Our First Safari - Tanzania or SA?

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Jan 4th, 2018, 02:39 PM
  #21
 
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I cannot gush enough about the conservancies in the Maasai Mara (and elsewhere in Kenya). If you’re interested in giving back on your safari, each camp in a conservancy is required to “give back” to the native communities there through payments each camp has to make to co-own the land with them. It’s a well-thought out, and very successful, conservation approach. I’ve stayed in Olare Motorogi, Naboisho, Ol Kinyei and Mara North and all of them have been incredible experiences. Porini Lion that CaliNurse mentions is one place I’ve stayed and it’s in Olare Motorogi. My favorite though is Offbeat in Mara North. Can’t go wrong anywhere there though! More info on the conservancy arrangement is here: http://maasaimaraconservancies.co.ke/ The benefit to you as a tourist is that visitor traffic on the conservancies is limited to those people staying in the camps there, so it’s lower volume with access rights to the main reserve itself (which is open to the public).
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Jan 27th, 2018, 09:02 AM
  #22
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Safari Planning

Hi: Many thanks to everyone for all the good advice. We've decided to stick with Tanzania. We hope to go to SA on another trip that would have other aspects - this trip is just safari. We're looking at three outfitters and I wondered if anyone has experience with either Access2Tanzania, Yellow Zebra or Extraordinary Journeys. Any advice or tips are welcomed!!
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Jan 27th, 2018, 12:00 PM
  #23
 
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Arlight, I used Access2Tanzania to book my first safari and used them again to book the gorilla trekking in Rwanda on my last safari (as their sister company Treks2Rwanda). The guiding is excellent, they own their own vehicles and they have a physical presence both here in the US as well as on the ground in TZ. Both facts are important because you know they won’t subcontract out your trip to guides they don’t know (who may not be good). Karen at A2T put both of my trips together and she works extremely well with a budget and found us comfortable, safe accommodations. I cannot speak highly enough of our guides on both trips. My trip report for Tanzania is on here if you click on my name and scroll back to 2013. I’m planning to return to TZ 2019 and have already started to talk to Karen about that trip (for chimps in Mahale or Gombe).
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Jan 28th, 2018, 05:56 AM
  #24
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Hi Amyb: Thanks for your reply. I am also in the Boston area! I am wondering if you have any hints or tips as far as the safari goes or working with Access2Tanzania. We are working with Casey at this point and while we haven't gotten yet to signing on, I think we will. We asked him for some references and I'm waiting to hear back on that. Did you look at any other operators? As far as flights,etc, we are wondering if it is worth flying down to NYC as the flights seem to be less expensive out of there. We will be going end of May, beginning of June. I went and took a read of your trip report and I am getting very excited!!
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Jan 29th, 2018, 05:21 AM
  #25
 
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Hi arlight, you won't need any tips on working with A2T. Of the 5 safaris I've planned, that was by far the easiest (both for TZ and Rwanda) especially when it was my first and I had no idea what I was doing. I look back now and realize how key it was for A2T to guide us properly on what we were looking for and matching us with the "right" guide for our group of ladies.

Flights seem to have gotten more expensive, particularly KLM, which is usually how I get to Africa. Going to NYC will likely add a stop along the way (rather than BOS-AMS-JRO, you'd have to do BOS-JFK-AMS-JRO) which is sort of a pain, I think. It all depends on your threshold for hassle and airport transfers! Kenya Airways flies from Paris, which may be a cheaper option. You could also check out Turkish and Emirates, but I find those usually arrive in Africa in the middle of the night (or leave in the middle of the night) which is somewhat awkward. Not impossible but just a bit off for my taste. I've also gone British Airways but have a huge layover on the way home (long enough to get a day room, have breakfast and a shower and a 2 hour nap and still have time to duty free shop).

I have tons of info/hints for safari and would be more than willing to serve as a reference for A2T beyond whomever else is on their list. I just enabled Private Messaging on here, so feel free to drop me a line.
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Jan 29th, 2018, 07:07 PM
  #26
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amyb, I am unable to PM you as it says you are not accepting messages. Let me know if you are able to receive them. Thanks!
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Jan 30th, 2018, 05:22 AM
  #27
 
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I just sent you a PM, arlight. Hopefully you can reply to that, if not let me know and I'll see what else has to be unlocked to do so!
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Jan 30th, 2018, 04:44 PM
  #28
 
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Great tips, thanks
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Jan 31st, 2018, 05:48 PM
  #29
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  1. amyb has chosen not to receive private messages or may not be allowed to receive private messages. Therefore you may not send your message to him/her.

    If you are trying to send this message to multiple recipients, remove amyb from the recipient list and send the message again.
Just tried to send one to you!!
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Feb 4th, 2018, 05:14 PM
  #30
 
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Arlight, I responded via PM, hopefully you got it?
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Feb 17th, 2018, 02:29 PM
  #31
 
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Just close your eyes and decide because all are fantastic destinations. South africa is abit easier to get to while for the parks in tanzania, you will need to book a flight to Arusha and then start on the safari from there.
But anyway, which ever you decide, you will enjoy
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Feb 21st, 2018, 03:07 PM
  #32
 
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I am using Extraordinary Journeys for our August trip to Tanzania. Since I havenít taken the trip yet, I can only comment on my experience working with them. I contacted about 7 different safari outfitters and a couple never even bothered to get back to me. Of the ones that did, I found Extraordinary Journeys to be the most sensitive to what we wanted. A few were downright rude. Working with Pearl at EJ was smooth and a great experience. We are spending 10 days on safari and then 3 nights in Zanzibar. Weíre having a private guide for the entire safari which I think is important since we donít have to worry about other peopleís considerations. (For instance, I DO NOT want to see a kill, and you can tell your guide that and they know how to best avoid it.) Pearl spent time with me on the phone on several occasions to make sure she would deliver the safari that we want. Other companies seemed set on selling us a safari that they wanted to sell.
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Feb 23rd, 2018, 05:54 AM
  #33
 
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Great information on here. We're also looking at our first safari for maybe October of 2019 so all this information is so welcome.

jdc
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Feb 24th, 2018, 06:46 AM
  #34
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Hi: Thanks to everyone for their input. We've decided to go with Access2Tanzania and are leaving the Memorial Day Weekend. We will fly to the Serengeti and then make our way back by car stopping at Ngorongoro and Tarangire for a couple of nights each. We decided to forego Zanzibar as we want to focus on the safari. If anyone has good tips or ideas to share about what to bring and not to bring, please share! Thanks again!
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Feb 24th, 2018, 09:09 AM
  #35
 
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Congratulations! Your itinerary sounds great! You will have a wonderful time.
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Feb 24th, 2018, 11:10 AM
  #36
 
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Arlight, it's a great feeling when the plan finally comes in to place, isn't it? And once you are there....wow! You'll love it!!
Lots of info on what to bring/not bring both here and on the detailed and much busier Tripadvisor Africa forums.
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Feb 28th, 2018, 03:05 AM
  #37
 
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I wish to South Africa. Could somebody suggest How can I reach there through air?
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Mar 4th, 2018, 10:55 PM
  #38
 
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Congratulations on your trip planning. I too was torn with SA and Tanzania and chose Tanzania for us for early June we have 12 days safari and four days Zanzibar. If you come across and packing tips I would love to hear what you find. I too looked at about 8 different travel companies and chose Rhino Africa based in SA and has been very pleased. Happy travels to you!! I am getting very excited and I know that I'll be back on here planning my next trip there very soon. I am told Africa steals a piece of your heart and you keep coming back.
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