Help! First African safari!!!

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Dec 10th, 2013, 12:31 AM
  #1
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Help! First African safari!!!

We are a couple looking to take our first African safari using mobile camps. I ve been reading a lot on here and some tripadvisor and have bought the complete safari guide per recommendation on here. We have decided on going to Northern Tanzania for approximately 14 to 17 days excluding the flights there. We believe in taking advantage of experiencing as much as possible when we are at a destination.

1/ Besides the normal northern route, what other places would you recommend? Masai
Mara?

2/ I have just started to contact several TO but taking your advice on here and we want
to contact about 6 or so TO. Can you give me any suggestions on African base TO?

3/ Has anyone else had problems trying to email TO? I ve gotten computers errors
saying "mail client not properly setup" on 2 of them?

Thanks in advance, Bill
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Dec 10th, 2013, 02:56 AM
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Bill, You have real many days for Safari. On Northern Safari circuit apart from the Parks of Arusha, Tarangire, Manyara and Serengeti you can combine your experience with Lake Natron and trekking of Mt. Oldonyo Lengai still inline with Northern Safari Circuit. Also you can combine Northern Circuit with Southern Circuit, high recommend park been Selous and Ruaha
For African Base TO I highly recommend Happy World Safaris, I used them and we had a amazing experience.
I have not experience such a problem before, but many TO have online contact/booking form you can use them for inquire
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Dec 10th, 2013, 02:58 AM
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I forget to mention Ngorongoro among the Northern Safari Circuit Park.
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Dec 10th, 2013, 08:12 AM
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How about a combination of Kenya and Tanzania to maximize on your African safari. below is an Itinerary suggestion.

Day 1- MASAI MARA
Day 2- MASAI MARA
Day 3- MASAI MARA
Day 4- MASAI MARA
Day 5- MASAI MARA TO SERENGETI
Day 6- SERENGETI
Day 7- SERENGETI
Day 8- SERENGETI TO NGORONGORO
Day 9- NGORONGORO
Day 10- NGORONGORO To LAKE MANYARA
Day 11- LAKE MANYARA TO ARUSHA. STAY OVERNIGHT.
Day 12- ARUSHA TO AMBOSELI
Day 13 -AMBOSELI
Day 14- AMBOSELI TO NAIROBI

CruiseTrav is right many TO's have online contact/booking form
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Dec 10th, 2013, 10:14 AM
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Above is good routing, but depends on what time of year (month), as when it comes to the Serengeti and as the game is constantly on the move, where specifically in this area that overall is the size of Switzerland, is always important. You also have to decide whether you wish to drive or fly between Mara and Serengeti (there is no direct crossing), where driving takes an entire day (8-10/hrs), when flying is about 4/hrs or any other areass, as you can also reverse the entire itinerary.

Also if during peak season, as July-Sep, Amboseli can be rather crowded and dusty, so you might want to consider Samburu (up north), where you'll also find species not found elsewhere.

And as mentioned... most TO web sites have a Contact tab which you can complete and submit. I've never had doing such returned as an error. Guess it's time to contact others.
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Dec 10th, 2013, 11:57 AM
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Thanks CruiseTrav, I just sent an email to Happy World. I have also contacted Base Camp, Safari Drive, and Go2Africa.

Are there any more recommendations for TO as I would like to get at least 6?


We will be going in July/Aug 2014 to see the migration so Im thinking of going to Masai Mara and Serengei for at least 3 days each to optimize our chances?

Tracks, thanks we are considering a route similar to that.

Sandi, would adding at 1 day at Samburu work pretty good incorporating that into the Masai to Serengeti route. I understand that is also a good place to see the 3 cats??
Is that also a good place to see Mt Kilo??
I wasn't aware it took 8-10 hrs to drive. Is the 4 hrs flying the total including the waiting and driving to and from airports?
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Dec 10th, 2013, 08:42 PM
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Try Sandi at Africa Serendipity.

You know, the sandi that replied above.
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Dec 10th, 2013, 08:56 PM
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Try Sandi. A good TA/TO knows the important details like Sandi does, e.g. 8-10 hrs drive.
Try Roy Safaris in Arusha TZ. http://www.roysafaris.com/

regards - tom
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Dec 10th, 2013, 08:56 PM
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Samburu is northern Kenya and I flew there from Nairobi past Mt Kenya, then flew to the Mara to save some travel time.

Samburu has the grevy zebras and reticulated giraffe which are stunning! Saw lots of lions and cheetah, too.

Then drove the Tanzanian northern circuit with a guide from Arusha to the Serengeti and flew over to Zanzibar for beach time. Doing Kenya, Tanzania & Zanzibar in 17 days might be tight tho.

Mt Kilimanjaro is in northern Tanzania close to Arusha.

What sort of budget are you working with?
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Dec 11th, 2013, 08:38 AM
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I was pleased with Access2Tanzania. Their tour operators are in the US but their employee guides and own vehicles are in TZ. My trip report is here, access by clicking on my name.
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Dec 11th, 2013, 01:55 PM
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Best place from where to get a view of Kili is actually from Kenya at Amboseli... if she's not covered in clouds, as the lady can be shy and often gives you only a peek.

Samburu is way north of Nairobi, almost a 6/hr drive or a 1.15/hr flight. If visiting the Mara also would require a flight as you can't do a Samburu/Mara drive in 1/day; a stop somewhere would be required.

An alternative to the 10/hr drive between Mara/Serengeti via West/Isebania border crossing would be a flight, which cost is about $525/person. Price is about the same if an East crossing at JRO via NBO.
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Dec 11th, 2013, 09:13 PM
  #12
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Kath, Cath, Amyb, I have contacted both Serendipity, Access 2 Tanz, and Roys. Thanks

Sandi, wow that's a lot for a short flight. Would driving to Lake Victoria for a day, then to Masai make sense? Also, how far of a drive is it when leaving Masai for my flight home at JRO?

Rose, cool. Mine is still in the early stages yet. haha
Is that Sheldrick you are referring to?

Thanks to all again, Bill
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Dec 12th, 2013, 08:48 AM
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Bill - Internal African flights within a country or between are expensive. Unfortunately, you won't find the likes of a Spirit Airlines in East Africa Decisions to drive or fly is often based on how much time you wish to spend on rather nasty roads vs at minimum half that if flying.

Of course if driving you can o/n at Lake Victoria
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Dec 14th, 2013, 06:43 PM
  #14
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We would love to spend time having 1 or 2 genuine African experiences. We will be spending most our time in the Northern Tanzania loop. Can anyone give me any awesome places to go or things to do?
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Dec 14th, 2013, 06:47 PM
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Go to the N Crater.

regards - tom
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Dec 15th, 2013, 01:21 PM
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Thanks Cary, that's one of the places we are planning to go.

Maybe I should have been more specific. We are looking to spend several times in their villages or even their homes to really get to know their cultures and ways of life.
Thanks again, Bill
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Dec 19th, 2013, 07:27 PM
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"We are looking to spend several times in their villages or even their homes to really get to know their cultures and ways of life."

You may be able to visit the home or village of your guide if you make arrangements in advance.

Though I have not been, you may wish to try Esilalei Maasai Village, between Tarangire and Manyara or Makayuni for cultural experiences

A company that emphasizes culture is run by a Maasai--Warrior Trails. Check out all their cultural offerings in the link below. I have not used them but have heard good things and I've seen their vehicles out and about in Tanzania, sometimes with a couple of family members along.

http://www.warriortrails.com/Cultural%20Experiences.htm
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