara or Serengeti for instance seem prolific through the year from what i have been reading......yet, people only visit for two night stays (and they are both huge parks).

I am assuming a big part of the issue is the question of availability, with most camps and lodges being booked up WAY in advance?

Thanks
Hari
 
Feb 15th, 2007, 06:00 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
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Hari,

I think you'll find it's more a case of the majority of people being steered into two-night stays, especially 'newbies'. More often than not, that's the way TAs seem to lean. It's certainly the impression I get from posts on Fodors. I've lost count of the number of times I've explained that two nights is only one full day, and that I regard three nights as the minimum for any camp.

John
afrigalah is offline  
Feb 15th, 2007, 06:43 PM
  #3  
 
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I've booked 4-9 night stays at several East Africa camps with no problem, but I do book early.

You should have no problem getting multiple nights if you book early or go in low season.

Here is why I think 2 nights, even 1 is so common.

Some places like The Ark (which I really liked) and Treetops are a novelty and one night is usually enough for the experience.

East Africa is a common first safari destination. The bug has not bitten these people yet, so two days seems plenty of time to spend in one spot when planning the trip. I've read of people who are concerned they will get bored with nothing else to do all day but drive around and look at animals. A new destination every few days adds variety.

Group trips are more common in East Africa. So the group itinerary caters to the mainstream visitor who wants to see a little of this and a little of that and move on.

With limited time and money, two night stays allow a lot of ground to be covered. Seeing as many places as possible in a given time frame is a successful holiday and time well spent for some travelers.

Before someone visits, they cannot truly appreciate how prolific some areas are compared to others. It's hard to keep all the new places with odd sound alike names straight and understand their differences. Mara, Meru, Manyara. Serena, Seronera, Samburu. The importance of longer stays in some places may not be understood.

The people who post a variety of East Africa itineraries with 2-night stays and ask if they are good or not are often on their first or second safari. If they were safari veterans, they might not be posting the itinerary and asking for help. So you get proportionally more posts from those with a standard itinerary.

I've never been to a park in Africa where I thought, "I've spent too much time here. I wish I could have left earlier."

atravelynn is offline  
Feb 15th, 2007, 06:52 PM
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Hari, I agree with John, people often get steered to one or two night stays but there is no reason you can't book longer if you like.

We usually prefer staying longer at fewer places ourselves.

As one example, at Ndutu recently there was a gentleman who had booked for 60 consecutive days while filming for TV. We were there a week and never saw the same people (except for him) more than two or three nights though, and many stayed just one night.

Of course it's possible to book too long, if conditions are better elsewhere. Last April we had 7 nights at a lodge in the central Serengeti but had to drive 45 minutes each AM to find game and wish we had not booked there so long. And on our recent trip a few weeks ago we wanted to drop some days at Ngorongoro and switch to Manyara once we saw the conditions inside the crater, but couldn't do it.

So there is some risk in booking too many days at the same spot. But if it's the right spot then you'll be glad you have extra time there.

Bill
Bill_H is offline  
Feb 15th, 2007, 06:52 PM
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Lynn, then you haven't been to the Caprivi Strip in October!
matnikstym is offline  
Feb 15th, 2007, 07:01 PM
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How exciting that you are contemplating a trip to E Africa again, Hari!

You ask a good question. When I was researching and planning for my first safari I wanted to visit all the parks and see absolutely everything I could squeeze into my allotted time. Hence my decision to spend a maximum of 2 nights at each lodge or camp. Subsequently, I know better and will always plan an itinerary to include some 3 nighters.

Calo is offline  
Feb 15th, 2007, 07:04 PM
  #7  
santharamhari
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Ok, makes sense.....thanks....

Dennis....that's probably why they have some properties on sale on auction sites
 

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