Honeymoon Help

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Nov 22nd, 2005, 10:41 AM
  #1
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Honeymoon Help

Hello everyone-

This March we will be adventuring to Tanzania/Kenya for our honeymoon as well as our first ever Safari. We are very much looking forward to this trip! I had a travel agent but together an itineray with CC Africa for us. After reading the boards it is clear I need to make some changes. Here is the itineray. Any help and suggestions would be very much appreciated.

Day 1: Arrive Kilimanjaro Airport and travel Kirawira Camp

Day 2,3,4 Kirawira Camp then transfer by air to Lake Manyara Serena Lodge

Day 4,5,6 Lake Manyara then transfer to either Ngorongoro Serena Lodge or Ngorongoro Crater Lodge

Day 6,7 Ngorongora Lodge then transfer to Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp

Day 7,8,9 Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp then tranfer to House of Waine for out bound flight.

From reading all the postings it seems we should not be going to the western serengeti in March and that we should really be in the south. Is this correct? Also, is it not worth going to the Masai Mara at this time of year?

Thank you again.
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Nov 22nd, 2005, 11:27 AM
  #2
sandi
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Sad to tell, but there is very little space available in the prime game viewing areas in the northern Tanzania circuit. You're correct in that you should be in the southeast or central Serengeti, but there is no room available. It appears that even CCA is offering only those camps/lodges that "may" have space.

Kirawira is lovely, but not for March and not for 3-nts. Doubt there is any space at the Crater Lodge at Ngorongoro Crater. There may be some space at the Serena at Lk. Manyara or Sopa or Serena at Ngorongoro - all date dependent. And there may not even be any space at Tarangire National Park.

Certainly not what you wanted to hear. Most tour operators are already booking 2007 for Northern Tanzania, so unless you choose to postpone your honeymoon, there isn't going to be much available in Tanzania until late in 2006, at best.
Since you're likely going to miss the "calving" season in Tanzania regardless where you may get space, consider postponing your honeymoon or do Kenya instead.

If it has to be March, you will find accommodations in Kenya and good game viewing.

Amboseli, known for it's large elephant herd is always good - Tortilis camp (2-nts) here is lovely, great food, amazing views of Kilimanjaro and romantic.

Then fly via NBO with connecting flight to Samburu (2-nts) where you'll find species not found elsewhere - reticulated giraffe, gerunuk, Gravey's zebra - Intrepids or Larsen's Camps or the Serena Lodge are good choices.

From Samburu you can fly to the Masai Mara (minimum 2-nts, prefer 3-nts), while not at its' peak as it would be during the Migration (July - Oct), the Mara is always good for game. Good choices here are Saruni or Explorer Camps, both small, intimate and romantic.

The most romantic though may be Shompole (minimum 2, prefer 3-nts)which is located on the Kenya/Tanzania border; each tent/room has its' own plunge pool and Little Shompole is even more private.

With only 8-days, you are limited, so you have to pick carefully. In fact, you may actually prefer only 3-stops to relax, enjoy your environment and really experience the particular area to its fullest.

If this is of interest, why not contact Cheli & Peacock in Nairobi Kenya:

www.chelipeacock.com/

directly where your prices will likely be better than going through your travel agent. While the C&P website promotes the properties they manage (and you may want to consider Elsa's at Meru or the "starbeds" at Loisaba), they can obtain others - just ask.




 
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Nov 22nd, 2005, 11:34 AM
  #3
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
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Hi,

I've just returned from a Cheli Peacock safari and they are excellent. We stayed at 2 of their camps, Cottars and Tortillis. Cottars was magic! Perfect for a honeymoon but seriously pricey if thats a deciding factor for you. The reserve around it is very private so the plague of mini buses can't get near you!

Tortillis is also nice but Amboseli gets a lot more tourists than the area of the Mara where Cottars is. There is a serious plague of mini buses in Amboseli and your guide has to be pretty canny to find you some space on your own.

For your honeymoon, splurge and go to Cottars!
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Nov 22nd, 2005, 11:44 AM
  #4
bat
 
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Jennifer:
You are correct [to the extent the animals' movement can be predicted]--in March you want to be in the southern serengeti/Ngorongoro Conservation Area, not the western serengeti. Plus it's recommended that you include some time in the central serengeti (seronera valley).

The two permanent accommodations in the southern area are Kusini tented camp and Ndutu lodge. Otherwise there are camping options with a range in price. Some companies such as Nomad and Sayari have very nice 4-6 tent camps set up in the area. Some companies offer totally private luxury camping (the most expensive option).

Choices in the central serengeti are a number of lodges, camping options, and a bit to the North Mbuzi Mawe (Serena hotel's new tent camp)

I notice that you have 3 nights at Manyara--I have never seen any one recommend that many days there. Do you have some special activities planned.

Someone else can comment on what the Masai mara will be like at that time of year--but you certainly could stay all 11 nights in Tanzania: 2 nights Tarangire, 1 night Manyara, 2 nights crater, 4 nights short grass plains, 2 nights central, for example.
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Nov 22nd, 2005, 11:52 AM
  #5
bat
 
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jennifer:
Sandi is more knowledgeble than I am but the camping options may still be available. I read somewhere that Sayari added a camp and so had availability--that may be old news by now but I will look for the source. I would at least inquire about some of the very nice camping options before abandoning TZ.
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Nov 22nd, 2005, 12:02 PM
  #6
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Thanks for all the help-it really is wonderful! At this time we have nothing planed for Manyara we were just given three nights in the itinerary. It looks like we will try to make some serious changes!
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Nov 22nd, 2005, 12:08 PM
  #7
bat
 
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jennifer:
I have not yet found the source re availability but take a look at this web site in which Paul Oliver discusses the new camps (Olakira/Sayari)--look for the September 2005 press release.

http://www.paul-oliver.com/safaris/about_recent.html
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Nov 22nd, 2005, 12:36 PM
  #8
bat
 
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Jennifer:

The link below is where I read that Olakira camp may not be full. [Olakira and Sayari are the names of the semi-permanent camps by the Asilia group.]

"Olakira Camp will be in the famous Ndutu area of the Serengeti from December 10 to March 31. Given the fact that this is a new camp, it means that they still have availability in this camp in the Christmas period and in the busy January March 2006 season."

Unfortunately I do not know when it was posted but it is worth a try.

http://www.paul-oliver.com/safaris/about_recent.html
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