Pick 2 out of 4...

Old Aug 4th, 2006, 04:21 PM
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Pick 2 out of 4...

I am spending zillions of hours trying to finalize my July/Aug 2007 Safari. I am definately going to Amboseli, Ngorongoro Crater, Maasai Mara.

If I wanted to pick 2 of these to compliment my existing itinerary, and wildlife viewing was supremely important to me, would it be: Tarangire Natl Park, Laikipia, Samburi or Zambabu.

Finally, I had two upscale travel agents/companies (A & K and Cheli & Peacock) both tell me that they wouldnt recommend Serengati if I went to Massai Mari. They said those two places are very similar. Does this sound right to anyone?

I'd really appreciate your thoughts and comments. Thanks,
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Old Aug 4th, 2006, 04:28 PM
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"both tell me that they wouldnt recommend Serengati if I went to Massai Mari. They said those two places are very similar. Does this sound right to anyone?"

It's the same basic ecosystem so that's solid advice ... in August I'd pick Mara over Serengeti because most of the wildebeest/zebra migration will be there.
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Old Aug 4th, 2006, 07:57 PM
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Where/what is Zambabu?
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Old Aug 5th, 2006, 04:17 AM
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Zambabu?

Do you mean Zanzibar? The island off Tanzania for some R&R?

If not, do tell where is Zambabu!

Amboseli, Samburu and Tarangire have elephants.

Laikipia is off the usual route, so can be a nice alternative.

But, definitely, if late July/August - the Mara over the Serengeti and now isn't too early to be booking your space.

How many days total for in-country? Where will you be arriving, departing? What are your interests?
 
Old Aug 5th, 2006, 12:14 PM
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I am starting to feel stupid. I think you are right, it is Zanzibar. Now the thought is to put that at the end of the trip.

That leaves me to pick from Tarangire Natl Park, Laikipia, and Samburi.

My intersts are to "see something that I cannot see in New York". I am not a professional, but I love photography. Being "away from the tourist crowd and being able to come back with vivid and exciting memories would be great." Since I'll probably put Zanzibar at the end, I am NOT looking for a "quiet place to relax". If some of these places are too similar, I can eliminate one.

I will be flying into Nairobi and probably leaving from there as well. I figure that I will have appr. 14-16 days in Kenya and Tanzania plus travel days.

Thoughts and comments would be greatly appreciated.
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Old Aug 5th, 2006, 12:53 PM
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"That leaves me to pick from Tarangire Natl Park, Laikipia, and Samburi."

Since Ngorongoro is on your "definite" list I'd say spend a few days at Tarangire, since it's only 2 1/2 hours from Ng and in July/Aug it will probably offer many elephants and other game since the river is free-flowing ... if you enjoy birds I'd advise a day or two at Lake Manyara NP as well since it's close to Tarangire and on the way to Ngorongoro crater.

Bill
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Old Aug 5th, 2006, 01:34 PM
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Consider the following:
Day 1 - Arv. NBO - o/n
Day 2 - Fly to Samburu - o/n
Day 3 - Samburu
Day 4 - Fly to Masai Mara
Day 5 - Masai Mara
Day 6 - Masai Mara
Day 7 - Fly to NBO/Wilson; connect to fly to JRO - drive to Tarangire - o/n
Day 8 - Tarangire
Day 9 - Drive to Ngorongoro; afternoon crater floor visit - o/n
Day 10 - Morning on crater floor; afternoon crater rim walk or visit to Olduvai Gorge - o/n Ngorongoro
Day 11 - Early depart for drive to Arusha; fly to ZNZ - o/n beach area
Day 12 - ZNZ - beach area
Day 13 - ZNZ - beach area
Day 14 - Morning drive to Stone Town, afternoon tour; late afternoon flight to NBO arriving about 6pm; connect to homebound flight.

Amboseli has been omitted, as Samburu will offer ellees and species not seen elsewhere; Amboseli is very crowded in July/August. Tarangire also offers ellees, birds and baobab trees dotting the landscape.

You can select Laikipia for a bit of off the beaten path, but the drive would be long taking up a good portion of a day; flights will be more costly than to Samburu.

Budget will determine the accommodations at any of the parks/reserves above. A driving safari would be less costly, but also more time on the roads and less game viewing.

This is at least a place from where to start.
 
Old Aug 5th, 2006, 03:50 PM
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I think Sandi's itinerary looks terrific.

Keep in mind, if wildlife viewing is "supremely important", Zanzibar would offer the underwater kind only.

My first safari was the same time as yours. I went to both the Maasai Mara and the Serengeti because I requested both. I saw way more wildlife in the Mara that time of year, but had some nice sightings in the Serengeti as well. A&K and Cheli & Peacock are giving reasonable advice.

To answer your question, I'd pick the only 2 places on your list that I've been to: Samburu and Tarangire. And I thoroughly enjoyed them. Choosing Tarangire would also give you more exposure to Tanzania, since you are only at the crater.

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Old Aug 6th, 2006, 03:53 AM
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If considering Cheli & Peacock, they handle Kenya only. Not sure with whom they work for the Tanzania portion of itinerary. A&K can handle both.

But do realize both are rather expensive. A&K the higher of the two and mostly group departure dates; for private with A&K you'll pay even more. You may want to do a search on the board here for recommended operators in your home country or in-country who can provide what you want, for quite a savings.

 
Old Aug 6th, 2006, 04:47 AM
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Sandi (and everyone): Thanks so much for the information. Cheli & Peacock referred me to a travel agent, International Ventures. (They only refer 2 on the East Coast-USA). She seemed very knowledgable and helpful, combining Cheli & Peacock accomodations/guides with othes in TZ. I'm just waiting to get pricing from her. If she's reasonable I'll go ahead. Anybody every hear of International Ventures?

I'm counting the days for the airlines to open up. I know that the places I want to stay only accomodate a few people. I am guessing that I should book airline first and accomodations immediately after that.


Anyway, I'll keep you informed and I am sure I'll keep asking questions. Thanks again to everyone - the help I get on this board is fantastic!
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Old Aug 6th, 2006, 05:03 AM
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Never heard of International Ventures.

These are some agents that have been used by Fodorites with positive reports.

Africa Adventure
Africa Dream Safaris
Africa Serendipty
Eastern & Southern Safaris
Gametrackers
Go2Africa
Good Earth
Roys
Southern Cross Safaris
Sunny Safaris


Here is a link to a comprehensive index on East African trip reports.

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...p;tid=34725679
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Old Aug 6th, 2006, 09:29 AM
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Lynn,
I don't think anyone here has used Game<b>trackers</b> before (but if I'm wrong and you saw a report, please let me know). I've recommended Gametrackers when a poster was looking for a budget and/or camping safari in Kenya as I've seen many recommendations for them on the LP Thorntree board.

I've seen positive reports on Fodors for Game<b>watchers</b> also located in Nairobi. Gamewatchers operates the Porini camps in Selenkay (near Amboseli), Mara, and Kigio (near Naivasha) in Kenya.
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Old Aug 6th, 2006, 05:03 PM
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Hi. I just booked most of my safari through Mango African Safaris. I got their name directly from the Chile &amp; Peakock site as preferred travel suppliers. They have been very helpful and helped me book other lodges as well in Zanzibar and Kenya.
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Old Aug 6th, 2006, 09:30 PM
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You're right patty. That should probably be Gamewatchers on the Fodor's list, rather than Gametrackers - it's very, very easy to mix them up because they are both well-known and seem to have &quot;clean&quot; reputations, but they do seem to aim at different markets.
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Old Aug 7th, 2006, 04:10 AM
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When I searched for where the Gametrackers/Watchers came from, there was a postive recommendation from AdrenalineBoy.

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...p;tid=34541792

I also remember Nyamera mentioning it as a good budget option and she has done some very cost efficient traveling. But I somehow thought there were more endorsements than just those (maybe I was even thinking Green Footprints, another G-word company). So, it is true that Gametrackers has not been as widely used as some of the other agents listed.
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Old Aug 7th, 2006, 11:32 AM
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Iíve read about several people on the Thorn Tree that are very happy with reasonably priced private 4wd safaris with Gametrackers. They also have set departure group safaris that solo travellers can join. For anyone with money to throw away Iím sure they can do unreasonable prices as well, at least they say so on their website. You can go on a private safari led by the director - sounds like something many fodorites would like. Iíve also recommended Gametrackers since Iíve been interested in them because they donít use minibuses, but I also remember a post were Patty mentioned someone who had been to the Mara in some kind of big overland truck with Gametrackers. It must have been a big group or maybe itís just in a post Iíve dreamt about.

I was recommended to contact Gamewatchers for my Samburu trip last year, but Letís Go Travel had the same flying package for less money and Iím interested in Porini Selenkay, but itís too expensive.
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Old Aug 7th, 2006, 12:32 PM
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It wasn't a dream I did report that I saw some photos from a Gametrackers safari to the Mara that used a big overland type truck, but now I can neither find my post that mentions this nor the original post on TA from the person that took the safari
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