Help!!! I need this itinerary reviewed!!!

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Mar 25th, 2005, 08:18 AM
  #1
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 44
Help!!! I need this itinerary reviewed!!!

As I know nothing about this part of the world and have immense repsect for the opinions of this forums' more knowledgaeble folk, I'd love to have the following itinereary reviewed for a Tanzania trip this June.

day 1 Arrive and stay at the Arusha Coffee Lodge

day 2/3 Fly to Serengeti and stay at Migration Camp (or Kirawira)

day 4/5 Drive to Mbuzi Mawe (near Serengeti Serena)

day 6/7 Fly to Manyara and stay at Lake Manyara Tree Lodge

day 8/9 Drive to the Crater Lodge

day 10/11 Drive to Tarangire Tree Tops.

day 12 - Drive back to Arusha then fly home.

Is this too ambitious? Help!!!

cookndoc is offline  
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Mar 25th, 2005, 12:34 PM
  #2
sandi
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cookndoc -
Not too ambitious, but I'd suggest some "tweaking."

I assume you're arriving late (from the States?), and leaving early next morning for the Serengeti - I'd pick a hotel closer to the Arusha airport then the Coffee Lodge. If I recall, this hotel is a bit of a drive back to airport, and if all you're doing is catching a few hours sleep..........
However, Arusha Coffee Lodge is well worth it if you'd be taking a day to catch up on any jetlag. Wake up when you feel like it, arrange for a cultural tour in Arusha, have a leisurely lunch. Then head out the next day, well rested and not feeling so rushed.

In June, you're best at Kirawira in the Western Serengeti. Migration camp is in the Northeast area, and out of range of the migrating herds. I'd also go for at least 3-days here.

From W.Serengeti you can drive to the Central area for 1-nt. And instead of flying to Manyara for 2-days, then drive back 2-1/2 hrs to the Crater, drive from Central Serengeti, via Oldupai Gorge to the Crater Lodge.

From the Crater Lodge you can head to Lk. Manyara, but realize that Tree Lodge is at the farthest end of this park. While a lovely property, I'd rather spend time at Tarangire at Treetops or Swala Camp if you can get the latter.

Most people here, know I have this thing about going back and forth and that's what you'd be doing with Lk, Manyara back to Crater then forward to Tarangire.

I'd suggest:

Day 1 - Arv. Arusha - o/n Coffee Lodge
Day 2 - Arusha - cultural tour, sightseeing - o/n Coffee Lodge
Day 3 - Early fly to W.Serengeti - o/n Kirawira
Day 4 - Kirawira
Day 5 - Kirawira
Day 6 - Drive to Central Serengeti - o/n Mbuzi Mawe (though I'm not sure about this camp). Do a search on this board, as there were recent comments and I seem to recall they weren't that favorable.
Day 7 - Drive via Oldupai to Ngorongoro Crater - o/n Crater Lodge
Day 8 - Crater - tour - o/n Crater Lodge
Day 9 - Drive to Lk. Manyara - I'd pick another camp other than Tree Lodge, only due to how far you have to drive thru the park to get to it... have to think of another property here. Hey, even the Serena here is fine. Input is welcome, my mind is blank right now.

Day 10 - Drive to Tarangire - o/n Treetops or Swala Camp
Day 11 - Tarangire - o/n Treetops or Swala
Day 12 - Return drive to Arusha.

Note: There are few camps in the Western Serengeti - Kirawira and Grumeti River which are both expensive; for more moderate, there is Mbalageti Camp. And if you haven't yet booked, I wouldn't hold off for too long.

Hope this helps. Let's see what others have to say.
 
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Mar 25th, 2005, 01:44 PM
  #3
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
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Arusha Coffee Lodge is next to Arusha Airport so it is a good place to stay the night before your flight to Seronera. It is a very nice place - the only true coffee plantation hotel in Arusha.

At night it is an hour drive from Kilimanjaro Airport but in the right direction - West!

How are you getting to Arusha?

Not sure if you are going in early June or late June so it is hard to predict if Migration Camp or Kirawira is the better option. In June it is not uncommon to book both places in the hope of seeing the migration - but they are in the trees near the Migration camp and you have to drive north and NW to see them in mass!

Since you are staying at CCAfrica properties, try Grumeti Camp as you will get a discount for the 3 property stay! Grumeti is also less touristy than Kirawira (which is part of the Serena chain and used by packaged outfitters). You will hear the wildlife at night at Grumeti but not at Kirawira!

Not sure why you selected Mbuzi Mawe? I don't know it but will visit it this June myself just to check it out! One night here should be good after 2 or 3 nights to the west.

I agree with Sandi about driving back to the Crater and then Manyara/Tarangire.

The Tree Lodge is about 2 hours into the park and better suited for a 2-night stay. It is a lovely place and should be enjoyed rather than used as a rest stop. For one night stays, other options include a Serena just outside the park, Kirurumu and E Unoto are a bit further away.

2 nights in Tarangire are good and I am a fan of the Treetops especially if you look for a romantic stay with your significant other!
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Mar 25th, 2005, 06:30 PM
  #4
 
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Some excellent advice. Just one observation from me on your crater accommodations. If you want very fancy, and don't mind expensive, then Crater Lodge fits the bill.

Serena or Sopa are not as fancy and they don't have personal butlers. But they are a bit less costly. I've only stayed at Sopa, which does have its own road into the crater, and found it to be lovely. Serena, I believe, is similar in quality.

Have a great trip.
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Mar 26th, 2005, 08:52 AM
  #5
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This is great advice!!! Thanks!! But some of the plans revolved around the Crater Lodge which has availability only on the nights we're there. Comments?
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Mar 26th, 2005, 10:10 AM
  #6
 
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Then enjoy the butler and the pampering, and of course the view. You'll experience not only the spectacular crater, but a few days in the lap of luxury.
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