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Feb Tanzania Trip reprt

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Finally getting around to doing a brief trip report for our trip to Tanzania in Feb, I posted spme photos, nothing fancy

http://picasaweb.google.com/Lauriegokyoto/BestOfTanzania

My Mother has always wanted to go to Africa so my brother decided this was the year! We got quotes from Africa Adventure, Good Earth and Africa Dream. We ended up using Africa Adventure for a private safari and were very pleased.. The price was in the middle of the 3, the service during the planning was very responsive and the trip went very smoothly. The guide and the vehicle were top notch. Our itinerary Feb 08 was

Arusha Coffee Lodge -2 nites
Kikoti in tarangire - 2 nites
Ngorongoro Farmhouse – 1 nite
Crater Lodge – 1 nite
Private Camp 2 nites –Central Serengeti at Turners Spring
Olakira in Ndutu 3 nites
The Palms in Zanzibar 3 nites

Arusha Coffee Lodge – beautiful place and perfect to rest and recover after the plane flight. We did a game drive in Arusha Park which was a great introduction. The only place we saw a whole herd of giraffes lying down and the colubus monkeys - beautiful.

Kikoti – We all loved this camp and Tarangire. I was unsure about this part of the trip based on many comments to skip Tarangire in Feb but I am so glad we did. It is a beautiful park and worth a visit even if the game is scarce. However we did have an amazing elephant encounter, stopping for 2 hours to watch a herd of about 60 play in the water and then all cross right in front of us. The scenery is spectacular. Kikoti is a long drive outside of the park (In fact we had a good bit of rain so the drive was pretty exciting), but we loved this camp and would recommend. It is very isolated, beautiful view, great staff and probably the best food on safari.

Ngorongoro Farmhouse - The lodge is much larger then the other places we stayed. It is very pretty, the room very nice (although we had adjoining rooms and you could hear everything from the next room. Good food. But we much preferred the intimacy of the other places we stayed. If I had to do over again I would go on to the Sopa at the rim, to get down to the crater earlier. Even leaving at 6, it was at least 7_30 when we got to the crater.

Crater Lodge – This was our big splurge. The location, rooms and view were spectacular. However, I think we were all disappointed in the service. For the price I expected more – we had comparable or better service at every other camp we stayed at.

Private Camp Central Serengeti – This was wonderful and I highly recommend the private camp experience. The crew came the day before and set up an amazing camp just for us in one day. The tents were quite large, even had running water and a flush toilet. The camp crew of 6 took such wonderful care of the 4 ofs us. Our waiter here was much more attentive then the “butler” at Crater Lodge”. One of the highlight of the entire trip was sitting around the campfire eating warmed cashew, listening to lions roaring and the baboons nearby with no one but us. Ranger Safari is the ground operator and did an excellent job . However there was very little game in the Central Serengeti. Although n the drive to the camp though we did drive right through a large part of the migration crossing the road.

Olakira in Ndutu – Very nice camp, very similar in set –up to the private but more tents and since is there for a while the common tents were nicer. The food and staff again were wonderful. The first nite the staff played music and sang for us around the campfire. But I think we preferred the private camp –although this location was much better. Lots of game here, zebra and giraffe in the camp. You could hear the migration moving in at nite. Drove through several times. Lots of cheetah! Great leopard sighting

The Palms in Zanzibar – Wow! A perfect way to relax after the safari. Highly recommend!

Needless to say - it was the trip of a lifetime for my Mom – Although I think it just left us wanting more!!!

Thanks for all the advice we got here

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