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Tanzania Northern Circuit self drive in feb

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I finally have the chance to bring my girlfriend along on safari and try to let her catch 'safari fever' :)
Currently looking into a few options, and one big candidate is a self drive in the northern circuit.

Based on my briefing I got this itinerary (from SafariDrive) for 14 days in february 2013

Arrival kilimanjaro airport at 20:40
Stay at River trees lodge, Usa River, Arusha

Morning: get the car + briefing
Afternoon: Arusha NP?
Stay at River trees lodge, Usa River, Arusha

Day 3
Morning: stock up with fuel and food and drive to tarangire
Lunch at Tarangire Safari lodge
Afternoon: Gamedrive, arrival at special campsite
Stay at Tarangire NP, Special Campsite

Day 4
Full day in Tarangire
Stay at Tarangire NP, Special Campsite

Day 5
Morning: Gamedrive towards the gate
Drive to Lake eyasi
Stay at Lake Eyasi Campsite

Day 6
Lake Eyasi ??
Stay at Lake Eyasi Campsite

Day 7
Drive to Ngorongoro crater, game drive on the crater floor
Ngorongoro Crater Public Campsite

Day 8
Drive to Nainokanoka village, meet up with guide for Empakai Rim Bivouac Walking safari
Stay at Empakai Rim Fly camp

Day 9
Full day trekking on the Empakai Rim. Also taken into Ngorogoro crater
Stay at Empakai Rim Fly camp

Day 10
Drive to Naabi Hill Special Campsite + gamedriving
Stay at Naaibi Hill Special Campsite

Day 11
Gamedriving to Lake Ndutu
Stay at Lake Ndutu, Serengeti Special Campsite

Day 12
Gamedriving to Lake Ndutu, NCCA Special Campsite
Stay at Lake Ndutu, NCCA Special Campsite

Day 13
Drive to Karatu
Stay at Gibbs Farm

Day 14
Drive to Arusha, fly home

I'm mostly wondering about Lake Eyasi, can someone give any comments on that?
I'm thinking I should skip the 2nd night there and drive to Ngorongoro already on day 6 so we can have a full day in the crater (and be there early!) on day 7.

Furthermore, can anyone comment on the empakai crater walk? Sounds like great fun, but curious for some experiences :)

As for the serengeti/NCCA part, I'm wondering how you judge this; does this make sense?
When I was there before we stayed on the NCCA part and only went into the serengeti for a full day game drive. I'm wondering if this would make sense to do again.

Lastly; Our flight departs at 21:40, so I'm wondering if we could drive from Ndutu area back to the lodge and make the flight, or is this to far? (I remember driving all the way from Piyaya region to Arusha.. think it took 8 or 9 hours..)

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