Could use a little hlep planning trip to Tanzania...

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Apr 6th, 2006, 10:46 AM
  #1
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Could use a little hlep planning trip to Tanzania...

I've read through so much information that I went from 'confused' to 'kinda get it' back to 'confused' again.
We are two couples planning a 10-12 day trip to Tanzania (safari and Zanzibar) for late Nov / early Dec of this year. We are thinking something along these lines:
Arusha 1 nt (arriving JRO)
Tarangire 2 nts
Ngorongoro 1 nt
Serengenti 3 nts
Zanzibar (Stone Town) 1-2 nts
Zanzibar (beach?) 3 nts
(flying out of ZNZ)
We're looking for budget to mid-range accomodations, hopefully not all big lodges though we know we can't be too picky, with maybe one or two nicer places. We would like a private safari (for 4). Our budget is $2000/pp. Does this sound reasonable? What accomodation options should we be looking at? Any suggestions for a nice beach accomodation (we might be willing to drop a couple extra $'s here ?

Many thanks in advance!
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Apr 6th, 2006, 02:39 PM
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Okay, I'll bite.

Have you looked at the East Africa Trip Report Index?

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=34725679

Your budget seems a little low to me, but I'm not an expert on pricing (or anything, really). Also, I'd personally "save" at the beach and spend more on safari. But that's just my preference.

Also, I'd add a day to the Serengeti and take one away from Zanzibar. That way you could conceivably split your time in the Serengeti between two areas.

Another way to cut costs is camping.

Some operators frequently mentioned on this board for Tanzania are Roy, Good Earth, EASTCO and Sunny Safaris. I have a particular fondness for Africa Serendipity but am pretty sure they don't do "budget" trips.

Get cracking!
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Apr 6th, 2006, 02:51 PM
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Oh, go-safari.com lists rack rates for most if not all of the northern circuit lodges and tented camps. There are photos, maps, etc., as well.

I wonder what Tarangire is like late-November/early December. Manyara could conceivably be a better bet.

Let's see what others have to say about all this.
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Apr 6th, 2006, 04:11 PM
  #4
dlo
 
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$2000 is possible if you are willing to camp otherwise it would be very tight.You would still get low season pricing in November though.Our 9 day safari with Tropical Trails was a little under $2000 but we only used 2 lodges.There are lots of good budget choices on Zanzibar.
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Apr 7th, 2006, 01:25 AM
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please read my trip report:
http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=34784464

as you can read I went with Green Footprint Adventures: www.greenfootprint.co.tz
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Apr 7th, 2006, 08:35 AM
  #6
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Thanks so much everyone!!
I like the idea of splurging on the safari and adding a day to the safari. Great recommendations - thank you!

Also, I did look through the East Africa Report index and have been reading through some absolutely fabulous trip reports (they are adding to my excitement...Nov. will take forever to arrive ). I've also looked through the photos attached by climbhighsleeplow. I can't believe the efforts so many of you go through. I've found more info here than I could possibly imagine. Many, many thanks!

Having an idea of costs of each accomodation will be a great help. My husband and I would have no problem camping but I'm not too sure the other couple can say the same! I'm certain we can come up with a happy medium so I really appreciate the links to rack rates to give us an idea. This might sound like a silly question but would something like Oldupai Camp be considered a 'camp'. I think I could convince them to stay in this type of camp but not a 'put up your own tent in the middle of nowhere kind of camp' (my kind of camping! .

Sorry, I'm still new to this.

Thanks again everyone. I'm certain I'll be back with more questions but this is a really great start! Gotta get cracking...
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Apr 7th, 2006, 09:09 AM
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I'm not sure there is a hard and fast rule, but I believe that Oldupai Camp would indeed be considered a "camp," as would be even places which have tents that are several steps up the luxury ladder. Basically, anything that has tents, whether mobile, semi-permanent or permanent, are considered "camps" by most people, and maybe even places that have single accommodations in individual brick or wood buildings. Places like most of the Serena facilities would probably then fall into the "lodge" category, which have many more rooms which are contained within a single building. I think that your kind of camping ("put up your own tent in the middle of nowhere") might be "adventure camping."
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Apr 7th, 2006, 09:14 AM
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Thanks hguy,
I was wondering because I have received quotes for both "camping safari" as well as "lodge safaris" with no real accomodation specifics. I know it will require further quesitoning but just looking to get a feel.

Thanks!
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Apr 7th, 2006, 10:30 AM
  #9
bat
 
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Canadian Traveler:
To follow-up on what hguy said, Olduvai Camp is a permanent tent camp because as the name suggests it stays in that location permanently year round and the accommodations are tents. But they are large tents, with a wood floor and they are covered with a separate thatched roof. Each tent has its own bathroom areas out the back of the tent--a chemical toilet and a bladder shower enclosed in a thatched "fenced" area.

As hguy also mentioned there are more luxurious permanent tent camps--with fancier furniture, running water and flush toilets, etc

There are also tent camps that are moved periodically and seasonally--so they tend to be placed in a location for a matter of months or weeks. The one we stayed in had a regular tent floor with some sisal rugs on top.

there are also what is called mobile camping--this can be "luxury"--typically you would have your own private toilet & shower. Medium camping--typically a shared toilet& shower (but you do not do any of the work) and budget camping in which the customers participate in setting up and breaking down camp.

So your friends would probably enjoy some of the tent camps but not the budget camping and perhaps not even the medium (depending on how they felt about shared toilet/shower).

Hope that this helps.
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Apr 7th, 2006, 10:49 AM
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bat,
That helps a great deal - thanks! I think even the medium might be a bit much for them but no worries, I think we can make this work.

I got a quote from Sunny Safaris for most of what I've outlined above for $1650. I've copied it here to see if someone might be able to offer up ideas for slight upgrades or changes in accomodation that would be less 'lodge-like'. Already it sounds like a fantastic deal though so I'm not complaining.

Day 1 ARUSHA / LAKE MANYARA
overnight at Lake Manyara Hotel.

Day 2 LAKE MANYARA / SERENGETI
Seronera Wildlife LodgeOR Serengeti Sopa Lodge

Day 3 SERENGETI
Seronera WIldlife Lodge/ Serengeti Sopa Lodge

Day 4 SERENGETI / NGORONGORO
Early morning gamedrive in Serengeti National Park, lunch box and depart for Ngorongoro Crater Rim, afternoon drive to crater highland Nainokanoka village, trekk to Olmoti crater for 3 hours. Drive back to Ngorongoro Wildlife Lodge / Serengeti Sopa Lodge for dinner and overnight

Day 5 NGORONGORO
After breakfast, descend to crater floor for full day game drive, picnic lunch in the crater, dinner and overnight at Ngorongoro Wildlife Lodge / Serengeti Sopa Lodge

Day 6 NGORONGORO / TARANGIRE
After breakfast descend to the Crater floor for gamedrive, ascend to the rim, lunch and depart for Tarangire National Park, dinner and overnight, Tarangire Sopa Lodge.

Day 7 TARANGIRE / ARUSHA
After breakfast, gamedrive in Tarangire National Park, lunch and departure for Arusha.

Also included in the price was Arusha (Impala Hotel) for 2 nts. at start and end of safari, all transfers, flight JRO to ZNZ, 1 nt Dhow Palace (Stone Town) and 3 nts at Matewme Beach Village. It sounds like a fantastic deal...

I hope I am not coming off as though I want someone to plan the entire vacation for us , it's just that I've been so lucky with help in the past on these boards and, on occasion, I try to offer some knowledge in areas I'm more familiar with myself. I really am most grateful for everyone's help already!
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Apr 7th, 2006, 10:58 AM
  #11
 
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I'm at work so can't really get into this in detail, but why not at least "bump up" to either Tarangire Safari Lodge (it's a camp) or Tarangire River Camp? I don't think either will blow your budget.

More thoughts, from me and others, to follow, I'm sure.

Also, look at Kirurumu at Manyara...
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Apr 7th, 2006, 11:11 AM
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I think Leely and dlo were referring to actual camping, not staying at tented camps (like Olduvai), in other words the put your own tent up kind of camping except that generally you don't have to put up the tent yourself.

If a tour operator gives you a camping itinerary, then it's most likely this type of camping as well (what I call budget camping) unless they've specified private camping which could be like the medium or luxury camping that bat described. You'll be able to tell by the price. Medium private camping will cost as much as a lodge safari if not more. Luxury private camping will cost a lot more.

As far as staying at permanent or seasonal tented camps, I don't think most posters here refer to that as camping.

The Sunny Safaris quote looks great and even leaves you with a little room to upgrade. I had the same thoughts as Leely, look into Kirumuru near Lake Manyara and Tarangire River Camp if you want to include a tented camp experience. They're both reasonably priced.

Rack rates can be found on www.go-safari.com

Good luck!
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Apr 7th, 2006, 11:20 AM
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<I think Leely and dlo were referring to actual camping, not staying at tented camps>

Just to clarify, I'm talking about Leely's first post, not the subsequent post about Tarangire River Camp, etc. Sorry if that was confusing.
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Apr 7th, 2006, 11:49 AM
  #14
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ooooo...both those options look like fantastic alternatives! You 'guys' are awesome!!!
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Apr 7th, 2006, 12:56 PM
  #15
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Tarangire is fine end November. Still plenty of animals around and if the short rains come, it'll also be green.

The 1-day you have here at Tarangire is going to be a quick in and then out. I'd take the day you show returning to Arusha w/ o/n at the Impala and stay another day at Tarangire. The price for the Tarangire Sopa and River Camps should be the same.

Then when you drive back from Tarangire, you'll arrive in time to make the 12N (or thereabouts) flight to ZNZ. Also, depending on when your flight departs ZNZ, you may want to consider doing the beach first ending in Stone Town which is 10-min for the airport. The beach hotels are easily an hour or more away. Also, being in Stone Town lets you do last minute shopping. Why drag all with you to the beach.

Just some more suggestions.
 
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Apr 7th, 2006, 01:06 PM
  #16
bat
 
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Sandi and canadian--one thing that I would say about ending in Stonetown rather than the beach is that I found Stonetown to be very intense and the beach very relaxing. I was glad that we did Stonetown first and the beach last for that reason. We had a late afternoon flight though so if you have a very early morning one, as sandi mentions--that might affect your decision.
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Apr 10th, 2006, 08:19 AM
  #17
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Both good points. I'll have to inquire further about flight times, etc. and amke a decision from there. Thanks for that!
Right now I'm trying to get our favourite accomodations picked out (without breaking the budget of course) and tring to convince the other couple that a permanent tent isn't scary (of course I'll be the one they blame if they get freaked out during the night . Personally, I think we'll be happy we spent at least one night out of a lodge to get a better safari experience. I just hope they feel the same!
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Apr 10th, 2006, 08:41 AM
  #18
bat
 
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and you can show them pictures--
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Apr 10th, 2006, 08:50 AM
  #19
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yes, I've sent them the photos from go-safari.com. I hope they work!
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Apr 10th, 2006, 12:30 PM
  #20
sandi
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bat -

"intense"
A a New Yorker - what's intense about Stone Town? Getting lost in those alleys? That's the fun of the place! Personally, I get a rush from such an environment. LOL!

Absolutely, if you have an afternoon or evening flight from ZNZ home, to DAR, JRO or NBO, Stone Town can be done first; then the beach. But if you have one of those 00-dark-30 flights it's just too much of a shock to my system to be driving more than an hour from the beach to make the 7am flight to wherever. And, I'm the calm one!

Just check out all your options so you can make a decision that works.
 
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