I work for an organization specializing in pediatric HIV/AIDS. I was just tapped to go to Uganda (leaving in 2 weeks) to help supervise a film on our work in Kabale (southwest Uganda). My work will take place from 7/2 through 7/9, at which point I will find myself back in Kampala. My girlfriend and I have determined to extend my trip and take a personal adventure for the two weeks following my initial stay. She is flying independent of me and arriving in Kampala 7/9.
Based upon suggestions from others, and from perusing the many great threads on this site, I have a rough idea of what we would like to achieve with this trip - but I am still pretty fuzzy about getting it all arranged with such notice - and in the high season.
My initial plan as it now stands:
We were thinking to spend 1-2 days around Jinja, where one of my medical colleagues has told me the whitewater experience on the Nile is outstanding. I should point out that I am not, nor is my SO, crazy adrenaline junkies. We like to do fun things, and we both like to savor unique experiences.
From Jinja, we thought to head back to Entebbe, catch a flight to Arusha and connect with on operator for a 3-5 night safari.
Based upon my brief research, I had thought to so 1 night at the Ngorongoro crater (not the crazy $$$ lodge, but perhaps the Sopa or something mid-range), and then 2-4 nights at either the Sergengeti or Tarangire.
We then planned to catch a flight from Arusha to Zanzibar and spend 3 nights there. We would finally fly back home through Dar, instead of returning to Entebbe for the trip home.
My questions would be:
1) I have heard great things about the Nomad company. Would it be possible to do this through them (or another good camp outfitter) at a remotely good price?
2) Does this itinerary sound okay to the experienced folks on this site?
3) Would anyone suggest that instead of Arusha, we fly into Nairobi and do the Masai Mara instead of Tanzania? I have heard that the migration will likely be into Kenya by the time we do this in mid-July.
4) I checked out the Nomad website, but they require you to go through an external operator - could anyone recommend someone please?
5) Do we have a snowball's chance of finding availability with this late of notice?
6) If we do find availability - does anyone have a ballpark guess on what we should expect to pay for this trip?
We are both in our 30s, have traveled quite a bit, but neither of us have ANY experience in sub-Saharan Africa. We have some funds for this, but are not able to completely break the bank either - so any advice would be very helpful. I would love to spend the next three weeks reading books and websites, but I feel that if we do not book this immediately - we will end up out of luck entirely.
Thanks in advance for your help!
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