Where are the animals in mid-dec to end of dec?

Aug 31st, 2005, 10:02 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 487
Where are the animals in mid-dec to end of dec?

Hi all,

we might be traveling to Kenya and Tanzania from Dec 15th to Dec 31 and wanted to know if there were any migration routes that we should be concerned about?
My husband went to Kenya around the end of November about 10 years ago and he said that he didnt see too many animals. Perhaps the tour he took wasnt that good... we dont know.
So do you all know where the animals would be towards the end of december?
Also what's the weather like then?

africatravel is offline  
Sep 1st, 2005, 09:02 AM
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The wildebeest and zebra and tommy herds move year-round - the "cylce of life" and move when the rains arrive. So in December you're likely to find them in Tanzania somewhere between the Northeastern to Central Serengeti. But, as with the weather, animals sightings can never be guaranteed - you just hope for the best with your planning. Other animals can be found anywhere year-round - again, no guarantees, but pretty much assured. Depends on what your expectations are.

If traveling December 15-31, this is high season, high prices and if considering 2005, you'll probably find most lodges/camps fully booked.

Weather should be mild - daytime mid to high 70s, maybe low 80s in Tanzania. Mornings and evenings 50-60s. Rarely rain during this time.
Sep 1st, 2005, 09:13 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 487
Hi Sandi, Thanks a lot for your help.

It seems like you know a lot of travels to East Africa (I have seen a lot of your postings ) so I have a few more questions.

1. Do you know of a reliable travel agency? We generally travel with Globus, but they are not offering any tours because of the travel warning.

2. We had done a locally hosted tour when we were in Mauritius a few years back and it was a disaster because the guy never showed up for half of the tours. We never got our money back either. So we are a little hesitant about taking locally hosted tours. What has your experience been specifically in East Africa?

3. Money. How much is a reasonable charge for about a 10 day trip of Kenya and Tanzania for two people? We were hoping to stay in the Sopa lodges, not the tent camps.

4. We wanted to add a Victoria falls extension for a day or so. Do you have any advice on how that should be done?

5. What's the best time to go to East Africa. I prefer it to be cooler than hotter!

Any help would be appreciated. We have tried to book trips to East Africa before and it generally falls apart in the planning stages because we can never find a tour that we can trust.

africatravel is offline  
Sep 1st, 2005, 09:28 AM
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Forget Victoria Falls - it's another flight (4-hrs minimum) and is in Southern Africa. Plan that maybe if visiting South Africa.

Do a search on this board in the box at top of the page - enter "Kenya or Tanzania Tour operators" click search or enter on the right. Threads containing such info will appear in the left column. You can read thru and get names of reliable tour operators - most are in-country outfitters (Kenya or Tanzania).

Sopa properties are reasonable, but not located everywhere in both countries, but there are alternatives in/around the same price range.

Best time for best game viewing is also the high-season in both countries with high prices. You can consider shoulder season, such as November in Kenya (though you'll have some rain). I know your husband went then and didn't see animals. Well we almost always travel then and saw plenty of animals. Again, there are no guarantees. And you can consider June as shoulder for Tanzania, but as of 2006, the prices aren't lower any longer. So all that's left is the rainy season of April-May, when prices are low, few crowds, but wet and muddy. Can't always time it right for weather or animals. You just have to pick a time and go with it.

Weather - will be warmer in November thru March (higher in Tanzania) but rarely so hot that it's unbearable, rather comfortable and the evenings/mornings are cool. If during the months of July - October you can expect the mornings/nights to be downright cold, though with comfy daytime temps. So there might not be a happy medium for you.
Sep 1st, 2005, 09:50 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 13,019
Are you interested in a group or private tour? I listed the names of a couple of group tour operators in your other thread where you asked about escorted tours.

Whether you travel in a group or privately as long as you've pre-booked your trip with a tour operator (whether US or Kenya/Tanzania based), you'll be met on arrival at the airport and have a guide travel with you throughout your safari until you're back at the airport again for your departure. I don't think there's any need to worry about being deserted.

In Kenya, you have a choice of Serena, Sopa or Sarova lodges if you don't want to stay in tented camps. In Tanzania, there's again Serena, Sopa or Wildlife lodges. Serena is generally considered the higher end of the chains and Wildlife lodges the lower end. Sopa and Sarova are somewhere in the middle.
Patty is online now  
Sep 1st, 2005, 11:01 AM
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Patty wrote: "Wildlife lodges [are considered] the lower end".

The properties of Hotels & Lodges Tanzania (ex state-owned TAHI) are managed by SA group Three Cities Hotels for nearly two years now.

My question: Is the above statement still true?

Sep 1st, 2005, 11:14 AM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 4,222
Well, Bwana, you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.

However, as someone who has only stayed in Wildlife Lodges, I thought they were fine. We particularly enjoyed our time at the Seronera Wildlife. Things were a tiny bit disorganized (they forgot to charge of for our laundry and a bottle of wine when we checked out--of course we corrected their mistake), but the staff was friendly and accommodating. Wonderful location, too.

I'd love to time a visit so we could stay at the Lobo Wildlife; I like the looks of it.

If someone's looking to save money, why not the Wildlifes?
Leely is offline  
Sep 1st, 2005, 12:42 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 13,019
It's probably a bit of a generaliztion on my part and I didn't mean to imply that there's anything wrong with staying at Wildlife lodges. I've looked at the Lobo one with interest myself. I think cost wise, they tend to fall in that order.
Patty is online now  
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