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About AndyH1000

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  1. I have heard the same explanation as @Imonmm. I have a couple of kids and we were in open vehicle with a lion maybe 20m ahead. The group was talking very quietly but when one of the kids spoke the lioness peaked-up the higher pitch voice and focussed in on him. So if you stay quiet and keep your movement to a minimum all should be well. I remember having a lion walk about a meter or so by the open vehicle - next to my kids; I think everyone held their breath and the sort of thing you remember on safari. The one exception to all this that I know of is in Ngorongoro Crater. They don't permit open vehicles there and I have seen a couple of different pics from there with lions standing up and looking into vehicles. Not sure what's going on there or why.
  2. Jan would be preferable to Feb and March as the grass should be shorter. It will be green and the animals dispersed. I haven't been to Hwange at this time but I would like to go there then; the Wilderness Camps of Davisons, Linkwasha and Little Makalolo. May be too galloping for what you are after though, but the landscapes in that area look great.
  3. @@rouxeny I have been to the Okavango in November... I think it's a great time to be there as you get shoulder season prices and the rains may have started so the grass is still low but may be greening up with a few showers and thunderstorms. In terms of the temperature - expect it to be hot; was in the low 40'sC for many of the days we were there. No puffy jackets required - maybe just the ability to layer a couple of thin items if needed. If you are going overland yourself you might want to bring a thin rain jacket or if staying at a camp they should provide a poncho per madaboutcheetah's comment. I think it's a good look to limit bright coloured clothing on safari, but others may have different view!
  4. @@dinkdunk I have done it - I discovered it on here thanks to other ST members and it was great way to loop back out through Kenya. I can recommend it. I can't recall exactly how long it took - this is in part because our plane from Arusha arrived late into the Serengeti due to weather over the Ngorongoro highlands - the delay was in the order of 2 hours. The flight itself should be quick - guessing 15 mins from Kogatende to Tarime, where a car should be waiting for you. Maybe an hour to 1.5 hrs to get to the airport at Migori and through customs - in our case we got pushed through quick given we were late and maybe that section was an hour. The van was air conditioned which was good. The flight to the Mara was maybe half hour. Plus you'll want to add time for logistics. Guessing 3 hours tops. We were in the Mara in time to enjoy a full afternoon's drive. I would do it again, but as PaulT alludes to it's not cheap but useful if you aren't in Africa that often.
  5. @@Africalover I think lions / animals in camp is worth a topic of it's own.... In trip reports, photo's on the net and each of our experiences this stuff happens more than some people might think.
  6. I would work out where I wanted to go and the type of experience I want. Then get a quote for that from a number or providers where you can compare apples. It is clear that ATR prefer to recommend camps / operators which they have a relationship with (Olduvai, Tanganyika Exped, etc) - it's evident from a look through their website and their TA reviews. That could be good or bad or whatever. It just is. I have stayed at Tortilis camp and it was great - I would expect a higher priced quote with it's inclusion. Also I wouldn't probably stay at Oldvai Camp in August but would around Feb - but that's just me.
  7. @@hannahcat I love the lions crossing the bridge in the light and the ornithologists behind. Great anticipation. Thanks for the report - I really enjoyed it.
  8. @@FlyTraveler Here are the bios for the Duma safari guides and you can get a sense for some of them on TA reviews... The first Duma guide we used was Kawaga... We are not safari novices and Kawaga's eyes impressed us - amazing spotting ability. There was a couple of occasions where I thought he could have made more effort and hence on the second trip I requested a different guide. Second Guide - Wilson Shange. Perhaps the best part about Shange is that he is a very good man and good person to be around with good karma. He understands the essence of overland safari as a journey - not just of wildlife but of people. Maybe doesn't have Kawaga's spotting ability (amazing), but spotted when needed - including a lion in camp (unseen by camp staff) and near us and our kids. We came home safely from that safari thanks to Shange. He also understands vehicle positioning for light / photography and pretty good at anticipating animal behaviour. I would request Shange again. Who does your friend recommend from Duma?
  9. @@hannahcat Looks like a great safari. In 2012 we were fortunate enough to be guided by Phinley and I hear you - he's a great person to be guided by. Excellent positioning and generally awesome karma. I had thought he retired. Great to hear he is back. Great actin with the lions and buffaloes and love the lions by the pink evening light.
  10. @@FlyTraveler Sounds like a great trip. I have used Duma twice and stayed in Chaka Camp at Ndutu and Northern Serengeti. They are good operators and their camps are great. Overall I think they are good value, so should fit your brief well. Who is guiding you?
  11. Mara Plains / Exploration and Ol Donyo would be a great option. Some other combos to consider are: Tortilis Camp in Amboseli plus the Mara Elsa's Kopje in Meru plus the Mara Both Tortillas and Elsa's should meet your needs; elevated, quality, open vehicles, few bogans / punters, with great landscapes. You might want to go to the Mara after Amboseli or Meru, so as to build up to a more intense game viewing experience; for first timers the reverse may result in some disappointment. Note though that Tortillas has a fence around it, so don't expect in camp encounters - in fact on elevated properties I would expect a general level of disconnection. In the Mara I like the landscapes of the Mara Triangle (quintessential) but that doesn't meet your needs for private and off-road which I think the Olare Motorogi conservancy should meet your needs and that's where you'll find Mara Plains per post from @@madaboutcheetah above
  12. Good stuff @@mooey Did you end up including the climb of Oldoinyo Lengai? That something I would like to do one day when I have a bit more time to loop around via Natron through to the Serengeti. Would love to hear about it all here in due course. Sounds like a great trip. Lucky kids
  13. Dave - great question but not an easy one to answer... Packaged inclusions can drive a lot of the cost, so if people start quoting $'s here they will often feel compelled to then spell out the details of what was included. That's an effort and may draw out judgements that are irrelevant based on what's important to the individual. A contrast for example: The simple: Wilderness safaris packaged trips in the Okavango - all included (maybe flights are extra I can't recall). You used to be able get rack rates here... More complex: By contrast in East Africa, you might organise an overland trip that amongst other inclusions might have a cost per day per guide / vehicle (varied by pax), park fees, accommodation (by range of quality / prices), some flights, overland connections between safari locations, etc. Then when you get quotes they vary considerably due to factors such as reputation, guide quality, vehicle, etc. Best to get some quotes and then put some prices out here listing inclusions and get some input. Hope that helps. Cheers, Andy
  14. It's years since I have been there so things may have changed, but the drive from Khwai to Savuti then Savuti to Chobe (particularly the latter) had a fair bit of soft sand, so the driving is slower than you might imagine. You would want to factor that into your planning which could be reason to add another night in Savuti. It's 16 years back for me, but the public camp site at Savuti was great - the ablutions were elephant proof and relatively new then. While the area was dry, their was plenty of action including elephants, hyaena and lions in camp. Plenty of game out on the dry marsh.
  15. Dave, This list should help you out... From that list you can then check a few names that come up vs Safaritalk trip reports for more details. A fantastic guide and solid vehicle are the key to a good trip. Re kids and camps; in my experience most places are very cool with kids. In fact more and more places have family tents and now it feels like most camps have tents that can accommodate the whole family together. This was not the case 3 years or so back. With the kids we have stayed at 10 or more different places. For us, the in camp experience is less of an issue as we are out most of the time, so less concerned about additional activities; with one exception... taking the kids to a Masaai village is a great thing to do - just try to go to one that is less 'popular'. Keep posting as you sort through and narrow down the options. Hope that helps.

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