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Will safaris in Kenya and Tanzania be just too much...?

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Nov 1st, 2004, 04:59 AM
  #1
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Will safaris in Kenya and Tanzania be just too much...?

Hi

I'd initially planned to come to East Africa next summer and travel independently around Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania. I planned to visit Amboselli, Rift Valley and Masai Mara in Kenya (5 days), then go Gorilla Trekking in Uganda (3 days), then go to Arusha and see the Serengeti, Lake Manyara, Tarangire and Ngorongoro (7 days).

Talking over this plans with my boyfriend he thinks we'll be 'wildlifed out' and thoroughly sick of seeing the same thing in Kenya and Tanzania. I understand his point and I'm considering cutting out Kenya completely but rather reluctantly.

I know when we've travelled to other places, the first time we saw a wild kangaroo/camel/koala etc it was wonderful and the novelty did wear off slightly after a time. Is he being a humbug or am I being too keen?

Thanks in advance

BrownBear
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Nov 1st, 2004, 05:53 AM
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Message: Brown Bear

Difficult to say if you will "burn out". Also depends on extent of driving versus flying from park to park. I think there is enough variety from park to park to maintain interest particularly if one looks for the less obvious instead of focusing mostly on the big game. We tried to see past the elephant or whatever to notice the songbird on the bush, bugs, flowers, unique landscape, rainbows, etc. Whenever we stopped to see species "x" it was great to also take in a panoramic view and see the other sights that often get overlooked. As an example while awaiting the great sunset at the Sopa Ngorongoro Crater Lodge I was amazed at how many little critters were there. Several species of colorful song birds and small hamster-size rodents were along the patio wall. During the walk with a Masai guide at the lodge at Amboseli we had occassion to see huge "beetles" on vegetation, touch thorny vegetation, walk among Masai cattle, sneak up on a colorful African crested hoopoe, etc. Or, at the Serengeti Sopa to enjoy a cold can of Safari beer at a patio table while watching solitary cape buffalo drinking at the waterhole or photographing a colorful male agama stalking a grasshoper near the patio steps. The habitats you mention will not have the same wildlife and the rich diversity is incredible. But, other posters may share a different perspective as not all things appeal the same to all visitors. In any case, however short or long the trip you will have a great time!
Dick
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Nov 1st, 2004, 06:13 AM
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HI Dick

Thanks for your interesting comments. Who did you do your safaris with? Sounds like you had a great time!

We're planning to fly into Nairobi, do our safari there and after a few days in Uganda to see the gorillas, fly over to Arusha for the Tanzania section of the trip. We plan to finish with a few days in Zanzibar.
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Nov 1st, 2004, 07:03 AM
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Message: BrownBear
We had great time with 2Afrika. I have posted various comments on the two trips to East Africa. Do a search either on my screen name or simply Tanzania and/or Kenya. That way you will also gain insight as to commentary from others who I consider the real veterans on this board.
Dick
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Nov 1st, 2004, 09:03 AM
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I don't think you'll be as bored with the wildlife at some point as you might be rushed in Tanzania. I'm guessing that your Kenya portion would include 2 days in Amboseli, one day drive to the Mara along the Rift Valley, then 1.5 days in the Mara before heading into Uganda? That's tight but reasonable, however 7 days to see four parks in Tanzania will exhaust you. I'd spend 2-3 days in the Serengeti, 1 day at Ngorongoro, and 2 days in either Lake Manyara or Tarangire (if you are birdwatchers, go to Manyara - otherwise Tarangire is probably a better option).

I agree with rsnyder that when you start to focus on the "other" wildlife (trees, birds, insects, lizards) you can get sucked into the unusualness of it just as easily as the big animals. We found that after a few days we were not as thrilled with seeing wildebeast, zebra or lion, but sometimes the sheer thrill of the numbers of animals can make it interesting. And after a while you can start to note animal behavior - and note differences in the animals in a pack. You may come upon a hobbled zebra attempting to keep up with its pack, or a wildebeast being born, or young elephants at play. We found that in the long run was more fascinating that just ticking the animals off our list.
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Nov 1st, 2004, 12:48 PM
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A recent poster mentioned that Gorilla opportunities are better in Rwanda as there isn't as much travel time once in country to get to where the Gorillas can be found. You might want to do a search in the box on the top of this board - input Rwanda or Gorillas Rwanda, then click "find" and the threads with the information will appear in the left column from where you can read the information.

If still considering Uganda, many travelers arrive Nairobi then fly to Entebbe from where there are 3-5/day packages offered. These include transfers, hotels, meals, driver, guide, and permits. Some packages also include the air to/fr NBO/Entebbe. So depending on how much time you want to spend, you can eat up at least a third of your 15 days.

So 10-days doesn't leave near enough time to do Kenya and Tanzania both. You also have to consider that the "summer" (which month/s are you considering?) is the start of the hi-season in East Africa with the wildebeest migration and space books up quickly.

Seven days is also very tight to even do Tanzania. Depending on when you arrive Arusha, you may need an overnight. Then Tarangire can be done in 1-day, but deserves 2-days/nts in the summer months as there is a small migration taking place here also. The Ngorongoro Crater requires 2-nts, as by the time you arrive it's late afternoon, and not till the next day do you spend time touring inside the Crater. And for the Serengeti, during the summer as the herds move towards to Mara you will find then early in the Western Serengeti, then Northern Serengeti which deserves at least 3-days considering that 1-day at minimum can be taken up by "just getting there". And if summer to you is August, it's very likely the herds might already be in the Mara in Kenya.

I don't think it would be a matter of being "safaried-out" but more that you're trying to do too much in too short an amount of time.

So depending on when in the summer, which month, do Uganda and the Mara or Uganda and Tanzania or pass on Uganda (or Rwanda) and only the Mara, Amboseli, Tarangire, Ngorongoro and Serengeti.
 
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Nov 2nd, 2004, 04:39 AM
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Thanks for all your advice.

Sandi, we actually have 23 days for our trip and were planning on 3 or 5 in Uganda, 5 in Kenya and 7 on a safari in Tanzania before heading to the coast. Even though, I know it's still tight and I'm trying to give us some rest days. Experience in other countries reminds me a day doing nothing is so nice sometimes!

I had heard about Rwanda and the fact it is also a bit easier with less uphill hiking so will be sure to check that out.

Mnay thanks again

BB
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Nov 2nd, 2004, 05:06 AM
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Goodness, with 23 days you certainly have enough time to get everything in and time for R&R in Zanzibar. And I don't believe you'll be "safaried out" as gorilla trekking is completely different then safari in Kenya and/or Tanzania. And since you will be in Kenya and/or Tanzania sometime during Migration, that too is quite unique. As well, the various parks in both countries provide varied environments, all in in their own ways - whether the animal encounters, the amazing birdlife, the beautiful star-filled skies, and the quiet that surrounds you in so many places.

Also, you are not obligated to go out on every game drive - it's not a law. Sometimes it's nice to sleep late and take your game drive when you feel like it, or no game drive at all and just relax with a book at the pool or on a hammock outside your tent.

It is often very nice to have nothing in particular to do on a day or two during one's holiday.
 
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Nov 11th, 2004, 10:38 AM
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BrownBear: I personally can never tire of any animals in Africa. But I would caution you about doing too much in too little time; you will be tired and may not really enjoy what you see. Africa is too special to try and cram everything in in a short time. Ngorongoro was just beyond belief, and if I could, I'd go back in a nanosecond. I went to Kenya in '01 and Tanzania in '03--I just can't get enough of African wildlife. This summer I am going to go to the southern part of Africa: Kruger, Victoria Falls, Chobe. Can't wait. Happy travels to you.
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