If You Only Have a Week

Feb 9th, 2009, 11:03 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 104
If You Only Have a Week

Hi, All:

Been a long while since I've posted anything on this bored, but I've been loyaly lurking.

Anyhow, its been more than 2 years (yikes!) since our last visit to Africa, and we're thinking of fixing that. But time and the economy being what it is, we're thinking of only spending a week on Safari this time -- not including travel time. And we're thinking November.

So, it would probably be just one or maybe two camps. We've been to Botswana before, and could happily spend a week at Mombo (if available!) or another nice camp there. Or should we try something compeletly new and go to Tanzania for the first time and maybe the Grumeti lodges (Sasakwa and the tented one, perhaps?).

Any thoughts? This will be our fourth visit to the African bush...we know a week is a very short time, but we're game. If it matters, we've done South Africa enough for now (Phinda, Singiata, Londo).

Any comments/suggestions welcome.

Best to all!

Mike14c is offline  
Feb 9th, 2009, 12:26 PM
Join Date: Apr 2005
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If I only had a week in Africa, I'd stay home!!!! Being from USA (you're from?), it takes the better part of two days to get to then to get back from safari. The time I can afford, it's the rigors and expense of it that gets me. But God bless ya, if you can "manage" Africa for a week, go for it!!!!

regards - tom
ps - oh, your question Your choices are good ones and whichever I'd stay the whole 6-7 days there, well, maybe change camps once to another nearby.
cary999 is offline  
Feb 9th, 2009, 12:30 PM
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Try to read all the words, tom - the OP explicitly excluded travel time.
DonTopaz is offline  
Feb 9th, 2009, 12:41 PM
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I think Tom was just doing a comparison of travel time vs. safari time in stating he'd stay home. Are that many days in a plane worth it for not that many more on the ground?

He mentions he'd stay 6-7 nights in the same place.

I would not stay home unless staying home means you can go to Africa for two weeks if you wait another 6 months or so.

If Mombo is in your budget, a week there would be great!

Here is what ClimbHighSleepLow wrote about Tanzania in Nov.

"What about June, July, November, December and January?

During June, July and November the migrating herds generally favor the more woody areas to the west.

The plains have dried up and the herds are looking for water from perennial rivers. Most of these rivers are near Seronera and surroundings and in the western corridor. The animals assemble in smaller herds and can often be found in forest areas where tsetse flies are bothersome and viewing is restricted. The western corridor has limited game routes and the hilly terrain will often obscure the true scope of the migration. A few special places such as the Grumeti Reserves, the areas near Lobo and north near the Mara River are open and with great viewing with no obstructions - timing is everything and you need a specialist to book you in the right places for optimal viewing during these months."

I'd do a mobile tented camp if I were going to Tanzania in November, probably coupled with a trip or two into the Ngorongoro Crater.

Loyaly lurking--I like that.
atravelynn is offline  
Feb 9th, 2009, 12:45 PM
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Grumeti Reserves in November? Personally, I wouldn't. Not that there wouldn't be game, but you might be disappointed as this area is in the Western Serengeti, which is best in May-July.
sandi is offline  
Feb 9th, 2009, 12:48 PM
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rizzuto - you read it, if I had only 6-7 days on safari, I would not go.

reagrds - tom
cary999 is offline  
Feb 9th, 2009, 12:53 PM
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rizzuto - you read it, does "a week in Africa" sound like it includes travel time? To put it another way, if I had only 6-7 days on safari, I would not go.

reagrds - tom
cary999 is offline  
Feb 9th, 2009, 03:32 PM
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Mike, I spent time in the Serengeti during the first two weeks of last November. I stayed at %Beyond's Grumeti and Klein's camp. I preferred Grumeti, perhaps owing to the hippo pool, the tented accommodations and the fact we caught the tail end of the migration at Seronera. The only problem was some very heavy rainfall, but luckily we mostly dodged the downpours during our game drives or they waited until we were done.

I agree that longer is better but I, for one, would go for a week in a heartbeat.

Best of luck.
sdb2 is offline  
Feb 9th, 2009, 05:04 PM
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We went for 5 nights on safari travelling from Australia (a much longer trip than from USA) so YES I'd go!
twaffle is offline  
Feb 10th, 2009, 12:21 AM
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I've taken one week trips on lots of occasions (albeit from the UK). 7/8 nights between two lodges is a great idea.
Lynneb is offline  
Feb 10th, 2009, 02:32 AM
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Dear Mike

I have just read your post

For game I would definitely go for Mombo – I have just looked at space and for the first time that I can remember every night in November has at least 1 room free (often 9 !)

Sasakwa and Sabora (which is the tented one) are really really beautiful camps – if you want I can link you to video of them, and though the game is generally reasonable in their private reserve, when the migration comes back it normally stays in the “Serengeti proper” and so misses Grumeti Reserves
tanzaniatouroperator is offline  
Feb 10th, 2009, 05:18 AM
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My first safari was 3 nights, at Londolozi, and I loved it.

I agree with those who take .003 m/sec to say that they'd go on a 7-day trip. 7 days is probably on the lower end of my preferred time length (6-10 days), so I'd want to maximize my time. Limiting camps to 2 is one thing, and spending a few days in Europe en route is another. The Europe time gets you over the jet lag (only a 1- or 2- hr time difference between western Europe and S/E Africa). Also, if you are headed to east Africa, you can take advantage of the daytime flights, such as SWISS's ZRH-NBO-DAR flight.
DonTopaz is offline  
Feb 10th, 2009, 06:12 AM
Original Poster
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Thank you all for your response and suggestions.

As far as it just being a week on the ground, it really is to short and shame, but probably our only option. We spend so much time flying internationally for business that I don't think of my BA tickets as having a fare so much as just paying rent!

I'll being talking with my trusted TA today. I think we're leaning toward Tanzania because that would be new to us. But maybe the timing is ideal...any other thoughts welcome. If we learn anything interesting we;ll be sure to share.

Thanks again for your generous replies!

Mike14c is offline  
Feb 10th, 2009, 07:45 AM
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if you have never been to Tanzania before then i would spend a couple of nights at the Crater (preferably the Crater Lodge which is in it’s mid season) and the balance at Sasakwa. All pretty easy arrange
tanzaniatouroperator is offline  
Feb 10th, 2009, 03:28 PM
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A TanzanianTourOperator suggesting Mombo as 1st choice! That's interesting. Even more interesting is the availability at Mombo, a place known to book up years in advance. Thanks TTO.
atravelynn is offline  
Feb 11th, 2009, 11:05 AM
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True - even i rate Mombo as having just about the best game anywhere in Africa ! - and i can not believe that there is space in November
tanzaniatouroperator is offline  
Feb 11th, 2009, 11:19 AM
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The decline in requests by new safari planners is quite evident on this forum. Many travel professionals think the really heavy shoe is yet to fall. So many safaris were scheduled in better times and the a certain percentage of these safaris will make their scheduled trips. The real fall-off will show up in the last quarter of this year and next. I don't look at this as a good thing because I'm afraid the loss of photographic safari business will stimulate hunting interests in our now protected regions. We had just turned the corner in demonstrating that non hunting safaris were a better source of revenue and a renewable resource when the world economy went south. Mombo, in spite of its extraordinary game viewing, is a bit over the top. Clearly the time for excess is past, I just hope the safari business can remain intact until we are out of this mess.
Temba is offline  
Feb 11th, 2009, 12:48 PM
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If I had a single week on the ground, right now, for Africa, and no worries about budget etc. I'd spend the solid week at Serian in Mara, it's outside the Reserve, in the Koiyaki Conservancy. I'd split my time between the main camp (or Ngare Serian if you want a smaller number of fellow guests and a larger tent, though main camp tents are plenty comfortable/ beautiful) and their mobile camp in the heart of the Reserve. The tents here are small and rustic, with just enough space for two single cot beds, and a little bathroom area with a drop loo and bucket shower. Perfectly comfortable and appealing.

A fantastic mix in terms of game viewing as well.

And you get a private vehicle/ guide as standard.

In fact, Pete and I have made a pact. As soon as we earn enough from photography sales to cover the cost, we'll be booking ourselves a return trip!

(We visited in August/September last year, so just a few months ago)
Kavey is offline  
Feb 11th, 2009, 12:54 PM
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Hmmm, then again, if the prices were equal (not that they are, but if they were) between Serian and Mombo, I'd have to think hard. I've been to Mombo twice and loved it and to Serian just once and loved it. Game viewing at both was excellent.

I'd say Mombo had the edge for sheer variety of viewing, though Mara is currently better for cheetah (a personal favourite).

My other favourite is eles and we've had great viewing of both in both camps.

But for some of the smaller critters and for birding, I think I'd pick Mombo.

Of course, their prices _aren't_ equivalent so on that basis, I'd pick Serian of the two, right now.
Kavey is offline  
Feb 11th, 2009, 03:05 PM
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Mombo is about 1900$ and Serian 900$ if I am correct......

spassvogel is offline  

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