Go it alone or book a tour





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  1. #1
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    Default Go it alone or book a tour

    Hi, the question I have to ask is whether it works out more cost effective to travel two up to visit the wilder-beast migration in Tanzania and other sights in your own very capable D/C 4x4 or, to join an expedition group.
    I have traveled in Botswana, Namibia and Mozambique, so not afraid to go it alone. Some places were pre-booked sites, others not.

    If you traveled more or less the same route, the fuel cost would be the same.
    The cost of camping and border crossings and park fees, almost the same unless the tour group has better deals.
    Bookings may be the one challenge unless you mostly wing it and stop where and when you feel the need. But the advantage here is that you can also detour and see additional sights on the way.
    The tours are generally set for say 30 days, but I am in no hurry as the wife and I have recently retired and have up to 3 months to tour, if the need arises.
    Has any intrepid travelers suggestions for example have having been privy to both of the scenarios as presented above?
    Last edited by regmark; 2015/07/31 at 09:42 AM.
    2011 I30 Huyundai platcar
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  2. #2
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    No experience with this spesific tour, never done it, but M2CW go it alone especially if you have the time and money and if you are already experienced in overlanding through Africa. As you mentioned if you go it alone you can easily detour and stay at a certain place a extra few days if you feal like it, usually these type tours run on quite a tight schedule often leaving you fealing as if you are rushing through it not having time to enjoy. From quite a few trip reports I read on organised tours to different countries and places, not all but a lot of people commented at a stage that they felt that everything was quite rushed through the entire tour and that they felt a few extra days would have been nice to take in more of certain things and places on the trip.

  3. #3
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    Read the post on slow donkey through africa
    http://www.slowdonkey.com/

  4. #4
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    Geez, thanks bigboy 529 and also "O wise one".
    There is certainly a wealth of info in slow donkey's feedback.
    I will scrutinize it a length in my plans for a slow self drive adventure.
    Hope to also give feed back
    Last edited by regmark; 2015/07/31 at 04:33 PM.
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  5. #5
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    [QUOTE=regmark;2876690]I am in no hurry as the wife and I have recently retired and have up to 3 months to tour, if the need arises.
    /QUOTE]

    Given that you have time on your hands, I would avoid doing a guided tour - rather go solo and play it by ear as you travel. Schedules go out the window for a number of reasons: weather conditions, a great tip from another traveller about a little piece of unknown paradise, vehicle problems, illness etc. Rather keep it flexible - you can always join up with a tour company in Arusha if you feel the need.

  6. #6
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    Regmark, I chanced on this post and agree that you should travel up to Tanzania under your own steam. I would personally go for special campsites if your wallet stretches that far. Most of the mobile camp options use the cheaper public campsites.


    My blog should help you in your planning but you need to get clear in your own head whether you just want to see the herds or if you are hoping to luck it with a river crossing. The website herd tracker gives the best indication as to where the herds are at any specific time. This can vary considerably from year to year.


    If you want to see the herds trekking north then any time from June to August will do. The later in the year the more north they are likely to be. Herd tracker will help decide on which camp bookings may be best for that week, which I suggest you do only once in Tanzania and as late as possible to choose the closest appropriate campsite. The special campsites although US$ 20 per person per day more expensive are well worth the extra expense in context of how much you will have spent getting there.


    We had plenty of contact with people on the mobile safaris and that type of trip would certainly not suit me. You never know who will be in your game viewing vehicle and they may have totally different priorities to your own. Also with a group there is no flexibility as to what camps are booked. On your own you will get a great camp in the correct area, based on the latest information, booked at the latest possible time.


    I must urge you not to make your camp bookings from home as the migration and the location of the herds can be very unpredictable.


    Enjoy your planning.
    Last edited by Stan Weakley; 2015/07/31 at 05:23 PM.
    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. #7
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    Thanks guys, I have already convinced myself of this option as Stan so appropriately puts it.
    I also lived in Zambia on the Copper belt [Kitwe/Ndola/Mufulira], and Zimbabwe [Salisbury/Chakari/Bulawayo] as well as visited Mozambique [via Umtali to beira] so I have already crossed off my bucket list many of the places as set on the existing guided tours.
    I will keep in touch closer to the time. The wife is suggesting we go from May, June through to August...well see.
    Thanks
    2011 I30 Huyundai platcar
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