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

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Nov 11th, 2009, 09:29 AM
  #101
 
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Nkorombo Camp - had to get that typed in before I forgot it! That is the mobile camp I believe they are using and looking at a map,seems south of MYN,but my mapping skills are limited at best.
Anyway you are a fountain of info for me Robin and I so appreciate not only your report and wonderful photos but helping me figure out the best for my own safari. Alex and his team have been really good at answering all my questions; and I am sure any trip with them will be most eventful.

Will post a final itinerary once its decided - again,thx for all your reporting and help!

FP
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Nov 11th, 2009, 11:47 AM
  #102
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You're welcome FP. I will have a look on my maps and see if I can find Nkorombo. I will look forward to seeing your final itinerary. Robin
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Nov 11th, 2009, 11:53 AM
  #103
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Nkorombo is not on any of may maps, but I found this, which describes the location. Robin

http://www.africatravelresource.com/...lodge/01intro/
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Nov 11th, 2009, 01:42 PM
  #104
 
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Flowerpower, I will be spending 6 nights at Serian in January, half of which will be in their mobile camp which I believe will be at Nkorombo, but I'm not sure. Wherever they put it will be fine with me.
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Nov 11th, 2009, 01:56 PM
  #105
 
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Yay, Twaffle, cant wait to hear about it! I read on another forum a bit of a report on the area and Nkorombo and the game-viewing sounded great.
Robin, as usual - you are a wealth of info!
Thx all,
FP
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Nov 14th, 2009, 08:15 PM
  #106
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I am envious of you both!
FP - I have added some Lobo photos for you. More to follow....Robin
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Nov 15th, 2009, 06:32 AM
  #107
 
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Thank you for sharing! This is one of the best trip reports that I've seen. It looks like you two had an absolutely fantastic holiday. I've done the northern circuit and will be going to Kenys next year so I particulary enjoyed this!

: - >
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Nov 15th, 2009, 07:31 AM
  #108
 
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Hi Robin - I've obviously come across your trip report a little late, but what FABULOUS photos. Wow, you and/or your husband are obviously very adept photographers. What kind of camera/lenses did you use?
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Nov 15th, 2009, 11:30 AM
  #109
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Thanks PT123! You will love Kenya!

Cateyes555 - My husband takes most of the photos and I keep the journal - a division of labour that suits us both.

We used a Nikon D80 and a Nikon D90 - in the past, we have traveled to southern Africa with only one camera, but we found that changing lenses in that dusty envirnonment meant hours of Photoshopping out dust spots when we returned home. We splurged before this trip and bought a second camera body, the D90 (the updated version of the D80, which is no longer available). It made a huge difference to have two cameras - much better when taking the pictures and so much better at the editing stage.

My DH feels that the D90 is a huge improvement over the D80 - the colour is so much more accurate - vital when taking pictures of things such as the dunes in Namibia.

On the D90 we had a 70-300mm lens and on the D80 a 18-70mm.
Robin
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Feb 2nd, 2010, 04:32 PM
  #110
 
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Hey Robin
Been checking back periodically to see if you'd added more to your report - will settle down to read the latest! Thanks!
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Feb 2nd, 2010, 07:45 PM
  #111
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Hi Tockoloshe! Finally got back at it this week - should have the trip from the crater to Arusha added tomorrow and then Lake Manyara and Tarangire. I'm on a roll! Enjoy! Robin
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Feb 3rd, 2010, 10:43 AM
  #112
 
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What an wonderful trip report and photos! And what sightings you had. Wow. I can just imagine how much work it was to put this all together so please know it is being enjoyed.
Cindy
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Feb 3rd, 2010, 01:03 PM
  #113
 
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I'm still following also
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Feb 3rd, 2010, 02:10 PM
  #114
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Hi Cindy! I do enjoy it very much - it allows me to relive a wonderful journey. What I create in Smugmug (the photos and text) will be the basis for a hardcover book that I will then put together using Blurb. It will take very little time to create the book because I can download the photos and text from Smugmug directly to Blurb - very quick! The Blurb book will be a gift for my DH! I have done this for all of our African trips. I had hoped to have the book ready for Christmas, but I am a little late - perhaps our 34th wedding anniversary in August! Robin
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Feb 23rd, 2010, 04:07 PM
  #115
 
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Just about caught up now (to date!) - a truly stunning report of a stunning trip, it really will make a fantastic book and worth all the effort.
As usual you build up a very interesting picture of daily life from the natural beauty to 'street level'.
What great lion experiences - the muddy tree-climbing gang and the zebra kill, I am getting seriously envious of your uncanny ability to find sights like these - though I realise a lot is down to perseverance and not just luck.
I too am not a fan of baboons, but your photo of the newborn baby is very moving, the second one looking over her shoulder (proud Dad?) makes the picture - a competition winner I'm sure!
The lodges (Olduvai Tented Camp, Lemala Camp, Arusha Coffee Lodge) also look fantastic, and I imagine a welcome change from the tent. Can I ask: do you think you got the mix of camping and lodges right?
I hope your plans for the next self-drive trip will not be thwarted by the Botswana government (have you seen ST forum for some potentially bad news for self-drivers?) They do seem to want to push us 'undesireables' out.

Looking forward to the finale!
(I noticed you've added some notes to the beginning too, I think, so that's why it's taken me a while to read through the whole thing again!)
Thanks again for posting this - even if it fills me with that longing for my little roof-top tent.
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Feb 24th, 2010, 06:36 AM
  #116
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Hi Tockoloshe!
Good to hear from you! I long for the roof-top tent myself.

Wow - you must have just caught up - I think I added the bit about the zebra kill only yesterday. I still have to finish Tarangire - there were many more highlights in that park. There is an end in sight, however.

We have been incredibly lucky with our sightings - we put it down to a combination of luck/good timing (mostly) and driving very slowly so we don't miss anything. The timing comes at least partly from camping on the special campsites, which allows us to be in the thick of things at dawn - no driving in from a lodge or gate. Most helpful!

The second baboon was either an aunt or sibling - we couldn't decide which. She was smaller than mom - definitely a female.

The lodges were a welcome break from camping. We so looked forward to the hot showers and to having someone else cook. It was also a good opportunity to do laundry - the dust necessitated a daily change of clothes. The only problem we encountered were the water restrictions at Lemala Camp - each tent is allocated a certain amount of water each day, so if you have a lot of laundry accumulated, that could be a problem. We supplemented with water from the 4x4. Lemala will do laundry for you, but we preferred to do our own. We were very thankful we camped at the crater - we would have frozen in the roof-top tent. The heater was a God-send. So - short answer - the mix of camping and lodges was about right, although I would have liked a second night at Olduvai Camp - more time with the Masai!

Sorry - I did sneak a few notes in at the beginning - they were as a result of questions on this forum - they made me realize that I had missed info that self-drivers might find useful.

A self-drive through Botswana and Zambia is on our 2011/2012 list. I do recall last year that the Botswana government was threatening to eliminate self-drivers. Have they moved ahead with that? Perhaps it is time to write some letters. There are similar rumours about the Mara Reserve. The irony of it all is that we only saw one other self-driver on the whole Kenya-Tanzania trip - eliminating us (self-drivers) really isn't going to help them reduce the number of visitors, if that is their primary concern. If their concern is behaviour/driving, then they should go after some of the guides/safari companies - I have seen some appalling infractions from them.

What are your latest travel plans? Robin
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Feb 28th, 2010, 03:52 AM
  #117
 
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Hi Robin
Tarangire seems to have delivered too! I wondered if you keep a separate album for all the birds you've seen, it would also make a good smugmug book, with spaces for the missing ones, an excuse so you have to go back to 'get' them! I must admit we didn't start off as birders but it turned out to be good fun spotting new ones, and sparked a new interest for us, as well as filling in time when the 'big game' eluded us of course!
The self drive debate in Botswana seems to be on-going, with claims that they never intended to ban self-drivers and it's all been taken out of proportion, but we'll have to wait and see. As you say, the safari companies should have a good look at what their drivers get up to.
As much as it pains us we're giving Africa a miss this year, what with inflated fares for World Cup etc. Instead it's off to Oz in August for a different kind of wilderness - we'll travel from Perth up the west coast to Broome and the Kimberley area. So maybe some sea exploration this time as well as the outback - still planning to camp, might even get our roof-top tent after all!
Do you have anything planned before your 2011/12 trip?
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Feb 28th, 2010, 09:58 AM
  #118
 
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Hello Robin,

I've been following the report with great interest

I see that Tarangire has 12 special campsites. Which ones would you recommend from what you experienced there ?
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Mar 1st, 2010, 09:56 AM
  #119
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I must admit that I wasn't a keen birder in the beginning either, but the interest has grown. There are just too many beautiful birds - it becomes impossible to ignore them. I hadn't thought of creating a bird book - my DH would enjoy that. Good idea! Thanks! We are not heading to Africa this year either for the same reasons. 2011-2012 will be our next visit - can't wait! I am busily planning in my head.

micmic - The Mbweha campsite was in a lovely location and very isolated, but we couldn't return to it for our third night. A nearby colony of bees had discovered us by then, and we were forced to relocate (we didn't go to another campsite - we just set up a couple of kilometres away from Mbweha). This story will be added to my TR shortly. We didn't have time to visit all of the special campsites but, based on our experience, most of the action seems to be in the north, near the river, so I would go for a site in that area. Sights like Honda Honda (south) and Kanga (west) are a long drive from the river and the gate. Mlegea, Terminalia, Kware and Mibuyu look like they are well located, but I haven't visited them. Robin
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Apr 2nd, 2010, 06:19 PM
  #120
 
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Hello Robin
We have enjoyed reading your travel diary which we discovered on the Safari Drive website. We have used the services of SD on several occasions having been introduced to them by Chris McIntyre of Expert Africa.
We are undertaking a trip which seems to be very similar to yours ( tho' a little shorter, timewise).
This will be our first self drive to Tanzania and it seems that stocking up on provisions is a little more difficult than places like Botswana, Zambia and Namibia. Do you have any hints. We know the fridge on the vehicles is usually very efficient but space in it, and around the vehicle is very limited especially if we have to carry drinking water for the majority of the trip. Your suggestions would be gratefully received!!
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