Opinions on Tanzania Safari Iternary

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Feb 2nd, 2006, 07:16 AM
  #1
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Opinions on Tanzania Safari Iternary

Hi folks!
This is my first trip to Africa ..and below is the iternary suggested to me by Nyika Treks.

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Trip month: July 2006

Day 1:
Pick up from airport and transfer to Arusha Crown Hotel
(Overnite at Arusha Crown Hotel)

Day 2:
Drive to Tarangire park, game viewing
(Overnite at Tarangire campsite)

Day 3:
Drive to Serengeti, Seronera river valley game drives
(Overnite at Seronera campsite)

Day 4:
Sunrise game drive, drive to Ngorongoro crater, game drive enroute, stop at Olduvai gorge,
lecture by anthropologist
(Overnite at Simba campsite)

Day 5:
Depart for Ngorongoro crater, descend into crater for grame drive,
(Overnite at Simba campsite)

Day 6:
Morning game drive in crater enroute to Nainokanoka Maasai village near Olmoti crater
Hike across Embulbul depression
Visit to Maasai village (7 hour hike)
(Overnite at Bulati campsite)

Day 7:
Hike to rim of Empakaai crater and to crater floor, picnic lunch
Evening climb up the rim
(Overnite at Nyika campsite)

Day 8:
Hike to Naiyobi Maasai village, picnic lunch
Visit to local school
Hike on to campsite at Lerai forest
(Overnite at Lerai campsite)

Day 9:
Hike down Great Rift Valley to base of Ol Doinyo Lengai
Transfer via jeep to base camp (Kamakia camp)
Visit to local waterfall
(Overnite at Kamakia camp)

Day 10:
Midnite climb of Ol Doinyo Lengai
Descend later in morning, brunch at campsite
Visit to nearby waterfalll
(Overnite at Kamakia campsite)

Day 11:
Tour of Lake Natron
Drive back to Arusha
(Overnite at hotel in Arusha)

Total cost for two people private safari (Exclusive of last night hotel stay in Arusha): $4,236


Thanks!

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Feb 2nd, 2006, 07:27 AM
  #2
 
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Reading this made me tired! But then, I guess being 60 something has its, uh... perks! Hope you're in excellent shape, and have a great trip.
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Feb 2nd, 2006, 07:34 AM
  #3
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Here's another iternary suggested by Shidolya

Day 1:
Transport from airport to Colobus Mountain Lodge in Arusha
(Overnite at Colobus Mountain Lodge)

Day 2:
Leave at 7:30 AM to Tarangire Park for game viewing
(Overnite at Kigongoni campsite)

Day 3:
Drive to Ngorogoro, morning crater tour, picnic lunch
(Overnite at Nainokanoka campsite)

Day 4:
Visit Olmoti crater and Munge water falls
Walking safari across Enbulbul depression
(Overnite at Empakaai crater)

Day 5:
Walk down embakaai crater for birdwatching
Pass Naiyobi massai village
(Overnite at Acacia campsite)

Day 6:
Walking safari to bottom of oldonyo lengai and transfer to lake natron
(Overnite at Kamakia campsite)

Day 7:
Midnite climb of Oldonyo Lengai
descend and transfer to Lake Natron
(Overnite at Kamakia campsite)

Day 8:
Drive to Lobo area of Serengeti park, game viewing
(Overnite at Lobo campsite)

Day 9:
Drive to Seronera area of Serengeti park, game viewing
(Overnite at Seronera campsite)

DAy 10:
Drive to Lake Manyara park via Olduvai gorge and museum
Game drive in Lake Manyara park
(Overnite at Twiga campsite)

Day 11:
Drive to Arusha park, game viewing,
(Overnite at Colobus mountain lodge)

Total cost for private Safari for two people: $2,830


They are cheaper..and not as intensive on the trekking as Nyika..but a lot more safaris (all the parks - Tarangire, Serengeti, Ngorongoro, Manyara and Arusha) Is it too much?

Would like opinons on:
-- iternary
-- campsites
-- tour operators
-- total cost

Thanks a bunch!
solitaire
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Feb 2nd, 2006, 08:19 AM
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Days 1 - 5 WAAAAAAAY too much. The drive from Arusha to Serengeti is LOOOOOOOONG! You actually go through the Ngorongoro to get to the Serengeti & then you go back.

you should arrive in Serengeti, overnight there, do *at least* a FULL DAY game drive, overnight in Serengeti. Leave for Ngorongoro in the morning.

andf the same things again.
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Feb 2nd, 2006, 08:43 AM
  #5
aby
 
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Solitaire

i would take the second option. Not only the price difference (why ???) In the first option u r only 1 night in Serengeti. Here u've added Lobo - at this time of the year sometimes u get to see migrating herds. & u'll b coming to Serengeti from the North - different route (on the way out u'll do the regular road) in & out...

@ r u aware of the very very long drives of this tour ?? (don't count km on the map - u r doing some of the toughest roads of the continent)
Some of the regulars would b out of their mind - some prefer to fly even instead of the main "highway" to Serengeti... Others will tell u 3 nights in Serengety is minimum (or at least 2 nights at the same camp)...

if this the time u have 4 the tour & u r prepared for very long rough drives
in this tour u'll see more of Tanzania than most. If u have more time (& the first budget add some more time at the parks - e.g. Serengeti ...)

@ have u checked the moon phase on the night of Lengai ?

one hell-of-a safari enjoy it

aby

PS i personally love Arusha NP - many do not visit it. though maybe better to start with ...
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Feb 2nd, 2006, 08:49 AM
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As waynehazel says, that drive is massive: for instance on my trip 2005 we drove from Arusha to Ngorongoro leaving at 8 am ish and arriving mid afternoon. We then dropped down into the crater, afternoon drive, overnighted at Simba - which BTW is excellent fun though a public campsite - picture elephants, hyenas, cape buffalos etc walking round the tent and that will give you an idea, morning drive in the crater leaving for SNP after lunch. Still quite a long dusty drive to the park itself. Try to aim for 2 days at least in Serengeti NP. The seronera area has lots of resident wildlife even out of the migration. All the cats, elephants, hippo... etc. Again we stayed in Seronera Public Camp A and once more I loved it: I'm more a under canvas person than lodge. You'll be woken by the lions roaring during the night... On our return we stopped at Oldupai (vai) interesting if that's your kind of thing. Then into Mto Wa Mbu, overnight there day in the village and with Maasai then next day was Lake Manyara. I never did the Maasai highlands trek which makes up the latter part of your holiday.

I've never been to Tarangire, (for my next visit) but perhaps I would leave this out and spend that extra day at Serengeti - I love that place as do many here.

Take a look at some pics:

http://clubs.wanadoo.co.uk/pictures/...lbumID=5280137
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Feb 2nd, 2006, 09:04 AM
  #7
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Aby / waynehazle and Matt!

Thanks a lot for the feedback! I did think that the Shidolya option looked better (price wise and diversity wise)...but I was a little concerned about the driving involved ..maybe if we omitted Lake Manyara and spent time in the Seregeti itself on day 10 ..it would save some time?

Matt ..those pictures look awesome. Especially the road block! Makes me even more excited about this trip!!

Aby, what did you mean about the moon phase on Lengai?

I myself am not too much into the lodge scene .. i think you come much closer to the real spirit of the place on the ground ..so i feel really encouraged abt ur comments!

Thanks again.
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Feb 2nd, 2006, 09:17 AM
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I really liked Lake Manyara, in terms of scenery it's much more diverse than the crater - but the crater you see so much wildlife.

I stayed in Twiga - it had showers and a bar and a swimming pool and tourist shop: I hated it! (Much prefering the wilder camps at the crater and Serengeti.) Be SURE to use your DEET spray there - Mosquitos abound. Should I take the second option I would have an extra day in the Serengeti, then do Manyara and miss out Arusha national park. Why? Although as I've heard it is very nice I think you will have seen enough wildlife by then and may be a little blasé about Zebra and Giraffe. (Oh no not another one...) whereas in the SNP or Manyara you will have the opportunity to see lions and leopards, cheetah (SNP) elephants and so on. I think Aby is right. ANP would be great to break you in and whet your appetite but as a dessert I think it will be an anti climax.

Re the moon phase of which Aby speaks - if the moon is full the way up is brighter but the spectacular starscapes during the night will be lessened. When I climbed Kili the stars were amazing. But then my head torch batteries failed and I couldn't see a thing in front of me

And the cost is much more accesible in option 2. Perhaps use the difference to buy a nice digital camera beforehand? Those shots I took were using a war weary Nikon FM2n SLR (film) and a Canon A80 digital compact. I missed out on the distant things but for the close encounters such as the lion in the road they were perfect.

You will enjoy it and although there is some driving to be done that is part of the adventure. Knowing Tanzania from it's scenery.

Take care,

Matt
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Feb 2nd, 2006, 04:27 PM
  #9
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Hi Matt,

Thanks for all the great advice. I took another look at your safari photos .. and I must say they are a story in themselves! As for the digital camera ... hubby's big obsession for the past year has been his Canon 20D SLR! Spends more time with the camera or processing images than with me!!

Anyways, which safari operator did you use?


P.S. I amazed at the number of lions you guys encountered ..lucky!
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Feb 2nd, 2006, 04:38 PM
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I've stayed at Twiga. It's as exactly as Matt described.

I kinda liked it.

Itinerary 2 looks better to me for the reasons people already iterated. Please do report back; there aren't too many camping reports on this board.

Good luck.
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Feb 3rd, 2006, 10:19 AM
  #11
 
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Hi solitaire11

"Anyways, which safari operator did you use?"

I hope it's okay to say who I choose and provide a link: here goes...

I went with Into Africa UK. I could have gone with a Portuguese co. where I live but wanted to meet other nationalities - after we climbed Kili then came the safari leg and our group comprised of 5 Americans, 1 Canadian, 1 new Zealander, 1 Chilean, 2 English (myself being 1) and my wife, so 1 portuguese and 2 Dutch. Obviously split into 3 vehicles in ours it was us and the dutch couple: And it was great - a real magic week. Mealtimes were just superb, everyone excited and up for it - I love talking and hearing everyone's stories: We were very lucky with our group.

Here's the intinerary I took in the 2nd half of my holiday:

http://www.intoafrica.co.uk/tanzexplorer.htm

So many highlights, each different, each another reason to fall in Love with TZ.

BTW just so you can see the trekking I did look here:

http://clubs.wanadoo.co.uk/pictures/...lbumID=5272073

In all honesty my photos are amateur compared to some of the other's I've seen on this site, but I found that much of the wildlife was so close you didn't need high power telephoto lenses. And actually a lot of the time I didn't take photos - like the Rhino cow and 2 calves in Ngorongoro - things like that are so emotional that to reach for the camera seemed wrong. Next time...

And Twiga campsite, I joked really, but you will find after Simba and Seronera that it is like a European campsite, the only wildlife likely encountered will be a fat bullfrog or the mosquitos with whom you will become friends, or a loud drunken camper from another tent. For me it's plus point was the shower but after seven days without facilities on Kili I was battle hardened anyway

BTW I'm a nobody on this board, there are some really knowledgable persons who hang out here, I'm just glad to know them!

Matt
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Feb 3rd, 2006, 11:26 AM
  #12
 
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Hi guys,
Does anyone know the best month to go to Tanzania/Serengeti to see big game? My travel agent said June this year would be the big migration of zebras, wildebeast, but I would love to see lions! Thanks for your feedback!
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Feb 3rd, 2006, 01:07 PM
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Oh I'm sure in SNP you'll see lions: I saw plenty. Seronera valley has many resident prides. But I'm no expert here - anybody else chip in?

Matt
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Feb 3rd, 2006, 01:17 PM
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Greta,
More lions than you can shake a stick at in Serengeti (esp. Seronera Valley) and in the Crater.

I'm not an expert and hate to say anything's a sure thing, but if you don't see lions in Tanzania on the Northern Circuit there is something seriously wrong with your guide.

Enjoy.
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Feb 3rd, 2006, 05:46 PM
  #15
 
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Hi solitaire, keep us posted regarding your trip. Looks like u are very fond of treks.

I think u should omit some days anywhere and add some more days in serengeti, its one of the best parks in the world and treks u can do anywhere.That's my suggestion because I love serengeti.

Greta, Hi.. I love lions, and the best place to see them is seronera area in serengeti.... Be sure to spend alot of time there early mornings...I have seen groups of more than 25 lazing on the road.
Well the best time to see the predators would be the dry season, preferably sept/oct/nov. June the grass will be tooo high. Best trip for lions would be maybe late august/sept some days mara (migration)and some days serengeti, specially the seronera area..
Sonali

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Feb 4th, 2006, 07:31 AM
  #16
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Hi guys!

Thanks for all the feedback. Sonali, you are right ..I am planning to shave of a day at Arusha National park and spend it in the Serengeti instead.

Will be sure to post my report and pics once i get back.

And yes, I do love trekking ..somehow feel you get much closer to the real thing that way.

The climb up Ol' doniyo Lengai is already freaking me out. I have heard that is supposed to be a tougher climb than Kili (Kili is longer) ..but I know for a fact ..that if don't do this now ..I will never do it. I guess I am just doing it for the sense of achievement!

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Feb 4th, 2006, 08:25 AM
  #17
 
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Hi again solitaire11,

I think you made the best decision re another day in the Serengeti - I felt really sad to be leaving it behind, despite the fact that I still had Lake Manyara ahead. As you will find out there is something ever so special about the Serengeti - it is easy to fall in love with it and you'll never forget those sunrises - be sure to get up early!

And re Ol' doniyo Lengai - try not to have any preconceptions: take it one step at a time, "Poli poli" as you will no doubt hear. It'll be worth it to see the sun rise from the summit.

Matt
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Feb 4th, 2006, 06:15 PM
  #18
aby
 
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solitaire11
by moon phase i mean how full (or not) the moon is and when does it rise (shine) ? when climbing such a mountain it is nice to know in advance how dark it will be.

Lengai is not only a hike it is also a very interesting mountain.
Geologically, it is unique - one of its kind on Earth... do read about it
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Feb 4th, 2006, 06:32 PM
  #19
aby
 
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Greta
your travel agent doesn't know what he is talking about !
search this forum for "serengeti migration" & in 5 minutes u'll know so much about it.
( U can see migration in June. maybe best is february to april when herds r closer if u drive (if u intend to fly in it is another story) & u can witness calving!!
Consider mobile camps (or depends on month decided - different permanent camps/lodges accordingly)

aby
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