Travel to East Africa next May

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Jun 7th, 2003, 02:24 PM
  #1
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Travel to East Africa next May

Hello fellow travellers,
We as a family are planning to be in East Africa for May/2004. The tentative plan is to spent one week in Uganda and ten days in Kenya and 10 days in Tanzania.
Any input of not to miss places, great accomodation spots and wonderful places to eat will be appreciated.

We are outdoors folks and love natural wonders rather than man made ones. Suggest some hiking trails. Kili will not be possible due to time constrains. One game safari due to cost of 4 people travelling.

Looking forward to hearing from foks who have enjoyed East Africa. Many thanks.

Rosmin
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Jun 7th, 2003, 03:44 PM
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Hi Rosmin! Oh, I am afraid you have opened up the flood gates of ideas - and wonderful memories. A must in Kenya is the Mara National Park. The wildlife is unbelievable, as is the landscape. Many people will differ with me on this, but I love the Mara River Camp, which is about 20 minutes outside of the park. Amboseli is a fantastic park as well. Its elephant population is incredible and to have a herd walk within 15 or 20 feet of your vehicle is an experience I can't even start to explain. I would suggest Tortilis Camp in Amboseli. We stayed there for a couple of nights and loved it. Set menu for dinner, so if you have special dietary requirements make sure your tour operator is aware of that. As far as Tanzania, the Serengeti is the equivalent of the Mara, actually, the Mara is simply an extension of the Serengeti. Tarangire National Park is phenomenal. I made the mistake of visiting there for only two days, one night. It is a gem of a park, with giant baobab trees all over the place and incredibly diverse wildlife. In fact, we were hard pressed to take a photo of one animal without another species being in the same frame. Fantastic! To get away from some of the more popular tourist destinations, consider going to Selous Game Reserve in southern Tanzania. We were there last year and it was amazing. Took boat trips on the Rufiji River, which is something you cannot do in many places. We stayed at Sand Rivers Camp, very nice and isolated. Absolutely loved it. I can guarantee you that when you are in Selous, you will not see another vehicle while out on game drives. Also, in Selous, we spent time walking in the bush (accompanied by a park ranger) tracking lion spoors and startling crocs lounging on the shore of Lake Tagalala. Incredible experience to walk up to a body of water and then see what you think are logs or other debris, get up and slink into the water! That's my two cents ... and I am sure you will get plenty more. Good luck with your planning. It will be the trip of a lifetime for you and your family!
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Jun 9th, 2003, 06:16 AM
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Hi Susan,
Thanks for all the info you sent. Made me very excited about the coming trip. The planning is going to be fun!

Is May an okay time to go? That is the only time next year when the four of us can get a month off. I will read on the places you have written about. Many thanks,
Rosmin
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Jun 9th, 2003, 06:58 AM
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Hi Rosmin:

Since you said Kilimanjaro is out, have you thought of Mount Kenya, even if your not going to climb the mountain there are some great hiking trails. And personally I think Mount Kenya is the more spectatular of the two, just so happens that Kili is a lone mountain on a plain so it stands out more.

Z
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Jun 9th, 2003, 08:18 AM
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Thnaks Z, Mount Kenya is a good idea. Is May an okay month for this trip?
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Jun 9th, 2003, 01:10 PM
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Hi Rosmin! I am sorry I didn't get back to you sooner. As for traveling in May to locations in Kenya and Tanzania ... The Ngorongoro Crater is good for wildlife viewing at that time, as is the Serengeti. Selous is closed from April to May, which I completely forgot about. Wildlife viewing in Tarangire is supposed to be "fair" April and May. In Kenya, Amboseli is "fair" and the Mara is good for wildlife viewing during that time as well. So, skip Selous ... I hope you did not read up on it too much by this time. You will have a fantastic time planning the trip!
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Jun 10th, 2003, 06:57 AM
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Thanks so much Susan for the info. Now I have a good starting point to start planning the trip.
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Jun 10th, 2003, 09:34 AM
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If I can be of any further help, give a shout. A week in Uganda, 10 days in Kenya and 10 days in Tanzania ... can I become an instant member of your family for this outing?
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Jun 10th, 2003, 04:58 PM
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Hi Susan,
I will keep in touch as to how the planning goes. Thanks and yes you can become a member of the family.....the more the merrier.................
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Jun 11th, 2003, 05:43 AM
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Hi Rosmin:

No comments just yet on Mount Kenya in May, we were there last October and even for hearty Canadians it was fairly cool during the day & cold at night.

However, one of my collegues here in Toronto grewup in Nairobi and I've asked her for some input on Mount Kenya in May. So hopefully will have an update for you in the next day or so.

Z
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Jun 11th, 2003, 01:27 PM
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Hi Rosmin:

Update from my collegue, Mount Kenya stays at a fairly constant/cool temperature year round and May should be fairly nice there as the early rainy season should have ended in that area by the end of April.

Z
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Jun 13th, 2003, 05:56 AM
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I had understood that the rains were quite strong in East Africa during May - are the parks recommended above for Rosmin's May visit mostly in areas which won't be too rainy at that time?

I ask because I'm also planning a long trip to Africa, now, for May 2004 and had tentatively ruled out East Africa in the belief that it would be very wet?

Thanks
Kavey
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Jun 14th, 2003, 12:47 PM
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Hi Kavey!! Sounds like Rocco had a fantastic time in Zambia, huh? Oh how I wish I was there ... As for Rosmin's inquiry and yours, it is to my understanding that game viewing in the western part of the Serengeti is best between December and May, when the migration is usually in the area, which is, of course, because of the rains. When we visited the Ngorongoro Crater in September last year, we were told by our guide and numerous others that the game viewing is good and the scenery much more lush than what we saw. Of course, this lushness comes with a price .. rains. I haven't been to any of the mentioned parks in May myself, so this is second-hand info if you will. Yes, April & May are the height of the rainy season, but if I read correctly that is the only time she can go with the three other family members. Is May the "ideal" time for Kenya and Tanzania? I don't know. If I thought Rosmin, that you could change your vacation time at all, I would urge you to do that, but I think you would still enjoy yourself despite the rains.
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Jun 16th, 2003, 01:49 AM
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Thanks Susan!
It's really hard to work out when it's best to go isn't it? In terms of rainy season - I also don't know whether that means constant rain like the monsoon season in Asia or shorter rain showers each day with sunshine the rest of the time or just occasional days of rain?!
LOL
I am sure that Rosmin's trip will be marvellous whatever the weather!
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Jun 16th, 2003, 02:49 AM
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Kavey - The "short rains" come in the Fall - Oct, Nov, Dec. - and they are wonderful. Fast and short, sure some of the springs and litte rivers flood up, but receed quickly. But the best part is that they settle the dust that is always evident driving through the Mara.

Friends traveled during the "heavy rains" of the Spring, and many times had to be pulled out of the mud, but that didn't inhibit animal viewing and kills.

Sometimes you just have to go when you can; but there are some years when even the heavy rains don't come in full force, so you might just luck out.
 
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Jun 16th, 2003, 03:34 AM
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Thanks Sandi
I think on balance we will stick to Southern Africa for the 2004 trip but I am absolutely determined to visit East Africa in the future - perhaps 2005 if my husband isn't all "Africa-ed out" by then!

: o )
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Jun 16th, 2003, 12:45 PM
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Kavey - Africa'd Out! Not likely!

When we returned from Australia, sweetie suggested we do Egypt the next year, to which I responded, why not also include Israel and Jordan, since all the borders were then open.

Well, that was what I was planning when some outbreak occured in Northern Israel - something about "rockets" coming across from Lebanon. So sweetie said, "then let's go to Africa", to which I responded, "well, Egypt is Africa"!!!

His reply, was "well, I mean Africa", to which I responded, "well, which country? Do you want to pick one from the about 50 or so on the continent"

Needless to say it was left to me and I chose Kenya, and I've been choosing the countries ever since - and there are still lots more to choose. There's still Malawi, Mozambique, Madigascar, always Egypt, Morocco, and Mali, Burkino Faso, and, and.

East Africa, like the rest of the continent, is just a different experience.

Never, Africa's out!

 
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Jul 6th, 2003, 06:04 PM
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Thanks folks for all the advise and pointers. That is what makes planning a trip so wonderful. Unfortunately May 2004 is the only time my husband and I will be able to go with our children (19 and 21) for four weeks. It is our 25th anniversary and we wanted to go somewhere special with our children. Who knows.....the rains may not be too heavy......we will have to work around the rains.
If anyone has suggestions on where to stay in Dar and Zanzibar and what tour companies to use in Tanzania, please do send suggestions. We would also like to do an overnight hike in Mount Kenya if it pans out.

Many thanks.
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Jul 7th, 2003, 03:47 AM
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Rosmin: You will have a fantastic time! I can think of no better place to celebrate a 25th anniversary than East Africa. What an experience it will be!!! We used Roy Safaris, based in Arusha, Tanzania, for our trip. Found them to be very reasonably priced and the service was fantastic. They got good reveiws in both the Lonely Planet and Brandt's guidebooks, and as I said, I and a friend of mine in Utah, have used them. They specialize in private safaris, and I will be using them for our Tanzania 2004 trip. Anyway, their email address is [email protected] ot [email protected] Website is www.roysafaris.com Again, they are based in Tanzania. Good luck with your planning and please keep us informed!!
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Jul 7th, 2003, 04:00 AM
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Congratulations on 25 years Rosmin!

We're renewing our wedding vows in Wolwedans when we return there next year, but we'll only have been married for 10 years by then (well, not quite 10 even since our anniversary is in September and the trip in June).

I don't know if this would be your thing or not, but how about some kind of renewal or blessing? Perhaps just a short family ritual/ ceremony in a spot you all find beautiful, where each of you read a poem or statement about the marriage and what it means to you - the kids too if they want to participate. It could whatever you wanted, religious or not, formal or not, just a casual little special moment or something more planned. Anyway, just an idea...
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