Honeymoon safari advice desparately needed

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Aug 23rd, 2005, 12:45 PM
  #1
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Honeymoon safari advice desparately needed

Hi,
I've recently become an avid reader of this site. I'm slowly picking up the info but it's amazing how everyone needs/wants and has done something slightly different combined with the v confusing (to the uninitiated of us) seasons and migration.

I'm trying to plan a trip for our honeymoon next year. Here's want I've come up with so far, I'm afraid I haven't even got to the named accomodation stage yet...

Ideally like to fly into Arusha (I hear you can from UK to Amsterdam and on), then see Ngorongoro Carter, with one night stay with half day safari's either side. Then time in Serengeti hope to see the migration. Opt for mid range accommodation, looking for small more personable places, and would like private safaris. Perhaps mobile camps to increase changes of seeing the migration? I can't work out if western or north Serengeti best at this time of year.
Then would love to go down to Mahale to see the chimps and stay at Greystoke camp.
Finally looking for beach stay, probably Zanzibar so could finish off with a day/night in Stone town before flying back home. Would like idyllic and romantic beach and sea stop. Hopefully with some opportunity to sail/windsurf/snorkel?
Emphasis again on romantic smaller locations, and we've got roughly 17 days and £2,500 ($4,500) each to do it.

Many thanks for any help,
I have to say I'm chuffed to be doing this bit of the organising rather than the flowers!
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Aug 23rd, 2005, 01:38 PM
  #2
sandi
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What time of the year? Next year, but when? Which month?

The migration goes on all year 'round, but in different places/countries.

Where there is migration also comes high prices. At $4500/pp* for 17-days I believe you may be short a few bucks!

*does this include your international air?

The trip to Mahale for at minimum 4-days can eat into one-third or more of what you have to spend.

Let us know when you would like to take your honeymoon.
 
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Aug 23rd, 2005, 01:52 PM
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Hello Jules,

If I ever get married, I'm definitely opting for honeymoon organising as opposed to flowers, etc!

You can fly into Arusha on KLM via Amsterdam -- last I looked KLM was one of the only airlines offering this. Otherwise you'll need to connect in Dar or Nairobi.

It looks like you're thinking primarily of Tanzania. From what you describe, the semi-permanent tented camps run by Nomad Tanzania might be just what you're looking for. The tents are moved every two weeks to keep up with the migration, so you have an excellent chance of great game viewing. The showers are bucket showers and the loos are long-drop, but the camps are quite comfortable and the price is mid-range (remember, the migration is high season, so it's all relative). Nomad have camps in both the western and northern Serengeti.

The migration shifts yearly, but generally speaking, you'll want the Western Serenget in June and the Northern Serengeti in July/August. However, it's very difficult to predict. so if you want to hedge your bets you can spend 3 nights in each area. Remember that there is plenty of resident game (notably predators) which is around even if the migration isn't in the area. The Mara Triangle is great for predator sightings.

if you do the Nomad camps, I would suggest doing the Crater afterwards for a touch of luxury. If you're only there for one night, and it's your honeymoon, I'd bite the bullet and do a night at Crater Lodge. It's a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and what better time? If you do, ask for a room in Tree Lodge where the views are best.

I'm afraid I'm not a primate lover or beach fan, so I can't help you with the remainder of your trip. I'm sure there are plenty of people here who will be happy to help out.

Cheers,
Julian
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Aug 23rd, 2005, 02:02 PM
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jules-i'm no expert, but one thing i did not plan on was all the "little" extras necessary that will quickly eat into your $4500 pp, so plan accordingly! New camera, memory, charger, binoculars, shots, medications (even with deductible, the malarone alone was $85.00 out of pocket), safari colored clothes, shoes, tip money, souvenir money, duffels, backpacks, internal flight taxes, hotel in arriving city if can not get out that same day, etc etc, the list goes on!! of course all the food is included so don't have to plan on that, but don't forget the extras...they really add up and eat into your budget!!!
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Aug 24th, 2005, 05:52 AM
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Hi Jules,

As for an idyllic and romantic beach and sea stop I can recommend the Asali Suite at Matemwe Village (approximately USD 150 ppn). “Asali” means “honey” and you will have the moon entirely for yourselves there…

All the best,
MarcusW

e.g. http://www.encounterzanzibar.com/matemwe_beach.htm

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Aug 24th, 2005, 02:11 PM
  #6
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Hi,
Sandi - not sure how I managed to miss that off!
It's beginning off July '06.
Not including flights.....if cost a problem I suppose it'll just mean a few more costs to pay off on return. I always liked beans on toast anyway! But I do want this to be a holiday to remember, and hearts already set on this rough plan.

jasher - Nomad camps sound like a great idea thanks. How do their safari drives work? Would we be able to get private safaris....not really sure how this works. Don't mind it a little bit rough around the edges, especially if a bit of luxury to look forward to afterwards.

Matnikstym - we're quite well kitted out so hope to aviod many of the above. Obviously will need a reserve pot though!

MarcusW - Thanks I had looked into Matemwe Village though ATR quote. Good to hear it's safe bet.

Thanks again for the help
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Aug 25th, 2005, 03:26 AM
  #7
 
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Hello,

You can find out more about Nomad on their website, www.nomad-tanzania.com

Note that they don't take direct bookings, so you would have to go through an operator. You can do a search on this forum for 'Tanzania tour operator' and find reviews.

Cheers,
Julian
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Sep 5th, 2005, 09:03 AM
  #8
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Hi I've just got a quote back for the following safari at$5725pp (excluding flights). It's using semi-luxury camping (not quite sure what that means). Need to keep the costs down, so avioding all out luxury and ensuing bankruptcy.
Comments and advise appreciated, especially if any personnel experiences.
Here it is....

3rd July - Arrive in Arusha. Drive to Tarangire
4th July - Central Serengeti (via Olduvai Gorge and Shifting Sands)
5th July - Western Serengeti
6th July - Western Serengeti
7th July - Drive to Ngorongoro
8th July - Ngorongoro
9th July - Drive to Arusha. Overnight at Impala Hotel (BB)
10th July - Fly to Mahale. Greystoke Camp
11th July - Mahale
12th July - Mahale
13th July - Return to Arusha. Overnight at Impala Hotel (BB)
14th July - Fly to Zanzibar. Overnight in Stone Town (optional afternoon excurions - Stone Town Tour or Spice Plantation tour)
15th July - Drive to Matemwe Beach Village, overnight at Asali Suite (FB)
16th - 19th July - Matemwe Beach Village
20th July - Transfer to Zanzibar airport for flight to Dar es Salaam (please advise if flights to Kilimanjaro or Nairobi required instead of Dar es Salaam)

One other question...how am I doing for time? Do I need to get a move on with it being peak season '06.
Cheers all, Jules
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Sep 5th, 2005, 12:59 PM
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sandi
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jules -

From where are you arriving direct into Arusha?

I'd definitely spend more then a day in Tarangire. You can also probably get a lovely permanent camp here (with a honeymoon suite) rather then "semi-lux" camping at about the same price - for at least 2-nts.

For all your camping - you should get a clear understanding of "semi-lux" before you commit and be certain this is what you and your new wife want.

The drive on July 4 from Tarangire to the Central Serengeti is a very long one. It's easier to fly from Arusha to Central Serengeti then drive to Western and return from here to Ngorongoro (do the stop at Olduvai on return from the Serengeti - you pass it on the way. Again, for the Central and Western and Ngorongoro, get (and provide us with) clear information on where "camping" - private sites, public sites?

It's obvious that the trip to Mahale, staying at Greystoke is the "big money" portion of the trip - absolutely - the air and the price of the camp. That's fine, it's your honeymoon.

I'd return from Mahale to DAR. From DAR, it's a short flight to Zanzibar, avoiding the overnight in Arusha.

Depending on when and from where your homebound flight leaves, would determine whether it's best to do Stone Town first or last. The reason is that Matemwe is a good 1-1/2 hr drive to the ZNZ airport and if you have an early flight, you don't want to be getting up at "00-dark-30" (middle of the night) to catch flight from ZNZ to DAR.

BA has an early morning flight from DAR which is the closest to ZNZ, but they don't fly into JRO. In the end, it depends on who gets you into Kilimanjaro (JRO) on arrival, or as my first question above, are you coming into Nairobi to get to Arusha, or arriving JRO and being transferred to Arusha? Hope that last sentence wasn't too confusing!! Sorry, but I think you get my drift.

KLM flies into JRO and out of DAR - the arriving flight from Amsterdam gets in at 8pm. The homebound flight out of DAR stops in JRO before heading onto AMS and this is an evening flight. So you have to figure out from whom you can get your air seats.
It's time to get your air tickets and book your trip as space is tightening up even for June 06.

Do you mind telling which tour operator you are using. There are no secrets on this board.
 
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Sep 5th, 2005, 04:23 PM
  #10
 
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jules,
Let me reiterate Sandi's point:
Yes! Get moving! I just this second got word that where we want to stay is not available for our preferred dates--and we're talking late June/early July 06. Or, rather, that's when we *were* thinking of going.

Can you tell I'm in shock? Okay, deep breath. If your dates are at all flexible, you will certainly want to book accommodations before you do your airfare. And I'd get on both fairly soon. It's actually the luxury camping that's causing us the trouble at this point, so if you have your heart set on it, do't lag too long.

Your itinerary looks incredible--Mahale, lucky you. Sounds like a fantastic honeymoon.

Best wishes!
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Sep 5th, 2005, 05:11 PM
  #11
 
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well, shucks! I'm going on my first trip to Africa in 42 days and from what I'm reading here, I will be going back again and soon. If I wait until I get back in November, it seems it will be too late to get reservations, but what if I don't really like it, or once is enough as New Zealand was? Hmmm....what to do , what to do? Just venting, maybe a mai-tai or two will help!
Dennis
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Sep 5th, 2005, 05:19 PM
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Dennis,
If you make your itineraries so pricey that you can't afford to go back but every other year you'll do just fine.

Enjoy the maitai.
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Sep 6th, 2005, 02:45 AM
  #13
bwanamitch
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Dennis,

I've booked all my safaris about 3-4 months before departure, and nearly always (95%) I got the camp and lodges where I planned to go to. Unless you plan to visit Mombo or one of the best places for the migration, there is enough time for new itineraries after you return from your Zambian trip.

Mitch
 
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Sep 6th, 2005, 06:18 AM
  #14
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Sandi,
You never seize to amaze me with you knowledge.
I'm on the case with all the about questions back to the tour operator....Roy's following advice on other links.
You mention Mahale as the big expense, is this justified? I've heard many good reports.

Message received loud and clear about time. I'm out of town at the moment, but efforts will be multipled!

Jules
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Sep 6th, 2005, 06:37 AM
  #15
sandi
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jules -

You're in good hands with Roys. I just felt that regardless who the outfitter you have a clear idea with the questions I posed.

The semi-lux with Roys are in good areas and quite comfy with great support staff and outstanding meals.

I mentioned some of the permanent tented camps as a few actually have a "honeymoon" tent which is quite romantic - so inquire.

Yes, Mahale is the big ticket item. Is it a good option? Of course. It's just that getting to from the Northern Circuit is costly and the flight is about 3-4-hrs in a small plane. That's why I suggested that on the return you fly to DAR rather then back to Arusha w/ an overnight. That said, however, I don't have schedules and if you don't have firm dates - don't know when/where the plane flies. Just something to consider if going onto ZNZ - DAR is closer - a 15-min flight versus 1-hr from Arusha.

Not to dissuade you from Mahale - I feel you'll enjoy the Northern circuit so much you'll want to return (as others here who get bitten by Africa) and plan a Southern Circuit itinery including Mahale (Selous, Ruaha and Mahale) the following year or second year, thereafter.

But, if it works in this honeymoon budget - Go For It! We'll be waiting for your trip report, even if over a year from now.

As soon as you return from wherever you're off to - get moving on this so as not to be disappointed. Camping is unlikely to be a problem, but lodges or permanent tents and even Mahale/Greystoke may be.

Keep us posted.
 
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