Mikumi Safari / self drive info?





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  1. #1
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    Default Mikumi Safari / self drive info?

    Hi. I am struggling to find much info on Mikumi Safaris or Mikumi maps. Is it Ok to explore as self drive (similar to South Luangwa or Similar) or better do via paid Game deines ? (We have Landcruiser).
    I can't find any info about safaris and prices starting straight from Mikumi or so, only the ones starting Dar. Any clues? Thanks
    Are there campsites in The Park (we have roof tents ) and if so, unfenced or fenced?
    Thanks again.
    jan

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    Default Re: Mikumi Safari / self drive info?

    Hi Jan,

    I do not really understand why you are so interested in Mikumi. In the Tanzanian context it is a relatively minor park and most would rather spend time in Ruaha or Selous in Southern Tanzania or on the Northern Safari Circuit.

    Most only drive through Mikumi when making their way to or from Dar es Salaam. I have driven through and my impression is that there is not all that much game there. I think there are public campsites but most seem to stay just outside the park, going in on day trips, saving on the relatively expensive park fees. Tan Swiss Camp and Lodge is on the outskirts of the park and has decent accommodation. Google and perhaps email them for further info.

    It sounds as if you are on a self-drive trip and I think your time would be far better spent elsewhere as suggested. There are game drives from Tan Swiss if you really are still interested or you can drive in and tour around in your Land Cruiser.
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    Default Re: Mikumi Safari / self drive info?

    Hi Jan

    In my opinion Mikumi is absolutely worth to stay there for two nights as long as you are on the way from Morongoro to Iringa. There are unfenced public campsites in the north part to the public road. There is no problem for self drives. The roads are all well developed.

    I can't agree with Stan that there is not much game. That's not through. It was his impression driving on the public road. For me it's like you would say the impression from driving the road from Kasane to Ngoma and get the result that it isn't worth to go on the Chobe Waterfront.

    If you like you can have a quick look on a few pics from Mikumi 2013 on my homepage http://www.botswanadreams.de/reisebe...tanzania-2013/
    Scroll a bit down to Mikumi and you'll get an idea what you can expect from Mikumi.


    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by botswanadreams; 2016/07/25 at 10:20 PM.

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  5. #4
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    Default Re: Mikumi Safari / self drive info?

    Hi both. Thanks. Reason is "time". We are driving though from Malawi to Dar, and unfortunately can't spare lots of time (and money) to make major detours. I would
    Love to go to Ruaha, but guess that adds a day (which this time I don't have) - so I have a reason to come back :-)
    Cheers
    Jan

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    Default Re: Mikumi Safari / self drive info?

    Thanks for the explanation Jan. Enjoy.
    I would then also suggest camping and self-driving in Mikumi.
    Landcruiser 76SW.

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

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

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    Default Re: Mikumi Safari / self drive info?

    Little addtl Q: is there only one entrance gate, or is it possible to enter at Mikumi town and leave higher up (north east) onto A7 direction Morongoro? Thx. Jan
    Last edited by oxygen11; 2016/07/26 at 11:58 PM. Reason: Typo

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    Default Re: Mikumi Safari / self drive info?

    As far as I know there is only one entrance gate were you can pay your park fee. It is nearly in the middle of the Tan-Zam Highway through the Park.

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    Default Re: Mikumi Safari / self drive info?

    So, we ended up visiting both parks. Had an extra 2 days , so couldn't resist Ruaha. Obviously, Ruaha is more majestic, far less frequented. We loved it. Good animal viewing. Mikumi quite nice, too (similar animal sightings, incl Eland). The one thing a bit odd in Mikumi: half the surface seems burnt by bushfires, which makes it less nice. But still with a stop.
    ps: indeed only one entrance/exit gate to mikumi. And the Ruaha road from Iringa is in excellent condition : under 90mins drive for 90km. Cheers. Jan (now I just need to find a place near Dar airport to leave car for 1 night safely. Any ideas?)

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    Default Re: Mikumi Safari / self drive info?

    Great impressions, have to put this on the bucket list this time only going as far as Malawi.
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    Default Re: Mikumi Safari / self drive info?

    Glad you went to Ruaha. A very special place.

    Also pleased to hear you had a good time in Mikumi (we have only driven through it on the main road). The Tanzanian national parks have a policy of controlled burning before the rains to encourage new growth for the plains game; it can look a mess, but it is common practice from Tanzania southwards to the southern African countries.

    As for a safe place to leave your vehicle in Dar es Salaam - if I were you, I would go for an up-market hotel where they have good security and are happy for you to leave your vehicle, and then take a taxi to the airport. I don't know any hotels near the airport, but go and check them out and see how you feel about security etc.

  12. #11
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    Default Re: Mikumi Safari / self drive info?

    Strange practice to burn a park. Is that nature Havent seen this in any park anywhere in sub-Sahara, and doubt this is normal practice all over. Defeinately a minus for Mikumi on that one.

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    Default Re: Mikumi Safari / self drive info?

    Strange practice to burn a park. Is that nature Havent seen this in any park anywhere in sub-Sahara, and doubt this is normal practice all over. Defeinately a minus for Mikumi on that one.
    Parking Dar: left car at airport. Looked safe and face still intact and present following day:-)

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    Default Re: Mikumi Safari / self drive info?

    The debate about controlled burning in national parks is an interesting one. However many scientific experts advise it. The Kruger NP continues with this policy for instance and this is arguably the most scientifically managed park in Africa.

    The benefits are per Wazungu's post, better grazing with the new growth once the summer rains arrive.

    The old, dry, straw-like grass stifles new growth and is in itself a considerable fire hazard.

    Protagonists feel that controlled burning is less damaging. An uncontrolled fire at the wrong time of the year, when the grass is very dry, can damage massive areas and because of the heat, damages and kills more trees. A controlled burn is done before the grass is too dry and therefore the fire is less hot and more easily controlled. Thus there is less collateral damage and the trees are not killed. The African veld is adapted to recover strongly from fairly regular fires which do occur naturally from lightning strikes and the like. In Kruger and other parks only certain scientifically selected blocks of veld are burnt and then on a rotational basis. The burnt areas also act as fire breaks.

    There will always be those who are opposed to any form of management whatsoever of conservation areas.
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  16. #14
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    Default Re: Mikumi Safari / self drive info?

    Just returned from Mamilli which also had a large section burned in the Park.

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    Default Re: Mikumi Safari / self drive info?

    Seems to be a regulqr practice in Zambia to. Large sections of Kafue are currently burnt. Not a nice view for a tourist, but as Stan says, there must be good reasons for doing it.
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    Default Re: Mikumi Safari / self drive info?

    Yes, and in Uganda and Botswana too. As Stan says, sectors are burnt on a rotational basis. The Masai in Kenya and Tanzania have burnt the plains since time immemorial to encourage new growth for their cattle. The Kenyan national parks and game reserves no longer do controlled burning, but it is a common practice elsewhere in Africa.

    We ended up driving through a wall of fire in Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda which was slightly scary, but we had the escape route - if needed - of driving onto the already burnt section.
    Last edited by Wazungu Wawili; 2016/08/13 at 09:27 PM.

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    Default Re: Mikumi Safari / self drive info?

    We are just back from a self drive and we saw a lot of controlled burning;

    Mikumi; yes, a lot, half of the self drive circuit
    Selous; We saw nothing
    Tarangire; We saw nothing
    Ndutu area; a little bit
    Serengeti; Almost everything at the Lobo area ( even the special campsites cannot be used and do not exist anymore at this time)
    On the way to the Mara River, big parts completly burnt and almost the hole Western Area at Kira Wira.
    Katavi; We saw nothing
    Kafue; Yes a hole lot of the south and the central of Kafue. Almost no animals to see in this part of Kafue at this time.
    Chobe; We saw nothing

    Needless to say but the areas where the contolled burning has taken place were completly empty with animals.
    We talked to rangers in the Serengeti about this and they say; it s a good thing to get new grass but the bad thing is it kills a lot of snakes, pangolines and turtles etc.
    Last edited by sylvia000; 2016/08/13 at 10:09 PM.

  20. #18
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    Default Re: Mikumi Safari / self drive info?

    The controlled burn was one of our responsibilities when we worked up at Nyika NP in Malawi.

    The primary reason is fire control later in the season. Stan sums it up well. Before controlled burning came into play Nyika used to have fire storms that raged across the plateau which wiped out the majority of tree cover up there over the years, including areas of great environmental significance such as the juniper forests of which there is only a tiny fraction left. Fires are occasionally started naturally ie by lightning, but far more often as a result of poaching activity (ie to drive game in a particular direction) or, more innocently by locals tending bee hives. The worst wild fire we had whilst we were there (which very nearly took out the lodge and took weeks to put out) was started by an itinerant lady cooking maize.

    The speed of regeneration is quite incredible with flowers emerging within no time and new grass growth within a couple of weeks. The controlled nature of the burn means the game can easily move to fresh grazing however there are inevitable casualties in terms of smaller mammals. The raptors have a field day during burning.

    I'll try and post some pictures.

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  22. #19
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    Default Re: Mikumi Safari / self drive info?

    Some photos for anyone interested.

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/308658...th/4442894013/

    The first 14 are of early/controlled burning. The final 8 are wild fires later in the season.

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  24. #20
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    Default Re: Mikumi Safari / self drive info?

    Mikumi is ABSOLUTELY worth it.

    We stayed in the unfenced campsite right from the highway,
    seen if coming from Dar.

    We saw and heard lions, they did even mate in the little kiosk at the gate.
    http://meet-the-oceans.de/html/27___28_september.php (sorry its in German)

    Pics

    You will see here, that its not far from Dar.
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