Planning an East African Safari in Aug 2008

Old Dec 13th, 2007, 05:51 AM
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Planning an East African Safari in Aug 2008

We are planning an East African Safari in the second week of Aug 2008 and are communicating with two tour operators - and Hoopoe Safaris. Has anyone worked with either of these companies before ? Any comments would be most appreciated. Would a visit to the Serengeti or the Masai Mara be recommended at this time if we are trying to catch the Great Migration ? Thanks.
tingle is offline  
Old Dec 13th, 2007, 07:28 AM
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The last negative post regarding Go2Africa suddenly appeared on many threads. Despite requests for more details, none were ever given. Iíve never traveled with Go2Africa, but I would.

Not much on them. Iíve seen this company mentioned in various travel books/guides.

August = Mara for migration.

Donít delay. Properties are filling fast for this popular time in East Africa.
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Old Dec 13th, 2007, 11:59 AM
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When planning our first safari in Kenya, I found that go2africa's pricing wasn't competitive with local Kenyan operators when comparing quotes for custom/private itineraries. I understand that they also offer set group departures, so if you're considering one of these, my comments may not apply.
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Old Dec 13th, 2007, 12:53 PM
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Tingle, how many nights are you planning to spend in the serengeti,mara eco-system, depending on rains the herds move between northern serengeti and the mara, but in august, mara should be the best, try to be in the southern western region of the mara and the mara triangle region for best spottings, Sonali
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Old Dec 14th, 2007, 04:29 AM
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then you will catch a the great migration.
i have never travel with either save for the negatives in many threands about
from the mara(mara serena) the sighting is spectacular.
Explore other tour/safari operators.
I have become used to planning my safaris will local safari operators(budget)for that personalised quality service and have never been disappointed.hitch free planning.
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Old Dec 16th, 2007, 09:07 AM
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I went on a Safari in mid to late August this year. We found that the wildes were not in the Mara at all . Fortunately we had also booked Sayari which is in the Serengeti but close to the Mara and were able to see a crossing of 300,000 animals.

We stayed at Little Governors in the Mara and had an excellent safari there-- just no migration.
I had corresponded with Go2 Africa but found that Africa Serendipiti actually listened to what WE wanted instead of pushing us to do what the travel agent receommended. If not for all the folks on Fodors who guided me and Sandi who put together an excellent package--I may have listened to an unscrupulous agent who told me that the wildes would be at Migration Camp during mid August!

If you want to see my pictures and review you could find it through my name. Enjoy!
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Old Dec 16th, 2007, 02:21 PM
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DanaPhx has done lots of Mara travel in Aug and early Sept. and she recapped her experiences on another thread. If you didnít already see it, Iíve copied it. Interestingly she also noted that last year the large herds were not present, at least during her stay.

<i>2003 - August (8/12-8/26) - Very decent-good action around the Fig Tree area and Serena

2004 - August (8/16-9/3) - Decent - especially around the Serena

2005 - August (8/4-8/25) - Very good - around Kichwa Tembo and Serena

2006 - Sept (9/4-9/22) - Excellent - wildebeasts/zebras all over the place-you could hardly move around (I mean tens of thousands)-Some of the best crossings ever at all the major crossing points. The only downside was that there were SO many wildebeasts around that the ellies hardly ever came down from the escarpment. Since ellies are my favorite I was disappointed in that. To comment on cary999's statement about not seeing huge herds. The herds started coming in around 9/9 or so and continued on thruout our stay, so don't understand how you missed the big herds as I'm pretty sure Little Governor's is on the same side of the river at Kichwa Tembo?

2007 - Sept (9/5-9/23) - So, So - Some good crossings, but the wildebeasts were really spread out all over the place and couldn't decide if they wanted to stay in Kenya or Tanzania. I was a happy camper 'cause there were lots and lots of ellies around.

Regarding the agent who said the wildes would be in a specific location at at specific time, I'd be wary of any such claims. You never know for sure.

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Old Dec 18th, 2007, 09:33 AM
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Thank you so much for the extremely useful advice and comments. They are very much appreciated. Seems the general view is that Go2Africa is great for South African trips but a little on the pricey side for East African ones. We will definitely get a few quotes from the local companies before making a final decision.

As for our itinerary, we are thinking of spending 2 nights each in the Tarangire, Lake Manyara and Ngorongoro Crater, and 3 nights in the Masai Mara, skipping the Serengeti altogether. We understand that the migration is difficult to predict and hope that this makes sense for the 10 Aug to 19 Aug time period.

Thanks again for all the help !
tingle is offline  
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