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Serengeti self-drive from South Africa August with kids?

Marloth Park South...
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Serengeti self-drive from South Africa August with kids?

We will be driving from Komatipoort area to Serengeti in August in search of the migration. We are in an Isuzu 4x4 fully self-sufficient and are seeking up-to-date info from similar recent travellers camping with kids. (7 & 5 years old!)

We will probably not go via Mozambique because of Malaria and are not afraid of going thru' Zimbabwe if it is cheaper/shorter/better?? We run a Backpackers here in Marloth Park and have got plenty positive feedback from various travellers/overlanders but we need more specific info for our type of requirements.

As finances are limited but our time is flexible we seek news/opinions/advice about routes/campsites/costs/pitfalls/info, etc from those who have recently "been there - done that!" The Web is full of "operators" wanting mega US$$$$ for what we can basically do for ourselves so hopefully we will get good info, help and advice from you guys out there! Let's hear from you all!

Alison & Nick

nyc
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1. Re: Serengeti self-drive from South Africa August with kids?

The migration, in August, should be found in the very northern part of the Serengeti, close on the border with Kenya's Masai Mara.

Someone else will have to advise route and what campsites available in the area at that time.

For most travelers having been in East Africa if then entering South Africa, require proof of Yellow Fever Inoculation. Suggest you check this and other requirements coming and going for the entire family.

Good luck!

Mfuwe
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2. Re: Serengeti self-drive from South Africa August with kids?

August will most likely be too late to see the migration in the Serengeti. You will most likely find it in the Mara at that time. You should make plans to cross into Kenya.

As far as routes, since Zimbabwe has fuel and deemed by the few going into the country, that is one of the ways to go. Musina(very slow crossing), Harare(try to pass through and not overnite)and then to Chirundu and Zambia.

Alternately, you can drive through Botswana,via Francistown to Kazungulu and cross via the ferry to Zambia, and on to Livingstone. The Nata - Kazungulu part has a section that is very potholed, can be a bit dangerous and slow going. The ferry can take hours to cross at the river, and cost some extra $$.

I prefer to enter Zimbabwe at the Pandamatanga Border Post near Hwange and then travel to Vic Falls, crossing at the bridge to Livingstone.

Once in Zambia, the usual quickest route is through Luaska and taking the Great North Rd to Tanzania. These are the quickest and least adventurous routes. You exit Zambia at Tunduma. Go North via Iringa, Morogoro and take the A14/B1/A23 to Moshi and Arusha. Do not be tempted to go via Dodomo. The track North of Dodoma to Babati is c%*#.

Campsites in Botswana - …webs.com/campsitesaccomodations.htm

Campsites in Zambia - freewebs.com/luangwablondes/safarizambiapg2.…

Check with AA to see if you still don't need a carnet to enter Tanzania. If you must enter Kenya, you definitely are required to have a carnet. Otherwise, you can pickup a TIP at each border. Also, you will need 3rd party insurance to travel in these countries, and the police often have checkpoints. So, you can buy this at each border crossing. If you are travelling for just a month, then buy a month's worth and it will be good for the return. Or, when you get to Zimbabwe or Zambia, you can buy a Yellow Card for the duration of the trip. It just will not be good for the country you buy it in.

This is an easy trip. The crossing might seem intimidating and you maybe tempted to pay someone to "assist" with the crossing. You don't need that.

Life can be easier if you got the Tracks4Africa digital maps.

Robbie Becker

Owner – luangwablondes

Consultant – Self Drive Africa

Destination Expert – Tracks4Africa

nyc
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3. Re: Serengeti self-drive from South Africa August with kids?

While the migration is considered to be in Kenya's Masai Mara by August ((never any guarantees from year-to-year), with 2/million+ animals - wildebeest, zebra, antelope - not all actually cross the border. A quarter of these can remain on the Northern Serengeti side and many visitors do see "river crossing" at the Mara River here.

Be aware though that there is no direct crossing between the Northern Serengeti to Mara (or return) for private tourist vehicles. You'd have to cross at an official border post, believe at Isebania - pay for Visas (USD$25/adults, no fee for children under 16/yrs) and have proof of Yellow Fever inoculations.

Mfuwe
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4. Re: Serengeti self-drive from South Africa August with kids?

Although a 1/4 may stay in the Serengeti, try to find them. There are not all that many vehicle tracks in that part of the Serengeti and safari outfits will not be so cooperative to assist a selfdrive. Been there, done that. Everytime(middle of July) found them(small groups of wildebeest) independently, but when we crossed the border at Sand River, not a good crossing for most people- may involve some 'persuasion' to the border officialdom, the migration was easy to locate quickly.

The whole thing is seasonal and there are no guarantees.

Marloth Park South...
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5. Re: Serengeti self-drive from South Africa August with kids?

Many thanx to Sandi and Robbie (Luangwablondes?)for good and interesting advice.

We have decided to go this route from Komatipoort: Beitbridge/Harare/Lusaka/Mpika/Iringa/Morogoro/Arusha/Serengeti. We may also go into Kenya and will enquire about a Carnet & Yellow Fever shots here.

Questions: In Zimbabwe and Zambia (which we will generally only be transitting) what currency is recommended? Who will take SA Rand and where will we need US$ for food/fuel/camping? Is it always better to carry local currencies ? Will a Carnet do for Zim & Zam as well or will we still need T.I.P.s for each entry? Not too sure how a Carnet works! What is best?

In view of your advice we will try to get to Serengeti by mid-July - with Kenya as an option. We are fully aware of the unpredictability of nature but just wonder if there is any local or regional "source" or contact who can give an update on the progress of the migration? Is there anywhere on the Internet that vaguely charts the progress?

Thanks for great assistance and looking forward to hearing more. Can we look Robbie up in Mfuwe on our way home?

Mfuwe
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6. Re: Serengeti self-drive from South Africa August with kids?

The currency of choice is USD, although SA Rand is used too. I am told that the Rand is not quite as strong as at home. They don’t have small change so expect Zimbabwe dollars- about the only thing its good for.

A carnet will do for all the countries you will be visiting. It takes the place of a TIP at the borders. It actually is a bit better to have because it speeds the border crossing process hassles, and that alone is worth it.

Maybe someone else has those links that give the current progress of the migration. There are several websites that include that information. Just don’t any at hand.

And no, I have no plans to be in Zambia in the next few months.

7. Re: Serengeti self-drive from South Africa August with kids?

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