A few Tanzania/Zanzibar questions...


Dec 29th, 2005, 05:01 PM
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A few Tanzania/Zanzibar questions...

Arusha National Park. Worth a day visit? I have three nights at Moivaro Coffee Lodge to start and have a full day at leisure on my second day. Would Arusha NP be my best bet?


Hot Air Ballooning over the Serengeti. Worth the high price tag or not?

Zanzibar. They don't happen to sell silk rugs here like they do in other heavily Muslim populated areas, do they? If not rugs, are there any other local specialty goods that would be worth considering? Given that this is my last stop, I would not mind doing some shopping here with my final two nights being spent in Stone Town at the Serena Inn.

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Dec 29th, 2005, 05:43 PM
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Has anybody visited Ngurduto Crater in Arusha National Park? I have read that it is possible to do a walking safari with armed guard to the Crater floor.

This is a much smaller caldera than Ngorongoro but it is still 2 miles across and is 400 meters deep. No vehicles are allowed, but walking with an armed guard is allowed.

I am thinking it would be a waste not to use my only full day in Arusha not to go out and see wildlife. The next day I will be busy for about 7 hours with the drive to and from the Kiliminjaro Half Marathon and doing the race. Three nights in Arusha is not feeling so long, after all, and I will maximize my time here.

Yet another question...what time will I be kicked out of the Ngorongoro Crater? I intend to be in as early as possible on two consecutive days, but what time will I be out? And I suppose for the money I am paying for the Crater Lodge I would be best advised at returning to the lodge and soaking up the atmosphere, right?

Another question...in the Lake Manyara area, have any of you visited Mto Wa Mbu village? What did you think? How far would it be from Manyara Tree Lodge? Again, for the prices I am paying, maybe I would be best served spending my free time at the lodge?

Another option would be Ng'iresi Village. Ng'iresi is situated 7km out of Arusha on the slopes of Mt Meru. Here is more info:


I am saddened that Africa Travel Resource has not taken more of an interest and provided me with options for my time in Arusha. Chances are that I will just do a day tour with another company rather than going through ATR for this day. ATR's program doesn't start until the following day.

Oh well.

In any event, I am starting to really get excited about Tanzania and Zanzibar! I have been mostly indifferent to this trip for the last few months but not anymore. It is getting close and I have miraculously struggled less paying for this trip than I struggled with paying for my 2004 Zambia trip that was 1/4 of the price and this only five months after my 2005 Zambia & Botswana trip. I guess I have built up a tolerance to the high cost of African safaris, and it is about time!

Thanks for any feedback you East Africaphiles can provide. I know I am stressing a lot about a single free day in Arusha, but I don't want any regrets when this trip has come to an end.
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Dec 29th, 2005, 05:47 PM
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Correction...getting a little bit ahead of myself...I meant to say that this trip was 5 months after my Zambia & SOUTH AFRICA trip! Botswana will have to wait until September 2006!
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Dec 30th, 2005, 04:39 AM
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No silk rugs that I know of. But I would save this item for a country like Turkey.

You can do half-day at Arusha Nat'l Park and half-day at Il N'gresi.

Jewels - Tanzanite. Eben highly recommends Swala Jewelers; I'm sure there are others.

Ngorongoro Crater - If you have full-day tours they conclude shortly before sunset when you return to your lodging. But since you're with your own guide, you can leave the Crater floor whenever. Since you're staying at the Crater Lodge, you might prefer to spend sometime enjoying these lux accommodations for which you're paying dearly. Your butler can draw a bubble bath with rose petals, bring your cocktails and............. (rest is up to you)

Ballooning - was a suggestion in an earlier thread posting. I've never done... it's a height thing, but there were a few photos in my photo album (towards the end) provided me by a couple we met on Zanzibar and said they enjoyed tremendously. This one is up to you.

Back to Arusha... there should be enough for you to do on this free day before the Marathon.
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