Safari/Lodging Questions for Sept. Safari

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Feb 5th, 2003, 07:20 AM
  #1
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Safari/Lodging Questions for Sept. Safari

Hi All!
I need your help. My fiance and I are currently planning our honeymoon for this Sept/Oct. We will be leaving late Sept. and coming back mid October. Our trip is 12 days long (including flying time). We are currently planning our safari trip through 2Afrika; I have heard many good things about this tour company on these boards. We will be doing the 9-day Snows of Kilimanjaro route with three days added on at Zanzibar for some rest and relaxation. I was hoping you all could tell me if you have stayed at any sopa lodges or any of the lodges this safari includes. If you have, what are the rooms and food like? I am excited about the safaris, but I would also like to be comfortable.
One more question, what inoculations did you get and where did you get them? I looked at the CDC website and printed the list off that they suggest getting. Did you get all the ones they recommended? And where/who did you call to get them...your doctor? Thanks for all your help.
My fiance and I are very excited and are hoping this will be a vacation we never forget. It is definitely a splurge for us. Your quick replies would be greatly appreciated as we are/were close to booking with 2Afrika.
Thanks,
Kristy
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Feb 5th, 2003, 08:17 AM
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Jed
 
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We stayed at Ngorongoro and Serengeti Sopas, and the rooms and food were very good to excellent. You can see my report, "Road to Zanzibar" under Tanzania. Which ones are on your itinerary?

As to health concerns, your best bet is to go to a medical specialist in travel. You might ask your doctor, or call your hospital or county medical association.
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Feb 5th, 2003, 08:30 AM
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I also stayed at both the Ngorongoro and Serengeti Sopa Lodges, and found them very comfortable, hearty food (buffet with large selection) and nice pools, especially the pool at the Ngorongoro Sopa. The lodges are in excellent locations -- the Ngorongoro Sopa has its own path down into the crater.

Your doctor should be able to advise with respect to shots, but may have to order some of them if not in stock.
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Feb 5th, 2003, 09:13 AM
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my husband and i are going to africa this june. we went to our travel clinic for some of the innoculations. we then found out that our insurance would cover the cost and we obtained the rest of the innoculations at our doctor's office.
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Feb 5th, 2003, 12:27 PM
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my health insurance would not cover the immunizations. i went to the county health department and they were cheaper there than at the doctor's office.

I got all that were recommended for the area - would rather never have to say "i wish i had gotten that shot".

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Feb 5th, 2003, 12:53 PM
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Kristy, I too will vouch for the accommodations and food at the Sopa Lodges Serengetti and Ngorongora. I have posted under "Tanzania and back" if you care to read more. Also, I would be glad to share a couple of scanned photos of the various facilities including the Sopa lodges and the tented lodge. I don't know if email addresses are permitted within posts but here goes [email protected]

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Feb 6th, 2003, 03:05 AM
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Thank you so much for all of your quick replies; you have definitely put my mind at ease concerning our accomodations.
We are staying at:
Ilboru Safari Lodge (1 night)
Tarangire Sopa Lodge (1 night)
Serengeti Sopa Lodge (2 nights)
Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge (2 nights)
Karafuu Beach Resort-Zanzibar(2nights)
Zanzibar Serena Inn (1 night)

Anything in particular you all know about these? You have been so helpful already.
I am also starting to make a list of things for us to pack, odds and ends things. Anything you think we will forget or wish you had?

Again, thank you so much!!!
Kristy
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Feb 6th, 2003, 03:28 AM
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Aside from the normal things you might pack for a trip if there was one thing I would be sure to have it would be the little towelette packets for washing your hands when away from hot soapy water. Sure came in handy for cleaning up before taking lunch in the field.
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Feb 6th, 2003, 04:02 AM
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Hi, I just posted some pictures from our Christmas Tanzania and Zanzibar Safari and thought you might be interested. http://www.msnusers.com/daltonadventures/shoebox.msnw
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Feb 6th, 2003, 05:39 AM
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Beautiful pictures Chris, thanks for sharing the site. What kind of camera did you use for those? Did you take along an extra zoom lens for further distances? And, I promise, only one more question.. What kind of film did you use? I'm not very experienced with our 35mm yet, so I'm not sure which film/film speed would be the best. I already have several roles of 400/800 speed as well as some black/white film, but I'm beginning to think that 200 speed would be better. What do you think? (A little background on my camera: it can be used as either an automatic 35mm or one you adjust manually. So far we have only used the automatic part, since we are so inexperienced in the other parts of it.)
Thanks for you help and again, beautiful pictures!
Kristy
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Feb 6th, 2003, 05:57 AM
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Hi Kristy, Actually all those shots were taken off our digital video footage by using editing software. This was our second safari. The first time we took a 35mm with zoom and our DVC, this time we took only our DVC since neither my husband or I are experienced photographers it is simpler and less of a nuisance. Our DVC has a built in 16x optical stabilizer that we found invaluable on our 2 safaris. There is a thread on this board that deals extensively on the photography subject.
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Feb 6th, 2003, 04:58 PM
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Chris:

Your pictures are really great!!!
You are so lucky to have seen all of the kills!

I hope we have some pictures like that when we go in September.

Ingrid
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Feb 19th, 2003, 12:32 AM
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The Sopa Lodges are indeed comfortable, and offer good food and accommodation. Having said that, I think their competitors, Serena Lodges, have a slight edge. You won't go wrong with Sopa, though. I stayed at the Ngorongoro Sopa, which offers a spectacular view over the crater,and is the only lodge at that location with a swimming pool. You can visit their website at www.sopalodges.com for more detailed info.
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Apr 12th, 2003, 08:57 PM
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Kristy,

even, i am going on a safari throught
the same 2afrika company in early october. hopefully, it
should be a memorable experience.

regarding photography, are you taking
an SLR or point and shoot 35 mm.

i would recommend you take an SLR camera
with a regular lens and telephoto lens or just one lens that can zoom from
28(35) to 300 mm.

for film, you can safely use 400 speed as general purpose film(you can catch some action that way) and 800 or above
if shooting in dim light.


- reddy
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Apr 12th, 2003, 09:48 PM
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Hello KristyRyan,

As per your health concerns, the best thing is go to a tropical disease centre-that is essential.
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Apr 13th, 2003, 04:25 AM
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When we went to Kenya and Tanzania last year, I contacted the Department of Health and Human Services here in our state. They gave us the name of travel clinics. We got Hep A (for obvious reasons), yellow fever, typhoid, booster shots and an anti-maleria prescription. Our insurance company reimbursed us for the cost. Have a wonderful trip!!
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Apr 13th, 2003, 05:53 PM
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Kristy,
I haven't done the safari thing in Tanzania but I have visited the Serena Inn on Zanzibar (though we stayed at Emerson and Green which is a wonderful Arabian Nights style converted old house in the Stone Town... you must go to their rooftop restaurant for dinner) Anyway, the Serena looks lovely and in terms of a more modern hotel with style and a pool it is certainly the best hotel in the area with a good location and a lovely view over the water.
Hope thazt helps.
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Apr 14th, 2003, 06:02 AM
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nkh
 
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Hi Kristy

My husband and I went to 2 different travel clinics (near job locations) and got pretty similar recommendations: yellow fever, typhoid, hepatitis A, hepatitis B (Twinrix combo available), TETANUS, polio. Also you probably want to test whether you are immune to measles, and if not definitely get a booster for that (MMR is the common booster)

One doctor suggested meningitis might be a good idea but the other said it isnt necessary - we opted no. Rabies also not considered necessary by either doctor.

Our doctors didnt want to give all shots in one visit - and some like Twinrix actually need multiple shots 1 month apart. We are going to Africa(with 2afrika as well) in June, and went in for our first shots in March - this seems to have been a good time period to allow since the last shots will be given in early May.

Anti-malarial prescription a must. We also were given prescriptions for cipro (broad spectrum antibiotic "just in case")

Valuable advice from my husbands doctor
"the difference between a wonderful African experience and a terrible one can be as simple as how much Imodium you take along - make sure you take enough tablets for you to be on them the whole time if necessary!"

Have a great trip!
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Apr 14th, 2003, 07:13 AM
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Thanks everyone for your replies back. I must admit that Ryan and I haven't booked our trip yet; we are waiting to see how things develop in the Middle East and Eastern Africa. I have many family members nervous about our decision. I must admit though, that the closer we get to ending the War in Iraq, the more I anticipate our trip to Africa.

To answer the questions:
Thanks for your insight and revival of this thread. To answer your questions, we will be taking my Canon Rebel 2000 (SLR); my fiance bought this for me a couple of months ago, but I am just starting to get the hang of it. We will be purchasing a 28-300mm lens. If you have any recommendations, that would be wonderful. I am also finding that I prefer to use 400 speed film (and also sometimes black and white film), so we will probably stick with that speed in Africa. I can't seem to ever get my 800 speed pictures to turn out clear (they also seem to be 'grainy').

I will contact our state health department for information on vaccinations and places that offer them. I will also be contacting my insurance company and family doctor as well. I figured that we will take care of this in May, which gives us 4 months to get all of the shots in.

Thank you so much everyone for all of your information and advice. I have been to Europe several times, but nothing as risky or exciting as this trip could/will be.

Please keep the information coming in. Any clothing recommendations? Any other things we should definitely not forget?
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Apr 14th, 2003, 07:42 AM
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I am by no means any type of expert on camera equipment but I am taking a couple of photography courses (to be ready for my next safari!) and have friends who are professional photographers (one wildlife, one photojournalism).

With that being said, I am told that the glass in a camera lens is more important than the camera body. All recommendations so far have been for Nikon lenses. With Nikon being very very expensive, Sigma was recommended as a good "cheap" lens. I was told do not buy Quantum.
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