Tanzania Southern Circuit Report 1

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Apr 6th, 2004, 08:02 AM
  #1
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Tanzania Southern Circuit Report 1

Well folks, I feel guilty that I've learnt so much from all of you and have not posted details of one of our recent holidays in Tanzania. My husband wrote a great journal while we were away last June so I am going to cheat and copy that in here. I hope it will be useful to you and will persuade a few of you to consider the wonderful remote southern circuit in Tanzania.

So here goes!


Thursday 26th / Friday 27th June
We left Heathrow 40 minutes late, but the pilot made up time and we covered the 4,644 miles incident-free, arriving at Dar es Salaam early on Friday morning. After clearing customs and changing some currency, our driver and Geoff Fox himself met us. The drive to Mikumi National Park took over four hours, during which Geoff whetted our appetites for the holiday ahead by telling us lots of stories about the people we would meet and the places we would see.

The safari lodge at Mikumi is a series of medium-sized tents set on wooden platforms, with steps up to the verandahs, which had a small table and two canvas director's chairs. The views from these vantage points were of wide, grassy plains, dotted with acacia and baobab trees and the occasional elephants. We quickly unpacked a few items from our luggage, washed and then headed off up to the bar to have lunch. There were 105 steps for us to climb each time we made this particular trip and so we made quite sure we hadn't forgotten anything before setting off. Geoff introduced us to Tim, his lodge manager and chief guide.
After lunch, Tim took us on our first game drive. We saw lots of new birds, a small herd of very annoyed elephants and then, Ruth spotted a lioness with its' kill - a giraffe. The kill appeared to be about two days old according to Tim and it was very smelly. We did encounter a few tsetse flies, but they were not as numerous as we'd expected. Their bites however were quite painful, rather like a hot, blunt needle.We drove back to camp in pitch black; Tim had the headlights on main beam and the thirty-minute journey was very eerie. There were strange, hidden sounds and the flickering headlights created shapes that resembled all sorts of weird and wonderful beasts, guaranteed to make the imagination run riot.
As we were the only guests that evening, we sat with Geoff and Tim for a very enjoyable dinner. Once finished at about 9:15pm, we went straight off to bed, as we were both exhausted.

Saturday 28th June
I was woken at 4:15pm by a lion moaning somewhere in the camp, although Ruth managed to sleep right through it. This sound was followed by a cacophony of screeches from some bird. And then, suddenly, total silence. I lay awake for ages, waiting for other sounds, but gradually drifted off to sleep.

We enjoyed a very pleasant breakfast on our own and then we met Tim, who drove us 80 kilometres to the Udzungwa Mountains. We were stopped en route by a policeman who insisted that Tim should have a PSV license in the jeep. Despite the fact that we did not require such a document he still fined Tim 10,000 TSh (about £6). Naturally, he would not issue a receipt. Tim explained that this was a regular occurrence and that the alternative to the bribe was a lengthy legal argument, which the Foxes may lose in any case.

We climbed through 750 metres of rainforest before arriving at the first of three Sanje Falls, where we had lunch. By this point I was drenched in sweat, my clothes clinging to me. Although we drank considerable amounts of water, we probably lost a kilo or two in weight during that climb. A further 100 metres hike took us past a second waterfall and finally on to the highest and most impressive fall of the lot - quite awesome. Our guide and trackers took photos of us and we then spent half an hour or so absorbing the atmosphere of the falls, surrounded by massive trees with overhanging foliage that you could reach out and touch at some points. The walk up to the peak was quite tough, especially when the trail became very narrow and the drop was clearly visible. Still, we managed it without major incident or injury.The descent worried me, since I would be able to see the sheer drop at almost every stage of the journey.However, it wasn't that bad, although it was very hard on the feet and legs, having to hold yourself backfrom running down the hill (no fear of doing that deliberately though). We spotted a few interesting birds (shrike, sunbird, manikin) but no colobus monkey. We could certainly hear them shrieking in the dense tree foliage, but they were not willing to show themselves to humans today.

Returned to camp at 5:30 pm. We are the only guests staying here tonight and dinner was excellent. Once back in our banda, Ruth spent a good deal of time with the torch on, looking for whatever creepy crawly was lurking within the room. Having finally discovered that our visitor was a gecko, we both managed to drift off to sleep.

Sunday 29th June
Following breakfast we set off for a full day game drive with Geoff and Tim. We really are getting the V.I. P. treatment so far. The weather was disappointing this morning, lots of cloud cover and quite chilly. Fortunately we both had warm fleeces to keep out the cold, which is exacerbated by the open design of the jeep when traveling at any speed over twenty miles an hour. We had lunch by a hippo pool then went to have afternoon tea at the attractive Vuma Hills Lodge, another of the Fox properties. This lodge, as its' name suggests, is set high in the hills and has superb views from almost every part of the complex. We were back at our camp by late afternoon and were spared the agony of the 105 steps by being served drinks on our verandah (double G&T for Ruth, bottle of Kilimanjaro for me).
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Apr 6th, 2004, 08:49 AM
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Author: RuthieC
Date: 04/06/2004, 12:07 pm
Message: Monday 30th June
Today required an early start as we left camp at 8:15 for the airstrip. There was an amusing interlude as Tim (with Ruth in the passenger seat) drove the jeep up and down the airstrip to scare off the wandering impalas. The exercise had to be repeated twice more, as the animals simply trotted back to their original positions as soon as the jeep had passed. We finally cleared the way for the incoming plane and were introduced to Peter Fox. His plane, a six-seater, had only just been bought, so it was his toy and we were his first guest passengers. The first twenty minutes or so of the flight were great fun, following the Tanzam Highway and then the Great Ruaha River. Once we reached the Udzungwa Mountains however things became a bit scary. We were carrying a lot of weight (particularly Geoff's cases) so Peter had to negotiate the range at 8,500 feet, rather than the 10,000 feet he would have preferred. We were thrown about somewhat but everything turned out OK and we made an excellent landing at the Brooke Bond Estate strip in Mufindi. This and subsequent flights were bonuses for us, since we expected to make the transfer journeys by car. There is no doubt that much traveling time was saved by this change of plan, but I do wonder if I actually prefer being transported the old-fashioned way. You probably see more sights of interest overland and spend less time worrying about weather conditions, weight limits and wind speeds.

Following the flight we had an hour's car journey to Foxes Farm, a magnificent place set in the midst of the Southern Highlands, about 60 miles south-west of Iringa. Our chalet has a magnificent view of the escarpment, with forests in the distance and two man made lakes, one of which is allegedly stocked with salmon. All this land belongs to Geoff and he has already marked out the spot that he wishes to be his final resting place - lucky man. Geoff gave us a guided tour of the farm, showing us with particular pride the gardens, which have been created by two of his female farm workers. Work is still progressing on tennis and badminton courts and small bowling green with stupendous views of the hills and forests. It was at the farm that we were introduced to Jennifer Coxall, a young South African who had beenmanaging the place whilst Geoff had been back in England. Her job title is unclear, but she appears to do everything, from organising the building of a new family guest house to managing the stables and teaching some of the local workers basic English phrases. Sitting here now, in front of a roaring log fire, with large G&Ts and an enormous bowl of mixed nibbles -heaven. We ate a nice roast lamb dinner, engaged in good conversation and finally turned in at 9:45 pm. Not quite the end of the day - we had to go though Ruth's cabaret spot. Tonight her hot water bottle had burst, so at about midnight we had to strip the bed, turn the mattress and then remake the bed.

Tuesday 1st July
Breakfast was arranged for a civilised 8:30 am. Ruth went horse riding with Jennifer, whilst a proud Geoff gave me a guided tour of the working farm. We chatted with many of Geoff's workers and he showed genuine interest in the suggestions they were making to improve the work. I could only understand some of the conversations, since the poorer people do not generally speak English and my Kiswahili is non-existent. We all returned to the main lodge for a very welcome beer and an excellent cold salad lunch. Late afternoon we all met up at the dam for a few hours of fly-fishing. We didn't catch any fish, but had a great time anyway. It was fully dark by the time we arrived back at the bar, so after a few drinks and some amusing conversation we had a late dinner. Tonight's entertainment was rounded off nicely when I lost our chalet key and we had to call out the night watchman to let us in.

Wednesday 2nd July
This morning we had a fairly late breakfast before being picked up for a tour of the tea plantations. The drive was pleasant enough, with Geoff giving us a potted history of the two tea companies (Brooke Bondand Mufindi). We continued on to the edge of the escarpment, and then walked for a while. The views were beautiful, but low cloud prevented us seeing as much as we would have liked. We returned to the farm for lunch and had the afternoon to ourselves. Having decided to go down to the dam where we had fished we set off briskly to walk around its perimeter. There were so many different birdcalls that our walk slowed considerably, as we strained our ears to distinguish one call from another. The highlight was seeing Livingstone's Turaco, which is endemic to this part of Tanzania. A black crake and several little grebes were also on the water, whilst all along the banks were giant cobwebs with enormous spiders, which, if you weren't careful, would entangle themselves in your hair. For some reason, Ruth decided we should pick up our pace before it became too dark to find our way. Dinner was for four, including Jennifer and Geoff and we chatted happily over a simple meal before going back to our chalet around 9:00 pm.

Thursday 3rd July
We left the farm at 9:30 am, about two minutes before Peter's plane arrived at the airstrip. We made our warm farewells to Geoff and took off, accompanied by Jennifer this time as she is normally based at Ruaha and she was therefore excited at the prospect of returning "home?. It was a short and uneventful 30-minute flight (I am very glad to say), following which Peter drove us for another half an hour to the Ruaha River Lodge. This is a simply fantastic location, deep in the heart of the Ruaha National Park. There are three separate camps, all self-contained so that the feeling of exclusivity is maintained whilst allowing sufficient numbers for the operation to be profitable. Our banda (hut) is next to the dining banda and bar, some thirty feet from the river bank and with breathtaking views for miles around. What could be better? We had a couple of hours to relax before our first game drive, so we settled down on the verandah to watch a playful family of mongoose on the opposite side of the river bank. We also saw a Goliath heron and marvelled at how still it could stand whilst waiting for the moment to plunge into the shallow waters to scoop up a tiny fish or other morsel of food. At the appointed time we were introduced to Esau, our guide for the next few days and Abraham, our driver for today. The drive was enjoyable, although there were few large animals to see. We did however see lots of birds, including an impressive tawny eagle. We returned to camp late in the afternoon, had a couple of drinks then dinner with Jennifer, who gave us a lot of useful information about the camp and what we would probably see during our time there.


 
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Apr 6th, 2004, 08:50 AM
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LizFrazier
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Author: RuthieC
Date: 04/06/2004, 12:09 pm
Message: Friday 4th July
We went for a morning game drive with Esau and our driver Abraham. Spotted mating lions (twice), a roan antelope (very elegant), along with several greater kudu. Our bird count is rising rapidly, since Esau is very knowledgeable and greatly enjoys the fact that twoof his "clients" are keen on bird watching. There was a major sighting about an hour before dusk - an adult female leopard in the bush. We followed her for about half an hour and at no time did she attempt to leave the area, which suggested to Esau that she had young cubs very close by. It is an amazing feeling simply to sit in a jeep and watch such an animal in its natural territory, knowing that this same animal could quite easily kill if we were to place it in a position where it felt threatened. We returned to camp early evening, had nice hot showers and G&T's in the bar then went to the dining banda.

Saturday 5th July
We left camp early for a full day game drive,
Highlights of the game drive:
Slender mongoose
Great owl
Mating fish eagles
Post-mating (allegedly) elephants
Courting hippos
Verroux's eagle high in nest
Saker falcon (very rare according to Esau)
Tawny eagle taking sand bath
Baby elephant and parents having mud bath
D'arnaut's barbet with nest on the ground
Bat eared fox (1 dead, 2 alive and running)
The scenery, wide-open spaces and the vastness of the sky - incomparable

We headed back to camp at late afternoon and had a cup of tea before returning to banda. At 6:00 pm we met Jennifer, who took us up to the bar at Camp 2, high up on the kopje. Jennifer told us that the chef's two-year-old son had just been badly bitten on the arm by a yellow baboon. There was no transport available for two or three hours, so the poor boy had to wait to be taken to hospital at Iringa, a couple of hours away. After drinks we returned to our usual dining banda, at which point Jennifer spotted a spitting baby python. She could not chase it away, so she promptly killed it by hitting it with a mallet. She then calmly picked it up and took it out to the campfire and burned it. She is a brave girl.

Sunday 6th July
.We left camp quite early and had a really enjoyable morning. The main highlights of the drive were:
? Roan antelope
? Little kudu drinking in Sand River
? Teaching Esau about "twitchers"
? Sand River scenery

Conversation with Esau is fascinating. When he talks about his land and the birds and animals he is clearly well read. However, his facial expression becomes childlike when we tell him about England and how welive. I will never forget his dumbfounded reaction when I described to him the passenger cabin of a jumbo jet. It was good to feel that he was possibly learning as much from us as we from him, even though he doesn?t believe he will ever set foot in an aeroplane.

Lunch was devoured back at camp, and then we had a relaxing afternoon before returning to the bar at Camp 2 for pre-dinner drinks. There we met the Mills family from Nottingham, Tony, Christina and their daughter Georgina. Tony explained that they had visited Tanzania several times before but that Ruaha was probably their favourite location of all. They were very animated when telling us all about their previous two nights, which they had spent fly camping with Peter Fox. I may well give some thought to doing some of this tent-based experience next time we come to Africa, it sounds quite exciting. Ten Americans have arrived today, so to avoid being swamped, we decided that the Brits (including Jenniferas an honorary) would dine together. It was a very successful arrangement and one we would follow for most of the remainder of the holiday.

Monday 7th July
Left camp at 6:00 am for a bird walk with Esau. It was very educational, for Esau knows a great deal about the birds and he enthusiastically explains their habits to novices such as us. My favourite twitches on this walk were:
? Pearl spotted owlet
? Arrow marked babbler
? Crowned hornbill
Breakfast was at 7:30 am and we ate heartily; fresh pineapple, Spanish omelette, toast and coffee, then we were off out again on a game drive, which proved to be our best so far. Amongst the many animals and birds that we saw were:
? Vultures fighting jackals over remains of an impala
? Family of elephants, with baby of the group playing in the mud
? Several roan antelopes roaming as a group
? Goliath heron
? Mating lions (again)

We enjoyed an excellent lunch back at camp, and then rested for a couple of hours before setting out on our last game drive of the trip. Although we had no new sightings, it was enough just to be out there in the bush. The scenery is breathtaking, very raw and wild, with little or no signs (yet) of man making his mark on the environment. As a final experience, we met up with Jennifer at a hippo pool three kilometers from camp and enjoyed three large sundowners whilst watching the hippos and talking to Jennifer about her future plans. This short time was perhaps the most memorable of the whole trip, since it encapsulated the essence of our time in Tanzania; the stunning countryside, the primeval nature of the wildlife and the genuine friendship we had struck with someone from a very different part of the world. The onset of darkness forced us back into the jeep and back to camp.

Tuesday 8th July
We were ready and packed by 7:30 am, had our last breakfast at Ruaha River Lodge and said fond farewells to Jennifer. We were taken a very circuitous route to the airstrip so that Esau could show us a beautiful lake filled with crocodiles and hippos. We stayed for about half an hour, taking photos and soaking up the atmosphere of the bush one last time. Our flight with Coastal Airways left early, so we had a twenty-minute stop at Jongomero to collect other passengers, before we continued on our way to Dar es Salaam. The flight took two hours and for the first and last legs was quite bumpy. We landed at Dar es Salaam where our driver was waiting for us. We were driven through the very unlovely outskirts of Dar, then on a fast road to Bagamayo, before finally making a twenty minute boat crossing to Lazy Lagoon, our home for the next three nights. Thee days of relaxation, reading, a few drinks and some pleasant company, allowing us to recharge our batteries for the journey back home to England.




 
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Apr 6th, 2004, 08:55 AM
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LizFrazier
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Ruthie-
I thought this would make the report easier to find after it gets jumbled in with other posts. Kind of easier for us to read and reply to. Sorry if I made it more confusing. This will pull up the entire report together. Liz
 
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Apr 6th, 2004, 09:03 AM
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Thanks Liz, I'm not used to posting long threads and wasn't sure I'd be able to put it all in one!
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Apr 7th, 2004, 07:21 AM
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Lovely. Thanks for sharing Ruthie.
And Liz, for re-assembling it!
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Apr 7th, 2004, 07:45 AM
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Kavey-
Since you were gone, I felt I had to do this in your stead. Now that you are back you can re-assume the housekeeping tasks.
 
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Apr 7th, 2004, 08:27 AM
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He he he - do you think I'm staff?!
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Apr 7th, 2004, 08:41 AM
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I don't know, are you? (I'm laughing, I'm laughing.)
 
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Apr 7th, 2004, 09:17 AM
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Nope!
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Jun 24th, 2004, 06:05 PM
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Ruthie- I got curious when I saw you mentioned this trip just now and so I looked it up. Absolutely loved it and the pictures too. I just saw that Tashak also got curious about it, so am topping it off for him and others newer that missed it. I think I could lose my heart in Ruaha. ila
 
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Jun 26th, 2004, 03:04 AM
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Hi Ruthie David from the states. I think I answered one of your postings before.I am off to MIKUMI 3NTS & RUAHA 7NTS in SEPT.I am staying at FOX camp MIKUMI & RUAHA RIVER LODGE.MY kenyan tour op who by the way knows the FOXES is trying to get my HUT next to the river. I like being close.
Here is one of my e-mails. I have some things I would like to ask and get some in-put. If you don't mind.
Here it is: [email protected] I am there more than here. Hope to hear from you.
THANKS, DAVID
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Jun 27th, 2004, 03:09 AM
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Hi Ruthie,I think that e-mail address changed. Here it is again:
[email protected] Don't know when you will see this. But I would very much like to discuss MIKUMI & RUAHA with you. I leave sept 8th.
Thanks, David
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Jun 27th, 2004, 08:30 AM
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It would be nice if you would discuss it here so the others who have similar interests could find out if you would please. I've already looked up the Foxes website and all of their properties sound wonderful. I think that this is my favorite thread here. ila
 
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Jun 27th, 2004, 08:41 AM
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Hi, I don't get in here much. When I have the info I'm looking for. I'll copy and paste it here. The whole thing. It is easier for me that way. Again because I am not here that much.
Even when I am here, I don't stay long.
Working on my 4th safari and have special questions for Ruthie.
Don't worry. I will post later.
David
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Jun 27th, 2004, 02:14 PM
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David-
Okay, thanks. ila
 
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Jul 2nd, 2004, 04:07 AM
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hi that is no problem. i have been wanting to go to ruaha for a long time. but
first i had to visit tsavo. by the way. i will be going through there again on
the last leg of my safari.
ok, in mikumi i'll be staying at fox safari camp inside the park. was wondering
about taking safari walks.
i assume this extra. could you tell me how much and could i do this everyday?
any input would be great!
are the game drives a little on the long side or short side? do they rush you
back ect.?

ruaha, i'll be there 7nts. i had asked my tour op in kenya to ask her fox family
friend about the fly camping. which i love to do. hoping i could swap 2 or 4 nts
doing that in place of the river hut.
any ways, again about the bush walks. would you know how much can i use my visa
card? how often can this be taken? also are the game drives shorter or longer?
seeing that i'm there a long time. would i get driven to many places in the
park? i think seeing that i am alone. i believe i will have my own truck.
hope this makes sense.
ruth,
thanks, david
ps, how much are the beers!!?? and G N T'S?

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Sunday, June 27, 2004 1:52 PM
Subject: RE: Questions on Ruaha and Mikumi]


David,

When we were at Mikumi we were the only guests there, so really it was up to
us how long or short a drive we went out for. We were always with Tim the
manager and Geoff Fox, father of the family. We were still novices at
safaris this being only our second trip (and still are even though we've now
done 3) so we didn't ever discuss the option of walking at Mikumi. I just
don't know whether or not walking is allowed in that park. On one day we
went out for a full day's drive and were also taken to see the baboon
research team and went for tea at their other lodge site, Vuma Hills. I got
the impression they were very flexible and would try to fit in with whatever
the guest wanted.

One of the options we took was to climb to the top of the Udzungwa falls.
This took most of one day and was quite a strenuous walk. We hoped to see
the rare red colobus monkey, but no luck. The views were wonderful from the
top, but in hindsight we probably would have preferred another day on game
drive rather than this. The walk was a little too strenuous for two
middle-aged averagely fit people and it did rather wipe us out. However, it
did make a change and the drive to get there was interesting as we drove
through villages and met some of the locals, which we didn't get a chance to
do on the rest of the trip.

At Ruaha they definitely do fly camping. Another couple arranged it at very
short notice and were able to go for a couple of nights. However this did
cause the manager some problem to get it arranged as I think they have to
get a special licence to sleep in the park. I got the impression it's quite
an elaborate fly camp as they take full staff, tents, catering equipment
etc - I think it also cost quite a bit extra but can't remember how much. I
would definitely recommend you find more out about this and book in advance.

You can either do a morning and afternoon game drive each day or ago out for
a full day. They ask you each evening what you would like to do the next day
so it's very flexible. The morning game drives go a little later than we had
experienced in Kenya - I think they start at about 8.00am for 3 hours and
the afternoon ones go out I think from 3pm to around 6pm. If you go out all
day I think they get you back a little earlier - maybe 4 or 5 pm. We were
there for 5 days and got driven to a number of different areas. Obviously on
the full day drives we could go much further.

Don't know whether you'll have your own truck. If you've paid the extra for
a private safari then I'm sure you will. Otherwise, depending on how busy
they are you may find yourself sharing with others. We were lucky as we went
out on our own most times. However we did share with another couple on one
day.

I do remember that they discouraged us from using our visa to pay the bill
at the end. They will take it but they charge a % on top for processing & I
think they would rather have the cash (any currency I think).

Sorry, neither of us can remember how much the beers or G&T's were. They
just put them on the bill we paid at the end so we didn't really pay much
attention..

I think you said you've booked through an agent, however it's quite easy to
contact the Foxes by e-mail. There's a contact e-mail address on their
website:

http://www.tanzaniasafaris.info/index.htm

Bruce Fox is based in the UK and he handles all the bookings and enquiries.
We've met him a couple of times (once when we were there and once again
earlier this year at a holiday show.) He's really nice and very helpful so
I'm sure that if you e-mailed the address on the website he would be happy
to answer all your questions. In addition, you might want to try arranging
the fly-camping directly with him as your operator may add on commission.

Hope this information is helpful and I'm more than happy to answer any
further questions. However, I do recommend you contact the Foxes directly to
find out what they charge for fly-camping, safari walks etc as we don't have
any information on this.

Regards,
Ruth


-----Original Message-----
From: David [mailto[email protected]]
Sent: 27 June 2004 13:00

Subject: [Re: Questions on Ruaha and Mikumi]

hi that is no problem. i have been wanting to go to ruaha for a long time.
but first i had to visit tsavo. by the way. i will be going through there
again on the last leg of my safari.
ok, in mikumi i'll be staying at fox safari camp inside the park. was
wondering about taking safari walks.
i assume this extra. could you tell me how much and could i do this
everyday? any input would be great!
are the game drives a little on the long side or short side? do they rush
you back ect.?

ruaha, i'll be there 7nts. i had asked my tourop in kenya to ask her fox
family friend about the fly camping. which i love to do. hoping i could swap
2 or 4 nts doing that in place of the river hut.
any ways, again about the bush walks. would you know how much can i use my
visa card? how often can this be taken? also are the game drives shorter or
longer? seeing that i'm there a long time. would i get driven to many places
in the park? i think seeing that i am alone. i believe i will have my own
truck.
hope this makes sense.
ruth,
thanks, david
ps, how much are the beers!!?? and G N T'S?

-------------------------
Original Message from Ruth
Received 2004-06-27 04:22:46.0

> David,
>
> I'm so envious that you are going to these two places. I'm happy to
> answer
> any questions. I will try to be honest with my answers, but I should
> warn
> you that I am a little biased as I loved the Ruaha so much and also we
> had a
> very special time with Geoff Fox hosting us at Mikumi on one of his rare
> visits there.
>
> Kind regards,
> Ruth

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Jul 2nd, 2004, 04:11 AM
  #18
 
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Posts: 618
Dear David,
Good to hear from you.
Up until this season, walking safaris have been part of the deal, but the National Parks in their great wisdom have slapped a US$50 per person charge on anyone walking. so the answer is yes, you can do it, but it will cost an additional US$50 each walk. We are, of course, taking this up with the authorities, but they don't seem to really understand the negative impact on the overall tourism when they do things like this.
With respect to game drives, you will almost certainly be in a vehicle with other guests, but we always do our utmost to be as flexible as possible with drives. The manager will talk to you in the evening before and the next days activities will be planned. If you want to take out a vehicle on your own, there is a cost of US$210 per day subject to availability of the car.

You will certainly get up close to an elephant in Ruaha as there is one that habitually roams the camp!

Best regards,
Jane

Jane Fox
Tanzania Safari Specialists Ltd
[email protected]
www.tanzaniasafaris.info
Representing Foxtreks Ltd
Ruaha River Lodge
Lazy Lagoon Island
Foxes Safari Camp, Mikumi
Vuma Hills Tented Camp
Highland Fishing Lodge
Katavi Wildlife Camp
Rose Marie Cottage
Green Street
Gloucester
UK
44 (0)1452 862288

----- Original Message -----
From:
To: '[email protected]'
Sent: Tuesday, June 29, 2004 12:21 PM
Subject: booked through melinda rees at eco-resorts. have a couple of questions if you don't mind. david usa


Hello Fox family. I can not wait to meet you people in sept. Melinda helped me set this up. MIKUMI & RUAHA. Wanted to ask if it is ok with you.

At both these parks, is it possible to go on games walks? If so, how often and much much? Is it also possible to stay out on a game drive longer say if we start eariler in the morn? If so, what would that cost?

This is my 4th safari. I love elephants and all the game. I like getting close and love having them near my tent ect.
I am just trying to figure out how much to set aside for your camps. I heard is not a good idea to be putting things on my visa.

Thanks for your trouble.

tuskerdave is offline  
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Jul 2nd, 2004, 04:15 AM
  #19
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 618
Dear David,
The walks are strictly controlled by the National Park, we have to take out a parks ranger on every walk (as well our own guide of course). We have to play by the rules or we will end up being chucked out of the park. There is no way the parks will compromise on the 50 (we already pay 20 for the ranger each time plus transporting him to and from the park headquarters). The walks normally begin or end at the lodge, with a car taking you to a drop off point, or collecting you at the end of a walk. I agree that his is a shame that we can't be less organised about it, but we don't make the rules. There have been several instances of animals having to be shot to protect clients on walking safaris, which is what they are trying to avoid.

I have attached a general information document, which has our up to date bar prices listed, and also a load of other info, which I am sure you know already.

Best regards,
Jane
Jane Fox
Tanzania Safari Specialists Ltd
[email protected]
www.tanzaniasafaris.info
Representing Foxtreks Ltd
Ruaha River Lodge
Lazy Lagoon Island
Foxes Safari Camp, Mikumi
Vuma Hills Tented Camp
Highland Fishing Lodge
Katavi Wildlife Camp
Rose Marie Cottage
Green Street
Gloucester
UK
44 (0)1452 862288

----- Original Message -----
From: DAVID WILSON
To: Bruce Fox
Sent: Wednesday, June 30, 2004 4:58 AM
Subject: Re: booked through melinda rees at eco-resorts. have a couple of questions if you don't mind. david wilson,usa


Hi Jane, at first I thought Bruce sent this this mail. It's 8pm now, and just realized it wasn't!! Thanks again for the mail.
Jane , how do you manage the walks? Is a walk in place of a game drive? Would it be in between drives? While out on a drive? For example: We drive till we see something we can almost track to. Then go for it? That?s what we did in ZIMBABWE. Most times. Are the walks only around the camp area or again, could they be while out on a drive?
The 50.00 is ok. I would plan on 4. Depending on how the first couple of walks go. Also depends on how it falls into everything else. I am going to be there for 7nts in RUAHA.
Jane, does this also apply to MIKUMI? Or drives only? I wouldn't mind checking out the BABOON PROJECT. Saw all about that on TV not long ago.
About the $50.00. Would the NATIONAL PARKS compromise and go for $25.00? At first thought I would bet almost everyone would pass on it. When they hear the 50 they will cringe!! Now the 25 is much more doable. Better on the ears and the mind. It really wouldn't be right to keep people from enjoying your PARKS & WILDLIFE.
I don't think I'll be getting my own truck. I will say I love ELES, and I like taking my time with most things. Just hope I get lucky with other travelers in there also. Any way, will have to play that by ear.
By the way, how much are your beers and G & T'S?
Jane no need to rush back with a reply. When you have time.
Thanks,
david
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Jul 2nd, 2004, 04:19 AM
  #20
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 618
Ok, for those interested. Here is all the comunications about my SO. TANZ trip. I know it is a bit messy, I just didn't have time to flip all up-right.In any event, hope you get the picture.
Thanks, David
PS, If there is any more I will post.
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