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Old 01-31-2013, 06:54 AM
 
Location: Macao
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Overlanding it in Eastern Africa - Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia - would you do it?

Basically I was thinking of the highlights of Mombasi, Zanzibar, Serenghetti, Kiliminjaro, Naroibi. Than take a bus into Malawi, and over to Victoria Falls in Zaire.

However, it seems that the buses aren't always that 'safe'. Between constant checkpoints (where you might be required to give some money) to actual bus robberies (or so I've heard of Kenya in particular).

Curious if others have bussed it around in Eastern Africa...or is it best to take some trekking organization or some other methods. Or just keep bus movement to a minimum? Or is it really not much of a concern?
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Old 01-31-2013, 10:41 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
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The itinerary you described is all on well-traveled roads, and millions of Africans are traveling overland every day. It would be, in my opinion, no more dangerous than bus travel in South America.

I don't think you can take public buses to the game parks like Serengheti, you can't just get off a bus there and walk around look at the animals. You'd have to arrange a package with an outfitter, probably in Arusha. Wildlife viewing trips are extremely expensive. In Arusha you can book a day trip to a wildlife park with good looks at most of the big animals, for about $400. Multi-day safaris to game parks run at least $500 a day.

Victoria Falls is in Zambia, way down at the other end of the country, but also a safe trip by reliable transport (a long trip). You would not need to enter Malawi to go there, there is a good train from Dar all the way down to Lusaka.

Last edited by jtur88; 01-31-2013 at 11:31 AM..
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Old 01-31-2013, 11:26 AM
 
Location: Macao
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Sounds good. Okay, so overland is completely feasible.

Yeah, Malawi would be out of the way, but heard good things about it, and always interesting to add another country on the itinerary, if possible.
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Old 01-31-2013, 03:23 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiger Beer View Post
Sounds good. Okay, so overland is completely feasible.

Yeah, Malawi would be out of the way, but heard good things about it, and always interesting to add another country on the itinerary, if possible.
Malawi's transport is less well developed, roads and buses not as modern and could be unreliable. It will be your "Africa experience". From the Tanzania/Zambia/Malawi corner, you can travel down through Malawi, even using the lake boat, and then cross a corridor through Mozambique into Zimbabwe and onward to Livingston. Arriving from that direction, you would even get a kilometer or so of Namibia, for the ferry back into Zambia. Mozambique transit visa necessary for the Tete corridor, probably easily arranged in Blantyre. That is probably variable, maybe you can even easily stop over in Mozambique, Lonely Planet tends to be fairly up to date on things like that.

Yes, your itinerary is definitely doable, but if you are on a time schedule, it is not always doable on time.

Last edited by jtur88; 01-31-2013 at 03:58 PM..
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Old 01-31-2013, 07:13 PM
 
Location: Macao
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
Malawi's transport is less well developed, roads and buses not as modern and could be unreliable. It will be your "Africa experience". From the Tanzania/Zambia/Malawi corner, you can travel down through Malawi, even using the lake boat, and then cross a corridor through Mozambique into Zimbabwe and onward to Livingston. Arriving from that direction, you would even get a kilometer or so of Namibia, for the ferry back into Zambia. Mozambique transit visa necessary for the Tete corridor, probably easily arranged in Blantyre. That is probably variable, maybe you can even easily stop over in Mozambique, Lonely Planet tends to be fairly up to date on things like that.

Yes, your itinerary is definitely doable, but if you are on a time schedule, it is not always doable on time.
Sounds good. This is all future projectable - to do in a year or two.

But, yeah, from Victoria Falls, it looks like a touch into Zimbabwe and Namibia could be done. Than down through Botswana and into South Africa, with Swaziland, Lesotho, and try to touch into the capital of Mozambique down there.

That's the rough plan anyways! Most of the bus stuff seems fine, just read a few things that made Kenya/Tanzania have a few cautions. But, maybe it's just overly security-oriented.

By the way, Serengheti is the most famous park. Is it really that much better than any other park? Seems like Botswana and Zambia would have quite a few as well. Wondering if what you see is that drastically different?
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Old 01-31-2013, 10:41 PM
 
Location: Winfield, WV
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Tiger, sounds like a great adventure you are planning. Are you thinking of doing this alone or with someone?

Oh, and definately take jtur's advice, he is probably the smartest person on this forum. He should be on Jeopardy or something.
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Old 02-01-2013, 12:33 AM
 
Location: Macao
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Originally Posted by Silkdashocker View Post
Tiger, sounds like a great adventure you are planning. Are you thinking of doing this alone or with someone?

Oh, and definately take jtur's advice, he is probably the smartest person on this forum. He should be on Jeopardy or something.
I'd definitely start alone/solo. But with every 'backpacker trip', you end up accumulating fellow travelers rather quickly.
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Old 02-01-2013, 08:17 AM
 
Location: Cumberland Maine
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One of the strangest sights I witnessed in the Serengeti was a single male walking through the plains dressed in a suit and carrying a briefcase. We were miles from anywhere. It may not be uncommon but it sure looked weird to me.
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Old 02-01-2013, 04:16 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
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Originally Posted by Tiger Beer View Post

By the way, Serengheti is the most famous park. Is it really that much better than any other park? Seems like Botswana and Zambia would have quite a few as well. Wondering if what you see is that drastically different?
As I recall, you will see more of the major species of large animals in a shorter time in the parks closer to Arusha, but Serengeti is much larger with a lot more space to explore. The parks in the countries south of Tanzania have more limited species numbers. We did Serengeti last, and it was somewhat anticlimactic. We didn't see anything new there.

We rented a car and a tent in Nairobi, and did all the parks self-guided, sleeping in the tent, eating food from grocery stores, and just driving around looking for the animals. I don't know if you can still do that. The daily entry fees for the parks now range from fifty to over a hundred dollars a day per person.

Last edited by jtur88; 02-01-2013 at 04:29 PM..
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Old 02-01-2013, 09:30 PM
 
Location: Macao
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Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
As I recall, you will see more of the major species of large animals in a shorter time in the parks closer to Arusha, but Serengeti is much larger with a lot more space to explore. The parks in the countries south of Tanzania have more limited species numbers. We did Serengeti last, and it was somewhat anticlimactic. We didn't see anything new there.

We rented a car and a tent in Nairobi, and did all the parks self-guided, sleeping in the tent, eating food from grocery stores, and just driving around looking for the animals. I don't know if you can still do that. The daily entry fees for the parks now range from fifty to over a hundred dollars a day per person.
I noted ARUSHA. Looks like a good base to try to organize things? I mean, to get into the parks with a guide, etc.

It does seem there are national parks throughout South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Tanzania, Kenya. But, maybe ARUSHA should be the place that I should focus on that, as opposed to the other countries south of Tanzania. Does that sound about right?

(Won't be making the trip anytime immediately, but hopefully within the next 1-2 years).
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