Safari to Mikumi
We left Dar es Salaam on the 25th Sunday at around 6.15 am. We wanted to leave earlier than that around 5.00 am, but we were advised to not leave that early for some reason. We took a Toyota Land Cruiser arranged through Planet Safari, whom we found through the Yellow Pages. We were driven by Hamisi and we were accompanied by another as Hamisi did not speak English.
The highways were pretty good. We drove at speeds of around 120-140 Kmph. We arrived in the town of Morogoro 180 Km’s away from Dar by 9.00 a.m. This was a mountainous region. The weather was colder than in Dar.
After Stopping for a light refreshment at a nice garden cafe we continued our journey to Mikumi. The road from Morogoro to Mikumi was surrounded by more greenery. The roads were Still good and we were Still doing about 120 kmph.
It was a 30 minute journey to reach the boundary of Mikumi national park. The road runs across the park dividing the park to northern and southern Sections. You have to travel along this road further down to reach the park entrance.
It was $15 for the entrance. When you enter the park it is as if you are entering a national park in Sri Lanka such as Yala or Udawalawe. But the difference is you can see miles and miles and. Mikumi is apparently some 3000 odd square kilometers, so I think it’s far bigger than any of those parks.
From the point you enter you can see the common animals such as the Impala’s and various birds. As you go a bit further in you can see plenty of Giraffes and Zebra’s and Wild Beasts. And when you travel a bit further we saw a few Elephants as well. But the density of these animals seems to be less. When you see Elephant herds in Sri Lanka you see quite large numbers. But over here the largest we saw was around 5.
If you want to see all of the animals a one day trip is a bad idea. Because, some animals you can only see very early in the morning or late in the evening. They did have a sort of a lodge inside the park for those who wanted to spend a night in the park. And for the more adventurous types there were a few camping sites.
Well, we reached Dar Es Salaam around 11 in the night. Our guide and the driver took a great effort to show us as many animals as possible. But this they did after realizing that we were adamant on staying in the park for more than the mere 4 hours that they initially suggested. In the end we ended up spending about 6 hours in the park. By that time we were also tired and were willing to leave the park and head back to city.
Well if you are wanting to go on a safari in Tanzania, planet Safari’s seems to be a pretty good place. They were the cheapest that we were able to find at $ 300. All the others were quoting in the range of $ 350 – $ 400. They’re vehicle was in a very good condition as the staff was also very helpful and very mindful of our comforts.
It was a good experience. maybe not the best you can get in Tanzania, but given the time and budgetary constraints that we had, it was pretty good. I think we got our money’s worth.