Help! New issues ATR or ACC for safari?

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Mar 28th, 2006, 07:02 AM
  #1
cwn
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Help! New issues ATR or ACC for safari?

OK, I'm back. This is a long post, but I have several questions. Thought we had a safari we liked given our short time. The whole story was posted on a Gurmeti or Migration Camp thread earlier. I told Roy's and ART I would get back after we got home from a trip tp Disneyworld with grandkids.

OK, I had lots of time to think while traveling. I was begining to wonder about the flight from Klien field to Kilimanjaro-seemed like a long flight, is it a small plane I truly hate small plans (6-8 seats).

My new idea is ....7/13 Fly Dar to Kilimnajaro(Precision Air), drive to Gibbs for night of 7/13, drive somewhere Central Serengeti for night of 7/14, drive back to Ngorongoro Crater for nights(2) of 7/15 & 16, drive to day room for night flight home-Kilimanjaro airport 7/17 and have only the flight Dar to Arusha 7/13. I love the idea of Migration Camp, but maybe that is pushing it, then there is the flight-anyone done this flight?

Now I have been reading Roocco's ATR experience!! Looked at our plan from ATR, they are saying a Land Cruiser up front, but we would want a decent car and good guide too. My Husband likes ATR better-can use credit card, price was same except for ~$120 credit card fee.

Just now, I had the following email from AfricaCC. They had sent a fly in, out, using the camp drives, itenerary frist. I requestted a private driving iteneray-the same one I gave the others and this is the reply!

FROM ACC....."There are several issues with your itinerary. CC Africa does not use Precision Air as we have had bad experiences in the past, as they have cancelled flights and changed flight times without informing the guests. If you want to book this flight you will need to do so as we cannot take this responsibility. The better option would be thwe regional flight departing Dar at 4:15 and arriving at Arusha at 6:05."

"You will need 2 nights at the Crater and then one in the Serengeti."

"Itinerary
July 13 - afternoon flight Dar to Kilimanjaro - Precision - flight departs at 13:30 and arrives JRO at 14:40 or - Regional - departs at 4:15 and arrives Arusha at 6:05. Overnight in Arusha.

July 14 - drive to Ngorongoro Crater Lodge

July 15 - day on the Crater floor

July 16 - drive to Migration Camp (a little central for this time of the year) or Klein's Camp.

July 17 - flight to Kilimanjaro, day room"

SO is the precision flight not a good bet?ART's itinerary depends on getting to Gibbs on the 13th! But I do like the idea of a full day (6 hours I guess) on Crater floor and some time to savor the Lodge.

After reading Roocco's report I would like to have the time to enjoy the NCLodge and have a full 6 hours on the floor. But we also want to see a bit of the Serengeti. I realize that the migration is out of the equation with our limited time, but do want to see some animals.

Can anyone enlighten me Precision Air, flight/plane from Klien to Arusha, AfricaCC itinerary, a site in Central Serengeti and my new version?

Plannimg is half the fun, I think!!!





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Mar 28th, 2006, 09:46 AM
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With your fear of flying, the Serengeti is too far away for one night. The Gibbs Farm stop is really a waste of time! You want to see wildlife, right?

The combination of Ngorongoro, Tarangire and even Lake Manyara will offer plenty of wildlife.

7/13 - Arrive in Arusha and drive to Tarangire (if you arrive late you can stay at Tarangire River Camp just outside the gate. You can see wildlife from the camp and it is much better than Gibbs)
7/14 - Tarangire
7/15 - Ngorongoro
7/16 - Ngorongoro
7/17 - drive to Kilimanjaro with a 3-hour detour in Lake Manyara)
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Mar 28th, 2006, 09:51 AM
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cwn,

I don't want to rain on your parade, but that is an incredible amount of ground to cover in so short a time period. If there is any possible way you are able to add a couple nights, it would make for a much more pleasant experience. It seems like a shame to visit the Serengeti for only one night.

Just for your information, if you bumped up your trip to late May, you would be able to get the Ngorongoro Crater Lodge for $320 per person per night, INCLUDING game drives with CCAfrica!

You should really weigh your different options. I do think that CCAfrica is an excellent company and there is also the Tanzania Under Canvas option to consider. If you were to combine Crater Lodge with a few nights of Tanzania Under Canvas, your price gets even better per night.

I would suggest an itinerary, as follows, if you can do it in late May:

Arusha Coffee Lodge (1)
Ngorongoro Crater Lodge (2)
Tanzania Under Canvas in Serengeti (3)

You are looking at a rack rate of $465 per person per night for Tanzania Under Canvas and only $305 per person per night for Crater Lodge, plus the cost of Arusha Coffee Lodge and the transfers.

Good luck.
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Mar 28th, 2006, 11:23 AM
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cwn
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Thanks Guys for the fast replys.

Eben, As you know I poured over your great maps on the first go round. The Gibbs stop was just to get us closer to the Crater on the 13th as we will arrive in Arusha late that day either about 4 or 6pm. So any distance we travel that night, will put us arriving after dark. But it will allow us to arrive at game sites earlier the next day.

I am having a real hard time letting go of the desire to see the Serengeti even for just a night. We will have traveled 6100 km from South Africa, not to mention Texas, so it seems like such a waste not to do it. I will go back a reread some of the reports from Tanangire, but the dry conditions at Lake Manyara per Roccco's report seem to make it less than wonderful.

I don't mind flying, just the small planes (unless my husband is flying)!

What type of plane does Regional Air use for the Dar to Arusha and the hops around the parks. I can't get that part of their web site to come up. Is there a problem with Precision keeping their schedule?

Roccco, Sorry I misspelled your name. Thanks for your great trip report. I am enjoying the story and your great pictures! You do have me concerned about ATR though! Tracey (ATR) has been so heplful and worked hard to come up with what we think we want. CCAfrica seems like a good company, but we want a private drive safari. They have just come back with this version, so I now have questions mainly about the airlines since our schedule is so thight and depends on us gtting from Dar to Arusha in a timely fashion.

Unfortunately our time is locked in. We will be doing the Rovos Rail (6/30-7/13) trip and ending in Dar. We have always wanted to see the Serengeti so decided to do this short trip on the end before heading home. My husband can only be out of the office for 15 business days at a time so we only have these days at this time. We say all the time we do not want to ever say "we should have do that at the time" so...

I know it is not the best time of year price wise, but it is what we have. And we are so.... close, I am determined to make it work. I definitely want to stay at NCLodge and do a private safari and make the most of our four nights and days. So we are working with that for our plan.

Did you fly any? What type of planes did you have?
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Mar 28th, 2006, 12:10 PM
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In that case Gibbs Farm is still not the best option!

Farm House is better located for an early start.

The airlines don't use the same plane! But it looks something like this:

http://www.airkenya.com/docs/regairabout.htm

or the 3rd picture here:
http://www.go-safari.com/Serengeti/s...iairstrips.htm

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Mar 28th, 2006, 12:13 PM
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cwn:
Our flight out of the serengeti (seronera airstrip) was a 12 seater.
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Mar 28th, 2006, 12:29 PM
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cwn,
According to Precision Air's website, they use an ATR 72 on the flight between Dar and Kilimanjaro. This aircraft seats anywhere from 68-74 passengers depending on how the airline has configured the aircraft.

I don't know what specific aircraft Regional uses but I believe they're much smaller.

I'm not sure what Precision Air's general reliability/on time record is like. We've only flown them once between Nairobi and Kilimanjaro and our flight departed 15 minutes early (there were only 4-5 passengers on our ATR 42 and we were all on board already).
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Mar 28th, 2006, 12:31 PM
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cwn
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Thanks- Guess I may have to take a chill pill!!

Eben thanks for the Regional Link. I got it to work. I don't see anything on their schedule about a flight Dar to Arusha? Is that the same small plane?
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Mar 28th, 2006, 12:36 PM
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The number of pax may depend on the number needing transport for any particular route. Can be 12, 19, 30+.

Agreen with Eben that Farmhouse would be a better bet, but for the fact that you may arrive late...even with an earlier flight, the drive from Arusha to almost Ngorongoro is 4+ hours.
 
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Mar 28th, 2006, 12:36 PM
  #10
cwn
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Thanks Patty,

ATR is willing to book Precision, AfricaCC will not! I still have to get the quote from AfricaCC if I like their safari, but am not sure it is worth it. I have to back to ATR to change to 2 days at NCLodge so I want them both pricing the same trip if possible.
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Mar 28th, 2006, 12:43 PM
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cwn
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Sandi, Thanks for the post. Guess that is why ATR didn't recommend it, but gave Gibbs. I agree that a four hour drive will put us too late probably even with a 3:10 arrival on Precision. I am thinking though that it might be just as well to go on to some central camp or lodge then back to NCLodge for two days and end our time in Africa on a grand stay!
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Mar 28th, 2006, 12:59 PM
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Sorry to reply late: this is the Precision Air flight from Nairobi - Kili - Dar and Viça versa.

http://clubs.wanadoo.co.uk/picvault/...FFGA1raW7T.jpg

Hope that helps. We drove from Arusha to Ngorongoro leaving at about 9.am and arrive +/- 2pm for crater descent after a lunch stop - great journey too on good road.

Matt
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Mar 28th, 2006, 01:21 PM
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cwn,
Are you now thinking of driving to the Serengeti from Kilimanjaro airport on 7/13? I don't think you have enough time to get there even if taking the earlier Precision Air flight from Dar.
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Mar 28th, 2006, 01:22 PM
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The Matt photo is the big plane which flies some routes - usually NBO/JRO or ZNZ/NBO. The photo Eben shows (surprised when I saw it again, and it is my photo) is what I've seen on the routes between Arusha, Manyara, Seronera, Grumeti. Again, still depends on number of passengers... sometimes if lots of pax, they send two or even three small 19-seaters, especially leaving Seronera/Central.
 
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Mar 28th, 2006, 01:26 PM
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Yep, that photo is taken from my Tanzania photo journal - we boarded at Jomo Kenyatta - had a flypast of Kili and were only 2 of 4 to exit - then it flew on to Dar. Sure beats waiting in line at the visa counter after a direct KLM flight.

Matt
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Mar 28th, 2006, 01:33 PM
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cwn,
Given your time constraints, I'm just gonna say it: you have to fly (to or from the Serengeti--that's what I'd choose). Smallish plane, biggish plane, whatever.

Look on the bright side. After all that time on a train, flying will be a nice change of pace.
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Mar 28th, 2006, 01:55 PM
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If you look at my map here you can see that Gibbs Farm is a long way up a bad dirt road. When it gets dark, it is better to stay on the main highway where the Farm House is located!

You will probably get to the Farm House sooner than Gibbs as you have to go really slow on that dirt road.

http://www.go-safari.com/images/NCA.jpg

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Mar 28th, 2006, 02:16 PM
  #18
cwn
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Thanks everyone for all the comments.

Matt- that ATR 72 is the aircraft that is listed for the Precision Air flight Dar to Kilimanjaro. I don't have a problem with it-simlar in size to what I flew as a kid(many, many years ago). It is the really small planes that brother me- sort of an air sickness. Guess you didn't have any problems with Precision's flight-timing etc.

Patty- I'm was thinking we might spend 7/13 at Gibbs. Then the next morning drive on to Serena. Then come back to NCLodge for the last two nights.

Leely, yea I know, you are probably right. But I need to try. If we are going to have to fly a really small bird, then I think I want it on the front end though, so I won't ruin my trip fretting over it.

When we go diving, I always get a little nutty over the first dive, breaking the 30 foot level is always a pain for me the first dive of a trip. Drives my husband crazy, but then I can out last him the rest dive so he forgives me!

Thanks again eveyone. Of course this would never have come up if AfricaCC hadn't made that comment. Maybe Roccco hepled a little with his "car issues". Having never been to Africa, and wanting to see everything of course, I am having trouble with a final plan. Too many options!
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Mar 28th, 2006, 04:22 PM
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cwn,

Perhaps it would be best to save the Crater for another time and enjoy a longer visit to the Serengeti?
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