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Please help with Tanzania / Kenya itinerary in October

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May 25th, 2005, 04:36 AM
  #1
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Please help with Tanzania / Kenya itinerary in October

Hello forum,

I'm trying to build an ambitious but sane itineray for a private safari for my 25 yrs old energetic daughter and her boyfriend.

Does the following make sense? Are the days well spent? Are the camps/lodges reasonable for a relatively tight budget?

Thanks in advance for all the help...
--Neta

Day 1. Morning pickup from JRO. Drive to Arusha National Park. Rest of the day in the park. Overnight in Mount Meru Game Lodge.

Day 2. Drive to Tarangire National Park for day in the park. Overnight Tarangire Safari Lodge.

Day 3. Game drive in Tarangire until mid-afternoon. Then drive to Lake Manyara. Short walk. Overnight at Migunga Forest Camp.

Day 4. Game drive in Lake Manyara until mid-afternoon. Drive to Ngorongoro. Overnight Ngorongoro Farm House.

Day 5. From early morning and throughout the day: Ngorongoro crater game drive. Overnight Ngorongoro Wildlife Lodge.

Day 6. Drive to Lake Natron via NCA craters. Ngare Sero waterfall walk. Visit Maasai village. Late afternoon Lake Natron shore walk to see Flamingoes. Overnight at Lake Natron Tented Camp. Option to Climb Oldoinyo Lengai.

Day 7. Drive to Serengeti via Sonjo and Wasso, Game drive in Northern Serengeti. Overnight Lobo Wildlife Lodge.

Day 8. Big-cat targeted game drive in Central Serengeti and to Moru and Gol kopjies at the Southern Serengeti. Short visit to Olduvai Gorge. Return to Central Serengeti and overnight Seronera Wildlife Lodge.

Day 9. Game drive to North-eastern Serengeti. In the afternoon - drive to Ikoma. Visit a local village. Short afternoon hike. Optional night game drive. Overnight at Ikoma Tented Camp.

Day 10. Early morning drive to the Tanzania / Kenya border at Sirari. Switch Landrover and guide. Drive to Maasai Mara. Afternoon game drive. Overnight at Fig Tree Camp.

Day 11. All day game drive in the Maasai Mara. Overnight Fig Tree Camp.

Day 12. Morning game drive through Maasai Mara, and then drive to Lake Nakuru. Overnight at ???

Day 13. All day game drive in Lake Nakuru. Overnight at ???

Day 14. Early morning drive to Nairobi NBO and transfer to Zanzibar for 4-5 days.
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May 25th, 2005, 05:26 AM
  #2
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Neta -

It's a fare itinerary, but can do with some suggestions.

>>Day 1. Morning pickup from JRO. Drive to Arusha National Park. Rest of the day in the park. Overnight in Mount Meru Game Lodge.<<

After the long flight you might want to recuperate from any Jet Lag. Consider doing a cultural tour at Ng'irisi cultural village. Maybe a picnic at Arusha Park; then relax a bit before a hectic trip ahead of them.

>>Day 2. Drive to Tarangire National Park for day in the park. Overnight Tarangire Safari Lodge.<<

>>Day 3. Game drive in Tarangire until mid-afternoon. Then drive to Lake Manyara. Short walk. Overnight at Migunga Forest Camp.<<

I'd spend both Day 2 and 3 at Tarangire, a nicer park. Besides Migunga Forest Camp is way at the other side of Lk.Manayara - and only for a "walk?" Instead, after lunch on Day 3 at Tarangire, drive to Ngorongoro Farm House in time for dinner.

>>Day 4. Game drive in Lake Manyara until mid-afternoon. Drive to Ngorongoro. Overnight Ngorongoro Farm House.<<

As above, I'd cancel time at Lk. Manyara.

>>Day 5. From early morning and throughout the day: Ngorongoro crater game drive. Overnight Ngorongoro Wildlife Lodge.>>

Early on Day 4 - drive to Ngorongoro and take an afternoon tour in Crater ad overnight here.

>>Day 6. Drive to Lake Natron via NCA craters. Ngare Sero waterfall walk. Visit Maasai village. Late afternoon Lake Natron shore walk to see Flamingoes. Overnight at Lake Natron Tented Camp. Option to Climb Oldoinyo Lengai.<<

This is a good optio while in the area.

>>Day 7. Drive to Serengeti via Sonjo and Wasso, Game drive in Northern Serengeti. Overnight Lobo Wildlife Lodge.<<

Coming from NCA this will be a very long drive, would suggest you stop at Olduvai Gorge on way to Cenral Serengeti; you can stop at the Kopje at the lower end of the Serengeti on your way here, then stay in Central/Sereonera for 1 or 2-nts.

>>Day 8. Big-cat targeted game drive in Central Serengeti and to Moru and Gol kopjies at the Southern Serengeti. Short visit to Olduvai Gorge. Return to Central Serengeti and overnight Seronera Wildlife Lodge.

Day 9. Game drive to North-eastern Serengeti. In the afternoon - drive to Ikoma. Visit a local village. Short afternoon hike. Optional night game drive. Overnight at Ikoma Tented Camp.<<

After time in the Central/Seronera area, drive to the Northeast area where the Wildebeest herds maybe heading back in this directio 2-nts here are good.

>>Day 10. Early morning drive to the Tanzania / Kenya border at Sirari. Switch Landrover and guide. Drive to Maasai Mara. Afternoon game drive. Overnight at Fig Tree Camp.<<

This is a very very long drive from the Northest Serengeti, and most do a stop at Lake Victoria, Speke Bag Inn before continuing next morning into Kenya at the Isebandia border. From here you drive to the Mara for 2-nts.

>>Day 11. All day game drive in the Maasai Mara. Overnight Fig Tree Camp.<<

See above.

>>Day 12. Morning game drive through Maasai Mara, and then drive to Lake Nakuru. Overnight at ???<<

>>Day 13. All day game drive in Lake Nakuru. Overnight at ???<<

Here again, the drive from the Mara to Lk. Nakuru is a very long 6-hrs on lousy roads. Something to think about. Consider the Lion Hill Lodge here.

>>Day 14. Early morning drive to Nairobi NBO and transfer to Zanzibar for 4-5 days.<<

The drive is not so bad from Nakuru to NBO, for connection to ZNZ based on air schedules. Precision Air has a flight at 9:45am - rather tight. So you'd have to check whether some other carier is flying this route later afternoon, otherwise, you may require an o/n in NBO.

Not knowing your budget and whether air flights might impact the itinerary I'd do the trip starting in NBO.

Day 1 - Arv. NBO - if morning, drive to Lake Nakuru - o/n Lion Hill Lodge

Day 2 - Lk. Nakuru - o/n Lion Hill Lodge

Day 3 - Drive to Masai Mara - o/n Fig Tree

Day 4 - Masai Mara - o/n Fig Tree

Day 5 - Fly from Mara to NBO, drive via Namanga border to Arusha - o/n here Impala, Mountain Lodge or Ngurduto

Day 6 - Morning at leisure, then Ng'irisi Cultural visit, drive to Tarangire - o/n Tarangire Safari Lodge

Day 7 - Tarangire - o/n Tarangiri Safari Lodge. After lunch drive to Ngorongoro Farmhouse in time for dinner.

Day 8 - After Breakfast, drive to Ngorongoro Crater, afternoon Crater Tour - o/n Wilderness Lodge

Day 9 - Tour to Ol Donyo Lengai, Masai Village, Lake Natron, etc. - o/n Lake Natron Camp.

Day 10 - Drive to Serengeti via Olduvai Gorge, stop at the Kopjes on way to Central area - o/n Wildlife Lodge

Day 12 - Morning game drive, then mid-morning drive to Northeastern Serengeti - o/n Ikoma Camp

Day 13 - Northeastern Serengeti - o/n Ikoma Camp

Day 14 - Fly from here via Arusha to Zanzibar for remaining time. There are many choices for accommodations here at all budgets... and do spend at least 1-day in Stone Town w/ an overnight as it's only 10-minutes from the airport. Most other places will require a good hours (or more) drive to the airport. Your daughter and her boyfriend can then depart from Dar-es-Salaam or JRO.

This is a more direct route, less driving on lousy roads for some of those routes, and no jumping around in the Serengeti - central/south/north - the Serengeti is very large, and many tour operators put limits on number of miles their vehicles and drivers can do in a given day. A straight line is best. See how this works for you.
 
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May 25th, 2005, 06:15 AM
  #3
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Great reply, Sandi - Thanks a lot!

Flight is TelAviv-Addis-JRO, so it's not as bad as flying from the US.

I tend to agree re: skip Manyara for another day in Tarangire.

Re: jumping up & down the Serengeti- I considered entry through Olduvai and going mainly north, but that doesn't fit well with Natron. I'll check again.
(The operator I'm in contact with, and with whom I spent several days last February, is very flexible in terms of mileage.)

BTW, total budget for the 2 weeks is $3000 pp all inclusive. If Mara-NBO airfare fits in then your suggestion might be perfect (even though NBO-Arusha by public transportation is a 4-5 hr journey, and not a particularly pleasant one...)

Thanks again,
--Neta
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May 25th, 2005, 09:14 AM
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At Nakuru, you can also consider Mbweha Camp www.mbwehacamp.com - it's located just outside the Nderit gate and has 9 inidvidual cottages. When I priced it, it was slightly less than the 2 lodge options inside the park, and I've heard good feedback from those who've stayed here.
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May 25th, 2005, 09:29 AM
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Just my opinion...but I think its WAY too much moving around. We spent 3 weeks in Kenya and Tanzania - 2-3 nights in each camp along the way. I would not have wanted to move about any more than that and if/when I go back I'll settle in 2-3 camps and really enjoy them. There is so much to see and do at each camp that its a shame to be on the move so much. Game drives take place very early in the mornings. We were up most days before 5am. A morning game drive, back to camp for breakfast, a late morning game drive, back to camp for lunch and REST. You'll have these poor kids exhausted on this itinerary. Give them a chance to sit, enjoy a good meal, watch animals around their camp, get to know other travelers, do some laundry, get to know the surroundings. That is a great part of the adventure too. While it all sounds exciting, and you think you shoulding miss a single thing along the way -- you can see some of everything (all the great animals) from a few good camps. I know you mean well, but there really is no need to trek all over Africa. Don't make the trip such a whirlwind that they must consult the intinerary to know what day it is.
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May 25th, 2005, 11:35 AM
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TC,
I guess that Breadth vs. Depth is a matter of personal taste, level of energy, and temperament. I, for one, don't rest much during the day - especially not when I'm on safari; so are the kids...
Each park has its unique character, and it's a pity not to explore them all - and then rest in Zanzibar!

Still - thanks for sharing your view, and I'll review the itinerary to verify that I did not get carried away.
Best Regards,
--Neta
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May 25th, 2005, 12:01 PM
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I think a point an earlier poster tried to make is that many animals are not active during the middle of the day, so there's not much sense to drive around. This is the reason many rest at the lodge before heading out again closer to sunset. In a way, it's almost a mandatory rest period.
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May 25th, 2005, 12:42 PM
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Neta, I don't mean to insult your planning only to make the point that there are many, many things to enjoy at each camp -- one camp had the most amazing bird walk with a naturalist one afternoon where we encountered 50 or more beautiful, not previously seen birds. If one spends too much time "traveling" one is apt to miss the very things they've come to see.
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May 25th, 2005, 04:52 PM
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A Breadth and Depth comment. Is your goal to maximize time with wildlife for better observation, understanding of animal behavior and/or photography? Then Depth is best.

If your goal is to see the places you may have heard about, view animals in a variety of settings, and scope out locations for a return trip, then breadth is best.

In my opinion, your 25 year old travelers would have no trouble physically handling this pace, which is typical of many safaris. My own preference would be along the lines TC's, to fully enjoy each location and all its offerings, even if that meant fewer stops.

So then I look at your itinerary and think, what would I take out to make some other stops longer? Other than the suggestion to remove the Manyara overnight, nothing jumps out at me. Some of your shorter stops are also to accommodate breaks in drive great distances.

Sandi's revisions would make for an enjoyable trip for a couple of fortunate 25 year olds!



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May 26th, 2005, 03:49 AM
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Neta -

The air from the Mara to NBO is about $115 o/w person. The air from the Serengeti (via Arusha) to Zanzibar (which is a package price) runs about $310 o/w person.

While both add to your budget, it saves the time on the roads (cuts into game viewing time) your bottoms and worth consideration.

I am leaving this afternoon to Tanzania & Tanzania, so look forward to hearing, upon my return, how your plans firm up.
 
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May 26th, 2005, 04:23 AM
  #11
sandi
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... sorry, that's Tanzania & Kenya!
 
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May 26th, 2005, 08:42 PM
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Friends,

I revised the itinerary in line with your good advice!
Days 3-4 are unusual but highly rewarding (I've been there).
Day 9 remains an inevitably long drive.

Please suggest tented camps to gain in atmosphere and reduce the $2800 cost. Camps should be in the same area, w/flushing toilet, hot water shower, clean beddings, and decent food...

Best Regards,
--Neta

Day 1. 7am JRO pickup. Half-day in Arusha NP. To Tarangire. o/n Tarangire Safari Lodge.

Day 2. All day in Tarangire. o/n Tarangire Safari Lodge.

Day 3. To Lake Natron. Ngare Sero waterfall, Maasai village, shore-walk. o/n Lake Natron Camp. Lengai midnight climb.

Day 4. Late morning hike to Empakaai Crater. Drive in NCA Highlands & Olmoti Crater. o/n Ngorongoro Wildlife Lodge.

Day 5. All day Ngorongoro Crater. o/n Ngorongoro Wildlife Lodge.

Day 6. To Serengeti via Olduvai Gorge, Simba & Gol kopjes, Seronera River. o/n Seronera Wildlife Lodge.

Day 7. All day in NE Serengeti. o/n Lobo Wildlife Lodge.

Day 8. All day in N & C Serengeti. o/n Ikoma Tented Camp. Night game-drive.

Day 9. To Isebania/Sirari. Switch Land Rover & guide. To Maasai Mara. o/n Keekorok lodge.

Day 10. All day in Maasai Mara. o/n Keekorok lodge.

Day 11. Half day in Maasai Mara. To Lake Nakuru. o/n Lion Hill lodge.

Day 12. All day in Lake Nakuru. o/n Lion Hill lodge.

Day 13. Drive to NBO for 1pm flight to Zanzibar.
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May 27th, 2005, 01:55 PM
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I certainly wouldn't end in Nakuru. A nice place but not a lasing impression of Africa. I'd tend to agree with Sandi and reverse the itinery.
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May 27th, 2005, 09:25 PM
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philw,
Thanks for the reminder! I take it that the itinerary itself is fine.
Unfortunately, I can't compare Nakuru to other NPs (in particular: Manyara), as I've never been to Nakuru...
I'll look seriously into the reverse option.
Regards,
--Neta
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