Kirawira or Mbalagheti or Grumeti?


Jul 28th, 2005, 09:42 AM
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I completely agree with JazzDrew.

If you are planning to stay at Kirawira or thereabouts, then there is no need to include a few nights at Seronera.

I would do the following:

Day 1: Drive from Arusha to Ngorongoro. Enter crater in afternoon and drive through it to arrive at Sopa. Overnight at Sopa (or splurge at Crater Lodge). Never take the rim road to/from Sopa - it is horrible.

Day 2: Depart Sopa early and do a game drive in crater before driving to western Serengeti. This is a long drive (with nowhere worthwhile to stay inbetween) but the worst part is in the beginning until you get near the Serengeti gate. Then it is a game drive all the way to your lodge/camp.
Overnight at Grumeti - I like the wildness and non-touristy feel, but many here enjoy Kirawira so the choice is yours. At Grumeti try to get tents 7-10 as they have views of the hippo pool.

Day 3. Game drive in the corridor or towards Seronera.

Day 4. Game drive in the corridor or towards Seronera.

Day 5. Depart the corridor and drive to Sayari Camp. This is a long drive but the scenery will change often. Overnight at Sayari Camp.

Day 6. Game drives along the Mara River and Masai Mara border. Overnight at Sayari Camp.

Day 7. Drive to Klein's Camp and overnight. Take a night drive. Overnight at Klein's.

Day 8. Depart in the morning via air from the Klein's airstrip.

Migration Camp is an excellent substitute for Sayari Camp if you don't want to drive that far north. To be honest, in late June the herds will probably be closer to Migration Camp. And the tourists too!

But Sayari has 100s of hippos in the Mara River with beautiful surroundings and offers more exclusivity. This is why I would go up there instead.
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Jul 28th, 2005, 10:01 AM
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Just curious. Why do you recommend the shift to Klein's for the last night instead of staying at Sayari? A chance to stay at a 3rd style accommodation? night drive? proximity to the airport? All of the above?
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Jul 28th, 2005, 12:19 PM
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Closer to the air strip and a night game drive! The flight leaves at 10am and the vehicles normally leaves Klein's at 9am.

Sayari is at the opposite end (west) from there.
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Jul 28th, 2005, 02:28 PM
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Climbhighsleeplow and JazzDrew.....who did you book your trip through? All this sounds so exciting - I can hardly wait. So how far of a drive is Ngorongoro to Kirawira if we do it in one day....I thought that was too much to do in a day. How far is driving distance between Klien's airstrip and KiraWira's airstrip? Also, what are your thoughts about Serena Ngorongoro vs. Sopa Ngorongoro vs. Crater Lodge
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Jul 28th, 2005, 02:49 PM
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Vacationer - We booked with Roy Safari and were VERY happy with them. Many others including Sandi on this board have used Roy's. Here is a link to the thread about my booking process:

We booked our Tanzanian and Kenyan safari with Roy Safaris. I spent months researching outfitters and am very comfortable with chosing Roy's. I am glad that you have found this board as I believe the people who contribute here have provided me with excellent advice. I try to read posts daily. We started out to "go to Africa"...not knowing even what country to consider first. After lots of research we chose East Africa for our first safari, then selected Tanzania and Kenya, hoping to catch the Great Migration (June 2005). Once we decided on Kenya and Tanzania I continued research of over 25 operators, both US and local. I bet I have 30 catalogs and brouchures on East Africa alone! After many emails and calls were chose Roys for the best service and price. OUr itinerary:

1. Fly to Amsterdam - Overnight there.
2. Fly to Nairobi - Giraffe Manor
3. Fly to Amboseli Tortilis
4. Amboseli Tortilis
5. Drive to Lake Manyara Tree Lodge
6. Lake Manyara Tree Lodge
7. Drive to Ngorongoro Serena
8. Ngorongoro Serena
9. Drive to Serengeti Serena
10. Drive to Kirawira
11. Kirawira
12. Kirawira
13. Fly to Arusha. Fly to Amsterdam.
14. Overninght Amsterdam.
15. Return to US

The land package for this for 3 of us is about $10,000.

I also considered Aftican Travel Resourse but they were much more expensive for "lesser" accomidations. Never heard of East African Safari and Touring Company. Hope you enjoy the research process as much as I have. I feel that we have a "luxury" safari for the price of an off the rack entry from a "big name".

I wold be glad to email you a long Word file that explains much more if you would like. Just let me know.

The drive from Ngorongoro was not a problem for us. We left the Ngorongoro Serena in the morning (around 8am) and drove to Oldavai Gorge and spent a couple hours there. Along the way we learned that the Serengeti Serena was overbooked and that we were booked at Kirawira. Roy's arranged lunch for us at the Serena in Seronera. We continued on to Kirawira, stopping at the entrance to the Serengeti and at the park "gate" for a nice 45 minute hike and bathroom break. We continued on into the Serengeti and saw many animals, including a great lion sighting with a large male and female on the Simba Kopjes - just like Lion King!!

We also stopped at a great hippo pool for about 30 minutes.

The drive was quite exciting, just like a game drive. As we got closer to Kirawira we often had to stop for the migration!

We arrived at Kirawira in the late afternoon, but we were quiter refreshed as the drive was an adventure, not just transportation to a camp. Additionally we made many stops which broke up the time.

Once we arrived it was GREAT to spend 4 nights in the same place. At then end of a long safari with 2 nights at each camp it was a ral pleasure to have 4 nights in the same camp. We were happy we continued on to Kirawira.
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Jul 28th, 2005, 03:42 PM
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If there are weaknesses in my suggested itinerary, the drive from the Crater to Kirawira/Grumeti stands out!

It's the general problem with trying to reach the Western and Northern Areas of the Serengeti and Ngorongoro in the same weeklong trip!

My suggestion is to depart Sopa early (about 7:00am, drive through the crater and depart the ascent road no later than 10:00am after a bathroom stop near the start of the ascent.

The drive from the ascent road to Naabi gate - 2.5 hours. Bathroom/packed lunch stop.

From Naabi to central Seronera - 1.5 hours. Bathroom break/snacks.

From central Seronera to Grumeti/ Kirawira - 2 hours.

You should be there by 5:30pm.

A long day for the driver but you will get a chance to see the mighty Serengeti. You will have to stay on the main road so don't focus too much on wildlife today. Fortunately, it's one way only for you!

To do less driving, you can also fly.

1. Arusha - Grumeti (then meet your driver and do as above to end up at Klein's)
2. Kleins - Lake Manyara (have the lodge meet you then meet up with your driver again the next day. Do Ngorongoro and drive back to Arusha.

The difference is that you will do Ngorongoro last.

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Jul 28th, 2005, 04:24 PM
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Did you do a report on your trip? I've been gone (not to Africa) about a month and missed a lot of posts. Could you put a link here or email it to me?

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Jul 28th, 2005, 04:47 PM
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I like the fly option that Jazzdrew gave w/Ngorongoro last. So what do you think of this itenerary...did I get the facts right?:
Fly from Arusha to Grumeti
Night 1,2 Kirawira
Night 3,4 Klein
Fly to Manyara from Klein
Night 5,6 Ngorongoro
Day 7 Drive to Arusha
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Jul 28th, 2005, 05:33 PM
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Welcome back, Lynn! JazzDrew's pics/comments are here -

You missed a lot of good threads including sandi's report and rsnyder's southern Tanzania report, not to mention controversy over Roy's and Rocco's monster of a Tanzania trip in Feb

How was Mongolia? How was the train ride? Will you be posting something on the Asia board?
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Jul 28th, 2005, 05:35 PM
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Indeed, that's about what I had in mind!

But you get discounts for staying at 3 CCAfrica properties so you could go Grumeti, Kleins and Crater Lodge!

Anyway, I think you have this under control! Now it's up to your outfitter to put it together within your budget!

Any of the lodges/camps mentioned here will work with the new fly-in itinerary.

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Jul 29th, 2005, 04:13 AM
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Patty and others and atravelynn -

I'm not yet finished with my trip report. Bad girl, bad girl. But I'm working on it. Believe there are 11 or 12 days posted, so only 6-days left. Hopefully, will be able to add a few more pages over the weekend.

And would you believe, there is still one more CD with photos that Eileen had in her camera. Will look to see what's on that and ad any photos that are worthwhile to the end of our already very large photo journal.

Welcome home atravelynn - it was quiet with you gone.
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Jul 29th, 2005, 07:19 AM
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Thanks for the updates and Jazzdrew's link. So it's Rocco goes to Tanzania? A shocker! I'll look forward to Sandi's report whenever it gets finished, no hurry and will post about Mongolia on the Asia board eventually.
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Jul 29th, 2005, 08:24 AM
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Lynn, I just updated my pictures and am still working on a "real" trip report, although it won't be as good as Sandi's
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Jul 29th, 2005, 12:31 PM
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JazzDrew - Your trip report was great and very real. I always enjoy reading the reports from first-timers and in your case, especially with Adam along... thru the eyes of a young adult, as well. The revised photo album is great as I mentioned in a thread above and I made a few comments which you'll find on the site.

My trip this year was so much different then in previous years - and it's more my own travel journal then a trip report. The information you provided from a first-timers point of view is excellent... and reminds me of things I've learned to take for granted. So it's nice to be reminded.

I believe all who post their trip offer their views, from their perspectives... so are valuable to every type of traveler.
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Jul 29th, 2005, 01:15 PM
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Thanks for the comments Sandi - I have already made a few corrections. I have really enjoyed your trip report and pictures as well. It is nice to share the experience, especially with people what share my enthusium for Africa and travel!
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