Kenya or Tanzania for January 2009?

Old May 23rd, 2008, 06:19 AM
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Kenya or Tanzania for January 2009?

I am looking for a safari plus beach holiday for Jan/Feb 2009.
The options seem to be Kenya with Mombasa, or Tanzania with Zanzibar. Questions are:

1) Which country offers the best game viewing options at that time in the year?
2) Any recommendations for particular parks and / or safari organisers?
3) Any recommendations viz accommodations in Mombasa or Zanzibar?
4) A.O.B.

Just to clarify, we are sixtyish and retired. We like a little luxury where possible, but budget is far from unlimited. Finally, before anyone suggests it, South Africa was our first choice, but award flights are unobtainable.

Thanks for your help,
greybeard is offline  
Old May 23rd, 2008, 07:32 AM
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Or, if you have enough time, do both. It appears your budget might allow it.

1) Here is a chart of what parks are best when. Best correlates closely to highest pricing.

2) The Southern Serengeti in Tanzania is where the bulk of the migration of wildebeests and zebras and the predators that pursue them would be at the time you wish to travel. Accommodations in that area book early and quickly for Jan-Mar.

If the migration was of interest to you, then I’d suggest TZ and I'd suggest not delaying, otherwise Kenya is great.

Take a look at this trip report index, compiled by LyndaS, who happens to be in Alaska right now, not that anyone is jealous.

The reports describe itineraries and parks in great detail. You’ll see the travel companies mentioned.

Some companies that do safaris in Kenya and Tanzania that have gotten good reviews here include, but are not limited to

Africa Adventure in Ft. Lauderdale—private and group
Africa Serendipity in NYC--private
Eastern & Southern in Kenya--private and maybe some group
Good Earth in FL and Tanzania—private and group
Kiliwarriors—mostly private
Micato in Kenya and NYC—mostly group
Roys in Tanzania with reps in US—mostly private
Thomsons in Tanzania—private and group. I don’t think they do Kenya.

3) I have no experience in Zanzibar or Mombasa and that might be why I suggest to spend your time on safari, which is an experience you can get only in Africa. You can do beach, swimming, cities other places. Many itineraries easily combine safari and either Mombasa or Zanzibar.

Please post your progress on this thread for additional suggestions.
atravelynn is offline  
Old May 23rd, 2008, 07:43 AM
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I'd second the recommendation for Tanzania at that time of year, given that the Migration is usually in the Serengeti at that time of year. Zanzibar is a great place to unwind at the end of the safari. I use Kibo Guides for safari and Ocean Tours Zanzibar for the island. It's nice to spend at least one night in Stone Town on the island to learn about the history of the place and experience the Swahili culture. For the beach stay, I like Pongwe, which is a small, quiet resort on a beautiful beach.
ShayTay is offline  
Old May 23rd, 2008, 07:58 AM
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you might see some wildebeest migration and even crossings in the massai mara in jan but you will definately see the calving season in the serengeti.
as AT mentions i would also consider doing both: massai mara and serengeti, tarangire and the crater.

it would really help to know about the budget, whether you like to frequent tented camps or lodges or a mixture of both.

regarding the beach - sorry i cannot assist as i dedicate my time simply to safari
divine54 is offline  
Old May 23rd, 2008, 12:37 PM
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Depending on how long your holiday and the airport into which you fly... more carriers into Nairobi, Kenya than Kilimanjaro, Tanzania... you can visit both countries.

As others mention, for Jan/Feb and if the migration is of interest, the Southern Serengeti and Ndutu areas are the place to be. That said, if arriving at Nairobi, and as long as you've come this far, you can visit the Masai Mara* for a few days. Then by road or fly into Tanzania for safari at Manyara, Ngorongoro, Serengeti/Ndutu - concluding on Zanzibar.

*the Mara is always good, even if the migration is in the Serengeti.
sandi is offline  
Old May 23rd, 2008, 12:57 PM
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Another vote for the Tanzania northern circuit, particularly the southern Serengeti.
Dana_M is offline  
Old May 24th, 2008, 08:55 AM
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You can get direct flights to Zanzibar from Serengeti. If you go to Zanzibar, you might wish to divide your time between a hotel in Stone Town (I stayed in a superior room at Tembo House, because I prefer the location) and Chumbe Island, an award winning eco resort and marine reserve.

Londonres is offline  
Old Jun 6th, 2008, 06:31 AM
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greybeard, we did the Micato Stanley Wing safari the first 2 weeks of February 2007. We saw the largest herds in Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti. That included wildebeest calving in the crater, which was amazing! The Mara was relatively empty in comparison.

I am a big Micato fan. They are pricey, but you get what you pay for.

You can find my full report starting at
hausfrau is offline  
Old Jun 8th, 2008, 01:12 PM
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in order to read miore about the sightings in the mara you can go to
the reports are honest.

regarding lillac's report on the italian safari i would like to stress that every year is different as every move is depending on the rains and wildebeest can smell the rain for double digit km's!

happy planning!
divine54 is offline  
Old Jun 9th, 2008, 09:53 AM
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Check with
I'd recomend this company to anyone as they did a marvelous job in organizing our trip to tanzania and Zanzibar last year.
Tanzania is offline  
Old Jun 25th, 2008, 06:34 AM
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kenya is arguibly the best ,different vegetations,and as well the animals in the parks may appear the same but if you look closer you notice the different pattern on their bodies e.g the giraffes are different in three parks,plus there coast is superb.make atrial.
cobbler is offline  
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