Going on a real safari, is almost a way of life. There are safaris and safaris. A safari can be a luxury vacation in the most expensive lodges, or it can be close to primitive and as close to nature as possible. I prefer the latter and I prefer to sleep in a tent, even if it is uncomfortable, most of the times.  In the evenings I like to sit around a camp fire and I want hear the animal sounds around me.


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On our Tanzania safari we travelled in this landrover all over Tanzania and to 5 different National Parks. It was an old Landrover, belonging to Bobby Tours, but this trip made that I fell in love with a Landrover. Not the new ones, but the older ones!! Wherever I see a Landrover like this, I know these people are going somewhere into Africa and on a safari. Then it's as if my soul cries out and I wish I could go with them.

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Just outside the entrance to the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania.
Here we were at the top of the Ngorogo Crater in Tanzania.
Inside the Nogorogoro Crater we were lucky and a lion and a cheetah walked very close to the safari vehicles. It is almost as interesting to watch the people as it is to watch the animals.
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Our camp at Ngorogoro was high up in the mountains, on the rim of the crater. The photo on the right shows clouds and not fog.

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Even though the scenery was beautiful and the wildlife was unbelieveable, in Tanzania facilities are really PRIMITIVE!!. The two photos above show the "kitchen" and the fireplace where our meals were prepared. I can just say, one eats what one gets on such a trip.

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This was the "dining room" at the Ngorogoro camp site.

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This was the "kitchen" at a campsite near the Arusha National Park and the photo on the right shows the "stove"
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Here our camping table looks quite nice. The photo on the lright shows a vegetable omelet, which was quite oily, but edible.

For most people all over the world, the Serengeti National Park is the most important place they want to visit in Africa. I can't really say why, but I was sort of disappointed. The wildlife and nature was absolutely wonderful, but the camps sites we have been to, were the worst of all 5 Tanzanian national parks we have visited.

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Camp site at Tumbili camp site. The biggest thatched roof "building" is the "kitchen"
Our tent and vehicle at the Tumbili camp site

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There were no showers at the Tumbili in the Serengeti at all. They said that elephants broke the showers , but I haven't even seen the remains of those showers. It doesn't matter how long this camp site was without showers, the fact remain that there were no showers at all!!! There were 4 toilets in total and two basins in the whole camp. The toilets all over Tanzania's tented camp sites look like this and the toilets at Tumbili was cleaner than most of the other places.

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Of all the campsites in Tanzania, the Lobo tented camp site in the Serengeti was the absolute worst. There wasn't showers and the toilets were the worst I have ever seen in my whole life. The two thatched roof contructions were under water, because the entrances were built at the wrong side and were overflooded. Have they been built on the other side, they wouldn't have been overflooded at all. There was a sink hole in front of the toilet and the inside was so dirty, I couldn't even get my camera to focus properly<g>
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The weather was against us, as it wasn't supposed to rain in the beginning of February. It rained almost every day and many rivers were in flood. Lots of verhicles and trucks got stuck in the mud, but our driver was an expert and knows how to drive in muddy conditions. He has helped a lot of other drivers to get out of the mud.

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The photo on the left shows this river when we crossed it that afternoon. The next morning when we returned and arrived at that same river, it was in flood. We had to wait for 22 hours and the next day before we could cross it.

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Our tent and matresses got wet in Lobo and while we were stranded behind the full river, we had time to dry out the tent and matrasses during the day. We also collected enough fire wood, so we could make a big fire for the night. The photos above right and below, show how bad some of the roads were.

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All the low water bridges were flooded when we were in the Serengeti, Tanzania.

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Even though it rained a lot while we were in the Serengeti, the scenery was still beautiful.

I made the mistake to wear sandles since it was quite hot on most days. In the Tarangire National Park there are so much Tsetse flies, some tourists left the park and couldn't stand the insects.  Of the 5 national parks that we have visited, Tanrangire had the biggest problem with Tsetse flies. In the other parks we didn't really have a problem with Tsetse flies, but mosquitos were a problem all over. A warning to everyone who want to visit these places, leave all good smelling insect repellants at home and take Citronella oil with you. That is almost the only thing that helps for those mosquitos. No insect repellants help for Tsetse flies and the only thing one can do, is to wear thick clothes and long sleeve shirts and trouers, even if it is very hot. Forget about shorts in Tarangire. Wear socks and boots and even pull the socks over the trouser legs. A Tsetse fly will byte you through any thin fabic, even cotton shirts and trousers. Don't wear Blue clothes, as they seem to love Blue!!

Even though the Tsetse flies are such a problem in Tarangire, it is still one of the most beautiful parks to visit. It has the largest elephant population in the whole of Tanzania and it also has a lot of baobab trees.

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The Tsestse flies were so many and I got bitten so badly, that I later put my feet into carry bags. I also tied the bags over my pants, because they even went up the trouser legs and had bitten me high up, inside my trousers. The photo on the left shows how Rian's legs looked afterwards and mine didn't look any beter.


Botswana is a wonderfuil country to visit on a safari. The tented camp sites within in the National parks are much better than those of Tanzania. Even though some facilities were quite primitive, they were much better and had proper toilets. Some were long drop toilets, but at least one doesn't have to squat! Unforrtunately I haven't taken photos inside the camp sites on this last trip.

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The last time I visited Botswana was in September 2007. I went on a photo safari, organized by Ngonyama Camper Rentals. We have travelled in a convoy of 13 vehicles and it was wonderful to be part such a convoy and a group of great people. Each vehicle was in radio contact with one another and while we were travelling, all the people in the vehicles could take part in conversations and shared jokes too.

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A low water bridge made out of tree trunks. There are several of these bridges in the Moremi national park in Botswana.

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The entrance to one of the National Parks in Botswana and our convoy entering another park.


Namibia is another wonderful country to visit. The camp sites and the facilities are wonderful and I haven't had any reason to complain about anything. It is safe, the roads are good and the people are very friendly.

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Everything here was quite nice and although it would be primitive in some people's eyes, it was made to blend in with nature too. There was hot water in the showers and attractive signs to tell where the showers and toilets were. The toilet paper was also put in containers, to keep them from baboons. I left the lid open, so I could take the photo.
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The toilets and showers are a safe distance from the tents, but have nice open paths that lead to the toilets and showers. On the photo, above right, the rope shows that the toilet or shower was in use. When not in use, the rope hangs down!

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There is no electricity here and therefore the gass geyser.

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Another camp site that really impressed me, was the one close to the Oase Ovahimba Village. It is located about 15 to 20 km outside Kamanjab. It was built against the hugh rocks and see how well it blends in with the rocks. There are also no electricity here and on a warm summer's night it is wonderful to take a shower under the stars.

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The information I tried to give here, is only for people who prefer camping and a tent safari in these countries. None of the information  is meant to put any of these places or countries in a bad light at all, but just so people can get an idea what to expect. All of these countries have wonderful and luxury hotels and lodges, where people can really camp in style, but then you must also be prepared to pay for these comforts.

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Last Updated 2009/07/01
Contact Elsa Goussard at :

Visitors since
17 June 2008