Tanzania Safari Booked!!!

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Jul 26th, 2005, 08:54 AM
  #41
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cooncat,

Don't worry...my dogs eat better than I do!

I am constantly getting in trouble for giving them steak, chicken and oooh, today is Chicken McNuggets Tuesday. 6 piece for $1. Each doggie gets their own, all ten of them!!!
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Jul 26th, 2005, 09:41 AM
  #42
 
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cooncat,
Options for Mahale are limited and probably won't cost any less than gorilla trekking in either Rwanda or Uganda, but it's a place that's high on my list for a future visit. I'm still researching the possibilities myself but from what I've found so far, there are some operators that offer scheduled charter departures from Arusha in northern Tanzania directly to Mahale. These depart on a once a week or twice a week rotation.

See this sample itinerary from Flycatcher Safaris -

http://www.flycat.com/e/tanganyika_info.html

Their Mahale camp is fairly rustic, but I actually like the way it sounds. There are only 2 other accomodation options in Mahale that I know of. One being Greystoke (operated by Nomad) - this would be the luxury option and I believe costs in the range of $500pppn. The other is Nkungwe Camp which I think is affiliated with the Kigoma Hilltop Hotel. I've only ever seen this last camp offered on itineraries that involve routing through Kigoma and if you choose this option, you have to overnight in Kigoma both directions and transfer to Mahale by boat. Going this route doesn't seem to save much money to me and you end up spending 2 days in transit.

All of the Mahale camps are quite small and only open during the dry season, generally from June through October. I don't think you'd run into any 'crowding' issues here! I think a stay here combined with other parks on the southern circuit like Ruaha and Selous would provide a wonderfully remote experience (only a tiny fraction of visitors to Tanzania ever see these southern/western parks), but you'd probably have to cut your trip back to 2 weeks max as all of the flight costs do add up.

Here are a few southern Tanzania trip reports to further confuse you -

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=34649444

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=34489525

And RuthieC's album - http://www.kodakgallery.com/BrowsePh...3&sort_order=1

You can also see chimps in Gombe but I've never looked into that option.

I respectfully disagree with lisa in that I don't think 2afrika's group departures are a bargain. If you break down the costs, assuming airfare from NY is approx. $1200-$1400, many of their itineraries price out in the range of $350-$400pppn staying at Sopa and Serena lodges and traveling in a group of 6. I thought their 'Affordable Tanzania' departure was well priced but I couldn't find it anymore on their website.
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Jul 26th, 2005, 10:44 AM
  #43
 
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THanks Patty - I am really naive about the costs of all this stuff. It really does add up. Greystoke is actually what I had in mind! How cool does it look though? Man. It looks like I have some serious soul searching to do. Rocco's trip itinerary looks really good right now. (I'll share it if that's how I end up going.) Lots of animal viwing opportunities, nice lodging...for less money, apparently. Thanks all!
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Jul 26th, 2005, 10:45 AM
  #44
 
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BTW:I'm referring to an itinerary that he suggested to me privately for Zambia, not his East Africa trip.
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Jul 26th, 2005, 10:48 AM
  #45
bwanamitch
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Patti, cooncat,

I would call Nkungwe Camp in Mahale the medium option. I only saw it from the boat, but I had a rather soulless impression.

Mitch
 
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Jul 27th, 2005, 12:25 PM
  #46
 
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Bwana - what would you suggest for a chimp experience? By the way - on the Gavin Blair web site they offer a trip to a chimp sanctuary in Zambia. Anyone ever been?
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Jul 27th, 2005, 01:08 PM
  #47
 
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Rocco-it's only july, your tanzania safari isn't until feb, you can't make that your final itinerary!! what will we have to read between now and then??!! Thanks for all your help planning my zambia safari!
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Jul 27th, 2005, 01:21 PM
  #48
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cooncat,

Mahale is the best in East Africa.
Use Flycatchers, or Nomad (if luxury and a white guide are important).

Chimfunshi (Zambia) is a sanctuary for orphaned chimps, it's not the real thing. And more important, the Siddles don't like tourists very much, so it may be not the happiest stay.

Mitch
 
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Jul 27th, 2005, 01:52 PM
  #49
 
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Thanks Bwana - and again, sorry for the misunderstanding on the other thread. Just a touchy subject at best, and I don't want to be misunderstood on something this important. Peace!
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Jul 27th, 2005, 01:58 PM
  #50
bwanamitch
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No problem.
 
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Jul 27th, 2005, 02:16 PM
  #51
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matnikstym,

No worries...coming soon...my August 2006 Southern Africa safari planning!

However, unless we have company in the form of my sisterinlaw and her husband, then I may postpone until late September for a very dry season Botswana safari. I am thinking Kwando's camps but knowing me, Mombo will end up in there somewhere!
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Jul 27th, 2005, 02:28 PM
  #52
bwanamitch
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Rocco,
as far as I know you now, it certainly will be both.
 
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Jul 27th, 2005, 05:34 PM
  #53
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Mitch,

So what does your itinerary for Zambia look like?

I am dying to leave already, myself. I cannot wait to test my nerves on the canoes, going head to head against the Hippos and Nile Crocodiles. I would go absolutely ape**** to coin an American phrase if I actually saw Wild Dogs.

Mitch, what is your prior experience in South Luangwa?
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Jul 27th, 2005, 06:13 PM
  #54
bwanamitch
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Rocco,

This is my Zambia itinerary:
19-9 Lufupa Lodge (4)
23-9 Shumba Camp (2)
25-9 Kafwala Rapids Camp (2)
27-9 Hippo Lodge (2)
29-9 Mwaleshi Camp (3)
2-10 Bilimungwe Camp (3)
5-10 Kaingo Camp (3) + sleep-out
8-10 Mwamba Camp (3)

I assume after this I'm a 'Hide' expert.
Originally I planned to do a camp-out at Mwamba, but unfortunately they don't organize these little night camps in October - "because of the heat the clients would feel uncomfortable". Aeeh? Can anyone tell me the temperature difference between sleeping in a bush tent or in a Mwamba chalet?
Whatsoever, now they will organize a special solo sleep-out for me in a tree hide near Kaingo - sounds interesting.

Mitch
 
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Jul 27th, 2005, 06:32 PM
  #55
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Mitch,

I wish I didn't ask! (envy, envy, envy)

That is a great itinerary...22 consecutive nights in safari in three different parks.

Now, from Germany, do you fly from Frankfurt to Joburg to Lusaka or do you fly from your part of Germany to London to Lusaka?

Which Zambian lodges/camps have you stayed at in the past?
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Jul 28th, 2005, 02:43 AM
  #56
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Rocco,

I fly FRA-JNB-LUN with SAA. A less expensive alternative would be to go with Emirates (great service!) via Dubai. I never use London (or British Airways). Heathrow is the most unfriendly airport I know (long walks, very unfriendly security personal). And I don't like these additional and strict security checks of British Airways (you know, nations at war...), mainly because my carry-on luggage is always beyond any weight limit (15kg photo backpack).

Zambia? I've been with Busanga Trails, stayed at Old Mondoro, Tafika, Nsefu (with short visit to Tena Tena) and made the Remote Africa walking safari(Chikoko, Crocodile).

Nsefu is my absolute favourite of all African camps (even if it's not a tented camp). I like the clear indoor design, the views on the Luangwa are fantastic, and during siesta you have pukus 5m in front of your door.

I don't like Tena Tena very much. Views aren't as spectacular, tents are "standard" and I really hate fences (they have a electric fence because of the elephants).

Tafika has a nice family atmosphere, and a hide to watch pukus and bushbock. But you already feel that you're in a GMA outside the park, and for each game drive you first have to enter the park. But my main reason to stay there were the microlight flights with John Coppinger. I made two flights - one with equipment (work!) and one to enjoy it. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Old Mondoro was great, a wonderful bush camp, what can I say more? I left out Chiawa, because there always seem to be strange people in Condé Nast Traveller top-rated lodges. (And I was right, when I listened what the other guests told me.)

Busanga? Well, best leopard night drives, very good river cruises, and now they have the wild dog research team based in camp. )

Mitch
 
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