Safari Vehicles

Sep 3rd, 2001, 12:58 PM
Posts: n/a
Safari Vehicles

Hello! We are planning a safari to Kenya and Tanzinia, and could use some guidance regarding the types of vehicles to travel in. One company tells us that we will travel by minibus in Kenya and via 4x4s in Tanzinia. I am concerened about traveling in minibuses because it sounds so touristy, but if that is standard than, hey, we'll do that.

Many thanks for any insights you can offer!

Sep 4th, 2001, 03:05 AM
Sandgrouse Tours & Safaris Ltd
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The advice of that Company regarding using Microbus in Kenya & 4WD vehicle in Tanzania is OK. If you like also you can request a 4WD microbus in Tanzania. In Tanzania we usually use 4WD vehicle, specifically for going down the Crater in Ngorongoro. 4WD Vehicle are comfortable than normal microbus.
Sep 4th, 2001, 03:09 AM
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Minibus is the normal and cheapest way of doing a safari. You could also hire a private 4WD with a driver and ranger, but this will cost much much more. DO minibuses sound touristy? Well, a safari IS for tourists and you will meet lots of them ...
Sep 4th, 2001, 01:19 PM
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We travelled with Abercrombie & Kent last August in Kenya and we ussed mini-buses in Amboseli National Park and the Samburu Reserve but a 4X4 in the Masai Mara. I too was a little concerned about the minibuses but they worked out nicely--in fact, you are paying so much attention to the wildlife and your surroundings that the vehicle you are in really does not matter. To answer your questions, most of the other groups we saw were also using the minibus and so I think they are pretty standard. Have a great trip!
Sep 24th, 2001, 05:42 PM
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Here are our observations regarding safari vehicles. The term "land rover/cruiser" can be very misleading. A true "Land Rover" with Mercedes engine can go anywhere with no problem -through the mud, through the bush. A Toyota "Land Cruiser" van is a different matter. And other types of vans are also loosely referred to as "cruisers", "rovers", etc. We saw quite a few vans broken down in all the game reserves during our trip. We saw people sitting for hours in the sun waiting for a new fan belt to arrive. Some, but not all, vehicles have radios for assistance. Many lesser companies do not provide radios. Our driver had to radio for help many times to assist another company's vehicle with no means of helping themselves. We saw six people from a broken down van piled into a van that already contained six people to continue their tour of Ngorongoro Crater. Even in some of the more "luxurious" camps the vehicles are barely adequate. Ask how many people will be in each vehicle, how many people does the van hold max, are you guaranteed a window seat at all times, what is the configuration of the roof hatches (this makes a big difference if you are a photographer). Ask for written confirmation - sometimes things get lost in the translation from USA to Africa.

In Kenya we used the mini-vans. They are o.k., but very difficult if you are over 6 ft. tall - the pop tops don't go up high enough for a tall person to stand up straight and the windows are so low that I had to slump to see out. At Little Governors Camp, we used camp owned vehicles, 4 wheel land cruisers - these were old and not at all adequate for more than 4 people to game view. Six people had been assigned to each. We insisted on 4 people per vehicle which was accommodated nicely. Our preference are the real open sided, 4-wheel drive Land Rovers. You see the most without obstructions.
Nov 24th, 2001, 03:44 AM
Posts: n/a use open sided Land Rovers
When staying in four different camps usually only two of us and a driver were in a vehicle.
Only in Maasai Mara there were others (and many) vehicles and in three other camps we met maybe one or two other cars during our game drives
Nov 25th, 2001, 07:20 AM
Posts: n/a
When we visited Kenya and Tanzania we were also mostly in those minivans and they were OK but I found view and movement restricted. Unfortunately they were mostly the norm.

When we visited Botswana this year all the camps used open vehicules. Have a look at the images on the link below, which is one of the camps we stayed at and it includes some pictures of the land rovers used.

These are completely open at sides and top, long wheel based landrover defenders according to husband, and can deal with any terrain, including pretty deep water.

However I dont know if these are even in use in Kenya or Tanzania.

Nov 29th, 2001, 10:11 AM
Posts: n/a
Hi Kevy:
Would be a good idea for you to read a previous post that clearly stated about open vehicules being used in Kenya
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