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Found 22 results

  1. Hubby and I, along with along with two of our favorite travelling friends, will be doing our first safari this June. We have 3 weeks and have contacted several tour operators for quotes through KATO. Not sure if we are being over-ambitious because we do enjoy road trips and can't see spending so much more for private flights. However, if the roads are really bad, then that takes the fun out of seeing the countryside and nobody likes 10-12 hrs driving days. We are looking to see the big 5, along with all the other critters and birds that East Africa has to offer, especially monkeys and cats.. I'm the photog of the group and hubby is the birder. Sue keeps the party going and Dave is our lightning rod (if anything goes wrong, it happens to him). We're celebrating my membership to the fifth decade as I'm the last one to join! We also want to experience the varying landscapes, culture, and food. We camp every year at home, so will enjoy a mix of both lodge and camp experiences (although the camp pictures I've seen are quite a bit nicer than the camping we usually do!) Our favorite (thus far) has an itinerary as follows: 1) June 3 arrive Nairobi - Best Western or Intercontinental (I have free nights at both but not sure if the CBD is a great area to stay?) 2) Drive to Ol Pejeta - Porini Rhino Camp 3) Ol Pejeta - Porini Rhino Camp 4) Drive to Lake Nakuru - Sopa Lodge 5) Drive to Maasi Mara - Entim Camp 6) Maasi Mara - Entim Camp 7) Maasi Mara - Entim Camp 8) Drive to Serengeti - Kubu Kubu Camp 9) Serengeti - Kubu Kubu Camp 10) Drive to Ngorongoro - Sopa Lodge 11) Ngorongoro - Sopa Lodge 12) Drive to Tarangire - Mawe Ninga 13) Tarangire - Mawe Ninga 14) Drive to Amboseli - Kibo Camp 15) Amboseli -Kibo Camp 16) Drive to Mombasa- Voyager Beach Hotel (we're also avid divers and hope to do some dive/snorkle trips from here) 17- 20) Mombasa - Voyager Beach 21) June 24 - Head home Trip is inclusive of all meals, game park and conservation fees, airport and border transfers, services of experienced driver/ guide. Some questions that I have are: - Will the drive days be ok? 6-8 hrs is pretty much max we'd want to do. I have specifically requested a 4x4 Landcruiser for the entire trip as I'm on the small (ok: short) side and am afraid the minibus won't do. - Can anyone give first hand experience on the accomodations listed? Most of my research shows these are good choices, but its hard with the overwhelming amount of questionable reviews on other websites. - Do the lodges offer laundry service? We'd like to pack just 7 days of clothes and do laundry as needed. This was really easy and cheap when we were in SE Asia, so hoping its similar in Africa. - Can anyone recommend the Olduvai museum? I did my undergrad in anthropology/archaeology and am interested whether or not its worth the stop. That's all I can think of at the moment. There will be more, so thanks in advance!
  2. Hello to my new friends at Safari talk! Someone would do well to write a book entitled 'Safaris for Dummies' because I have a lot of first-timer questions. We are hoping to do the Northern Circuit in late June. I don't see a lot of trip reports for this particular month. Wondering if it is because we will see more tsetse flies than wildebeests? We live in mosquito heaven, I've been known to wear a mosquito net over my hat to weed the garden so we are used to biting insects but really they are incredibly annoying and likely more so if you are trying to focus your camera on a lion feasting on a gazelle. Does Deep Woods Off work to keep them away? I have read that tsetse flies are actually attracted to the smell or is that a wives tale? We have limited time away since we are tagging this trip onto a visit to the UK - hey, it's half way and if I'm going to travel to England might as well carry on Our itinerary at the moment looks something like this: After a restless night in Arusha trying to adjust our internal clocks we head off to Tarangire for 2 nights. 1st day game drive, 2nd day walking around hopefully gawking at elephants. Elephants are a huge (see what I did there?) reason I want to go on safari, which is why I think 2 nights here would be a good choice for us. The next bit is a little hazy, could use some advice; either we travel to Ngorongoro for the night and hit the crater the following morning OR go to the central Serengeti and stop at the crater on the way back. I sort of think I would like to see the migration though when I read a TR about the wildebeest with the broken back in the river I wondered if I had the intestinal fortitude for that. If we stay in central Serengeti will it be a long, hot, dusty trip to the Grumeti river and back? Should we think about staying nearer to the Grumeti than Seronera? Will it be another long sad day of driving to go all the way back to Arusha from here to catch a flight to Zanzibar? Zanzibar - another dilemma. We really only have time for 2 nights there. Rather than hitting a beach resort I am thinking we could spend both nights in Stone Town, one night to sample the food at Forodhani garden night market, a day of snorkelling (the only reason Zanzibar is on my radar), the day of departure to tour the town. Will June be a decent time to snorkel or will the waters be murky? I would cross that off the list to spend more time in the Serengeti if we won't be able to see underwater - but checking out the sea life in the Indian Ocean would be important to me if there is something to see. Miscellaneous: we like to tipple. Aperitifs, wine with dinner, after dinner cocktails, (mostly for my husband all of the aforementioned involve wine.) Should we pick up a case in Arusha to haul around with us? I prefer a G&T, because the tonic helps with malaria of course. Same, can I bring my own or will that be frowned upon at the camps? My main concern ncern is that our luggage will be overweight with all the shillings we'll need for our bar bill. Can we use credit cards at camps?
  3. Hi all As some of you on here know, my wife and I were planning a trip to Zambia for July this year (previous post in this section) , but we had to back out of it following the follow-up scan Rachel ( my wife) had, which required further chemo treatment and follow-up surgery. It turns out the chemo worked so well that no surgery is required, and currently no further treatment, although another scan in three months time could change that. This has left us with the opportunity to have a much needed holiday in this period and so we plan to go to Northern Tanzania in October, which means we have very little time to sort everything out. We've excluded the Zambia option because we wanted to go there when it was greener, and not so hot, and so we have settled on Northern Tanzania because we researched it a lot a couple of years ago (prior to chosing south and west Tanzania back then), and went on safari to Northern Tanzania back in January 2001, meaning we know enough already to decide where want to stay, etc. Therefore we have already decided precisely what we want to do and intend to get that booked with ATR this coming week. I'll post details of our intinery in a couple of days time when its sorted (we intend to stay in Lake Manyara, Ngorongoro and Serengeti), but we do have a few questions that we really would like answers to quickly, so your advice would be very much appreciated. Flights Plastic bags in Kenya - Flying from the UK it seems most flights transit through Nairobi ( at least on the return flight even if not on the outward). Does the Kenya plastic bags ban affect people in transit through Kenya ( ie plastic bags in your luggage) ? We could use BA flights which go out via Qatar but they still go back via Nairobi. Which flights/routes would any of you recommend going from the UK? Electronics on Planes Are there any restrictions on flights from UK to Tanzania regarding travelling with cameras, etc on the plane? Any recent new restrictions? Luggage restrictions on light aircraft We will be having a few air transfers - Is restriction still 15Kg total per person, and do they weigh it in Kilimanjaro/Arusha ( wherever first departure point is)? Yellow Fever Although only transiting through Kenya, is this likely to be checked? ( it wasnt when we traveled two years ago. We have certs but it was done in 2006 and cert states valid for 10 years , even though we have been assured we do not require another vaccination as ours was the same as vac currently used, and is now valid for life) Also is the Cholera outbreak in Kenya of any significance if transiting through? VISAS Any issues experienced with obtaining a Tanzanian visa by post (ie delays)? Weather Conditions We will be there second half of October - are we actually likely to experience much rainfall? What has the Northern Tanzania weather been like this year ( ie typical or rather unusual)? Tsetse Flies Are they likely to be a problem in October? What anti-histamine would be helpful ( Rachel got quite a bad reaction to these bites on our last safari)? Currency/Tipping We took US $ ( all bills later than 2006) for all cash purchases and tipping two years ago . Is this still OK? First day- overnight Arusha We intend to spend our first night in lodge/hotel in Arusha to catch up on sleep as flight highly likely to be overnight flight. Any recommendations? Also our first air transfer will need to be to to Lake Manyara airstrip - Do these transfers go from Arusha or Kilimanjaro or both? Locations Anything specific/unusual/ problems/etc happening recently that we should be aware of in Manyara/Ngorongoro /Serengeti?
  4. As of 1st December 2017, the Tanzanian government is planning to implement an increase in concession fees for all permanent accommodation based inside the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. A concession fee is a rental tax paid to the government by all hotels/lodges/camps that are located inside these boundaries, for every bed night utilized. This increase has only affected a limited number of lodges. Although you may have received separate emails from various lodges and camps, we would like to provide you with a simplified list below of what type of changes you can expect. Please find below a list of lodge and camp names along with the supplementary increase to the per person per night accommodation pricing from 01 December 2017 onwards into 2018. Rhino Lodge: +$51 Ngorongoro Serena Lodge: +$41 Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge: +$41 Ndutu Safari Lodge: +$50 (estimate) TWC Lake Masek Tented Lodge: +$29.5 Above concession fee increases are inclusive of VAT Please note that andBeyond Ngorongoro Crater Lodge pricing will not change as they are absorbing the cost of this increase for the 2018 season. Any properties that are not mentioned in the above list will not have any price change.
  5. The Road Not Taken Two roads diverged in a yellow wood And sorry I could not travel both And be one traveler, long I stood And looked down one as far as I could To where it bent in the undergrowth; Then took the other, as just as fair And having perhaps the better claim, Because it was grassy and wanted wear; Though as for that, the passing there Had worn them really about the same, And both that morning equally lay In leaves no step had trodden black. Oh, I kept the first for another day! Yet knowing how way leads on to way, I doubted if I should ever come back. I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood and I— I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference. Robert Frost
  6. My wife and I are just back from 2 wonderful weeks in Zanzibar and Tanzania. The trip was as follows 20-25 December The Z hotel, Nungwi, Zanzibar 25 - 27 December Tarangire Safari Lodge 27 - 29 December Wilderness Ndutu Tented Camp (not to be confused with Wilderness Safaris in Southern Africa) 29 - 31 December Wilderness Serengeti Tented Camp 31 - 1 January Sopa Ngorongoro 1 January Day room at Ilboru Safari Lodge, Arusha 2 January Back to Denmark We booked Zanzibar ourselves. The safari part was booked with Base Camp Tanzania in Arusha. After having shopped around I ended up using the services of Achmed Philips at BaseCamp. He was very responsive and came up with some very good suggestions as well as very reasonable prices. We deceided to go against the flow starting in Zanzibar and finishing with the safari as one Means of avoiding the crowds. It seemed to Work but I had forgotten how much Work it is to be on safari so we were very tired by the time we returned to Denmark. We had a great time in Zanzibar. I can hihly recommend the Z hotel. Great rooms, great service and a superb restaurant where we ended up eating most nights. In Nungwi there are two Turtle sanctuaries. We visited one and had some very nice interaction with the rescued Green Turtles that later will be reintroduced in the wild. No trip to Zanzibar is complete without a trip to Jozani National Forest to look for the endemic Red Colobus Monkeys. We arrived in the afternoon and entered the forest with a very professional Ranger. It did not take long before we encountered the Red Colobus monkeys.
  7. Well, it’s taken me longer to get this started than expected! Let’s just say that life has gotten in the way and really slowed me down, I only finished processing my photos a couple of weeks ago (4 months after returning, ugh). I obviously had expected to get to this quicker, based on my previous post a couple of days after getting back (! Thankfully, @@Atravelynn and @@africawild presented their awesome trip reports from visits they made around the same time; in fact, maybe it’s good to be delayed, given how great their reports were. For anyone who hangs around the Tanzania/Rwanda TripAdvisor forums (hi there @amybatt), I posted a lightly edited version of my travel journal on there already, mostly to give people contemplating their first safari an idea of what it’s like. This report will be for more advanced travelers. I expect it will be heavily photo focused, although my last (Australia) trip report completely morphed from what I had planned to what I actually did, so we’ll see. In any case, I know myself well enough that once I get this started I will get through it, so let’s begin. Tarangire Sunrise
  8. Hey there! I am booked along with 2 other people on a Tanzanian safari, 8 days (7 nights) Its with Agama Tours and Safaris. My friend recommended me and also they have good reviews. If we get more people to join us the price can go more down. It starts June 29 morning in Arusha. Safari details: Day1 Tarangire, overgnight at Panorama Safari Camp Day2 Lake Manyara, overnight at Panorama Inn(hotel in Karatu) Day3 Hadzabe, Datoga tribe, overnight at Coffee Resthouse bordering Ngorongoro Conservation Area Day4 Coffee Plantation Resthouse, cultural day. Coffee Resthouse Day5 Serengeti, camping Day6 Serengeti, camping Day7 Serengeti, camping Day8 Ngorongoro Crater, back to Arusha If anybody's interested to join please let me know! -Tom
  9. There´ve been several trip reports of almost the same trip as we´ve made this January/February with similar sightings, but nonetheless, I will add another one. Schedule: 23.01.2013 KLM flight Cologne-Amsterdam-Arusha, overnight KIA Lodge at Arusha airport 24.01.2013 - 25.01.2013 Ngorongoro Crater, one night at Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge 25.01.2013 - 31.01.2013 Ndutu, 6 nights Ndutu Safari Lodge 31.01.2013 – 04.02.2013 Serengeti Seronera, 4 nights Kati Kati mobile camp then 6 nights Zanzibar We´ve booked this trip with 4x4 adventures, the tanzanian sister company of an Austrian/Kenyan safari company. Normally it´s only the two of us, my wife and me, on a trip, this time my brother with his girlfriend is joining us. They´ve already been to Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater before, but that was on a camping trip in one of these Overland Safari trucks, I like to call Safari jails. Might be fun, travelling with them. 23.01.2013 We are welcomed by Saimon, our driver/guide for the 11 day safari trip, who quickly took us to the KIA Lodge just 2 minutes away from the airport, which was fine as our flight arrived on schedule 8.50pm and we were tired. The best you can say about the lodge is, that it is so close to the airport, the outside bar is nice and the Kili view might be spectacular, if there are no clouds. 24.01.2013 Saimon picks us up early and we do some shopping (beers and wine;) ). We hit the road to get the Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge in time for our afternoon game drive. We will have two game drives, one in the afternoon and the other one the next morning. After lunch at the Lodge we drive into the Crater. My expectations are, that there will be huge numbers of vehicle surrounging the sightings, but I am positively surprised: the huge numbers only appear, when there´s a cat sighting. All other sightings you share, if at all, only with a few cars. On approaching the crater bottom, I realize, that Saimon is not stopping at all, unless there´s a cat or you tell him. Okay, no problem, I know the word: „Stop“. There are some lions far in the distance on the slopes, as well as Elephants and Zebras. In the open we see a sleeping Black Rhino, which should appear to be our only sighting of that species on the whole trip. I must admit, that I did not think, that I´d like the crater that much. The slopes of the crater make a beautiful background for photographs. We see good numbers of Buffalos, Zebras, Elephants, Warthogs, Wildebeests, Crowned Cranes, a Kori Bustard and a nice Hyena family. At last we visit a hippo pool with lots of hippos inside. My brother says, that hippos used to be his favorite animal, but after seeing what they are pooing in their water, he´s rethinking his choice. You have to be out of the crater by 6 pm, which means a short afternoon game drive, as you also have to go up the slopes to the gate. So, if you only have one drive, I think it´s better to go in the morning, you might have more time. We enjoy the last lights in the Sopa Lodge. We will leave tomorrow early and have already to carry our stuff with us. 25.01.2013 We leave by 6.30, taking our breakfast with us. We are one of the first cars in the crater, so we have the sighting of a small pride of lions just on us, before the sleep-out tourists arrive. As we prcede I stop Saimon for some Buffalos, who make for nice photographs. Later we see a beautiful, relaxed Martial Eagle. Although I miss the exclusivity of a Botswanan Safari, I must admit, that the animals here are much more used to cars and so more relaxed, which makes for good photo opps. We drive all around Lake Magadi with all its Flamingos. This place is paradise! There are so many animals around, lovely! After our breakfast stop we again drive around Lake Magadi slowly back to the gate. But there´s one more stop. More than 20 cars can not be wrong. A pride of lions is relaxing in the sun, but a herd of Buffalo is not happy withthem being around. They chase the big cats. The lions, most of them still youngsters, run away from them, but they don´t look really scared. It appears more like a game for them. Unfortunately the sun is already very high, so the pics are not good. They seek shadow and hide using the numerous cars. While watching them, getting watched (one lady in another car called it a „Russian Stand-off“, which caused big laughs), flocks of Crowned Cranes fly over the crater. After a while we leave. First we have to go down to the main gate, then we go up again to the Ngorongoro Serena Lodge, where we have lunch. After lunch we procede to Ndutu. Saimon shows us a hill called Matiti, which looks like big boobs. This seems to be the mountain, they use as an orientation. It comes to a kind of running gag, when Saimon frequently asks: „Where is Matiti now?“. We arrive at the Ndutu Safari Lodge in the afternoon. As we have 6 days here, we decide to call it a day. The huts are nice, it´s a good place, just like it should be. At night we were always joined by up to 5 genets for dinner, they are not shy, but as they are still wild animals, they don´t like to get touched (I didn´t, I swear!).
  10. All, My wife and I are heading to Tanzania for 14 nights across May and June for our second safari and I'm looking for recommendations to round out our camera lenses. Our experience with wildlife photography is in settings where we were able to get closer than we probably will be in the Serengeti, Ngorongoro, and Manyara, so I'm not exactly sure how to supplement what we have. When we were in Sabi Sands and Timbavati our 70-300 was sufficient for nearly every circumstance. The only problem we had was the reach for some birds. Tanzania will probably be very different I imagine. We have two DSLR camera bodies, Nikon D100 and D7000. The D100 is currently at Nikon getting the auto-focus worked on, but we plan to take both with us along with an Olympus Tough for video. Our current lenses are a Nikon 70-200 VR, 70-300 VR II, and a 18-55mm. My plan was to bring one of the two VR's to use with the D100 and then rent something with greater reach for the D7000. I was initially thinking of the Nikon 200-400 f4 VR II, but someone suggested to me that I might be able to get similar results using a teleconverter with my 70-300. I've also read some reviews that suggest other options such as the nikon 400mm f2.8. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
  11. I've been to Africa multiple times, mainly to South Africa/Botswana, with a standard northern circuit trip to Tanzania in 2010. The main impetus for this trip was to visit Ruaha, Tanzania's largest national park. In researching accommodations I found Authentic Tanzania's private tented camp near Kimilamatonge Hill, and we booked that for a full week. The rest of the trip filled out like this: -July 3 depart Los Angeles -July 4 arrive Dar es Salaam via Amsterdam -July 5 drive to Mikumi National Park -July 6 walking safari and drives in Mikumi -July 7 drive to Ruaha -July 8-13 full days in Ruaha -July 14 fly to Northern Serengeti, Lemala Kuria Hills lodge -July 15 Northern Serengeti, Lemala Kuria Hills lodge -July 16 drive to Central Serengeti via Lobo, Serengeti Sopa lodge -July 17 Central Serengeti and drive to Ngorongoro, Ngorongoro Sopa lodge -July 18 Ngorongoro Crater and then drive to Kilimanjaro Airport for evening flight home It was an ambitious itinerary, with little downtime, although the drive from Mikumi to Ruaha was much longer than I expected. The flights were made more bearable by paying for seats with extra legroom. We were first to the visa counter, which was a slow process. Mubu from Authentic Tanzania met us and drove us to the Alexander Hotel. I wouldn't want to try driving around Dar myself, there are no street signs! In the morning J4 (Jumanne, which is "Tuesday" in Swahili), our guide for the next 9 days, picked us up in a standard 5 seat pop-top land cruiser. Even being a Sunday morning the streets were crowded with buses, tatas, and trucks. We saw lots of markets, and farming as we left town. We arrived at Mikumi National Park at 2:30 pm, with a quick walk through the sad dusty museum. Only the north side of the park gets visited, as tsetse flies are bad south of the road. The main road crosses the park, it's VERY busy and noisy. Signs warn of fines for hitting animals ($3500 US for lion, $15,000 for giraffe or elephant). Weird to see elephants and giraffes next to a busy freeway! Another sign says that no free wildlife viewing or photos is allowed form the highway, you have to pay the park fees. The country plans to reroute the road but that could be years away. On entering we see impala, wildebeest, eland, elephant, buffalo, giraffe, zebra, reedbuck, warthog, black backed jackal, and lots of birds. There are lions, but they eluded everyone. Viewing is done in the north side of the park, too many tsetse flies in the south
  12. As some of you will know I started looking at a quick trip for the end of August or sometime in September 2015. The idea was that it would be a trip to tide me over until I viist Zambia at the end of October. I had various initial ideas but they didn't come to fruition and then I had to put the whole trip on hold. Well the possibility of a trip is back on (yes the saga continues ) Having spoken to a new travel company Northern Tanzania seems like a really good possibility. I am getting rather excited about a trip there (which is always a good sign that I am on the right track idea wise.) They have come up with various itineraries/ideas but the two which appeal the most are as follows Itinerary 1 Norongoro/Serengeti Mara day 1 arrive Kilimanjoro transfer to Ngorongoro (not stopping at Tarangire or Manyara on the way. Overnight Rhotia Valley Tented Lodge Day 2 Full day (with private guide) in the crater. Overnight Rhotia Valley Tented Lodge Day 3 Fly Manyara to Kogatende early am. Overnight Lemala Mara Camp Days 4 and 5 Shared drives. Overnight Lemala Mara Camp Day 6 Late afternoon flight Kogatende to Kilimanjaro. Fly home that evening. Itineray 2 Tarangire/Serengeti Mara day 1 arrive Kilimanjaro transfer to Tarangire (not stopping at Manyara on the way. Overnight Mawe Ninga Camp Day 2 Full day (with private guide) in Tarangire. Overnight Mawe Ninga Camp Day 3 Fly Kuro to Kogatende via Arusha late am. Overnight Lemala Mara Camp Days 4 and 5 Shared drives. Overnight Lemala Mara Camp Day 6 Late afternoon flight Kogatende to Kilimanjaro. Fly home that evening. I am seriously considering adding another night in Serengeti Mara. Good idea or is 3 nights sufficient? Is it better to fly from Kili to Arusha and then be met there by your guide? This would certainly cut out a few hours driving on the first day. Has anyone any advice regarding the choice between Tarangire and the crater? Tarangeri would hopefully be quieter and somewhat of a wilder park but with limited wildife(?) Crater lots more wildlife, iconic setting, has to be seen. But it would be busier. It seems to me more likely that there is more likelihood that I will be able to retun to visit Tarangire than the crater. The latter being somewhat of a stopping off point to the Serengeti. I am also doubting of it is a good idea to be staying further from the crater. If I stay closer I could get in there earlier and try and beat the crowds. Any ideas regarding camps/lodges nearer the crater rim? I have seen Ngorongoro Rhino Lodge. I would love to combine all three but am not too sure I can get that many days off work especially if I add an extra night in the Serengeti. Plus I have no idea what this would do the cost (yet to ask!) especially as I would want to do the crater with a private guide/vehicle to maximise flexibility. The original budget has already been blown but over the last few days/week I have come to realise that this is it, we (probably) only live once therefore I have to grab all the opportunities I can. Therefore the budget can be extended Way too many questions there, sorry! But if anyone has any advice/ideas/opinions I would love to hear them. Many thanks!
  13. Hi, We're 2 backpackers travelling in Tanzania and on (or close after) June 11th we plan to visit Empakaai Crater, Olmoti Crater and Ol Doinyo Lengai in the Crater Highlands and the incredible Lake Natron. To make things affordable we'd love to team up with other visitors. In short the plan (which is open for discussion) is: Day 1: Drive from Arusha, visit Olmoti Crater, camp. Day 2: Hike Empakaai Crater, camp. Day 3: Visit Lake Natron and waterfalls, camp. Day 4: Hike Ol Doinyo Lengai and drive back to Arusha. We've researched options on how to do this organized and how to do it ourselves. If you're interested please let us know. Communication may be a bit limited because of our 4 day Serengeti / Ngorongoro Crater safari, but I've been told there's access in some places so I will check for your post or message. BTW, one of the options is connecting our safari with the above mentioned plan. In that case we could leave on the evening of June 10th if that suits you better. Tnx! drftr
  14. If you are interested in some unique cultural interaction with the Maasai people in their environment, Boutique SafarisLtd. can help. We are a Maasai owned and locally operated safari company in Tanzania. In addition to outstanding safaris, Kilimanjaro climbs and Zanzibar holidays, we offer unique opportunities to engage with our community, the Maasai. We have tours into Maasailand in the Ngorongoro Highlands visiting Lake Natron, Oldu lengai (the Mountain of God) and our village, Engaruka. Our village is a completely untouched Maasai community where we grew up. We know all the locals and they are welcoming and engaging with our guests. We would love to work with you to create an unforgettable adventure in our homeland. Come and see the REAL AFRICA, the Maasai way Best, Abbey Olemisiko, founder of Boutique Safaris
  15. Lemala Camps operate some of Tanzania's premier camps in the best locations for viewing wildlife. Wildlife Photography Africa have worked closely with Lemala to create 3 safari itineraries for 2015 that will put you in the right place at the right time. February 2015 - we'll be in Serengeti Ndutu for the wildebeest calving and the start of the great migration. 22 February – Serengeti and Ngorongoro Conservation Area June 2015 - we visit Lake Manyara before spending 6 days in the Serengeti with our time divided between the Seronera area and Grumeti in the Western corridor where we should again find ourselves in the midst of the migrating herds as the move northwards. 21 June – Lake Manyara, Serengeti, Grumeti and Ngorongoro Crater September 2015 - 4 days in the magnificent Tarangire NP, renowned for its huge elephant herds, before we fly to Serengeti Mara where we should again encounter the wildebeest as they move back and forth across the Mara river. 20 September – Tarangire, Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater Each of these itineraries will be escorted by Martin Dunn, the founder of Wildlife Photography Africa. Martin has been leading safaris in Africa for 30 years and his passion for the continent remains as strong as ever. Working together with our experienced Tanzanian guides, he will endeavour to put you right at the heart of the action. Martin is an experienced wildlife photographer who will share with you many invaluable tips on making the most of your wildlife encounters. Key Points: Designed for photographers by photographers Maximum group size will be 6 people. Extra weight allowance on domestic flights - Baggage on domestic flights is usually limited to 15kg per person. With photographers in mind we have purchased additional baggage allowance on all domestic flights so you don't have to choose between camera gear and clothes. For the avoidance of confusion; this post was deleted and re-posted as I needed to make an update to the pricing information for 2015.
  16. Hello everyone! So apart from the Pantanal I am also thinking about Tanzania for 2015. Probably it will be around June/July. Mainly I want to visit the Serengeti (6-8nights) and a couple of nights at Ngorongoro. I have been in the area before 10 years ago and I don't care too much for revisiting Tarangire & Manyara. Perhaps a stopover in Manyara but that's it. I understand that the logistics here seem to be a bit different which means we would probably get a car & guide for the duration of our trip there. Am I missing something here? So it is important to choose the right operator that will provide me with a GOOD GUIDE. What are your recommendations? To specify a bit more, the operator should also be able to offer me cost-friendly accommodations: good locations for that time of the year (my guess: Central, Western Serengeti) but accommodation on the cheaper end of the scale for the area. If anyone perhaps knows of operators using good guides and camping options I would be interested in that as well - but please not making use of the public campsites. I would just self-drive otherwise but since I am there for photography I want to maximise my chances of seeing the animals so the guide is my main concern. I will probably also want to visit Ruaha after that (if there is enough budget left) but that is a simpler matter to plan as you just get the lodge's guides - so if the operator can also help with arranging that, it would be super. Thank you!
  17. Had a magical trip with Thomson Safari in East Africa! Getting ready to go back in February. Thought I would share with you guys some of the highlights. Amazing service, great guides and best of all they have their own permanent tents in the Serengeti and Ngorongoro! I highly advice traveling with them!
  18. I had been to Tanzania 3 times before; 2 times the northern circuit, and 1 time Selous + Ruaha. All 3 times were private safari in luxurious tented camps. I fell absolutely in love with Tanzania and safari in particular and wanted to share this with my girlfriend, who hadn't been to Africa before. This being the 4th trip I started to look into a self drive. It seemed to be regular to do in SA and Namibia, but not so in Tanzania. But as I didn't know for sure if my girlfriend would enjoy the whole 'safari routine' and she likes a bit of variation in her trip I thought it would be best to do a self drive. Especially as I liked to do something different as well, and self driving seemed quite adventurous. So I booked a trip with Safari Drive and we both absolutely loved it! Especially since there are not many self drivers in Tanzania, I'd like to share an in depth trip report and hope it can be of some use to anyone I didn't have time yet to sort out all my pictures, but some can be viewed here: and the night time pictures: Some of the highlights: - Getting scared by an elephant 'sneaking up' on us at our campsite, that was only 3 meters away - Heaving our car break down and getting it repaired - Have 5 nights on different spots in Moru Kopjes, even 2 nights right ON a kopje! - See a big herd of the migration running in from our campsite - Be right in the MIDDLE of the migration and see tiny wildebeest and even one being born - Getting 'lost' in the serengeti and driving over 30kilometers off road to get back to Moru - Geting scared into our tent at 20:15 as some buffelo get very close and keep staring right back at us, no matter what we do - Enjoy the lovely night sky (astronomy is my hobby) - Running into Jean DuPlesis (from Wayo Africa) who was filming for his next series and getting invited into his lovely camp. We booked the selfdrive with Safari Drive and I can only say they have been great! In preparing our trip as well as the support 'on the ground' of Liz and her mechanic. They were very helpful to say the least and every little problem was sorted out in good fashion. Itinerary Our itinerary was: 2-Feb - Fly from Amsterdam to Kilimanjaro, overnight at River Trees Lodge 3-Feb - Pick up the car and get instructions, relax or perhaps already do some shopping. Overnight at River Trees Lodge 4-Feb - Drive to Tarangire. Most likely spent the morning shopping and stocking the car and have lunch at Tarangire Safari Lodge, then game driving to our private camp spot; Mibuyu Mingi Special Campsite 5-Feb - Full day game driving in Tarangire, overnight at Mibuyu Mingi Special Campsite 6-Feb - Morning gamedrive in Tarangire, then drive to Ngorogoro crater. Relax or walk in the afternoon. Overnight at Ngorongoro Crater Simba Public Campsite 7-Feb - Game drive on the crater floor. Overnight at Ngorongoro Crater Simba Public Campsite 8-Feb - Drive to Nainokanoka village, go on a walking safari near Empakai crater. Fly camp 9-Feb - Walking safari Empakai Crater. Fly camp 10-Feb - Drive to Serengeti Moru Kopjes. Overnight at private campsite, Moru 4 Campsite Serengeti National Park 11-Feb - Game driving in Serengeti. Overnight at Moru 4 Campsite Serengeti National Park 12-Feb - Game driving and drive to Simiyu. Overnight at Simiyu Special Campsite. 13-Feb - Game driving. Overnight at Simiyu Special Campsite 14-Feb - Game driving. Overnight at Simiyu Special Campsite 15-Feb - Game drive. Drive to Karatu. Overnight at Gibbs Farm. 16-Feb - Return vehicle and fly back home. Some comments on the itinerary: River Trees Lodge (I think it's officially named River Trees country inn) was absolutely lovely. I'm very glad that we booked 2 nights here so we had a day to relax a bit as well. If we would have had more than 14 days than I would even have booked a 3rd night here so we would have been able to do an activity as well. (walking/canoeing or Arusha NP..) Mibuyu Mingi Special Campsite is nicely remote, but also a bit far from the river. This should be taken into consideration, as you have to drive quite a bit to and from your camp. Also, this seems to be considered as a campsite where 2 parties can stay and the rangers/park management book this site accordingly. Although they are right that it is a big campsite, I would rather really be on my own. (that's what you pay for isn't it?) Empaakai; you don't need 2 nights at Empaakai; the walk takes around 5 or 6 hours, and you have to 'find' another walk or arrange something different. Apparently they also do some walks there where you walk from one camp to the other (or site and they setup the camp there), which probably would have liked better. All Moru campsites are great. We didn't stay at Moru 4, but 1 night on 3, one night on the ranger site, 2 nights on a kopje and 1 night at Moru 6. Simiyu is a very remote campsite and we didn't see much game around there. We were lucky to be allowed to stay around Moru by the rangers. Gibbs Farm is very nice obviously and it was a bit of a 'waste' that we couldn't spent a day there. (we arrived late and departed early). Again; If we had more than 14 days available we would probably have spent another night either here, or at River trees I will start the day to day report of the trip, but it might take a few days for me to complete it
  19. My first safari is coming up and I thought I'd tell you all my itinerary. We'll be going with my family (my parents, my girlfriend, my sister and her husband), a total group of 6. It'll be the first safari for 4 of us and the second one for my parents. The basic itinerary looks like this: - Flying in from Amsterdam to Dar es Salaam with 4 of our group - Spending the night in Dar es Salaam, hotel: Southern Sun - On to Sand Rivers in Selous for three nights - One night in Arusha, Onsea house, to meet up with the last two of the group - Three nights in Swala Camp in Tarangire - Two nights in the Ngorongoro Crater Lodge - Three nights in Dunia Camp, Serengeti - Another day at the Onsea house in Arusha - Back home Of course I am looking forward to the whole trip. I'll try to post a trip report with lots of pictures when we return. Taking pictures will be one of the main objectives for two of us.
  20. Hi! I was wondering if there is anywhere online that I can find out recent sightings and updates about Wild Dogs in Northern Tanzania? I know sometimes they'll hang out in Tarangire for a while, or Loliondo, or even Manyara or Lake Ndutu.. I also know that often if they are settled in a certain area they will stay there for a while, facilitating the search for them since they are one of the rarer safari species in the area. Is there such source? I also told my Safari company that we are interested in seeing them, but I also told them we are interested in seeing 10s of other animals, some more rare than the wild dogs... So the more homework I can do to help my guide help me see as many different animals as possible - the better. Thanks in advance!!! :-D Tomes
  21. Hi Ev1. Am trying to book my first trip to Africa - 13 Feb - 26 Feb. Constrained by dates as have Sth African golfing trip from 27/2 - 15/3. The itinerary is basically Tanzania (Ngorongoro & Serengeti), Kenya (Masai Mara) and Rwanda (Kilgali - gorilla treks). Travel dates are approx. 13 Feb to 26 Feb. Accommodation / camp choices are: Masai Mara: Olonana Camp or Mara Toto Camp Ngorongoro: Ngorongoro Farm House or Ngorongoro Lemala Camp Serengeti: Lake Masek Tented Camp or Serengei Pioneer Camp Nairobi: Giraffe Manor or Rivertrees Country Inn Rwanda: Mountain Gorilla View Lodge I would like views on these options as well as whether I will be seeing / experiencing significantly different things in these locations, or whether there are other options at this time of year that I should be exploring. I know it's a lot a questions.... so any help appreciated. Thanking you in anticipation, Kay
  22. Details :Written by MARC NKWAME in Arusha Wangu-Wangu still comfortable behind the wheels. HOW a skillful driver came to drive the President down the Ngorongoro crater in 1969 is an interesting story of two leaders who wanted to assert each ether's authority. The driver, Mr Aloyce Songai, a resident of Karatu, was later nicknamed 'Wangu-Wangu' by Nyerere's bodyguards due to his outstanding expertise during the 1969 caldera expedition. Songai started out as a tractor mechanic during the days of expansive wheat growing in Karatu District. Coming across a job vacancy advertised in the papers calling for qualified drivers at the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCCA), he submitted his application and landed the job. Songai's first job at NCAA was to drive a supplies pick-up. Later he drove Mr Solomon Ole Saibul, the first indigenous conservator at Ngorongoro. "Steven Ngereza who used to drive Saibul had fallen ill, so I filled his position," says Songai. At that time the head driver at Ngorongoro, who was of Somali origin schemed with the head of accounts department and both of them disappeared with one-month salaries for more than 40 employees. They took off in one of the organisation's cars. From then on the management at NCAA was very cautious and watched the employees very closely not entrusting any of them with high positions. The head of drivers' post for instance, was vacant for quite some time. In 1969 Nyerere visited Ngorongoro following an incident where NCAA conservator, Mr Solomon Ole Saibul was at loggerheads with the then Regional Commissioner for Arusha, Mr Aaron Mwakang'ata. It was alleged that the RC Mwakang'ata, forced his way into the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority refusing to sign the official guest book placed at the Park's entrance gate. Driving a government car, a Peugeot 403 with registration numbers GT 519, Mr Mwakang'ata sped past the NCAA entrance after snapping at the guards to open the gates and then proceeded into the park where he, reportedly, was to meet some foreigners at one of the lodges. The then head of security, Mr Samuel Maida, taken aback by the RC's actions, reported the matter to the Chief Conservator, Solomon Ole Saibul. On hearing that the RC had refused to sign into the visitors' book, the NCAA conservator, Ole Saibul, took the register from the gate and went to confront Mr Mwakang'ata at the lodge where he was meeting the foreigners, demanding to know why the RC ignored the park procedures. "I am the Regional Commissioner, in charge of the whole of this precinct," Mr Mwakang'ata is reported to have retorted before dismissing the conservator with a wave of his hand. But Ole Saibul was not about to be put off easily by the RC. Mr Saibul took out the register, leafed through the pages and slammed the book on the coffee table showing the RC a page on which Nyerere had earlier on signed at the gate a few weeks earlier when the President was passing through the NCAA on his way to Musoma, from Arusha. "If the President himself can sign in our book, then may I ask, who is a 'mere RC' to refuse to register himself at the gate?" shouted the clearly angry Ole Saibul before storming out of the lodge, promising to take the matter further. And he did, the opportunity presented itself a month later when President Nyerere was presiding over a meeting in Moshi (Kilimanjaro). That misty morning, Songai was instructed, to take Ole Saibul to town where he intended to consult the President. Saibul was granted audience with Nyerere. "I remained outside in the Land-Rover while the conservator went in to see the Head of the State." The NCAA Conservator, Ole Saibu, asked for an audience with President Nyerere who agreed to seem him on such a short notice. The guards at the doors searched the conservator and found him with a pistol under his belt. "You cannot take this inside," they told him. Saibul showed Nyerere the register and told the President; "With due respect, if you, the Head of State can sign our visitors' book, how comes a Regional Commissioner, appointed by you, should regard the official act of signing in the same book as stooping so low?" The president then decided to end the misunderstanding amicably by telling Mr Mwakang'ata;" You see this conservator is right because even in our Zanaki culture, you cannot enter a man's boma (house) without first greeting him and getting his permission." The RC reportedly argued that he was rushing to sign a very important tourism development project that was to be executed in Ngorongoro. The President then reportedly asked both the RC and the NCAA conservator to shake hands and forget their differences and promised to personally visit the Ngorongoro Conservation Area after concluding his Moshi meeting. Nyerere was also curious to find out more about the alleged hotel project which Mr Mwakang'ata was so occupied with. "The day Nyerere visited the crater he arrived in a black Jeep and realised that none of the drivers in the President's motorcade had ever driven into the crater before, so Mwalimu was placed under my charge in the conservator's Landrover 109." The vehicle needed some hasty modifications as it lacked an open roof top, a necessity so that the President would enjoy the trip. Fortunately the shells of the old Land-Rovers were usually made of sheets of steel riveted together. "Thus it was easy to unscrew the entire rooftop and replace it with another one taken from another Land-Rover which had an open hatch on top. The adjustment took less than an hour and soon we all set out down into the crater," says Songai. The rain-drenched tracks were very slippery; Saibul rode in front of Songai and served as the guide. Nyerere sat in the second row with a bodyguard, while the remaining guards sat behind. The protocol was broken as Songai who was the only one who knew the crater well and he led the motorcade. Almost all other vehicles got stuck in the muddy roads including the Presidential Jeep. That was how Songai earned the name "Wangu-wangu" eventually working his way to the top of his career as the head Transport Officer, a position he held until his retirement. After the visit Nyerere declared that the post of the Chief Conservator at Ngorongoro would be a presidential appointment. The Ngorongoro Conservation Area thus became an autonomous authority as far as management of its resources, after the Ole Saibul and Mr Mwakang'ata showdown. Nyerere also put a stop to the hotel project terming it as destructive to the caldera. The hotel project, was to be undertaken by a hotel group from the Netherlands. Nyerere called for the removal of the gas-filling station which used to operate inside the Ngorongoro crater. To date; no hotel, camp or petrol station exists inside the crater which is Tanzania's leading tourist attraction attracting an average of 500,000 visitors every year, beating Serengeti, which NCAA annexed in 1959 gets around 350,000 tourists annually. The Ngorongoro crater is a large, unbroken, volcanic caldera. It is believed to have been formed when a giant volcano erupted and collapsed on itself around three million years ago. The natural bowl is over 2,000 feet deep with a basin covering 260 square kilometres. Songai is now a retired pensioner who has chosen to devote his time in preserving the environment as green activist and heads the "Hifadhi Mazingira Karatu" (HIMAKA), organisation.

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