Also can't reply, but here's trying to reach Roccco

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Nov 24th, 2003, 01:55 PM
  #1
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Also can't reply, but here's trying to reach Roccco

I am hoping this works ... Roccco, you may want to check out Mnemba Island, rather than Zanzibar. Someone else suggest Pemba, but I think Mnemba Island is more your style. Entire island occupied by the Mnemba Island Lodge, consisting of 10 thatched cottages, all with ensuite facilities. I have been trying to get there for years, but, alas, my travel budget forbids a stay here ... but I think you may be intrigued, so check it out. The island is only two miles off the coast of Zanzibar.
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Nov 24th, 2003, 10:05 PM
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SusanLynne,

Thanks for the suggestion. I am so torn over my itinerary. I do want to spend a little time just relaxing in Zanzibar but I am starting to think that if I go to Zanzibar I should allow a minimum of three nights.

In order to spend three nights, I will need to shave a day off of Tarangire, from three down to two, or a day off of Selous, from four down to three.

Another consideration would be to skip Tarangire or Selous entirely. Personally, I think I would lean towards skipping Tarangire instead of Selous, only because the way that Selous is being described, it does remind me of South Luangwa, a place that I really love and will undoubtedly return.

So far, if I had a place that I could choose for an annual safari, I think it would have to be South Luangwa. I think that places like Ngorongoro Crater and the Okavango Delta are definite must sees, but once there, I may not feel the need to return, at least not for many years.

In South Luangwa, it is still possible to go and have a great safari at a high quality lodge for $200 per person per night, a mere fraction of what one will pay in Southern Africa, and surprisingly even 50% or more less than one may expect to pay in Eastern Africa.

But, as a disclaimer, of course this is said with very limited experience thus far in Africa.

Back to my itinerary, if I were to cut out Tarangire, I think my itinerary would go like this:

Day 1 - Arrive Dar Es Salaam. Transfer to Arusha. Land transfer to Selous Game Reserve. 4 nights at River Sands.

Day 2 - River Sands, Selous.
Day 3 - River Sands, Selous.
Day 4 - River Sands, Selous.
Day 5 - Transfer Arusha. Fly to Zanzibar, probably staying at one of the islands suggested here on this board. 3 nights.
Day 6 - Zanzibar.
Day 7 - Zanzibar.
Day 8 - Zanzibar - Kiliminjaro. 2 nights at Ngorongoro Crater Lodge.
Day 9 - Ngorongoro Crater.
Day 10 - Western Serengeti. Grumeti River Lodge.
Day 11 - Grumeti River Lodge.
Day 12 - Grumeti River Lodge.
Day 13 - Grumeti River Lodge.
Day 14 - Transfer to Kiliminjaro - Dar Es Salaam. Flight home.

I fear that with the more aggressive itinerary that included Tarangire, that I will arrive home tired and spend too much time on the road.

The only other possibility would go back to a single night in Dar Es Salaam, mid-trip, and cutting Serengeti back down to three nights, thus allowing my intended three night stay in Tarangire.

Really, I am not an island kind of guy, so maybe that is what I should be doing, skipping Zanzibar and using that time to see Tarangire? That would lead to the following schedule:

Day 1-W. Serengeti. Grumeti River Lodge
Day 2-W. Serengeti. Grumeti River Lodge
Day 3-W. Serengeti. Grumeti River Lodge
Day 4 - Ngorongoro Crater Lodge.
Day 5 - Ngorongoro Crater Lodge.
Day 6 - Tarangire
Day 7 - Tarangire
Day 8 - Tarangire
Day 9 - Dar Es Salaam
Day 10 - Selous
Day 11 - Selous
Day 12 - Selous
Day 13 - Selous
Day 14 - Transfer to Dar Es Salaam for flight home.

This itinerary would only be desirable if I could do comfortable road transfers of no more than 3 hours each, starting in the Western Serengeti, proceeding to the Ngorongore Crater and ending in Tarangire.

I appreciate all the suggestions for Zanzibar and the nearby islands but if I do go to Zanzibar it would definitely be at the expense of Tarangire, since going for only 1 or 2 nights does not seem rational.

I have already started sending out a couple different itineraries for price quotes and I will take it from there.
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Nov 24th, 2003, 11:04 PM
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Rocco,
If you are not into swimming, snorkeling or diving, then definately skip Zanzibar and the other islands.

You'll go stir crazy otherwise.

There is very little wildlife on the islands to see (yes, Jozani Forest,however not too impressive IMO).


Also, it is hot on the islands, and swimming is often difficult due to huge tides. The Serena, which is one of the nicest on zanzibar, is in Stone Town, and you do not want to swim there - you would be cooling your heels at the pool. Emerson & Green is OK, but the nicest rooms have no AC.

So maybe you should stick with the mainland itinerary to avoid disappointment.
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Nov 25th, 2003, 05:04 AM
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Roccco: A couple of comments, if I may. Your option 1 is good, but why arrive in Dar, then go north to Arusha to go back south to Selous? Arrive in Dar and then go direct (either by road or plane) to Selous! Also, why go back to Dar for the flight home? If you are concluding that trip in the Serengeti, just leave for home out of Arusha. As for your option 2: I would cut a day from Tarangire and add it to the Serengeti. Tarangire is a small park and you can have a good experience in it over a two day period. Queenie is right Zanzibar or other islands. If an East African safari is what you are after, then skip Zanzibar or the other islands and stay amidst the animals on the mainland. Remember, you are staying at the finest accommodations the vast majority of which have pools, etc. If you feeling tired or just want some down time from game viewing, just kick back and relax for a few hours at any of your camps/lodges! Look forward to hearing how things turn out ...
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Nov 25th, 2003, 05:55 AM
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Rocco -

>>Day 1-W. Serengeti. Grumeti River Lodge
Day 2-W. Serengeti. Grumeti River Lodge
Day 3-W. Serengeti. Grumeti River Lodge
Day 4 - Ngorongoro Crater Lodge.
Day 5 - Ngorongoro Crater Lodge.
Day 6 - Tarangire
Day 7 - Tarangire
Day 8 - Tarangire
Day 9 - Dar Es Salaam
Day 10 - Selous
Day 11 - Selous
Day 12 - Selous
Day 13 - Selous
Day 14 - Transfer to Dar Es Salaam for flight home<<

This one works, where you'd be arriving in Kili with an air transfer to the furthest distance the Western Serengeti. However, the drive from WS to the Ngorongoro Crater might be a bit longer than 3-hrs, so you can arrange to stop for lunch mid-way - the Serena Serengeti would be good for this - then onto NC, with a brief stop at Olduvai Gorge.

Two-nts at NC is just fine. From there the drive to Tarangire might be a bit over 3-hrs. a lot depending on where you plan to stay. Though once at Tarangire, you really don't need more than 2-days, as SusanLynne mentioned, it's a small park compared to the Serengeti and definitely the Selous.

From Tarangire you'll have to return to Arusha/Kili for a flight to Dar. And from there you can, either, be adventurous and drive or fly to the Selous.

This all depends on the flight scheds, but understand there are daily flights from Dar to the Selous (it wasn't like that at one time).

Something to consider about driving from WS thru to Tarangire and finally Arusha/Kili - you're likely to have the same driver/guide straight thru and included in the cost is the driver/guide, vehicle, and sleeping accommodations/meals for him though pricewise this is often a wash versus flying between these places.

I have an old flight schedule and though it indicates flights to/fr Arusha & Kili, and to the Grumeti area of the Serengeti, the closest stop to the NC is Manyara, so there is a bit of a drive to get to/fr the Crater. And no stop is shown for Tarangire.

So if you choose to fly rather than drive, check which of the lodges/camps you select, have their own closer private airstrips (some may).

And while you've allowed for 1-nt in Dar (though if you shorten 1-nt Tarangire) you can have 2-nts in Dar - maybe STD would like to relax here or on an island for a day or two, even though an island "isn't your thing." It would be nice of you to provide STD something she might enjoy, for as you've mentioned, she'd rather not do this trip, but will be accompanying you.

So now, take all our comments, put it out for bid and see what you get back as to routing and prices - can't wait to see how this finally works out.
 
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Nov 25th, 2003, 09:08 AM
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My only concern about spending only two nights in Tarangire is that it will take me a long road transfer to get there, and I will get in a night drive on my first day, followed by two game drives on my second day, and then I may be forced to head for the airport without even getting a fourth game drive in the schedule.

If it is a great place then I should spend three nights there, but if I can cover the whole park in three game drives, perhaps I should spend an extra night in Dar Es Salaam, an extra night in Serengeti and either an extra night in Selous (that would put me up to five nights) or return home a day early???

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Nov 25th, 2003, 11:59 AM
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sandi
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Roccco -

You would depart NC after breakfast, say 8:30-9am, arrive in Tarangire for lunch. Then you'll have an afternoon drive about 3pm (there are no nite drives - being National Park lands, you have to be off by 6:30pm). Next day you'll have one or two morning drives - some go out 6:30am when Park opens, return for bkfst, then go out again 10am and return for lunch; then another afternoon drive.

Whether you do a morning drive next morning would depend on when you have to make your connection from Kili to Dar.

I'm going to post another message with distances.
 
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Nov 25th, 2003, 07:40 PM
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Sandi,

If I am understanding your last post correctly, some game lodges offer three game drives in a single day in Tarangire, despite the lack of an evening game drive???

If that is the case, what time is dinner usually served, and in your experience, are the other guests usually introverted, or do most people tend to socialize and enjoy a nice long dinner and drinks together???

One of the highlights during my South Luangwa stay at Kafunta Island Bush Camp, was that despite STD and I being the only guests at the time, we were able to sit around the campfire and trade "true" ghost stories and other interesting talk with the managing couple whom happened to be nearly identical in age to STD and I. All this while the hippos were not more than a good 150 feet (50 meters) away, amidst the occasional lion roar in the distance and elephant trumpeting and of course under a star-lit sky.

If Tarangire is definitely worth the trip for a two night stay, I will consider keeping it on the itinerary.

Thanks for the continued feedback.
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Nov 25th, 2003, 08:46 PM
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Oh boy, Rocco's planning another trip! I can live vicariously through him.

Clematis
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Nov 26th, 2003, 04:42 AM
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Roccco -

During our time in both Kenya and Tanzania, we have a single private driver/guide throughout, so we set our own game drive schedule.

Normally in Kenya, there are 2 morning drives - 1st at 6:30am till Bkfs, returning to camp/lodge about 8:30am, then going out again 10am to about 1pm. While I'm not a 6:30am person, my partner did go out on a few of these early drives; other times we delayed the early, rather having Bkfst 730-8am, then going on drive from 9 or 9:30am to around 1:30pm, returning for lunch.

We had this same option in Tanzania, but only did this once, instead did the earlier breakfast and did a longer morning drive though often this drive was also heading us to our next location. And while in the Serengeti, on one day we (me included) did a 6:30am drive, then not again till in afternoon at 3:30pm - we needed a break, as did our driver who had been at our beck and call whenever - he needed some time for himself. We caught up on reading, letter writing, updating our journals, washing our hair, etc. - it was nice, allaround, to have some relaxation time.

We met all kinds of people at the different camps/lodges in both countries. Some were interested in sharing their experiences and interested in meeting other guests; while others stayed to themselves. Being that we traveled in a rather quiet season (end-Nov/beg-Dec) nowhere other than at Singita were any camps crowded.

As is usually customary in Southern Africa, guest often share some, if not, all meals with the Ranger - this is usually not the case in East Africa. But the managers of the camps/lodges are always available to chat with, share meals - alot depends on what works for certain guests and the management teams. Nothing is so rigid that you cannot do what is most comfortable for you.

Often we noticed in both East and Southern Africa that "honeymooners" were left on their own, but they usually shared "sundowners" with the other guests before dinner. We generally found that meals were as individual guests felt most comfortable with.

Recall at our camp in the Mara there was a single women who arrived after having spent a week in NBO on business -adding a few safari days at the end. The other guests (us included) each invited her to join at each of the meals she was in camp, so not to have to eat alone - it was just the natural thing to do. Everyone was simply comfortable with everyone else at most camps.
 
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