Where to go in 2006---Tanzania v. Namibia

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Dec 5th, 2005, 08:41 AM
  #1
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Where to go in 2006---Tanzania v. Namibia

I had finally convinced myself that I was going to go to Tanzania next year...then Johan from Belgium mentioned Namibia. While I've thought about Namibia, I've never seriously considered it until I saw Wilderness Safaris' itinerary called "The Great Namibian Journey." So, now I need help deciding where to go.

I've been to Zimbabwe, Botswana, Uganda and Zambia and keep thinking that every wildlife/safari/Africa addict must go to Tanzania at least once in her life. So far I've only been on small group, scheduled safaris and this one offered by Natural Habitat appeals to me--it's called "Secluded Tanzania" and here's the itinerary:

Day 1: Arrive Dar Es Salaam--one night at the Sea Cliff Hotel
Days 2-4: Ruaha Natl. Park. We fly there and stay at the Mwagusi Safari Camp
Day 5: Lake Manyara. We fly there and stay at the E Unoto Lodge
Days 6-7: Ngorongoro Crater. We stay at a private safari camp which is "situated on the crater rim giving us a unique and authentic safari experience that cannot be gained at large lodges."
Days 8-10: Tarangire Natl. Park. We drive from the crater and stay at a private safari camp.
Day 11: Tarangire/Arusha/Home

Here's Wilderness Safaris' "Great Namibian Journey":

Days 1-2: From Windhoek to Sossusvlei. Stay at Kulala Tented Camp
Days 3-4: Travel to Kuiseb, Namib Desert. Stay at Aonin Dune Camp
Day 5: Drive to Walvis Bay and Swakopmund. Stay at Hansa Hotel in Swakopmund
Days 6-7: Travel up the Skeleton Coast to Damarland. Stay at Damaraland Camp
Days 8-9: Travel to Etosha Natl. Park. Stay at Ongava Tented Camp
Days 10-12: Fly to Skeleton Coast Natl. Park. Stay at Skeleton Coast Research Camp
Day 13: Charter flight to Windhoek/Home

I really want to see rhinos and flamingoes...
Thanks in advance for your comments, criticisms, pros and cons.

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Dec 5th, 2005, 09:28 AM
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africa_lover
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hi phernska,

Last year July we visited Tanzania : Serengeti, Lake Manyara, Tarangire, Ngorongoro and Selous.
The total of rhinos we saw : 0
Namibia, we visited Namibia in July 2002 and again, no rhinos !
Lake Manyara has plenty of flamingos though !
 
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Dec 5th, 2005, 09:33 AM
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phernska,
Both sound like great trips. Namibia is on my not-so-short list, but only if/when I can find a friend who will do self-drive with me.

We did see a rhino in Ngorongoro Crater, but from pretty far away. At first I thought it was a big rock. Camping on the rim of the Crater wil be cold, so if you choose this option pack accordingly. Also, I see that Ruaha is included on the TZ trip (also on my short list!): that would be great. But going all the way to TZ and skipping the Serengeti is sort of like Thanksgiving dinner without the turkey, especially as I see you haven't been to the Mara.

How was Uganda?
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Dec 5th, 2005, 09:52 AM
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phernska,
I realize my answer doesn't help you much, if at all. Hasn't Thit_cho been to both Namibia and Tanzania? Perhaps he's one of the people best-qualified to answer your questions. I'm sure there are others as well.

Good luck!
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Dec 5th, 2005, 11:04 AM
  #5
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Phernska,

I have the new brochure of Wilderness safaris 2006 at home and they changed the itinerary for the great namibian journey a bit:

- days 1 & 2: from Windhoek drive to Kulala Wilderness Camp, Sossusvlei
- days 3 & 4: drive to Hansa Hotel, Swakopmund
- day 5: transfer by road to Damaraland Camp, Damaraland
- days 6 & 7: drive to Palmwag Rhino Camp, Damaraland
- days 8&9: road transfer to Ongava Tented Camp, Etosha
- days 10,11&12: fly to Skeleton Research Camp, Skeleton Coast National Park
- day 13: fly to Windhoek

Has a safari addict you have to go at least once to Namibia and Tanzania.

Main differences between both:

- Your journey to Tanzania is much more concentrated on wildlife as the one to Namibia is. Namibia is a combination of wildlife and landscapes. Skeleton coast is just mythical!!!

You have a far greater chance to see predators in Tanzania than in Namibia.

If you are eager to see rhinos, you'll have to go to Namibia. You are almost guaranteed to see black rhino at Palmwag Rhino camp and you have a fair chance to see black and white rhino at Ongava. In Tanzania your chance to see black rhino is at the crater (mostly from a far distance) For flamingos I actually would recommend the lakes in Kenya like Nakuru. You also see them at the Ngorongoro crater but not in the big numbers like at the lakes in Kenya. When I was at Lake Manyara, I didn't see many of them.

In Namibia you'll have to drive long distances between the camps but the landscape makes it more than worthwile.

Phernska, it's a tough choice which one to visit but like I said before I would do them both because both of them are so different and have many highlights.

And if you are going to Tanzania, don't miss the Serengeti. In my eyes, the migration is one of the wildlife spectacles you have to see in your life.

I am doing the Great Namibian Journey in August 2005 in combination with a stay at Wolvedans. And in 2008 I am going back to Tanzania (after I finished my book on Botswana).

Greetings,

Johan
 
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Dec 5th, 2005, 11:33 AM
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Phernska
Johan is spot on. You're trying to compare two very different trips which simply happen to be on the same continent. Bringing it right back to simple choices; you have to decide:
1. Amazing deserts, wide open spaces, very few people
2. Beautiful Rift Valley scenery, classic wildlife
As Johan says, eventually you'll have to do both, but in the meantime I hope the above helps you choose which comes first.
Yours, Richard
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Dec 5th, 2005, 11:34 AM
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In April 2003 we were in Namibia at Walvis Bay - we saw tons of flamingos there. More than I have seen before, but not as much as I am expecting to see in Tanzania mind you! Climbing Dune 7 though was an experience no one should miss doing at least once in their lifetime (not that I could climb very far - but those that made it to the top had a big grin on their face the rest of the day!)
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Dec 5th, 2005, 12:16 PM
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Phernska,
Re: rhinos and flamingos. Both are almost guaranteed at Lake Nakuru. Itís not in Tanzania though. I agree that if youíre going to Tanzania you have to include the Serengeti in your itinerary, even if the migration is in the Mara.
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Dec 5th, 2005, 12:24 PM
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Thanks everyone...I guess I have to think it throught a bit more.

Johan, you mentioned you'll be going to Namibia in August...how did you decide on that month? I read somewhere that April, May and June were the "best" times to visit Namibia.
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Dec 5th, 2005, 12:35 PM
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Hoopoe Safaris offers this trip called "Serengeti Shall Not Die!":

Day 1 Arusha
Days 2-3 Tarangire Natl. Park. Overnight at Tamarind Camp
Day 4 Lake Manyara Natl. Park. Overnight at Kirurumu Tented Lodge
Days 5-6 Ngorongoro Crater. Overnight at Ngorongoro Serena Lodge
Days 7-9 Serengeti Natl. Park. Overnight at Serenget Camp
Day 10 Arusha/Home

No Ruaha, but it has the Serengeti--that place you all keep talking about!!
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Dec 5th, 2005, 12:50 PM
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Phernska,

I've never been there in August and in my opinon there aren't any bad times to visit Namibia. I have been there in May, June, November and December.

It's true that it's much greener in April-June then in August but that's no point for me.

Let me tell you a little story: my first trip was in May 2001 and we were walking in the Namib Naukluft mountains and suddenly a heavy hailstorm surprized us. Our guide told us that he had never seen this happen before that time of year ... so even if you are thinking you picked out the ideal period, mother nature is still be able change the cards.

A book that I like about Namibia is the Bradt Travel Guide, written by Chris McIntyre. Here you can find a lot of detailed information about the country.

Johan
 
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Dec 5th, 2005, 12:54 PM
  #12
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Phernska,

The places I would like to visit in Tanzania are the following:

- Serengeti;
- Ngorongoro crater;
- Katavi;
- Ruaha;
- Mahale.

Greetings,

Johan
 
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Dec 5th, 2005, 12:58 PM
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Hi, I have been to both Tanzania (August 1999) and Namibia (August 2002), and they are very different, in many perspectives.

We did see black rhino in the Crater, albeit from a distance, and plenty of flamingo in the Crater. We saw several rhino in Namibia, including tracking white rhino on foot at Ongava, and lots of black rhino (in both day and night) in Etosha, which is the national park adjacent to Ongava (or maybe its the other way around: Ongava is adjacent to Etosha). The black rhino frequent the waterholes at night at Okakuejo (in Etosha) and we saw two or three at the Ongava waterhole while we were eating dinner.

The principal differences, based on my trips, are:

1. Lots more animals in Tanzania, especially if you encounter the migration near the Crater or Serengeti

2. Namibia -- the landscape is stunning, and very different (dry, desserts, and enormous sanddunes). Sossoslvei is incredible, but game would be a bonus, not the primary reason for the trip (I think we saw some springbok and oryx, but not in the large numbers we saw in Etosha). I don't think you'll see any flamingoes in Namibia, unless the saltpan floods in Etosha, which is a rare occurrence, but must be beautiful.

I would also say that Tanzania (animals and landscape) would more similar to the countries you've been than will Namibia, but you can't go wrong with either decision.

Michael
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Dec 6th, 2005, 09:29 AM
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phernska,

If you do end up doing the Hoopoe Serengeti Shall Not Die trip (yes, I couldn't help but look up all your possible trips), I would consider the West Kilimanjaro extension. Climbhighsleeplow spent time there this past spring and really had positive things to say about this area.

And I think Patty, who should be returning from Kenya any minute now, also added a riding safari in the West Kili area as well.

Regardless, I am sure whichever trip you choose will be fantastic. And I am looking forward to hearing all about it.
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Dec 6th, 2005, 11:08 AM
  #15
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Thanks Leely...I wish someone would make the decision for me!! I'll check out the Hoopoe extension you mentioned. I really like the Hoopoe itinerary called "Wildest Africa" but the guy at Hoopoe thinks I should definitely do the Serengeti trip first.

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Dec 6th, 2005, 12:18 PM
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Hi Phernska,

If I were you I would go for Tanzania and definitely visit the Serengeti.
Every Africa-lover should at least visit those vast plains once in a lifetime. It will be a total different experience from Zimbabwe and Botswana, but really worth it.
If you have seen the movie "Out of Africa" with Meryl Streep (and who hasn't), then you know what to expect from nature and landscapes .
That really is Tanzania (or Kenya).

Although I really do love Namibia and would now prefer it to Tanzania , if you haven't visited Tanzania yet, go for it .

Lake Manyara is nice for the flamingo's, Tarangire has those wonderful baobabs and lots of elephants, Ngorongoro Crater is spectacular if you look beyond the other tourists visiting, but the Serengeti really is IT, this is Africa !

need some more pictures to convince you before you go?
I will try to put some on the kodakgallery website if you want.

Hilde
 
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Dec 6th, 2005, 12:32 PM
  #17
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http://www.kodakgallery.com/Slidesho...5&conn_speed=1

just hope this works
 
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Dec 6th, 2005, 01:50 PM
  #18
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Thanks Hilde....Tanzania here I come!!

fern
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Dec 6th, 2005, 11:28 PM
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And here is a link to just some of the pictures I took at Sossussvlei Namibia.


http://www.kodakgallery.com/Slidesho...6&conn_speed=1
 
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Dec 7th, 2005, 06:16 AM
  #20
 
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Hi guys, I am going to Tanzania (safari + zanzibar) in February. I am really looking forward. Can you help me to find low budget camps in Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater? Is worth it to use an operator? We are planning to stay in safari 5 - 7 days.
Africa_lover, your link is not working for me , I would love to see your pictures.
Thanks for your opinions...
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