Park Fees East Africa





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  1. #1
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    Question Park Fees East Africa

    I am planning a trip to East Africa (Moz, Mal, Tanz, Ken, Uga, Rwa, Bur, Zam & Bot) for Aug to Oct 2014.

    Want to visit all the Lakes of Africa and the parks like Ngorongoro, Serengeti, Maasai Mara, Muchison, Queen Elizabeth, Mgahinga, Nyungwe.

    My problem is as follow - if I spend 2 days and 1 night in all these parks, the park fees (entrance fees, vehicle fees, camp fees) will out run any reasonable RSA budget (rand weakness) -
    To my calculations to visit these parks and stay in the overcrowd public camps is as follow (One 4x4 and 2 persons):
    Ngoronggoro - R 3,300.00
    Serengeti - R 3,300.00
    Maasia Mara - R2,500.00
    Murchison Falls - R2,300.00
    Kibale - R2,300.00
    Queen Elizabeth - R2,300.00
    Bwindi - R2,300.00
    Mgahinga - R2,300.00
    Total - R20,600.00

    Questions:
    Is my info and calculation correct?
    What is not worth the money (parks)?
    Is there a way to see these parks but cheaper (camp out side etc.)

    Thanks

    Neels

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    Neels Borstlap - Somerset West
    NamibiŽ (Every where but Caprivi), Botswana, Zim, Angola - On my way to Caprivi, Mosambiek, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Zambia in 2014!!!

  2. #2
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    It is expensive I'm afraid.

    I think the minimum it is worth spending in the Serengeti/Ngorongora is 2 nights on the crater rim (the only way you can spend a full day in the crater) and two nights in the Serengeti (this is assuming you exit west). This comes to a minimum of $1000 for a car and two people. I'd recommend you spend an extra $20pppn in the Serengeti for a private campsite - better to pay $50pppn for something great than $30pppn for something crap in my view. You can't camp just outside other than at the far western end (Serengeti Stop). See my other post about getting your entry/exit timing right - this is really critical here as it is $$$ wasted if you don't.

    Personally I would skip the parks in Rwanda/Uganda unless you want to do chimp/gorilla trekking (both recommended). They are nice but not spectacular and the $150 fee for a foriegn vehicle makes them very expensive. There is lots of stunning scenery in both places to enjoy without paying the park fees and the parks are not known for their prolific game anyway. Cheapest place to see chimps up close is still in Kanyiyo Pabidi just inside Murchison I think. Don't miss rhino tracking at Ziwa (good value, good cause). Visiting the gorillas are very expensive but a genuinely amazing experience.

    You have missed off Ruaha in Tanzania which is magial (much nicer then the northern parks IMO). Selous sounds stunning but I've never made in there. You've not mentioned any parks in Zambia - as a minimum get to SLNP which you can do pretty cheaply by comparison with others you've mentioned and is about as good as they get.

    The Mara is worth it. You can save here by camping outside at Talek gate but you won't get the best of it as you'll be right in the area all the budget tours congregate (lots of manic matatu drivers). Try and stay in one of the public camps in the Triangle ($25 pppn) at least for a few days.

    Good luck and try not to think too much about the costs.

  3. #3
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    Itchyfeet

    Thanks for you feedback - will help a lot.

    Our mean coal with Murchison is to see the water fall - can we visit the falls without entering the park?

    Ruaha is out of my route - we plan to travel for Moz. via Unity bridge to Dar re Salaam etc.

    Will visit SLNP and others.

    Again - thanks for good advice.

    Neels

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    Neels Borstlap - Somerset West
    NamibiŽ (Every where but Caprivi), Botswana, Zim, Angola - On my way to Caprivi, Mosambiek, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Zambia in 2014!!!

  4. #4
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    You'll have to enter the park to visit Murchison Falls - but that does mean you can go chimp trekking there (and save the cost of Kibale). And you can take in Ziwa on the way.

    Sounds like you'll go right past Selous. I'd try and spend a few days there if you can (if it were me I'd rather go there than the Serengeti). Will you have time/funds for a hop over to Zanzibar? Well worth it IMO. Or swim with the whales sharks on Mafia... So much to see and do.

    All the best.

  5. #5
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    Another option for Ngorongoro/Serengetti (and possibly the other parks) is to leave your vehicle in Arusha and go in with one of the operators - there are a number of budget outfits that cater for backpackers, and it works our cheaper than paying the US$150 for a foreign reg vehicle.

  6. #6
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    NamLover

    Please note that you will have to pay a vehicle fee of US$ 200 to take your own vehicle down into the Ngoronggoro crater, this is exclusive of the normal entrance and camping fees. All vehicles including local operators must pay this amount. Camping is only allowed on the rim of the crater and all vehicles must exit the crater before 18h00. One day down the crater and one night's camping at Simba Camp on the crater rim cost us US$ 400 for me and my wife with our own LC.

    If it is a beautiful day, your visit will be worth every sent, it is really amazing down in the crater. This is something one should do at least one in your life time.

    Enjoy your trip.

  7. #7
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    Thanks a lot JEA

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    Neels Borstlap - Somerset West
    NamibiŽ (Every where but Caprivi), Botswana, Zim, Angola - On my way to Caprivi, Mosambiek, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Zambia in 2014!!!

  8. #8
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    Be sure to add 16% VAT to Kenya park fees. New thing just passed, if that isn't enough.
    They are learning to milk the tourists like in some other countries.

  9. #9
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    It look like at an exchange rate of R10 for $1 it is going to be very expensive to visit the parks in Taz, Ken, Uga for example R4000.00 for 2 one night at Ngoronggpro - eish !!!!

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    Neels Borstlap - Somerset West
    NamibiŽ (Every where but Caprivi), Botswana, Zim, Angola - On my way to Caprivi, Mosambiek, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Zambia in 2014!!!

  10. #10
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    We have just done a day trip into Ngorogoro.
    We have noticed that there is very little self camping in Kenya and Tanzania.
    We camped at Kudu camp in Karatu. A good base to start from as it only takes 30 mins to get to Ngorogoro
    we payed a small operator 250USD for a vehicle and guide.
    This does not include the 200USD for the vehicle service fee to go into the crater + 50 dollars per person.
    When we stopped for lunch there were 70 safari vehicles parked and not one self drive.
    The roads are shocking, really bad and would not want to take my vehicle in there..

  11. #11
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    I really liked Uganda. There is an extensive network of community camping facilities around most of the national parks - most of them offer excellent value for money.
    Highlights IMHO are:
    - gorilla trekking in the Impenetrable Forrest NP (for this you have to book in advance as only a very limited number of people are allowed daily),

    -the Kagera section (Northern)of the Queen Elizabeth NP. Spoil yourself with a night or 2at the Mbeya Lodge in the southern section and go on a boat cruise on th elakes whilst there.

    -Also visit the floor of the rift valley and see hundreds of old craters formed millions of years ago.

    -Go for a hike in the foothills of the Ruwenzori's - if you are lucky you may see wild chimpanzees.

    -Cross the Nile at Paraa with the ferry and stay 2 or 3 nights at Paraa Lodge. Drive around the area. Take the boat ride to the bottom of Murchison's Falls. Take a day drive to the top of the falls.

    - Visit the 'source' of the Nile and do some white water rafting.

    - From Uganda, drive to Kenya. Visit the Kenyan Parks, especially the Massai Mara (which I prefer to Serengeti).

    -Visit lake Nakuru and Lake Naivasha NP's and also Aberdare NP.

    - On the way down visit Tsavo East NP.

    -Then work your way down Tanzanian coast, enter Mozambique via the Unity Bridge. Visit Niassa NP, amble down the coast to Pemba.

    -Swing west to Malawi and from there to South Luangwa inZambia.
    Regards,

    Nico Roets

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