TZ quickie interim report for Rocco

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Feb 20th, 2006, 05:07 AM
  #1
bat
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TZ quickie interim report for Rocco

Jambo from Zbar
Hot dry and dusty Feb 2-12; some rain Feb 13-14-15. No mass migration anywhere we were. Saw a line of wildebeest in Seronera valley heading toward Ndutu on the 16th. If the rain continued (I do not know) then things will be very different for you.
We had a great time anyway--lots of cat action.

Other comments
Re MKSC vehicle-- initially we had a vehicle with a large hatch that you could open or close but no sun canopy. We switched to one that you could have open but with a canvas canopy above you (plenty of room to stand up for pictures). You will probably have this kind (canopy) but you might want to confirm if shade is important to you. Liked our MKSC guide Edward who produced one of the highlights for us (must wait for full report for details).

At Crater Lodge, we really enjoyed Tree Camp. As Eben has said those units do not have as good a private view as do some of the South camp units but we had Tree Camp Lodge to ourselves for many hours. (If there is no migration at Olduvai, hang out at Crater lodge and then leave around 3 for Olduvai--like sarvowinner we liked our sunset walk with a masaai.)

According to Tree Camp Manager the best view for those units is 25. For South Camp he said 22 (but it is next to South Camp lodge so I am not sure if you might have some privacy issues). Units 14 through 22 in South camp do not have other units in front of them to obstruct the view. I would avoid North Camp.

re Nomad--Ken was our guide, also spent time with Emmanuel--both are great. They probably already have assignments but if you have either of them or see them at dinner say hello from Barbara, Fred, and Mark.
Nomad likes to do the 2 game drive ritual--early am with bush breakfast, back to freshen up before it gets too hot, lunch in camp then later an afternoon drive. We enjoyed it. The guides eat with you--enjoyed that alot.

Nomad Ndutu (Masek) camp was great. New tents--everything perfect. Nomad Loliondo camp was a bit of a let down--older tents on the shabby side. As you know at Loliondo you can night drive and go for a walk so that provides a change. If you go for the walk and Alexsandra does not want to she can ride in the vehicle to the location for your Out of Africa Breakfast at the end of the walk.
Loliondo is a long (3 hour)drive from Ndutu--you see why the Masaai call it the endless plains. If you are having any second thoughts about your every-other-day moving, you could check into 4 nights at Ndutu and skip Loliondo.

Mobile phone reception was excellent. It became a running joke that our friend with the sat phone could not get as good reception as we did calling the U.S. with out ordinary T-Mobile.

Have a great trip.
bat is offline  
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Feb 20th, 2006, 05:15 AM
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Welcome back, Bat! I can't believe you've returned already!
Sharon
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Feb 20th, 2006, 07:04 AM
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Hey bat, nice to know u had a good time,more trip details pls........................Sonali
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Feb 20th, 2006, 07:17 AM
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Thanks for checking in, bat. Enjoy the rest of your trip and time in Zanzibar! Look forward to your full report soon
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Feb 20th, 2006, 07:30 AM
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Sijambo, bat! Thanks for checking in. Eat lots of seafood on Zbar for me. And have a safe journey home.
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Feb 20th, 2006, 08:38 AM
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Looking forward to the highlight produced by Edward and the rest of your report.
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Feb 20th, 2006, 10:01 AM
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Bat,

Thanks so much for the interim report. Sorry you didn't see the bulk of the migration but glad to hear the predator viewing was good.

I did enquire with T-Mobile (I am with Verizon) but unfortunately they have a stupid rule that a new account must be active for three months before being provided with international coverage. So, instead, I will, as usual, be renting a satellite phone. $1.80 per minute vs. $4.99 roaming charges for T-Mobile, although I will also be paying about $300 for the rental and services of the satellite phone. It will all be about even in the end, as I am sure that the satellite phone will get at least 15 minutes per use per day as Alexsandra and I look after our interests at home.

Was there internet access at Crater Lodge or elsewhere? I figure I will be without internet for my week in the Serengeti but I am hopeful that I may have it while in Lake Manyara, Tarangire and Ngorongoro Crater areas.

Have a great time in Zanzibar and I look forward to comparing notes upon my return.
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Feb 20th, 2006, 10:18 AM
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Rocco,
What make/model phone do you have with Verizon? Is it GSM and does it have 900/1800 MHz bands? Verizon uses CDMA technology in the US, but some of the phones they sell are both CDMA and GSM.

If you have a phone that is also GSM and has the correct frequencies, check to see if it's unlocked by inserting another carrier's SIM chip. Verizon may not bother to lock their phones like Cingular and T-Mobile do since they don't provide GSM service in the US. In case it's locked, try asking them for the unlock code or googling your phone model plus the word unlock.

If you have an unlocked GSM 900/1800 phone, you'll be able to pick up a local SIM in Tanzania. Your calls should be cheaper than satellite or T-Mobile roaming.
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Feb 20th, 2006, 12:22 PM
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Itís good to hear there has been some rain. Iím looking forward to the trip report. Enjoy Zanzibar. Safiri salama.

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