Trip Report: GAP Serengeti Experience

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Nov 7th, 2005, 01:35 PM
  #1
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Trip Report: GAP Serengeti Experience

Tour: 8-day participation camping
Local Operator: Bobby Camping Safari
Tent: heavy-duty canvas, hut or dome, big
Vehicle: LandCruiser

Day 1 Nairobi to Mesenari Snake Park
Campsite: Mesenari Snake Park
Ground: dirt
Condition: very dusty, we also got rain
Lodging upgrade: no
Drinks: onsite bar
Electricity: at bar
Shower: electric heating, not working for us
Notes:

Day 2 Lake Manyara
Campsite: Twiga (in town)
Ground: grass
Condition: very nice
Lodging upgrade: $25 for a very nice room
Drinks: onsite bar
Electricity: 5 outlets in the bar
Shower: electric heater, working!
Highlights: lion family, hippo, beautiful landscape
Notes: Laundry service is available and, if no rain, they will be dry when you come back from the park. Dancing and acrobat show by local people at night

Day 3 Transfer to Serengeti NP, visit Oldupai Gorge on the way
Campsite: Tumbili public campsite in Serengeti
Ground: dirt
Condition: warm, open, no fence
Lodging upgrade: None
Drinks: None
Electricity: None
Shower: Cold, but feels OK
Highlights: leopard on the tree on our way in
Notes: Buy water before hand. Road is very dusty beyond Ngorongoro.

Day 4 full day in Serengeti NP
Campsite: same as Day 3
Highlights: Leopard climbing tree with his prey; lion family

Day 5 Morning in Serengeti, afternoon transfer to Ngorongoro
Campsite: Simba public campsite in Ngorongoro
Ground: grass
Condition: windy, cold & misty at night
Lodging upgrade: None
Drinks: None
Electricity: 6PM-11PM, by power generator, which was broken at the time
Shower: electric heater no electricity when we were there
Highlights (in Serengeti): eating lion, cheetah
Notes:

Day 6 Ngorongoro, late afternoon transfer to Karatu
Campsite: Ngorongoro Safari Resort (in town)
Ground: grass
Condition: very nice, warm
Lodging upgrade: $30 for a very nice room
Drinks: on-site bar
Electricity: yes
Shower: hot
Highlights: lion hunting zebra, followed by gathering of 14 family members
Notes: It is quite cold in the morning but hot at noon under the sun

Day 7 Transfer to Marangu, 2-hour hike
Campsite: Nakara Hotel
Ground: grass
Condition: cool and dry, very nice
Lodging upgrade: $30 for a very nice room
Drinks: onsite bar
Electricity: yes
Shower: hot
Highlights:
Notes: Kilimanjaro is in the cloud until dark

Day 8 Morning view of Kilimanjaro and then back to Nairobi
Notes: short walk in the morning. Nice clear view of Kilimanjaro

1. Road is unpaved between Ngorongoro and Serengeti; not as bumpy as in Kenya. The only really rough stretch is the 5 km to Oldupai Gorge

2. Be prepared for dust. The amount of dust you will get is as amazing as the wild life you will see. For clothes, you would want those that do not look too bad with a lot of dust, easy to wash and dry (it took just a few hours to dry in Samburu). For cameras, make sure you have an air brush. I would recommend an air duster. A mask will help you breathe in the vehicle.

3. Your need sturdy luggage. They will be tightly packed at the back of the vehicle or on top of the car. Mine was torn a little on the first day. Luckily we got it fixed in the campsite.

4. Sandals are must. Fleece and hat are needed for Ngorongoro at night.

5. You need a good zoom lens. 600mm will do well.

Ive posted the report for Masai Mara Experience separately.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask.
cheerful is offline  
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Nov 7th, 2005, 02:11 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2004
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Hi cheerful,

Thanks for following up and posting this.

You never did tell us what you thought of the whole participation aspect of your camping. Did you enjoy it, was it a hassle, etc.?

And was your food good? Would you recommend Bobby Camping?

Thanks again,
Leely
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Nov 7th, 2005, 02:20 PM
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Hi,
Sounds great. Question - day 5 - eating lion - was it the lion or you doing the eating? It's probably an idiotic question and I'm not being facitious, as all of this stuff is new and quite intrigiguing to me. Did you do any hiking? I would love to be able at least part of the time to wear sandals - hate shoes/socks.
Thanks;
Sherry
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Nov 7th, 2005, 04:37 PM
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It was the lion eating a warthog.

The participation part is OK. Pitching tent is quite easy and packing is not difficult at all. We can finish it all in 10 min. We had no camping experience before so everyone can do it.

In the Kenya leg, we helped with cleaning the dishes every day.

In Tanzania, they seemed to like to do all the cleaning work on their own. We did help a few times, not that they asked, because we felt like to help (after the Kenya leg). We did all our tent, even though when in town, there always someone helping you with the tent.

The food is westernized and tasty, mainly rice and pasta. Vegetable is limited, cabbage, tomato, potato, string bean, carrot and pepper. The cook was pretty good. Personally, we liked it. No one in the group complained about food.

The only hiking we had on this leg is in rain forest in Marangu, 2+ hours. It is not difficult.

Overall, Bobby Camping is good. They don't talk much but they did a good jobs finding the animals.

There is just one aspect I don't like. It took them too much time to pack, at least 90 min every time. Most of stuff were put on the roof. However, the itinerary is arranged in such a way that the slow packing will never affect game viewing. You just need to find something to do during that period of time, like reading.
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Nov 8th, 2005, 10:05 AM
  #5
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
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Hi cheerful
Thanks for posting this trip report. I also read the report on the Kenya portion. Did you do any of the accomodation upgrades or were you happy to use the tents for the whole trip? How would you rate your experience overall? Would you recommend it to friends and family? Also, how was the photography and did you post pics for viewing on the internet?
Thanks again for the reports and the previous reply.
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Nov 10th, 2005, 07:55 AM
  #6
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We upgraded in Lake Nakuru when it was raining, and in Karatu and Marangu as we had a long flight back home after that. These are all very nice camping sites but you don't get upgrade option inside NP. The tents were fine.

Overall it is very positive experience. You have to be a wildlife lover to go on these types of trips. I would recommend it to people who I think can handle the rough road and dust. I've tried to list some important factors so that people can have a little idea going in.

I have a lot of pictures to work. I might post some later on.
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Nov 10th, 2005, 11:11 AM
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Yes, please post your pictures!

And thanks again for posting your report. It's great to hear about a variety of experiences on this board.

I'm so glad you had a good time.
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Nov 10th, 2005, 02:56 PM
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HI cheerful
I believe from your reports that my wife and I will enjoy our trip in February. We used GAP for our trip to the Amazon and the Galapagos last May and it was an amazing experience. We are both nature and wildlife enthusiasts. Thanks for the tip on the masks. I think we will bring some for some our fellow travelers that might not have thought about it.
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Nov 14th, 2005, 09:42 PM
  #9
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I am traveling right now so it will be a while before I can finish working on so many pictures.

I think one of the key in this type of tour is to have the right attitude. Things can go wrong and they do. You just need to take it easy and enjoy the rest as much as you can.

Have a good one, Richard!
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Nov 15th, 2005, 04:44 AM
  #10
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
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What dates was your trip?

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Nov 15th, 2005, 04:49 PM
  #11
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2nd week of Oct
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