Trans-Africa trip June 2015. South-western Tanzania leg for comment. - Page 2





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  1. #21
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    You are welcome.
    Landcruiser 76SW.

    “Great journeys are memorable not so much for what you saw, but for where you camped”.

    At least "Once a year go someplace you have never been before" Delai Lama.

    Trans East Africa 2015/2016 Trip report http://www.4x4community.co.za/forum/...e16?highlight= from post 315.

  2. #22
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    For general consumption this is an email, in response to my query about visiting the chimps. I received it from Louise Horsfall of Lakeshore Lodge, Kipili, Lake Tanganyika today.

    "To visit the chimps, the easiest and cheapest option is for you to drive from Lake Shore Lodge to Kigoma (through Katavi National park which is well worth a stay). You can then do a day trip from Kigoma to Gombe Stream National Park. You would do this by boat and there are several places that offer the boat trips to Gombe.

    Yes, we are in the process of looking at buying and building a big catamaran boat but it is not finished yet, so sadly this will not be an option until next year."

    Gombe Streams has camping, self-catering bandas and a lodge, so you can stay over.
    Landcruiser 76SW.

    “Great journeys are memorable not so much for what you saw, but for where you camped”.

    At least "Once a year go someplace you have never been before" Delai Lama.

    Trans East Africa 2015/2016 Trip report http://www.4x4community.co.za/forum/...e16?highlight= from post 315.

  3. #23
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    Hi Stan trust this will help a bit.
    regards
    fanie
    Attached Files Attached Files

  4. #24
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    Thanks Fanie, all the help is much appreciated.
    Landcruiser 76SW.

    “Great journeys are memorable not so much for what you saw, but for where you camped”.

    At least "Once a year go someplace you have never been before" Delai Lama.

    Trans East Africa 2015/2016 Trip report http://www.4x4community.co.za/forum/...e16?highlight= from post 315.

  5. #25
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    Hi Stan ,are you going to keep us up to date on progression of your trip on the forum or are you starting a travel blog which we can follow and envy your trip !!!
    Ford Ranger 2.2 XL 4x4 canvas that will be transformed.

  6. #26
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    Yes Nick, I definitely will. Details will be posted closer to the time.
    Landcruiser 76SW.

    “Great journeys are memorable not so much for what you saw, but for where you camped”.

    At least "Once a year go someplace you have never been before" Delai Lama.

    Trans East Africa 2015/2016 Trip report http://www.4x4community.co.za/forum/...e16?highlight= from post 315.

  7. #27
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    Hi Stan,

    Lovely reading and absorbing the information regarding your plans. Unfortunately with the sort and long rains one does not have too many options for the south and south western parts of Tanzania. The parks at the wrong time of the year just become impassable. But, this you know!

    I can't comment on the western section of your trip as I have not been there (only been to lake Victoria). We did a 2,5 month trip up to Kili and back in March/April/mid May 2012

    There are 3 parks that you must and dare not miss. You need however plan to be there from June to Aug which is the best time when the herds of buffalo (some 1000 strong) and other game return to drink from the Ruaha as the inland waters have dried up. (It can get chilly- as Morag says don't forget the fleeces)

    The first NP (most southerly) is Ruaha which is doable in May but the game would not have returned to the Ruaha river yet- best time is early June. We were there towards the end of April so game viewing was not too good. There are a few special campsites and a main public camp site (good single ablutions).

    We were booked into the public campsite but were told by the Rangers at the Main gate that we could camp at any of the sites as we were the only people in the Park. On arrival at about 13h00 at the camp site we encountered a pride of lions (10off) not 25 metres from where we would be standing. The campsite is right on the banks of the mighty Ruaha which was in full flow- what a view. The negative is that the park/local/village is behind you (there are a number of chalets for rent in the area). The village is relatively large and noisy, which in no way deterred the lions.

    We decided to push off and do a bit of a game drive and would return a bit later.

    On our return, we could not spot the pride and then proceeded to set up camp. We had hardly finished when the first roars started and they were close by. Some 50m away in the thicket stalking a small herd of zebra but were not successful.

    Sharply at 19h00 the village came to life- what a pity and to top it all the music was put on full blast. We found out the next morning that it was a wedding and as tradition requires the partying (celebrations would continue for 3 days). It was too late to move- which we did the next morning to a special camp site further down the Ruaha river away from the village.

    I would like to stress the fact that the wedding/village was the only bad thing about the Ruaha. The special sites are called that because you have to be a special kind of person to camp there as there are no/ziltch facilities other that the shade of huge trees. The area is relatively open almost bushveld like in the area we were. But man what a setting and the sunsets- lions (different ones) some 120 m away on a kill (kudu).

    We would daily at about 16h00 go and have a shower at the public site ablutions.

    The lions in this area are unbelievable! It seems that this pride hangs around the public camping site: I mean literally hanging around there- on the second day in the park, we had to park the Landy against the entrance with the vehicle door opening into the doorway to create a safe passage way to use the ablutions for what they are designed S/Shave/Shampoo, whilst they were stalking a herd of antelope drinking at a small pan behind the ablution.

    Although we were there at the wrong time and the game was sparse if compared to video recordings we have seen. The animal count was still impressive. We were there for a week (I would not spend less time there). There are numerous roads that are relatively easy to travel and should you dare to test your vehicle you can take one of the off road tracks. All in all a great park.

    The next Park that needs mentioning is the small park (that is an extension of the Selous Reserve) called Mikumi National Park Note: this is a Park and the normal rules apply that are associated with National Parks. This little gem straddles the main Mikumi-Dar highway. One is not allowed to stop along the road where it passes through the park, if you are caught you then have to pay park fees and a fine. This small park does not get enough attention from us tourists and I believe is one of the top game parks I have visited and must also not be missed. There are a few all weather roads but a huge amount of tracks in black cotton soil that will not be traversed in the wet season (we got stuck a couple of times but we were a bit cheeky). So this Park can be visited in the wet season on the way back south if you are on a short up and down Safari, However if you have time spend a little time there (3 nights).

    Close by about 20 kms south on the main Highway is the town of Mikumi. The well known TanSwiss lodge with its interesting and well stocked restaurant and pub is a must for a stop over and a meal, really top class. There is a well managed camping ground securely fenced and guarded with good clean ablutions. Stop on the higher stands as when it rains flooding does occur, they were in the process of addressing this. I still think that when it rains, it rains and this problem will remain.

    You can visit TanSwiss on your way up or down but do stop. We camped there to do laundry, catch-up on emails and to take a break.


    I have to go now, but just briefly the third park is the Selous Reserve- Wow was it wet!!! We really had sports here and managed to spend 3 nights camping in the reserve in the middle of no where!!! Shonet I must get back there soon oh and to work.

  8. #28
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    Hallo Stan
    Apologies, I'm newish here and didn't check all the threads, so I don't know whether you're back yet. Probably not.
    We are currently in Kasama, Zambia, on our way north. I was wondering how the B8 in Tanzania was and if there are any "must-do's" or tips.
    After the western part of Tanzania we are on our way to Rwanda and Uganda, Kenya, then we'll decide whether we have time for Ethiopia, then back to Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, home.
    Kind regards
    Dorette

  9. #29
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    Hi Stan,

    I live in Tanzania and have visited all the places mentioned in your thread except Gombe and Mahale Mountains. Here are my thoughts from travels in Tanzania over the past year or so.

    Bush camping in Katavi was spectacular in July 2014, with hippos, elephants, and buffalo through our campsite nearly every day of or week-long stay there. There's a ranger post on the banks of the Ikuu river in Katavi that has water, good toilets, and (I think) showers, which my traveling companions used every afternoon on our way back to the bush camp we set up a couple km up the river. We parked on the banks of the river with binoculars and gin & tonics for sunset every day, and wildlife basically came to us.

    Riverside Camp outside of Katavi, near the village of Sitalike, was a bit run down, but the service was enthusiastic if slow. A good jumping off point before going into the park proper. When my power window got stuck open on the way there, Juma, who runs Riverside, fixed it in 45 minutes and refused all payment offers for his help.

    Lakeshore Lodge on Lake Tanganyika is a wonderful place to recuperate after the long drive up from the Zambian border. The road between Tunduma and Sumbawanga has been under construction for several years and made for some rough, slow stretches along the way. We skipped Sumbawanga altogether and pushed on to Lakeshore Lodge 3 hours away, arriving at 10pm. I called from Sumbawanga, and Lakeshore kept the kitchen open for us and had hot dinner ready when we arrived. Probably the most knowledgeable people for hundreds of km around.

    Another park I would highly recommend is Kitulo NP, in the southern highlands a couple hours north of Mbeya. It's a botanical park with no predators, so you can just wander across the endless landscape to stretch your legs and take a break from driving. We hiked about 30km in 2 days and never saw another person. Reminiscent of Scottish highlands. Zero facilities, guides available but not required, and helpful staff at the entrance ranger station. It was close to freezing in June.

    I just came back from my 3rd trip to Ruaha a couple of days ago. July is a good time to see wildlife due to falling water levels in the rivers. Public campsite previously mentioned is situated well, right on the river, but too close to rangers village for my taste. Try one of the special campsites further afield, and look for animals near the Mwagusi-Ruaha confluence.

    Mikumi is also a wonderful park. I've been there a dozen times, and only once have I not seen a lion. There's a nice campsite with basic facilities under a massive baobab not too far from the entrance, and with your 76 Land Cruiser, you can drive the back road through Vuma Hills section of Mikumi directly into Selous. The road is only passable during dry seasons though due to multiple river crossings.

    Selous is expensive, more than the national parks, but it has certain advantages. For one, you don't have to stick to the roads if you want to track some animals across the landscape - you can just drive where you want, within reason. Second, the lakes and rivers attract an astounding number of birds and associated wildlife, and you can hire boats for river/lake safaris from the camps and lodges in and around the reserve. Selous is true wilderness when you get away from the camp areas near the Rufiji river. Bush camping is technically not permitted on your own, but I met a Swiss guy there a few years back who just told the rangers at the gate he was staying at one of the high-end camps, then drove off and parked under a giant umbrella Acacia hidden away off the road. Beware of poachers if you try that though - Selous is one of the biggest sources of illegal ivory in the world.

    If you find yourself in Dar es Salaam, send me a private message and we can link up if you're interested. I'd love to learn more about your travels across Africa!

    Cheers
    Brad

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