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Fabulous Tanzania Safari
Old 09-02-2007, 02:30 PM   #1
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Fabulous Tanzania Safari

If you have ever dreamed of going to Africa and taking safari into the Serengeti, my advice is do it! I never thought I'd have the money, the courage, the whatever. But a friend went on this trip and she's 69, so I told myself what the hell. It was one of the best things I've ever done.

Here's the description of the tour I took: Serengeti Safari Tour and Vacation Package with Overseas Adventure Travel

Tanzania is so magical, yet so very real. The people are incredibly generous and happy to extend themselves to visitors. Yes, there is terrible poverty and you really get a sense of what it means to do backbreaking labor to earn your living. Consequently, the Tanzanians want people to come there to help their economy.

The safari was better than I could possibly imagine, more animals everywhere, fantastically beautiful scenery. The lodges are fantastic, but staying in the bush tent is really fun. You hear wild animals at night, hyenas especially. One morning there were two giraffes in our front yard!

As a single woman on safari, I felt totally safe. The guides were amazing, so interesting, friendly and fun. Sorry to sound like the Tanzanian travel ambassador but I have to say that this is one fabulous country.

Ask me any questions!
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Old 09-02-2007, 03:00 PM   #2
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Welcome back. Glad you had a good time. This is on my list of places to go.
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Old 09-02-2007, 06:48 PM   #3
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What a trip! It must have been amazing. I am assuming that you went with a group? If you put together a website with pictures let us know so we can take a look. I admire your spirit. Not every single woman would choose Africa. My cousin just came back from Malawi although I have not had a chance to catch up with her yet to see how it was.
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Old 09-02-2007, 06:58 PM   #4
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I went on a couple of OATs trips - very good; very safe; good fun.
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Old 09-02-2007, 07:51 PM   #5
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I worried about going with a group of "strangers" and some of my worries were justified. For example, there was one couple that everyone immediately wanted to vote off the island. But eventually the group accepted them. Other annoying people included two wives who were along for the ride because their husbands always wanted to go to Africa. One continually talked about other vacations they had taken. The other was really really afraid of snakes. (Never saw a snake. The guide said no snakes had ever come into the tents.) These women would NOT pee behind a bush and complained and complained about how long it was until the next toilet. Oh well.

I learned to deal with these annoyances by riding in a different landrover, in particular taking the co-pilot seat with the driver/guide and engaging him in conversation. Usually what he talked about became so interesting to the others that they stopped talking about "their stuff" and just listened. The guides were really professional, patient, spoke five or six languages, knew everything about the animals, the environment. Fascinating!

I'd definitely do another OAT trip. They take you on a lot of cultural sidetrips and the guides have some leeway to design the trip themselves. Our guide, for example, knew a Maasai village chief so we were only the third western group that had visited that boma (village). He took a detour that I suggested in the Serengeti to see some Maasai stone paintings and we ended up getting out to take a hike up a topje (big rocks) where there were lions resting on the other side. Our guides got out first, banged the rocks with a machete and climbed on top of a big rock to make sure the lions didn't come around to see us.

Wow. I wrote another marketing piece for OAT. It was big fun.
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Old 09-02-2007, 07:58 PM   #6
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Also, this website, Dreamsafaris.com has lots of pictures of what you would see on safari.
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Old 09-03-2007, 06:07 AM   #7
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Sounds like a great trip!

I went on a safari in Kenya a couple years ago and really enjoyed it.

I'm glad your trip was so good!

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Old 09-03-2007, 10:04 AM   #8
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Wow...loved reading about your trip. I would have had the same worries that you did, but sounds like you did just fine - very inspiring.
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Old 09-03-2007, 11:12 AM   #9
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I did a Kenya / Tanzania tour in 1996 with International Wildlife and especially loved Tanzania. One vivid memory of the ride back to Nairobi was when we came to a narrow spot in the road and our cab driver got into a shouting match with another cab coming in the opposite direction. It ended with them squeezing by each other as our cab driver waved a machete at the other guy. I'm sure it was all theater, but it gave us a good anecdote. It is hard not to love the African people.
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Old 09-03-2007, 11:47 AM   #10
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Looks like a great trip ! Kudos to you for braving it alone !
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Old 09-03-2007, 01:34 PM   #11
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What a cool thing to do.

I think my wife and I will take your advice in the next year or two and do it too. Tanzania sounds great. I've been wanting to go back to Africa since I saw two bull elephants fighting on a game preserve in South Africa in the late 90's. (A "free" day on a business trip, but at least I got to see something.)
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Old 09-03-2007, 02:31 PM   #12
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Several people have given me kudos for "braving" the trip alone. I assure you I was only "alone" on the airline flights. Once I arrived in Kilimanjaro I was met by the guide and then had a roomate (very nice woman) that Overseas Adventure Travel arranged for me. I was always with my guides/drivers and the other travelers. I never felt alone at all!
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Old 09-03-2007, 03:13 PM   #13
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Oldbabe...even if you were with others, I still would have been very apprehensive being with people that I didn't know. That's just me, so your story is still very inspiring.
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Old 09-04-2007, 01:12 AM   #14
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looking at pics on sites you posted, i'd have a tough time getting back on the plane to come back to urban life. nice trip.
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Old 09-05-2007, 10:15 AM   #15
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Playaman-- Send me a private email if you want more info about OAT. I'm happy to recommend them.

Lazy-- That's exactly how I have felt. i want to go back ASAP. The link I posted was wrong -- here's a correction. This isn't the safari company I used but this one has the best pictures on the web AFRICA DREAM SAFARIS
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Old 09-05-2007, 03:53 PM   #16
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I went to Kenya and Tanzania in 2002 with three other women and it was one of the best trips of my life. It was a beautiful and inspiring place with very friendly people. I was a bit apprehensive before I went, but afterward, I just wanted to go back (one of these days....). We chartered a jeep and a guide in each country. Our guides were so knowledgeable about the wildlife and the countryside - they have to train for several years in order to get their license so you can ask them just about anything and they usually know the answer. I would encourage anyone who is thinking about going to do it.
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Old 09-06-2007, 05:12 PM   #17
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That's really cool, Meridriver! It's actually pretty easy to arrange a safari online these days, once you know which are the reputable companies. You can cut out the American middleperson that way. But, having looked into it, I don't think I would have saved any money over OAT.
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OAT looks expensive to me
Old 09-06-2007, 11:08 PM   #18
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OAT looks expensive to me

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldbabe View Post
You can cut out the American middleperson that way. But, having looked into it, I don't think I would have saved any money over OAT.
Just looking on OAT prices (from ATL it comes to $4.5k + flight taxes) you could probably save two grands - but no guarantee about the quality of the guides (look at Tanzania Thorn Tree posts on Lonely Planet)
You could probably save a grand if booked with a reputable non-US company, like Australian Intrepid.

I was looking into going there, but decided to wait until Little Sailor is older.
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Old 09-06-2007, 11:28 PM   #19
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I've actually traveled with Intrepid and they are great! I highly recommend them and my next trip to Africa will probably be with them. However, they are definitely more of a "budget-minded" travel company as they don't stay at the upscale safari camps.

Even though we arranged our trip ourselves, we stayed in high-end lodges and tented camps and it was probably one of the most expensive trips I've ever taken. The reason we arranged our own trip was not to save money, but to have the freedom of going out on game drives whenever we wanted to and then staying at one place observing the animals for as long as we wanted to. We often sat for several hours in one location observing the animals while 10 or 20 other jeeps came and went. Two of my companions were serious photographers who didn't want to be rushed, and the other two of us were just happy to hang out and observe. It was great for us, but I think it would be a bit too much for most people and they would be just as happy with a group tour.
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Old 09-07-2007, 11:02 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailor View Post
Just looking on OAT prices (from ATL it comes to $4.5k + flight taxes) you could probably save two grands - but no guarantee about the quality of the guides (look at Tanzania Thorn Tree posts on Lonely Planet)
You could probably save a grand if booked with a reputable non-US company, like Australian Intrepid.

I was looking into going there, but decided to wait until Little Sailor is older.

Interesting! I looked at Australian Intrepid and their total for a comparable 14 day safari would be about $2178, not including airfare from the States. So about $4200. The website doesn't have any information about lodges or camps or the safari company; have to write to ask. The OAT price from Denver would be about $5200. Neither price includes trip insurance or taxes or tips. It gets expensive. Thanks for the info!
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