Trip rep Tanz/Kenya Feb 05

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Jul 5th, 2005, 09:42 PM
  #21
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 15
Thanks, Jules. I'm really glad to hear the guide was a good one - just a little less flexible. No, Predators didn't give me the option to request a guide, but if I know a guide is good, I would put in a request for that guide. I have read other postings recommending Godfrey or Dennis. I will add Frank to that list. Thanks!
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Jul 12th, 2005, 05:27 PM
  #22
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 8
I'm very close to booking a Jan/Feb 2006 trip with 2Afrika, but wanted to know if they take maximum of 24 people as they say on their website. How many people were in your group? They seem like a good outfit.
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Jul 13th, 2005, 06:01 AM
  #23
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Chrisco, I think there were 21 in our group in different vans so some of the people I hardly saw.

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Jul 14th, 2005, 10:31 AM
  #24
 
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Jules,

I do not know if you would like Namibia, Tanzania doesn't sound the same. Nam has lots of animals but many places for them to go. There is Etosha but the public part is not so big. Most of the game is outside of the parks, this is also true of the leopard and cheetah. The desert rhino has nearly as many roaming wild in the countryside as in the parks but there are no free white rhino as they are all protected in parks.

Etosha has a fence and the migration is no longer, once the game could circulate travelling 100s of km but that was then. Now they must wait at the waterholes for the rains to come. It is good for the tourist with the camera but it is not right.

Only in the wilderness is the game still free, there have been good rains for many years now and the game is fat and plentiful. In bad years it would be something to see twenty bok but know they roam the desert in herds maybe 500 maybe 1000 at a time. This may not seem many to you but then maybe you have never seen the Namib, it is the thirstlands. Now the game is plentiful the lions have returned to the wilderness, not many yet, 100+ not more but they breed like rabbits. They are very strange, there is very little water, but they are big and strong. When they first returned there was not enough pride males only two or three and soon there were more prides than pride males. So they must share and live without their own male to protect them. This is not normal. The scientist made a new name for this they call it the desert super-pride as it was really one big family or fifty or more but living a days walk apart. Now there are more and lions and more pride males and things can return to normal.

There are many ellies in the wilderness and sometimes close to the towns. They walk the roads in the mornings and evenings but you mast be lucky to see them. You know they are there from the spoor and sometimes it is very wet and they were not so long gone. If you see dung on the road it is bad luck to run over it. This is not a superstition as they eat the thornbush.

The desert rhino is nimble and fast although doesn't look it. They dance across the rocky plains picking their feet up high. They have always lived in the desert and know its ways. Not even all the poachers or the troops could kill them all. They survived with the help of the villagers and the good people looked out for them, now there are maybe two hundred running free in the wilderness. One time one of them set off to see the world and was seen walking along the road that goes to Ruacana. He was caught and taken to Etosha. It maust have been very good to see a fine black rhino looking like he owns the world but it is also dangerous as there are many trucks and they travel very fast.

There are many animals in the wilderness but the wilderness is vast. Elephants, lions, rhino, leopards (no buffalo in the desert) They say that the lions go to the sea and hunt seals but you can not go there as it is not permitted in the north. there are giraffe, hyena, spotted and brown, suricats (meercats), honeybadger, warthog, cheetah, many bok and the best of all the gemsbok (oryx). The gemsbok love the desert, they can go were nothing else can follow except maybe the elephant, but the elephant must drink in the end and must find water at least twice a week.

I have seen pictures of animals from Kenya/Tanzania and I will say that I think that the desert animals look better at least in the good years. They are not so bothered with biting insects, the rhinos and the elephants skins are smooth no blemishes, they look like they were made yesterday.

The problem is that the wilderness is vast, it is hard, it is dry. If you want to see many animals you must go to etosha but etosha is not right. It is for the tourists and the animals sufffer now that they can not follow the grass, the browse and the water.

The best animals are in the wilderness. They say that the desert elephant is the tallest but I do not know. They seem to have very long legs and they can stand upright like a goat to pluck a twist of leaves or a few pods from the trees.

To see what you have seen in one place would take many days, weeks or months in the wilderness. But what you do see is very special. I have seen elephants and rhino even when going by foot, lions and hyenas and of course all of the prey animals. Never seen a leopard but they are very common. Never seen a cheetah but I have walked in their tracks.

The big joy is that even if there is no game to be seen the Namib is very beautiful.

I thought I had some figures but I am untidy and forgetful but I think that there are maybe 250,000 springbok they are the Namib wilderbeest, maybe 50-100,000 gemsbok, maybe 600-1000 elephants, 100+ lions, 200+ black rhino, a few thousand mountain zebra, enough giraffe so that it seem hard to believe that they can each have a tree and all this living outside of protected reserves. The reason that this is possible is that the Namib needs no fence nor government guards.

The desert wilderness is harsh and wide and the villagers love the animals and do not poach the rhino or elephant.

I think it is not like Tanzania.
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