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Found 20 results

  1. Hi Safaritalk, As a new member I straight away have some questions: I am preparing a self drive to Lake Nation from Arusha - but the stories about what gates and what fees are paid where vary quite a bit. Did anyone make this trip recently and can give me some tips? Any other tips would also be very welcome! It is going to be my first time - so besides hopefully catching the flamingoes there are no further plans. Is the road from Mto wa Mbu still the best way to go?
  2. I'm looking at 6 days in KTP in November '18. Plans are for TR, KTC and Mata Mata, 2 nights at each. Will fly into JHB from Mumbai and fly out the same. Not too sure where to pick up the car from, JHB or Upington. JNB-UTN-JNB flights are very expensive. Additionally I don't think the renters at Upington offer 4x2 SUVs So far have been looking at 4x4 options only, I have seen a 2015 thread that is now closed, which is very encouraging in confirming that a 4x2 will not be a noose around the neck. Apart from the fact that I've never driven a 4x4 nor in Mumbai do I ever need to, the cost benefit is enormous too. That's what makes this information really significant Looking forward to suggestions on which 4x2 SUV to look for and which is a reliable agency to approach for a rate offer. Someone I know suggested a Toyota Avanza. Isn't the ground clearance of this car is quite low?
  3. Ever fancied a safari holiday ? Like so many I have done so for a long time but always been frightened by the cost. My only experience of an African safari was a three night trip to Tsavo East and West in Kenya and that cost £765 6 years ago. Prices have risen considerably in many places since. Why are safaris so expensive? Good question and one I can't answer but they do have to reflect the cost of park entry fees and they alone are now $75 US pp per day in places such as Kenya. Add in accommodation, transport , guides, food and drink and you can soon be looking at a re-mortgage or in my case selling off the family silver by dipping in to the pension pot again. Fancy Gorilla trekking ? You need to be minted! The licence to enter the park costs $750 US pp . Yes, that's right no decimal points missing. For that you get an allowance of 1.5 hours in which to see the Gorillas. Tough luck if it's a no show I suppose. I can understand the need to restrict numbers and it's good news that the money raised helps to protect the wildlife but it's a bit sad that safari trips can be very much for the rich ( but there again I suppose it always was). I made some enquiries about a guided Botswana trip and was quoted £8k for a 7 night tented trip for Claire and myself. The cost would reduce if we increased numbers to 4. You still had flights to add as well as any extended stay costs. Out of my league I decided. Then I discovered Namibia! Actually I was recommended by a friend who has worked out there as a geologist and he had nothing but good to say about the country. The decision was sealed when I spotted an advert by Qatar Airways offering discounted prices for the next 5 days to celebrate their new direct route to the capital city , Windhoek. £480pp economy. Only slightly dearer than travelling from the UK to The Gambia, an African favourite of mine. It was a no brainer. On impulse the tickets booked for a 25 night trip. I had been told self drive was the best option, the roads were good and it was safe. Car booked via Pick up at the airport from Avis, an Hyundai Tucson or similar was a reasonable £880 including the extra insurance to reduce the excess from sky high to nothing. All I had left to do was decide were to go when I got there! I did a fair bit of research online... discovered it was the rainy season and the pitfalls...hey ho, too late now ! The good news was it was peak season for birds so I was fine with that. Besides, Namibia is a desert country and the rains are not very heavy anyway. My plan put together I published it on Trip Advisor asked for advice on anything that was missing. Most of my accommodation was sorted. I use for most as you can check availability and reserve rooms without paying a deposit for most places so you can tweek your plans later if need be. Accommodation which is run by the National Parks isn't as flexible. You pay up front and loose a fair chunk if you cancel so the 4 nights I had booked were now tablets of stone. I got some good feedback, some a bit negative, some positive ideas though. I was missing out on Damaraland were Rhino and desert adapted Elephant tracking are specialities so I added a two night stay at Grootberg Lodge. This made my journey plan a little odd as it didn't quite run in the order that you'd expect but I wasn't too bothered about the criticism. I couldn't afford to cancel. My final plan including some idea of estimated mileage and travel time looked like this. If you don't have any knowledge of Namibia it won't mean too much but there again, much of my blog is aimed at those who have never been to help them decide if this is the trip for them. From previous experience we have learnt that trying to take in too much of a country in too little time is a big mistake. We had three and a half weeks but we decided to skip on all of the southern half of the country as well as the major tourist destinations of Sossusvlei ( big sand dunes and dead trees) and Caprivi ( leading in to a visit to the Victoria Falls). No Namibia is nearly as big as Germany and France put together and you wouldn't contemplate trying to see everything there in one go would you? We were still looking at driving 3500 kilometres and moving to new accommodation 11 times. I was already concerned that we were not making enough longer stay stop overs. Too much packing and unpacking, checking in, checking out. Living out of a suitcase. I suppose a camper van might be an alternative but I didn't even consider that. A tent was out of the question. How would it pan out ? Only time would tell and you are about to find out! I had 6 months to contemplate and savour the prospects. I bought "The Photographers Guide to Etosha National Park" and took in all the details of each waterhole and what I might see. Took note of equipment used etc , read every blog I could find. As a passionate and avid wildlife photographer I had some big decisions on what gear to take. The more you have the worse it makes it. Decisions made, guide books bought, plans printed we were ready for the off. February 6th 2017. T.B.C
  4. Hi All, I self-drived this route with my wife and 3 kids in a Prado last October. We camped for 4 nights in Serengeti. 1in Kogatende, then 2 in Lobo and 1 in Seronera, then back to Musoma / lake Victoria through the western corridor. Please see the attached map for the route from Masai Mara to Serengeti via Tarime and lamai gate. A very unused route for those who lokk for quietness in the Serengeti. IN addition, we had plenty of wildebeasts in the Lamai wedge, and lions hunting with a rainbow in the background. . As the copy-paste function doesn't work well here, I include a short description, but the attached map is very detailed. day 1 : from Nairobi or from Masai Mara to Tarime, via Isebania border. 1 full day. Day 2 : from Tarime, join Nyamwaga, turn right to go down the escarpment to the mara gold mine. There, stick to the main roads towards Mugumu, and after around 20 km south, find a clear T junction and turn let, heading east to a village called Gisondo. from this village turn right and reach lamai gate. 2,5 hrs from Tarime on good dirt road in great landscape. The road from the mara gold mine to lamai is not on any map that I found, but you can spot it on google earth (not on google maps). From lamai gate to kogatende, 2hrs of Superb game drive, all alone. Make sure the bridge on Mara river is not overflooded to reach Kogatende. There, you will always find a place to camp, even if the special campsites are reportedly booked, the rangers will find a place for you around their place. Day 3 : full day to Lobo Day 4 : lobo only Day 5 : Lobo to Seronera Day 6 : Seronera to Musoma, via grumeti corridor. + a flat tire in front of 2 lions... day 7 : lake Victoria on boat Day 8 : back to Nairobi. 1full day. Map - Mara to Serengeti by road.pdf
  5. Hi All, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! We are running a Green Season Special for all Self Drive 4x4 Hire. You can rent one of our fully equipped Toyota Hilux's for 14 Days for R10,000. (approximately €625 or $700) This includes unlimited mileage, airport transfers in JHB, Standard Insurance. Each vehicle is comprehensively equipped for 4 passengers and offers a unique way to see Africa and its magnificent offerings. JHB to JHB, Terms and Conditions apply. Offer valid for all rentals taken between 1st January 2016 and 29th February 2016.
  6. Hi All, I am visiting the CKGR this Christmas and I am going to be self-driving. Do you think a Toyota Hilux would be sufficient or is it worth splashing out (I'm renting) and getting a Land Cruiser? I used this forum a lot in planning a previous trip to Africa and feel bad for not providing a trip report but here is a link to one... the trip starts a the bottom of the page (apologies). Any help here would be much appreciated. Thanks!
  7. In july 2016 that we will be doing this trip. (If we can get all our We will rent a 4x4 bushcamper/ or roof tents, We are a family of 4 with 2 kids aged 7 and 12 at the time of the travel. First we were thinking about either Zimbabwe or Zambia, but we decided that we would like to see a Botswana once more. We were also in Botswana in 2011, but only at the Chobe Riverfont and 1 night in Moremi, so we really want to see the rest of Chobe. The trip will start in Johannesburg, since it is much cheaper. If we wanted to fly to Kasane/ or Maun it would cost us around 1500US$ more. It goes something like this. 1 Waterberg Wilderness Reserve Luxury Tents - Self catering 2 Serowe - Khama Rhino Sanctuary Campsite - Self-catering 3 CKGR - Sunday Pan Campsite - Self-catering 4 CKGR - Passarge Pan Campsite - Self-catering 5 CKGR - Deception Pan Campsite - Self-catering 6 Makgadikgadi Pans - Khumaga Campsite - Self-catering 7 Maun - Thamalkane River Lodge Family Chalet - B&B Air Shakawe 1 Hour Scenic Flight over the delta 8 Moremi - Third Bridge Campsite - Self-catering 9 Moremi - Third Bridge Campsite - Self-catering 10 Moremi - Third Bridge Campsite - Self-catering 11 Moremi - Third Bridge Campsite - Self-catering 12 Moremi - Khwai Northgate Campsite - Self-catering 13 Chobe National Park - Savuti Camp Campsite - Self-catering 14 Chobe National Park - Savuti Camp Campsite - Self-catering 15 Chobe National Park - Savuti Camp Campsite - Self-catering 16 Chobe National Park - Savuti Camp Campsite - Self-catering 17 Chobe National Park - Ihaha Camp Campsite - Self-catering 18 Chobe National Park - Ihaha Camp Campsite - Self-catering 19 Chobe National Park - Ihaha Camp Campsite - Self-catering 20 Nata - Nata Lodge Campsite - Self-catering My main concern is how bad the roads are gonna be in Moremi and Savuti in july. It will be dry, which I guess means a lot of sand, but how deep? And what about river/water crossing? That is probably my worst fear ( I think I seen to many youtube-videos ) I included 4 nights at Third Bridge,but other campsites seems great too, like Xakanaxa(sorry for the spelling), Kwai Northgate(heard complains about noise fra nearby village) and Dijara Campsite. Are they any better or should we just stay at Third Bridge? Any inputs or thoughts would be highly appriciated
  8. We had an amazing trip last year self driving in Kruger NP and the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park with a couple of days at Augrabies Falls before we flew home. I have finished my book of the trip which I will put here in case anyone is interested. It is rather large as I included most of the photographs from the incredible cheetah sighting we had and also quite a few of the most beautiful black maned Kalahari lion. Some of the night sky photographs are side on which will look strange viewed on a screen but OK when we have the actual book. I have posted a few photographs for anyone who can not look at the book but might like to see a snapshot of our trip. I am not trying to sell the book its just that to make it available to view blurb have you put it in the for sale section on their web site.
  9. Hey Guys So I need a little bit of help. I am looking at going through Southern Namibia (don't have enough time to do the North) from JHB later this year but just want to find out if I am missing something or if I should change my itinerary slightly. I will be traveling in a 4x2 vehicle so that does play a little bit of a role in what I have chosen so far. This is the itinerary so far: JHB -> Augrabies National Park (2 nights in the Park) -> Rosh Pinah (1 night) -> Luderitz (2 nights) -> Sossusvlie (2 Nights) -> Drifters Desert Lodge (2 nights) -> Keetmanshoop (1 night) -> Kuruman (1 night) -> JHB Let me know what you think of the itinerary as well as what you may change? We will be self driving but probably look at eating from restaurants or something similar everyday. Also if you have stayed in any of these places, let me know where. I am still looking for reasonable priced accommodation which can make this trip affordable. Any photographers out there? If you think there is a location that I must must visit, please let me know. I am going up to do photography, so I would love any help.
  10. Hi Folks, I have only found this site recently and have found it invaluable. My wife and are planning a two week self-drive, 4X4 camping trip to Namibia, at the beginning of next September. After Etosha we plan to go into Damaraland where hopefully I may get a photograph or two of the desert elephants. Using google maps, satellite view and photographs I have viewed on the web, access to the dry riverbeds that they may frequent, seem quite straight forwards. All the Lodges in the area seem to offer guided trips for their customer to try and view the elephants and other game. Can anyone advise whether this area is open for anyone to enter and drive the riverbeds in their own vehicles? We would like to spend a few hours looking by ourselves over a couple of days. Perhaps it is not possible because the lodges have the sole concessions in the area. Any experiences you have had or other information will be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
  11. Morning all, I am new to Safaritalk, but have to say that I am extremely excited by what I have seen and read so far on the site. My wife (Dutch) and I (South African) are currently based in the UK and love Africa. We travel here as often as possible. It is with this in mind that I am after some advice regarding Mana Pools as this is an area that truly fascinates us. We would like to start planning a self drive trip four 4 pax during 2015. Now for some questions: 1. Can you hire a camp equipped 4x4 vehicle in Harare? 2. Is it feasible/possible to visit Mana Pools for a period longer than 7 days? 3. What are the park fees/day for Mana Pools at present? 4. Does Mana Pools fall within a Malaria area? 5. Tsetse Fly?? I really look forward to any advice and please don not hesitate to expand with any other advice beyond the questions stated. All the best, @madikweranger
  12. Hello, Not really a full blown trip report but thought I would share with you an interesting experience we had in Mabuasehube whilst self-driving in the Kgalagadi a couple of weeks back. Please also check out the which is much more fun :-) So it all started with a Brown Hyena in our campsite, having a drink from the leaking shower. We thought the excitement for the night was over, so we were just having a chat, chilling out & doing some last chores before we went to our tents to sleep. Suddenly, a weird noise comes from the direction of the shower. Could the hyena be back? A quick scan with the flashlight and we had the surprise of our lives - the Royal Family was in town and they were very very thirsty! Here are the King and the Queen Shower time? Think again ... The princes now make their entrance The image below would be quite disturbing if someone went missing Things start getting rowdy Then the young males discover our defenceless tablecloth .... Busted - guilty face! What do you have there?? I want it .... Bush TV at it's finest!! If you enjoyed these photos remember there is also the
  13. Hi everyone, my wife and I are planning Kafue + Liuwa in November, with a fully equipped car, and we need some advice.... The reason why we decided to do the trip in November is the migration in the Liuwa, and Kafue seems to be a good combination even if it is not the best period because of the rains. Kafue: our initial idea was to visit the north area (Lufupa - Busanga) but, from the info we are collecting, it seems to be very difficult in November. Most of the camps are closed. Is it true? How are the roads conditions from Mayukuyuku/Mukambi to Lufupa, in November? If we stay in Mayukuyuku, can we go to the north? In the central area we are evaluating Mayukuyuku and/or Mukambi. And we are also evaluating McBride for the north-est area, even if we have been told that we need to exit the park and go via Mumbwa (with loss of time). We are mainly interested to safari in areas where it could be easier to see leopards, lions but mainly cheetas and wild dogs .. even if we know that they live in different environments Can someone give us some advice? Which are the best accomodations/areas for the game viewing, between the ones I mentioned? Thank you! Roberto
  14. Hi All, We are a new company that has started Self Drive vehicle rentals. All our vehicles are brand new Landcruisers & Hilux's and fully equipped. If your looking for a vehicle, drop us a line and we can assist.
  15. This forum have help me before and since I am still in the proces of planning a trip to Kgalagadi I might as well pop another question I have booked Kalahari Tented Camp 6/7/8 march 2014,( the only wilderness camp we can stay because we have kids with us ) but i still have 4 or 5 days more in the park. Were would you place yourself for the rest of the days? Or in other words, where is the best game viewing in the park ? Maybe book 2 nights in Mata Mata and 3 in Nossob or 4-5 nights in Nossob? We have a 4x4 and will camp.
  16. 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
  17. Hi All, As somebody who loves a good safari, I would like to share how we do a Kruger Safari when planning to visit this magnificent park. We're not from the Johannesburg/Pretoria area of South Africa, but rather from Cape Town. For the sake of argument I'll place Kruger safari's in two boxes. The self drive option versus the tailored or packaged option. But before I go there please see below a few links to core information that could assist with planning a trip: a) Travel information from airports to gates and camps: b ) Gate/camp opening and closing times: c) Camp Availability: d)Travel times between the camps: Time and money is at the heart of the key factors when most people decide on how and when to plan any holiday. What we try to do: 1.Book overnight flights from London Heathrow to OR Tambo Airport in Johannesburg 2.Pick up rental car and head straight out to Kruger National Park 3.Stop en route for a breakfast about 2 hours in to the drive and refill with fuel 4.Stop for food and other provisions in Nelspruit (usually the Riverside Mall) This mall has two choices of big grocery shops. Pick n Pay or Checkers, For those in the UK think Sainsbury's or Tesco. 5. Drive to Paul Kruger, Numbi or Malelane Gate depending on which camp we have booked for our first night. There are a few things we've learnt through the years. to ensure that firstly we can book the camps that we enjoy. a) Firstly is to book directly with SanParks (South African National Parks). This ensures that we can book the camps that we like.You can book accommodation over the phone and also a month more in advance than if you did it online. No payment is necessary when making the booking, you can also make as many changes as you like until you make payment. b ) Lower Sabie camp is the hardest to find accommodation with if you don't book early. c) Plan your food lists and also extras you'll need (this will depend on what accommodation you book as some have all the crockery and cutlery) d) The camps in the South of the park have the best facilities all have petrol stations, all have shops with most basics (prices a bit more than Nelspruit), but don;t rely on fresh vegetables; Skukuza is the only one with a reliable bank facility to withdraw cash. e) Gas Skottles (dish to cook breakfast on) is available for rent at all picnic spots. On last count this was circa R20 or less than £1.60 It would fantastic to hear from other members on how they plan or mange similar trips.
  18. Hello, After all the information I have gleaned through the years from this forum I would like to repay the favor by sharing a trip report from our self-drive safari to Zambia and Zimbabwe in August/September 2012: covering Kafue, South Luangwa and Mana Pools. It is very long and has a lot of pictures - hope you enjoy it! Unfortunately I am not able to post it directly to the forum as I need to share it in a couple more places too and I don't have time to post it individually everywhere. But anyways, here is the link:
  19. I shamelessly borrowed a couple pictures to enable a few readers to envision the drive to the 'office.' I am not going to mention the lion, puff adders, or other wildlife I had encounters with. This was just a trip to work. In 2001, I managed a remote photographic safari bush camp in North Luangwa Nat’l Park, Zambia. A park renown for bush walking among its huge herds of Cape Buffalo and many prides of lions.
  20. Gaborone - Botswana on Monday became the second African country to be featured on Google Maps' Street View, allowing users to explore landmarks such as the Okavango Delta. "Whether you are planning a safari, doing a homework assignment on Botswana, or promoting your local business, Street View will allow you to experience a slice of the country," said Ory Okolloh, policy manager for Google Sub-Saharan Africa. Users will now be able to virtually explore the Okavango Delta as well as the Kalahari desert and Chobe National Park - home to the largest concentration of African elephants in the world. Street View is already available in more than 30 countries around the world. "We hope to add more cultures, landscapes and sites as Street View continues to expand to new places," Okolloh said. For the News24 report :

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