Another Tanzania itinerary needs help

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Jun 29th, 2005, 07:41 AM
  #21
 
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Hi Leely -- I think that's a very good price!

I like the 2nd itinerary better too.

Planning is at least half of the fun, I think. Anticipation!

BTW, Mbuzi Mawe is reportedly about an hour north of Seronera, so not so far from the central area I think. Would certainly be a bump up from Wildlife Lodge (but then so would Sopa or Serena), and since Mbuzi Mawe is not so well known yet you may be able to get it at a pretty good price -- although I haven't heard anything terrible about Wildlife lately. That is probably the only accommodation you might want to think about bumping up a notch if you get a good enough price quote...if only because, as you said, Kirawira may be kind of a tough act to follow!

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Aug 16th, 2005, 09:24 AM
  #22
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So, here's the latest itinerary. Funny how the price keeps creeping up. I am still in the process of tweaking it, but I will 99% go with this operator b/c we used them last time and they have assured me we could have our same guide--yay!

Comments/suggestions welcomed.

24th June'06: Arrive Kilimanjaro International Airport on KLM.Met on arrival and transfer to Arusha for Overnight at Impala on bed and breakfast basis.

25th June'06: After breakfast Pre Safari briefing thereafter collect the picnic Lunch boxes and transfer to Arusha Airstrip for Flight to Grumet.Met with Adrian thereafter proceed with gamedrive.Dinner and Overnight at Kirawira Tented Lodge.

26th June'06: After breakfast fullday Grumet Area gamedrive.Return to the Lodge for hot Lunch,then proceed with gamedrive.Dinner and Overnight at Kirawira Tented Lodge.

27th June'06: After breakfast with picnic Lunch boxes proceed with gamedrive enroute to Lobo.Dinner and Overnight at Lobo Wildlife Lodge.

28th June'06: After breakfast Lobo Area gamedrive.After Lunch slowly with gamedrive enroute to Central Serengeti.Dinner and Overnight at Serengeti Serena Safari Lodge.

29th June'06: Early morning Serengeti National Park gamedrive.Return to the Lodge for late breakfast and picnic Lunch boxes collections.Thereafter drive to Ngorongoro for dinner and Overnight at Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge.

30th June'06: After breakfast with picnic Lunch boxes descend into the Crater for gamedrive.(Now days is only 6hours gamedrive).Dinner and Overnight at Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge.

01st July'06: After breakfast with picnic Lunch boxes drive to Lake Manyara National Park for gamedrive.Dinner and Overnight at Kirurumo Tented Lodge.

02nd July'06: After breakfast with picnic Lunch boxes drive to Taranire National Park for gamedrive.Dinner and Overnight at Taranire River Camp.

03rd July'06: After breakfast fullday Taranire National Park gamedrive.Lunch at the Camp,proceed with gamedrive.Dinner and Overnight at Taranire River Camp.

04th July'06: After breakfast slowly drive back to Arusha with shopping enroute.Visit the Arusha Town for a while before drive for Overnight at Ngurdoto Mountain Lodge on bed and breakfast basis.

05th July'06: After breakfast Morning at leisure.Thereafter transfer to Kilimanjaro Airport for Klm flight connections to Amsterdam.

End for Our Services.

Package cost.....$ 3465 Per Person.
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Aug 16th, 2005, 09:54 AM
  #23
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I also meant to add: $3400 pp is a little too high for us--we were really hoping for 3000 pp. So any creative options are especially welcome.

We don't need luxury, but budget camping is not an option this trip.

I have sent an e-mail in response to this itinerary, (i.e. why go to Lobo, why 2 nights at the Crater) and am waiting to hear what they say.
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Aug 16th, 2005, 10:16 AM
  #24
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I also wondered why Lobo?

As to the 2nt Ngorongoro, it appears that you'll have a morning game drive at Serengeti Serena and late breakfast, not leaving you sufficient time to get to the Crater till late. You can just as easily have an early breakfast, head out on game drive heading towards Ngorongoro and probably get the Crater tour done that afternoon. If not, and the Crater tour done the next morning, you can take a boxed lunch from there and head to Manyara. Have an afternoon tour here and overnight. (1 Crater night gone).

An aside - you know that you are paying a fee for your guide/driver Adrian to travel from Arusha to meet you at Kirawira. It's not alot, but he can't do it in one day, requires an overnight somewhere (this is all prearranged thru your tour operator)... but it's included in your price.

Let us know what kind of answers you receive from your outfitter.
 
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Aug 16th, 2005, 10:20 AM
  #25
 
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Leely,
Were all 3 quotes from the same operator or is this last one from a different operator? Maybe you could cut out the night at Lobo (leaving you with 3 nights in the Serengeti) and the extra night in Arusha at the end since the KLM flight leaves late in the evening (though that extra night at the end probably isn't making a big difference in cost, but a little here and little there). You could also see what the cost difference is substituting Wildlife for Serena lodges at the central Serengeti and Ngorongoro locations.
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Aug 16th, 2005, 10:30 AM
  #26
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Patty,
I have dealt with 2 operators: Easy Travel and Shidolya. The lower quotes were from Shidolya, but they were for June, and a June-only itinerary, although likely less pricey, just isn't viable.

Both outfitters lean toward very standard itineraries, and if it weren't for our desire to go with who we used last time, I'd feel fine with either as long as they let me fiddle with the itineraries they give me.

Sandi, I basically told them this is a tad too high, and that we're fine with mixing things up a bit. We just want a few nights under canvas, and I like the idea of bookending the safari with camps.

Yes, paying for Adrian. He's worth it! But I will have to sit down with the girls and really hash everything out.

The pressure I feel is mainly because this will be my friend's mom's one-and-only trip to Africa. We want her to have a wonderful time. But I need to stay somewhere close to 5k pp, not including tips and pin money.
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Aug 17th, 2005, 08:45 AM
  #27
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Hi,

An update: my guy at Easy Travel worte me back in his usual style (I'm used to his idiosyncracies by now).

He didn't alter the itinerary; instead he bumped it down 200pp, a "discount just for you," ha ha. So that's doable. They're probably a shade on the high side in terms of cost, but since we'll be getting our old guide we think it's worth a few extra hundred or whatever we might "save" going with a different company.

My question: should I alter the Serengeti portion of the trip. Right now they have us 2 nts Kirawira, 1 nt Lobo Wildlife and 1 nt Serengeti Serena. We're definitely keeping the 2 nts at Kirawira, but I'm wondering what the advantage is to Lobo. Should we spend 2 nts in the Seronera area instead?

I know Seronera will be crowded, but we did enjoy so many cats, including a cheetah on the car experience, there last time. And lions galore.

On the other hand, we've never been to Lobo. Is it great--the area, not the lodge. : )
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Aug 23rd, 2005, 09:35 AM
  #28
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Well, after much hand-wringing and lollygagging, we're booking our Tanzania safari. It's a pretty standard Northern Circuit itinerary and now I'm thinking the trip is too short.

June 24: Arrive JRO 8pm, overnight Impala

June 25: Arusha to Grumeti airstrip overnight Kirawira

June 26: Western Serengeti, overnight Kirawira

June 27: Seronera area, Serena Lodge

June 28: same

June 29: to Crater, overnight Serena

June 30: same

July 1: to Manyara, overnight Kirurumu

July 2: to Tarangire, overnight Tarangire River Camp

July 3: Tarangire NP, overnight River Camp

July 4: to Arusha, overnight Ngurdoto Lodge

July 5: depart evening, KLM to AMS to SFO

This seems so brief! If we were to add a day, where, when, how?

Would there be any interesting hikes or cultural tours to do in the Arusha area that anyone recommends? If so, is Ngurdoto too out of the way for this?

Sorry, but my TZ Bradt is 2003, so I was hoping for more recent experiences.

Anyway, thanks for all the help. You people are SO patient.

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Aug 23rd, 2005, 09:40 AM
  #29
 
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Hello,

I'd add a day in the Serengeti -- at the time of year you're looking at, it's a toss-up between Seronera and Western Serengeti.

Cheers,
Julian
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Aug 23rd, 2005, 12:14 PM
  #30
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Leely -

For the last day in Arusha, you can do Arusha NP in the morning for a canoe safari; afternoon arrange for a cultural tour. If your friend's mom isn't up for this, the Ngurduto Lodge has a pool and spa where she can kick-back and psych herself for the homeward trip.

At end June when you'll be in the Serengeti, there is no guarantee exactly where the herds will be, so it's a coin toss what another day here gets you... I think 4-days is fine.

In fact, the first day at Kirawira is practically a full day as you arrive at Grumeti about 9:30am; the camp is about 20-minutes from the airstrip.

 
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Aug 31st, 2005, 12:10 PM
  #31
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This thread is really too long. But here's the latest: after some frustrating setbacks/unresponsiveness w/my agent, I decided to bite the bullet and contact a couple of other ops frequently mentioned here.

ATR has comeup with the following:

June 23: arrive JRO o/n Moivaro Coffee Lodge

June 24: to Tarangire o/n Mawe Ninga

June 25: same

June 26: this part is really confusing. I think we're to go to the Crater, spend 1/2 day there and then on to an o/n at Olduvai Camp (owned by Mt. Kili Safari Club, so I'm guessing that's the reasoning?)

June 27: Ronjo flycamp

June 28: to western corridor, Mbalageti

June 29: Mbalageti

June 30: Mbalageti

July 1: fly to Arusha, o/n Moivaro

July 2: fly home

This is around $3300 pp.

I am getting really confused.


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Aug 31st, 2005, 12:37 PM
  #32
 
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Leely,
I believe you're traveling with your friend's mom, right? Is mom OK with the rusticity of Mawe Ninga/Olduvai/Ronjo? Have you seen the description and pics on the Africa Dream Safaris site and also Eben's pics? I like the way these accomodations look and the overall number of tents. Personally, I think it's something that my husband and I would enjoy, but I'm not sure I'd take my parents there. Of course, your friend's mom may not be as fussy as mine. I just wanted to make sure everyone was 'on board' with the chemical toilet/bladder shower factor

It looks like you've cut your safari nights down from 9 to 7. Are you choosing to sacrifice a couple of days so you can stay at some more exclusive accomodations? Is this what you want for this trip?

June 26 seems like a really long day to me. My understanding is that Olduvai is still a few hours away from the crater and I'm not sure that I'd want to drive to the crater, spend half a day there and keep driving. I know ATR is hesitant to book the larger rim lodges, but I believe if you insist, they will.

Hope I haven't confused you more. I don't know why I'm evening giving you advice. You're the one who has been to Tanzania before. I haven't even gone yet
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Aug 31st, 2005, 12:49 PM
  #33
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Patty,

I just noticed that (the fewer days).

No, I'm not aiming to cut short the trip to have more "exclusive" accommos. I'd rather stay in crappy places and be there for longer! And I'd really rather stay at the Serena or the Sopa or even the Wildlife at the Crater for a lodgey, non-safari-feeling break in the middle.

The Mom will be fine with rustic. She was the mother who always took us camping when we were little girls and can basically build a fire fr. scratch, etc.

I think part of ATR's reasoning is they think we should end on a high note; thus, 3 days at Mbalageti. That makes sense to me. But no Manyara?

Back to the drawing board.


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Aug 31st, 2005, 01:01 PM
  #34
 
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Leely - I'm still trying to make sense of my ATR itinerary as well. I need a damn map! I am so visually oriented. I think if I could see all the camps, see where they are, figure out the time of year I'm going, and choose that way I'd be three-fourths of the way done with my planning! Argh! Anyway, does anyone have the link to Eben's photos? (FWIW: I have ordered Nolting's Wildlife book. I understand there are maps in there.)
Thanks!
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Aug 31st, 2005, 01:08 PM
  #35
 
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Sharon,
Aren't you still trying to decide between a dozen different countries? I'll try to locate Eben's threads for you

Leely,
Finishing on a high note sounds good to me. 'Your' mom doesn't sound like my mom AT ALL.
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Aug 31st, 2005, 01:11 PM
  #36
 
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Leely and Sharon,

The maps in the Bradt books on Kenya and Tanzania are excellent. If you don't want to buy them, see if you can borrow them from your local library and photocopy the maps. The Tanzania one is a bit out of date, though, since it was last updated in 2003 (there is a new one due in May 2006, which is nice to know but not terribly helpful to you).

Cheers,
Julian
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Aug 31st, 2005, 01:15 PM
  #38
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Thanks, Patty, Julian and Cooncat.

Patty, The Mom isn't like my Mom AT ALL either. And that's why my mom elected to stay at home. She's great for a quick weekend in Paris, though.
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Aug 31st, 2005, 01:38 PM
  #39
 
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Yeah, Patty, just keep laughing at me...you have no idea the anguish I'm enduring at the moment. ;-)

I've refrained from posting any more questions or itineraries until I get some more things sorted out in my head.

Thanks everyone, and thanks for letting me latch onto this thread, Leely!
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Aug 31st, 2005, 01:56 PM
  #40
 
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Talk about anguish, I just figured out my vacation schedule for next year and it looks like NO Africa trip for me in 2006! Maybe I should start a new thread entitled 'Who's NOT going to Africa in 2006' so I can find others to commiserate with!

Damn, I'm so jealous of Rocco!

Sorry to hijack your thread, Leely.
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