East Africa Safari

Old Jul 7th, 2007, 07:56 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Jul 2007
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East Africa Safari

Mid Sept is time of our trip. Am looking at
Good Earth, Africa Serendity, Africa Safari
Specialist. Some are stating not to go to
Serengeti but more time in Maasi Mara.
Feedback on the above 3 tour operators
and should we go to Serengeti. Are mobile
Tent camps better than permanent ones.
Help
robar is offline  
Old Jul 7th, 2007, 01:08 PM
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If you are interested in seeing the Migration, then the Maasai Mara in Kenya will be your best bet, rather than the Serengeti. If your trip is to Tanzania, however, you can still see lots of resident wildlife in the central Serengeti. I prefer mobile tented camps in the Serengeti, as there are relatively few lodges and permanent camps there. Permament tented camps are nice, though, if in the location I want. I prefer tented camps of any kind to lodges.
ShayTay is offline  
Old Jul 7th, 2007, 02:51 PM
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We were in the Serengeti last September and saw plenty of wildlife. Our favorite lodging experience was Kirawira, which is tented and very luxurious - if you are into that (which we are ).
nevermind is offline  
Old Jul 7th, 2007, 03:00 PM
  #4  
DanaA70
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Good Earth was quick to respond to me with a decent price; I am still waiting on others though.
Nevermind: We are into the luxury lodges too.would you mind sharing the ones you went to and where. Did you compare Kirawira to say Grumeti River Lodge and found it more to your liking? I am now researching all the lodges in Serengeti - well throughout Tanzania. I really want to go to some new ones, Faru but heard they were astronomical in price. Did you look into those. thanks for any comments. D.
 
Old Jul 7th, 2007, 04:13 PM
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Kenya would be best. Suggest also look at Southern Cross and Eastern and Southern. We used Southern Cross when we went last August. But really close call. Sandi at Afr. Ser. is great.

Kevin from California
stakerk is offline  
Old Jul 7th, 2007, 04:32 PM
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We just booked our March 2008 safari with Sandi at Africa Serendipity. She was great to work with and helped us plan an amazing trip within our budget.
lilla is offline  
Old Jul 7th, 2007, 04:42 PM
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We stayed at Mbuzi Mawe in the Serengeti. It's a beautiful tented lodge. We enjoyed the Serengeti in September but saw more wildlife more readily at the Ngorongoro Crater. The Crater was my favorite place. It should definitely be on your list of places to visit. We used Journey to Africa - they were extremely helpful and organized in planning our trip and also very responsive to our needs.
sheen129 is offline  
Old Jul 8th, 2007, 07:43 AM
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Dana: I wish I had enough experience to compare lodges!! I have no idea what the Grumeti River Lodge is like, but would be interested to know how it compares to Kirawira.

As I mentioned earlier, Kirawira was by far our favorite place. It has a very "Out of Africa" feel to it. Our "room" (tent) was large, comfortable, and nicely furnished. We were treated extremely well there (as we were every where).

The only other tented accommodation we had was the Tarangire Safari Lodge, which is at the other end of the spectrum. The tents are rather small and basic. We stayed there on the first two nights of our safari, and enjoyed them despite the lack of amenities. We were so excited to be there and hear the noctural noises and activities of the animals, and be awakened before daybreak with a friendly "jambo" and a tray of coffee left on our "porch" that nothing else really mattered!

robar: our itinerary included Tarangire, Lake Manyara, Ngorongoro Crater, and the Serengeti. While I would have liked to visit Maasai Mara, I didn't feel that our experience was at all compromised by not going there. Of the places we visited, I was least impressed by Lake Manyara. I loved the Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti.
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Old Jul 8th, 2007, 09:48 AM
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DanaA70
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nevermind; since I am in the midst of planning this huge trip could you tell me what was it about Lake Manyara you did not like - the lack of game; the quality of drives; accommodations? It will help in the questions I offer up to the companies I am talking to.Tx D
 
Old Jul 8th, 2007, 03:13 PM
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Dana, it probably isn't fair of me to say anything against Lake Manyara as we didn't really spend much time there. I just wasn't overly impressed with the scenery or the animal sightings. We saw mainly hippos, giraffes, and elephants. There wasn't anything wrong with it, but both my husband and I loved our experience with the other areas more. We did not spend the night there, just passed through, so I can't speak to the quality of the accommodations.

Good luck in your planning! I'm envious!! We are going to Australia & New Zealand this year, and it promises to be a wonderful trip, but there is a little part in the back of my brain that wants to return to Africa.
nevermind is offline  
Old Jul 8th, 2007, 04:52 PM
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tvlnut
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Dana,
I am new this forum and hope I can be of help to you. I went on a Tanzania safari in the late 90's. I spent an afternoon in Lake Manyara and spent a night at the Serena hotel overlooking the Great Rift Valley that night. A Lake Manyara safari, as far as I'm concerned, can easily be skipped in order to spend more time in Ngorongoro and the Serengeti. The only think I liked about the hotel was it's infinity pool overlooking the valley and the super quick laundry service.
The Serengeti Serena was okay, too, but not something I am dying to go back to.
Kirawira, however, is another story entirely. I spent a fabulous 2 nights at Kirawira and am planning to go back. I describe it as a small Four Seasons hotel with canvas roof and walls. I mean really, breakfast and dinner on Villeroy & Boch?! Persian rugs in the lodge? Whoo-eee. Very pricey but worth setting aside the bucks for if you can swing it.
I cannot compare Kirawira to the Grumeti Reserves from personal experience - I think you're probably referring to the Sasakwa(sp?)- but, from what I've read and the photos I've seen it sounds like it has a comparable degree of lux.
Hope this has been of some help.
 
Old Jul 9th, 2007, 12:39 AM
  #12  
 
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My son(27 year old) and I hope to go to Tanzania in July 2008. We hope to go to Serengeti and Ngorongoro crater. Any advice on reliable safari operators . Our budget for the land portion is $ 8000.
Any help appreciated.
desgun is offline  
Old Jul 9th, 2007, 06:39 AM
  #13  
DanaA70
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tvlnut: well that sounds good to me! I am checking out the western serengeti lodges so those fodories who have actually been and can report back offer the highest recommendations to me. I will definitely check into Kirawira! Thx d.
 
Old Jul 9th, 2007, 08:48 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
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Desgun: you might want to start you own thread. However, first I suggest you take a look at the East Africa trip report index:

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=34860283

However:

Roy's, Good Earth, and African Serendipity seem to have a pretty good reputation here.

Kevin from California


stakerk is offline  
Old Jul 9th, 2007, 09:38 AM
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Desgun.
I too am relatively new to the forum and still in the plannning stages of mine and my daughters (she is also 27) first time safari in 2008.
Roy's Safari's and Africa Dream Safari's (who are based in California) have been extremely helpful, but they are a bit pricey.
Sandi from African Serendipity is extremely knowledgeable too, and she posts a lot on here. She posts unbiased and fair comments.
They are all very reliable and people here have used them many times, from what I see.
Feistybrit is offline  
Old Jul 9th, 2007, 09:49 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2007
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My last post needs to be clarified. Roy's is not pricey. Africa Dream Safari's is.
Roy's is the best value out of all the itinerairies we have received.

Sue
Feistybrit is offline  
Old Jul 9th, 2007, 07:46 PM
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Desgun: As I mentioned in my earlier post, we used Journey to Africa. Our agent was very helpful and patient in answering all our questions. We had a lot of questions since we climbed Kilimanjaro as well. Our trip was very well organized and we didn't have to worry about a thing from the moment we landed until the moment we left to go back home.
sheen129 is offline  
Old Jul 9th, 2007, 09:17 PM
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robar -- we went with Good Earth in Sept 2007 for Tanzania. Have no issues recommending their guides. Vehicles weren't the newest out there, but they seemed well-maintained and reliable(our guide was more often than not helping someone else with their vehicle).

As far as camps to stay at, the Serengeti Serena was a fine place to stay, but I wouldn't place in the luxury category. If you do use the Serena, make sure to check in early, as they will overbook sometimes and bump the smaller groups/operators.

I highly recommend the Migration Camp in the Northern Serengeti. Excellend camp that really made our trip. We could've stayed there for days. Permament tents with hardwood floors, showers, etc. Had very good luck on game drives in that area last Sept.
npederse is offline  
Old Jul 9th, 2007, 09:29 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2005
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I should also mention that we only were in Tanzania and had great game viewing. I don't feel I missed anything by only being in Tanzania, but I know the migration in Kenya is something great to see as well.

I'd highly encourage you (if you are only in Tanzania) to check out Tarangire NP. We really enjoyed it. Great, up-close views of elephants and giraffes. We skipped Lake Manyara.
npederse is offline  
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