help us with our trip please


Jun 3rd, 2005, 04:04 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 19
help us with our trip please

This is a great site and I hope to get some help with our trip end of Sept to Tanzania and Zanzibar.

We have had a quote from ATR and they have been most helpful but would like your ideas.

We are from southern africa and have done many safaris there but first time in Tanzania. We are working in Saudi Arabia so the flight to East Africa is only 4 hours.

We arrive at 12:30 and will get the bus at the airport to Arusha (4.5 hrs?) Is this OK? Otherwise we have to wait around till 6pm for a flight.
Stay at Moivaro Lodge one night.
Next day and night at Lodge (why? don't think we need to do this as we have only had a 4 hr flight the day before)
Day 1 safari
Overnight at Mawe Ninga Camp
Day 2
Overnight at Mawe Ninga Camp
Day 3
Olduvai Tented Camp
Day 4
Ronjo Flycamp
Day 5
Ronjo Flycamp
Day 6
Olduvai Tented Camp
Day 7
Siteseeing in Crater
Flight to Zanzibar
Matemwe Bungalows 3 nights
Emerson & Green 1 night
Fly to Dar es Salaam to return to Dubai
Total cost for 2 $6,000
We are very keen snorklers and that is the main reason we are going to Zanzibar. We are also concerned about the heat (we have spend lots of time in the far east and you just don't sleep at night without aircon) This is the main reason for chosing Matemwe Bungalows (it also looks great). Anyone been there?
We really wanted to stay at Chumbe Island but ATR said it would not work into our budget. It seems some people get it worked into there budget (similar to ours). Where can we save. It Chumbe Worth it? Will it be very hot in Tanzania at it a problem in the tents? I have read some comments about the game around Olduvai Camp at this time of the year(poor)...whats the story on that?
Any comments will be appreciated.
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Jun 3rd, 2005, 09:19 AM
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I don't think you need 2 nights in Arusha unless there's something specific that you wanted to do in this area. Why did ATR suggest 2 nights and what did they recommend you do on the 2nd day?

Have you contacted any Tanzania based tour operators for their suggestions and prices? Did you see this thread?

Their itinerary is similar to yours but with a longer stay in Zanzibar.

If you decide to fly to Kilimanjaro instead of taking the shuttle, you could arrange to leave the airport for a few hours, have lunch, and see some sights around Nairobi. I believe you can get a transit visa at the airport.
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Jun 3rd, 2005, 11:14 AM
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I'm a little confused. You fly into Nairobi and out of Dar? I'm with Patty, you don't need two nights in Arusha unless there are specific things you're planning on there.

Also, she's right, there are some very nice things to do in Nairobi. On the other hand, I've taken that shuttle to Arusha and found fascinating (scenery, the culture--even the culture on the bus!). However, I had never been to Africa before, so to me it was pretty eye-opening. Maybe less interesting for you?

Sorry, haven't been in September, so can't answer about the weather. And I'm not a snorkeler.

I am sure people on this board can help you with your other questions.

Have a wonderful time. It sounds like a great trip and a good price.
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Jun 3rd, 2005, 01:44 PM
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Posts: 165
Why ATR keep recommending Ronjo and Olduvai to everyone is beyond me. In September you should be in northern serengeti where the migration action is - see recent notes of climbhighsleeplow.

With ATR you will only get 2 days of snorkeling even though you are keen snorklers.

You should contact other operators recommended on the board as ATR have obvious bias towards certain camps which is not a good sign.

If your budget is limited then use the wildlife lodges. They are basic but so is Ronjo which has a long drop, probably fly-ridden in the heat. Wildlife lodges are in beautiful game areas and you won't be disappointed with the wildlife and the wilderness.

Your safari could look like this:
Day 1 Arusha - if you spend 2 days in Arusha then spend them at Mount Meru Lodge where there is something to do during the day.
Day 2 - Tarangire - No idea about Mawe Ninga but there are several other camps in the area.
Day 3 - Ngorongoro Farm House or wildlife lodge with game drives in Tarangire and Manyara - take a picnic lunch.
Day 4 - crater tour then drive to Seronera wildlife lodge for the night night
Day 5 - 7 Lobo wildlife lodge with fullday game viewing. Migration camp is your luxury option in the area if you feel like splashing out on a nice camp.
Day 8 - fly back to Arusha and then to Zanzibar. Spend the night in Stone Town as you will not be able to snorkel that day.
Day 9 to 11 Matemwe - good snorkeling in the Mnemba Atoll but September visibility could be a problem. Chumbe is excellent surrounded by protected reef.
Day 12 fly to Dar es Salaam

Lots of 1 night stays but you can change that by skipping Tarangire and focusing on Serengeti. Perhaps you can spare an extra night for Tarangire.

Wish you a good trip
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Jun 4th, 2005, 12:05 AM
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Dear All
Thanks for the help. Not sure what ATF is all about. they are really good at getting back to you and seem professional but not very happy with their ideas. Will try Roys. Any other op? We want a private 4x4 but not too fussy about the lodges/tent acc. We are more interested in the game (not so much the migrations really). Also Snorkling is important so maybe we should just stay at Chumbe for 3 nights in Zanzibar???
More help please and I will look at other operators.
We are flying Emirates and we can fly out of Dar for no extra cost which makes it a bit easier.
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Jun 4th, 2005, 02:26 AM
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Hello Banners,
I have been to Zanzibar 3 times and have not found the snorkling to be very good off either the east or west coast (have never been North).

The best snorkling I have found in the area is off Pemba. You may want to investigate the possibility of traveling to Pemba versus Zanzibar if snorkling is your main objective.

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Jun 4th, 2005, 09:14 AM
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How about Chumbe Island for snorkling? Is Pemba really worth the trek? Snorkling is our main reason for going to Zanzibar. It looks so great on the net!!!
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Jun 5th, 2005, 04:17 AM
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We have a new itenary from Roys:

End Sept 2005
22/9 arrive NBo 12h30. 14h00 shuttel bus to Ars o/n Moivaro lodge(BB)
23/9 Ars-Tar o/n Tar SOPA lodge
24/9 Tar o/n Tar SOPA lodge
25/9 Man o/n KTL
26/9 Ser o/n Ser SOPA
27/9 Ser o/n Mbuzi mawe camp or migration camp
28/9 Ser o/n Mbuzi mawe camp or migration camp
30/9 Ser-NGo o/n Ngo SOPA lodge
1/10 Ngo o/n Ngo SOPA lodge
2/10 to ars + fly Ars-ZNZ, trsf & o/n Tembo hotel(BB)
3/10 trsf to & o/n chumbe island FB
4/10 Chumbe island FB
5/10 to ZNZ & fly ZNZ-Dar (intl; flt depts 22h10)

private 4WD. yes.

new cost: US$2805pp
US$110pp seat son ! shuttel bus NBo_Ars + 1nt BB moivaro
US$2005pp 8n.9d safari (park fees + 4WD transport + 8nts FB accommodation)- using mbuzi mawe camp (add US$55pppnt for migration camp)
US$155pp flight Ars-ZNZ includes apt tax
US$460pp transfers +1nbt BB Tembo hotel (Stone town) + 2nights FB at Chumbe
US$75pp flight ZNZ-Dar excludes apt (to be paid directly at the apt)

Tembo hotel is a non started because I see that they are dry and it will be Ramada so want a hotel with a bar inside. What is Emerson & Green like
Still don't think the Zanzibar trip is right!!! Any comments for us??? Snorkling is the main reason we are going there. Maybe we should forget it and do something else with the time. HELP

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Jun 5th, 2005, 06:52 AM
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Hi Banners,
If snorkeling is your main reason to visit Zanzibar, I would not go there. Snorking off Stone Town, and off the East Coast I found most corals dead.

Since you live in the Mideast, I would compare the diving in Zanzibar to that off the Masandam Peninsula in Oman, if you have been there.

Snorkling off Mesali Island , Pemba was very good. But it is not an easy trip to get there. And it is much more expensive.

I suggest you do a search or post your question on the Lonely Planet Thorn Tree ( under the Snorkling/Diving and Africa sections.

Also be aware that there are elections in Zanzibar in October. That may not be the best time to be visiting.
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Jun 5th, 2005, 08:02 AM
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Thanks Queenie
I am thinking (funny you should mention it) that we would just go back to Dubai and then on to Oman which we absolutely love and the snorkling/diving by Muscat is great. This would probably be better value and there is so much more to see and do in Oman than Zanzibar, I assume. Of course Oman and Zanzibar are connected by the royals (brothers) but that was a loooog time ago.
Thanks again
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Jun 5th, 2005, 10:36 AM
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Oh Banners,
That sounds like a great idea.

The beaches off Muscat as so much better than off Zanzibar. And there is so much to do in Muscat as opposed to Stone Town. Plus Stone Town would be pretty sedate anyway being Ramadan...

And you are right - the connection between Oman and Zanzibar is still strong. I couldn't believe how much swahili we heard in Oman.
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Jun 7th, 2005, 01:26 AM
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I disagree with Queenie regarding snorkelling. Reefs around Mnemba, Pemba and Chumbe are phenomenal however visibility can vary throughout the year. You ought to contact Chumbe directly to find out when visibility would be best. I also think if you are going all the way to Tanzania then 3 to 4 nights in Zanzibar would be a good stopover.

I also think you don't need as many nights on safari if you did the following -
Fly to Serengeti from Arusha and be met by the vehicle. Spend 3 nights in Serengeti and then work your way south to Ngorongoro and Tarangire.

1 night Moivaro
3 nights Serengeti with flight to Serengeti. In Serengeti stick to the northern and central regions of the park as much as possible and you will avoid traffic.
2 nights Ngorongoro
2 nights Tarangire with a game drive in Lake Manyara

With this schedule you can now get an extra night in Zanzibar while 1 night less in a game park can pay for your Serengeti flight.

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Jun 7th, 2005, 05:29 AM
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Dear king
Have actually already followed your advise and will be spending an extra day in Zanzibar at Chumbe and flying a bit. We did contact chumbe and they figure the snorkling (visablility) is GREAT and the island looks wonderful. thanks and will let everyone know how it goes.
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