Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Africa & the Middle East
Reload this Page >

Holiday of a lifetime- Northern Tanzania Safari & Zanzibar

Holiday of a lifetime- Northern Tanzania Safari & Zanzibar

Old Apr 15th, 2009, 02:46 PM
  #1  
50
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 19
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Holiday of a lifetime- Northern Tanzania Safari & Zanzibar

Please advise if our itinerary covers most of the area to visit in two weeks - we are open to new suggestions/critics etc:

Arriving Dar, fly straight to Mwanza - 3 nights (need to spend this time there due to family history- returning after 33 years).

2 nights Serengeti Sopa Lodge
2 nights Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge
1 night Tarangire Safari Lodge
1 night Impala Hotel - Tour of Arusha
1 night Nakara Hotel near Marangu Gate - Although we are not doing the Kili Trek, we would like our two children to see the start of a Kili climb - any suggestions?
Fly to Zanzibar (should we fly from Arusha or Kilimanjaro?).
2 nights Tembo Hotel
3 nights Breezes Beach
Ferry to Dar
1 night in Dar before returning home.

We would like to spend two nights in Dar, therefore have to lose one night somewhere. Where can we cut one night?

Please could you suggest places to see while on a 16 nights holiday.

Look forward to your suggestions.

50
50 is offline  
Old Apr 15th, 2009, 03:08 PM
  #2  
50
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 19
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Sorry, I forgot to mention that we are travelling in August 2009.
50 is offline  
Old Apr 15th, 2009, 04:20 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 1,655
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Just wondering why you want to spend two nights in Dar? We did not spend any time there and were told we were wise. It just looked like any other big city to me.
I would fly to Zanzibar from Kili if that is where you will be last, no point in back tracking again. The safari sights will take care of themselves. The only other sights that I can think of are on Zanzibar. Having Zanzibar at the end is a good idea as it is relaxing after the safari and a good choice.
On Zanzibar you can do a spice tour, there is a museum down town Stonetown which we found interesting. We did a snorkle tour with 'Safari Blue' which was wonderful. I was there in October/November and have a trip report if you click on my name you can read it if you would like ideas. Sounds wonderful and I wish I could go back. And you are right, it is definately a trip of a lifetime!!
live42day is offline  
Old Apr 15th, 2009, 04:56 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Not sure if this was listed in the order you would travel. Can you get from Dar to the Serengeti in one day? Maybe you can, otherwise you might want the Arusha day up front. For your tour of Arusha, you could go to Arusha Nat Park. It would offer a forested environment that is not seen on the rest of your trip.

In August Serengeti Sopa Lodge is not in the best location for the migration. You would want to be farther north. If you are flying to the Serengeti, you can easily fly to the north instead of central. If you fly to the Serengeti, you'd meet your guide there.

It would be possible to do one night at the crater (Sopa is great) and a morning crater tour, leaving for Tarangire after the crater tour. Then you'd have 2 nts Tarangire. It seems like it would not be worth going to Tarangire for 1 night. August is a good time in Tarangire.

That spare Dar day could be allocated to your safari and then you could do 2 nts crater and 2 nts Tarangire.

That's interesting that you'd like your kids to see the start of the Kili climb. Is that because you think they might go some day? Or are there family tales about a Kili climb?

I've never been to Marangu Gate, but it would be nice to know from those who have what they think about your idea. With limited time in Tanzania, you definitely want each day to count. I'm wondering if a day near the start of a climb you are not doing is the best use of time.

Of course, I'd shorten the Zanzibar time too and I've never been there, either.

Live42day, can you tell us more about the snorkel trip? Or just link to your report with or copy and paste the excerpt? Snorkeling has me enthused about Zanzibar.
atravelynn is offline  
Old Apr 15th, 2009, 09:30 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 1,655
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
http://www.safariblue.net/
Here is the website. The boat leaves from Fumba and is a short distance from Stonetown. We had to wade out to get into the boats, quite comical to see the gorgeous Italian women in thier very expensive outfits having to wade out, almost waist deep, to get into the boats. We sailed out in a dhow to a sandbar, on the way watching the dolphins play beside the boat. We were all divided up on this sandbar into groups who had/had not snorkelled before. I went with a small group in my party of five of us and a guide for a few hours of snorkelling around the sandbar. Most people did not snorkle as long as we did, you can go for as long as you like. The guide kept checking with us that we were okay. I put on an airline type life jacket to give myself the confidence to go out quite far. It is a protected marine park. When we came back to shore they had coconuts which they cut the tops off and gave us to drink which was wonderful.
Then we sailed to another island and had a magnificent buffet lunch and some of the best entertainment I had on our trip. After lunch was coffee and liquors, lots of free beer and more swimming if you wanted. We then sailed off into a mangrove for more swimming in this amazing spot. It was almost like a hot tub it was so warm, and so salty that you floated effortlessly. They put the sails up on the way back and we had a fantastic afternoon. Remember to bring lots of sunscreen as we got a bit fried. One of our highlights for sure. The snorkelling was not at great at Thailand, but great none the less.
Another thing that you may want to schedule time for, on the safari, is a visit to a Massai village which is quite easy to do, but will take away time from your safari so allowing time to do that rather than somewhere else.
Taking the ferry to Dar may add some time on too. We just flew straight from Zanzibar right to our connecting flight in Dar and it worked really well.
live42day is offline  
Old Apr 16th, 2009, 05:11 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 8,675
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
From Mwanza, how are you getting to the Serengeti? Air or road?

As above, Sopa is a bit too south for an Aug/Sep visit. As it appears you are looking for lower prices accommodations, can suggest you at least move farther into the Central Serengeti with stay at the Serena Lodge. This area also better for game as there is year-round water.

Aug/Sep is usually better farther north, but the only budget lodge here would be Lobo Wildlife... inquire about this.

It will be a long drive from anywhere in the Serengeti to Ngorongoro, but you don't need 2/nts. You won't have time day arriving here for crater tour, but on the 2nd day you can do the crater tour in the morning and then head to Tarangire and spend 2/days... great park with it's own mini-migration.

You can fly to ZNZ from Kili, based on flight schedules; it's a shorter distance from Moshi than all the way back to Arusha.
sandi is offline  
Old Apr 16th, 2009, 07:18 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 1,655
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I preferred Ngoronogo to Tarangire myself and would have two days there, but maybe in the summer it is different.
live42day is offline  
Old Apr 16th, 2009, 10:06 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 292
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
50,

May we know the ages of your children?

While I am hardly an African expert having only taken one safari, (to Tanzania and Zanziabar this past September), I feel compelled to put in my two cents.

I have traveled fairly extensively in my lifetime and seen many beautiful beaches. In my opinion, Pongwe Beach was one of the most - possibly the most - serene, pristine, private and beautiful beaches I've ever seen. However, after a full day in Stone Town and then three full days at Pongwe I found myself yearning for the mainland and bush.

I don't regret seeing Stone Town. That was a wonderful experience. But, I couldn't help feeling like, as gorgeous as the beach was, I'd rather be on safari. I have no idea when I'll ever again get to Africa on safari, but I'm sure I'll see nice beaches again in my lifetime.

So, for what it's worth, my advice would be to maximize your safari time. Forget Dar - it's not a particularly pleasant place; stay only one night/day in Stone Town (the Tembo House is lovely); and add the extra time onto your safari-ing.

regardless of your decision you'll have a fabulous time!
regards,
anita
aknards is offline  
Old Apr 16th, 2009, 04:17 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks for the snorkel account Live42day. Hope you saw some cool stuff.

Interesting that aknards, who loved Pongwe, shares some of my pro-safari sentiments.
atravelynn is offline  
Old Apr 16th, 2009, 08:10 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 1,655
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
actually I tend to agree with you too aknards. I would have spent less time in Stonetown and Zanzibar, and more time on safari as well. As said, a beach is a beach but a safari....that really is a 'trip of a lifetime'. We spent way more money on this trip than any other we have taken, and I dont regret one cent of it.
live42day is offline  
Old Apr 18th, 2009, 12:51 PM
  #11  
50
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 19
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks everyone for your helpful information. My children are 10 and 12 years old. We will start our safari from Mwanza so first stop will be Serengeti by road. We may move our accomodation from Serengeti Sopa to Serengeti Serena and stay two nights in Tarangire. We feel that we can skip the visit to Maasai Village but visit the Olduvai Gorge.

Do you know how far and how long would it take from Mwanza to Serengeti, Serengeti Serena to Ngorongoro, Ngorongoro to Tarangire, Tarangire to Arusha and finally Arusha to Kilimanjaro by road. Is there a map giving these details?
Thanks
50 is offline  
Old Apr 18th, 2009, 01:32 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 1,655
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Arusha to Tarangire is not far, we left our hotel after breakfast and were at the hotel in Tarangire by lunch, so a couple of hours. It is like a triangle, so Ngorongo should be around the same distance. The roads are great from Arusha to Tarangire. from there they can deteriorate a bit.
I would check on some safari web sites, a lot of them have maps and driving times on their posted safaris.
live42day is offline  
Old Apr 19th, 2009, 05:47 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 8,675
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
>>Do you know how far and how long would it take from Mwanza to Serengeti, Serengeti Serena to Ngorongoro, Ngorongoro to Tarangire, Tarangire to Arusha and finally Arusha to Kilimanjaro by road. Is there a map giving these details?
sandi is offline  
Old Apr 19th, 2009, 07:58 AM
  #14  
50
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 19
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Live42day and Sandi - thanks for your information. We have arranged with our tour operator to pick us up from Mwanza and start our safari from there - I am assuming it will be the same driver! If it is not then the price quoted must include the pick up from Mwanza. We will end our safari (as you suggest) in Kilimanjaro & fly to Zanzibar. How long would the journey be from Mwanza to Serengeti? One more question, how far is the airport from Marangu gate? We will have an extra day at Tarangire and skip a night stay at Marangu. After Tarangire,we will tour Arusha (o/n Impala Hotel) then head to Kilimanjaro to have a look at the Kili Trekking area have lunch etc and then to Kili Airport flight to ZNZ. Does this sound reasonable? We are advised to do the beach holiday at Breezes first and leave Stonetown last before flying to Dar as the airport is nearer Stonetown. I am not sure about this as we wanted to spend last 3 nights on the beach. We may as well take a ferry to Dar as this would be adventurous for my boys! Where is the ferry pickup point in ZNZ? Any other suggestions? Thanks
50 is offline  
Old Apr 19th, 2009, 12:29 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 8,675
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Have no idea how long the drive from Mwanza to Serengeti. Ask your tour operator and then add at least 1/hr.

Start of Kili treks is in Moshi which is about 45/min-1/hr east of JRO/Kili airport.

As to whether to do Stone Town first or last afternoon before heading to DAR, depends on what time your flight from Kili/ZNZ arrives ZNZ. If later than 2pm, then overnight in Stone Town, do a town tour in morning, then head to beach resort. On last day, though check-out is 10am, you can probably use hotel facilities (pay for lunch separately, if needed), then head to ZNZ airport for flight to DAR.

If you'd prefer to ferry to DAR, then check the schedule and be sure to arrive on time (which is likely to cut time on beach last day). Also, be prepared for the kids possibly getting sea sick... you are out on open water. From where the ferry dokcs in DAR you'd have to taxi to the airport.

Your tour operator should be able to provide all this information and schedules/prices to make decisions.
sandi is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
PRaffen54
Africa & the Middle East
5
Jun 24th, 2017 12:41 PM
Rajiv1969
Africa & the Middle East
4
Nov 3rd, 2012 12:26 PM
smiledr
Africa & the Middle East
7
Mar 10th, 2011 06:15 PM
karn
Africa & the Middle East
10
Jun 19th, 2010 08:11 PM
Scatterling
Africa & the Middle East
9
Aug 24th, 2003 01:46 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information