itinerary - this friday?!

Jan 15th, 2007, 06:41 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 29
itinerary - this friday?!

Hi, I've just recieved our itinary for a trip we're leaving this friday for:

Jan 20: Arrive, transferred to Arumeru River lodge (www.arumerulodge.com)

Jan 21: Drive to and game drives/walking outside of Tarangire National Park, Kirurumu Tented Lodge (www.kirurumu.com)

Jan 22: Day spent visiting local tribes and village, game drive at Lake Manyara National Park, overnight Kirurumu Lodge

Jan 23: Drive to Lake Eyasi, Cultural activities with Hadzabe bushmen and translator (click language) - overnight Kisima Ngeda Tented Lodge
(http://www.go-safari.com/Manyara/Kisimangeda.htm)

Jan 24: Drive to Ngorongoro Crater, overnight Ngorongoro Farm House - (Sopa Lodge fully booked)
(http://www.go-safari.com/Manyara/Farmhouse.htm)

Jan 25: Game drive in Crater/local Maasai villages, overnight Ngorongoro Farm House

Jan 26/27/28: Drive to Serengeti National Park - Overnights in Mobile-Tented Campsite in Ndutu Southern Area (this is where the great migration currently is)

Jan 29: Fly Serengeti/Pemba overnight on own arrangements (Manta reef)
---------------
03 Feb: Fly them From Pemba to Zanzibar overnight Emerson & Green
(http://www.236hurumzi.com)

04 Feb: Transfer from E&G to Airport fly to Dar, Day room at Holiday Inn, transfer back to the airport and fly International flight out.

The cost includes the flights from serengeti to pemba via zanzibar, excludes the cost at manta reef lodge.

I'd appreciate any thoughts you might have.... the cost per person is $3,406.

Thanks in advance!

Regards,
Melissa
midwestgypsy is offline  
Jan 15th, 2007, 06:46 AM
  #2  
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oops. i was in such a rush i think i forgot to mention this trip is to tanzania, 2 weeks: 1 week safari, 1 week water.
midwestgypsy is offline  
Jan 15th, 2007, 07:46 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440
The parks and the amount of time spent there looks very good. Don't know the about the specific lodges. The mobile should be wonderful. Hadzebe bushmen activities look especially interesting.

I know nothing about Pemba/beach so can't comment on that or the cost, which includes the beach.

The fact that you received your itinerary less than a week to departure prompts me to wonder
(1) were you a late booker and this is the result of a major effort on the part of the agent to put together a good intinerary last minute?
~or~
(2) has the agent been procrastinating so that you are were informed of the specifics until the last minute, thereby unable to request any changes?
atravelynn is offline  
Jan 15th, 2007, 08:53 AM
  #4  
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Hi,

Well, we decided roughly 8 days ago to take the trip! And Jo (the US rep / owner for naipenda safari) was just returning from Tanzania when i was referred to her, so i wasn't able to talk to her US side until Wednesday. THEN of all things, there was a holiday in Tanzania, which gave them a long weekend.

So, this is an excellent operator bending over backwards to make it work for us. Mirjam/Green Footprints (africa side) was also extremely responsive but I just couldn't get a handle on the itinerary he was proposing. And with the time pressure, i just couldn't afford to risk the misconnected assumptions that are typical with us/foreign correspondences...

I had sent out initial inquiries to nearly all 10 of the operators frequently mentioned on Fodors. About 4 responded (most not wanting to work that hard) and these two are the two that were willing to make it happen for us.

Because of this board, by the time i talked to jo i knew roughly where i wanted to spend my time and then questions about possible locations to visit. She caught on very quickly that i was interested in cultural exposure during the trip which is why she countered with the lake Eyasi side trip (originally, we were thinking 2 days at Ngorongoro crater). She also countered a bit on the time I originally wanted to spend in each location.

One of the reasons we jumped blindly in with them is because I concluded they're a solid middle of the road company that specialized in lux and semi-lux private experiences, catering to those desiring an experience away from the mass tourist experience. I also found out through their materials that her co-owner, Israel has guided bill gates and jimmy carter when they toured Tanzania!

The same “last minute” trip happened with me in 2001 when I took a trip with ker & downey in Botswana for 12 days. I spent all my savings to go with them (taking my mother) because it was too overwhelming to consider not being blindly guided by a top notch operator at the last minute (2 weeks notice). The experience was incredible, but I did learn a lot re how I’d do things differently, etc. So, this round, I was jumping in, knowing what I wanted…. At least I hope I know a little better what I think I want 

Usually I’m an analyze to death type of gal. Time not allowing, this time I’m going with my gut. Everything is going too smoothly so far, so I’m knocking on wood and crossing my fingers 

Melissa
midwestgypsy is offline  
Jan 15th, 2007, 09:58 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,843
I think it's a nice itinerary and congrats to you and your tour op for being able to pull this together on such short notice. Please post a report when you return as I don't think we've seen many reviews of Naipenda. Have a great trip!
Patty is offline  
Jan 15th, 2007, 12:21 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440
This certainly is an agent bending over backwards! Your mobile time is just ideal. Now I want to get the agent(s) straight. Naipenda is what it's called in the US and Green Footprints is the Tanzania outfit? Did I understand that correctly? If not, please correct me.

atravelynn is offline  
Jan 15th, 2007, 01:49 PM
  #7  
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Posts: 29
Hi,

ok, i was a little rushed before.. heading out to the library for actual books (!) and my shots!

Naipenda Safaris
USA Director: Jo Bertone, Texas
E-mail: [email protected]
Skype: jobertone
http://www.naipendasafaris.com/

Mirjam - Green Footprint Adventures [[email protected]]
P.O. Box 15431 / Arusha Tanzania
landline: +255 (0) 27 254 4635

As mentioned, had I had time, I would have tried to work longer with Green footprint as Mirjam was trying very hard to please/accommodate.

I went back and forth with Susan Wood at Roys but we never really synched and the only option she had available was sleeping in sleeping bags (bags not included in cost?!) staying in "basic campsites" for ~$2200?! I also never got the sense she listened to what I wanted. She was too busy telling me my options. But in a rush situation I can understand the reaction. Or it could have been my Minnesota culture “clashing” with assertive direct east coast language She also seemed to suggest more mainstream lodge alternative/options (ie things frequently mentioned on fodors!). I didn’t feel she was a synched with her Tz ground operator as Jo was.

Africa Serendipity was willing to give it a shot but wanted me to lead the itinerary

EastAfrica safari also sent an itinerary but it was obviously a cut/paste without regard to my specific requests.

Good Earth Tours said i was too late and only offered a basic camping option

I also talked with some lodges specifically who were willing to arrange a driver/guide to pick me up.. ntudu lodge specifically was very helpful to my plight.

Anyone i didn't mention doesn't seem to be in my inbox... so I guess, counting it all up, I got several next day responses, they all just varied on the interest in dealing with last minute issues…..

Melissa

midwestgypsy is offline  
Jan 15th, 2007, 02:17 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 1
Melissa
hello
your experience is similiar to mine most of the Agents T/O reccom. on the board didn't answer me either especially those reccom. often
I have narrowed my trip down to five operators and the ones based in Tanzania seem faster in replies and trying to please than the overseas agents dont know why though
also my expecience with Roys was similiar to yours
have a great trip
elizabeth
elizabethxyz is offline  
Jan 15th, 2007, 03:26 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 104
elizabeth
the agents in the US, UK are slower because after receiving your enquiry they then have to contact their ground operators in Tanzania or Kenya for that matter to get availability etc
and if your trip is somewhat different not a standard lodge safari which is what Roys do and also you want answers fast like midwestgypsy
you are far better off dealing with a operator in the country you want to visit
Geelong2007 is offline  
Jan 16th, 2007, 09:50 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 4,222
midwestgypsy,
Sounds like a great trip, and the price is fair. Safari njema!
Leely is offline  
Jan 19th, 2007, 12:06 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
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atravelynn, I think that Green Footprint is actually an independent company, local ground operator in Tanzania. the Naipenda company you mention - never heard the name before? who are they?
MatiH is offline  

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