Self drive advice Arusha





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  1. #1
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    Smile Self drive advice Arusha

    We have a week to explore the area west of Arusha in August next year. Our plan is to hire a vehicle and camp/lodge away from the crowds if possible. We have been to Bots and Zambia before so are not complete novices. We have to meet our daughter in Moshi to catch a flight connection, so timing is important. We would rather spend more time in one area than chase round after "sightings"


    Fergies from Scotland

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fergie View Post
    We have a week to explore the area west of Arusha in August next year. Our plan is to hire a vehicle and camp/lodge away from the crowds if possible. We have been to Bots and Zambia before so are not complete novices. We have to meet our daughter in Moshi to catch a flight connection, so timing is important. We would rather spend more time in one area than chase round after "sightings"


    Fergies from Scotland
    All I can say is do Tarangire national park. Might be a bit early as I believe September, October is the best time

  3. #3
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    You can find your own space anywhere. For example parts of the Serengeti are heaving in August (namely anywhere up along the western corridor where visitors are hoping to catch an elusive river crossing). Seronera is always fairly busy as it's where the majority of budget/mid range safari operators go.

    However, if you book yourselves into a couple of "special" ie private campsites (not much more expensive than public ones but reserved for your exclusive use) then you might well not see another car. Get a Veronica Roodt map, choose your sites and book in advance.

    There are similar campsites in all the parks. Well worth the extra $20 a night to fall asleep to the sounds of the bush rather than your fellow campers.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for your advice, would it work with a few days split between Tarangire and around Seronera. Not sure if we want to visit the crater area or are we foolish to give this a miss and save for another day.

    Fergies

  5. #5
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    Yes you could easily split your time between a couple of parks.

    When planning bear in mind that you will have to pass through the NCA (Ngorongora Conservation Area) to get to Seronera. Which means you'll have to pay the $50pppd plus the fee for the car just to drive through. Going down into the crater itself is another $200 per car. Is it worth it? Yes I'd say so on the basis that there are a lot of much less special things it is possible to spend $200 on and you will drive past the gate.

    I cannot overstress how critical it is when visiting this area to plan your gate entry and exit times at the gates really well. Distances are often long and journey times are difficult to estimate if you are game viewing and you are charged per 24 hours exactly. Here's a post from a while back that explains some of the logistics

    http://4x4community.co.za/forum/showthread.php?t=82045

    In order to get the best out of your time here (and avoid wasting a few hundred $$$ because of missed gate times) I'm afraid there's no substitute for getting hold of a map of the Serengeti/NCA (Id recommend Veronica Roodt available on Amazon) and planning out your journey and timings.

    Given the amount of entry fees I think it is well worth an extra $20pppn for private campsites. There are 6 available in the Seronera area.

  6. #6
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    This is an awesome part of Africa to travel around.

    Tarangire is by far the best park you can visit, just ignore them when they tell you to camp on the paving and camp near the toilets where you’ll see old camp fires.

    I’d recommend crossing into Kenya and go via Nairobi into the Masai Mara, the migration will be there at that time and is well worth it. Western Mara (The Mara Triangle) has far better game then the Eastern side.

    Western Serengeti has little to no game and Seronera in central serengeti has spectacular wildlife but with the downside of having the worst campsites (you’ll camp in the parking area if you have a roof top tent) and 50 million tourists. The road there is also an absolute shocker.

    I wouldn’t recommend Lake Manyara in the dry season as the water is miles away and you need serious binoculars to see the game.

    Ngorongoro is a must, well worth the money!!!!

    Check out our blog for further info, we spent about 2 weeks in this area:
    www.ourafricanfootprint.com

    Cheers

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by kuipermichael7 View Post
    but with the downside of having the worst campsites (you’ll camp in the parking area if you have a roof top tent) and 50 million tourists.
    That's why it's a good idea to book yourself a "special" ie private campsite (same goes for Tarangire or any other of the parks). It takes a bit of research and forward planning but it is a very different experience camping alone in the bush than it is camping in the public campsites. You do, of course, have to be self sufficient, ie carrying your own water etc as there are no facilities. It is just a patch of ground in a scenic spot. You also have to be particularly alert for passing animals. We have had various "guests" arrive at night....

  8. #8
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    I agree with Itchyfeet. The public campsites are not very good. It would be better to pay a little extra and get a private site. Being alone in the middle of the park is really quite something, but you definitely have to be self sufficient - there is nothing at all for miles and miles.
    You could come out of the Western Corridor entrance/exit at Ndabaka Gate and head up to Kenya though Isebania border, then you can turn off at Sotik on the Trans Mara road (good tar and not well used) and head into the Mara that way, rather than going via Nairobi. Sometimes there isnt much game on the Western side of Serengeti, but not always - i've seen plenty of game over the past few years.
    From Arusha, as Itchyfeet says, you will have to pass through the NCA, which costs money, so you might as well stop over and have a look while you are at it.
    Once you leave the tarmac at the NCA entry gate at Karatu, the roads are rubbish to put it mildly. Make sure everything is well tied down and your eggs are wrapped up otherwise they will be scrambled!
    Remember that all fees must be prepaid at Barclays and Exim Bank before entry - for both parks. You can do that in Arusha or Karatu.

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