12 Day trip to Africa, October, 2011

May 9th, 2011, 02:18 PM
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12 Day trip to Africa, October, 2011

Considering first trip to Africa. Working with company suggesting the following experience. Your thoughts please.

Day 1--arrive Nairobi, Fairview Hotel
Days 2 & 3--Amboseli National Park, Tortillis Camp
Days 4 & 5--Tarangire National Park, Kikoti Camp
Day 6--Lake Manyara National Park, Ngorongora Farm House
Day 7--Ngorongora Crater, Ngorongoro Serena Lodge
Days 8 & 9--Serengeti National Park, Olakira Camp
Days 10 &11--Masai Mara Game Reserve, Ngare Serian Camp
Day 12 Noiraobi, travel home

We really want to see the parks, the animals, maybe the migration and the Masai people sound very interesting. We have no experience traveling in Africa and are depending on the agent and other Fordorites.
MSheinberg is offline  
May 9th, 2011, 03:29 PM
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I'm very much a fan of staying in fewer places for longer periods of time. Excluding the first arrival night, your itinerary has you in 6 different place over 10 nights -- that would become a muddle to me. Especially at safari camps, 3 days is a good time to start to feel comfortable, and to feel a connection to the place. And for me, that's a huge part of the African experience, and what makes African travel so different [and better] than travel to Europe or Asia.

I'm not saying that you wouldn't have a good time with your current itinerary. I am saying that I think you'd have an even better and more memorable time by eliminating at least two of the proposed stops (maybe limit yourself to either Kenya or Tanzania, but not both).
DonTopaz is online now  
May 9th, 2011, 04:43 PM
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I say what Don Topaz says.

If you want to see these particular parks, then it is a good itinerary. "We really want to see the parks..."

But if you want to see "the animals, maybe the migration and the Masai people," then you can do more of all of these with fewer places.

Since you did not mention that you wanted to see Kilimanjaro, consider eliminating Amboseli.
atravelynn is offline  
May 9th, 2011, 04:51 PM
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Do you have the drive times required with each camp move? You may find the driving taking as much of your time as game viewing and seeing Maasai culture. A consequence of doing 6 camps in 10 days.

regards - tom
cary999 is offline  
May 9th, 2011, 06:15 PM
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Actually meant that we wish to see the wildlife in the parks, not the parks specifically.
MSheinberg is offline  
May 10th, 2011, 06:35 AM
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Too many stops; 2/days not sufficient especially in Serengeti or Masai Mara.

Amboseli and Tarangire are both "elephant" parks... select one.

You can pass on Lk. Manyara.

From the Serengeti/Olakira... how are you getting to Masai Mara/Serian Ngare? Road? If so that will take an entire day... not all that pleasant. If by air, somewhat easier.

Still, too many stops. Back to the drawing board!

Day 1 - NBO - o/n Fairview
Day 2 - Drive to Amboseli - o/n Tortilis
Day 3 - Amboseli - o/n Tortilis
Day 4 - Drive via Namanga border to Arusha (lunch) to Lake Manyara (this is only as it'll take way too long to get to Crater... a full-day)- o/n Plantation Lodge, Kirurumu Camp or Gibb's Farm
Day 5 - Drive to Ngorongoro - o/n Serena or Sopa Lodges or Lemala Camp
Day 6 - Drive via Oldupai w/stop; continue game drive to Central Serengeti - o/n Serena Ldg, Dunia Camp, Lemala Ewanjan Camps
Day 7 - Drive to No. Serengeti - o/n Olakira Camp
Days 8 & 9 - No. Serengeti - o/n Olakira
Day 10 - Fly to Arusha/JRO; flight to NBO; dayroom; transfer for homebound

Sure you miss the Masai Mara, but the Serengeti is same eco-system, so same game. Much better timing and slows down a bit.
sandi is offline  
May 11th, 2011, 04:17 AM
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Agree with others. We did 3.5 weeks in Kenya/ Tanzania a couple of weeks ago, and wasn't enough. 10 days to do both means too much travelling, too little seeing.

I'd choose EITHER Kenya or Tanzania, depending on your priorities, and plan an itinerary on that.

Whilst the Mara is same eco-system as Northern Serengeti, of course, the experiences are different. For us, it proved to be that Mara had far higher density of game viewing, especially predators and especially in the Mara triangle, but also a lot more fellow tourists. Northern Serengeti had less of both (though still rewarding game viewing, just not AS good).

Kenya also offers the flamingo lakes and you can visit other parks such as Amboseli, Meru and many more.

Or Tanzania of course has the Ngorongoro Crater and places such as Tarangire, Manyara and more.
Kavey is offline  
May 11th, 2011, 05:33 AM
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Have been looking at your responses and reading other trip reports, etc. We are going to talk to our agent today about the following.

Day 1--Arrive Nairobi, Fairview Hotel
Days 2-4--Tarangire National Park, Kikoti Tented Camp
Days 5-6--Ngorongoro Crater, Ngorongoro Serena Lodge
Days 7-9--Serengeti National Park, Sayari Camp
Days 10-12--Masai Mara Game Reserve, Hgare Serion Camp
Day 13--Homeward bound

Have not yet discussed transportation as we just came up with revision however, we plan to fly from place to place if possible. We still may have to tweak.

We reduced to mumber of stops, increased the number of nights at the stops we do make, and are considering two camp changes. I think two nights at Ngorongoro Serena is better than two one night stays there and I prefer Sayari Camp over Olakira based on other traveler comments.

Your responses please.
MSheinberg is offline  
May 11th, 2011, 06:16 AM
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Already looks better, for sure.

Regarding Serengeti/ Mara transfer, it may have changed since my last trip covering both countries, which was 2008, but at that time you could not fly direct so would be looking at Serengeti Camp to Arusha, Arusha to Nairobi and Nairobi to Mara Camp - that's quite a lot of time involved there.

That said, it's not a problem, just mentally count a full day out as travelling.

Or maybe one can do direct flight transfers now?
Kavey is offline  
May 11th, 2011, 06:17 AM
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PS Your Mara camp is, I assume, Ngare Serian.

Serian Main Camp also excellent, and on other side of river, slightly less luxe but very good standards, and somewhat less expensive, if that's an issue. Same company, team etc.

Best thing about Serian, for me, is the private vehicles with your own guide and driver. Wonderful!

Oh and if you can do a night at their seasonal tented camp in heart of triangle, do so!
Kavey is offline  
May 11th, 2011, 06:24 AM
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I am booked for 2 days in Olakira and 5 days in Sayari- would have liked to make it 3-4 or 4-3 but this ended up due to availability and I wanted to spend longer in that area. They are very close to each other but I have been told by couple of operators that Olakira is in a really great location. Its also a smaller camp than Sayari with 8 tents vs 15 tents.

Sayari is definitely more luxe, though Olakira is luxe enough. I downloaded the Northern Serengeti 2011 guide by Eben Schoeman for Kindle from Amazon ( 9 USD I think) and it does a great job of showing the camp locations and comparisons, as well as game routes in Northern Serengeti.
tanya_1976 is offline  
May 11th, 2011, 08:24 AM
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You only need 1/nt at Ngorongoro. Likewise, you don't need 3/nts at Tarangire. Take these 2/nts and add them to the Serengeti and Masai Mara.

Whether driving or flying between these two areas, transiting eats into your time.
sandi is offline  
May 13th, 2011, 01:48 PM
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Looking good now. Despite the comments about not rushing around, one night at the crater is typical. I've done two on my trips, but nothing wrong with a 1-nighter there.

If you are a real fan of elephants, then 3 nights Tarangire makes sense, since that is your biggest ele destination. Two nts is more typical. I've done both 2 and 3 and will do 3 on my next trip in Sept.

I'd add one more day in the Mara because Day 10 (per your last itinerary) will be spent in transfer. Crater or Tarangire can provide you that day.
atravelynn is offline  
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