Travel in Tanzania/Kenya

Old Aug 1st, 2006, 10:09 PM
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Travel in Tanzania/Kenya

Hi all.....am a real first timer to this site and African trip planning and would appreciate any suggestions as to how to get started. I would be interested to see if there is somewhere where I could get an idea as to the times of the year is best to see what..hope that makes sense. Am very flexible with the time but since I am a very avid but amateur photographer would like to get somewhere to at least have a chance to see some of the larger game etc. Hope this doesn't sound to sketchy but at least it is a start. Thanks, Bob
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Old Aug 2nd, 2006, 01:07 AM
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Bob, if you can give one of preferred geographical location, or the larger game that you are particularly keen to photograph you would then have a start! There are so many places you could go for what you want, and every one of them is going to get some votes around here. Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Namibia and Zimbabwe are the classic destinations for "big game" and each has plenty of other attractions too. Choose Southern or Eastern Africa for a start... where do you dream of?
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Old Aug 2nd, 2006, 01:18 AM
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In general, game viewing in South Africa and Botswana is good June-November. Zambia is good for the same time frame.

Kenya is best July-October. Tanzania is very good rest of the year....(basically, i'm factoring the migration periods for these regions).

To see lots of animals on a first safari, including lots of predator sightings.....Masai Mara during the migration is hard to beat!!! (That was my first safari!!!)

However, for later safaris i recommend something which is more personal, where you can spend a lot of time at sightings.....

Hope this helps. Any animals in particular on your wish list?

Lions aplenty everywhere....probably Serengeti is your best bet for lots and lots of them.

Leopards, The Sabi Sands game reserve in SA.

Wild dogs- Head to Botswana, however they are hit or miss!!!

Cheetah- Masai Mara, Serengeti and Botswana give you good options.

Hyena- Plenty everywhere!!!

Hope this helps
Hari
 
Old Aug 2nd, 2006, 02:01 AM
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Bob, I'm sorry... I should have looked at the thread title

Here is some more to add to Hari's list:

Elephants and many other herbivores:
probably best towards the end of the long dry season (August to maybe mid-October in Kenya, maybe a few weeks earlier in Tanzania)
Tarangire in Tanzania
Tsavo or Amboseli in Kenya

Rhino
They are very territorial I think, so all year at Lewa Downs, Solio (near Nyeri) and Lake Nakuru in Kenya.

I think if you listed any must see animals and preferred places it would be easier - but maybe you want to start a list, which would be kind of fun too.

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Old Aug 2nd, 2006, 02:18 AM
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Oh and Lonely Planet's guide to wildlife watching in East Africa is a very good starting point - it will tell you what you can expect to see and usually mentions if a park is "seasonal".
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Old Aug 2nd, 2006, 10:23 AM
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"if there is somewhere where I could get an idea as to the times of the year is best to see what ... am a very avid but amateur photographer would like to get somewhere to at least have a chance to see some of the larger game etc"

For a photographer one good way to research this is to see when and where the big-name photo tours go ... for Tz and Kenya most of these guys run tours in Sept - Oct to Kenya (generally Samburu, Lake Nakaru and about half the trip in the Maasai Mara because of the wildebeest migration).

In Tanzania most of the high-dollar photo tours prefer late January and February, especially trying to hit the short-grass plains of the Serengeti where over a million wildebeest gather to drop this year's calves.

So maybe do a bit of poking around on the web sites of photo tour guys like Joe Van Os, Joe and Mary Ann McDonald, Art Morris and Todd Gustafson, and Andy Biggs to see when/where they are headed. The best places are well-known and book up solid many months in advance.

This is a good rundown of various Africa countries for photo ops, by Joe Van Os ... he rates Kenya #1 and Tz # 2 ... http://www.photosafaris.com/Articles/AfricaSafaris.asp

There's a thread on this forum summarizing safaris to East Africa that people took and most have links to their photos so you can thumb thru that and see what kinds of photos others here are getting (most come back with excellent shots, even with basic gear, because the animals are habituated to people).

Here's some shots from my wife and myself, from a January 2006 trip and an April 2006 trip to Tanzania ... I'd like to visit Kenya in August or Sept too ... http://members.aol.com/bhilton665/africa/

Bill
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Old Aug 2nd, 2006, 11:33 AM
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This link shows where the best wildlife viewing is when. It is also when the most people are in these areas and the costs are highest.

http://www.africa-adventure.com/dsp_besttime.html

I'll be checking out the Van Os site.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2006, 11:13 PM
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This is a great book to start and covers all the major countries and game parks in Africa, highlights, best times:

Africa's Top Wildlife Countries, Sixth Edition (Paperback)
by Mark W. Nolting, Duncan Butchart

You can get it online at Amazon.com
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Old Aug 3rd, 2006, 11:22 PM
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Bradt guides are some of the best around. I have the books for Bots, Namibia, Zambia, Tanz and Kenya. Each and everyone of them are fantastic!!!

Ofcourse, these boards are even better source of info....

Hari
 
Old Aug 4th, 2006, 01:46 AM
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Bob:

You have lucked out by discovering this message board. The regulars are absolutely marvelous in their helping people.

We are going to Kenya tomorrow for our first trip to Africa solely because of this board. I had told them I wanted to go to Africa in August (this was back in January) and they immediately (and correctly I came to find out) told me to go to the Masai Mara to see the Migration (of the wildebeests and zebra, etc.) We are also going to Samburu to see some different animals and to Lamu Island on the Indian Ocean. (My wife wanted a change at the end. She was afraid that if we did gameviewing more than seven days she would never want to see an animal again. "Oh yeah I guess that is another lion taking down a cape buffalo. What's for lunch at the camp today do you think?"

I believe your best value will be Kenya or Tanzania. Southern Africa gets a bit pricey, although Rocco at Africa Destiny, a member here, may differ.

A real gem is Sandi from Africa Serendipity. She could steer you in the right direction for the best value, because you have date flexibility. She is also a member here. (she is still asleep in New York. I am up getting closer to East Africa time.)

I suspect the best value would be to go at the end of the two rainy seasons, November (short) or April-May (long). That would either put you (to see the Migration) in way Northern Tanzania or more to the southwestern part of the Serengeti.

There are a number of marvelous things you will discover from this board. One is the following link to Eben's site (explore all of it especially the Google Earth links, with links to his videos of actual camps), this link is to his Migration page:

http://www.go-safari.com/Serengeti/serengeti.htm

Got to get back to packing.

Best wishes,

Kevin from California
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Old Aug 9th, 2006, 01:14 PM
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Kimburu,Santharamhari,Bill H Atravelynn,SeeSee....thanks to all of you very much for taking the time to write back.Your enthusiasm for Africa is quite contagious. I am going over all the info. you provided and now have some real work ahead of me. Will certainly contact you once I know enough to ask some better questions. Thanks again, Bob
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Old Aug 9th, 2006, 02:04 PM
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I also just recently planned a trip to Kenya for 3 weeks. I went through www.africanmeccasafari.com. Raza, who runs the operation, planned the entire trip for me (inter-country airplane tix, safari, safari lodging, transportation to/from airports and pick-up locations. Would highly recommend him if you are looking to plan a trip. Even if you don't decide to use him, the site itself is very informative. Hope that helps.
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Old Aug 11th, 2006, 11:57 AM
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Banker...thanks so much for the site recommendation. Boy talk about alot of information..this will really help in the trip planning. Am hoping to tie in a scuba trip/beach time at the end so will certainly consider their proposals.
Bob
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