Kenya/Tanzania itinerary for review

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Jul 3rd, 2005, 05:04 PM
  #1
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Join Date: Apr 2005
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Kenya/Tanzania itinerary for review

Hereís yet another Kenya/Tanzania itinerary seeking feedback. Iím open to spending 2 Ė 3 weeks there. This started out as June/July 2006 but I am moving it to September in hopes of some migration time in Masai Mara at the end of the trip. I understand moving to September is adding to the price. I may be trying to do too much in one trip but who knows when Iíll make it back. I hope to use Northwest Airlines frequent flyer mileage to get there so Iím trying to get some sort if itinerary in mind so I can plan the flights.

I may be traveling as a single so Iím trying to save some cost by mostly driving and staying in lodges. (Iíve read good things and not so good things about the driving experience.) Two shuttle trips Nairobi/Arusha may be too much! Only flights so far are to/from Masai Mara. Iím still trying to decide what to drop and maybe spend more time in other places. Thoughts on Arusha NP, Tsavo West and Lake Manyara during the September time frame? Iím open to dropping these and spending more time in Serengeti, Tarangire, and/or Amboseli. Also, what about just 2 nights at the Serengeti in September? Is that enough time? I also could add another night at the Ngorongoro Crater but Iím waiting to here about park fees for 2006. Iím hearing it could be going up to $100 per person. Iím open to dropping some days and adding some flights but donít know and if that will help the pricing. Right now this itinerary at 2005 prices is running $4400 (2 people), $6000+ (single).

Iíve reviewed many of the itineraries already posted here for input so I figure I might as well put mine out there. So here it is.


Day 1: Arrive Nairobi
Day 2: Nairobi
Day 3: Nairobi/Arusha (shuttle), Arusha National Park
Day 4: Arusha/Tarangire National Park - Kikoti Camp
Day 5: Tarangire - Kikoti Camp
Day 6: Tarangire/Lake Manyara National Park Ė Kirumuru Tented Lodge
Day 7: Lake Manyara/Serengeti - Sopa Lodge
Day 8: Serengeti - Sopa Lodge
Day 9: Serengeti/Ngorongoro Crater - Sopa Lodge
Day 10: Ngorongoro Crater/Arusha - Impala Hotel
Day 11: Arusha/Nairobi (shuttle)/Tsavo Ė Kilaguni Serena Safari Lodge
Day 12: Tsavo - Kilaguni Serena Safari Lodge
Day 13: Tsavo/Amboseli - Ol Tukai Lodge
Day 14: Amboseli - Ol Tukai
Day 15: Amboseli/Masai Mara (fly) - Mara Serena Safari Lodge
Day 16: Masai Mara - Mara Serena Safari Lodge
Day 17: Masai Mari- Mara Serena Safari Lodge
Day 18: Masai Mara/Nairobi (fly)

Thanks!
tulip44 is offline  
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Jul 4th, 2005, 09:16 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,727
First of all, with a NW Worldperks award, you should be able to get an open jaw itinerary flying into one city and out of another which would eliminate the need to take a shuttle or flight between Nairobi and Arusha/Kilimanjaro twice. KLM operates daily flights to both Nairobi and Kilimanjaro from Amsterdam. Kenya Airways (KQ) is also a NW Worldperks partner and operates flights to Nairobi from Amsterdam or Heathrow. KQ codeshares with Precision Air on the Nairobi-Kilimanjaro flights, but I don't know if a codeshare would be eligible for award redemption. Anyway, you should try for seats on the KLM operated flight either to or from Kilimanjaro airport. That will save you some travel time and allow some extra time on safari. The order of which country you'll visit first may be determined by award seat availability. I redeemed Delta Skymiles on KLM for Nov/Dec and pretty much had to fly into Nairobi and return from Kilimanjaro, as there was no award seat availability going the other way.

On day 11, have you confirmed with your tour operator that this will work? Is this something that they suggested? I believe the morning shuttles leave Arusha around 8:00am getting into Nairobi around 1:00-1:30pm. The drive from Nairobi to Kilaguni will take approx 6 hours by my estimate (about 5 hours to reach the Mtito Andei gate and another hour on park roads to reach Kilaguni), so you'd really have to hurry to try and enter the park before it closes. Double check with your tour operator on this.

Some other options to consider -

1. Take a morning flight from Kilimanjaro to Nairobi and drive to Tsavo.

2. If you're able to get open jaw flights, then you can take the shuttle, have your Nairobi overnight(s) here, and start the drive to Tsavo early the following morning. It'll be much less tiring than an 11 hour day on the road.

3. Switch the order of your visits to Amboseli and Tsavo. Have your Tanzania driver drop you off at the Namanga border where your Kenya driver picks you up and proceed to Amboseli. From the Namanga border to Ol Tukai is approx 1.5 hours. If you do this, you could eliminate the overnight in Arusha (and add an extra night to Ngorongoro instead) if you get an early start in the morning. If would be even better if you could rework your itinerary to travel from Lake Manyara or Tarangire to Amboseli.

Amboseli is a fairly small park and I think 2 nights here is sufficient. Tsavo West is a huge park with very dramatic landscape. The game density doesn't rival some of the other parks, but we loved the 'wildness' of the park, the changing scenery and contrast to other areas, and the fact that there were few other vehicles around.

Hope this helps.
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Jul 5th, 2005, 12:52 PM
  #3
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Patty,

I'll see what I can find about using WorldPerks for an open jaw and how this could change the trip. Yes, day 11 was something the tour operator suggested. I like the idea of dropping a night in Arusha and spending one more night at Ngorongoro.

Thanks!
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