Please review my proposed itinerary

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May 17th, 2003, 12:23 AM
  #1
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Please review my proposed itinerary

I've got a group of eight friends heading to Kenya and Tanzania in early September and I wanted to get the feedback from this group on what I'm missing or what I've done wrong. Our proposed itinerary is this:

2 nights Tarangire Treetops
2 nights camping in the Ngorongoro highlands
2 nights Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge
2 nights Migration Camp
1 night Nairobi
3 nights Little Governors Camp

Am I making any huge mistakes with this?
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May 17th, 2003, 04:31 AM
  #2
sandi
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Questions: Where are you flying into (Nairobi or Kilimanjaro) and from (Nairobi)? If flying in/out of NBO, it's a long trip to Tarangire via Arusha with a border crossing at Namaga.. but we drove this route and it was kind of an adventure, however, From Migration camp I recommend returning by air to Arusha/Kilm then fly to NBO. As I said, one way is an adventure, round trip can be punishment. There is one flight day from Kil, early afternoon about 1pm at about $250 r/t (so check o/w price) Flight from KIL to NBO (Wilson Airport). This way you get into NBO and have some time to actually do some local touring.
On trip to the Mara... again, by road or flying? It's about a 5-6 hr. drive on lousy roads... but you can opt to drive one way but return by air via Keyna Air intra-country carrier.

If I recall you need Yellow Fever Innoc, so check this out. Seems at times they require it, and then they lift the requirement... regardless, if you get it, it's good for 10 years. Also don't forget innoc. for tetanus, polio booster, Hep A and some recommend thyphoid (I've had all but thyphoid). Once you have these they will serve you for future travel for the next 10 years. And, of course, your malarie meds (Malarone is the current recommended pill).
 
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May 17th, 2003, 05:14 AM
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Hi Roderick!!

Your trip is very "do-able," but I would suggest the following: cutting down the time you spend in Ngorongoro.

The reason I say this is because off-roading is not allowed in the crater itself, so in essence you will be going round and round the same roads. Also, by virtue of the crater being a caldera and a confined area, you will see more tourists (in my opinion) than wildlife.

If you are going there for the camping experience, perhaps two nights camping and then just one at the Sopa? If you cut down on the time spent in Ngorongoro, I would add an extra night at Little Governors Camp. This is because the migration will be in the Mara in September and the photo opportunities will be endless, you might even see a crossing!

As Sandi questioned, how are you getting from Migration Camp in the Serengeti to Nairobi? Driving or flying from the Serengeti down to Arusha and then flying on to Nairobi?

It would be an incredibly long and arduous drive from Serengeti to Arusha, cross at the Namanga border and then continuing to drive on to Nairobi.

Good luck with your trip! We went in September of last year to Kenya and Tanzania, and the weather was ideal and what we saw and experienced was absolutely awesome. They are truly magical countries.
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May 17th, 2003, 10:04 AM
  #4
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Thanks guys for the responses.

We are flying into Kilimanjaro and out of Nairobi for the safari.

Coming back from Migration Camp we will fly to Aursha and then drive to Nairobi, and then fly the next day to the Masai Mara.

I agree with Susan about Ngorongoro, it seems like one too many days there.

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May 17th, 2003, 11:44 AM
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Hi Roderick!

Please don't get me wrong about the Ngorongoro Crater - it truly is a wonder and beautiful site. I just think that for the time of the year you are going, an additional night in the Mara would best serve any wildlife viewing aspirations.

Glad to hear that you are flying from the Serengeti to Arusha. The road from Arusha to Nairobi is not bad (by African standards) at all.

Where are you staying in Nairobi? If you are looking to save a few bucks and if it is only for one night, take a look at the Boulevard Hotel or The Fairview. The Fairview, just so you know, is across the street from the Israeli embassy. Anyway, both are clean and functional for a one-night stay. While the Stanely and Norfolk or Serena are lovely, for those of us who do not have disposable incomes they suffice.

Please keep us abreast of your plans.

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May 17th, 2003, 02:12 PM
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sandi
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Susan and Roderick - I agree about the two days in Ngorongoro, but I don't believe it is two days, rather by the time you get from the highlands to the lodge it's later in day, so you have that night to sleep... next day you do the Crater and then that night to sleep... before moving on (actually 2-nights).
Glad to hear you're flying back to Arusha, and yes, the ride back to NBO will be fine, a bit bumpy and closer to NBO, more traffic... but you'll survive.
The first time we did the drive to the border we made it in 1-hour (but it was early when we left, no traffic at all)... next time it took over 2-1/2, so just be prepared.
And as far as when Migration takes place... there are no guarantees when the wildebeast and zebra decide to move. Alot depends on the grasses or lack of and the amount of water for drinking. When we were in Kenya end November we came upon a reverse Migration as there were fires in the Serengeti and the animals were coming back into the Mara. And in the Western Serengeti there is usually water year-round so those in that area stay and don't migrate (though the Grumeti River is known to go dry at times). And as far as an actual crossing... ask the photographers of National Geographic how many years they have to be there before they actually see a crossing to get on film. Everyone hopes to see lots, but again, no guarantees.
Just go and enjoy whatever each day provides... you'll love the experience.
 
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May 17th, 2003, 03:05 PM
  #7
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My choices for lodging in the Serengeti are between Migration Camp and Kirawira Camp. Kirawira is in the far western part of the Masai Mara and I'm wondering if we would see more animals in that area.

Any comments?
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May 17th, 2003, 03:27 PM
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Roderick - Kirawira is the most unbelievable tented camp. We stayed there and loved it. You won't believe you're in a tent, it's great living. Have no idea of price difference, but Kirawira is "up-there", though worth it.

As far a the animals you'll see, realize that the driver has you up and out early and they will drive just about anywhere. Some people actually went out to Lake Victoria to go fishing. Different things for everyone. And wait till you see the "big crocs" in the Grumeti River, where animals come to drink. The Nat'l Geographic recently had a program on that entire area and you had to see those crocs go for the wildebeast and zebra. Just a nibble for breakfast!

From your list of accommodations, Kirawira will cost more, so you have to decide, but with the exception of Crater Lodge at Ngorongoro and is very very expensive, Kirawira is probably next most expensive. The Sopa properties were the first chain in Tanzania and we stayed at the Sopa at Tarangire, before the higher priced Serena properties were built (Kirawira is a Serena property). Sometimes you just have to splurge a little and we weren't disappointed. Check and compare prices. You won't be disappointed.
 
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May 17th, 2003, 04:03 PM
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Sandi: Unless I am reading Roderick's itinerary wrong, it says 2 nights camping in the Ngorongoro highlands and 2 nights at the Sopa. That's a total of 4 nights in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. I stand by my suggestion of adding a night at the Mara rather than spending all those nights in Ngorongoro. As far as the migration, a lot does depend on the rains, which is what the wildebeest, zebra and gazelle follow. The migration is a never-ending process, animals are constantly on the move for green grass. They move back and forth between Tanzania and Kenya year-round. Our trip last year was planned in the hopes of seeing the migration, which we did to its fullest when on Sept. 23, 2002 after waiting nearly three hours along the banks of the Mara River, we had the honor and privilege of witnessing wildebeests cross. It was as loud, chaotic, dusty and as moving as I had dreamed it would be. So, while there are no guarantees that one will see a crossing, it does happen. By the way, Roderick, your choice in staying at Tarangire Treetops is great. I think Tarangire is one of the most wonderful parks. The giant baobab trees provide stunning backdrops and when we were there we could not take a photo of one animal without getting another species in the frame. It is a gem of a park. As far as accommodations in Ngorongoro, I think the Sopa is a nice choice. We stayed once at the Serena and another at the Crater Lodge, which was unbelievably luxurious - actually on the verge of decadent. The Sopa looked like a very nice property and regardless of whether you stay at the Sopa, Serena or Crater Lodge, the views are all fantastic. Regardless, you will have a wonderful time.
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