help for safari

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Dec 30th, 2005, 04:14 AM
  #1
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help for safari

Hello

Am planning our honeymoon in June 2006 -
I am swamped by info and don't know what to do anymore - so many choices !
Have decided on ATR and tropical trails , anyone got good or bad thinsg to say about them - ATR is a lot more expensive is it worth it ?
Our route is :
Day 1 - Arrive JRO - arrive at Arusha 8.50 am - Moivaro lodge
Day 2 - Safari 1 - Kirurumu Tented Camp
Day 3 - Safari 2 - Olduvai tented camp
Day 4 - Safari 3 - Kirawira Camp (option with Migration)
Day 5 - Safari 4 - Mbuzi Mawe Tented Camp
Day 6 - Safari 5 - Ngorongoro serena
Day 7 - Safari 6 - Drive back to Arusha - Moivaro lodge

We want to avoid seran and sopa lodges and camp and have a real feeling of being in the bush - any ideas for serengeti ??

Thanks !!
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Dec 30th, 2005, 04:14 AM
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Sorry meant to say wanted to avoid Serena and sopa lodge and instead have a camping option
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Dec 30th, 2005, 04:51 AM
  #3
sandi
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To avoid Sopa and Serena (both in the Central Serengeti), you've been offered Kirawira and Mbuzi Mawe in the Western and Northcentral Serengeti, respectively - both ideal for this time of travel when the herds move though areas of these two particular camps. You don't need any others.

Migration Camp is lovely, but a bit out of the way for a June visit.

However, doing 1-day each at all your stops will be lots of driving, limiting your game viewing. You'll be departing each stop after breakfast... head to the next camp, arriving some hours later, just about in time for a late lunch, have an afternoon game drive, dinner, bed then up the next morning to repeat the next day throughout this itinerary.

Since the migrating herds are supposed to be in the Western Serengeti (when exactly in June are you traveling - later is better) I'd either do 2-days Kirawira or 2-days Mbuzi Mawe... not 1-day each. Prefer Kirawira (though the more expensive of the two) which is better situated and is nicer for your honeymoon.
 
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Dec 30th, 2005, 05:19 AM
  #4
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Hello

Thanks for your advice , it makes sense I am just trying to pack as much as possible into our trip!
We are flying out directly after our wedding beg of June so late June not an option unless we do zanzibar first which is not really the plan !
How much should I be paying per night for this sort of thing?
Anyone have a decent alternative to a serena lodge in Ngorongoro ??
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Dec 30th, 2005, 05:49 AM
  #5
sandi
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For begining of June, if last year was any example, the herds hadn't quite gotten to the Western Serengeti... so the Serena in the Central may actually be a better bet.

However, from year-to-year animal movement will vary depending on the rains and high grasses. We were at Kirawira and drove to the Central area to find the wildebeest herds, but the zebras were still way south on those plains... not till about 2-wks later did the wildies/zebra catch up and make it to the Western area. So it's a toss-up.

There are 4 lodges at Ngorongoro... Serena, Sopa and Wildlife - and the Crater Lodge, the later very very expensive, if even available. The Serena is the nicer of the three others.
 
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Dec 30th, 2005, 06:15 AM
  #6
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Thanks Sandi
That makes sense but we want to avoid the serena /sopa chain as much as possible - have been looking at places like Mbalageti Camp
instead ?
Crater lodge is very out of our budget ;-)
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Dec 30th, 2005, 08:59 AM
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I agree that your itinerary sounds like too much moving around with 5 one nighters in a row. Since your safari time is short, have you considered driving one way and flying back from the Serengeti? That would save you quite a bit of drive time and allow a more leisurely pace of travel. Where are you headed after Arusha - home, Zanzibar? You may not need the last night in Arusha depending on what time your onward flight departs. Likewise, you don't need your first night in Arusha either. You could head directly to Lake Manyara since your flight arrives JRO in the morning. I'm just trying to think of options to maximize your safari time and allow you time to settle in and enjoy the camps that you're paying $$$ for rather than rushing from camp to camp (otherwise you might as well save some money and stay at the Wildlife lodges )

Other than the 4 lodges at the crater rim, there are some accomodations near Karatu just outside of the conservation area. From here you'll have a longer drive to the crater floor, but if you want to check out the options, go to Eben's website and look at his lodge/camp pics and download his map of the NCA area - http://www.go-safari.com/NCA/nca.htm

Also see this thread - http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=34644982

Do you have a different itinerary from Tropical Trails? If so, can you post it? How much is this ATR itinerary?
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Dec 30th, 2005, 09:18 AM
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Sorry, it appears that Eben has the Karatu area lodges listed under the Lake Manyara section, so you'll need to go to this page rather than the one I gave you above to look at his pics - http://www.go-safari.com/Manyara/manyaralodges.htm

Look at the Plantation Lodge, Farm House, Kirafu, Octagon, and Gibbs.

But download both maps, NCA and Lake Manyara (if you have access to Google Earth), so you can get an idea of the relative location between these and the crater rim lodges. While you're at it, you might as well download all of his maps so you can see where Kirawira, Mbuzi Mawe, etc. are located too.
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Dec 30th, 2005, 09:28 AM
  #9
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Hi there

Our itinary is now looking like this
Day 1 - Arrive JRO - arrive at Arusha 8.50 am - Moivaro lodge
Day 2 - Safari 1 - Kirurumu Tented Camp
Day 3 - Safari 2 - Olduvai tented camp
Day 4 - Safari 3 - Kirawira Camp
Day 5 - Safari 4 -Kirawira Camp
Day 6 - Safari 5 - Olduvai tented camp
Day 7 - Safari 6 - fly to zanzibar

I will try and find someone to give me a quote for this !!

ATR quoted us $1750 for four nights 2 at olduvai and 2 at ronjo fly camp and then a couple of nights at gibbs farm at extra cost

TT quoted us 1490 for five nights
Day 1
Tarangire Tented Camp
Day 2
Kirurumu Luxury Tented Camp -
Day 3
Ikoma Bush Tented Camp
Day 4
Mbuzi Mawe Luxury Tented Camp.
Day 5
Ngorongoro Wildlife Lodge.

We are then going on to Zanzibar ..pongwe and dhow palace!!

Thanks for all the advice am still unsure if we are making the right decision and don't know who to go with ! I usually plan all my trips with a rough guide and am not used to booking through an operator !!

Thanks for the links - the photos are great - cant wait !!





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Dec 30th, 2005, 10:19 AM
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If you're planning to include Olduvai camp, you'll need to book directly with Tanganyika Expeditions as your ground operator or through one of their UK/US agents (ATR, Africa Dream Safaris, etc.) Other tour operators in Arusha won't be able to book this camp.

If you're not absolutely tied to Olduvai, that opens up the possibility of booking with other ground operators.
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Dec 30th, 2005, 10:36 AM
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Thanks for this information Patty - it looks lovely will have to check out Tanganyika Expeditions now !!!
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Dec 30th, 2005, 10:49 AM
  #12
sandi
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Though it will be a long flight to Africa, if arriving in the morning - I'm with Patty, no need to stay in Arusha... definitely head to Lake Manyara (Kirurumu). The drive is a little over 2-hrs on paved roads; once there you will have lunch, can then relax before your 4pm game drive.

Likewise, if Ngorongoro is your last stop, if you depart very early (it's about a 5-hr drive), you should be able to make an afternoon flight to Zanzibar, again avoiding an o/n in Arusha.

Eliminating these overnights in Arusha, you actually have 2-days more for safari.

Whatever you decide, be sure the accommodations you select are available for the days you want before putting down your deposit. This way if one or two camps aren't available, you can select alternatives then, check these... rather than being surprised afterwards and have to be scurrying around for replacements.

As to Mbalegeti and/or Kirawira, these will be the most expensive camps... not that much less than Crater Lodge.

Keep us posted.
 
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Dec 30th, 2005, 10:58 AM
  #13
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Ok , you've both convinced me thanks for the help - we will go straight to the safari camp from the flight!!

Ah , that is slightly over my budget i had them down as 450/500 .
Do you have any lower budget options but still in the migration area ? I have heard mixed reviews on Ikoma Bush Tented and Mbuzi Mawe Luxury Tented Camp??

Ps that Google earth thing is amazing !!! thank you so much
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Dec 30th, 2005, 11:34 AM
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parisbrit,

Instead of registering at a department store for your wedding gifts, perhaps you should register with the tour operator you pick!

You may have trouble, however, getting them to give the gift 60 days before the honeymoon!
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Jan 2nd, 2006, 01:00 AM
  #15
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Hi Rocco

Yes we thought about that but the only place that does it is Kuoni which is not really what we have in mind.

Happy new year everyone !!
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Jan 2nd, 2006, 11:08 PM
  #16
 
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Hello,

Hope you have a wonderful time on your honey moon to Tanzania. your choices look good. However, on the price without compromising the quality you may also check Anderock Tours and Safaris at www.anderocktours.com Zanzibar on you honey moon plan should be a must. Nothing compares to moon watching at night along the white-sanded beach of Zanzibar. Good luck and have lots of fun.
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Jan 3rd, 2006, 12:46 AM
  #17
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Thanks , it is the only thing keeping me going in this cold January !!

We are planning a week in zanzibar after the safari just to relax and look out onto the beautiful beaches ...can't wait
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