Guide for Serengeti Wildebeest Migration Jan 2015

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Nov 7th, 2014, 07:17 AM
  #1
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Guide for Serengeti Wildebeest Migration Jan 2015

My husband and I are starting to plan our trip to Tanzania in Jan 2015 to see the wildebeest migration. We are in our early 30s and did a bit of traveling in Africa (Uganda and South Africa) last year. We are looking for an experienced tour guide who would be able to take us around and arrange our itinerary for approximately 5 days. We have found it much better and cheaper to go directly through reputable guides rather than tour companies. We would be looking for something more on the budget/mid range side of things. Any recommendations of guides or things not to miss would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you!
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Nov 7th, 2014, 08:23 AM
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It's hard to predict exactly when the migration will happen. This year it was earlier than normal. We missed seeing them cross the Mara River in Kenya - there were only carcasses with vultures feasting on them left. But we did see the migration in Tanzania. There were big herds of them. It was amazing ! I was there Oct 9-26. Can't advise about guides. I was with Overseas Adventure Travel. And was very happy with their guides and all their services.
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Nov 7th, 2014, 12:05 PM
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Hey, was just investigating the same thing and came across your post. Any interest in possibly joining forces with me and wifey (mid-30s, Cali-raised, NYC now)? We'll be in Africa (South and East) from mid-Dec thru mid-Feb. Sharing cost on car and guide 4-way would be great for us, as we're looking to stretch those travel dollars. Hoping to do Ngorongoro Crater, and then the migration in the Serengeti in January-ish.

If possibly interested, holler at malt at ymail (not gmail, ymail).
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Nov 11th, 2014, 12:29 PM
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A guide may not be able to get you as good a rate on accommodations as a tour operator.

I was very happy with Warrior Trails who are a small company run by a Maasai. Their main office is in Arusha however they also have a Canadian reservations office.

http://www.warriortrails.com/

They would definitely be worth getting a quote from. Excellent guides and great vehicles.
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Nov 14th, 2014, 06:15 PM
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Warrior Trails has a good presence. I see their vehicles when in Tanz. I'll also suggest Guide George booked with The Wild Source. They have an Arusha and Colorado office. I've used George 3 times, twice during the Ndutu calving season. He's who I'll use again.

Lots of guides, such as George, work with a safari company. For a guide, trying to communicate with clients and booking reservations can be hard when they spend much of their time in the field guiding.

Good luck and have a wonderful trip.
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Nov 17th, 2014, 06:23 PM
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Hi
I was born and raised in Tanzania and been to Arusha on a few occasions. From my experience the most competitive company that you would consider using would be www.easytravel.co.tz and was ranked number 1 on tripadvisor. The operator musaddiq is very personable and goes out or his way to make a difference. Check them out.

Good luck.
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Nov 18th, 2014, 10:38 PM
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Hi!
I've been living working in different African countries for years and on my experience iI suggest to contact a small safari company rather than a guide for different reasons: a guide spends most of his time out in the bush, so communication and dealing with bookings may be complicated; a guide without a company behind him does not have access to confidential/tour operator lodge rates; above all, if your vehicle has a breakdown in the middle of the bush a guide with no company may not be able to replace it quickly or - worse - may not be able to replace it at all: most independent guides only own the vehicle they drive. There are more than 200 safari companies in mainland Tanzania and you will certainly find the one which matches with your needs. My family and I had a great experience with www.safaricrewtanzania.com , we have been to Southern Serengeti for calving season last January, it was just amazing, they proved to be professional, reliable, have excellent guides and vehicles. I'm currently based in Nairobi and I'm planning a new safari with them in the end of January.
Safari njema/Have a great safari!
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Nov 20th, 2014, 07:15 PM
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We used Away to Africa - http://www.awaytoafricasafaris.com/about_us.php - in 2010 to plan a safari. We had inquired with Roy Safaris and they directed us to this agency. It was easier working with someone in the US and we had a wonderful time. The price was right and the service impeccable! Having traveled overseas a number of times and having to wait interminable time for replies, being able to talk to an agent was helpful.
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Nov 29th, 2014, 07:59 PM
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I highly recommend Jombi Kivuyo at Tanzania Outdoor Adventures. He was our guide on a National Georgraphic sponsored safari and now has his own company (though he still guides National Geographic trips, too) with a partner in the States. Check out his website http://tanzaniaoutdooradventures.com/ They are also on Facebook.
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Dec 7th, 2014, 05:23 PM
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We did notice an advantage of being with a company that has multiple guides is that the guides radio each other when there is a great wildlife spotting opportunity nearby.
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Dec 8th, 2014, 05:46 AM
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We used Easy Travel and couldn't have been happier with the process of creating thee trip or with the trip itself.
Mussaddiq, the general manager, was extremely responsive to our (hundreds of) questions; he seemed very committed to giving us a wonderful experience and to making sure it was exactly the trip we wanted.
Our guide was Emmilian and he was fabulous--I would definitely suggest requesting him.
One of our travel buddies recently posted a review on the Trip Advisor Tanzania forum.
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Dec 8th, 2014, 08:14 AM
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As stated above having a 'good/reliable guide' isn't always the best answer for the reasons mentioned - 1)they're usually out in the bush and can't be as responsive as one would like; 2) don't get the same reduced rates as does a tour outfitter; 3) don't have a fleet of vehicles if theirs has issues; 4) you need back-up should circumstances unforeseen arise.

There are many reputable tour outfitters in Arusha that can assist and these are the ones you should contact. This especially the case for a budget safari.
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