CCAFrica Lodges

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May 25th, 2004, 10:34 AM
  #1
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CCAFrica Lodges

I'm very excited about doing a safari in Tanzania with the following CCAFRica lodges: Klein's Camp, Grumeti River Camp, Ngorogoro Crater Lodge, and Mnemba Island Lodge. Any reviews of any of these places would be appreciated.
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May 25th, 2004, 11:58 AM
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Go onto some of the previous threads and click on Roccco, he and his friends on fodors have a lot of Knowledge to impart on all things Africa including reviews etc.
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May 25th, 2004, 05:54 PM
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I have been to Klein's and Ngorogoro Crater Lodge.

The Crater is a nice place but just too many vehicles and you can't get close to the animals as off road is not allowed. The lodge is beautiful, service is superb.

I love Klein's. Smaller and more intimate. The cook Maison is a funny guy. Night drive is fun, we saw 2 leopards and a cheetah during our night drive.

Another choice is Lake Manyara, which is good too. You may have a chance to see the tree climbing lions!
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May 25th, 2004, 06:04 PM
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sandi
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styleoracle -

You mentioned:
>>Klein's Camp, Grumeti River Camp<<

these camps are in the same general vacinity, any particular reason? and what time of year will you be traveling here?
 
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May 26th, 2004, 10:17 AM
  #5
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We chose Klein's Camp and Grumeti River Camp at the suggestion of CCAfrica. I think they gave us two camps in the same general vicinity because we wanted a certain number of days on luxury safari but also wanted to curb costs. We will be traveling in September.
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May 26th, 2004, 02:21 PM
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styleoracle - If you're traveling in September, do you realize that the Annual Migration is taking place in the Masai Mara in Kenya?

Between July - October the wildebeest, zebra migration is in the Mara. Not till sometime end October (and sometimes even November) do the herds return to the Serengeti (where Kleins and Grumeti River are located) passing thru different regions of the Serengeti till the following June, when the herds move again back to Kenya.

There certainly are luxury safari accommodations in the Mara, even those belonging to CCAfrica, besides many others.

Have you been to Kenya or did you not want to travel here? Did you consider taking in both Tanzania and Kenya, hitting the best game viewing areas during September?

Depending on the number of days you wanted for safari, you could do a few days in Kenya in the Mara; then onto Tanzania for a few days in at Tarangire (CCAfrica has a property here - and there is a separate migration here); then 2-nts/1-full day touring the Ngorongoro Crater (staying at the Crater Lodge); then concluding your vacation on Mnemba. All the properties listed are CCAfrica's own and none are inexpensive if traveling in September.

Something to consider - if you haven't firmed up your itinerary, I would discuss this with your tour operator. The Serengeti is not where the major action is in September - the Mara is!
 
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May 26th, 2004, 04:03 PM
  #7
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sandi: very good advice,its all new to me. We'll include the Mara in our itinerary. Anyone been to Kichwa Tembo, the CCAfrica camp? Also if we're to drop a camp from our itinerary, should it be Klein's Camp or Grumeti River camp? Thanks, I'm new here and this is a great forum!
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May 26th, 2004, 07:55 PM
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styleoracle -

Kichwa Tembo has two camps - the original which is rather large with close to 40 tents; while they're large and well-appointed, they don't compare to the Kichwa Tembo-Batleur camp which is more intimate and in the same range/category as Ngorongoro Crater Lodge and Klein's Camp or Grumeti River in the Serengeti. Another camp to consider in the Mara along the lines of KW-Batleur would be Mara Explorer (do a search for this - I don't have a site address readily available).

If you're still considering a visit to the Serengeti, and since I'm not personally familiar with either Klein's or Grumeti, I suggest you check the following site:

www.intotanzania.com

Select NORTH
At Parks, select SERENGETI
By Area, select NORTHERN CORRIDOR or WESTERN CORRIDOR
In each, select ACCOMMODATIONS

In North and West you will find a number of accommodations, including Klein's and Grumeti and read the overviews. While these are personal opinions - for as many positives mentioned, various visitors have also reported negatives - so it's subjective. Of these two, I'd go with Grumeti.

The only camp I'm personally familiar is Kirawira and though the above noted site mentions something about the furniture being varnished rather than polished, take my word, at least the place doesn't look "worn" as the environment tends to do to many camps if they're not refurbished on a regular basis. Kirawira is outstanding.

Another alternative here is Migration Camp which has recently been taken over by the Sopa chain and all tents have been completely redone from the ground up - something to think about.

Also to consider when visiting the Western or Northern Serengeti - it's a long road (though safari all the way) from the Ngorongoro Crater; many choose to fly to this area from Lake Manyara (closest airport) and return fly to Arusha. Airfare can run between $130-$145/person to; $$175-$200/person return.

Personally, I'd opt for time at Tarangire which is only about 100-miles from Arusha by road, staying at either Kikoti Camp or Swala Camp. You can probably find information on these two on the same site, by selecting as Park - Tarangire.

I know only too well how difficult it is to make this kind of decision; feeling you might be missing something if you don't visit the Serengeti, but September is not the right time. Maybe in June, but not September.

So, decisions, decisions - where to go, where to stay, how to get there? Whatever your decision, I can almost guarantee, that if you don't get it all in on this trip - you'll be back. Just about all on this board have returned again and again. And on each subsequent trip manage to widen their horizons further afield in both countries.

Discuss with your tour operator and I sincerely hope this helps rather than adding more confusion.
 
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May 26th, 2004, 09:35 PM
  #9
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sandi: thanks so much, that site was fabulous in terms of reviews!
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Jun 2nd, 2004, 10:15 AM
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sandi: now our itinerary is firming up, we are planning two nights in Nairobi (we arrive late), three nights at Bateleur at Kichwa Tembo (3 nights)
Klein's Camp (3nights)
Ngorogoro Crater Lodge (2 nights)
Swala Camp (2 nights)
Mnemba Island Lodge (3 nights)
Zanzibar Serena (2 nights).
I understand your point about the Serengeti having no migration action in September, but I am dieing to go there, probably will not be doing another luxury trip in my lifetime. Also, I have read both in Fodors posts and in my Lonely Planet East Africa that August and September can be a good time for game viewing in the Klein's Gate area, especially the big cats. So I have decided to keep it in my itinerary. I decided to eliminate Grumeti because they don't have night drives. Any further thoughts as I finalize my itinerary?
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Jun 2nd, 2004, 12:12 PM
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Also, I will be flying to all my camps. Is there a portion that should be overland? Thanks.
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Jun 2nd, 2004, 12:58 PM
  #12
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styleoracle - Considering that Klein's Camp is right outside of the Serengeti (but still in Tanzania), there will be herds hanging around - go for it.

>>we are planning
two nights in Nairobi (we arrive late),
three nights at Bateleur at Kichwa Tembo
Klein's Camp (3nights)
Ngorogoro Crater Lodge (2 nights)
Swala Camp (2 nights)
Mnemba Island Lodge (3 nights)
Zanzibar Serena (2 nights).

Flying versus driving is always an option and while the trip from NBO to the Mara is long (about 5-hrs), since you have to return from there (Batleur) to make the air connection to Tanzania - I would suggest you consider the drive "to" the Mara. It gives one a feel for the land and people and lousy roads and is a bit of an adventure. You don't loose any time by driving as the flight wouldn't be leaving NBO till after the morning game drive anyway - so why not drive - you'll get there in time for lunch. It's not a must, but think about it.

You can also drive between the Crater and Tarangire (Swala camp); it's mostly a paved road till you get to Tarangire itself. Besides you'd have to drive from the Crater to Lk.Manyara where the airport is located and that's already half way to Tarangire.

Don't bet that you won't do another luxury trip again, especially to Africa - that's what most of us Africaphiles here on Fodors might have said, but a good many of us keep returning. And it doesn't always have to be "total luxury" - there are plenty of accommodations throughout that are in the mid-range and provide wonderful experiences.

So now, you're just about on your way; departure will be here before you know and it will all be great!

What is a must - you will be expected to provide a trip report for the board, lol! For me especially I'd like to hear about your time at Mnemba Island.
 
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Jun 2nd, 2004, 01:19 PM
  #13
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Thanks again Sandi, I'll give a report when we get back!
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