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OAT ultimate africa versus best of kenya and tanzania

OAT ultimate africa versus best of kenya and tanzania

Jul 29th, 2007, 12:50 PM
  #1  
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OAT ultimate africa versus best of kenya and tanzania

We are becoming concerned about a recent booking with OAT for Ultimate Africa during December and January with regard to game sightings. Would Best of Kenya and Tanzania be a better choice at that time. Has anyone been on the latter trip and is willing to comment?
clarkjd is offline  
Jul 29th, 2007, 04:38 PM
  #2  
 
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I've been on the Best of Kenya and Tanzania trip, and can tell you about the trip itself, but I can't tell you which countries would have better game that time of year.

Hopefully, you'll get some good answers from all the experts on the forum.
ann_nyc is offline  
Jul 29th, 2007, 05:52 PM
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First, let me say that I'm no expert as I've only taken one trip to Africa, OAT's Ultimate April/May 2005. After Sept 7, I can say I've taken 2 trips to Africa as we're leaving August 17 for OAT's best of Kenya/Tanzania but....

There is a neat safari chart at www.bornfreesafaris.com/best_travel.htm.

It lists countries and parks and rates them by month on a scale of 1 to 4. 1=poor, 2=fair, 3=good and 4 = excellent.

According to the chart December and January rate a 1 in Chobe and Moremi and 1 in Hwange. Does not look promising for Ultimate Africa.

Amboseli and Masai Mara rate a 3+ in December and a 3 in January. Tarangire rates a 2 in December and January, Manyara/Crater, and Serengeti South rate a 4 in both months. Serengeti North gets 4 in December and 2 in January. So if the chart is correct it looks good for the Best of Kenya and Tanzania.

BTW, I LOVED the Ultimate Africa trip! Flying from camp to camp in small planes, landing in the middle of nowhere to be picked up by LandRovers or walking from the airstrip to a river to take a boat to camp.....WOW!
arkay is offline  
Jul 30th, 2007, 07:28 AM
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December/January is considered to be the rainy season in both locations. That affects your game viewing in several ways: with open vehicles, you and your gear may get wet; the grass is high, which makes it difficult to see the animals; water is plentiful, so the animals are dispersed; roads may be impassible. Weather patterns are changing in Africa, though, so there is no guarantee that it will be raining in the "rainy" season, or dry in the "dry season."
ShayTay is offline  
Jul 30th, 2007, 07:50 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
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We went in July and were very pleased with our game sightings. Really, everything on the list except rhinos. In truth, only a quick glimpse of a leopard, but who's counting? Before going I asked OAT to put me in touch with a real person who had taken their Ultimate Africa trip previously. They seemed quite surprised at the request, but did come through with the name of one of their frequent travelers. I called and interviewed him about pretty much everything. He had taken the trip in December and loved everything, except the amount of game they had seen. With the rainy season, the grass was high and the leaves were on the bushes and trees making it very hard to see the animals. He said they did not see one lion on the entire trip. I contrast that with dozens we saw, in various conditions, some quite close up, on our July trip.
mossway1 is offline  
Jul 30th, 2007, 08:10 AM
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January is a great time to go to Tanzania because the big herds of wildebeest and zebras usually start to gather on the south Serengeti to graze on the short grass plains. It's also considered the "short dry" season. Kenya isn't as good that time of year, most photographers consider August and September to be the ideal months.

You can view some of the photos we took during a very dry January 2006 and a damp January 2007 (after a very wet December) in Tanzania from this link to get an idea of what to expect ... so long as the OAT trip is going to these same places you should see hundreds of thousands of animals ... this past January for example we had 170 lion sightings and 20 cheetah sightings, plus the usual million wildebeests etc.

http://members.aol.com/bhilton665/africa/

Tanzania in January is hard to beat.

Bill
Bill_H is offline  
Jul 30th, 2007, 09:01 AM
  #7  
 
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Clarkjd,

If I were you, I'd change to the Kenya-Tanzania itinerary for exactly the reason you are concerned about. I'm sure OAT would let you switch.

You can also tell which of the two trips offers the destination in its prime by looking at what months the price peaks for each trip.

Also check the weather:

Kenya
http://www.classicescapes.com/ke-weather.html

Tanzania
http://www.classicescapes.com/ta-weather.html

Botswana, especially Maun
http://www.classicescapes.com/bw-weather.html

Here is another chart on where is best when.
http://www.africa-adventure.com/dsp_besttime.html

Please let us know what you decide.

Arkay,
Your link was a great resource and one I have not seen. I saved it.


atravelynn is offline  
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