Help with Itinerary- Kenya/Tanzania Dec 2004

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Sep 1st, 2004, 05:11 AM
  #1
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 125
Help with Itinerary- Kenya/Tanzania Dec 2004


For all of you experienced safari travelers, thanks to all of the posters help thus far, my husband and I have been working on an itinerary for mid Dec. returning Jan 2. We want to spend 14 days in East Africa. We think fly/drive option is best but we're not sure because we want to maximize the time we have. We are working on our flights from the U.S. and it appears that we will arrive at NBO on 12/17 at night?
We would like comments on the following itineraries as well as the accommodations.

KENYA PORTION

Option 1) Driving/flying option
Day 1) Met on arrival in NBO, transfer to Intercontinental Hotel, overnight
(B&B basis)
Day 2) Drive to Samburu, overnight either Samburu Intrepids Luxury Camp
(www.heritagehotel.co.ke) or Samburu Serena Lodge (www.serenahotels.com/)
(B/L/D)
Day 3) Full day Samburu, overnight Intrepids or Serena (B/L/D)
Day 4) Fly from Samburu to Wilson Airport, Nairobi, lunch in Nairobi and tehn
drive to Amboseli, overnight Ol Tukai Lodge or Serena. (B/L/D)
Day 5) Full day Amboseli, overnight Ol Tukai Lodge or Serena (B/L/D)
Day 6) Drive to Namanga border for transfer into Tanzania.

Option 2) Flying throughout (obviously more expensive)
Day 1) Met on arrival in NBO, transfer to Intercontinental Hotel, overnight
(B&B basis)
Day 2) Fly from Wilson Airport, Nairobi to Samburu, overnight Samburu
Intrepids or Serena (B/L/D)
Day 3) Full day Samburu, overnight Intrepids or Serena (B/L/D)
Day 4) Fly Samburu to NBO, on arrival at Wilson connect to flight for
Amboseli, overnight Ol Tukai Lodge or Serena (B/L/D)
Day 5) Full day Amboseli, overnight Ol Tukai or Serena
Day 6) Fly Amboseli to NBO, connect to flight for Kilimanjaro International
Airport (JRO), Tanzania.

TANZANIA PORTION

Option 1 - Driving
Day 1)Meet upon arrival at Namanga, transfer to Arusha, overnight Impala
Hotel (B&B basis)
Day 2) Drive from Arusha to Ngresi Village for cultural exchange, proceed to
Tarangire National Park, overnight Kikoti (http://lodges.safari.co.za/kikoti-
camp-tarangire.html) or Tamarind (www.kirumuru.com) (B/L/D)
Day 3) Full day Tarangire, overnight Kikoti or Tamarind (B/L/D)
Day 4) Drive Tarangire to Lake Manyara, overnight Serena Lodge or Sopa Lodge
(www.sopalodges.com) (B/L/D)
Day 5) Drive from Manyara to Ngorongoro Crater, overnight Serena or Sopa
Lodge (B/L/D)
Day 6) Full day Crater, overnight Serena or Sopa Lodge (B/L/D)
Day 7) Proceed to Serengeti, overnight Serena, Sopa or Kusini Camp
(http://lodges.safari.co.za/kusini-ca...ti.html)(B/L/D)
Day 8) Full day Serengeti, overnight Serena or Sopa or Kusini Camp (B/L/D)
Day 9) Full day Serengeti, overnight Serena or Sopa or Kusini Camp (B/L/D)
Day 10) Return to Arusha, dayroom use at KIA Lodge, transfer to airport for
outbound flight.

This itinerary is more than 14 days so when we asked what to cut out they suggested the Lake Manyara, which I don't think I am willing to do. Any other suggestions or based on the time we are going or would it be OK to miss Lake Manyara?
Alternate suggestions for itineraries are greatly appreciated.
For places where there is a choice of accommodations, which would you choose?
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Sep 1st, 2004, 06:38 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 326
Hi there,

My hubbie and I are heading to Tanzania in Dec/Jan too, and while we don't have any personal experience yet obviously, we've been getting alot of opinions from our traveller friends, etc. We've been told time and again, that Lake Manyara isn't worth the trip - basically, El Nino caused it to completely dry out several years ago, and it's now not nearly as beautiful as the other places... Of course, everyone is going to have a different opinion (it's probably some people's favorite place...) but I can tell you that on our 25-day stay in Tanzania, we've opted to skip Lake Manyara and instead spend more time in the Serengeti and Tarangire... And if your safari company has suggested the same, perhaps there's some truth to it - I'l be interested to see the others' responeses about this...

Hope that helps a little... and good luck with your decision-making...
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Sep 1st, 2004, 02:25 PM
  #3
sandi
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I'd also pass on Lake Manyara. Don't know about the El Nino situation, but it's only 1-nt, so best go straight onto Ngorongoro from Tarangire.

The trip from NBO to Samburu is a long drive, you've got to fly on this leg (9:15am w/stop in Nanyuki then onto Samburu arriving 10:30am) and return from here to NBO by air 10:50am via Nanyuki arriving NBO 12:15pm.

You can fly to Amboseli, however, my records show only one flight in the morning at 7:30am, so if your tour operator has you scheduled on a flight, it might be a charter and more expensive. However, you can drive to Amboseli arriving in time for your afternoon game drive - sometime between 3-4pm.

From Amboseli I wouldn't fly back to NBO only to fly back over Amboseli to get to Kili (JRO). From Amboseli you can drive to Arusha via the Namanga border, about 2-1/2 hrs. Besides the flight from Amboseli is at 8:30am and then flight to JRO not till 12:30pm - wasted time.

When your time in the Serengeti is complete, suggest you fly back to Arusha, as the return drive will be very long.

Itinerary -
Day 1 - Arrive, o/n Intercontinental
Day 2 - Fly to Samburu via Nanyuki, stay at Intrepids camp
Day 3 - Samburu, Intrepids Camp
Day 4 - Fly to NBO, (you have time for lunch, but kind of rushed, before)drive to Amboseli, either accommodation ok, but prefer Serena (you might want to check out price for Tortilis Camp here)
Day 5 - Amboseli
Day 6 - Drive via Namange to Arusha, lunch and overnight
Day 7 - Drive to Tarangire, either accommodation ok, but prefer Kikoti, but both good options.
Day 8 - Taragire
Day 9 - Drive to Ngorongoro Crater, o/n, prefer Serena
Day 10 - Full day in Crater
Day 11 - Drive via Oldavai Gorge to central Serengeti. The Serena Lodge or Kusini Camp would be my choices, as the Sopa is actually located in another area of the Serengeti.
Day 12 - Serengeti
Day 13 - Serengeti
Day 14 - Fly to Arusha, dayroom, before homebound flight.

Believe the above works well with a combination fly (for longest legs) an drive (for shorter legs). You've got 14 days, plus the day/s at the beginning of trip from the States to Kenya.

Bye the way, which tour operator did you decide to go with?
 
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Sep 2nd, 2004, 08:07 AM
  #4
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 125
Sandi:
You are SO HELPFUL!!! Thank you.
This is not to undermine the rest of the posters here but you have been a valuable resource and we are really happy you keep responding to my messages! Anyway, we are working right now with Roy's (as you suggested) and a US outfit that coordinates their US travelers named "a way to Africa safaris".
Thank you for the suggestions on accommodations. We will defer to your expertise on that.
You didn't mention what you thought of the itinerary. Are there any "must sees/must dos" you think we are missing for our first African safari?
Also, some posters have mentioned a balloon ride over the Serengeti, what do you think of that is it worth it?
Also, just as an aside, on "The amazing race" Lake Manyara looked like it had a lot of animals, etc. but since I have heard from 2 posters on this topic, I am now willing to forgo that stop.
Hope to hear back from you and any others with thoughts!
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Sep 2nd, 2004, 09:30 AM
  #5
sandi
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You're working with two excellent companies, both in-country and here in the States, so you can't go wrong.

Basically the itineraries are fine - with a combination fly/drive, using the flying for the longest legs. As far as the hot-air balloon ride, I've never done one - I prefer to have my feet firmly planted on the ground (except, of course, the fact that I still have to fly to get to Africa). That said, others I know have done this and enjoyed it tremendously, but can't comment personally. The ride runs about $400+/- per person, duration is about 1-hour, with a Champagne breakfast at the conclusion. It's up to you.
 
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Sep 15th, 2004, 07:37 AM
  #6
lromin
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You can cut out Tarangire...Tarangire is at its best in the dry months July-October. In December, the better wildlife action is in the southern Serengeti where the wildebeest and zebra herds congregate. You'll want to spend as much time as possible in the Serengeti. I would keep one day at Manyara -- it is a pretty little park, with lots of elephants and baboons.
 
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