Northern Circuit Tanzania Safari...What Is It Like?

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Oct 29th, 2005, 01:13 PM
  #1
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Northern Circuit Tanzania Safari...What Is It Like?

This may sound like a dumb question, but will someone please describe what I may expect out of the following safari?

Manyara Tree Lodge (2)
Ngorongoro Crater Lodge (2)
Olduvai Camp (1)
Nomad Masek, Serengeti (2)
Nomad Piaya, Serengeti (2)
Mbuzi Mawe, Serengeti (2)

My wife and I will have our own private guide and vehicle throughout.

What different animals will I see in Tanzania than in Southern Africa?

How do the camps differ? I have intentionally chosen mostly small camps (Nomad's camps are a maximum of eight).

How close will we get to lions? (I have gotten close enough to reach out and touch them in an open vehicle in Zambia).

Does the food compare well in Eastern Africa to Southern Africa?

Will late February/early March be dusty in East Africa? Although I loved my last safari in Zambia, dust was a real problem so I would not mind returning to Zambia in June or July.

Are the guides as well trained in Eastern Africa as in Southern Africa?

Will I have any possibility at all to leave the vehicle to photograph animals? I am willing to take a small amount of risk in order to get some quality photographs.

What will be the biggest difference between Southern Africa and Eastern Africa, other than the obvious?

Thanks. I just don't yet feel like I know enough to start really getting pumped up about this hopeful trip that is only 17 weeks away.
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Oct 29th, 2005, 08:15 PM
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What different animals will I see in Tanzania than in Southern Africa?

Around the crater and in Manyara I saw Blue (also called Black) monkeys that I don't think I ever saw in Southern Africa. Thomson and Grant Gazelles are plentiful, especially in the Serengeti. Black Rhino are at the crater along with flamingos. You could have seen rhino in South Africa, though. Compared to Zambia the cheetah opportunity presents itself, but again South Africa has cheetah.

Also you will most likely see greater numbers of wildebeest in Tanzania than you've seen, along with zebra, and with luck you may witness some births.

How close will we get to lions? Equally close if the lions are willing.

Camps--have not been to yours, but I am sure you'll be pleased.
Food--It was great.

Guides--I could not tell a difference in spotting skills. The potential for greener, unprofessional guides is greater in Tanzania, I believe. But going with a realiable top of the line Tanzanian company should prevent you from getting them. Walking/canoeing guides (Southern Africa) just have a level of training and expertise that is not present in driving guides (Tanzania), so in that respect I think there is a difference.

Leaving the vehicle? I recall getting out at the hippo pool in Manyara and getting some great hippo shots. I think Manyara now offers more walking/canoeing than when I was there. I also recall stretching my legs at a hippo pool at the crater. That was all the out of vehicle activities I did, other than pit stops.

A positive big difference should be the abundance of wildlife at the time you are going in the way of herds. Also just the vastness of the Serengeti.

Another positive difference is your own private vehicle.

A negative difference is the number of people will just be more in Tanzania. Your choice of small camps will minimize this effect.

A Feb/Mar Tanzania trip should be awesome. I'm pumped for mine, even though it is over half a decade away.
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Oct 30th, 2005, 01:15 AM
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There are some opportunities to get out of the vehile in East African parks, though only in areas deemed safe. A few I can remember: hippo pool in Seronera Valley, Serengeti, lunch on a kopje in the shortgrass plains (after a full circle to check for lions), Lake Manyara, where I got a good shot of an elephant and calf.

I also went on a guided walk from the Serena Lodge in Amboseli. Similar walks are offered from the Serengeti Serena, but were cancelled when I was there because rains had caused the grass to grow too long.
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Oct 30th, 2005, 08:02 AM
  #4
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Thanks for the responses. I am really starting to look forward to this trip.

What about dust??? Will this be a problem anywhere??? I start out in Lake Manyara on Feb. 27th and my final night in the Serengeti is on Mar 09th???
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Oct 30th, 2005, 09:48 AM
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I assume you are worried about dust affecting a digital camera. If so, don't worry about it, but there are a few things you can do to minimise the problem. Keep the camera in a bag when you are travelling on dusty roads, taking it out only when you stop for a sighting. If you have a dSLR, be careful when changing lenses. I prefer to leave my long lens on the dSLR body, and use a p&s for the closeup shots.
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