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hlphillips2 - Having trouble posting reply to messages, so replying by initiating a message!


Dec 6th, 2003, 05:26 AM
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hlphillips2 - Having trouble posting reply to messages, so replying by initiating a message!

hlphillips2 -

Great trip report and so much important information regarding accommodations, food, animal sightings etc.

On our first trip, we also started clicking away with the cameras, till we came up with a solution of both of us not taking duplicate shots of what the other did - eventually, we got it right and less unusually shots.

With the animals still in the Mara, this late in the year, it's not surprising that you actually came upon a "late Migration". This happens when the rains don't come on time and we had a similar situation many years ago, but in our case it was fires in the Serengeti that kept the animals in the Mara.

Your comments re the tent accommodations at Kichwa Tembo reminds me of our time at a Mara tented camp that had almost no privacy between the living and bathroom sections of tent (without having to untie flaps, etc.)and my partner commented on the fact that this lack of privacy might be uncomfortable for honeymooners, though I felt that since many people marry late, or have live together beforehand, it might not be an issue. But interesting that you mentioned it.

The Kichwa Tembo you stayed at is the original camp which is rather large (40+ tents), though the tents are large; while the Bateleur camp is smaller and more expensive under the ownership of CCA.

With East African tourism down some 90%, (and everyone is hurting there) it's not unusual that there weren't many people at any of the places you visited, and that's nice. Personally, we've always (2-trips to EA) traveled in off-season, so we never come upon lots of guests, maybe two or three other couples, very very nice. And the animal experiences are as they are, sometimes many different occurances, other times, less, but no less exciting.

Disappointing to hear that while Crater Lodge was over-the-top in decor, the food wasn't up to par; guess it's okay then that folks stay only 2-nts, with 1-day in the Crater.

Yes, you should have done the road transfer to Klein's at the end of the Serengeti, as you would have been able to stop at Olduvai Gorge which while only a 1-hr stop, is interesting to see - and then the drive thru the Serengeti (though long) is all safari, all the way, and very interesting.

Also interesting to hear of your disappointment in your guide at Klein's - this is surprising, but something to note for others who plan to visit here. This is something you should mention to CCA, as they will convey this to Kleins.

It seems your best experience was a Lake Manyara, a relatively small park, and you saw the tree-climbing lions (an unusual siting) and the Tree Lodge was quite adventurous - you were very lucky to have had as many animals experiences here.

What many people seem to forget is that the animals certainly do not work (perform)on our schedule, rather their own; if they choose to be out when we're there, we get the benefits, but there are no guarantees.

For Roccco - re the number of vehicles in the Crater - there have never been 100 vehicles in the Crater. Yes, most vehicles enter early on the same winding road, but once in the crater vehicles go their own way. Though there is no off-road driving, we only came across other vehicles when we stopped for lunch at the northern end of the lake, where there is a kind of pool of water for hippos and maybe ellees, and also bathrooms (more outhouses). There are two roads for access to the Crater, the second used for those exiting and at a distance from the entry road; however, when we were there this second road was being repaired and we had to wait to depart, as there were still vehicles entering even at 3pm.

hphillips - again, thanks for a great trip report, which I will be emailing to a couple I know are planning a trip for August and considering some of the places you stayed at, all for information purposes only.

Now, let's hope I can "post a message" as the problem with "posting replies" is becoming a pain. Here goes.
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Dec 8th, 2003, 07:05 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 532
Thanks Sandi! It is true that the camps were as desperate for tourism as they were for rain. And our time in Lake Manyara with the amazing game drive really proved to us that you cannot predict the animals.

We've begun to get some of our photos back -- I'll try to scan and post some of them within the next few weeks.

You were very fortunate not to run into many vehicles in the Crater -- I was amazed at how many there were, but then again its all relative to the other larger or less popular parks where often we'd cross only two or three vehicles all day.

Your friends may feel free to contact me directly if they have questions about any of the camps we visited if you'd like - [email protected]
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