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Take away the hippos and crocs and is Selous still as thrilling???

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Nov 23rd, 2003, 02:15 PM
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Take away the hippos and crocs and is Selous still as thrilling???

Just having visited South Luangwa five months ago, I have had my fill of hippos and crocs. While I loved seeing all the hippos, I was both frustrated at them for not posing for me, allowing for any quality photos, and frightened awake by them when they were five feet away from me, waking me by crunching on the vegetation right outside my chalet at Kafunta.

Having read some nice reviews of Tarangire, and the abundance of game in Tarangire, I must choose whether I want to make the trek to Southern Tanzania, or if I should just stay further north at Tarangire.

By the descriptions I have heard of Selous, it sounds great, but it also sounds very similar to South Luangwa, especially the part of South Luangwa I stayed at while at the Kafunta Island Bush Lodge (four hours away from Kafunta River Lodge that was located near Mfuwe).

The South Luangwa was full of majestic Baobab Trees, towering termite mounds, palm trees and other interesting vegetation. Like I have heard about Selous, the animals were more skittish in South Luangwa than in the more commercialized areas such as the game parks such as Singita and Djuma Vuyatela in the Sabi Sand.

I guess it is a delicate balance. While it was a little frustrating to have only a few good photo opportunities in the South Luangwa, it was also frustrating that while at Djuma Vuyatela that the animals, including leopards and lions, were SO tame.

Although I was able to get some great photos at Djuma Vuyatela, while the photos were being taken, most moments were honestly anticlimatic and more often than not, the animals just sat there and it was the vehicle that ended up leaving after we all had our fill.

At least in South Luangwa, we really had to do some serious tracking and once spotted, the animals were that much more interesting, especially on one occasion when we tracked down a den of 10 lions, and one of the lionesses got up to seemingly leave, but instead of going away from the vehicle, she covered about half of the 20' cushion between us, before turning tail.

So, I guess the question is how much true wilderness is wanted. But also, I don't want to pay $850 per night at River Sands in Selous for what I can get for 1/2 or 1/3 in South Luangwa.

Is Tarangire accessible by road from the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater area??? Anything that would eliminate a flight would be smiled upon, since STD hates flying in smaller planes, and it would be hard to imagine that any plane except possibly a 15 seater would fly to Selous.

Lastly, is there any possibility that I may witness the Migration during early to mid June??? If so, where would be the best possibility to do so???

Thanks.
Roccco is offline  
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Nov 24th, 2003, 06:06 AM
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Roccco: Having never been to South Luangwa, I cannot compare between it and Selous. What I do feel comfortable saying is that Selous will offer you a different safari experience than what you will have elsewhere in Tanzania. Tarangire is about a two hour drive from Arusha, so it is obviously much easier to get to than Selous. Like Selous, we found Tarangire less "crowded" than the Crater. We went to both Selous and Tarangire during the peak of the dry season, and at both locations there was abundant wildlife anywhere near water. Both Selous and Tarangire have massive baobab trees and termite mounds. But what we could not do inside Tarangire was walk on foot and immerse ourselves in a "walking" safari. You can do this in Selous. And while we found Tarangire less crowded than Selous, we still did see other vehicles. In Selous, ours was the only vehicle to be seen for miles and miles and hours on end. What will you see in Selous that you can't in Tarangire? Selous is one of the best places for wild (or as they prefer now, "painted") dogs. Also, Selous is the location of a massive and lengthy rhino study. While rare to see them, there is supposedly a healthy population of rhino. As for hippos keeping you up at night in Selous, the chalets are built up, so you are not at ground level. That's my two cents worth ... What I really think you should do is just extend your stay and do both Tarangire and Selous!
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