Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Africa & the Middle East
Reload this Page >

Highlights and Photos: Self-drive Kenya & Tanzania August 2009

Highlights and Photos: Self-drive Kenya & Tanzania August 2009

Oct 6th, 2009, 06:34 AM
  #61  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 1,085
You are most welcome! I am just uploading more photos now - for the drive from the Mara to the Serengeti - an adventure in itself! Then, I will start entering the Serengeti photos and text. Robin
canadian_robin is offline  
Oct 13th, 2009, 07:11 PM
  #62  
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 25
Greeting Canadian_robin. I so enjoyed reading about your incredible trip. Very enjoyable. The photos are absolutely remarkable as well. What an adventure. Your pictures, and description of the border towns brought me right back to what we saw a year ago. Thank you so much for sharing.

Greg
Travelling_greg is offline  
Oct 20th, 2009, 02:46 PM
  #63  
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 371
Hi Robin

Well, you’ve been at the The Ndabaka Gate of Serengeti National Park for quite a while – I have been following – please carry on! (though I know how 'normal' life tends to take over!)

A feature I love about your trips is that you try and spend time talking to people you meet, like the villagers in Mararianta, and what a good idea to take photos of home to share. And I always like the descriptions of what you see on the way; the roads, people, shops, and traffic. I always regret not taking more photos like that to remind us of the ‘getting there’ as well as the highlights, it gives us such a good idea what the whole trip was like and what to expect should we be brave enough to try the same thing.

By the way, I forgot to ask you if you ever tried to make the beer bread when you were camping???
tockoloshe is offline  
Oct 20th, 2009, 03:40 PM
  #64  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 1,085
Hi Tockoloshe!
I have been stalled for a few days - I have been busy at work. After this weekend, things should be a little less busy and I hopefully will get started again. Also, my DH has been hogging the computer - he is almost through the 7000 photos and is anxious to put together a slide show of our favourites. The neighbours are after us for our annual GTG and slide show!

Heard from Safari Drive yesterday that TANAPA arrested some poachers near the Mareo campsite - guess it was a good thing we left when we did. Not sure how the poachers would have felt about us being there. Pity - that lovely campsite may not see any campers for a while.

We did make the beer bread and that will come up in my report. Burned the first batch to a crisp (got distracted by ellies!) but subsequent batches were delicious!

Glad you're enjoying the report. For this trip in particular, it was about so much more than the wildlife. I think that is why Robert and I enjoyed it so much - we had far more opportunity to interact with the local people. Photos from home always seem to be a huge hit - particularly the snow pictures.

Have you been following this recent thread? Your Botswana reports were featured in it. I am certain micmic would appreciate your input. Robin

http://www.fodors.com/community/afri...g-botswana.cfm
canadian_robin is offline  
Oct 20th, 2009, 11:21 PM
  #65  
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 85
Robin, thank you very much for plugging my topic

The problem is that by searching for your Botswana trip report we also found your Kenya/Tanzania trip report. And now we are torn... we know we will be visiting all these countries eventually, but what do we plan for *this* year ?

So, I'm about to ask a very difficult question: Which among these two trips was the most exciting one ? Notwithstanding planning mistakes and unforeseen circumstances, which would you repeat if you could only repeat one ?
micmic is offline  
Oct 21st, 2009, 07:00 AM
  #66  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 1,085
Difficult is the word - yikes!

Let me begin by saying that we hope to repeat both trips in 2011-2012 when we will in Cape Town on our next sabbatical. They were both fantastic trips and they are both worthy of being repeated. The only change I would make to the Botswana trip is to try and combine it with Zambia rather than SA and Namibia. The Tanzania/Kenya trip I would repeat as is, with perhaps some minor changes ( a second night with the Masai at Olduvai Tented Camp, for example).

If I had to choose one trip over the other I would select the Kenya/Tanzania trip for several reasons - the migration was amazing; there was far more opportunity to interact with the local people - culturally, it was a far more rewarding trip; the wildlife was spectacular - the numbers - the 182 lions, for example - were just amazing; the scenery of the Northern Circuit in Tanzania was lovely - the Crater, the Serengeti plains, Tarangire and its baobabs - lots of variety and very beautiful; and perhaps fewer people - we found Moremi busier than either the Mara or the Northern Circuit. Those would be the primary reasons why I would choose Kenya/Tanzania over Botswana.

Having said that, given our experience with the poachers in the Western Corridor (we were informed by Safai Drive just two days ago that TANAPA recently arrested several poachers near the Mareo campsite, so it was likely poachers that caused us to flee in the night) and the incident at Entim, I will certainly be watching the TANAPA/Mara Conservancy websites to see if these type of incidents become more frequent. If so, the next time we will drag visiting family or friends along with us - safety in numbers (although it didn't help the folks at Entim). Also, Kenya and Tanzania was certainly more challenging - we had to rely on our GPS at times and you wouldn't want to do the trip if you weren't comfortable mingling with the locals. In Mararianta, we and our vehicle were completely surrounded by the villagers (when we got lost) - that might have unsettled someone who hadn't already done a fair amount of self-driving through southern Africa. Botswana is the easier of the two trips I think but, if you are prepared for the challenges of self-driving through Kenya and Tanzania, I would be inclined to go there.

I hope to do more work on the Kenya/Tanzania report this weekend. Robin
canadian_robin is offline  
Oct 21st, 2009, 07:58 AM
  #67  
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 371
Robin - it's good that Safari Drive have kept you informed, and for you to pass the information on here, it is something to bear in mind - certainly not to be put off but maybe 'safety in numbers' is a point to consider. They had already advised us that they couldn't offer a couple of the itineraries advertised in their brochure due to safety concerns, so they are constantly revising their advice.

I would be pleased to help micmic if I can, but you've got him torn between Botswana & East Africa now! Which way are you leaning micmic??

Looking forward to more of the report whenever you can.
tockoloshe is offline  
Oct 21st, 2009, 12:14 PM
  #68  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 1,085
I'm curious - where (what countries) were the safety concerns? When we planned our trip, SD suggested that we not self-drive anywhere in Kenya other than to the Mara and, even then, they didn't recommend we drive from Nairobi to the Mara. It's good to have the advice of someone in the know. I must ask them about Zambia.

I do seem to have side-tracked poor micmic. Called my DH to see if he agreed with my answer - he too would go with Kenya/Tanzania for many of the same reasons, although he would also like to return to Botswana.

Back to my writing! Robin
canadian_robin is offline  
Oct 21st, 2009, 12:24 PM
  #69  
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 371
Sorry Robin, I wasn't clear, I did mean Kenya - I may have had an older brochure and when I phoned to ask for more details they couldn't recommend a couple of the suggested trips any more.
tockoloshe is offline  
Oct 21st, 2009, 06:17 PM
  #70  
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 260
I am throughly enjoying your report and your photos. It makes for wonderful reading as I now dream of going to East Africa.

I love all the detail in your report, and the amazing photos. Thanks for taking the time to put it all together for us to enjoy.

The lions mating were an amazing group of photos. And your bird photos are great.

looking forward to the next installment

amy
amycyma is offline  
Oct 21st, 2009, 07:00 PM
  #71  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 13,348
I too am still reading your report
Percy is offline  
Oct 21st, 2009, 07:04 PM
  #72  
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 8,637
Count me as another still following.
Leely2 is offline  
Oct 21st, 2009, 11:02 PM
  #73  
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 85
tockoloshe, thanks very much for offering to help. We will probably need you next year, as now Robin has totally diverted us! Yes, we will be visiting Kenya/Tanzania this year. Actually it's not only Robin's report, it's also that most of the stories and the photos in the wildlife books I was reading as a kid were from the Mara and the Serengeti. So I somehow realized that while both places my be equally beautiful, my childhood fantasies draw me to East Africa!
micmic is offline  
Oct 22nd, 2009, 01:37 AM
  #74  
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 371
micmic - good for you! Hope to follow you to East Africa soon ourselves - I know what you mean about growing up with wildlife stories about Massai Mara & Serengeti, it is a dream we have to follow up! Meanwhile we live it through Robin's report ....
tockoloshe is offline  
Oct 22nd, 2009, 07:53 AM
  #75  
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 85
Indeed, I keep refreshing the report hoping she has added to it

Robin could you please give us an idea of the cost for this trip, excluding tickets to and from Africa ?
micmic is offline  
Oct 22nd, 2009, 11:29 AM
  #76  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 13,348
micmic

I just e-mail a person who asked me the cost of the Safari I took in mid August to mid September.

I outline the whole cost to her so if you want me to forward it over to you , then please e-mail me at [email protected]

Hi Robin
Percy is offline  
Oct 22nd, 2009, 01:07 PM
  #77  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 1,085
Here is a start:

The total cost of staying in the Mara Triangle for two non-resident adults with a vehicle > 6 passengers for 6 nights (6x24hrs), not including the Land Rover rental was:
US$300 for the special campsite
US$720 for the park entry permits
Ksh6000 for the vehicle permits
Ksh7500 for the campsite reservation fee
US$234.00 to fly the two of us from Nairobi to the Mara (Air Kenya)

The total cost of visiting three Tanzanian National Parks for two non-Tanzanian adults for 13 nights (but 14x24hrs) with a foreign vehicle, not including the Land Rover rental, was:
US$1400 for the special campsites
US$1220 for the park entry permits
US$560 for the vehicle permits

The total cost of visiting the Ngorongoro Conservation Area for two non-resident adults for 3 nights (but 4x24hrs) with a vehicle >2000kgs and two visits into the crater was:
US$200 for the special campsite
US$400 for the park entry permits
US$160 for the vehicle permits
US$400 for the crater fee (two full-day visits)

Land Rover is ~US$225/day (it seems to vary somewhat based on how long you have it)
Then there were our stays at Lemala at Ngorongoro, Serian in the Mara, Olduvai Tented Camp, and the Coffee Lodge and Rivertrees in Arusha - you could get the 2010 rates online.
Food and diesel were extra - the Land Rover came full (long range tank) and with an extra 20l gerry can of diesel.

Hmm - I'm probably forgetting something - let me know. All of the park fees are available online (TANAPA and Mara Conservancy websites), so you may want to check to ensure they haven't risen. Robin
canadian_robin is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2009, 07:37 AM
  #78  
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 85
Thanks, you couldn't have been more helpful if you were an accountant
micmic is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2009, 06:22 PM
  #79  
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 56
Robin, I haven't had alot of time to read your report yet but the pictures are wonderful! It is so amazing to see what you were able to witness with both the animals and I love the detail of the villages and the East African way of life. It definitely shows that you have the opportunity to see so much when you are traveling by yourselves. I can't imagine, though, being on guard all the time; surrounded by all of those animals!
fourwheelinit is offline  
Oct 24th, 2009, 07:42 AM
  #80  
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 371
fourwheelinit, I can't speak for Robin but for us being surrounded by wild animals is the best bit! Yes you do have to be on your guard, you don't want to turn your back on a cheeky hyaena or the lions padding through the campsite, and having a huge baboon come crashing onto your picnic table is quite a thing, but what experiences to remember!
tockoloshe is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 12:23 AM.