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Old January 27th, 2013, 06:47 PM
akfisher
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living the dream in africa

just got back from a fantastic vacation that i thought the members of this forum might appreciate. we went to tanzania and rented a d110 tdi fully kitted out for camping and went on a self driving safari through some of the famous parks in the northern part of the country. we went to tarangire, ngorogoro crater, and serengeti parks. the company reserved our campsites and booked us the occasional tented lodge so we could clean up and dust off before we headed out again. being on your own schedule was great, doing your own navigation was interesting but added to the challenge. here are a few pics from our adventure

we had an authentic land rover experience as the starter motor died the very first day out just a 1/2 mile or so into our first national park. the company had it fixed by 10 that night.
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camping on the rim of ngorogoro crater
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we came across this zebra foal on the floor of the crater that was still wet and wobbly from just having been born
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camping in the bush, heard lions and hyenas every night. sleeping on the roof made you feel much better about that
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we spent an afternoon watching two lionesses stalk some wildebeest, kill one, leave and then bring back their cubs to feed. only a self driver can take that much time for one thing.
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we were fortunate to be in the right place to be in the middle of the wildebeest migration. over a million animals. blows the mind.
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leaving the naabi hill gate and driving down onto the plains of serengeti national park
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flat tire on the main road of the serengeti. road is highly crowned, in crappy shape and busy with safari rigs and truckers. lots of fun in 90' heat.
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another afternoon we watched these cheetah stalk, kill and eat a gazelle in pretty short order.
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lunch on the plains. in the ngorogoro area you can drive off road which was a blast. in serengeti park you have to stay on the roads. we spent more time in the ngororgoro area
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in two weeks we only saw two other rigs doing self drive safaris. everyone else is on a prepackaged tour with a tanzanian driver. we would really like to do a trip like this again, hopefully we can make it happen
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  #2  
Old January 27th, 2013, 06:51 PM
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Old January 27th, 2013, 06:59 PM
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awesome - good for you mate! I am planning another one like that with the whole family in 2015 when my son graduates High School...did it many moons ago myself. This one is on the rim of the Great Rift Valley...the second is self explanatory. Yeah I married the chick - and fell in love with Rovers again...
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Old January 27th, 2013, 07:03 PM
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awesome - good for you mate! I am planning another one like that with the whole family in 2015 when my son graduates High School...did it many moons ago myself. This one is on the rim of the Great Rift Valley...the second is self explanatory. Yeah I married the chick - and fell in love with Rovers again...
Is that you Jonesy, or Joel from Risky Business?
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Old January 27th, 2013, 07:05 PM
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Very nice indeed!!
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Old January 27th, 2013, 07:24 PM
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Hey AK. who did you book this through?
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Old January 27th, 2013, 07:33 PM
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I was thinking the same thing! If you have information that you could share!!
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Old January 27th, 2013, 07:34 PM
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Hey AK. who did you book this through?
Yeah same question...who did you rent the 110 through, and who booked the trip (since it sounds like two separate places).
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Old January 27th, 2013, 08:26 PM
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Love the umbrella trees. Did you get to see any hiphopopotamus or rhymenoceros?

-Jeff
You know what I think? I think you guys area couple of deekheads.

Great show...I miss it!
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Old January 27th, 2013, 09:01 PM
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More info please! That is my all time dream trip! Congrats!
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Old January 27th, 2013, 09:02 PM
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The funniest thing is how "safe" he felt in a roof top tent....lions can jump! - It is weird but years later you look back and figure out how stupid you were...or how lucky!

Yeah Lav....Risky Business was a cool movie
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Old January 27th, 2013, 09:29 PM
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robert hall
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DrTarpon, nathan
we booked through a company from the UK called safari drive.
website http://www.safaridrive.com/index.htm lots of good rover porn there.
they rent the vehicle and arrange your campsites and any lodges you want to book. campsites are booked in arusha at the tanzanian parks office and have to be done well in advance in person. there are multiple other fees for vehicles, daily fees per person and special fees like to go to the bottom of the ngorogoro crater. some fees have to be paid in US dollars cash, some can be paid by credit card and some have to be put on a prepaid card that can only be used in the parks. it would be impossible to navigate this f'$#k*d up system on your own. safari drive has agents in arusha who brief you on all this, check you out on the rig and provide support for things like our breakdown. the other self drivers we saw were with two other companies one called fortes out of arusha and another called shaw safaris which i also think is out of arusha.

a few more pics

the scariest driving was going across the city of arusha. ten years ago the population was 300K. it is now up to one million. they didnt build any new roads or add any infrastructure.
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the roads are unbelievably crappy. here is about the only decent section we saw
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fat and happy pride of lions sitting in the middle of the wildebeest herd
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hyenas and vultures on a carcass. the wildebeest feed everybody
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living the dream, driving through the migration
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only a self driver has the time to pay attention to the small stuff like this hot tortoise on tortoise action
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  #13  
Old January 27th, 2013, 09:51 PM
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Looks like a spectacular trip and adventure. Thanks for sharing.
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Old January 27th, 2013, 10:17 PM
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This is great. Thanks for sharing.

One of this days I'll do this too.
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  #15  
Old January 27th, 2013, 10:32 PM
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I lived much of my childhood 100 kilometers south of where you turned off the main road in makuyuni to go to tarangire...makes me homesick! How was lake Manyara? You would have driven past on your way to the crater from Arusha. It is usually overlooked but absolutely beautiful this time of year. The last time I visited my folks I had the pleasure of driving a 130 pick up td5 for a week long hunting trip...in typical rover fashion the a/c went out, the clutch fluid leaked so I had to start it in gear and speed shift until we got to a small duka which had a quart of fluid for sale. Ran out out of diesel and spent half a day getting it running again...Man I love rovers..meanwhile my dad's Nissan patrol performed flawlessly with its 4.2 liter straight six diesel :-)
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Old January 28th, 2013, 11:40 AM
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I also would highly recommend Safari Drive. My wife and I rented a 110 from them for our 3 week trip to Botswana last spring. Very professional, knowledgeable and very accommodating when we designed our own itinerary. Safari Drive followed up with us when the trip was over. They took care of all the National Park reservations and booked all the campgrounds and accommodations. The 110’s were supplied with GPS loaded with Tracks4Africa maps and a SAT phone for emergencies. The truck were late model, well maintained and full kitted out for overland travel. We wished we had rented from them for our trip to Namibia a few years earlier.
Robert it looks like you had a fantastic trip. Africa gets in your blood we want to go back.
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Old January 28th, 2013, 01:52 PM
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Surveyor,
how accurate was the gps in botswana? we took "up to date" maps and the 110 was fitted with the gps with the tracks for africa loaded. we found that when you got to a crucial junction in the boonies the gps and the maps rarely agreed but usually one was right. sometimes neither one was right. it took some trial and error, some asking for directions and some common sense to finally figure out the right route. there are no road signs anywhere and the "roads" could be just a double track. when it rains and the road gets muddy they just drive around and reroute the "road" so there are usually multiple choices. all part of the adventure.
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Old January 28th, 2013, 02:03 PM
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Did you find barack Obamas birth place?
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Old January 28th, 2013, 03:35 PM
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Robert,
We too were at times frustrated with Tracks4Africa. We used it mainly for confirmation of our route as I tend to like paper maps for a better overview. For the most part it was accurate on the main track but at times lacking when in the bush on a game drive. Through a portion the Okavango ( Moremi Game Reserve) a detour was bulldozed the GPS kept on saying we were off road. Zooming out didn’t provide enough surrounding detail. From what I understand Tracks4Africa is a compilation of data sent in from many users. If a track wasn’t traveled on it may not show up. We too used “up to date” paper maps. I also took snapshots of the major intersections from Google Earth to assist in route finding and took along a hand held compass with the proper declination for each area of the country. (On the NGS website you can get the magnetic declination for any lat/ lon worldwide). A lot of common sense was used. We kept an accurate mileage log at each intersection. In the Central Kalahari Game Reserve we didn’t see anyone for 2 days but the CKGR was signed surprisingly well. Moremi and Chobe were not. But like you said it’s all part of the adventure and that’s why we do it.
When we went to Namibia 3 years ago I purchased electronic maps from GARMAP to load into my Garmin GPS. GARMAP is based in South Africa. GARMAP produces map sets (Roads and Topography) for Southern Africa, East Africa, Nigeria and other areas. I found GARMAP accurate however there weren’t as many game drive tracks in Etosha National Park. It would have been interesting to see how GARMAP would have stacked up in Botswana. In Namibia the company (Britz) we rented the 110 from did not supply GPS or SAT phones. Their trucks were kitted out very well for overland travel.

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Old January 28th, 2013, 06:57 PM
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Frank,
we didnt go into lake manyara NP but did spend one night on our way out at a tented camp on the great rift escarpment overlooking the lake. the development on the other side of the lake has apparently grown rapidly in the last few years. still beautiful views but the lake doesnt look too wild these days.

Neil,
whatever your political views now is not a bad time to be an american traveling in africa. in tanzania they have "traffic police" which is an unpaid job. they just give them a white uniform and a baton. they make their money by pulling people over and checking to see if they have the required documents/equipment in the car. if you dont have it then you pay a "fine" that the traffic police just pocket. of course they only pull over cars that look like they could pay something. we got pulled over about 5 times and they would be very serious until they figured out we were from the US. then they would smile and say "Obama!" and let us go.
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