Help in Choosing Between Kenya and Tanzania Trips

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Mar 11th, 2006, 07:54 AM
  #1
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Help in Choosing Between Kenya and Tanzania Trips

I have reviewed all your great posts here for several months, but am now trying to narrow down my own plans. For a combination safari, culture and beach trip, 2 weeks from U.S. in late August 2007, would your recommend Kenya or Tanzania and why? game viewing, weather, culture, food, what other considerations? We are a 40 something no kids couple used to independent travel including Europe, South America and Asia but we have not been to Africa before. We prefer to have a low key off the beaten path experience and do not require to live it up in royal luxury.
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Mar 11th, 2006, 08:10 AM
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I think you'd have a better chance of seeing the annual Migration in Kenya in August. Kenya also has a good selection of beach resorts. If you go, make sure you include the Samburu area in the North. There are different varieties of species there...Grevy's zebras and Reticulated giraffes, for instance.
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Mar 11th, 2006, 08:24 AM
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dlo
 
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You would have great game viewing in the Mara and there are lots of cultural opportunities in Kenya.You could get off the beaten path and go to Lake Turkana or Kakamega forest.Lamu is easily the best spot anywhere on the Swahili coast and is hassle free.
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Mar 11th, 2006, 08:47 AM
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Hi Laurie Ann,
Both countries have plenty of everything you’re looking for, but in August the Mara has the migration.

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Mar 11th, 2006, 09:54 AM
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The Masai Mara in Kenya is where the migration will be, but this may not be the low key off the beaten path experience you're looking for, particularly in August.

You could combine the Mara with a visit to Tsavo West/East or head north to Shaba/Meru/Laipikia for your low key experience. Or if you really wanted to get off the beaten path, you could go where dlo suggested.
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Mar 11th, 2006, 10:08 AM
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Some more thoughts.

Here's my trip report from November where we were also looking for a low key experience that was slightly (but not too far) off the beaten path. Perhaps you'll find some ideas in there - http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=34719569

Also check dlo's in progress trip report. They did some pretty interesting stuff that would certainly qualify as unusual and off the beaten path - http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=34765002

Also check Nyamera's trip report where she traveled independently and combined a safari with time on Lamu - http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=34652401
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Mar 11th, 2006, 11:48 AM
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Since you also want the beach, I would go with Kenya/Tanzania. Cultural interactions, especially with the Masai, are easier to come by in East Africa than Botswana.

So based on culture and beach, Kenya/Tanzania are the winners. For wildlife alone it would be a tossup between the two destinations in my opinion.

That's great you are planning so far in advance and you picked a good time for Kenya and Tanzania. The migration will be better viewed in the Masai Mara than the Serengeti in late August.

Hope to see the rest of your itinerary when you have it.
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Mar 11th, 2006, 02:05 PM
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My title was more clear than my text. I am trying to choose between Kenya and Tanzania and while both seem amazing I am trying to determine how I might choose one or the other.
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Mar 11th, 2006, 02:19 PM
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sandi
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Kenya.

There are more that enough places to visit in Kenya - Amboseli, Tsavo East or West, the Lake Region, the Aberdares and/or Mt. Kenya, Meru, Samburu/Shaba, Laikipia, the northern frontier; the coastal area in/around Mombasa or Lamu or Malindi, off the coast.

Important to remember though - August is high-season with high-prices and lots of tourists and runs into mid-October. In some areas it will be difficult to avoid crowds, but you find hidden pockets everywhere.

Laikipia, Meru, Shaba, Tsavo, the camps in the Western and Northwestern area of the Masai Mara. For some of these areas you can have a private safari... others, not so, especially if flying-in/out, but with small camps (if you choose these) and even though you share game viewing with other guests, unless you pay for private vehicle, it's doable.

What is your approximately budget and do you prefer small intimate camps (most costly) or lodges (mid-priced). And know, even at this supposed early date, space is booking up quickly.

 
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Mar 11th, 2006, 03:10 PM
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Laurie ann,

Your title and text were both clear. Where did I get Botswana from? (Because that's where I'm going next??? I could have sworn I read Botswana in your question, but I was wrong! Must just be on my mind.)

Do you have 2 weeks in Africa or does that include your flying time?

So only my last sentence is pertinent. I'd try to spend 3 nights in the Masai Mara since you will be there at such a good time.

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Mar 13th, 2006, 03:41 AM
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Definately Kenya over TZ. The time of year and there are more little hideaways in the mid to high price range. A more personal feel to many of these smaller properties. Try some of the bush homes type properties at the higher end!

Desert Rose up at Mt Nyiru, difficult to get to but a fabulous view, great walking and plenty of real Samburu! Alternatively Tassia and IlNgwesi are community run lodges in the Samburu area. Samatian island at lake baringo with Ross and Caro really nice young couple. Off the beaten track and a nice cultural angle with the Njemps there. http://samatianislandlodge.com/

I have been to Rhino retreat and prince charles camp with Alex Walker and there is the feeling of being all alone in the aberdares as everyone seems to plump for the Ark or Treetops and are sedentry there with no gamedrives.

The Mara definately more than three nights, there is so much going on. Will be crowded at this time of year but with so many animals to stop and watch you do not notice the other cars esp if you have a car to yourself and let your guide know that you want a little privacy. Samson and Pius at Alex Walker's Serian (www.serian.net) were very helpful to me with this. As have Richard Robert's and Rekero's staff in the past. Definately northwestern mara is the spot to get away from the crowds in the mara and still enjoy good game.

Then to top it off Lamu is traditional swahili culture, long white sand beaches and great sea food. Manda bay (www.mandabay.com) with Andy and Cara Roberts is great as is Peponis in Lamu.
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Mar 13th, 2006, 08:36 AM
  #12
 
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Hi Laurie Ann

Another thing to consider is dietary requirements. Me and my wife have strict vegetarian diets, so things can be tricky.

I have been to Kenya six times and they have never failed to deliver, no matter which lodge/camp or what the requirement. Picnic lunches were also great.

Last month, I was in Tanzania for 2 weeks and regarding food - they failed miserably . We travelled as a group of 9 people and gave them 10 months notice but still no luck!!! I stayed at the Tangyanika Expedition camps (MKSC)....Mawe Ninga, Olduvai and Ronjo. They really need to learn that vegetarians eat more than rice and potatoes...Olduvai camp had by far, the worst food I have ever eaten in 10 years of safari. Fresh milk was never seen. I am sure it was just this group of camps and we did have some good meals elsewhere (Gibb's Farm), but I definately did miss Kenya.
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Mar 13th, 2006, 08:45 AM
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Oh, Africa, I'm scheduled at the same camps this June. I hope I can look at this as a spa vacation: safari and diet at the same time.
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Mar 13th, 2006, 09:39 AM
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Africa,
Are you writing a trip report?
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Mar 13th, 2006, 10:08 AM
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A trip report will appear in the near future....

Leely....it's funny you said that because everyone in the group lost weight. I can't blame it all on the food as we done a quite a bit of hiking and it was extremely hot. One of our group climbed Kili and some of us climbed Oldoinyo Lengai. We also climbed Mount Makarot and hiked in the Lake Natron and Ngorongoro Conservation areas. So it was a very active 2 weeks. We also clocked 2300Km whilst in the vehicles. It was one hell of an adventure but never again
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