Night safaris in Kenya/Tanzania/Uganda

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Dec 18th, 2005, 07:34 PM
  #1
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Night safaris in Kenya/Tanzania/Uganda

Does anyone know who offers night safaris in Kenya and/or Tanzania and/or Uganda?
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Dec 19th, 2005, 06:30 AM
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Kenya
Sweetwaters Tented Camp
El Karama Ranch/Laikipia
Mbweha Camp/Lake Nakuru
Siana Springs Tented Camp/Masai Mara
Richard's Camp/Masai Mara
Porini Camp/Amboseli

Night game drives are not allowed inside national parks or reserves so all of the above camps are located in nearby private concession areas or in private reserves.

Uganda
Semliki Safari Lodge

Those are the ones I can think of right now. Will post more if I think of others. Hopefully someone else can give you a list of Tanzania locations.
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Dec 19th, 2005, 10:28 AM
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Also in Kibale Forest in Uganda, a night walk to look for nocturnal primates is offered by the park service (so you don't have to be a guest of a specific camp to participate).
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Dec 19th, 2005, 11:43 AM
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Here's a thread about night game drives at Lake Manyara in Tanzania - http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=34689955
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Dec 19th, 2005, 01:32 PM
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Thanks Patty. I printed out all of your information and also looked into the earlier thread you refered to. It looks like the only night drives are offered by Green Footprint Adventures.
I am also assuming, since I really don't know much about African safaris (this will be our first one) that we must book the night drives separate from what our outfitter may be or does your outfitter book the night drive for you if they do not offer any?
Thanks.
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Dec 19th, 2005, 02:28 PM
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Green Footprint is the only one that does night game drives specifically in Lake Manyara National Park, Tanzania, and my understanding is that their night drives are available to guests of most lodges and camps in/around that park.

The majority of the night game drives in other areas of East Africa work a little differently. They're usually offered by a specific camp and generally speaking, only available to guests of that particular camp using the camp's vehicles and guides on a shared basis with other guests (private may be an option if you're willing to pay extra). You won't be using your outfitter's vehicle. Your outfitter may book these for you in advance or you may book them on arrival directly with the camp. They can advise you of the extra cost.

We stayed at Sweetwaters in January and while we used our tour operator's vehicle and guide for our day time game drives on the reserve, our night game drives were conducted using a Sweetwaters vehicle and guide (shared with 4 other guests, 6 total per vehicle).

El Karama Ranch works a little differently than the others in that your night game drives are also conducted in your outfitter's vehicle and they provide a ranch guide who accompanies you in the vehicle. But that's more unusual.

So the availability of night drives is dependent on where you stay not your tour operator. Hope this clarifies things.
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Dec 20th, 2005, 08:24 AM
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Serian Camp as well - located in the NW sector of the Mara- private concession -awesome guides and wildlife. Had a ball - plan to go back next year and stay for at least two weeks. Check the camp out - google it!
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Dec 20th, 2005, 08:53 AM
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canechick, I will check it out. Thanks.
Patty, I had found your jan 2005 trip somehow and looked at those pictures of your trip. They were amazing! Did you say that you used the jeep on the day game drives supplied by Eastern & Southern safaris? This one is perfect! You have overhead covering and can see wildlife without the restrictions of the closed sides or having to stand!! That alone gears me towards that company. I do think that private safaris would be more appealing than group safaris. I am leaning towards that as well. I will look into your campsites and that company sometime today. (I have already been on this computer 3 hours this morning and the same last night-need a little break). I know time is of the essence too. Thanks greatly!
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Dec 20th, 2005, 08:58 AM
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I also tried to request information from Green Footprint Adventure and could not send any email to them under their 'contact us' . We tried several times. That's ok. There are others now.
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Dec 20th, 2005, 10:06 AM
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kitti,
The vehicle our tour operator supplied was a pop top van not an open sided jeep. Which photo(s) are you looking at? If you check the photos I posted in your other thread, the first 2 pics show our tour operator's vehicle.

I don't know of any tour operators that use an open sided vehicle when you're on a driving safari. The vehicles used for driving safaris may be a van or SUV but in either case will be closed as you'll be traveling long distances on dusty roads in them.

Some but not all camps have open sided vehicles (as seen in the 4th pic on the other thread). If you want open sided vehicles (these will generally have fold back roof hatches) for your game drives, you'll have to use the camp's vehicles and I'd check specifically to make sure that they have them as I've also seen camp vehicles which are closed. In this case, you'd probably want to fly from camp to camp which will add to the cost. And if you want private use of the camp's vehicle, that will add further to the cost.

Take a look at the photo links I posted on your other thread if you haven't already. I think those will give you a much better idea of the difference between each type of vehicle.

Hope this makes sense.
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Dec 20th, 2005, 10:55 AM
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Here's a thread that discusses safari vehicles in East Africa which you may find helpful - http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=34644219
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Dec 21st, 2005, 11:16 AM
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Thanks Patty for the site. I will look into that.
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Dec 23rd, 2005, 04:58 AM
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Hi-

Mara BaseCamp, located near the Talek gate, offers night drives. Eastern and Southern Safaris informed me that the rate is $48 per person sharing a vehicle and $180 for exclusive use.

-Matt
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