August 2013 Migration Camp or Sayari Mara

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Dec 17th, 2012, 12:00 PM
  #1
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August 2013 Migration Camp or Sayari Mara

After lurking on Fodor's for some time, we booked In 2010 -visited Tarangire, Ndutu and Serengeti Serena Safari Lodge (a private mobile tented safari).

2013 we are interested in Migration Camp or Sayari. My premise is the area would have lots of wildlife activity and if lucky one might see the herds crossing back and forth into the Mara. Possibly spending 5 nights/6 days in one place. Do you know if off roads driving is allowed here? How bad are the tsetse in the area?

Would you combine with Ndutu? (we love, love Ndutu). If yes, where would you suggest we stay? (Sandi, hoping you will chime in here)

We are avid photographers and would like to keep the budget reasonable (private mobile camping is to $$$$) to allow for more safaris. Thanks for your help.
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Dec 18th, 2012, 09:22 AM
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When traveling in 2013? Month?

Other than the Ndutu area, there is NO off-road driving in the Serengeti.

Tsetse... who knows. These are often found in woodland areas and as heading north thru the Serengeti where Migration and/or Sayari are located you will pass thru such areas. Just roll up the windows till you've gotten thru them... no big deal!
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Dec 18th, 2012, 10:06 AM
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We are favoring August, but we are flexible; anytime between June and October 1st is possible.
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Dec 19th, 2012, 06:50 AM
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Aug or Sep (even Oct) are good for the Northern Serengeti.

Migration Camp is located midway between Central/Seronera and the North, whereas Sayari is practically on the border with Kenya, barely 5/min from the Mara River and even the airstrip. Sayari would be my choice.

Both camp are in the luxe-category, so expect to pay during these peak-season months. As alternatives, there is Olakira (a sister camp of Sayari and a bit less expensive) or Lemala Mara Camps. All three are within the same area, though far enough from one another that you don't know the others exist.

While you probably enjoyed the Ndutu area on previous visit, no reason to stop here on this one. Even if visiting in June or early- to mid-July when the herds are in the Western corridor... I wouldn't stop at Ndutu.

Hope this helps.
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Dec 19th, 2012, 07:16 AM
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Sandi,
Thank you. This is exactly what I needed. Fodor's and its readers are very lucky to have YOU, a knowledgeable and regular supporter of the Africa forum.

Would you spend the entire 12 days in the Northern area, or would you combine with any other TZ camp/destination?

Is it too wild to think we could fly ATL-JNB–Maun and spend 4 days in Linyanti and then fly Maun-JNB-JRO ? Hey, a girl can dream, can’t she?
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Dec 21st, 2012, 09:39 AM
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Your flight plan will likely have you overnighting in JNB in both directions.
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Dec 21st, 2012, 02:11 PM
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I am certainly no expert but here are my two cents... We spent three nights at Sayari in September 2012. It was PERFECT!! We could hear the Mara River from our "tent" which was spacious and beautiful. The food was great. If you want easy access to the river then Sayari fits the bill. We drove from central Serengeti to Sayari with one night at the EMC camp near Lobo which was a great stop for one night but nothing compared to Sayari! I think EMC is in the general vicinity of Migration but much farther from the river compared to Sayari and a potential crossing if that is what you are after. Just my opinion based on our limited experience. Whatever you decide it will be grand!
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Dec 22nd, 2012, 08:40 AM
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Why not dream if only considering two (2) locations. While it's often not recommended to visit both East and Southern Africa in one visit (if less than 3/weeks), you can certainly do Botswana/Linyati and then Tanzania/Serengeti. Of course, taking into consideration, as mkhonzo mentions, flight schedules and likely overnights in JNB to/from Maun. Check Kayak for what's doable.

If not and only Tanzania, 12/days at one camp only in the Serengeti, might be overkill - day-in/day-out generally covering the same areas on game drives or hours and hours waiting at the river for possible river crossing.

So, even though you did visit Tarangire on earlier visit, this park is ideal in Aug when they have their mini-migration. Though you didn't visit at the Crater which is received both pro/con by visitors thus if skipping this again... you can at least have two areas (maybe three) this trip.

Consider:
Day 1 - Arv. JRO - o/n Arusha Coffee Lodge
Day 2 - Arusha Natl Park, though no predators, other game you're unlikely to see elsewhere - o/n Arusha Coffee Lodge
Day 3 - Drive or fly to Taragire - o/n Oliver's, Swala or Treetops
Day 4 & 5 - Tarangire - o/n
Day 6 - Drive or fly to Lake Manyara for 'out of vehicle' time at Karatu - o/n Manor at Ngo or Gibb's Farm (for walks, bike or horseback riding; school/orphanage visit)
Day 7 - Karatu - o/n as above
Day 8 - from Manyara airstrip fly to Kogatende/No.Serengeti - o/n Sayari, Olakira, Lemala
Days 9, 10 & 11 - KOG - o/n Sayari, Olakira, Lemala
Day 12 - Fly to Arusha - for homebound.

Note:
1) Arusha Coffee, Treetops, Manor at Ngo and Migration - part of the Elewana group
2) Oliver's, Sayari and Olakira - part of the Asilia group
... combining any of these properties from the groups may afford you 'extended' stay discounts.

If you prefer to skip Karatu, you can combine mid-north Serengeti/Migration for 2/nts and then head up by road to Kogatende/Sayari or Olakira.

Lots of combinations giving thoughts as to what works for you.

Good luck!
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