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Mid-October to Mid-December... When to Go?

Minneapolis...
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Mid-October to Mid-December... When to Go?

We're planning our once-in-a-lifetime safari... the northern circuit... for late 2011. We originally planned to go in October... but we live in the frozen tundra (Minnesota, US) and this year we traveled in October and missed great weather here, then returned to brutal cold and snow for all of November and December. This got us to thinking of pushing our African trip farther into the winter months.

So... rains start in November... or maybe they don't? Maybe these rains are a problem with roads or travel discomfort - or maybe no big deal? Maybe that means the animals disperse more and are harder to see as things "reen up"... or maybe things turn green and the countryside is more attractive? Maybe the migration moves farther south into the Serengeti cutting down on travel time?

We want to see everything. Our only specific is that DW really wants to see elephants, so we want our visit to Taranguire to be at a time the elephants are still concentrated.

So... all you experts... given the 9 weeks from the middle of October to the middle of December - when would you suggest we go.

And thanks in advance for your help!

melbourne
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for Tanzania
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1. Re: Mid-October to Mid-December... When to Go?

For Tarangire for mid-October if the rains haven't come then the elephants are concentrated around the available water either water holes or the Tarangire River.

For mid-December the elephants -if there is rain- have shifted to the Conservation areas outside the park.

But not all elephants move. If you go in mid-December then a camp or lodge outside the park will provide good elephant viewing.

For mid -December around the Ndutu- Naabi Hill- Seronera area it is best for the migration of the wildebeest.

I would go in mid- December stay in the Ndutu -Naabi Hill area and then visit Tarangire and stay outside the park in one of the camps in the conservation area.

Findlay, Ohio
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for Tanzania, Ngorongoro Conservation Area
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2. Re: Mid-October to Mid-December... When to Go?

I would probably go in October on a just to be sure of the ellies in Tarangire. In December you're getting into the shoulder season for the high season.

If you do go in December then take NE's advice.

BTW, how does someone from MN not enjoy the cold weather? I thought you were all born in parkas..

Minneapolis...
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3. Re: Mid-October to Mid-December... When to Go?

thanks for the good replies!

Karl... As to Minnesota and the cold - it is amazing that new generations are born, given the number of layers of clothing typically needed to survive this place!

(I used to be proud of living in the nation's icebox. Now I'm older and I just hold onto the knowledge that I'll get out of here for part of it - Roatan in Februrary this year, Africa in the fall, then Hawaii [only state I haven't visited] in Feb. 2012. I just shoveled for the third time today... back and brain get weaker every winter...)

Brisbane, Australia
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4. Re: Mid-October to Mid-December... When to Go?

I've always like safaring in late Sept - beginning of Oct due to not so many tourists being around :)

Arusha, Tanzania
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5. Re: Mid-October to Mid-December... When to Go?

If I had the same choice as you, then I’d choose October over December, as it can be much busier around Dec, and I personally prefer a quieter safari.

Tom

6. Re: Mid-October to Mid-December... When to Go?

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