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Found 188 results

  1. hello Has anybody used an outfit called Kichaka Expeditions based in Ruaha, Tanzania? They have walking safaris with one fixed and a few mobile camps in Ruaha. I have heard that they are excellent. Any first hand experiences? Cheers Vikram
  2. Long story but I've found that I have some holiday to use up at the start of March. I'm currently looking at Asilia deals, core of the trip would be 3 nights Tarangire, Olivers Camp 4 Nights Namiri Plains Camp, Serengeti 2 questions 1. What's the game viewing like this time of year? 2. How is the Visas experience at Arusha/Kilimanjaro? We have a 2 hour window between arrival and our internal flight, I get twitchy when I'm stuck in a queue. Should we buy on arrival or get in advance (there's someone in the UK charges around £125 per passport to turn them around in 5 days).
  3. Having an interest in Africa’s culture/history as well as it’s wildlife I thought it was time for a thread on a subject that perfectly combines these two interests and that hasn’t come up as far as I can recall very often and that is rock art. I’m not any kind of expert on this subject and haven’t visited a huge numbers of sites but I thought I’d write a brief intro before getting to some photos from the places I have been to. All over Africa there are fine examples of rock art, ancient paintings and engravings or petroglyphs, such art has been found on all continents except Antarctica but there is more of this art in Africa than anywhere else in the world. The Saharan Region is especially rich in both paintings and petroglyphs which provide a fascinating insight into the lives of the ancient peoples of this region and the of wildlife that they lived alongside, much of this artwork dates from a wet period when the Sahara was not a desert but a lush green land of rivers and lakes, lush grasslands and savannahs. Besides depictions of people and their cattle and other livestock there are numerous representations of easily recognisable wild animals like giraffes, elephants and white rhinos in countries like Libya and Algeria far outside their modern historical distribution. Sadly much of this rock art is found in areas of the Sahara that are no longer accessible to tourists due to ongoing political instability, I don’t know enough about all of the countries of this region so there may be some sites that are safe to visit, certainly it should be okay to visit some of the sites in the Ennedi region of Chad, I have not done so. I have only admired the extraordinary engravings of giraffes for example found in Niger in photographs in Nat Geo and online. Here’s a link to the Trust for African Rock Art click on the countries highlighted to see photos of this extraordinary art. While rock art can be found in various places in East Africa the largest collection of paintings (that I know of) is as at Kondoa in Tanzania just south west of Tarangire NP, although I’ve not visited Kondoa the rock art sites are not that hard to get to being only 9kms from the main highway going south from Arusha to Dodoma. While the site is accessible it’s only 3.5 hrs drive south of Arusha it is somewhat off the beaten track as far as Tanzania’s northern safari circuit is concerned and most people going from Arusha down to say Ruaha NP or Selous GR would tend to fly rather than drive. You really need to make a special trip to visit Kondoa as you’re not likely to be passing by, therefore few tourists visit these paintings. The depictions of elongated human figures and local wildlife are thought primarily to have been painted by the Sandawe people, related to the San peoples of Southern Africa and speaking a similar click language the Sandawe were likewise originally hunter gatherers. Here’s a guide to Kondoa Rock Art of Kondoa Irangi Further south, Southern Africa has an abundance of rock art, around the whole region numerous caves and rock shelters have been richly decorated with depictions of the local wildlife and people, for the most part these paintings and pictographs were created by San hunter gatherers and later Khoekhoe herders. The pictures are in many cases not actually depictions of the real world as observed by the San, but are in fact scenes taken from the spirit world visited by their shamans during trances brought on during ceremonial dances. The frequency with which certain animal species were depicted depended on their spiritual significance to the people of the area. In South Africa (& Lesotho) where there could be anywhere up to 30,000 rock art sites and over 1 million images, the eland was the most totemic species in the Drakensberg and Maloti Mts for example there are whole galleries of eland paintings. In Namibia and Zimbabwe depictions of eland are far less frequent and giraffes much more common, other animals like zebras, rhinos, elephants and ostriches are also commonly depicted. I don’t know if this reflects a difference in the past abundance of these animals or simply their significance to the artists who portrayed them. Many of the painting and petroglyphs date back to around 2,000 years or so ago, although it’s recently been confirmed that some of the oldest paintings in South Africa date back to 5,000 years ago. The tradition may go back far longer but paintings on sandstone apparently don’t last for more than a few thousand years due to the porous nature of the rock. There are also much more recent paintings but it’s generally thought that certainly in South Africa the San stopped painting soon after European colonisation, large numbers of San died from smallpox brought in by the settlers or were killed in conflicts with the newly arrived whites and also the expanding black tribes that were encroaching into their territory. Conflict was inevitable as the San saw no distinction between wild game and domestic livestock regarding both simply as meat to be hunted, the severe reduction in their numbers, the disruption to their culture and mixing with other peoples brought an end to their production of rock art. While I’ve not visited rock art sites in the Sahara or East Africa I have been to a couple of sites in Zimbabwe and in Namibia, as with the rest of Southern Africa the San were the original inhabitants of Zimbabwe and would have lived throughout the country, they produced the majority of the rock art found at over 15,000 sites around the Zimbabwe. One of the highest concentrations of rock paintings can be found in the Matobos Hills just south of Bulawayo throughout these beautiful hills caves and rock overhangs were decorated by the San. The most accessible of these caves sites in Matobos National Park is Nswatugi Cave which has some of Zimbabwe’s most impressive paintings and is also conveniently close to Malindidzimu or World’s End the spectacular burial place of Cecil Rhodes. Nswatugi Cave a Guide to the Big Game of the Matobos. Rhodes Matopos NP as it was originally called was created in 1926 after Cecil Rhodes bequeathed the area to the country, much of the original big game that would once have been found in the Matobos had been hunted out. When it was decided in the 1960s to set aside an area of the park as a game preserve that would be restocked with suitable wildlife, they needed to know which species they should reintroduce, caves like Nswatugi provided a perfect guide to the original fauna of the park. At another site that I’ve not visited known as the White Rhino Shelter is the faint outline of what is clearly a white rhino, a species that was entirely extinct in the country when Southern Rhodesia was founded in the 1890s, exactly when they became extinct is not known (as far as I know) but this evidence of their former presence led to their reintroduction. There is now a healthy and seemingly well protected population of southern white rhinos and also black rhinos in the park. Some of the other game hasn’t fared quite as well some species like buffalo were actively exterminated some years ago for reasons of foot and mouth disease control and a lot of game was poached during the recent chaos, but hopefully more restocking will be carried out in future when the opportunity arises. Photographing rock paintings can be a bit of a challenge as you can’t use flash which would damage the paintings, so I wasn't sure how well my photos would come out when I visited Nswatugi a few years ago. These paintings are perhaps 2,000 years old and have survived remarkably well considering that Ndebele rebels hid out in caves like this one during the first Chimurenga or freedom war that lasted from 1894-97. It was from hideouts in the Matobos that they launched their guerilla war against the white settlers that nearly extinguished the fledgling colony of Southern Rhodesia. The large animal in the centre of the scene is an eland The artists would often simply paint on top of the earlier paintings frequently creating a jumble of images which can make it a little difficult to make out some of the individual animals and people, the shapes below the eland appear to be entirely abstract and I don't recall what their significance may have been if known. Probably the finest painting of giraffes in Zimbabwe This would appear to be a female greater kudu Greater kudu bull Giraffes, zebras, antelopes and other animals Plains zebra
  4. Hello everyone. I have been a long time lurker on this site. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading other peoples trip reports, and have used these reports to help me decide on upcoming safari itineries. I made a promise to myself that when the time came I would contribute a trip report as well, so here goes! A bit of background info first. This was our 3rd safari (myself and Mrs Mopsy). Our first, in 2005, was to Botswana and Zimbabwe. This of course was meant to be the trip of a lifetime. But we were well and truly bitten by the Africa bug and knew we had to return. In 2009 we ventured to South Africa and Kenya. And that just left us wanting more. But then life got in the way (or kids to be more specific. Actually our first born son was conceived in Kenya). Two more boys came into the world over the next few years so our Africa plans were placed on the backburner. But the dream never stopped. I love to research, whether it be googling different camps I hear about or, as mentioned before, reading trip reports on here. So finally the time came where we were confident enough to leave the kids with grandparents and head back to the bush again. Deciding where to go was easy, the trip had been planned in my head for the past 5 years. It was just a matter of contacting different agents with our ideas and plans and see who have us the best feel. We eventually booked with Africa Travel Resource, as they gave us the best vibe and their price was very competitive as well. I also found they were very honest with their advice. So the final itinery looked like this - 1 night Dar Es Salaam - Southern Sun (Jan 8th) 5 nights Ruaha NP - Mdonya River Lodge (Jan 9th - 13th) 4 nights Selous GR - Lake Manze Camp (Jan 14th - 17th) Now, before I begin my report, a couple of words of warning. Firstly, I am no great wordsmith. I haven't got a way with the English language that so many others do. With me, you will get a fairly basic rundown of the happenings on our trip. Secondly, I am not a great photographer. I took with me my humble point and shoot Canon Powershot with a 20x Optical Zoom. My photos will have many faults with them. But having said that I hope that what you see and read gives you some sort of an idea of the great time we had. So with the preliminaries out of the way, its time to start the report.....
  5. For all the claims that professional hunters are the "true" conservationists the evidence continues to show to the contrary. Is it surprising that the wife of one of the chief suspects had links to the infamous ivory queen, Ms Yang Fengian? I sincerely hope that the Tanzanian prosecutes all those behind the murder of Wayne Lotter. Furthermore, all those corrupt professional hunters who were engaged in poaching should lose their licenses, and their hunting concessions need to be closed.
  6. Hello All, In the spirit of the season (and beyond), please do share your love for Africa and African Wild Dogs by participating in the raffle below: 100% of each entry of USD $100 will go directly to the African Wildlife Conservation Fund and help them raise much-needed funds for their grassroots projects in Zimbabwe. Many of you already know this organization well. Those who don’t, please know that they are dedicated to preserving and conserving one of the last remaining strongholds of wild dogs in southern Africa - and have been very successful in their efforts. But they work on a very small budget, and every little bit we help raise for them will go a long way to helping the dogs in the Savé Valley & Gonarezhou NP, Zimbabwe. The 5 nights of safari accommodations for 2 people have been kindly donated by Asilia Africa. Chalo Africa has donated all park fees, transfers and return flights to/from the Serengeti. So your only costs will be your international flight tickets & sundries - and the raffle ticket! Your entry money will go directly to the AWCF who have organized the logistics for this. Chalo Africa will conduct the raffle drawing in early March 2018, on World Wildlife Day. We are expecting (and hoping) for roughly 100 entries, so your chances of winning the raffle are really quite good Any questions, please feel free to ask me. Please do help us make this fundraiser a success! April/May in Namiri is spectactular for wildlife, and with all your money going to the AWCF, it’s a win-win situation all the way!
  7. Von der Decken’d hornbill (Tockus deckeni) is a Horn of Africa species found in dry open savanna, bush and thorn scrub from Ethiopia and Somalia south through Kenya to south-central Tanzania, its range in the south extends to just beyond Ruaha National Park. These photos were taken in Ruaha Range map The male bird is distinguished from other similar hornbills in having all black wing coverts, it also has a pale yellowish white tip to its predominantly red bill. The female has an all black bill. @MrB @Game Warden
  8. I am helping a a group of six friends put together a first safari next February and I need some help as it has been nine years since I have been to Tanzania. Unfortunately I can’t join them as my funds are deplete after my recent trip to Zimbabwe and Zambia. They want to drive in and fly back to Arusha and are looking at mid to high end camps. They are thinking of two nights at Nomad Entamanu Camp for the crater and another eight or nine nights on safari. Seeing the migration is important to them. They have considering Olakira Ndutu, Dunia Camp, Namiri Plains, Serian Kakessio and Serian Kusini. What combination of these camps and how many days at each? Any other camps suggestions would be appreciated.
  9. We have narrowed down the quotes to two companies for our upcoming trip to Kenya and Tanzania in June. Both companies are KATO members, have listened to our requests, wishes and budget and have come back with similar itineraries and quotes. If anyone on the forum here can comment on their experiences with African Eden: or Aardwolf Africa: I would really appreciate your perspective. Issues? Customer Service? Guide quality? Thanks!
  10. Hi, Looking for some advice here on tipping. I travel to Tanzania a few times a year and always have the same private guide who is excellent by the way. If I'm traveling alone I usually tip him around 150 USD per day. My average stay is 15 days. I thought I 150 per day was fair until today. The person who has guided me for the last 4-5 years moved to a new camp this year so rather than losing him as my guide I'm staying with his new camp. When I received the quote it included a line item for the private guide tip of 250.00 USD per day. I'm traveling alone and staying 16 days so the uncharge is 4000.00. When I inquired about the charge the camp told me the entire fee is passed directly to my guide and that they keep none of it for themselves. This is a reputable camp so I believe that they pass it through. Is 250.00 per day the average tip for private camp guide? Thanks in advance for providing input ...
  11. Hi, newbie here. Hoping to book a 10 day trip to northern Tanzania for August or May. We would like to visit Serengeti, Crater, Ngorongoro, and/or Selous. Just starting to get ideas. Have I missed the boat for 2018?
  12. 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!
  13. Hi all, I found a great tour company with value rate accommodations at lodges. It is private 3 day safari in the month of February. I’m a solo female traveler but I’m looking for another solo female who might want to join me just for this safari. The group is well trusted as they have great reviews. We would have our own private car and driver. Please comment or message me to let me know if you’d be interested.
  14. Hello, i have read a lot through the forum and trip reports and also contacted safari operators yet, though im still very unsure whether to go the northern or southern route in Tanzania. We're a couple around 35, and travelled a lot, though its our first time in Africa and on a Safari. I guess i have some typical "Newbie questions", but hope to get some answers anyways. We'll go in February so its prime time in the north and green season in the South. First we wanted to go to the north, but now we are very unsure because: - We would love to do walking safaris in order to experience nature and not sitting in the car the whole day - We like a lot to be on our own and are scared that the north is "too crowded". Its very hard to find information about "how crowded" it is in the north... So maybe someone could give a few impressions or indications what to expect in February? Is it like you have always other vehicles around and when you spot something they call others and you're surrounded by others? Or is it very remote and you just meet another car once in a while and are usually on you own? As we see it, its more game in the North at this time of year, so we'll see probably more. On the other hand the South will have a nice green landscape and be more quiet, which we do prefer a lot. But here we are scared, that we won't see much game at all. We would love to see the typical animals: - Giraffe - Elephants - Hippos - Zebras - Lions or other big cat. Are chances high to see them in the south or is it really a matter of luck in February? We plan a private Safari (more or less "budget") about 7nights, so in the north we were suggested: - Arusha NP for walking - Tarangire - Lake Manyara - Nrgongoro - Serengeti In the South: - Selous - Mikumi - Ruaha Thanks in advance for any advice. I hope my post is not too confused. If any more detail is needed, please feel free to ask.
  15. Before I get to the photo editing over the weekend and later ..... many many Thanks to Sangeeta, Smita and the Chalo Africa team for putting together a trip for us chasing the migration up north in Kogatende. Not only did they ensure we had a smooth trip, but, also ensured that Coastal got us checked in for our international flights on time by using their fast track service in DAR. Must say very impressed by the crew at the camps at both Asilia and Sanctuary lodges ......... Simply brilliant!!!! Thanks to our guides; Ellisante and Kivoyo from Asilia and Emmanuel from Kusini Lodge (he knows the Kusini area at the back of his fingertips - amazing!!!) Camp Management was brilliant too - Thanks to Michael and Abu at Olakira; Julie at Sayari Camp and Van / Es at Kusini camp. Top notch service and warm Tanzanian hospitality at it's best!!! Here's the first batch of photos....
  16. Hi all I hope some if you are able to guide me then it will be good for me, we are planning to visit Tanzania in January month of the coming year and after investigating many agencies I have decided to go with It would be great if you can share your experiences regarding the above-mentioned agency to make a final decision, thanks for taking the time to help!
  17. On November 2nd, 2017 we had the great fortune to have a rare sighting of a male, White Baboon. Our encounter lasted about 15 minutes or so and as luck would have it, we were the only vehicle to witness this. Our guide had seen it a few years ago and he thought perhaps it was dead as he hadn't seen it in so long. Truly a magical moment for all of us in the vehicle to see this rare sighting. Youtube Video of encounter
  18. 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?
  19. We are in the process of gathering group of 6 people between 10th December to 31st December for a safari ---Daresalaam to Mikumi- Ruaha and back to Dar. .One night in Mikumi. We have confirmed two people iMohamed Mir and partner. Join us on the Safari venture and spread the word to all on a Safari Search.. Inbox for details or Whatsapp +255688301217
  20. Hello! i am planning a calving season safari to Ndutu. I have never been there before! I am really confused which dates to pick. I know the weather is variable, but what would you recommend to maximize the chances that I am there during or right after the births? I am mostly interested in seeing some hunting action. So I guess preferably I err on the side of being there after the births. I see beginning of Feb - March all being mentioned ... I plan to spend 10 days or so, all in Ndutu. Thanks in advance!
  21. Hi there everyone! Having returned to the UK yesterday from Tanzania, I've decided to stop lurking and undertake my first SafariTalk trip report. I have upcoming trips in the next six months to Benin (Pendjari), Chad (Zakouma) and Senegal (Niokolo-Koba) so I'm hopeful this will be the first of many! A bit about me: I'm a 22 year-old with a long-held passion for wildlife, with this trip around the Southern Circuit my 15th safari (which rather pales in comparison to many of you!). My big passion has been African Wild Dogs for as long as I can remember, but I'm fascinated by anything with fur/feathers/scales! A bit about the trip: I travelled with my childhood best friend, Jack, who had previously ventured only to Tsavo East nine years ago. We travelled overland (two guys in their early 20s don't have a particularly malleable budget!) spending four days in Selous before spending a day travelling to Ruaha, where we spent three days. A further two days would be in Mikumi before the reluctant journey home. We used a Tanzanian safari company for the trip who guided, drove and fed and watered us brilliantly. Now, why the thread title? Well, we would be trying to achieve the impossible in two ways. Firstly, we needed to strike a balance between a beginner's safari for Jack, and what we ironically termed a 'connoisseur's safari' for me. This was a big worry for me in organising the trip - would we be able to find enough game to give Jack a wildlife experience not dissimilar to those offered by the game-rich plains to the North? And would I be able to keep Jack enthused by the time I'd taken my thousandth photo of a White-Browed Coucal? In addition, Jack has long wanted to see wild cheetah, so this was a key goal for us. We chose Selous and Ruaha in no small part because they offered the chance to see dogs and cheetah on the same safari, to keep us both happy! Secondly, I've set myself a rather ambitious target of seeking out dogs, cheetah and lion (perhaps even leopard, who knows) in as many of their range states as possible. Before this trip, I had seen dogs in Kenya and South Africa, with an agonising near miss in Botswana. I had encountered Cheetah in Botswana, SA and Kenya, and lions in Botswana, SA, Kenya and Swaziland. Tanzania offered a chance to build on all of these lists, and also perhaps the opportunity to see some wildlife I had never before encountered - a particular bug bear has been my long-standing inability to see wild serval or caracal, so these were also key targets. You can imagine the look on our guide Mansoor's face when we reeled off all of these demands! I should point out that, despite the above, I would have been content just to be back in the bush after a 14-month absence - anything else would be a wonderful bonus. I'm hoping to crack on with this TR in earnest tomorrow and I hope to have as many SafariTalkers on board as possible to relive what was a wonderful adventure! Tom
  22. Hi all - Have been reading way too much and trying to figure out an itinerary for a late July/early August 2018 trip to Africa. We would be a party of four with 2 adults and 2 children (11 and 17). To complicate matters, we MIGHT have an additional adult (age 19 - brother of other kids), who might join us. I realize that the 17 year-old is an adult in most pricing scenarios....we are coming from the West Coast of US I was sold on Tanzania: Tarangire (3N) /Ngorongoro (2N) /Serengeti Lamai (4N) / Grumeti (2N) - same company (e.g. Asila, Nomad) for Tarangire/Ngrongoro and hoping for some savings - booking Serian Serengiti Lamai with private vehicle, Nomad camp is not available at this time - then one of the Grumiti properties for a private reserve Then I started researching and came upon Botswana: Linyante Waterfront (3N), Delta (3N), Delta (2N) - was thinking Lebala - then young explorers at Shinde in the Delta - and then 2 more nights somewhere? - would probably tack on Victoria Falls / Capetown No one in our family has ever been to Africa before. Would probably get private vehicle on either itinerary. My estimates are that 11 night Tanzania itinerary will be close in cost to the 8 night Botswana itinerary. I haven't put either itinerary out to TA's yet. It's high season in both countries, so probably not much flexibility. I think kids will want to see predators, elephants, large herds of animals. -Our dates are a little flexible. But late July/early August works best. Which itinerary is better with those dates? -For kids (they are not really kids), whom will not most likely get back on safari without their parent's dime, what do you recommend? -Any additional suggestions?
  23. 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.
  24. With plans like this on the way, there is less and less reason to build a hydropower dam on the Rufiji River in the Selous Game Reserve (and ruin Stiegler's Gorge and Selous ecology in the process): "A Swedish firm that wanted to construct Africa’s largest wind power plant in Malindi at a cost of Sh253 billion has relocated the investment to Tanzania, citing frustration by Kenyan authorities. VR Holding AB had last year expressed interest in building a 600-megawatt (MW) wind farm in the Indian Ocean waters bordering Ras Ngomeni in Malindi, but Ministry of Energy officials turned down the request citing lack of a framework for renewable energy projects of that scale besides low demand for electricity in the country. The firm’s executives said they have now switched their focus to Tanzania, which shares the Indian Ocean coastline." One hopes Tanzanian authorities will wake up and cancel that destructive dam project in a World Heritage Site.
  25. I was very pleased to see a familiar face in one of this morning's papers amongst the winners of this year’s Tusk Conservation Awards, the winner of the Prince William Award for Conservation in Africa 2017 is Rian Labuschagne, a very worthy winner of this lifetime achievement award. For six years from 2010 he was the Director of Zakouma National Park in Chad. The security plan that he put in place completely transformed the situation for the park’s elephants from a point where their numbers had dropped to under 450 and herds were so stressed that they were no longer breeding, to the situation now where their population is rising and has passed 500. Were it not Rian and Lorna and African Parks, Zakouma’s elephants (and much of its other wildlife) could have been lost and with them one of Africa’s great national parks. Last year they left Zakouma and returned to work for the Frankfurt Zoological Society in the Serengeti in Tanzania, where they had been based before moving to Chad. While in Tanzania Rian helped to improve the protection one of the country’s last black rhino populations the Ngorongoro Crater and prior to that he was instrumental in seeing black rhinos reintroduced to Malawi, to the rhino sanctuary established in Liwonde NP. I’ve no doubt that he could not have done so much for the conservation of Africa’s wildlife without the help of his wife Lorna, what they have together achieved is just extraordinary. While not everyone here on ST will have the good fortune to visit Zakouma, many will be able to visit (or already have visited) Ngorongoro and the Serengeti and should you be fortunate enough to see a black rhino when you're there, it will in part be thanks to Rian’s hard work. Tusk Conservation Awards - Rian Labuschagne Rian giving a bull elephant a drink in Zakouma Here are a couple more Tusk videos and if you go to YouTube you can find more videos on the other winners and finalists at this year’s awards.

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