Starting research now for 2012 safari.

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Jan 9th, 2011, 07:47 AM
  #1
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Starting research now for 2012 safari.

My husband and I went to Kenya in Sept. 2010. We are planning another safari in 2012. We are yet undecided about when and where. We stayed at 3 Porini camps on our trip and I would be more then happy to return there! We are thinking Tanzania would be a nice place to start and finish up at either Porini Amboseli or Lion camp. My question is, Does anyone out there have experience at either Ruaha or Selous area camps. Neither of us wants to stay in lodges and would prefer a camp similar to the Porini experience. The Porini camps have in- suite bathrooms with bucket showers, solar power, open sided vehicle game drives and is all inclusive including alcohol (Tuskers, gin and wine). Their guides where the best! I have looked at several places on line but would really hear others opinions!
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Jan 9th, 2011, 08:50 AM
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I have been to both Ruaha and Selous in Jan of 2010. See my trip report. Happy to answer additional questions.
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Jan 9th, 2011, 10:16 AM
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We were in Ruaha and Selous in September 2007. My trip report is also on this forum.
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Jan 9th, 2011, 10:58 AM
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I plan to visit these parks on my next trip to Tanzania. There are some outstanding tented camps in both parks. I have been looking at Lake Manze camp and Mdonya Old River Camp in Selous and Mwagusi Camp in Ruaha. Mwagusi is higher priced but seems like a fantastic camp based on what I have read. What month are you planning on going? How was the vehicle traffic around the Porini camps in Kenya?
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Jan 9th, 2011, 11:54 AM
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Raelond, the traffic around the Porini camps was minimal when we where there. All 3 of the camps we stayed at where on private conservancies so the only traffic was from other camps staying on the same conservancies. Porini Amboseli is the only camp on the Selankey conservancy so Porini traffic was all there was to deal with. A max of 2 vehicles (all from the camp itself) while we were there. The traffic while inside Amboseli Park itself was fairly heavy. Rhino camp was on Ol Pejeta conservancy and there were only 3(maybe 4) other camps there. We saw maybe 2-4 vehicles while we were on game drives.
Porini Lion camp is on the Olare Orok conservancy traffic was light. But inside the Mara traffic was pretty heavy. But we where there in Sept. towards the end of the migration.
We're going to go to Ruaha and Selous in Aug/Sept 2012. I have been looking at Mwagusi Camp and Jongomero Camp at Ruaha and haven't started looking at Selous yet. Any input is appreciated.
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Jan 9th, 2011, 12:35 PM
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Mwagausi Camp is in a better location than Jongomero and a more rustic camp, all about the guiding, from what I have read. In Selous, Impala camp also looks good and has a fly camp which I am interested in doing for a night. We will also be going to Katavi and Mahale.
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Nov 26th, 2011, 09:48 PM
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hello

when are you going?

think it was 2006, we have been to Jongomero and Selous Safari Camp  - both very nice, good service and excursions
also stayed at Impala and Old MAdonya - a bit more basic but still good service. wanted to see wild dogs on this trip but no luck.. saw other game but its was not like the big migrating herds in the Mara and serengeti
and one night at Ras Kutani - on the beach - would skip this unless you want to be on beach- saw several honeymooners there

This southern area seems a bit more private and not as crowded as the northern parks -- we also did boat safaris whereas this has not been an option in the north parks

for our next safari we are also considering going back to the southern part of Tanzania...also considering some other camps like Mwagusi - our tour operator VJs Safaris recommended it also as well as Sandriver Camp which is supposedly located on a river - last time we saw a lot of hippos, crocs and birds etc in the river around Selous Camp

hope this is of some help

cheers

joyce
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Nov 26th, 2011, 11:18 PM
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Hi,

I am planning a trip to Tanzania in 2012.

The number of companies to choose from is overwhelming so are the different choices they offer. A company called Pristine Trails (www.pristinetrails.com) comes highly recommended by a friend of a friend. Has any one used this company before? Many of you on this forum have talked of past experiences in the Southern circuit. Which tour company did you use?

Best,

AdventureLaura
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Nov 27th, 2011, 04:52 AM
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I went to Selous and Ruaha in Aug last year and stayed at Old Mdonya in Ruaha and Lake Manze in Selous- both owned by Adventure Camps. My parents were with me and they stayed on a few extra nights at Selous Safari Camp.

For value for money I think Lake Manze and Old Mdonya are pretty unbeatable. As they are cheaper than other camps, they aren't fully inclusive- you have to pay for drinks on top.

Old Mdonya was located a bit apart from other camps, and we did a couple of all day drives. We saw the most game around the Mwagusi area, and if I went back I would probably stay in that area. I see Adventure Camps now have another camp, Kwihala, which seems to be located around that area- I would consider that camp as it seems to be priced between Old Mdonya and Mwagusi.

Lake Manze is well located. My only slight complaint was that our guide seemed a bit lacking in knowledge- it turned out he was new to Selous (from the Serengeti) which explained the blank looks when I asked about Carmine Bee-eaters and when they could be seen in Selous. I got a similarly startled look when he pointed out an owl and I asked what type of owl it was. I got the impression he wasn't used to people showing an interest in anything other than big game.

However, I would definitely go back there. There are nice options for boat trips as well. You can also walk but we didn't do any walks.

My parents enjoyed Selous Safari Camp and I got to have a look at it as I spent a couple of hours there before my flight. Very nice tented rooms- definitely a step up from the other camps. It was more expensive than Lake Manze although I think they had a "stay 4, pay 3" offer on. Those sorts of deals are definitely worth looking out for.

In general, I liked Selous and Ruaha a lot. We saw plenty of good stuff, including wild dogs twice in Selous, lion and leopard in both parks and cheetah in Ruaha. The scenery was lovely and very different between the two, and there weren't many vehicles around.
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Nov 27th, 2011, 07:15 AM
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Hi Adventure Laura

would be glad to recommend VJ's Exotic Safaris to you ...we have used them for last 14 years or so for all our trips....

VJs has arranged many trips for us including 5 trips to India,  5 to Africa and they are presently working on another trip to Africa for us.  They have also, arranged our trips to South America, Thailand,  Borneo and China. In addition to arranging trips for me they has also put together some fabulous trips for some of my friends.

please see my full comments on annah58 other post

hope that will be of help to you

cheers

Joyce
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Nov 28th, 2011, 05:06 AM
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Thank you all for your immediate replies.

Stokeygirl - I have been looking at reviews for the Adventure camps and it sounds like an excellent location. Thank you for your extra input. I also see they have a property in Zanzibar close to Stone Town, looks really good to.

Joyce - I really appreciate your company recommendation. I was hoping to venture with a locally owned tour company as opposed to one that outsources from the West. I and my travel companion see this as a way to contribute to the receiving countries economy, in this case considering Tanzania as an under developed nation.

I am more than happy for recommendations from local companies and options of places to visit in Tanzania & perhaps accommodation (there are quite a lot to choose from)

Thank you all once again for you efforts.

Laura
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Nov 28th, 2011, 06:02 AM
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Hi Laura

thanks for your comments
we are also very much favor of supporting local communities but we consistently found VJs prices and services much better. As we understand it, VJs has sub offices and employs all services locally. over the years, we have been impressed by their involvement and support of local projects and people....have supported some ourselves
over the years, also had found that some local outfitters tend to push their own properties (specially if they own them) there by liming ones choices. SO that is one thing to keep in mind

cheers

Joyce
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Nov 30th, 2011, 05:41 AM
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Selous is far except they is a good camp. Not many people visit and may turn out to be good.If you need to wind your tour in Amboseli then a flight would rather the road.
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Nov 30th, 2011, 07:01 AM
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VJs Exotic though is US-based (nothing wrong with that) and are wholesalers who use 'in-country' outfitters in the specific country to which travelers visit for all that happens on the ground whichever country.

joyik - who were the ground operator/s VJs used in Kenya & Tanzania for your 25/day safari?
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Nov 30th, 2011, 09:52 PM
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Hi Sandi

gosh - lets see our 25 day trip was back in 1997. not sure if I even have that itinerary anymore...or if that would even help answer your question
not sure if I correctly understand your question
from what I recall, since it was 25 days long, there were quite a few different lodges and camps that we stayed at on that trip that covered virtually most of the parks in both Kenya and Tanzania. They were all very nice.. remember staying at Windsor Golf and Country club as well as Mt. Kenya Safari Club...camps were Tortallis, Lewa Downs, Crater Lodge, thinking there were some Serenas and sweetwaters, the Ark as it was unique
there seem to be a lot of new camps and lodges now ...it was a great trip...saw a lot of wiildlife

hope this is of some help to you

cheers

Joyce
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Dec 1st, 2011, 04:33 PM
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Joyce, I think Sandi is asking which ground tour operator company VJs contracted your trip with. Do you remember which company your guides worked for?
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