Kili & Tanzania Safari - please help choose operator

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Jun 4th, 2003, 01:05 PM
  #1
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Join Date: May 2003
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Kili & Tanzania Safari - please help choose operator

Hi All Fellow Adventurers!

Some time ago I posted a request about climbing Kilimanjaro & doing a Tanzanian safari and had some fantastic feedback...thanks to those who commented!

I've finalised the itinerary, but am unsure as to which operator I should use. From the previous feedback I had, Roy's Safaris came recommended (they are also the most expensive!) and Predator Safaris were poorly rated (no reasons given, unfortunately, but they are also the cheapest!).

Could I ask if you have used any of the operators below, could you please let me know if you had a good or bad experience with them, and in particular, why. Below are the operators I have to choose from, rated from most to least expensive on comparable packages. Any help or additional info would be MUCH appreciated:

1. Roy's Safaris
2. TSA (Tanzania Serengeti Adventure)
3. Zara Tanzanian Adventures
4. Predator Safaris

Thanks in advance and hoping to hear from you shortly!

Kind regards & happy adventuring!

Herman Wessels
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Jun 4th, 2003, 01:53 PM
  #2
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Hi Herman!

I used Roy Safaris for our trip to East Africa in 2002. Now, I did not use them to climb Mt. Kili ... For our private safari, I found Roy Safaris had the best price. I determined where I wanted to go, how long to stay at each place and with input from Roys came up with a dynomite trip. I found their guides to be extremely punctual, polite, knowledgable and attentive. I put a lot of weight on those traits, and our Roy Safaris guide came through with flying colors. Even though he had probably seen the same animals over and over again, he was enthusiastic and informative. Our trip went like clockwork. There were no hidden costs - which I was worried about - and the woman I worked with at Roys, Susan Pandit, was fantastic. I used Roys after they were referred to me by a friend of mine. I have nothing but good things to say about them and would have no qualms in using them again.
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Jun 12th, 2003, 03:34 PM
  #3
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
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Message: My daughter is taking this tour in early August using Goodearth Tours

With the extra day on climb and using lodges the cost is about $1900

Check ther site for more exact details and price
http://www.goodearthtours.com/
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Jun 16th, 2003, 02:25 PM
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Scatterling,

After much research I booked a trip through Predator Safaris in November of 2001. Cost for a one week full board safari was US$1,300 each (double occupancy). It's very difficult (but fun) when researching a trip of this magnitude. I was able to negotiate prices with a few safari operators.

I flew into Nairobi by myself, and waited several hours for a shuttle van ride over the border to Arusha, Tanzania. Nabeela at Predators arranged for the van ride.

My friend met me in Arusha, she had climbed Kili the week before. She had booked her climb through Predator also, I believe she climbed the Machame route for $800. Overall I was pleased with Predator, we ended up with a private safari without paying extra for it. It just happened that tourism was down after 9/11/01 and no one else booked the same itinerary that week.

I'd suggest that you stay away from the Hotel Manor that Predator booked us into. It was described as a bed and breakfast, but my friend only lasted one night there! It was loud, dirty and hardly had any water available to shower. She did not feel safe there. She changed to the Impala (?) and was much happier.

After I met up with my friend, we left Arusha for Tarangire, stayed overnight at Tarangire Luxury Tented Camp. It was my first experience sleeping in a tented camp. There is no running water in your tent but you have a handbasin and pitcher of water, also a chemical toilet and a shower on demand in the morning. The kitchen workers heat up water and pour it into a bucket, then they lift it up and let gravity take its course.

Then it was on to Olduvai Gorge and Serengeti National Park. We stayed at the Serengeti Sopa one night and at Kirawira the next. We were the only guests at Kirawira the night we were there! Kirawira was the best place we stayed, this tented camp was amazing! We had a porch overlooking the plains, mahogany floors and elegant furniture, marble in the bath. Plenty of hot water for showering, fluffy towels, it was heaven.

The only bad part of the trip was the tse tse flies that harrassed us on our way out of the Kirawira area. Maybe it was the time of day but it was the most horrible thing, you couldn't stop to look at any animals, those flies HURT when they bite!

We stopped our game drive early, and checked into the Serengeti Serena Lodge. The next day we headed for Ngorongoro Crater, I have to admit I was a bit disappointed in the Crater. It wasn't the wonderland I'd imagined it to be. On the other hand, it was the only place we saw rhino the entire week, so it wasn't a total disappointment. We stayed overnight on the rim on the crater at the Ngorongor Sopa Lodge. Our last night was at Kirurumu Tented Lodge, a step above Tarangire Tented Camp but several steps below Kirawira.

Negatives regarding Predator: our guide did not have his own binoculars, he used a pair of ours which got to be frustrating when I wanted to use them.

When leaving/returning Arusha, our guide stopped several times to purchase supplies, we were left to the mercy of beggars and peddlars who didn't take "no thank you" as an answer. It got to be frustrating.


All in all, I was happy with our trip.
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Jun 16th, 2003, 11:24 PM
  #5
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
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I am currently sitting in Amsterdam airport waiting for my connection to go home and killing time by going on Fodors!

I just ended my safari with Predator's in Arusha (I actually booked through 2Afrika.com which uses Predator's). This was my fourth safari experience.

Previously I was twice in Kenya - 1st time I went to Masai Mara (Kichwa Tembo tented camp - luxury), Abederes (The Ark)and Lake Nakuru (Lion Hill), 2nd time I went to Masai Mara (Mara Voyager - medium) and Amboseli (Old Tukai Lodge - above medium) and once in Southern Africa - SA Private Reserves (Idube), Victoria Falls, Chobe, etc.

I found Predator's to be quite satisfactory. Our contact was Nabeela and our group was debriefed before and after. We stayed in Arusha for one night (our KLM flight arrived too late in the evening to go anywhere), Lake Manyara for one night (at the Kirurumu camp), at the Sopa lodges in for two nights each in the Serengeti & Ngorogono Crater.

Our driver was Godfrey who had been doing this for 22 years and knew his stuff. He had his own binoculars! and had his books out etc. We ended up seeing the Big Five (only my second time to see leopard!) We even saw a spectacular sight; we missed the kill but watched as two mother lions presented the zebra kill to their 5 cubs (it was a noisy bunch eating away).

I was impressed with Predator's for the price. The entire week plus roundtrip airfare from NY to Kili was 2700.00 (including a single supplement).
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Jun 17th, 2003, 03:29 AM
  #6
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
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Thanks you One2travel for the post. It was exceptionally exciting to me to see Godfrey was your guide. I am sure he is the same Godfrey we had on our visit to Tanzania last June. And your agenda for the trip sounded like the same we had. Ah, I can still hearing the bones being crunched by the lions. Again, thanks for posting and maybe you will share more about the trip when you arrive home.
Dick
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