Old Jun 10th, 2017, 01:04 PM
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Good afternoon all. I'm currently planning a 14-night safari beach excursion in east Africa and I'm seeking feedback on the proposed safari portion of the itinerary. Thanks in advance for any insight!

20 Aug: Arrive JKIA at 1840. Pick up and transfer to a city hotel. Overnight at Sarova Panafric Hotel on B&B

21 Aug: After breakfast drive to Lake Nakuru National Park which is also known as “The Bird Watchers’ Paradise” Enjoy game drives. Lunch, dinner and overnight at Flamingo Hill Camp FB

22 Aug: You will have a full day in Lake Nakuru National park with morning and afternoon game drives. All meals and overnight at Flamingo Hill Camp FB

23 Aug: Early breakfast then depart and drive to Masai Mara reserve, arriving at Mara Sarova Camp in time for lunch (6hours drive). Short siesta in your rooms, later depart for an afternoon game drive in the reserve. Dinner and overnight at the Mara Sarova Camp FB

24th & 25th Aug: Enjoy day game drives in Masai Mara reserve which plays host to the world’s greatest natural spectacle; The Great Wildebeest Migration from the Serengeti. From July to October, the promise of rain and fresh life giving grass in the north brings more than 1.5 million Wildebeest together into a single massive herd. The big cats - lion, leopard, and cheetah - follow the wildebeest, essentially their main source of food, into the Mara. Meals and overnight at Mara Sarova Camp

26th Aug: Early morning game drive before breakfast at the camp. Depart with packed lunches transfer to the airstrip, connect a scheduled flight (via Wilson Airport) to Kilimanjaro Airport (Safarilink, Depart.1100 Arr.1330). Clear with immigration department, pick up and drive to Ngorongoro Farm house located in Karatu. Relax in the afternoon. Dinner and overnight at Ngorongoro Farm house FB

27th Aug: Drive into Ngorongoro Conservation Area, descend over 600 metres to the floor of the crater for a day crater tour. Explore the forest areas that are inhabited by monkey and elephant, the lake area, where you may see the flamingos and the open savannah where the lions hunt for food. Picnic lunches will be served in the crater. Dinner and overnight at Ngorongoro Farm house FB

28th Aug: Depart after breakfast, drive to Arusha town for lunch. Later transfer to Arusha Airport for a flight to Zanzibar (Air Excel,dept.1400 Arr.1520)
theatrain is offline  
Old Jun 10th, 2017, 02:41 PM
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At the Crater, we loved the location of the Sopa Lodge.
It would be a shame to miss Tarangire NP. Stay at the Tarangire Safari Lodge.
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Old Jun 11th, 2017, 10:20 PM
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it is a good itinerary
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Old Jun 12th, 2017, 04:27 AM
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The Ngorongoro Farm House is lovely, probably the highest-end accommodation I've stayed at on safari. It is however a bit of a drive to the crater, so I'd plan on a super-early departure for your day in the Crater.
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Old Jun 12th, 2017, 08:11 PM
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Theatrain, it seems a like a lot of logistics of moving from point A to B to C for very little time on the ground/on safari. One of the things that may dictate my recommendation depends upon how much you've been quoted for this trip. Once I know your approximate budget, I can make recommendations that fit within your pricing parameters.

You should also note that Nakuru, Sarova, the Ngorongoro are all Game Reserve/National Parks with high density tourism. You will be surrounded by masses of people, especially at Savora which accommodates more than 100 people in camp. It's what I refer to as a "mega" camp and has a relatively heavy footprint compared to a smaller more intimate family owned safari camp such as Spekes Camp (stunning value at pay 3, stay 4 with private vehicle and guide allocated to each booking). Alternatively, you can seek a camp in a private conservancy surrounding the Masai Mara for much higher level of exclusivity. Something like Offbeat Mara is a good value proposition. If you don't mind the bigger properties, something like Kitchwa Tembo will be a much higher caliber experience.

The Mara to Karatu will be a mega transfer day. You should have your tour operator spell out the exact timing of the trip. You will have to transfer to a nearby airstrip in the Mara, fly Mara/Wilson, fly Nairobi to Kilimanjaro, clear immigration, drive to Karatu. I can assure you that by the time in your day to "enjoy the afternoon". You'd get there, settle in, and be ready for supper.

You should also note that if you want to visit the crater from Karatu, it means an exceptionally early AM start. You will likely be out the door at 530AM. You will take the more trafficked descent route amongst a slew of other cars. Alternatively, you can book Sopa, Lemala or Highlands and use the less trafficked descent route for more solitude on the Crater floor for the first 1/2 of the day.

I think the major flaw in this itinerary is the amount of logistics involved in such a short trip. I'd imagine you are paying quite a bit to move from one place to the next for such a short stay. My recommendation would be to safari in Kenya or Tanzania only to minimize your time transferring and more time on safari. There are lots of great camps and portfolios out there offering special promotions to make more luxury trips accessible.

My recommendation would be to either do 2 camps in Kenya (1 of them being something in the Mara ecosystem) and fly from Olkiombo Airstrip in the Mara non-stop to Diani beach on the Kenyan coast. Alternatively, doing perhaps Tarangire and/or Ngorongoro combined with 3 nights in the Serengeti; ideally in the Mara or Lamai sector.

Both Kenya and Tanzania are stand alone destinations worthy of 2 weeks each. There is no need to spend a few nights in each country as you will spend more time and money in transfers than it's worth for such a short trip. Just my two cents!

Kota Tabuchi
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Old Jun 22nd, 2017, 04:37 AM
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Thanks everybody. I really appreciate the feedback!
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Old Aug 6th, 2017, 01:41 PM
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Kota Tabuchi, some people have mentioned to me that more than 10-12 days on safari is too much. But you say that each country is worth two weeks and I would agree.I don't want to go to the coast. What else would you recommend? I think I could observe animals for weeks!
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