First safari...Tanzania

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Mar 27th, 2012, 12:06 AM
  #1
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First safari...Tanzania

I am new here and this will be my first safari, so please forgive my lack of knowledge.

I need help in planning a short safari to Tanzania in either mid-late June or early July this year.

Looking for a budget-type lodge safari or a camping safari with beds provided, as I'm too old to cope with a mattress on the ground.

Unfortunately it looks like I will be travelling alone, unless I can find a travel companion before then, which seems unlikely. I am not intrerested in large organised groups, but I would be happy to join a small group of like-minded people.

I'd like to visit Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Manyara, Tarangire and possibly the Serengeti.

A couple of days in Stone Town, Zanzibar might be nice too, but I am not interested in staying at a beach resort.

I would be very grateful for any help or suggestions anyone here could give me.

Many thanks
PloddingOn is offline  
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Mar 27th, 2012, 09:33 AM
  #2
 
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Welcome to the forum, Plodding. I'm sure you'll find lots of advice from the knowledgeable folk here. Many have travelled solo to East Africa.

You'll have to act quickly on this, and may not have much choice re: accommodations at this late date; your June/July timeframe is peak season for travel to Tz.

In addition to when you travel (peak season), other things that will determine the cost of your trip: length of trip, level of accommodation you choose, and number of parks you visit.

Possibly the Serengeti? I would personally not plan a trip to Tz without visiting this World Heritgage Site. You can witness the migrating animals as they head north toward Kenya. You'd also see a lot of resident game in the Serengeti.

To keep your costs down, you might want to eliminate Lake Manyara in favor of Tarangire in June/July. Lots of animals migrate into Tarangire during the dry season to access the river's water source, so game viewing is excellent. It's a lovely park on it's own because of the lovely river bed and unique baobab trees.

If you can let us know how long you'd like to be on safari, we can help you come up with an itinerary. You might consider something like:

Day 1: arrive in Arusha. Overnight
Day 2: drive to Tarangire. Overnight
Day 3: full day Tarangire. Overnight
Day 4: (longish but very doable) drive to Serengeti. Overnight
Days 5,6: full days in Serengeti.
Day 7: drive to crater. Overnight
Day 8: full day crater tour. Overnight
Day 9: return to Arusha to catch flight to Zanzibar. Overnight Stonetown.
Days 10,11: Stonetown. Return flight to Arusha.

I think this would be the minimum I'd do, and would actually prefer another day in the Serengeti.

FYI, the return flight to Stonetown is $400.

Have you contacted any ground operators yet?
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Mar 27th, 2012, 01:50 PM
  #3
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Hi Calo, and thanks for your reply.

I did contact a couple of operators but found their solo safaris to be very costly.

The reason I am not sure about the Serengeti is that I will also be in the Mara and it seemed like it might be very similar, but perhaps I am completely wrong.

I think that 10 days sounds about right to me if I include the Serengeti.

How does a camping safari work, is it a camp bed, or mattress on the ground? And what about meals, bathrooms etc?

Cheers
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Mar 28th, 2012, 04:31 AM
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There are camping safaris, but also safaris where you can stay at permanent or mobile tented camps. Camping safaris are generally just that - camping on the ground, and depending on what company you book with, you'd have your own private cook who sets up camp and makes your meals. There are public campsites which can be noisy and rowdy, and there are private campsites which are much nicer. Tented camps offer "real" beds and ensuite bathrooms. These vary in luxury and cost.

When I go on safari, I stay in tented camps, but the company I travel with also does camping safaris. However, these are private safaris where you'd have your own private cook, guide and vehicle.

The Masai Mara/Serengeti is a contiguous ecosystem, but for June/July if you want to see the migrating herds, they'll be in Tz. In July/August, the herds cross the Mara River into Kenya where they spend the next few months before heading back to their traditional calving grounds in the southern Serengeti. So, if you're wanting to see the migration, you want to be in Tanzania, not Kenya.
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Mar 28th, 2012, 05:50 AM
  #5
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Hi PloddingOn

Here's an itinerary for a camping safari with a recommended Company - you may join a tour open to public
http://www.gametrackersafaris.com/?p...GTTabs_ul_1233

their site has other itineraries as well as lodge safaris

i'm not sure about camping conditions (bed etc')
aby

PS there are 'luxury camping' tours. they can be more expensive than regular lodges tours
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Mar 28th, 2012, 05:56 AM
  #6
aby
 
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mid-late June or early July Mara vs. Serengeti
regularly at this period of time the migration herds are in northern Serengeti
going into Mara usually from mid july onwards
but with the erratic rains and esp. global warming, it varies

most regular tours will not go up north that far (in Serengeti) though
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Mar 28th, 2012, 06:19 AM
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Fodors has books on safari, get one or two.

Camping - in most places of the world camping is the cheapest way to go. Because you are doing it all yourself. But in Africa safari camping, also called mobile safari, you are typically escorted, with truck, tent, supplies, etc provided by camping company. This likely means two trucks, one for you and one for the gear/supplies and two or more guides/helpers and an armed guard. Having said all that, you can do it, posters here "canadian-robin" and "luangwablondes" do much safari camping. Search here for there names for more.

If it is a permanent (not mobile) tented camp then really little difference it and a hut/bungalow camp. Still has to have a staff running it. So simple tenting on safari turns out to be just as expensive. For/by yourself, forget it. Find a set tour with small group and join it. It will be within your budget and you will have a good time with other first timer safari guests.

Fodors has books on safari, get one or two.

regards - tom
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Mar 28th, 2012, 06:32 AM
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You're going to spend $,$$$ for safari, spend $18 now at Amazon -
http://tinyurl.com/82vrtgp

Have it tomorrow, read over weekend. Ask more questions Monday.

regards - tom
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Mar 28th, 2012, 08:57 AM
  #9
aby
 
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there's another thread concerning budget camping tour in Serengeti

http://www.fodors.com/community/afri...ing-safari.cfm
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