East Africa Safari Recommendations - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old September 5th, 2011, 09:06 PM
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Brian
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East Africa Safari Recommendations

Trying to plan a trip to East Africa next year. Looks like it will probably be Kenya or Tanzania or both. Wanted to see if anyone here has any recommendations for Safaris, tours, lodging, etc.?

We've spoke to a few Safari Tours and it looks like many of them have discontinued the use of Defenders due to squeaky brakes and loud engines which scare the animals off. Most say they've opted for Land Cruisers now. Not looking to rule out a good Safari Company because of the lack of use of Defenders but being in one would be a nice addition to the tour.

Anyway, would love to hear any recommendations on where to go, what to see...
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  #2  
Old September 5th, 2011, 11:04 PM
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We have gone to Africa a couple of times. Head to Uganda and the northern parts of the Congo. we have not done Kenya because of the crowds. You will see a lot there but its like a parking lot in the parks as everyone drives off at the same time. Have not done Tanzania but hear good things. Really depends on what you want to do. You can see lots of animals in either coutry or go a bit more basic in Uganda. Also, if you want to see gorillas, that will take planning and a long lead time as permits are limited.
On the defender side - Mitabishi (spelling) is the top seller. Land roveres are few due to support - you break down and its hours if not 2 days to a mechanic. Funny thing though is in Kampala the tow trucks are all series IIIs.
If you think of Uganda, great place is Ginja on the Nile. Let me know and I can give you more info.
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  #3  
Old September 6th, 2011, 09:48 AM
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I would consider Club Afriko based out of Arusha. I went on several tours with them over a 3 month period back in 2002/3. They were excellent. Of course that was a while ago so you might seek more recent feedback on them. At the time they had a fleet of very well equipped 110s. I spent a bit of time in Tanzania; PM me if you would like more details. Jeff.
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Old September 6th, 2011, 03:14 PM
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I went to Tanzania a few years back and went with Victoria Expeditions http://www.victoriatz.com/. They were great and helpful at finding and spotting the big 5! Cost was moderate compared to some of the others we looked into. Make sure you get to stay in a tent at some point while on safari. That was the most wonderful experience to wake up and be surrounded by grazing animals.
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  #5  
Old September 6th, 2011, 05:46 PM
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Cool, thanks for the recommendations. I'll PM you guys for more info.
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  #6  
Old September 7th, 2011, 12:10 AM
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I was born and raised in Kenya. Check out Gamewatchers Safaris (www.porini.com), it's run by a friend of mine, Mohanjeet Brar. They do safaris in Kenya, Tanzania and other countries. They have a US phone number on the website.
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Old September 7th, 2011, 12:13 AM
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Brian, Years ago, I went on a combo Tanzania safari, Zanzibar diving, and Kilimanjaro climb with Mountain Travel Sobek. Epic!
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  #8  
Old September 7th, 2011, 01:36 AM
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Plan well, that is a trip you will always remember!
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  #9  
Old September 9th, 2011, 12:02 AM
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I do work with an organization in Kenya, and a few years back we drove from Nairobi to Lake Victoria in Kisumu. Along the way we hit Lake Nakuru and the Masai. We keep a '86 Land Cruiser there, which is an incredible capable machine. In Nakuru we drove ourselves around park and stayed in the huts by the Lake Nakuru Lodge, good food and nice place..... The drive through Rift Valley was awesome....... and if you can, hit the base of Lake Victoria and enjoy some grilled tilapia and ugali with the locals!

Cheers
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Old September 9th, 2011, 12:16 AM
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Some pics....
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  #11  
Old September 9th, 2011, 01:00 AM
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Cool, thanks for all the recommendations. Taking note of everything.
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Originally Posted by rijosho
-I need to figure out a cooler-looking way of getting into the driver's seat

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  #12  
Old September 9th, 2011, 03:58 PM
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My friend operates
http://thewildsource.com

He is a biologist by trade and a guide. He can take you or set up with a trip depending on your preferences. At least check out his web site and blog as it has good information related to the different lodges, places, etc.
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Old September 9th, 2011, 06:01 PM
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Thanks for that, Craig. I'll definitely check it out.
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Originally Posted by rijosho
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  #14  
Old September 13th, 2011, 09:59 AM
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Why not do a self-drive? Our friends Paul and Erika Sweet in Arusha run Shaw Safaris. They rent fully equipped 110s with 300Tdi engines. Everything you need is in there - camping equipment, fridge, tools, the works. We drove one of their vehicles over 3,000 miles through Tanzania and Kenya, and never found a thing we needed that wasn't there. They even include a satellite phone.

Shaw can leave all the logistics to you, or they'll organize your entire route including reservations for camping and/or lodges. (A good strategy is to alternate the two.)

Being driven around Tanzania is fun. Driving yourself around Tanzania is awesome.

Shaw Safaris

The Shaw vehicles are licensed for Tanzania, Kenya, Burundi, and Uganda as well, so you could organize yourself a complete circumnavigation of Lake Victoria if you felt like it.

Feel free to PM me if you need more details or route suggestions.
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  #15  
Old September 13th, 2011, 01:11 PM
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I actually just met with someone this weekend that runs Self Drives all over Africa (http://www.safaridrive.com). It sounds awesome but not sure if it's going to be for us this time around (hoping there will be more trips). It's not out of consideration though.
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