Last minute trip to Uganda and Tanzania

Old Jun 14th, 2006, 03:22 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 2
Last minute trip to Uganda and Tanzania

Hi,

I work for an organization specializing in pediatric HIV/AIDS. I was just tapped to go to Uganda (leaving in 2 weeks) to help supervise a film on our work in Kabale (southwest Uganda). My work will take place from 7/2 through 7/9, at which point I will find myself back in Kampala. My girlfriend and I have determined to extend my trip and take a personal adventure for the two weeks following my initial stay. She is flying independent of me and arriving in Kampala 7/9.

Based upon suggestions from others, and from perusing the many great threads on this site, I have a rough idea of what we would like to achieve with this trip - but I am still pretty fuzzy about getting it all arranged with such notice - and in the high season.

My initial plan as it now stands:

We were thinking to spend 1-2 days around Jinja, where one of my medical colleagues has told me the whitewater experience on the Nile is outstanding. I should point out that I am not, nor is my SO, crazy adrenaline junkies. We like to do fun things, and we both like to savor unique experiences.

From Jinja, we thought to head back to Entebbe, catch a flight to Arusha and connect with on operator for a 3-5 night safari.

Based upon my brief research, I had thought to so 1 night at the Ngorongoro crater (not the crazy $$$ lodge, but perhaps the Sopa or something mid-range), and then 2-4 nights at either the Sergengeti or Tarangire.

We then planned to catch a flight from Arusha to Zanzibar and spend 3 nights there. We would finally fly back home through Dar, instead of returning to Entebbe for the trip home.

My questions would be:

1) I have heard great things about the Nomad company. Would it be possible to do this through them (or another good camp outfitter) at a remotely good price?

2) Does this itinerary sound okay to the experienced folks on this site?

3) Would anyone suggest that instead of Arusha, we fly into Nairobi and do the Masai Mara instead of Tanzania? I have heard that the migration will likely be into Kenya by the time we do this in mid-July.

4) I checked out the Nomad website, but they require you to go through an external operator - could anyone recommend someone please?

5) Do we have a snowball's chance of finding availability with this late of notice?

6) If we do find availability - does anyone have a ballpark guess on what we should expect to pay for this trip?

We are both in our 30s, have traveled quite a bit, but neither of us have ANY experience in sub-Saharan Africa. We have some funds for this, but are not able to completely break the bank either - so any advice would be very helpful. I would love to spend the next three weeks reading books and websites, but I feel that if we do not book this immediately - we will end up out of luck entirely.

Thanks in advance for your help!

Darin
darindusan is offline  
Old Jun 14th, 2006, 05:10 PM
  #2  
aby
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,493
Hi darindusan

mid July is marginal as to where watch migration... can't promise...
Mara or Northern Serengeti ?
(basically u have far more lodges in Mara with a chance for accomodation & migration. also easier to reach if u don't fly)

good luck

aby

PS can't help u with Nomad

as for operators - seems most book through american- based
Search tour operators & read a bit. like:
"We found best pricing from African Serendipity here in the US. or Southern Cross or Eastern and Southern based out of Kenya. We actually booked with Southern Cross." Others recommended Good Earth ...
aby is offline  
Old Jun 14th, 2006, 05:58 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 13,064
Eben has listed the rack rates of most camps and lodges in Tanzania on his www.go-safari.com website. To find rates for Nomad camps in the Serengeti for example, you'd click Tanzania, Serengeti, and Seasonal Camps. That should at least give you an idea of whether it's possible to do it for a "remotely good price" (your budget description is pretty vague ).

Nairobi is easier and cheaper to reach from Entebbe if that makes any difference.

Costs are really dependent on accomodation and outfitter choices, so it's really difficult to give a ballpark figure. Using mid-range properties (not Nomad), you're probably looking at somewhere between $250-$300 per person per night for a private safari for two people traveling by road in Kenya or Tanzania (use the lower figure for Kenya) in high season this year.

Good luck!
Patty is online now  
Old Jun 14th, 2006, 06:27 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 13,064
Forgot to say, you can comb through the East Africa Trip Report Index http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=34725679 and read about others experiences with various operators.

I haven't done the number crunching, but I believe most here actually use local (Kenya/Tanzania based) operators.

Even though you're booking late, it's possible you may luck out with last minute cancellations.
Patty is online now  
Old Jun 15th, 2006, 04:05 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 42
Hi Darin

I read a lot of very interesting threads on this forum , very helpfull in the preparation of my upcoming trip to Uganda ..;but I'm frenchspeaking, so I did'nt often post! I don't want everybody laught !
For my journey, I chose a local operator from Kampala , specialised in mid range budget which also organise trip to Kenya and Tanzania (very low price compared with what I read here ! ) If you need more informations don't hesitate to send me a mail
( [email protected] )

The website from the TO is www.africadventure.net . the Owner , Ivan, is a very nice guy. I'm sure he will help you.

I whish you a very nice trip to Africa

Chinook
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Old Jun 16th, 2006, 12:32 AM
  #6  
aby
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,493
hi

i peviousely wrote "as for operators - SEEMS most book through american- based"
It seems i'm wrong! If Patty, which is more into this issue, says different..

sorry if i've mislead anyone
(it was my impression, as i don't pay much attention to companies since i can book with friends of mine over there)

aby
aby is offline  
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