Kenya/Tanzania: Need Immediate Help!

Oct 5th, 2006, 05:19 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 524
Kenya/Tanzania: Need Immediate Help!

If anyone can offer immediate help, it would be greatly appreciated. I might have to book my East Africa trip today, and I'm having trouble deciphering a portion of my itinerary. Here's what it says:

(Previous night spent at Bateleur Camp at Kichwa Tembo in Masai Mara.)

This morning you will be met and be transferred to Mara airstrip for your Safarilink scheduled flight to the Wilson Airport departing at 13h00 to Kilimanjaro. On your arrival in Kilimanjaro you will have to clear customs and immigrations, there after, you will connect with your Regional Air scheduled thoroughfare flight departing to the Manyara Airstrip. You will arrive at the Manyara airstrip at 15h25. Upon arrival you will be met and be road transferred to Ngorongoro Crater Lodge (approximately 1.5 hours drive).

I can't quite figure out if this is two flights or three flights. This is what I think it says (but I don't know the times for all portions):

*Mara to Wilson (on Safarilink, departs ?? and arrives ??)
*Wilson to Kilimanjaro (??on Safarilink ??departs 1:00 pm and arrives ??)
*Clear Customs
*Kili to Manyara (on Regional Air departs ?? and arrives 3:25 pm)

This seems like quite a haul, and perhaps it's why people have discouraged me from trying to see both Kenya and Tanzania in one short trip. But it's just one day out of many (12 nights). I've already taken 3 connecting flights to get somewhere remote in the US, and while not optimal, it's a means to an end. My worry is not making the flights--what's the likelihood of that?

Thank you in advance for your help.
fluffnfold is offline  
Oct 5th, 2006, 05:29 AM
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 177

Yes, it is 3 flights.

1. Mara airstrip to Wilson airport.
2. Wilson to Kili airport.
3. Kili to Manyara airstrip.

jenn24 is offline  
Oct 5th, 2006, 05:40 AM
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Thanks, Jenn.

I tried to do a little research on my own:

*Mara to Wilson (Safarilink)
departs 11:00 am, arrives 12:15 pm)
*Wilson to Kilimanjaro (Safarilink)
departs 1:00 pm,arrives 2:00)
????IS 45-minutes enough for the connection????
*Clear Customs
*Kilimanjaro to Manyara (Regional Air)
departs 2:302:45 (Kili to Arusha),
then 3:003:20 (Arusha to Manyara))
????IS 15-minutes enough for the connection????

It seems like a hellish itinerary for that ONE day; however, all other days/flights are IDEAL. Will I be sorry?
fluffnfold is offline  
Oct 5th, 2006, 05:41 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,134
We did the same transfer a couple of weeks ago and it's not really a problem. Planes wait for one another if they are delayed. Also, they shepard you from one plane to the next so you're not trying to find your way around strange airports. We were pleasantly surprised how easy all of the connections were.
Marija is online now  
Oct 5th, 2006, 06:24 AM
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Yes, it's three flights and the 15/min works between arrival from the Mara and paperwork needed to head to JRO. However, the flight to JRO is often late departing.

Then when arriving JRO, you have to clear customs and immigration and obtain Visa is you don't already have.

Then the flight to Lk. Manyara and not arriving at Crater Lodge till late in time for dinner. That's alot of $$$ to pay to sleep.

Technically this winds up being a travel day the way it's scheduled.

I usually suggest client's overnight in Arusha (costs less than night at Crater Lodge) and depart next morning, 8am flight to Manyara (arrive about 10/min later) where your transfer driver is there for ride to Ngorongoro which is more like 2 to 2.5/hrs (no where is it 1.5/hrs). You can then do your afternoon crater tour.

But since you appear to be using CCA, you can instead of flying to Manyara and road to Ngorongoro, simply overnight at Manyara. The CCA property here is Tree Lodge, also expensive and way at the farthest end of the park. The drive from the airstrip to TreeLodge will be at least 2.5/hrs and you get in a game drive; then 2.5/hrs out the next morning without time for game viewing. Instead of Tree Lodge you can overnight at the Serena Lodge which is right outside of Manyara and easier for next morning drive to Ngorongoro.

If you choose instead to overnight in Arusha, the Arusha Coffee Lodge is a lovely property. Or less expensive can be Nguruduto Lodge, the Kibo Palace or Arusha Hotels.

I've seen visitors arrive at Ngorongoro after a full day of traveling from Kenya - not a pretty sight. And this doesn't matter whether they did it by air or by land. It's just too hectic.

Your choice.

Oct 5th, 2006, 06:26 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 524
Marija--You did the SAME connections??? You cleared through customs and everything? And the three (actually, four) flight connections?

If so, I am SO glad to hear someone has personal experience with this! I would be really uncomfortable with those connections in the USA or trying to clear customs in less than 2 hours here, but perhaps Africa is different?

We are getting a great deal on our trip, which makes this one day more palatable (assuming the flights all work out, of course).
fluffnfold is offline  
Oct 5th, 2006, 06:29 AM
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Posts: 524
Thanks, Sandi. I appreciate your thoughts. Of course, you are right, but I can't change my itinerary without incurring a huge price increase.
fluffnfold is offline  
Oct 5th, 2006, 06:33 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Yes, fluffnfold, we went from Bataleur to Lake Manyara on the same scheduled flights you're describing. No problem. Each time we got off a plane an airline employee was waiting there to take us to the next plane, clear customs with us, etc. We did have visas so we didn't have to do that. We didn't continue on by road to the Crater Lodge, instead we stayed at the Lake Manyara Tree Lodge for two nights. Then we went on to the Crater Lodge by road. It took us as long to get to the Tree Lodge as it will take you to get to the Crater Lodge. It's a long day but nothing to worry about. Have a great trip!
Marija is online now  
Oct 5th, 2006, 06:41 AM
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Thanks, Marija. You make me feel so much better. I'm just reading your trip reports now--excellent descriptions!
fluffnfold is offline  

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