help me fill up the last days Kenya/tanzania

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Mar 8th, 2006, 05:00 AM
  #1
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help me fill up the last days Kenya/tanzania

hi, the good news is, the first 15 nights of holiday have been booked... and all but one night have been confirmed...
that would be
Nairobi-Arusha-Ngorongoro-Serengeti-Lake Eyasi-Tarangire-Arusha
The more stressing news is, still attempting to fill up the last few days... wanting it to be a highlight of our holiday...I firstly considered Zanzibar (beautiful places for budget prices-wanted to stay at Pongwe Beach), but I'm a bit afraid for the jellyfish and for all the horrorstories I heard about flying there and back. As well, I thought I might find it difficult being in Africa and having no more wildlife around So option 2 was to stay a few more days in Tanzania, but then in which parc ?? we already booked 2 safari closing nights in Arusha, so it would be silly to return to Lake Manyara (the "only" place we had skippped). An idea was West Kili, off the beaten path, but we'd like to have that extra bit of luxury those last nights.. or maybe not a bit we're looking for something intimate (for me), with swimming pool (for my boyfriend), and yeah, okay, I admit, really luxurious, a combination which could not be found in West Kili as far as I know. Then I fell onto a great lodge.. Shompole Lodge... but that one is a real killer in price... 455 USD per person per night all in.. and adding 750 USD for a private flight there... so does anybody have any alternatives we could consider ? (we are going in June 06 by the way)... i know i might be asking the impossible, but hey, one can only ask, no ?
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Mar 8th, 2006, 05:25 AM
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janischa:
If you are willing to reconsider Zanzibar, read the last segment of my report about Matemwe Bungalows--lovely, small, romantic, has small swimming pools. What horror stories did you hear about the flight? It was hot in the plane but that's about all. For your international departure are you flying out of Dar or Kili? If Kili then with only two nights I think you have to leave early on your last day but if Dar the flight goes out late afternoon so you can spend most of that day at the resort.
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Mar 8th, 2006, 06:07 AM
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ZNZ is a good option even for 2-nts. You can do the beach, or stay in Stone Town for some culture. A few of the hotels have pools. Consider the Serena Inn, which is a bit more expensive than Tembo, Dhow (both with pools) and E&G (w/o pool).

If departing on a KLM flight from Kili or Dar you can have a pretty full day, departng on late afternoon flight for these evening connections. If departing on BA, there is a very early flight from DAR with an even early flight from ZNZ specifically for this connection. If departing from NBO, at night, you can take the same late afternoon flight as you would if departing from JRO or DAR (these late flights from NBO can be on KLM, BA or others) - you'll have sufficient time to make these connections.

 
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Mar 8th, 2006, 09:12 AM
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Just a contribution... I'm not sure of your budget and you're probably better staying in Tanzania, I guess, but you're flying out from Nairobi right?

There is a two night flying package to this place advertised for $850. You could check it out for us!

http://www.denasendesigns.com/leopardlodge/index.html

Look at the "atmosphere" and "activities" page and you'll see they've got an interesting array of things to do and they have a pool for your DH.

We have chosen to stay at Elsa's Kopje and that'd perhaps be what you are after if you like the look of Shompole, but they may be charging high season prices by the end of June and I am not sure if they have packages..check it out with your operator; the flights to Meru are scheduled and so much cheaper than to places like Shompole.

In Tanzania I have been fascinated by this place for a while and finally have an excuse to bring it up
http://www.saadani.com/accommodation.php
Beach and game and a tented camp!
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Mar 8th, 2006, 09:31 AM
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How many days/nights do you have left to fill? Which airport are you departing from and what time is your flight? Ideally, how much would you like to spend?

Is the flight cost of $750 to Shompole one way per plane? From where?
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Mar 8th, 2006, 09:37 AM
  #6
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hi, thanks you all... bat, the idea I had was that flights are typically overbooked. but maybe I am wrong so I think I will have a look at Zanzibar again... kimburu, I have considered Saadani as well.. sounded like the ideal mix between beach and safari... also food for thought however, Saadani is quite difficult to reach, no ? i am afraid that the leopard lodge is not really my style.. the jacuzzi scared me off ...
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Mar 8th, 2006, 11:14 AM
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I'll throw a few ideas out there. How feasible they are will depend on where you're flying out of.

http://www.selous.com/sscoverview.htm

http://www.sand-rivers-selous.com/

http://www.richardbonhamsafaris.com/...wuas-lodge.htm

http://www.finchhattons.com/

http://www.chelipeacock.com/camps/elsas.htm

http://www.lewa.org/ilngwesi_lodge.php

Some of these may not cost that much less than Shompole but they do have the option of scheduled flights. All have a pool
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Mar 8th, 2006, 12:28 PM
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janischa,
I was on an overbooked flight from Zanzibar, but I think it's probably the exception rather than the rule.

In any case, the folks at Precision Air managed to get everyone to Nairobi by hook or by crook in time for the midnight flight back to London.

I didn't shout or freak out at amnyone and we still made it to NBO with plenty of time to spare.

Yes, I've had my eye on Saadani for quite some time too. I believe it's a four -hour drive (at least?) from Dar.

Good luck! I'm glad to hear that things are coming together so well.
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Mar 8th, 2006, 05:35 PM
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Wh is going to be the first to go to Saadani? Come on, we need to know more about this place before 2007!

janischa28... The pictures of the women in evening dress scared me off Leaopard Rock Lodge - even before I got to the jacuzzi, but I have a feeling it is actually neither as unnatural or as expensive as it tries to look. Another place that needs reporting on - and I will try to stop off for a drink there in December.
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Mar 8th, 2006, 10:23 PM
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am at the office at this moment, so could just have a quick look at your responses... jeezzzz, Patty, I just opened your first link.. the selous camp.. and it just looks gorgeous !!!!!!! if I have a break later this day, I'm going to search the net to find if I can find any prices... if anybody knows ? will be opening the other ones later... wow.. I'm drooling here i think i really am going to live on bread and water the coming few months.. just to get a few days of pure luxury
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Mar 9th, 2006, 12:51 AM
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That's the spirit!
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Mar 9th, 2006, 03:07 AM
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Patty, Il ngwesi seems like a good combination charming, but affordable
I found in a previous thread that you had considered going as well, but too difficult to get there ? After the Safari (Arusha) I was thinking going with the bus to Nairobi and there departing for the next. Do you have any idea how far il ngwesi is from nairobi ? I haven't managed to read up to who has actually already gone there.. you any idea ?
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Mar 9th, 2006, 07:19 AM
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Just from planning my own trip - not experience.

It is pretty isolated. It's probably three hours drive drive north from Nanyuki and you'd really have to fly to Lewa ($200+ return) and they will then transfer you by road; I am not sure if they charge for the transfer, because I never got quite that far with enquiries. Direct flights are possible only by charter. You can go by road but you'd apparently need a landcruiser or the like. I read two reports somewhere (sorry I can'r remember where, but if you do a web search you might get lucky) from people who had been there and one flew and the other flew to Lewa and then did a camel safari ending at Il N'gwesi, which sounded fantastic. Both reports were very positive. Patty? Found another way?
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Mar 9th, 2006, 08:12 AM
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janisha,
The reason we dropped Il Ngwesi from our itinerary was because Lewa was going to be closing for the short rains during the weeks we'd be in Kenya which meant that we couldn't drive through to Il Ngwesi and taking a scheduled flight wasn't an option either. We would've had to fly to Nanyuki and charter from there.

In late June, Lewa should be open(they close for the long rains too but I believe re-open sometime in May) and you should be able to take a scheduled flight from Nairobi and transfer to Il Ngwesi.

I wouldn't drive there from Nairobi for two reasons. It's a long way for a short stay and since their rates include game drives, it makes no sense to come with your own vehicle/guide.

Try contacting Let's Go Travel in Nairobi for a fly in quote. I believe they provided another poster here with a very good flying package rate staying at Il Ngwesi last year (I only wish they'd posted a report afterwards )

This was the only report I could find - http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=34480880
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Mar 11th, 2006, 12:18 AM
  #15
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I'm still trying to decide untill now I seem to have a slight preference for 2 nights Shompole (instead of 3) & strongly budgetting the remainder nights... but I'm still thinking of alternatives... the suggestions you've passed to me already seem quite good, but now I've got a new question, one that can only be answered by people who have actually stayed at/visited these lodges/camps. My personal dream has always been to be able to shower (in open air) and to see an elephant pass by (or any other large animal ... Maybe it's a fantasy not really realistic (unless you go for the suite), but I was hoping you guys could tell me where this might be possible anyway in a regular room... be it in Kenya or in Tanzania (in our original itinary last days we'd end in Arusha, and from there go to Nairobi and from there short safari Kenya, but this can be changed) also it's not an option to go back to Ngorongoro, Serengeti, or Tarangire..
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Mar 11th, 2006, 08:36 AM
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Janischa,
It would be nice to have a report from Porini
http://www.porini.com/gamewatchers/eselenkei.html
I don’t know if the showers are open air though. I had an open air shower at Basecamp Masai Mara, but I shower at night so I wouldn’t have seen an elephant had it been there. At Tarhi Camp, Tsavo East there was an opening between the roof and wall of the canvas bathroom and, if I were a daytime showerer, I’d probably have seen an elephant. Dennis “Matnikstym” had an elephant encounter while showering in Zambia, but it gave him stomach problems. On the Shompole website it looks like you’ll have good bathroom views. BTW the road to Magadi is probably the best road in Kenya and Shompole isn’t that far away. Magadi is very, very hot though – and I was there in the beginning of July.
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Mar 12th, 2006, 03:28 AM
  #17
 
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Showering in the open air often comes free at the budget end of the accommodation scale! Elephants walking past might be tricky though ...

Great dream - me too.

Posting really just to say please reconsider Zanzibar. It is a wonderful place and there's something to be said for seeing a side to Africa that doesn't rest solely on the charm of the animals. Stonetown is fascinating - the Swahili culture is confined to that stretch of E African coast between Lamu and somewhere south of Zanzibar. It's unique. As for the coast, well, if you stay somewhere close to a working beach community, then just walking the beach makes the visit worthwhile. You can always swim in the pool.

I just loved my 2 visits there.

All the best.
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Mar 12th, 2006, 09:59 AM
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Hi Nyamera

I stayed at Amboseli Porini for one week in July 2005 (they now have a Mara Porini too).

It is a very small, private and comfortable camp, off the beaten path. Although game can be found around the camp (Selenkay Conservancy), you have to be very patient as the animals are very skittish and not habituated to humans.

It is a 90 minute drive to Amboseli from the camp via a private road, which is a game drive itself (through the conservancy). This is why the camp always arranges a full day game drive, when visiting Amboseli (with picnic lunch). Night-game drives are allowed in the conservancy.

Sorry, but no open-air showers at Porini. Let me know if you want more info.

Gaurang
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Mar 12th, 2006, 12:48 PM
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Thanks Gaurang. Did you use Porini’s transfer from Nairobi? What animals did you see around camp? I’m not planning staying at Porini, but I would like to know everything.
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Mar 12th, 2006, 01:24 PM
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Hi Nyamera

Yes, I used Porini's transfer service (a safari van), that took about 3-4 hours from Nairobi. I never actually saw any big game from the camp grounds, but did see lots of birds. The animals were very scared of humans and vehicles. The only people in that whole area are the guests and staff (mainly Maasai) at Porini. One evening, we had a visit from a small snake in the mess-tent, but the Maasai got rid of it before I could identify it. You can also hear lion and hyena from the camp at night.

During game-drives in the conservancy we saw lion, gerenuk, kudu, giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, porcupine, white-tailed mongoose, bat-eared fox and many others, including the raptors. We had to work hard for our sightings which made us appreciate them more . I think the gerenuk is very hard to find in Kenya, unless you are in Samburu.

We did not see any elephants, cheetah, leopard or buffalo in the conservancy as there was a strangling draught at the time (although they can be found there).

Plenty of elephant, buffalo and lion were found at Amboseli, as well as cheetah due to the permanent water sources .

It is such a peaceful and remote camp....somewhere you would go if you wanted to just sit down and write a novel...

I hope this helps
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