Possible Rainy Season Tanzania Trip


Aug 6th, 2004, 02:41 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 4
Possible Rainy Season Tanzania Trip

Hello all,

My fiancé and I would like to take a private safari to Tanzania in 2005. We can go any time from February through June. Our goals for safari are to see the migration, see baby animals, spend time on some private game reserves where we can use open vehicles, as well as do some three to four hour walks, and possibly go on a night drive. We want to mix accommodations so we stay in lodges, permanent tented camps, and mobile camps.

Please review the itinerary below and let me know if you have answers to the following questions:

Have you stayed at any of these places and what was your impression of them?
Do the times allotted for transfers look right?
If you were to cut two or three days from this itinerary, what would you drop?
As far as timing, I know February is supposed to be great in the Ndutu area, but has anyone been to Tanzania during the long rains in March through May and what did you think?

Thank you so much for your help. I have been lurking on these boards for a while, and you have helped sooooo much already. So I already owe you a trip report.

Day 01 Arrive Kilimanjaro Intl Airport in afternoon or evening. Met on arrival and transferred to a lodge for overnight. Stay at a private game reserve in this area such as Sinya Camp. Or we could stay at Arusha NP at Ngare Sero Mountain Lodge. Other lodging choices are Rivertrees or Moivaro Coffee Plantation in Arusha.

Day 02 Arusha National Park or Sinya Camp game drive. Same lodging as previous night.

Day 03 Drive from Arusha or Sinya Camp to Tarangire NP. Stay at Tamarind Camp or Olivers Camp.

Day 04 Game drive in Tarangire NP. Stay at same accommodations as previous night.

Day 05 Drive from Tarangire NP to Lake Manyara NP in the morning. Game drive in the park with picnic lunches. First choice is Kirurumi Tented Lodge. Second choice is Lake Manyara Serena.

Day 06 Drive from Lake Manyara to Ngorongoro Crater. Afternoon game drive in the Crater. Stay at Ngorongoro Crater Lodge, Serena Lodge or Gibbs Farm.

Day 07 Ngorongoro Crater. Full day in the Crater with picnic lunches. Stay at same accommodation as previous night.

Day 08 Drive from Ngorongoro Crater to the Serengeti or an adjacent private concession. Private mobile tented camp. We would like to go wherever we can find the migration.

Day 09 Serengeti. Private mobile tented camp near migration. Game drives/walks.

Day 10 Serengeti. Private mobile tented camp near migration. Game drives/walks.

Day 11 Serengeti. Private mobile tented camp near migration. Game drives/walks.

Day 12 Serengeti. Private mobile tented camp near migration. Game drives/walks.

Day 13 Drive from Serengeti to Karatu via Olduvai Gorge. Stay at Gibbs Farm.

Day 14 Drive from Karatu to Arusha. Dayroom if needed. Transfer to the airport.
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Aug 7th, 2004, 04:55 AM
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The "long" rains come between April to mid-June and the colors of green can be beautiful, but with the rains also come higher grasses and animal spotting can be difficult. And as for game walks, these can be slip 'n slid in the mud - something to consider. However, though the wet season, this doesn't necessarily mean it will rain daily, all day. As there are no guarantees for animals sightings, there is no guarantee just how much rain you'll have in any year. So I would consider February or March, or mid-June for your safari.

The major herds will be in the SE Serengeti around Nduto for the "calving" season end-January thru February, then the herds move slowly from SE further West then up to the Western Serengeti thru the "wet" months. Technically the Migration of wildebeest, zebra and antelope doesn't start to head from the Western Serengeti (June) to Northern and into the Mara sometime late June into July. These are then the areas you should consider for your Serengeti time, though I believe the five (5) days are a long time.

With few exceptions, most vehicles are not "open" as you find in Southern Africa, and certainly during the wet season, these are not the vehicles you want to be driving in. In addition, your games drives, will take place mostly in National Parks/Reserves - not private "concessions." (Private concessions are mainly found in South Africa). It's possible that your accommodations might be located outside the perimeter of a national park, but these are not "private" lands.

I wouldn't spend time at Arusha National Park, rather after the first night upon arrival, the next day head to Tarangire. I love Tarangire as a park, but here too, there is a small migration during mid-June thru October, you will still have great animal sightings with ellees and zebra, and lots of birds. Oliver's camp here is very rustic with bathrooms located outside and behind the tents and there is no running water! And there is no electricity. Consider Kikoti in addition to Tamarind both outside the Tarangire borders, but provide nite drives.

Lake Manyara isn't one of my favorite parks, but for a stay of 1-nt. it's a good stopping point on the way to Ngorongoro. Since Kirurumu camp will take you far into the park, and since it's only a 1-nt stay, I'd stay at the Serena just outside the entrance to the park, which will save time in getting on your way to Ngorongoro. I might even eliminate this and simply head onto Ngorongoro.

Your time at Ngorongoro is fine and you should enjoy your stay at The Crater Lodge.

Heading into the Serengeti, mobile camping might not be ideal if it's the wet season - something to think about. And unless you're actually here during the "calving" season where 4-days would be perfect, spending a full 5-days other than during calving, when it's not migration time, might be too many days.

What I would suggest here - instead of spending five full days, I would instead consider some relaxation after bumping around the roads on the previous safari days - to take some time at Zanzibar itself or the off-islands of Pemba, Mnemba, Chumbe, even as far as Mafia which you can get to from Dar-es-Salaam. But be aware that there is a wet season here and some of these islands are actually closed late-March thru begin-May.

While the itinerary you present can work, the exact time of travel is important as regards weather. I can see eliminating 1-day Arusha, 1-day Lk. Manyara, and 2-days Serengeti which allows time for Zanzibar; or if really adventurous, fly off to Dar from Arusha/Kili and head to the Selous for 3- to 4-days, but even here you have to consider the wet months, when visiting the Selous isn't possible.

Why not send your proposed itinerary off to Roy Safaris and see what their recommendations and prices will be and any suggestions for alternatives.
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Aug 7th, 2004, 07:30 AM
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Dear Sandi,

Thank you so much for all of the detail in your response. It is so helpful. Yes, ending the trip with an island stop is a great idea. I was thinking we wouldn't be able to fit that in but maybe we can after all. Selous sounds amazing too. Also, I had no idea Oliver's Camp was so rustic so thank you for that tip!
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