When should I plan a July safari in TZ?

Apr 2nd, 2007, 05:20 AM
  #1  
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When should I plan a July safari in TZ?

My wife and I are cooking up another Africa trip for July 2008, starting off with about a week in Cape Town to do some shark observing. After that, I am inclined to try to do something in Tanzania. Based on your experience, when should I shoot for planning this trip in order to avoid finding that camps/lodges/whatever are full?
Any other general-level advice, like particular areas to visit or avoid at that time of year, would be greatly appreciated. I have never tried to plan a trip to Tanzania before, so I am not well-educated about options there.
Thanks for your advice.
Chris
Chris_GA_Atl is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2007, 06:27 AM
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I'm planning now for my July 2008 safari to Tanzania. July is a fabulous time of year to do the northern safari circuit - gorgeous weather, few tse tse flies. The small camps get booked up to a year in advance, so it's not too early to plan.

I'd recommend you plan for 2 nights in Tarangire which is a beautiful little park famous for it's baobab trees and large elephant populations, but in July would have lots of other great game viewing as well.

In July last year I included the western, northern and central Serengeti regions in the hopes of catching some of the migration somewhere. We came across it in the western corridor, but of course finding it where you think it will be at any given time of the year is always hit and miss. Migration or no migration, we loved all parts of the Serengeti. On our last day (in the southern part of park) we saw a total of 21 lions. Generally, I'd say that the southern Serengeti has little to offer in July and I wouldn't recommend staying there.

You should include the crater and Manyara and if you have the time, the West Kilimanjaro region is worth considering for a couple of nights. It offers opportunity to see the huge bull elephants that migrate from Amboseli in southern Kenya as well as the rare gerenuk. It's also less busy than the other parks which is a draw for me.

If you're able to include a Masai boma visit other than the touristy ones, it's quite an experience.

Here's a link to Lynda's New East Africa Trip Report Index which is a good place to start in the planning of your trip: http://www.fodors.com/forums/threadselect.jsp?fid=4

Calo is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2007, 06:30 AM
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Chris -

Never too early. If you plan to use FF miles for tickets, you know it's best to book as soon as seats become available, 330/331 days out from your departure date.

In the meantime, you can start working on your time in Capetown and defintely Tanzania. July will be high-season in the western corridor with few camps in the area, whether permanent or seasonal. At this time you'll get '07 prices, pending availability of '08 prices sometime between May-Aug '07.
sandi is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2007, 08:57 AM
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Thanks for your informative replies. I was hoping to be able to put off planning this trip until we get back from Mongolia and China in late September this year, but it looks like that isn't a very good idea. If anyone has any further ideas about where to go and what do to in Tanzania in either late June or early July, I would love to hear them.
Thanks again.
Chris
Chris_GA_Atl is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2007, 09:14 AM
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I agree with all of Calo's recommendations.

Gibb's Farm is a place between Manyara and Ngorongoro that offers a different accommodation than a typical safari lodge. It is a coffee plantation with walks and waterfalls. You can overnight there and then visit Manyara or the Crater or you can just stop in for lunch enroute to the Crater.

There have been some good reports on Southern Tanzania around that time of year--Selous, Ruaha, Katavi, Mahale (chimps.) I personally would go to Southern Tanzania no earlier than August.

On my next Northern Tanzania trip I want to include Arusha National Park, which has thicker foliage and Colobus Monkeys and Lake Eyasi to visit the Bushmen. Your first night would likely be in Arusha anyway, so that's an easy add-on. Lake Eyasi is usually done prior to Ngorongoro.

The timeframe you mention is not the very best for Lake Manyara, but Green Footprint has some interesting activities there, such as walking and canoeing.

We might be shark viewing together!
atravelynn is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2007, 09:15 AM
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Chris - I have no useful info re Tanzania (I'm obviously avoiding work right now if I am reading Tanzania threads, since I have neither been to Tanzania nor do I have any plans to go there anytime soon unfortunately), but you are going to Mongolia? For how long? Just curious. I've looked into trips there a handful of times but never got anything worked out.
maxwell is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2007, 09:53 AM
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Lynn -- I know you are going to be in Cape Town in that general time frame. I am involved in an e-mail discussion right now with Rob Lawrence from African Shark Eco-Charters to figure out the very peak time for sharks at Seal Island -- he is telling me June is the best month, so we may get steered into being in Cape Town in mid- to late-June and then be up for a safari right after that (late June/early July). So that suggests to me that I will miss you by about a month, unfortunately!

Thanks for the TZ suggestions as well.

Linda,
We are going to Mongolia for 10 days starting September 1, 2007, then into China for a couple of activities. We are using a company called Mongol Global Tours, and we got the idea for that company from -- you guessed it -- Lynn! If you go over to the Asia section of this Forum, you will see two trip reports written by Lynn -- one for Mongolia and one for Panda research centers in southwest China. Lynn used this same company for both those trips, so we chose it in part because of her recommendation. So check out Lynn's trip reports for a lot more information on Mongolia!
Chris
Chris_GA_Atl is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2007, 10:08 AM
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Great, thx for the heads up re Lynn's trip report - had not ventured over to the Asia board yet for Mongolia. It's definitely a place I'd want/need a company to arrange things so good to have a recommendation.
maxwell is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2007, 04:37 PM
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Maxwell,

Let me know if you have trouble findng the report or if you would like to email with questions.

Keep in mind the Olympics in Beijing in 2008. I'd try to avoid
atravelynn is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2007, 04:43 PM
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Maxwell,

Let me know if you have trouble findng the report or if you would like to email me with questions, feel free.

Keep in mind the Olympics in Beijing in 2008. I'd try to avoid visiting during that time. Hard to get flights into Beijing and there may be a big spillover of visitors into Mongolia. If you were timing your trip with the Olympics because you are attending them, then never mind.

If you like wildlife, you'll want to visit the tahkis--Przewalksi horses.

Chris, thanks for the mention! We are ships that pass in the night. Maybe someday we'll connect. My research also showed late June being the ideal time for Great White Sharks as well. I'm settling for mid-July.
atravelynn is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2007, 06:12 PM
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Thanks Lynn -
I'm printing out your reports to read on my flight later this week. Looking forward to it. and I had not even thought of possible spill over from the olympics (as much as I love watching the games from my couch, i have no desire to ever, ever be in the city/area when they occur!) I had never looked into the panda research center either so am looking forward to reading about that too.
maxwell is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2007, 10:59 PM
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Arusha National Park is a nice introduction to your safari to my opinion. If you're gonna visit this, do it at the start of your safari!
The canoeing on small momella lake (with Green Footprint) is very nice, but beware of the hippo's
Nikao is offline  
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