Help with Tanzania Itinerary!!

Sep 27th, 2006, 11:01 PM
  #1  
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Help with Tanzania Itinerary!!

I need help and fast!! We are going to Kenya and Tanzania in early January 07. There is no choice on the date. We decided to go because we have been invited to an event in South Africa in late December 06. We are tacking this on now because we do not feel we will get back to the continent anytime soon. Quick backstory. We used CC Africa in December 05 for a trip of a lifetime that included Joburg, Capetown, and safari at Londolozi and Madikwe. We had CC Africa handle everything and they did not miss a beat. Wonderful service and a wonderful trip. I should also let you know that we are traveling with 2 children, ages 2 and 4. But do not worry, these are well-traveled little adventurers! So, when this opportunity arose just last month, it was to CC Africa that I quickly called due to our previous experience. The current itinerary is:

Nairobi (from Joburg) - 1 night at The House of Waine

Fly to Masai Mara - 3 nights at Kechwa Tembo Bateleur Camp

Fly to Serengeti - 3 nights at Grumeti River Camp

Drive to Ngorongoro Ctater - 2 nights at Ngorongoro Crater Lodge

Fly to Mombasa - 3 nights Alfajari Villas

Fly to Nairobi on home.

From my research and from previous posts I now feel like Grumeti is a mistake for this time of year. I am also feeling like it is not the best place for the children. I have already put a 20% deposit down for the trip so I do not know how much changing I can do outside of CC Africa lodges. I was thinking to switch Grumeti for Lake Manyara (since this is a CC Africa camp) for 2 days and adding another day onto Ngorongoro Crater Lodge for a total of 3 days. What do you think and can I still drive to the crater with this option? I really want to experience a drive with all of the flying. What do you think? Also, can I have CC Africa cancel Grumeti for a facility run by another company? Is this done without being penalized? If you think I can, what do you suggest between the Mara and the Crater? Thanks and please hurry with your responses because they aready have some of my money!!! Thanks so much for your help.
Lolazahra is offline  
Sep 28th, 2006, 01:01 AM
  #2  
santharamhari
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Yes, Grumeti is not ideal if you are looking to be closer to the migrating herds in January.

Talk to the agent at CCA and tell them that this is a less than ideal situation and that they should look for something nearer to the ndutu area in the Serengeti.

Hari
 
Sep 28th, 2006, 01:09 AM
  #3  
santharamhari
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You may very well see lots of resident game at both Kitchwa and Grumeti. You will still hv a good time, if you are unable to change your itinerary.

Hari
 
Sep 28th, 2006, 01:12 AM
  #4  
santharamhari
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Sorry, i re-read your post now. If i were you, and i'm unable to change for something in the ndutu area. I would (my personal choice) stick to Kitchwa for all 6 nights and then go to the crater for two nights. One night in Manyara, if at all (5 nights in the mara).....

Hari
 
Sep 28th, 2006, 02:52 AM
  #5  
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Thank you Hari. I will talk to CC Africa about the 5 days and then 1 at Lake Manyara. But, if I was stuck on seeing the Serengeti for argument sake, what part of the park do you reccommend and what accomodations whether it is a CC Camp or not? Thank you!!!
Lolazahra is offline  
Sep 28th, 2006, 02:55 AM
  #6  
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Now I re-read one of yours. You did say the Ndutu area. So please send accommodation reccommendations. Also, can you drive to the crater -- no more than 6-7 hours with the kids. Thanks!
Lolazahra is offline  
Sep 28th, 2006, 03:29 AM
  #7  
santharamhari
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Accomodations....sorry, i'm not a Serengeti expert. Let's wait for other opinions....

Hari
 
Sep 28th, 2006, 04:46 AM
  #8  
 
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I can only comment on the crater lodge part of your trip. 3 days seems a bit long to stay unless your going for other reasons besides wildlife viewing.

I'm confused on the reasons that CC would not help get you into the most prolific wildlife areas. Are you sensing that they will not get you into the most productive areas just to get you into their own properties. If that's the case, is it too late for you to look elsewhere or a the very least ask them why they are placing you in the above mentioned locations.

There's been much discussion on this board about this topic - try entering CC in the search window.

Hopefully a few of our experts will be able to advise you.
Good luck!
Sherry
cybor is offline  
Sep 28th, 2006, 05:00 AM
  #9  
sandi
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The options in the Serengeti, would be CCA Under Canvas, though very expensive (but then, you're visiting Alfajiri, so guess your budget can handle). However, most of the suggestions for the Serengeti, whether CCAUC or Olakira or Nomad are really rustic camps totally exposed to the elements and may not be ideal for the children, regardless how well travelled. Some camps, simply will not accept them.

So, no Grumeti River and no 3rd night at Ngorongoro. You can add Tree Lodge at Manyara, as it is a beauty, but because rooms built high-up, gotta keep an eye on the little-ones.

And while the Mara isn't at peak, the Mara is always wonderful. And, it's not that important exactly where you are located. There are resident herds in the Mara, year-round. You may want to add your extra time here, but split between two camps - Bateleur is fine and then, maybe Saruni which has very large tented chalets (you won't all be falling over one another). If not extra time in the Mara, maybe another day in NBO where you can take the children to feed the Giraffes, the splash pool at one of the malls, the Snake Farm... there's plenty to keep them busy and time for you to chill before heading out on safari.

Your CCA rep will know which camps will accept children so young; usually 5/yrs is lowest.

Even at HOW, while lovely, their pool is not protected - so you have to be eagle-eyed.

Wherever you stay, do inquire about an aya (babysitter) so the two of you can have some private time.
 
Sep 28th, 2006, 05:04 AM
  #10  
 
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http://www.transworldsafaris.com/guidetoea.php

Here's some driving distances/times, above.

If up to it, do a search on Eben's threads aka climbhighsleeplow for more useful info. on Tanzania - he's got a great site but the name of it escapes me - sorry.
Sherry
cybor is offline  
Sep 28th, 2006, 05:17 AM
  #11  
 
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ok, fodor's is doing some funky things today - try pasting or googling the above distance link - sorry
cybor is offline  
Sep 28th, 2006, 05:32 AM
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I echo Sandi's good comments.

Some additional thoughts:

I am surprised that Bateleur was chosen instead of Kichwa. There are no triples at Bateleur as far as I know but I guess they can bend the rules! It is very much an adult camp.

Assuming you stay with CCA since you paid the deposit, I suggest Klein's Camp as an alternative to Grumeti. They have good wildlife up there and small children are most welcome!

The Crater Camp is also great with kids. 2 nights are good.

Note that you kids cannot participate in regular game drives as far as I know since they are younger than 5.
climbhighsleeplow is offline  
Sep 28th, 2006, 09:03 AM
  #13  
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Thanks all. Very helpful. And you are right about there usually being no triples at Bateleur -- they are bending the rules, as they did at Londolozi last year and it worked out fine. After reading all of the posts, I am going to call my rep and just say that I am unhappy with Grumeti and want another lodge for longer. I will take everyone's advice and keep the Crater to 2 days as originally planned. It is not a bad idea to stay 2 days in NBO and 4 in the Mara and maybe 1 day at Lake Manyara. I will call today and let you all know how it goes. Quick question? Someone mentioned Klein's as opposed to Grumeti. Will Klein's have more resident game nearby in early January? Thanks. This has been very helpful thus far.
Lolazahra is offline  
Sep 28th, 2006, 02:47 PM
  #14  
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I have been doing some research today. The migration will be in the South while I am in Tanzania. Has anyone stayed at Kusini Tented Lodge Camp? Or know anything about it? Seems very nice and in the path of the migration when I am there. Thanks all.
Lolazahra is offline  
Sep 28th, 2006, 03:08 PM
  #15  
 
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Hello,

CCA can book other companies' camps as well, so you can certainly look into this option. Tell your agent you'd prefer something down in the short grass plains (Ndutu).

Good luck!

Cheers,
Julian
jasher is offline  
Sep 28th, 2006, 04:19 PM
  #16  
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Thanks for this info Julian. I will do so. Hopefully I can make some movement on this tomorrow.
Lolazahra is offline  
Jan 24th, 2007, 09:20 AM
  #17  
 
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Hari - have you been to Bateleur? Are there fences there? And what is the difference between Bateleur & Kichwa? I thought it was one and the same.
skier1 is offline  
Jan 24th, 2007, 11:31 AM
  #18  
sandi
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Difference between Bateleur and Kichwa Tembo - about $450/person/day - in high season.
 
Jan 24th, 2007, 01:52 PM
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which one is higher and do you know if they both have fences? Is there anyone who has been to both to let me know the main differences?
skier1 is offline  
Jan 24th, 2007, 02:00 PM
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Bateleur is higher in cost. I'm pretty sure both are fenced.
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