Please Help- Tanzania Safari???

Mar 2nd, 2010, 08:13 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 279
Please Help- Tanzania Safari???

We have our safari booked at the beginning of August but are having a horrible time finding decent flights and prices. We could change and go at the end of August when the fares would be significantly lower. I am concerned that our itinerary would not be as good as we would be in the far north, Sayari in the middle of September instead of the middle of August. We were hoping to see the migration and am concerned that is the wrong time to be in Sayari if that is what we are hoping to see. Also our tour operator has told us that even though we are five months away from our travel dates that we can not necessarily change the camps that we have selected. Is that true? It seems that this far in advance we should be able to make changes. Any advice would be appreciated.
lhgreenacres is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2010, 09:01 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,969
I'm guessing that your TO means that their could be availability issues not that you can't make changes. These are small camps and there's always the possibility that they'll be fully booked on alternate dates. You won't know until you check.
Patty is online now  
Mar 2nd, 2010, 09:23 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2005
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I wish that was true but that was not what was being communicated. It was more like we were stuck with these particular camps and even though we are still five months in advance that we could not change to another camp. I understand that availability is always an issue but that was not the impression that I got and that is what concerned me. It seems that if we do not want to stay at Sayari for example and would like to choose another camp due to location and possibly changing our travel dates we should be able to do so. If I am incorrect about this, please let me know.
lhgreenacres is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2010, 10:09 AM
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Sorry I misunderstood and thought you were just changing dates. It would depend on the specific camp's cancellation policy which can vary widely. I've seen a very restrictive one for a small camp where basically the deposit is nonrefundable while others don't have any penalties until 30-60 days prior. I don't know what Sayari's is nor could I find it on their website. You could try emailing Asilia Lodges and asking. I wish this info was readily available online.
Patty is online now  
Mar 2nd, 2010, 11:22 AM
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 168
Just curious, at the end of August could you go to Mara as it seems you want to see the migration and from what I read,and the reports here on the forum there are a lot of migration crossings seen (and pics posted!) in Aug and Sept as the animals are most probably headed that way....but I am no pro at this. They may think otherwise.

You may get better prices to NBO; and could have less costly accommodations in the Mara.

I do feel for you; we had to cancel a Xmas trip once because the air got so high it just wasn't working. I was fortunate that the lodging understood and refunded my deposit.

Have you taken talked to your TO about your situation and possibly switching areas? Just a thought. If your heart is set on Tanzania then it will be more of an ordeal I guess.

Good Luck; I checked some prices from East Coast and boy they sure were high also. I booked mine way before 2010 and I guess the airlines weren't sure what they were doing.

If I couldnt get my deposits back I'd consider a switch instead of going through all this agony; but it is finally up to you.

Keep us posted and I am sure everyone is still looking!

flowerpower is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2010, 11:47 AM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 8,675
Whether Aug or Sept, Sayari is good either month... in fact, Sept might be somewhat better. Remember, all the herds don't move into the Mara, many hanging back on the Serengeti side, with herds reaching this area from late-July and hanging around till October.

What surprises me is that your agent said "you can't necessarily make a change" rather than "let me see if Sept dates are available" and await the reply. What does "necessarily" mean?

Another camp in the area is Lemala which gets excellent reviews and might be a tad less expensive. But, if you want an Asilia property, their Olakira Camp is also up that way, if a bit farther east. And both Sayari/Olakira offer bush walks between the two.

I can't say what the occupancy is at this time, nor Sayari's cancellations policy, but the agent should try to work with you. Good luck!
sandi is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2010, 11:53 AM
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 4,215
I assume ASILIA will happily change camp if availability allows.
On the other hand: no one can predict WHERE the migration will be at your specific travel dates. Olakira will be in North. Serengeti - but Sayari should also be fine as herds constantly cross back and forth from North Serengeti to Mara and vv.

Happy planning!

spassvogel is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2010, 07:05 PM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440
I don't think I'd be concerned about Aug or Sept in those locations. I think I would try to stay several days in either month. Where else will you be? End of Aug into Sept should be great. Go for the better airfare.
atravelynn is offline  
Mar 5th, 2010, 07:18 AM
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william_shayo -

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sandi is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2010, 02:18 AM
Join Date: Sep 2005
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What airlines have you looked at? And what routing? Perhaps you need to look for a different consolidator rather than changing your plans? August is prime time in Tanzania, so camps are likely full, Sayari is the only permanent camp in the northern Serengeti, so I would guess that they have pretty strict cancellation penalties, which likely why your agent is reluctant to make amends to your itinerary. I recently checked them out and discovered they have an office in the states, maybe contact that office for additional info?
mkhonzo is offline  
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