First Africa (Tanzania) Trip


Jan 31st, 2006, 02:44 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 57
First Africa (Tanzania) Trip

Hi all ..

This is my first post in this forum ..and it's regarding our first trip to africa. For the past month .. i have been doing extensive research on iternaries, tour operators .. i have all the guide books - rough guide, footprint tanzania..and have scoured through million websites (LP, fodors, safari operators).. inspite of all this i am as bewildered as when i started.

yes, now i know what i want to do (atleast i hv a basic outline in mind) ...but i am finding it extremely hard to put into action!

First, let me put down what I plan to do:
- I will be spending two weeks in June for my trip
- I am very keen on doing Ngorongoro highlands trek with a climb of Oldoniyo Lengai (probably 5 - 7 days)
- I also don't want to miss out on the other big stuff like Serengeti, Tarangire and Lake Manyara (Maybe a 3-4 days game drive)
- And finally, 3 days in Zanzibar

What do you think of this?

I have emailed several tour operators ..and they have come back to me with custom iternaries and quotes for a private safari for two people.

So far East African Safari and Touring Company seems the cheapest with the right mix of hiking and driving. But, I don't find them listed on the TATO website ..and I don't find too many ppl who have used them on the travel boards.

Do you guys have any suggestions abt other tour operators who would be good at this?
Our budget is around $5K for the entire 15 days in tanzania for two ppl (safari+zanzibar)

Apologies, if I rambled on for too long ..but I am new to the concept of message boards.

Thanks in advance for all your help!
solitaire11 is offline  
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Jan 31st, 2006, 05:05 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 1,774
Hi solitaire-
I believe there have been a few people on this board who have used East African Safari & Touring Co., and from what I remember, no one had any complaints about them!
The best thing to do is look through the trip report index and glance through to see who had used them, I'm sure I remember a few!
Here's the thread address for the Trip Report Index:
Based on my non-expert opinion though your trip sounds great! (I haven't been yet, going in June!) In the index look for the report by 'alwaysafrica', her and her husband did the trek through the highlands - as a matter of a fact, I do seem to recall it was with East Africa Safari & Touring. It was a fabulous detailed report.
Hope this helps!
LyndaS is offline  
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Jan 31st, 2006, 08:22 PM
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Posts: 178
Hi Sol,

I just finished (a week ago) booking a trip that is similar to yours, except I am not going to Zanzibar. The biggest advice I can give you is to book VERY soon if you intend to travel in June. That is the start of the high season. We leave the US on our trip on June 26, and I was scurrying to get reservations. Northern Tanzania, where you want to go, is the most popular area.

While I have yet to visit Tanzania, from everything I have read the area you (and I) plan to visit is great. As with you, I was new to message boards when I found this board. I got a huge amount of excellent advice here. But the more information I got the more opinions I got on where I wanted to go and what I wanted to do. I spent weeks figuring it out. Depending on your personality and time availability it may also take you a while. So, get to WORK.

You seem to have checked out other boards. I also checked out the Lonely Planet and Frommers boards. But, for what I wanted they were not nearly as good as Fodors. Lonely Planet is more for the backpacker/younger group. Frommers didn't seem to have very many posts. And, as you say, the more information you get, the more bewildering it becomes. At some point you almost have to put yourself in the hands of a good tour operator, unless you want to make this a part time job;-)

I seemed to recall favorable comments about East Africa Safaria and Touring. Your budget of $5K per seems possible, but a bit less than what I paid. I found that some of the flights I was considering were booked up by the time I got around to reserving. You will likely find it most convenient/cheap to fly to Nairobi, then to Arusha (Kilamanjaro) to start your trek. But since you want to go to Zanzibar, others here may opine that Dar es Salaam is a better alternative.
nhulberg is offline  
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Feb 1st, 2006, 04:35 PM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 626

I would suggest you give Sandi (who posts here a lot) at African Serendipity at shot at it. She is very knowledgeable, based in New York, and very reasonable on the pricing.

We booked through Southern Cross but that was for a Kenya only trip in August.

Good luck
stakerk is offline  
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