Safety on Mobile Camping Safari


Jan 13th, 2006, 08:07 PM
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Safety on Mobile Camping Safari

Two friends and I are going on a camping safari in Kenya and Tanzania (Masai Mara, Nakuru, Amboseli, L.Manyara, Ngorongoro Crater, and Serengeti)

Can anyone comment about the safety of mobile tent camping in these national parks?

1. Is it safe in terms of being robbed (i've herd bad reports in some parks like the Mara)?

2. Is it safe in terms of the wildlife in camp at night with only a canvas tent between you and the criters?

I realize their are risks to everything, but I'm especailly concerned with the robbery factor as i will have some expensive cameras with me.

Thanks for your comments!
Jiman is offline  
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Jan 14th, 2006, 02:18 AM
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Hi Jiman I was quite worried tooo. I have yet to go on a mobile camping safari but there are lots of people who have done it, and there has been no bad incident. I did 2 posts previously on the safety and quality of the campsites I am reposting them on top for you, Sonali.
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Jan 14th, 2006, 03:54 AM
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Re robbery - assume you will be taking all that expensive camera gear with you each day? - else why lug it all the way from home?

Canvas walls? well, your tour captain, or whatever you would call him/her, is bound to tell you not to leave your tent at night - and with good reason. Now this is a problem if you need to wee - in which case men can use a bottle, and women (if they absolutely have to) just unzip the flap and piss as close as possible to the tent, and then climb back in as fast as you can!!

But maybe you will have en-suite and the above is totally irrelevant.

I did once hear a story about some travellers who pitched a tent under a tree, and in the night they felt it swaying, and the earth shook. They stayed where they were. In the morning the tree was a wreck. Elephants had visited but had carefully stepped around the tent.

You've booked your trip - no need to stress out with "is it safe".

Have fun.
fuzzylogic is offline  
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Jan 14th, 2006, 06:11 AM
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Hi Jiman
i wouldn't worry about either.
@ Animals:
U know those places r flooded by tourists....
my own experience with the most dangerous animals: hippos were grazing near or even among tents on a number of occasions (Baringo Naivasha..). Hundreds of Buffaloes within torch distance (Tsavo East Aruba)
Years ago at Amboseli Elephants &even Lions were entering the campsite regularly (though they closed this site) u could hear the elephants stripping the trees right next to the tent.
But usually animals tend to stay away.
Take sonali's advice
@@ Robbing: The Maasai have an interest to prevent it.
(some frontier places r known for "Shiftas" thus people use an escorted caravan but it's out of your itinerary)
The cases i remember were in Mara near the Kenya-Tz border by armed men coming & returning across the border.
In Mara there was an incident many years ago at Kichwa Tembo - on the far remote edge of the park.
Don't u worry about car accidents?
How is it near your Home ???
....Be happy
aby is offline  
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Jan 14th, 2006, 06:13 AM
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sorry i meant fuzzylogic advice
aby is offline  
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Jan 14th, 2006, 06:27 AM
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1. Is it safe in terms of being robbed?

As safe, if not safer, than most places in the world. The Mara has had a few rare incidents of robbery, but far fewer robberies than where I live or than most cities you might consider visiting.

2. Is it safe in terms of the wildlife in camp at night with only a canvas tent between you and the criters?

That tale of the elephants carefully avoiding the tents is a good one, and typical of that species and others. The animals see the canvas as a solid object to go around and not run into. There are no problems if you stay in your tent. The only problems I am aware of is when people go wandering around at night or when when one guy slept with his feet hanging outside his zipped tent.

If you travel with a reputable operator, you will be fine. Your itinerary of parks looks great. When are you going?

Mobile camping is an ideal way to experience Africa and even has advantages over luxury permanent camps. When you get back, you'll be a good resource for others who have these same camping concerns.
atravelynn is offline  
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Jan 14th, 2006, 11:25 AM
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3. A non-safety question for the campers. I am a grazer--prefer little snacks to big meals. On our last trip, we had brought some nuts/dried fruit along with us. Now I'm reading not to leave any food in your tents (monkeys, baboons, creepy crawlies). Where do you all keep this stuff? Also, I need to eat something with meds. Last time we took Doxy first thing in the a.m. b/c we were advised not to take it with dairy, so I always woke up well before breakfast and took it with these snack items. Advice? Or is this not a big deal?

Sorry for getting a little off topic, Jiman.
Leely is offline  
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Jan 14th, 2006, 11:36 AM
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good question leely. I was planning to take power bars.
bat is offline  
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Jan 14th, 2006, 01:04 PM
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If you're on a private safari, you can always leave the "goodies" in the cool box in the vehicle. Take your doxy when you go out on the morning drive. As to keeping food items in your tent, especially mobile camps, I wouldn't chance it.

A friend returned to her tent and found only the wrapper, the goodies gone... another found the gum wrapper, gum gone and this was when she awoke in the morning. The gum was taken right out of her backpack, though everything else was messy, but intact. Those rascal Vervets (probably) just wanted the sweets!

However, some camps weve stayed have provided a fruit basket... we ate some, left the remainder and nothing was ever touched.

As to valuables (money, passport, airline tickets, camera), take what you can with you whenever possible, other items can be kept in lodge/camp safes.

But this isn't much different whether on safari or in a big city. Just because you're on vacation, you can't leave your common sense at home.
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Jan 14th, 2006, 01:31 PM
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Hi Sandi,

Tented camps have safes, that's good to know. Thanks, Jack
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Jan 14th, 2006, 03:20 PM
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Hi Sandi,
Thanks for the response; it makes perfect sense. I think I have a residual "don't leave food in cars" fear because of camping here in California--bears will do a number on your vehicle!
Leely is offline  
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Jan 14th, 2006, 05:50 PM
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I also need to bring a trunk load of meds. most of which are better taken with food. I may bring some boni bell or cheese sticks that doesn't need ref. in a double wrapped baggy or a small tupperware container. Maybe I'll place it under my DH's pillow just in case ,
cybor is offline  
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Jan 14th, 2006, 06:27 PM
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Some of the guys on our mobile safari had food in their tents - snack bars, biltong, candy bars etc. Nothing was ever bothered.

We heard elephants, hyena and lions at night, mosty hyenas and they are a scary sound, but nothing happened with us inside then tents.

At our last camp, the wife of the owner told us about a camping experience they had where elephants completely surrounded their tents and they were scared to death but remained safe inside their tent.

We camped out for almost 2 weeks and I was never scared and I felt safe. Good luck with your trip!
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