East Africa summer 2014


Mar 17th, 2014, 08:59 AM
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East Africa summer 2014


I am planning on traveling in East Africa area for about 6 weeks from late June to early August and looking to figure out the best itinerary. Definitely will go to Tanzania (Kilimanjaro climb, Serengeti, Zanzibar, Ngorongoro Crater) and Rwanda (city visit and gorilla trekking). Also considering Kenya, but not sure if my Tanzania trip will cover similar things. And wondering about Malawi or Uganda, or other suggestions? Happy to enter southern Africa as well, but I assumed there is enough to do in this region for 6 weeks.

Main questions are:
1. Which places to visit
2. Which path to take (Where to fly in and fly out of)
3. I know we'll need tours for some areas - Are there recommended local packages with quality guides? I am a student and willing to spend some money, but happy to be a budget traveler - don't need nice places to stay or expensive meals - we also like to camp.

Thank you!
narissav is offline  
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Mar 17th, 2014, 03:58 PM
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Hi Narissav:

A friend and I went to Tanzania last month for 2 weeks.
I can comment on Tanzania but not the other East African countries.

We climbed the 7 day Machame Route and then we enjoyed a 5 day safari where we went to Lake Manyara, the Serengeti Plain, Ngorongoro Crater and Tarangire Park.

The climb was wonderful, difficult, but well worth the effort. The feeling of standing on the Roof of Africa was incredible. There was no snow at the top when we went (giant glaciers though) but I understand that you may have snow to contend with in the summer months.

The safari is like watching a National Geographic film except it is all around you and it is alive. We saw thousands and thousands of animals and we had the time of our lives.

We booked our climb and safari with Kilimanjaro 3 Peaks Adventures. They are a local Moshi guiding company and they were great and we learned so much from the guides. If you are interested in contacting them this is their website http://www.kili3peaksadventures.com, or you may prefer to book everything through one large provider.

Happy climbing and safariing!
Marsha411 is offline  
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Mar 18th, 2014, 07:54 AM
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Thanks Marsha! What company you used for safari?
narissav is offline  
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Mar 19th, 2014, 01:15 PM
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Each country in Africa is different. It is impossible to capture the spirit and culture of an entire country in one paragraph, but below is a brief overview of some popular African safari destinations to get you started. The best and most popular areas in Africa for safaris are East and Southern Africa, which offer vast plains and roaming packs of extraordinary beasts.

Kenya's most abundant wildlife can be found in the Masai Mara reserve (a part of the vast Greater Serengeti), where massive herds of animals make an annual migration across the plains. But beyond Masai Mara and the Serengeti lie plenty of other quality parks with abundances of wildlife, including the soda lakes of the Great Rift Valley and Lake Nakuru, where thousands of colorful flamingos reside

Like Kenya, Tanzania houses part of the Serengeti National Park — the best park in which to see great herds of wildlife in Africa. Other noteworthy sites include Mount Kilimanjaro, marine parks off the coast and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, site of the Ngorongoro Crater and Olduvai Gorge (also known as the Cradle of Mankind). The Ngorongoro Crater is one of the largest volcanic craters on earth. Over 30,000 animals live in the crater; it has the densest lion population in the world.

The most famous safari destinations in Uganda are the country's many primate reserves. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Ngamba Island offer visitors the unforgettable opportunity to get a close look at primates in their natural habitats.

Some of the best bird watching can be had from November to April and the orchids of Nyika are best seen from December to March/April. Malawi's temperatures are moderated by altitude

You can fly to Kenya and start your adventure there and continue south wards

Safaris like with any other type of travel, you can tailor your safari to suit your personal budget. The length of your safari, the time of travel and accommodation choice will affect its cost.
TracksBerg2013 is offline  
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Mar 20th, 2014, 09:34 AM
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My husband and I are planning a trip this Oct. to Tanzania and maybe Kenya... any one know of Great Safaris (out of Glendale) Happy World Safaris, Kapolondo, Swala and Access2? So many to choose from!
Great Safaris is recommending Samburu National Reserve along with the Northern Tanzania group and Mara Masai... but I think being closer to Arusha, I should head to Mt. K and Amboseli instead. They are recommending flying everywhere, which of course, ups the expense... though not sure when I'll be back, and I have up to 14 days total. Any suggestions?!?!
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Mar 20th, 2014, 02:37 PM
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What a nice long time in a great destination, and you're going at a good time for wildlife. So the responses are in line with what you can afford, could you post what specific budget you had in mind, Narissav?

For example gorilla permits are $750 for a one hour visit when you'll be traveling. Budget group camping trips can be in the $200/day range.

Is this a solo trip?

Where to fly in and out? Where are you departing from?


What would benefit you most is to start your own thread with these questions. Be sure to state the # of days in Africa. Is 2 weeks with international flights? The difference between 14 days and 12 can be important. Oct is a good time to be in Kenya or Tanzania.
atravelynn is offline  
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Mar 21st, 2014, 10:51 AM
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Tracksberg - thanks for the safari suggestions! I am wondering if I should do safari's in multiple country's or just 1-2 tops so it's not repetative and I can get different experiences. I've heard Uganda has white water rafting and Lake Malawi is also a great site to visit?

I also won't be able to afford group tours the whole time, so hoping to find out which destinations I can manage on my own.

Atravelynn - I will likely be traveling with my boyfriend, so there will be 2 of us together. I am not set on where to fly in and out of, whatever makes the most sense for the path.
narissav is offline  
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Mar 21st, 2014, 03:18 PM
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You may want to visit Lonely Planet too for advice. Maybe you already have.

Good luck and have a fabulous 2 months.
atravelynn is offline  
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Mar 22nd, 2014, 02:37 AM
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A group tour is often cheaper but then cannot be customized to your needs and does not offer the flexibility and personal freedom that one will find with a private safari. With a private safari you will enjoy a much better safari experience - you literally have the chance to really take in the sights and sounds of Africa at your own pace.

In Uganda you will get a chance to experience the thrill of white water rafting on one of the most beautiful stretches of water in Africa, The Nile is the longest river on earth.

For wildlife viewing, Malawi is also great (Not quite as common as Kenya and Tanzania) but you have great choices of either Liwonde National park (At 548km2 Liwonde is one of the smallest parks in Malawi and the variety and numbers of game animals is better than any other park) or Nkhotakota Wildife reserve (This is the second largest park in Malawi widely known for animal tracking, bird watching and viewing of the wild orchids.)
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Mar 22nd, 2014, 09:28 AM
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They arranged our safari for us as well.
Marsha411 is offline  
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May 8th, 2014, 03:30 AM
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hi narissav,

You have chosen a really good time to travel in my opinion and with lots of destinations too!That's awesome as the East African region has lots of unique sites to visit and see.I see you have great ideas on places to visit in Tanzania and Rwanda and would like to offer suggestions on Kenya as i think it is possible to include Kenya. The reason is the wildebeests migration in the Maasai Mara which is one of the new seven wonders of the world!imagine what an awesome experience you will be taking back with you...they also have white sandy beaches in the coast and you could actually fly in and begin your first week of travel in Kenya.

During my recent travel to kenya, Autoscope Safaris Nairobi arranged a great tour package which i loved www.autoscopesafaris.com. Their guide was awesome too!

Uganda and Malawi also have much to offer as is the Southern African region.You could check your schedule and if possible feel free to include the suggestions in your travel!

Have fun!
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May 17th, 2014, 01:44 AM
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In the summer the wildebeest migration will be in Kenya. I would definitely recommend the Greater Mara. My preference is the conservancies as they have a special wildlife viewing experience. They have all the advantages of the main Maasai Mara National Reserve without any of the disadvantages.

In essence,vast tracts of land are leased from the Maasai who agree to graze their livestock elsewhere. The local communities are closely involved with the camps and gain additional revenue from working there as guides, camp support etc.

Some of the key benefit for the tourists are:

1. excellent wildlife viewing with the ability to get close to the game - real off roading in 4x4's and not mini busses and amazing wildlife. 2. no mini bus circus with lots of vehicles crowding the animals - the area is exclusive to the camps in the conservancy and number are managed closely. This is really important as the main park can be really overcrowded in the high season
3. options to have night drives, game walks and all day drives. this is great in the Summer as the are will be teeming.

I always book through Gamewatcher Safaris and have never been disappointed. They also have some adventure camping options. See http://www.porini.com

On of the replies mentioned Nakuru for flamingos - See
http://www.safariweb.com/safarimate/flamingo.htm - most of the Flamingos are now elsewhere.

If you are concerned about the security situation and where you can visit see http://archive.constantcontact.com/f...384187478.html

I was in Rwanda and did a couple of days of gorilla tracking. The day passes are USD750 per person. You go in groups of 8 and sometimes you might find that your group members have different likes to you unless you are with people you know.

Uganda is cheaper with day passes at USD500.

In any case you should see this as a donation to a conservation cause rather than try to assess value for money.
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