Sand Rivers - Short trip report

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Aug 16th, 2004, 12:10 AM
  #1
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Sand Rivers - Short trip report


Hi All,
I just returned from 2 weeks in Tanzania that included a 3 night stay at Sand Rivers.

This is a beautiful and remote property. The hippos serenaded us every evening. They are so fun to watch, and so enormous.
We took a boat trip along the River and saw many elephants (including a tiny baby), giraffe, baboons, crocodiles, and hippos.

The second night the elephants were grazing in camp. I spent an hour watching one by moonlight, snacking on trees a mere 2 meters from the Banda. With all the elephant activity, the bush babies were mightily disturbed, and took up residence in my Banda for the night, screeching and running about like children.

I was saddened to learn that game hunting is quite popular on the other side of the river. There were fires burning the brush so game could more easily be seen and hunted.

The highlight of my stay was a 4 hour walking safari with only a rifle carrier and game tracker. We saw lion, buffalo, and porcupine. Lots of eles, giraffes and hippos about too. The landscape was stunning; it was really enjoyable.

This was my first animal safari experience; I must say I was surprised at the confinement I felt. I was unprepared to be escorted everywhere. The physical inactivity was a downer. I wonder if the same is true for the Northern Parks?

Tanzania is as lush and beautiful as ever. Tourism is at an all time high. Planes were packed. Accommodations scarce. Good to see things turning around for this lovely country!
Queenie is offline  
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Aug 16th, 2004, 01:00 AM
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Queenie
At many private camps guests do need to be escorted because the camps are not fenced and, on activities, the cars are open. But for more activity you can choose places that offer bush walks and canoeing and so on. Many places offer walks instead of a drive.
Alternatively you can self drive in South Africa's parks - you'll have independence but you'll be in a closed vehicle and won't be able to walk unless you sign up for a guided one. We enjoyed both experiences immensely as the luxury, lacck of fellow visitors and excellent game viewing in private camps was balanced by the delight of spotting stuff on our own, of having more flexibility in our day and of being on our own when we went DIY.
Kavey is offline  
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Aug 16th, 2004, 05:33 PM
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Queenie: considering all the wildlife you saw while at Sand Rivers (especially the elephants so close to the lodge) does it not make sense you have to be escorted everywhere? With all the hippos there, how would you like to be wandering around on your own and come across one? Being escorted is for your own safety. The northern parks do offer such things as mountain biking (Manyara), walking (Crater conservation area), hot air ballooning ... but you are accompanied by guides at all times up there as well. Selous may not have all those activities, but I bet you were not tripping over other safari vehicles either.
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