Need expert advice for Tanzania Safari

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Nov 1st, 2011, 10:46 AM
  #1
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Need expert advice for Tanzania Safari

We are in the preliminary stages of planning a Tanzania safari in mid June or late September 2012. We would like to visit Arusha, Tarangire, Ngorongoro and Serengeti. Does it make a difference when we go? Also we originally thought of going on a tour operated safari (Thomason and Naipenda looked good) , then read about private safaris. While we liked the idea of going where we want, when we want, we also like the comradery of being in a small group. Is there a big $ difference between tour operated and private? and is it worth the added expense? If so, can anyone recommend some safari companies that specialize in custom safaris.
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Nov 1st, 2011, 11:56 AM
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We (two of us ages 63 & 60 at the time) did a safari from Arusha including the Serengeti, Ngorngoro Crater & Reserve and Lake Manyara in January 2010. We did a custom safari with Roy Safaris that was organized by Susan Wood at Away to Africa.(http://awaytoafricasafaris.com/index.html). Susan is located in New Hampshire, which made contact easier. The safari was catered to our interests - it is nice to be the only ones in the vehicle! The price was reasonable - we stayed at mid level hotels (Sopa Lodges at Ngorongoro and Serengeti/Serena Lodge at Manyara)

The great migration is taking place in Northern Tanzania in January and February. I am not sure, but you may be better off in the south if you go during our summer.

Here is a chart that shows the best wildlife viewing throughout the year in Africa. Check out Tanzania. http://www.africa-adventure.com/dsp_besttime.html

Take a look at this post: http://www.fodors.com/community/afri...n-tanzania.cfm
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Nov 1st, 2011, 12:58 PM
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My family and I went on a safari to Tanzania and Kenya in July/August of this year. We used Killiwarriors as our tour guide. It is a private company where Eben (the owner) helps you make your own itinerary. He has a wealth of knowledge and made our trip this summer fantastic. They use private guides where your party is the only one in the car. Killiwarriors will give you the best safari with an unbeatable price. Their private guides are amazing. I cannot say enough about the company. To visit tanzania, the best time to go would be in June because the migration will be moving through the Serengeti. In september, the migration will still be in the Mara. Killiwarriors does operate in Kenya. I've been to Africa three times and if I had to recommend, I would just go to the Masai Mara in late September. I loved Tanzania but there is nothing like the Mara during the migration. I strongly recommend killiwarriors. here is there link: http://www.ebensafaris.com/
Eben and all of them at Killiwarriors are the best!
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Nov 1st, 2011, 01:25 PM
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dolgink - your only entry here on Fodors? Why do these OPW (one post wonders) always seem suspicious?
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Nov 1st, 2011, 02:17 PM
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Private trips will be costlier than group tours...for sure. Depends on the experience you are looking for. Strangers can be spooky...I do private safaris.

Contact www.roysafaris.com ([email protected]) , you won't be disappointed, they are local, operating for around 20 years...

TP
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Nov 2nd, 2011, 01:56 AM
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Based on budget of course use reputable providers best for me.

In late May early June North best around Klein's Camp.

Wildebeest Migration - Great annual wildebeest migration on safari in Kenya and Tanzania 's safari circuit, travel with the east africa safari experts

safari.go2africa.com/africa-features/wildebeest-migration.asp

So check posters profile's carefully per sandi many touts scammers on the boards ALWAYS pay with CC never wire money
and insuremytrip.com.

tucantravel.com budget groups

porini.com camps more upscale

zicasso.com take some bids for luxury if u have the dough

travel.state.gov for a heads up on entry safety

mdtravelhealth.com for health issues.

Happy Planning!
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Nov 2nd, 2011, 06:03 AM
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Believe it's a bit early for Klein's Camp in late-May/early-June, though good if visiting in Sept. This camp is rather expensive with 'rack' (highest) rates for May at $775/pp/nt and June at $950/pp/nt... higher still if Sept at $1,095/pp/nt. If for May/June travel, you'd be better concentrating with lodges/camps in Central and/or Western Serengeti.
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Nov 2nd, 2011, 11:00 AM
  #8
 
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I am not joking I swear. I just got an account and I know a lot about Safari's in Africa. I've been to Africa three times, (Botswanna, South Africa, Tanzania and Kenya) and the Serengeti and the Mara are the best places in the world to see game. I know lots trips and ways to do Safari's and ive also done conservation research in Kruger in South Africa. Trust me Killiwarriors is the best.
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Nov 2nd, 2011, 12:54 PM
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There are lots of 'best' companies!
I'm sure OP will find the one who meets their needs.

There's a thread "New East African Safari Index" by LyndaS, with lots of trip reports along with the outfitters used by the travelers.
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Nov 2nd, 2011, 06:55 PM
  #10
 
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I had no complaints with Zara, and it was very affordable. Reliable Land Rover, English-speaking guide, and good cook. We chose tent accomodations to keep costs down, which was rather exciting in the Serengeti as we had lions in camp one morning.
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Nov 3rd, 2011, 09:09 AM
  #11
 
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@JohnThere, can you be more specific with "lions in camp"?
As exciting as it sounds, I don't know if I want to risk my life in the campground.
Thanks.
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Nov 4th, 2011, 05:11 AM
  #12
 
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Dear Jane
I've been to Africa 5 times now and 3 were with Naipenda to Tanzania in Feb (others to Botswana and S Africa). I LOVE Tanzania and Chris our guide was the best guiding we have experienced anywhere. Once you've been on a private safari you will be forever spoiled. You pick the time, what you want to see, how long you want to watch and where you want to stay. I just returned from Kruger and we were on some group drives where we stopped and talked about ellie poop for 5 minutes because some idiot kept asking questions. That could have been ok if there were also some ellies to watch or birds to photograph but nothing was in site.

Also, when trying to photograph with 5 to 8 other people in the truck moving around trying to get a better view is difficult. And don't get me started on placement of the truck so everyone can see the animal off in the distance. Groups are a compromise that I will always try to avoid.

That said, I do enjoy staying at a lodge or camp where I can visit with other travelers in the evening. Private camping is not my thing. You can ask Jo to give you my contact info if you want more info. Debbie & Jim
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Nov 4th, 2011, 05:52 AM
  #13
 
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Jane just to clarify, I do private safaris with Naipenda not a group departure.
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Nov 4th, 2011, 07:52 AM
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ogtravel -

Whether 'lions in camp' or maybe elephants, and regularly vervet monkeys. You're in Africa and if staying at an 'unfenced' camp, not at all unusual for game to walk thru. It's quite usual for impala and other antelope to do so during daytime, but they're harmless - little Bambi is so cute.

At night when you are secure in your lodge room or tent, it's quite unusual for game to move about, whether hippos that come out of the water that you'll hear munching outside your tent in the mornings, elephants that are eating off a high tree and even lions sleeping.

However, the askaris (guards) are about thru the night and day and if there is ever dangerous game about, they'll let you know... just wait for them to depart, which they usually do quickly. They don't want contact with us any more than we them.

As long as you understand rules/regulations, not need to let this put you off.
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Nov 4th, 2011, 10:13 AM
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Yes campgrounds are unfenced and yes there are armed guards. Rather than a warning, however, our guide asked us in the morning if we'd heard the lion come through. We had, it was early morning, about an hour before sunrise. Incidentally, this is also a great time to go out and watch the game.

It wasn't really that much different than bears in Yellowstone - don't leave food out and definitely don't take it into your tent. They have secure bunkers for food preparation and eating.

If it helps, I would not hesitae do tent camping again.
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Nov 4th, 2011, 04:07 PM
  #16
 
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once you are in your tent you are safe. I have been in tents while Lions were fighting and roaring outside. Lions don't see people as food. They do not go into tents looking for you. if a lion is next to your tent, just stay calm, keep inside and enjoy the experience!
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Nov 5th, 2011, 08:16 AM
  #17
 
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I've heard of water buffalos walking through campground before, I just didn't realize lion could do the same .. but it does sound all very exciting. Does the same thing happen when you stay at luxury tents?
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Nov 5th, 2011, 11:40 AM
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ogtravel -

You're in Africa on safari out in the bush. Game can be walking about most anywhere, whether you're staying* at a lodge or tented camps, whether budget, mid-range or luxury. Lion, buffalo or hippo haven't the foggiest idea what you may have paid!

*except those properties that are fenced with lots of razor wire... though those monkeys can get anywhere they wish.
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Nov 6th, 2011, 07:45 AM
  #19
 
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haha. You're awesome, Sandi.
I guess I'll just have to go with a "safari mentality" and expect lions giving a morning call in the middle of Serengeti! Nice.

Thanks for the feedback everyone.
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Nov 6th, 2011, 08:52 AM
  #20
 
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I would also recommend Roy Safaris.
Six of us photographers went with them to TZ in Feb of 2011. Three private vehicles (and three guides) set up for photographers. Around $400 per person night.

"... of going where we want ..."
Except, be aware that most TZ parks (e.g. Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater) do not permit off-road vehicles. Nor driving after sunset. This can severely limit your ability to find and/or view wildlife.

regards - tom
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