Finally finaliizing itinerary

Mar 14th, 2007, 02:28 PM
  #1  
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Finally finaliizing itinerary

We are leaving end of Dec/early Jan. If we were to go to Samburu, Masai Mara, Ngorogoro Crater, and Serengeti, do you have the major parks for that time of year covered? Do you think it's important to add Tangaire or Lake Mayanara to this itinerary? Do they provide something different? THANK YOU SO MUCH!
shothyme77 is offline  
Mar 15th, 2007, 04:32 AM
  #2  
sandi
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Remember that the last days of December into Jan 2 or 3 are at high-season rates in both countries. Better to go after Jan 3 and save a few dollars.

If visiting Samburu (elephants and unique species not found elsewhere), you can pass on Tarangire, which isn't at peak at this time.

You can slow down the pace by covering only the four parks you mention, allowing sufficient time at each - Samburu 2-3/days, Masai Mara 3-4/days, Ngorongoro 1-2/days and Serengeti 3-4/days. And depending on which country you are arriving, you have to consider flight schedules to get to some of the parks in Kenya. If only Samburu and Mara, you need flights, as road travel take up just too much time.

Day 1 - Arv. NBO - o/n
Day 2 - Fly to Samburu - o/n
Day 3 - Samburu - o/n
Day 4 - Fly to Masai Mara - o/n
Day 5 - MM - o/n
Day 6 - MM - o/n
Day 7 - Fly to Wilson; fly to JRO; drive to Lk. Manyara - o/n*
Day 8 - Drive to Ngorongoro; afternoon crater tour - o/n
Day 9 - After morning crater tour; w/boxed lunch drive to Ndutu or Southeast Serengeti area - o/n
Day 10 - Ndutu or SESerengeti - o/n
Day 11 - Ndutu or SESerengeti - o/n
Day 12 - Ndutu/SESerengeti to Seronera - o/n
Day 13 - Fly to Arusha/Kili for homebound flight OR Fly to Arusha/Kili; connect to flight to NBO for homebound flight
Day 14 - Arv. home.

* you can o/n in Arusha or Manyara, as the drive to Ngorongoro is just too long; I'd opt for Manyara which gets you 3/hrs closer to Ngorongoro for the following days drive.

Hope this helps.
 
Mar 15th, 2007, 12:47 PM
  #3  
 
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I want to take Sandi's trip.

In Dec-Jan I think Manyara is a little better for wildlife and logistically it works well.
atravelynn is offline  
Mar 15th, 2007, 01:06 PM
  #4  
sandi
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lynn - I'd like to take one of my trips one of these days
 
Mar 19th, 2007, 05:46 AM
  #5  
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Does this itinerary sound better than the first? Dec. 26) Arrive NBO, meet and overnight Intercontinental
Dec. 27) Drive from Nairobi to Amboseli, overnight Serena
Dec. 28) Full day Amboseli overnight Serena
Dec. 29) Transfer for flight to Masai Mara. Mara Safari Club
Dec. 30) Full day Mara
Dec. 31) Trsf to airstrip for flight Wilson Airport, connecting on to
flight to Kilimanjaro International Airport, overnight Mtn. Village Lodge
Jan. 1) Depart Arusha for Manyara, overnight Serena
Jan. 2) Manyara
Jan. 3) Depart Manyara for Serengeti, overnight Serena
Jan. 4) Serengeti
Jan. 5) Serengeti
Jan. 6)Ngorongoro Crater, overnight Serena
Jan. 7)crater
Jan. 8) Depart Ngorongoro for Arusha, Village visit, overnight Mtn. Village Lodge
Jan. 9) Dayroom

It doesn't have Samburu, but we've added in Ambolesi...

Also, is it worth ngorogoro even though everyone complains about the amounts of tourists?
shothyme77 is offline  
Mar 19th, 2007, 07:05 AM
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Lynn and Sandi-

In just a little bit of reverse order, and with only two nights in each of your 3 nighters -

that IS my trip!!! (the one this May)

Wow! Cool!
LyndaS is offline  
Mar 19th, 2007, 11:29 AM
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I prefer Samburu for the different species found there. Will give you a nice contrast to the rest of your itinerary.
Patty is online now  
Mar 19th, 2007, 03:24 PM
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shothyme77,

Your itinerary has a stopover in Arusha between the Maasai Mara and Lake Manyara. Sandi's itinerary did not. If you could avoid that stopover, then you could spend 3 nights in the Maasai Mara.

Amboseli or Samburu is fine.
atravelynn is offline  
Mar 20th, 2007, 05:52 AM
  #9  
sandi
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Lynn is absolutely correct. Add the 3/day at the Mara (2/days isn't sufficient and actually it works out to be less). Next day you can fly from Mara to Wilson; connect to flight to JRO and drive to Manyara and even have time for afternoon game drive.

It will be a long day and if flights delayed, can understand why some o/n in Arusha. But you can definitely make it to Manyara (a 3/hr drive from JRO)... besides, if tired after this long day, go to sleep early and be reading for the balance of Tanzania. Safari is "early to bed, early to rise"

Ngorongoro is always busy, nothing much you can do about this. Though, if you can get a morning crater visit, be there when the gate opens so you can have the place pretty much to yourself for about 2/hrs. If you had already visited here, I'd say pass. But since this is first trip, and you're already there - go for it. Don't worry yourself about crowds; most tourist destinations worldwide have crowds. That's why they're there, the same reason you are.

 
Mar 20th, 2007, 07:16 AM
  #10  
 
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My response to your question of is the crater worth it is yes.

Here is a link to crater crowds.

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=34925907

atravelynn is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2007, 06:55 AM
  #11  
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Here's the third possible itinerary I am considering...how does one choose? what do you think of this one?

26-Dec-07
Arrive Nairobi Transfer hotel
Holiday Inn Mayfair

27-Dec-07
Fly Samburu
Samburu Intrepids

28-Dec-07
Samburu
Samburu Intrepids

29-Dec-07
Fly Masai Mara
Mara Intrepids

30-Dec-07
Masai Mara
Mara Intrepids

31-Dec-07
Masai Mara
Mara Intrepids

1-Jan-08
Fly Masai Mara/Kilimanjaro
L’Oasis Lodge

2-Jan-08
Culture of Mto Wa Mbu
Kirurumu

3-Jan-08
Day of hiking and biking
Kirurumu

4-Jan-08
Ngorongoro Crater Drive
Ngorongoro Sopa

5-Jan-08
Drive Serengeti
Ndutu

6-Jan-08
Serengeti
Ndutu

7-Jan-08
Serengeti
Ndutu

8-Jan-08
Drive Karatu
Gibbs

9-Jan-08
Drive Arusha/Lunch/Riverside Shuttle to Jomo Kenyatta

shothyme77 is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2007, 08:19 AM
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This last one looks good and would offer something different with the activities at Kirurumu. You'd have the unique species of Samburu and 3 nights in the Mara, which is good. Then 3 nights in Ndutu, where the migration will likely be. Good again. You'll see the crater. Those will be wildlife highlights and offer some of East Africa's best. And you've added some interesting cultural activities. Gibbs is a nice finale.

I like this itinerary very much.

See if you can do anything on the New Years Day when you get to Tanzania. That is, if you would be interested in any activity around Arusha and if time allows.

atravelynn is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2007, 10:31 AM
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I really like this latest itinerary too!
Patty is online now  
Mar 22nd, 2007, 11:21 AM
  #14  
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thanks! I so appreciate all your feedback. Two more quick questions...

1)Do you think samburu is better than amboseli at this time of year? This travel agent seems to think so, while here's what another one said:

Samburu is average for game-viewing in December, whereas Amboseli should be better, especially for elephants. In addition, Samburu has much more shrubs/scrub, not the wide open areas of Amboseli, so game-viewing is a bit more challenging in Samburu.

I would not recommend Samburu during your travel period, but ultimately that decision rests with you. There is one property in particular that is lovely - Larsen's Camp, although it is quite expensive. There is also Samburu Intrepids Camp and a Serena Lodge.

Samburu is also a longer drive from Nairobi, approximately 5 hours, and the road from Isiolo to Samburu is one of the worst in Kenya. Amboseli from Nairobi is slighty shorter drive and a much better road. (Just drove it myself in October and it was quite nice - by African standards.)

Also, any comments on the lodging/hotels? I may have to change one or so to make the cost a bit less, but that's what I have for now. Would love feedback.

As always, thank you!
shothyme77 is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2007, 12:05 PM
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I was in Samburu in early December last year and thought that the game viewing was very good. I haven't been to Amboseli during the same time of year to compare, only in February.

By far, we saw a greater variety of species in Samburu than in Amboseli. I also think Samburu works well in your itinerary because it'll give you more diversity (many unique species here not found in southern Kenya or northern Tanzania).

Last December was unusually rainy and even with the very high vegetation, we didn't find the game viewing to be challenging. A "normal" December should produce even easier viewing. The elephants at Samburu do tend to move to higher ground when it rains but quickly move back in once it starts to dry. We had a hard rain the first afternoon and saw no elephants that day. The following day we started to see more and more elephants and by the third day there were large herds all over. Again, in a typical year, the short rains would have ended by the time you travel.

The stretch of road from Isiolo to the reserve gates is indeed bad, but this section is only the last 45 minutes or so. The rest of the drive is on fairly decent road (for Kenyan standards). But since you're flying anyway?
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Mar 22nd, 2007, 12:16 PM
  #16  
sandi
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Since you're flying to Samburu, no need to concern yourself with that lousy stretch of road from Isiolo. It was terrible 13/yrs ago and still is.

As to price, based on rack rates for end-December (in fact, for December) Intrepid's is actually more expensive than Larsen's. And since you are doing two Intrepid's properties, you may be getting a discount. The Intrepid's properties are being refurbished, so you should technically be in new camps in December.

You will enjoy Samburu over Amboseli, especially for the other species not found elsewhere.
 
Mar 22nd, 2007, 12:21 PM
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As far as accomodations, any of the lodges - Samburu Game Lodge, Serena, Sopa (note that Sopa is not on the river) - should cost less than Samburu Intrepids. In the Mara, the lodges and even some other tented camps should cost less than Intrepids. You could check and compare rates with Basecamp, Ilkeliani, Serena, Keekorok, just to name a few. But if you can afford to keep Intrepids, their locations are good and the camps are being renovated this year.

The advantage of the Ngorongoro Sopa is its own descent road so I'd keep that and Ndutu is the already lowest cost option in this southern area.
Patty is online now  
Mar 22nd, 2007, 03:24 PM
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I've only been to Samburu and Amboseli in the dry season. I think seeing Amboseli after the rains offers some relief from the dust. It was more wide open in Amboseli, but Samburu had more abundance and variety of wildlife for me. If views of Kilimanjaro are important to you, then Amboseli wins. Samburu is probably the best place in Kenya for leopard.

Either is good. You can also look at cost and see which is more favoriable.
atravelynn is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2007, 05:24 PM
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me and my wife have been to south africa three times .taking in a lot of places is fine but if you add up the travel time between places you will find that you will go on more game drives anr see more in one place .ps quality is better than quantity
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Mar 23rd, 2007, 01:22 AM
  #20  
aby
 
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shothyme77

Do not change your itinerary !
I can criticise this agent's claims but why waste time - you have a very good safari plan

Don't forget the most important factor (by far) is luck or coincidence. The most important safari experiences happen at Random
The strange thing is every single person has a different safari & ALL enjoy it tremendously !!!

aby

PS
on your other thread - "Samburu or Amboseli" - you have some remarks
aby is offline  

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