help planning Sept safari

Jan 29th, 2009, 05:47 AM
  #21  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 665
We just booked a safari - Tanzania - with OAT as they are having a huge sale right now good until the end of Jan. We also opted for the post trip to Zanzibar for 5 days. Our dates are Sept 10-27. This will be our 5th trip with OAT - we highly recommend them. They offer 4 safaris but we chose the SAFARI SERENGETI trip, with the post-trip to Zanzibar.

It will cover all that you want to see.

Here is a link to the info:

http://www.oattravel.com/gcc/general...ocation=search

When I spoke to them on Sunday, they had space for one more couple. Feel free to ask me any questions. I believe they cap the size of this group at around 14 pax.
wanderlust5 is offline  
Feb 1st, 2009, 07:40 PM
  #22  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 15
Here are the 2 choices I am currently considering:

Option 1 - I am considering cutting out day 10 to save $ mostly.

For Option 2 - Any suggestions on days to cut out? I don't think we are going to be able to spend 20 days. Do we need 5 days in the Serengeti if we are going to the Mara?

I appreciate this forum's help with everything. Any suggestions on the 2 options and which accommodations would be preferred?
Thanks.

2 0 0 9

Day 1 - Arrive JRO; met and transfer to Arusha for overnight (o/n) - African Tulip, Serena Mountain Village, Kibo Palace or Impala Hotel (BB)

Day 2 - Arusha - full-day visit to Arusha National Park, for walking and canoe safaris - o/n African Tulip, Serena Mountain Village, Kibo Palace or Impala Hotel (BL)

Day 3 - Drive (2/hrs) to Tarangire NP, known for a mini-migration between mid-June/October with large herds of elephants, zebra, predators, birdlife and the amazing baobab tree landscape - o/n Sopa Lodge, Tarangire Safari Lodge or Tarangire River Camp (FB)

Day 4 - Tarangire - morning, afternoon or full-day game drive - o/n Sopa Lodge, Tarangire Safari Lodge or Tarangire River Camp (FB)

Day 5 - Drive (2.5-3/hrs) to Ngorongoro Crater; afternoon crater tour - o/n Sopa or Serena Lodges (FB)

Day 6 - Ngo - option: morning crater tour; w/picnic lunch drive via Oldupai Gorge w/stop at site and small museum; continue game drive (2.5-3/hrs) to Central/Seronera area of the Serengeti, where with year-round water there is game that doesn't migrate - o/n Serena Lodge or Mbuzi Mawe Camp (FB)

Day 7 - Seronera - morning, afternoon or full-day game drive - o/n Serena Lodge or Mbuzi Mawe Camp (FB)

Day 8 - Drive (3.5/hrs) south thru the Serengeti to Lake Manyara; afternoon game drive - o/n Serena Lodge or Kirurumu Camp (FB)

Day 9 - Lk. Manyara - morning game drive; drive (2.5/hrs) to Arusha for 1:45pm flight to Wilson (domestic) airport in Nairobi; met and transfer for overnight - Intercontinental or Fairview Hotels (B)

Day 10 - Nairobi; morning of sightseeing to visit: Karen Blixen Museum, Giraffe Center, Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage; lunch at The Carnivore (meat) or Tamarind (fish/seafood) or other as you wish; visit Kazuri Beads or Utamaduni Crafts - o/n Intercontinental or Fairview Hotels (BL)

Day 11 - Transfer to Wilson for flight (1/hr) to Masai Mara; met and with game drive
transfer to lodging; lunch; afternoon game drive - o/n Serena, Keekorok Lodges, Main
Governor's or Kichwa Tembo (classic tents) Camps (FB)

Days 12, 13 & 14 - Masai Mara; morning and afternoon game drives daily; visit to Masai Manyatta/village (fee: $20-25/person) can be arranged; option: hot-air balloon safari - o/n Serena, Keekorok Lodges, Main Governor's or Kichwa Tembo (classic tents) Camps (FB)

Day 15 - Transfer to airstrip for 11am flight to Wilson; met and transferred to day-room at Intercontinental or Fairview Hotels; evening transfer to NBO/JKIA for homebound flight. (B)

Exclusive use of vehicle/guide in Tanzania
Exclusive use of vehicle in Nairobi, Kenya
Seat in shared camp/lodge vehicle/guide on safari in Kenya


Option 2:




DAY 1
Arrive at Kilimanjaro International Airport - Collection via Base Camp and transfer to the L'Oasis - Lodge and Restaurant or Outpost Lodge.

DAY 2
Tarangire National Park, is the first National park on our safari, after an early start we drive to and enter this park famous for its many Elephants and Bao Bab trees. • Game Driving until dusk. • We camp just outside the park, close enough to go to sleep listening to the sounds of the African night
DAY 3
Full day game driving in Tarangire NP – overnight camp.
DAY 4
Full day game driving in Tarangire NP – overnight camp.
DAY 5
Ngorongoro Crater is a world heritage site! • We spend the maximum of six hours allowed game driving in this the worlds largest Caldera (collapsed volcano) • amongst the circa 30,000. resident animals
DAY 6
Ngorongoro Crater is a world heritage site! • We spend the maximum of six hours allowed game driving in this the worlds largest Caldera (collapsed volcano) • amongst the circa 30,000. resident animals
DAY 7
Serengeti National Park is our destination today!• the most famous of all wildlife sanctuary’s in Africa! • and home to the largest migration of wildlife in Africa. • We enter and Game Drive our way to camp near Seronera River inside the park
DAY 8
A full days sheer pleasure in the Serengeti National Park, game Driving • Camp at Seronera campsite

DAY 9 A full days sheer pleasure in the Serengeti National Park, game Driving • Camp at Seronera campsite

DAY 10
A full days sheer pleasure in the Serengeti National Park, game Driving • Camp at Seronera campsite

DAY 11
A full days sheer pleasure in the Serengeti National Park, game Driving • Camp at Seronera campsite

DAY 12
A full days sheer pleasure in the Serengeti National Park, game Driving • Camp at Seronera campsite

DAY 13 11:00 FLIGHT FROM Serengeti to Arusha – overnight L'Oasis - Lodge and Restaurant or Outpost Lodge.

DAY 14 SUGGEST REST & LAUNDRY DAY HERE. overnight L'Oasis - Lodge and Restaurant or Outpost Lodge

DAY 15 Shuttle to Nairobi – meet and overnight
Then:


DAY 16: Arrival day in Nairobi: Arrive by shuttle bus at Boulevard. Overnight at the hotel - bed and breakfast. http://sentrim-hotels.com/boulevard.html

Highlights: This safari brings you to this game reserve which supports the largest diversity of species in Africa with close visit to homeland of the Masai, a proud cattle-herding tribe. This is where the sight of a predator in action can never be forgotten.

DAY 17: NAIROBI - MASAI MARA. Pick up from your hotel at 0800hrs and depart for Maasai Mara Game Reserve, the northern part of the Serengeti and one of Kenya's most favored game-viewing areas. The reserve covers 700 square miles of magnificent wilderness. It is the Africa of the imagination; endless reaches of acacia-dotted grasslands studded with hazy hills. Lunch at the camp or lodge, followed by afternoon game.


Dinner and overnight at the Safe Ride Manyatta Campsite or luxury lodge. http://www.wildernesslodges.co.ke/keekorok_info.html; http://www.sopalodges.com/masai-mara/home.html; http://www.marasimba.com/section.asp?ID=2; http://www.basecampexplorer.com/masaimara/en ; http://www.sarovahotels.com/mara/index.php

*Please find more details about our budget camping accommodation at Mara -
DAY 18: MASAI MARA. Full day game drive. Picnic lunch will be served.

The Mara is the land of African legend: Lion are abundant throughout the park, as are the elephants, giraffes, and a variety of gazelle species and zebra. Cheetah and leopard are also regularly seen and, less commonly, rhino. The annual wildebeest migration, one of nature's few remaining wildlife spectacles, occurs in the Mara from July thru September where the big animals and their predators are to be present in abundance during the time frame of this trip. Several species of Bee-Eater, the flying rainbow that heads the list of the Mara's birds, occur in the reserve.
As well as wildlife, the Maasai Mara is also home to many members of the colorful Maasai tribe who may be seen around the borders of the park - Morans (warriors) loping across the plains, young boys herding goats, or elders grouped under a tree discussing matters of the day.

Dinner and overnight at the Campsite or lodge.

DAY 19: MASAI MARA NAIROBI. Morning game drive. After breakfast game drive enroute back to Nairobi. Lunch enroute. Arrival in Nairobi is in the afternoon with brief stops to view the great rift valley. On arrival you will dropped at your hotel.

DAY 20: NAIROBI. Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer back to the airport at appropriate time for your flight.

photowannabe is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2009, 04:07 AM
  #23  
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,354
I wonder if you understand what you are getting with option 2? If yes, then we can offer some itinerary ideas.

In Tanzania it is most probably very basic camping using public camp sites with a budget outfitter. You will be traveling with your cook in a standard older vehicle with all your camping equipment and charcoal!

Much of your time will be spent loading/unloading the vehicle and setting camp.

Do you really want cold showers and very dirty bathrooms? Where are you going to charge your camera batteries (since you are interested in photography)?

Here are some pictures of what you can expect.
http://www.go-safari.com/NCA/SimbaA.htm
climbhighsleeplow is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2009, 05:05 AM
  #24  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 15
Thanks Eben. I did not know what to expect with this. I knew the price was less than almost anything else that I have found and the company has been recommended here. Do you have suggestions for lodging on options 1?
photowannabe is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2009, 05:35 AM
  #25  
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,354
Option 1 in Tanzania is a very standard and popular itinerary chosen by the majority of visitors. Your lodging is considered standard too. Comfortable and safe.

The trip out to the Mara is a bit above standard (because you are flying not driving!).

I would not recommend driving out and back to the Serengeti on your itinerary because you are indeed going to the Mara!

It may be better to shorten your stay a bit and use the savings to upgrade your accommodations, or stay longer in the Mara, and so on.

Other than this, it is tough to comment without knowing your budget. Can you share that?
climbhighsleeplow is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2009, 07:28 PM
  #26  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 15
We are trying to stay under $5000 per person. We are very close to that if we cut out day 10 in Nairobi. We are flying in some of the areas to avoid long, bumpy car rides. I know we are likely to have plenty of those on the game-viewing days already and my wife gets motion sickness easily.
photowannabe is offline  
Feb 4th, 2009, 03:57 PM
  #27  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440
I like your option #1 and agree that Day 10 is the most expendable if you need to save $$. You have been given a variety of accommodations. Can you ask for the least expensive of those and see how close to $5k you are?
atravelynn is offline  
Feb 4th, 2009, 07:49 PM
  #28  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 15
Option 1 is from the US affiliate of Roy's. Several of the Fodorites here have recommended them. They gave me each of the options with the prices for each choice. The price difference is not much from one place to the next. Are there any of these camps/lodges that are significantly closer to the action than others? Or that are significantly nicer than others?

Thanks again.
photowannabe is offline  
Feb 14th, 2009, 08:52 AM
  #29  
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 36
Hi Photowannabe,

We are just back from Tanzania and had a fabulous time. We took a chance and booked with a safari company no one recommended to us and were extremely happy with them. The company is Tontu Safaris. Two friends, John and Ernest, decided to start their own safari company and now have 10 vehicles and many years of guiding. We went to the Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti but were able to customize our tour, as we were the only people in the vehicle. We stayed at the Sopa Lodges in both locations (very nice) and got a chance to learn about tribal culture (in Manyara and a Masai village). John was our driver. He is one of the sweetest, kindest people we've ever met. His only agenda was for us to have the time of our lives. His knowledge of the wildlife, strategic driving, and eagle eyes resulted in us getting amazing photographs and learning more than we could have anticipated about the wildlife. The price was very affordable and John went out of his way to help us with other aspects of our trip (e.g., airport transfer, storage of our Kilimanjaro climbing gear, finding us a different hotel in Arusha than the one I selected). We were sad to say good-bye to John. As he said, "We are like family now." Ernest, his partner located in Dar, worked with me via email to make arrangements for the trip. We highly recommend them. If you want to check them out, you can go to www.tontusafaris.com or email ernest at [email protected]. If you want to see some of our photos, you can go to: http://www.kodakgallery.com/ShareLan..._USphotographs, Just remember, we are not professional photographers. For a brief safari, we got some great shots. With your choice of locations, you will probably see everything you want to see. Best of luck in planning your trip. We had the time of our lives.
hopester is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2009, 05:34 PM
  #30  
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 57
We used Roys Safaris for our week long safari last September. It was our first safari and, like you, I was very interested in photographing the wildlife. I can highly recommend Roys - they provided excellent service for both our Kili climb and safari.

We too hoped to see some of the migration. We planned several days in the Northern Serengeti with hopes of driving to the river border. When we arrived at the Lobo Wildlife Lodge in the north, we were told that there was no activity at the river. I think the migration can be unpredictable, so there is no way to know what it does year to year, but apparently last September there were not many crossings. We did however, see a fairly large herd of wildebeest stragglers in the Northern Serengeti.

Of the lodges you are looking at, I stayed in the Tarangire Sopa, Kirurumu Tented Lodge, Serengeti Serena, and Ngorongoro Serena. They were all wonderful, had excellent food, and beautiful locations. I thoroughly enjoyed them. My personal favorite was the Serengeti Serena Lodge. It had great atmosphere and there were hornbills everywhere. We had excellent game drives in the Central Serengeti/Seronera area. The Tarangire Sopa also had lots of wildlife on the grounds, including vervet monkeys, hyraxes, and agama lizards.

Lake Manyara was a nice park, but, if you are pressed for time, I don't know if it should be a priority in September. It is small and the animals we saw there were the same as in other parks. The lake is pretty dry in September, and, though we saw lots of pelicans and cranes in the freshwater, the flamingos were much too far away to see.

Here are my photos from Tanzania:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/cbernic...7608215234572/

One of the sets, "Safari Lodges and Images," will give you an idea of the appearance and rooms of some of the lodges you are considering.
Like the above poster, I do not claim to be a photographer - it is a new hobby for me.

You are in for an amazing journey. Enjoy every minute!
cmp6e is offline  
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