Help Wanted: Kenya-Tanzania Trip

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Dec 28th, 2005, 01:42 AM
  #1
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Help Wanted: Kenya-Tanzania Trip

First, thanks to Sandi, Patty, and atravelynn for assisting me in my other thread "Kenya-Tanzania Itinerary Help/Suggestions". Your insights have helped greatly.

Here's what I have so far. (I must admit I'm a little anxious to post the itinerary on here but I'm a big girl so feel free to critique and offer suggestions.)


Nairobi(1) (Giraffe Center, Sheldrick)

DRIVE to Lake Nakuru(1)- Lion Hill Lodge

DRIVE* to Sweetwaters(2)
-- *Possibly through the Aberdares?
(Stealing from Patty's idea. )

DRIVE to Samburu(2) - Serena or Intrepids (Though Elephant Watch is tempting because of my love of elephants.)

FLY to Masai Mara(3) - ?

FLY to Amboseli(2) - Ol Tukai

Amboseli/Arusha/Zanzibar
-- Is that possible without having to stay in Arusha one night?

Zanzibar(3: 2 Breezes/1 Serena or E&G)

Zanzibar/Arusha/[drive] Lake Manyara
-- Is that possible without needing the stopover in Arusha? I think I saw an early flight where that might work?

Lake Manyara(1) - Serena

Ngorongoro Crater(2) - Serena

Serengeti(3) - Kirawira or Migration
[drive in/fly back]


As you can see I'm still undecided on lodging for the Mara. I have several lodges listed already but I definitely want to experience tented camps as well.

I'm trying to work in Tarangire or atleast keep it in mind as a substition if needed (depending on the time of year). Also, I'm still a little on the fence about trading Samburu for Lewa but leaning toward Samburu.
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Dec 28th, 2005, 05:35 AM
  #2
sandi
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Not much change from your original itinerary. Your particular stops will be time-of-year dependent, especially if deciding between Tarangire or Manyara, though Tarangire is a favorite of mine. You can always do 1-nt. each. And in the Serengeti - Kirawira is best June/July, whereas Migration in October/November.

In Samburu, elephants rule almost as much as they do in Amboseli, however, a stay at Elephant Watch will greatly impact your budget - expensive, compared to the alternatives: Serena, Intrepid's and even the newly redone Larsen's Camp.

From the Mara you cannot fly direct to Amboseli as the scheduled flight from NBO is in the morning. Though you can fly from the Mara to NBO, then continue by road to Amboseli.

For the Mara, there is so much to choose from - camps and lodges; depending on time of year can determine where you'd lay your head. So you're going to have to focus on this aspect for you entire itinerary.

Interesting that you put Zanzibar in the middle of your trip. Sure, I did this on my recent trip, but I've done safari many times before and had a different purpose for this mid-trip stop here. I would recommend you hold Zanzibar for the conclusion where you can fly from the Serengeti, via Arusha, to Zanzibar arriving about 2pm and head to your hotel with suffcient time to spend a few hours at the pool or on the beach.

In Stone Town, you will find the Serena to be more expensive than E&G. Other choices here are Tembo House, Dhow Palace (no alcohol served here as they observe Muslim law) or Beit al Chai, across the street from the Serena. It's a small non-descript building with only 6-guest rooms, breakfast only available here.

Time of year and your budget will be your concern and prices for 2007 won't be available before mid-2006 earliest (if '05 is an example... prices were available in August '05 for '06). You can expect increases of 10% (can be more or less - '06 price increases avgd. 15%, but that was after years with few if any increases).

Even without prices, it's suggested you at least put in early for the space you want and when prices available, make your final decision.
 
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Dec 28th, 2005, 05:50 AM
  #3
 
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Is it still Juneish for your departure? Knowing when you are going is important so you receive the correct feedback. I'll assume it is still June.

I like the looks of your itinerary very much and wish I were going too.

Nairobi--a good intro and jet lag recovery day

Nakuru--good choice of accommodations with possibility of rhino and leopard, plus the flamingos.

Sweetwaters--through the Aberdares would be a bonus. A chance for chimps and a lovely private reserve with rhino present.

Samburu--I'd choose Samburu over Lewa Downs also if you are staying at Sweetwaters--and I loved Lewa. Samburu will give you more abundance of game. You have two other places in Kenya to spot rhinos, plus the crater in Tanzania. If you are staying at other Serena properties, it may be to your advantage to stick with Serena, but Intrepids is smaller and has tents and would be an opportunity for a tented camp. I agree about Elephant Watch and will stay there for my next Samburu visit.

3 nights in the Mara is good amount and flying will save time. You could do a tented camp there. But Mara Serena is in a good location and is a nice facility with interesting cement Masai-like accommodations for guests. So sticking with Serena could save $.

Amboseli--Another winner for an elephant lover. I've seen good remarks on Ol Tukai.

Don't know about Zanzibar, but a nice vacation from your safari.

Manyara--1 night there is good, keeping with the Serena theme for value.

Crater--2 nights is perfect and Serena is supposed to be just lovely here.

Serengeti--3 nights here is great. I think Kirawira is better in June. You'll end in a tented camp.

Tarangire could slip in for 2 nights before Manyara and you could do tents there.

You would have a super Kenya/Tanzania trip. The safari part is very similar to what I did my first trip, however you'd also be experiencing Sweetwaters, and I spent more time in the Mara and Serengeti. I did not go to Amboseli and wished I had, so it was part of trip #2. Wise of you to include Amboseli, especially since it fits nicely as you travel from Kenya to Tanzania.

This would be over 3 weeks on the ground. What a treat!
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Dec 28th, 2005, 05:56 AM
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If decide to drive through the Aberdares from Nakuru, you may want to add a night somewhere close to the other side of the park like the Aberdare Country Club. That would allow for a more leisurely drive that day rather than trying to get to Sweetwaters.

You could then have a morning game drive before leaving Nakuru, drive to Mutubio gate (2-3 hours), spend your day in the park (pack a picnic) and get to the Aberdare CC (or other accomodations near Mweiga) by late afternoon. This option would also allow you to easily visit Solio (which you mentioned you were interested in) the following morning before heading to Sweetwaters. Something to consider if you can fit in an extra night.
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