Subject: Re: Tanzania
Hi Kris,

We went to Tanzania in 1995, traveling with a small (14) prople on an organized tour.

Unless things have changed, you must have permission to go into the Serengeti and Ngorongoto and this was spot checked more than once when we were there.

After having been there, I would never go alone into these areas without a guide, anyway. We had guards at the organized camp where we stayed for 2 nights near Lake Manyara. We would have never found our way back to camp in the Serengeti without guidance, had we ever gone on our own.

In 1995, some of the lodges, though beautifully appointed, were troublesome regarding warm water, sometimes water of any kind, electricity, and other discomforts. I understand there are now some newer lodges.

We camped in tents in the Serengeti and in Ngorongro as well, sleeping close to the wildlife and there were tracks nearby when we got up the next morning. Friends of ours took the same trip 2 years later and they were awakened by noises and found that 2 male lions were tearing down their bath tent. They watched them through the flaps in their tents, using flashlights.

The guide was able to procure bottled water for us to drink. They also prepared the food in accordance with sanitary standards as well as maintaining these standards for dish washing. They heated water for our showers while tenting--1 liter, slowly dripping from a can inside the shower tent. We had toilet tents behind our sleeping tents.

Now they have cell phones so they can contact Arusha in case of any problems. When we went we were ALONE in Tanzania, except for the occasional other land rover. There were times when we were not with our companion land rover and that worried me quite a bit.

The closest thing we ever saw of people traveling alone was when a mother and her daughter had hired a guide themselves and were with them for the whole trip.

We searched for over a year before we found the group with which we went. This was before we had internet in this house, so there may be a myriad of contacts you could now investigate. However, if you do contract with a guide, group, etc. I recommend that you take out insurance (best kind is handled through a travel agent) as during the year we researched this trip 3 major African suppliers went bankrupt. If you take insurance with a Touring Company that goes bankrupt, I imagine your insurance that you booked with them is bankrupt as well.

Feel free to email me privately or on the Zine if you have any more questions.

Gretchen Fifer, South Carolina