Please Help Review My Tanzania Safari Itinerary

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Jul 2nd, 2005, 07:24 AM
  #1
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Please Help Review My Tanzania Safari Itinerary

Hi! I'm trying to plan a trip to Tanzania in November 2005. Can you take a look at this itinerary and let me know if you have any suggestions? In putting together the itinerary, I tried to follow the classic tours from all the US/UK tour operators' websites. It'll be our first safari trip!

Day 1 - Arrive JRO - Ilboru Hotel
Day 2 - Arusha to Tarangire - Tarangire Sopa Lodge
Day 3 - Tarangire to Serengeti- Serengeti Serena Lodge
Day 4 - Serengeti - Serengeti Serena Lodge
Day 5 - Serengeti to Ngorongoro- Ngorongoro Serena Lodge
Day 6 - Ngorongoro - Ngorongoro Serena Lodge
Day 7 - Ngorongoro to Lake Manyara - Manyara Serena Lodge
Day 8 - Manyara to Arusha to Zanzibar - Breezes
Day 9 - Zanzibar - Breezes
Day 10 - Zanzibar - Breezes
Day 11 - Zanzibar - Breezes
Day 12 - Return flight to Dar, then Home

Total cost, including ticket from Arusha to Zanzibar, is $2195/person.

Questions I have: Is the route a good one or should I adjust something for late November/early December? Is 4 nights on Zanzibar enough? We plan to go scuba diving and also relax a bit after the safari? Is it worth it to add one night in Stone Town? Our flight back to the US doesn't leave Dar until close to midnight, so there is no reason for us to be close to the ZNZ airport (no early morning flight). Any comments on Iboru Hotel in Arusha? Can't seem to find any reviews. Also, it's possible to add a luxury camp at the cost of $120 per person/night. Is the experience worth an extra $240 total?

Sorry for so many questions. I've been doing research for the past 2 weeks, and it's starting to get a little confusing.

Thanks for your help and input!

Girlstar is offline  
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Jul 2nd, 2005, 09:55 AM
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How are you getting from Tarangire to the Serengeti on Day 3? That seems like a very long drive to me. You might want to consider a one way flight from Arusha to the Serengeti and making your way back from there, especially since you only have 6 nights on safari. I wouldn't want to spend so much of that time on the road.

I personally prefer tented camps to lodges, but I'd want to know which camps this tour operator is offering for $120pp per night additional and where these camps are located, rather than just 'luxury camp'. You may want to look into the cost of Mbuzi Mawe Tented Camp in the Serengeti which is also managed by Serena. I believe lisa (who is also going in November) mentioned that her tour operator quoted an additional $30pp per night to stay at Mbuzi Mawe vs Serena Lodge. There's also Migration Camp further north which is supposed to be very nice but might be higher in price.

There are no tented camps that I know of in the vicinity of Ngorongoro crater. There are some options in the Lake Manyara area as well as Tarangire. Actually I think you could eliminate either Manyara or Tarangire and add one more night to the Serengeti instead, less moving around this way.

Check out the recent reviews & photos of various Tanzania camps in Eben's threads -

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=34628643

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=34632954

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=34644805

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=34644805
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Jul 2nd, 2005, 10:05 AM
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I think it's a nice itinerary and a good price. I would "save" (go cheaper) at the beach and put a little more $$ into 2 nights in a tented camp if budget is a consideration, but that's just me.

I also might add 1 night to the Serengeti, but that was my favorite park.

Even if you keep it just as it is, I think you will have a fantastic trip.
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Jul 2nd, 2005, 10:15 AM
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Oops, I meant to include this one as the 4th link - http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=34644982
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Jul 2nd, 2005, 01:13 PM
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Patty is right about Day 3 being a very long drive. It would be easier/shorter drive from Tarangire to Ngorongoro Crater; from the Crater to the Serengeti and pass on Lk. Manyara and add this day to the Serengeti. then fly from the Serengeti to Arusha (it's not that expensive) and you might even be able to get on an earlier flight to Zanzibar (depending on schedules... just a guess on my part). And I also wonder what lux camp is your tour operator offering?

If you are serious scuba divers, remember that you're not supposed to fly for 24-hrs after your last dive, so Day 11 should be it, therefore, 4-days is good here.
 
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Jul 2nd, 2005, 06:36 PM
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Thank you. This is SO helpful. I hadn't thought of the long drive from Tarangire into Serengeti, but I suppose it's 6-7 hours, right? The itinerary I have says we leave Tarangire right after breakfast, visit Olduvai Gorge, have a picnic lunch and then enter Serengeti and drive toward Seronera River Valley en route game drive.

Great suggestion about dropping Manyara and adding one night in Serengeti. I think we will definitely do that. I read the string started by Lisa about her trip in November, and the recommendations about the better viewing in Seronera. Do you think we can travel there from Serengeti Serena or should we stay at the Migration Camp for a couple of nights?

I asked Predators Safari Club about staying at a Kirumu Tent in Lake Manyara, and they told me it would cost an additional $120. But Roys Safari told me today that it would be $30 less. I will ask both companies about Migration Camp and Mbuzi Camp since I would love to have the camping experience as well.

Will e-mail them tonight and let you know what they say.

Thanks!
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Jul 2nd, 2005, 08:02 PM
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I think I have reworked the itinerary. How does this sound?

Day 1 - Arusha to Manyara
Day 2 - Manyara to Central Serengeti
Day 3 - Central Serengeti
Day 4 - NE Serengeti (Migration Camp)
Day 5 - NE Serengeti (Migration Camp)
Day 6 - Ngorongoro
Day 7 -Tarangire to Arusha

I have added 2 nights to Serengeti (NE part), cut out one night in Ngorongoro (the comments to Lisa's thread said one night there is plenty, and maybe will cut out the night in Tarangire. I think it's possible to drive from Ngorongoro, see Tarangire in one day and then go back to Arusha. I am waiting for quotes back from safari operators.

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