Katavi & Mahale - which camps?

Dec 15th, 2009, 08:44 AM
  #21  
 
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Yes, Selous would make sense to do with the other southern/western parks. What we did was drive to Mikumi, then drove on to Ruaha. From there, we flew to Katavi. That might also be an option. Mikumi is bisected by a major road, but we saw lots of wildlife there, especially elephants. We also enjoyed the drives through the countryside and villages. If you plan to fly everywhere, however, then Selous might be a better choice because of the river.
ShayTay is offline  
Dec 15th, 2009, 05:38 PM
  #22  
 
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Climhighsleeplow (Eben) indicated he thought Beho Beho in the Selous was fantastic. I'm glad, since that where we decided to stay. It's not on the river, but is at a cooler elevation (though I'm not sure how hot it will be there in August), with great views, and away from the other camps, which are mostly on the river. Also our agent thought it had top flight guiding.
LAleslie is offline  
Dec 15th, 2009, 11:40 PM
  #23  
 
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I have stayed at them all - and Beho Beho is definitely the nicest lodge in the Selous - though at $875 pp pn it is not cheap (though there is a 4 for 3 deal going on at the moment.) Great rooms, great guiding and a very private location. Boat trips they do on a nearby lake since it is not a river fronting camp
tanzaniatouroperator is offline  
Dec 16th, 2009, 06:53 PM
  #24  
 
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Tanztourop,

Since you've stayed at lots of places, what would you say offers best wildlife viewing for the best price, if luxury did not matter for:

Mahala
Katavi
Ruaha

That's assuming someone was going to all 3 in one trip in Aug or Sept.

Thanks!
atravelynn is offline  
Dec 17th, 2009, 12:36 AM
  #25  
 
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Personally think the joy of all the southern Parks is that they offer good game viewing without the crowds. In a sense of absolute numbers then nothing really beats the Serengeti when the migration is there, but it is hard to escape the hoards in the north and you are far more restricted on what you can do (ie generally no walking etc)

Of the 4 parks in the South / West:

Mahale is great but only for chimps (and a great beach!) – it is not a safari location as such

Katavi is wonderful in the summer months – especially good for buffalo and lion (and thus lion hunting buffalo), though Tsetses can be a pain. Given the cost of getting there it is easily the most private of the parks and I have had some amazing safaris in Katavi

Ruaha I love as it has the big African vistas and scorched earth which people tend to associate with an African park. Great game, especially if you use one of the more established camps which are in a better game area than the new-comers.

Selous is the most touristy of the parks, especially in recent years as more and more lodges have opened there – even Serena are there now. But with the Rufiji river running through it is a great contrast to the other parks. No cheetah, but good lion and pretty good for wild dogs too

Obviously hard to say much about them all in a couple of lines, my advice would be to combine them all as they are all so different (money permitting !)
tanzaniatouroperator is offline  
Dec 17th, 2009, 02:47 PM
  #26  
 
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Thanks for your comments, TTop. May I call you TTop?

My question of "what offers the best..." was entirely too imprecise.

I should have asked what camps/lodges/accommodations offer the best wildlife viewing in each of these parks for the price, if luxury does not matter.

What do you think of Flycatchers for good locations, good guiding, and good pricing?
atravelynn is offline  
Dec 17th, 2009, 06:14 PM
  #27  
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Tanzaniatouroperator, thanks for all the great info. I have now decided to go to Selous, Ruaha, Katavi and Mahale. What do you mean by "if you use one of the more established camps" in Ruaha. What camp(s) would you recommend in Selous.

Lynn I have decided against using Flycatchers. I may have to go late July/early August or late September/early October as the school district I work for is looking at changing the school calendar for 2011 and I may be teaching come August 15 of that year.
raelond is offline  
Dec 18th, 2009, 03:12 AM
  #28  
 
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No problem.
For best game in Ruaha I would look at Mwagusi which is in a great game area (as opposed to say Jongomero which is more luxurious but has worse game). For Selous I have had great game in all the camps so no great preference from a game perspective – however I would stay at Beho Beho (especially since they are offering a 4th night for free) since it is such an amazingly wonderful lodge. Unless of course you want a river frontage then I would look at Selous Safari Camp or Sand Rivers Selous.
And at Katavi I prefer the cheaper Katavi Wildlife (Foxes camp) vs the more expensive Chada (nomads camp) as it is in a much better game area (the herds tend to be where Katavi wildlife camp is situated)
I don’t know if you want to see video of all these lodges and areas, but if you do please see http://www.tanzaniaodyssey.com/video...ssey-video.htm
Hope this helps !
tanzaniatouroperator is offline  
Dec 18th, 2009, 04:30 PM
  #29  
 
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Right across from Foxes Wildlife Camp in Katavi is the Flycatchers camp and "just around the corner" facing the plains is Katuma Camp, where we stayed. Katuma was well run and quite nice... huge tents. They have a resident ele that came for a visit while we were at lunch one day. We ducked under one of the tent platforms as Freddie walked by. I had never been that close to an elephant while on foot before! You certainly get a better perspective on the size of an elephant that way.
ShayTay is offline  
Dec 18th, 2009, 04:45 PM
  #30  
 
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Raelond, I hope you are given some firm dates so you know when to travel and when not to.

Thanks TTOps and ShayTay for the info.
atravelynn is offline  
Dec 20th, 2009, 12:24 PM
  #31  
 
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Of the two periods that you list, Raelond, I'd pick the late July/early August timeframe. We were there in September and the camp managers thought that Katavi and Mahale were better in August... not as hot, then, either. It reached 100 degrees some afternoons and would only get worse towards October.
ShayTay is offline  
Dec 20th, 2009, 04:37 PM
  #32  
 
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TTop, that video of all the camps is fantastic, and much more helpful than glossy brochure pix.
LAleslie is offline  
Dec 21st, 2009, 02:09 AM
  #33  
 
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pleasure - we do find that these videos help clients decide which camp and area to go to. These are all videos taken by us on a crap camera (we are clearly not video professionals !) but it does give a good idea and is far more real than a brochure shot !
tanzaniatouroperator is offline  
Dec 21st, 2009, 08:58 AM
  #34  
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Thanks ShayTay. I wonder how the game viewing would be in July.
raelond is offline  
Dec 21st, 2009, 10:09 PM
  #35  
 
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I should think it would be really good. Predator Biologist was there in May, I believe, and had great sightings even that early in the season. The chimps in Mahale might be higher up in July as compared to August, though.
ShayTay is offline  
Jan 7th, 2010, 06:49 PM
  #36  
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Does anyone else have an opinion about Katuma Bush Lodge in Katavi and Kungwe Beach Lodge in Mahale versus Chada in Katavi and Greystoke in Mahale?
raelond is offline  
Jan 7th, 2010, 10:56 PM
  #37  
 
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Quote Atravelynn

"Pricey yes---but when you are that remote its worth the extra spend. Their guides are the ones who's radios are tapped by the other camps to locate the chimps."


They would tell you that wouldn't they. The park guides are the ones with the information and monitor the Chimps position along with the Japanese research scientists, this is then radioed to all camps not just Greystoke!
What a load of nonsense.
Flycatchers is by far the best value for money.
duckduck is offline  
Jan 8th, 2010, 08:07 AM
  #38  
 
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Katuma also sends out their own tracker and monitors the chimps' location, which is radioed back to Sixtus the guide. I think he is one of the most knowledgeable guides in Mahale. I don't know about Flycatcher's or Greystoke's guides. The guides are important in not only leading you to the chimps, but also in their understanding of the chimps and also their relationship with the rangers and researchers.
ShayTay is offline  
Jan 8th, 2010, 01:28 PM
  #39  
 
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Load of nonsense, gotcha, duckduck. Thank you.

But looks like Katuma sends out their own person. Do you think that's an advantage? Kind of like your own chimp concierge.

Just wondering. I'm sure Raelond is too.
atravelynn is offline  
Jan 8th, 2010, 03:57 PM
  #40  
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That's good Lynn - you made me laugh!
raelond is offline  

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