Kenya & Tanzania

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Sep 26th, 2005, 01:05 PM
  #1
MW123
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Kenya & Tanzania

Hello Everybody
With my husband we just booked tickets to Nairobi. We'll be landing there late evening on Fri (18 Nov 2005) and departing on Sun (27 Nov 2005) just before midnight. We have to organize our trip for 9 days. We would like to go on a safari to Masai Mara(3)+Lake Nakuru(1) in Kenya and later travel trough the border to Tanzania(1) in order to visit the Ngorongoro Crater(2) and relax on Zanzibar(2). We need helpful information on tour agencies organizing safaris to Masai Mara & Lake Nakuru starting on Saturdays and tips on visiting the Ngorongoro Crater and Zanzibar. We're also seeking info on land transport from Nairobi to Arusha and flights Arusha/(Kilimanjaro)-Zanzibar and later Zanzibar-Nairobi. Please advice and share your comments on our itinerary. /Maria
 
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Sep 26th, 2005, 01:19 PM
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In November, you may be better off visiting the Serengeti, which, together with the Masai Mara, is part of one large ecosystem, and with your short time, skipping Lake Nakuru (I haven't been there, but it seems out of the way). If you focus on Tanzania, you could contact Roys Safaris about visit to Crater, Serengeti and Zanzibar. By cutting out Kenya, you'll save yourself a lot of traveling time, and NBO is still a great airport for visiting Tanzania.

Michael
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Sep 26th, 2005, 01:24 PM
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You sound like me on my first trip. I had tickets in hand before I had anything booked or even knew where I wanted to go. I was totally clueless! At least you have some idea of where you want to go

First of all, you don't have very much time. With the first night spent in Nairobi, you only have 8 nights to divide between the rest. Are you sure you want to visit all of those places? It's certainly possible, but will be rushed.

There are a number of recommended East Africa safari outfitters who can put this trip together for you. Many of them will customize a private safari for the two of you, so there's no need to find an operator with a scheduled departure for a certain day (unless you need to share with others for cost reasons). If you do a search, you'll find many names listed but here are a few to get you started as you need to act quickly -

Eastern & Southern Safaris (I've used them)
Southern Cross Safaris
Wildtrek Safaris
Roys Safaris
Good Earth Safaris
Tanzania Serengeti Adventures

The first 3 are based in Kenya and the latter 3 are based in Tanzania. Any one of them can organize safaris in both countries for you.

I think you should consider flying directly from the Mara to Kilimajaro(via Nairobi). Given your limited time, I don't think you should drive back to Nairobi and deal with land transport from Nairobi to Arusha (which would also necessitate an overnight in Arusha). If you fly, you may actually be able to drive straight to Ngorongoro crater that same day.
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Sep 26th, 2005, 01:54 PM
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Hi Maria,

I'm another one of those "buy the air first and sort out the safari later" people, so I can totally relate.

I took the shuttle bus from Nairobi to Arusha, but we had 19 days and you just have 9, so if you can at all afford it, I recommend flying.

With 9 days and wanting to include Zanzibar, I think I'd pick either Kenya or Tanzania for the safari portion simply to save time. If the Crater is a must, then I *think* it makes more sense to visit the Serengeti rather than the Mara. Please, someone correct me if I'm wrong.

If the Mara is a must, then given your time limitations, I would probably skip the Crater and spend more time enjoying Kenya. It is as easy to fly to Zanzibar from Nairobi as from Arusha/JRO.

By the way, you're trip sounds great; I'm extremely jealous!
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Sep 26th, 2005, 02:32 PM
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I'm not sure why either the Mara or the Serengeti would be a "must" since they are two sections of the same park, the Serengeti being the much larger section, and I would think the choice would depend on where wildlife viewing is better, on based, at least on Mark Nolting's safari book, the Serengeti is better in November.

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Sep 26th, 2005, 03:19 PM
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thit_cho,
re: Mara and Serengeti. Yes, I realize they are part of the same ecosystem, thank you very much. But while the zebras and the wildebeest may cross freely, we tourists may not. So, given limited time and possibly limited resources, a tourist may have to choose.

By the way, I listed the Crater and the Mara as potential "musts," since they--and not the Serengeti--were on the OPs original itinerary.

Hmm, you seem to have raised my ire. I've never even been to the Mara, and would pick the Serengeti regardless of season because I love it. But I know some people feel the same way about the Mara.
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Sep 27th, 2005, 04:49 AM
  #7
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As you've outlined what you'd like to do, here's the time needed to get this accomplished:

Day 1 - Arv. NBO - overnight (o/n)
Day 2 - Drive to Lk. Nakuru (3-hrs) - o/n
Day 3 - Drive to Mara (5-6 hrs, there are no flights) - o/n
Day 4 - Mara
Day 5 - Mara
Day 6 - FLY to NBO - drive to Namanga border onto Arusha - o/n
Day 7 - Drive to Crater - o/n
Day 8 - Crater - o/n
Day 9 - Drive to Arusha, FLY to ZNZ - o/n
Day 10 - ZNZ - o/n
Day 11 - afternoon FLY to NBO - homeward flight.

... you've run out of time!

As others mentioned, you're better being in Tanzania - the Serengeti for November as:

Day 1 - Arv. NBO - o/n
Day 2 - Early Shuttle to Arusha, arrive about 12N-1pm, lunch, drive to Crater (5-hrs) - o/n (entire day is traveling if doing by road)
OR
Day 2 - Early FLY to Kili, transfer via Arusha, drive to Crater (5-hrs) you can get in a Crater Rim Walk, but not sufficient time to go down into Crater - o/n
Day 3 - Morning Crater Tour; afternoon (some other activity or leisure - o/n
Day 4 - Drive via Oldupai (brief visit) to Central Serengeti - o/n
Day 5 - Serengeti (Central or North or Northeast) - o/n
Day 6 - Serengeti - o/n
Day 7 - FLY via Arusha to ZNZ - o/n
Day 8 - ZNZ - o/n
Day 9 - afternoon FLY to NBO for homebound flight

Your budget will determine whether road and/or flights and the accommodations you select, whether lodges or permanent tent camps.

Contact a few of the in-country outfitters for pricing of the Tanzania itinerary which will be private for the two of you only. I doubt you'd find a "scheduled" itinerary as you originally listed it. Just not feasible, and as you see "you'd run out of days."

You'll just have to save the Mara, Nakuru (and other great places) in Kenya for another trip, another time.

 
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Sep 27th, 2005, 07:18 AM
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Leely, I didn't mean to raise your ire #39;( , but I wasn't sure if they original poster was aware that the Masai Mara and the Serengeti, while both excellent, and I have been to both, are similar, and during November, if their primary interest is seeing large numbers of animals for a photo safari that the Serengeti may be better. As between the two, I think the scenery in the Serengeti is more spectacular, but I would choose based on where the large herds are at the time of my visit.

>)
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Sep 27th, 2005, 10:11 AM
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thit_cho,

Oh, I was just feeling crabby on a Monday. And trying to figure out how someone can do a safari and Zanzibar in 9 days with arrival and departure through NBO--ack.

Thank goodness Sandi is here to hammer out details.

Also, I think it's a shame that the OP and her husband probably will not have the time to spend a day in Nairobi, where there's certainly enough to do to occupy a day (or two).
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Sep 28th, 2005, 11:46 AM
  #10
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Thanks to everybody for all the comments I've been very busy yesterday, so sorry for "slow responding" ;-) :
1. We noted the fact about Serengeti vs. Masai Mara. Your comments unfortunately confirm our previous doubts...
2. Special thanks to Sandi for the day by day itineraries (btw, in the second one you've counted 9 days instead of 10 - if you count the day of arrival to Nairobi as the first one we have 10 days, not 9 (see dates from my first post).
3. We still need some info on the flights NeighborhoodOfNgorongoro ;-)-Zanzibar-Nairobi, does anyone know websites of any domestic carriers in Tanzania/Kenya ?
I think that with those flights we might make it, but I have to check out the timetables first./Maria
 
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Sep 28th, 2005, 12:14 PM
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Maria,

Try www.regional.co.tz for your Tanzania internal flights and www.kenya-airways.com and www.precisionairtz.com for your flight from Zanzibar to Nairobi.

On the Kenya Airways site, I think you have to choose Kenya as your country of residence to be able to view the schedule.
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Sep 28th, 2005, 12:16 PM
  #12
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IF we decide to stick with the MM version, what do you think about this itinerary ?
11/18 Arrival to Nairobi.
11/19 Depart at 07:30 for MM NR. Afternoon game drive 15:30-18:30.
11/20 A full day game drive at MM.
11/21 A full day game drive at MM.
11/22 Morning game drive 06:30-09:30 and depart through Narok and Mt. Longonot to LN NP. Afternoon game drive 16:00-18:30.
11/23 Morning game drive 06.30-12.30 and depart through the Great Rift Valley to Nairobi straight for the afternoon bus to Arusha.
11/24 Depart to Ngorongoro CA. Afternoon game drive.
11/25 Morning game drive. Depart for Arusha. Evening flight to Zanzibar?
11/26 Sightseeing Stone Town. Enjoying the island.
11/27 Relax on the beaches. Evening flight to Nairobi?
???
The problem is I don't have any info of the flights to and from Zanzibar
/Maria
 
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Sep 28th, 2005, 12:26 PM
  #13
 
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Maria, this may be outdated info, but when I took the Nairobi-Arusha shuttle, the "late" one departed at 2pm. So I'd be concerned about cutting it too close on 11/23.

Good luck with your plans. I think once you get the details sorted out, you will have a fantastic trip.
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Sep 28th, 2005, 12:39 PM
  #14
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Patty - thank you very much for the info on tour operators. I emailed a few of them. For Kenya - Eastern & Southern safaris have a suitable schedule and reasonable prices. For Tanzania - Roy's safaris look interesting, but to pricey for our budget. On most websites that you've recommended I found a lot of info on Zanzibar /Maria
 
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Sep 28th, 2005, 12:45 PM
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With the itinerary you propose, frankly I would suggest skipping the Crater -- you're traveling a very long way to get there for one day. It is great, but its too far, in my view, to travel for one day.

With such a limited period of time, I would focus on either Kenya OR Tanzania, and if your heart is set on seeing the Masai Mara, I would recommend ending in Lamu or Mombasa if you want some beach time and coastal culture. With your revised itinerary, you'll have very little time in Zanzibar.

You could:

11/18 Arrival to Nairobi.
11/19 Depart at 07:30 for MM NR. Afternoon game drive 15:30-18:30.
11/20 A full day game drive at MM.
11/21 A full day game drive at MM.
11/22 Morning game drive 06:30-09:30 and depart through Narok and Mt. Longonot to LN NP. Afternoon game drive 16:00-18:30.
11/23 Full day LK NP
11/24 Morning game drive 06.30-12.30 and depart through the Great Rift Valley to Nairobi for late flight to Mombassa..
11/25 Mombassa
11/26 Mombassa.
11/27 Flight to Nairobi

This seems much less rushed.
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Sep 28th, 2005, 12:48 PM
  #16
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Leely - Thanks for the notice. I went to a bookstore and went over a few guidebooks, the same scaring info is written there about the 2PM shuttle from Nairobi to Arusha ;-) IF we go to MM and LN we might be 1 h late to catch that bus. I'll talk to the tour operators if they can cut 1h at LN. /Maria
 
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Sep 28th, 2005, 12:56 PM
  #17
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thit_cho - you're right it's all in a rush, but we'ld really like to see Ngorongoro and visit Zanzibar, i think i'd rather go with Serengeti vs. Masai Mara, what we're considering at the moment...S or MM, first i'll check the flights - btw, Patty ! Big Thanks
/Maria
 
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Sep 28th, 2005, 01:04 PM
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Maria,
If you leave Lake Nakuru early enough, there should be no reason why you can't make the 2pm shuttle departure. The drive from Nakuru to Nairobi should take 2-3 hours at most.
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Sep 28th, 2005, 01:08 PM
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If you go with Serengeti, instead of MM, you'll be much less rushed and you won't spend as much time on the road.

Check out Sandi's second itinerary. She has two alternative suggestions for Day 2 (depending on whether you drive or fly), so she hasn't added an extra day.
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Sep 28th, 2005, 01:17 PM
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Michael,
Sandi's itinerary is actually too short by one day.

Maria,
If you go with sandi's second itinerary, you could simply add another night in Zanzibar to make it 10 days instead of 9. Or you could add 1 night in Tarangire or Lake Manyara on your way to Ngorongoro crater.

So Day 2 could be fly/shuttle to Arusha and drive to Tarangire/Lake Manyara, Day 3 drive from Tarangire/Lake Manyara to Ngorongoro crater and then continue with the rest of the itinerary.
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