First Time on safari - please critique itinerary

Jul 11th, 2011, 10:18 AM
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First Time on safari - please critique itinerary

We are a couple in our late 60's planning our first trip to Africa and have decided on Kenya and Tanzania. We would like to see a variety of wild life, scenery and experience some of the local culture. We are happy to have a mix of tented camps and lodges, some moderate some more upscale I think is where we are heading. We are planning for about three weeks (June 2012) including some time in Zanzibar. Any comments or advice is very much appreciated..... Are we hitting the highlights for that time of year, moving around too much, should we add Amboseli before heading north??

Nairobi 2 nights - Norfolk hotel

Sweetwaters x 2 nights

Samburu Intrepids camp x 2

fly to Mara x 3 nights intrepids

fly western serengeti x 3 nights Mbalageti

Nogorongo x 2 Sopa lodge

lake Manyara x 1

tarangire x 2 kikoki

fly Zanzibar
geosand is offline  
Jul 11th, 2011, 10:46 AM
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Looks like a nice trip.

You could fly Samburu back to Wilson in NBO, then Wilson to Amboseli based on the timetables for safarilink, see below.

From Amboseli you can fly to the Mara for your 3 nts.

If time and $$ permits, include Amboseli for a chance to see Kilimanjaro. You already have a couple of strong ele destinations with Samburu and Tarangire, so you would not need Amboseli to see eles. If Amboseli stretches your budget and time away from home, you have a nice trip without it.

How are you getting from the Mara to Mbalageti? What is the routing?
atravelynn is offline  
Jul 11th, 2011, 11:13 AM
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thanks for your input atravelynn.

The routing is as follows: fly to Migori where a transfer vehicle from coastal air will take us to tarime then fly from Tarime to grumeti airstrip.

I have no idea if that is reasonable/workable - appreciate any comments
geosand is offline  
Jul 11th, 2011, 01:56 PM
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There are already two elephant parks, I personally wouldn't add a third - Amboseli.

The only issue I have, and if these past 2/yrs is indicative of anything, and as KathBC mentioned re her recent visit in June in Western Serengeti, where she kind of missed the migration; that the herds started arriving in the Mara in early June, whether a visit to both is a must.

Again, thinking out loud (me). But we all know... never any guarantee from year-to-year. Guess, we have to take a shot!

I'd almost want to start in Tanzania (in hopes of catching migration in Western Serengeti earliest), drive to visit at Tarangire, Manyara, Ngorongoro, Western Serengeti... then back to Kenya via flight to JRO to NBO, o/n NBO; drive north to Ol Pejeta/Sweetwater's, Samburu, than fly south to Mara (catching the migration when it arrives here)... then fly to ZNZ.
Day 1 - Arv. JRO - o/n Arusha
Day 2 - Tarangire
Day 3 - Tarangire
Day 4 - Manyara
Day 5 - Ngorongoro
Day 6 - Ngorongoro
Day 7 - W.Serengeti
Days 8 & 9 - W. Serengeti
Day 10 - Fly to JRO; fly to NBO - o/n
Day 11 - Sweetwaters
Day 12 - Samburu
Day 13 - Samburu
Day 14 - Fly to Masai Mara
Days 15 & 16 - Masai Mara
Day 17 - Fly to Zanzibar

Another option to consider.
sandi is offline  
Jul 11th, 2011, 06:59 PM
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The later in June you go, the better this flipped itinerary would be.
atravelynn is offline  
Jul 11th, 2011, 09:46 PM
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The herds were definitely in the W. Serengeti around Kirawira this past June 8 & 9.

However I found driving around thousands of wildebeest grazing & drinking at the river for 2 full days at 7 hours each day, was too much. If there was other wildlife around they would be lost amidst the herds.

Being a cat person I would have preferred at least a day around Seronera and the kopjes.
KathBC is offline  
Jul 12th, 2011, 12:04 AM
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Nice itinerary, but you make the mistake of wanting too much in too little time.

Two nights at one location basically means two gamedrives in that area and that's it. All the rest is being "en route" and - at least in part - not real gamedrives. I see two countries in you itinerary, and huge distances.

I'd leave Kenya out, and keep it for a 2nd safari. I'd leave out Tarangire as it brings nothing new (not after Serengeti, that is). Unless perhaps a few elephant herds (more common there than higher up). But then I'd put Tarangire as first park to visit and work towards a climax (Serengeti).

How about;

- 3N/2D at Tarangire

- (then Manyara en route to the crater; half a day is enough to see it)
- 4N/3D at Sopa (best lodge at the crater as it is next to the north gate which knows no traffic jams)

- (you could break the safari pace here by adding another day to visit a real Maasai village and do a walking safari in one of the smaller craters like Empakai)

- 3N/2D at Serengeti-south (like Ndutu lodge; make sue to go in the right season!)

- 4N/3D at Serengeti Seronera area

...and then fly to Zanzibar

I hope you can appreciate my honest critique :-S


pixelpower is offline  
Jul 12th, 2011, 07:34 AM
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thank you for all your thoughtful replies and insights - many things to ponder today. It is an exciting process but a process nonetheless.
geosand is offline  
Jul 12th, 2011, 08:49 AM
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PixelPower has a point of staying longer in fewer places. Serengeti South (Ndutu) in June is not the best time.

Would you consider doing all safari and no Zanzibar? If you are going to Zanzibar for beach, you probably have that at home. I always make that suggestion since I am not a beach person and have not been to Zanzibar.
atravelynn is offline  
Jul 12th, 2011, 09:19 AM
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funny you would suggest omitting Zanzibar.
It was our conversation at breakfast this morning as my husband is also not a beach person but I am. Might be an easy enough compromise. My husband does however like to fish so that might be an enticement
geosand is offline  
Jul 12th, 2011, 02:08 PM
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You just have to be aware of the opportunity cost of including Zanzibar. What do you give up for beach and fishing, activities that can be pursued closer to home.

But Zanzibar is generally less expensive than safari activities.

If it is fishing your husband likes, your NEXT safari should include Zambia or Zimbabwe and fishing for Tiger Fish in the Zambezi. He fishes, you do wildlife viewing activites on land or water. Everybody's happy.
atravelynn is offline  
Jul 12th, 2011, 10:09 PM
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>> Everybody's happy.

...'xcept the fish!

pixelpower is offline  
Jul 13th, 2011, 04:36 AM
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Right Pixelpower and the bait.
atravelynn is offline  
Jul 14th, 2011, 06:01 AM
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Upon further thought, I believe the fish were caught, photographed and released. So the fish were merely inconvenienced. The bait were goners.

Anyway, let us know what you come up with geosand!
atravelynn is offline  

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