Critique My Safari Itinerary?


Mar 14th, 2005, 05:46 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 6
Critique My Safari Itinerary?

My family and I are going on safari to Kenya and Tanzania mid-December. We are very excited about the trip! I have put together the following itinerary and would really appreciate any suggestions and/or changes.

Day 1: We arrive in Nairobi in the late afternoon and spend the night either at the Norfolk or Hilton.

Day 2 & 3: Drive to Amboseli and stay at Tortilis for two nights.

Day 4 & 5: Drive to Ngorongoro Crater and stay at the Ngorongoro Crater Lodge for 2 nights. LONG DRIVE! Suggestions?

Day 6,7 & 8: Drive to the Serengeti. Staying at Kirawira for 3 nights.

Day 9,10 & 11: Drive to the Masai Mara and stay for 3 nights at Olonana.

We then fly from the Mara to Nairobi for our flight out.

Questions: The drive from Amboseli to Ngorongoro takes about 7 hours. Is there a flight option?

Is it true that the animal viewing in Western Serengeti is not good in December? If so, what part of the Serengeti would you go to?

Thanks so much for you help!

prescott is offline  
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Mar 14th, 2005, 06:22 AM
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Prescott -

Wow! All that driving! I would recommend you have some flights in there, or a good portion of time will be taken up with road travel, less game viewing, and sore bottoms.

There isn't a direct/flying option from Amboseli to Ngorongoro Crater. What you can do is depart early from Tortilis to the Namanga Border (about 2-hrs) then drive to Arusha (1-hr). It's doubtful you'll make the early flight, so try to arrange a cultural tour while in Arusha for balance of morning, have lunch, then take the afternoon flight Arusha/Lk.Manyara. Lk. Manyara is the closest airport to NC, then it's about a 2-2-1/2 hr. drive.

If you wish to drive, you can drive from Arusha (skip the cultural tour) to Lk.Manyara (about 80-90 miles) for an afternoon game drive and overnight; continue by road to the Crater next morning. This way you can get in the half-day Crater tour with no problem. Since Crater tours are to be limited to half-days only as 7/1/05, you can also do a half-day next morning before heading out to the Serengeti.

As to the Western Serengeti... you're correct in that it isn't the best time for game viewing (if it's large herds you wish, though plenty of other animals) that time of the year. You'd be better in the Central and/or Southeast Serengeti as the migrating herds move south from the North/Northeastern Serengeti. Here your lodging options are limited, but you might consider Kusini Camp, a lovely permanent tented camp for 2-nts., then on 3rd day move up to the Serena Lodge for 1-nt.

From here you can do hot air balloon ride if this of interest; but specifically you can fly back to Arusha/Kili and connect to a flight to NBO, and another connection (3pm) to fly to the Mara. This definitely adds to your costs, but eliminates time on the roads and incurring an overnight in NBO if you chose to drive from Arusha.

If you travel before December 15, you can keep some of your costs down, instead of the premium prices after December 15, which includes the Christmas/New Years supplements.

Hope this helps in your planning.
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