Preliminary Rwanda, Tanzania, and Kenya itinerary

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Nov 6th, 2005, 01:20 PM
  #1
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Preliminary Rwanda, Tanzania, and Kenya itinerary

I am in the process of planning a safari to Rwanda, Tanzania, and Kenya for late July Ė early August. I have read many of the posts on this board and have gotten some great information, and now I wanted to get your feedback on a possible itinerary. Please remember, that this is a very preliminary itinerary and am fairly flexible with any suggestions you have.

Fly from States to Kigali, Rwanda
Day 1 - arrive in Kigali and transfer to Novotel Umubano Hotel
Day 2 - drive to Ruhengeri. Stay at Gorilla's Nest Lodge
Day 3 - gorilla trek. Overnight at Gorilla's Nest Lodge
Day 4 - gorilla trek. Return to Kigali for another night at Novotel Umubano Hotel.
Day 5 - transfer to airport. Fly to Arusha. Night at Arusha Coffee Lodge
Day 6 - Serengeti Serena Safari Lodge
Day 7 - Serengeti Serena Safari Lodge
Day 8 - Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge
Day 9 - Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge
Day 10 - Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp
Day 11 - Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp
Day 12 - fly to Nairobi to catch flight back to the States

The Rwanda part will be booked through either Unusual Destinations or Primate Safaris and the rest through CCAfrica.

I have done some reading on this board and on a number of other resources, and suggested the following changes to my travel agent.

Days 1 - 4 would be the same.
Day 5 - transfer to airport. Fly to Arusha. Fly to Zanzibar
Day 6 - Zanzibar
Day 7 - Zanzibar
Day 8 - fly back to Arusha. Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge
Day 9 - Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge
Day 10 - Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge
Day 11 - Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp
Day 12 - Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp
Day 13 - Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp
Day 14 - Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp
Day 15 - fly to Nairobi to catch flight back to the States


I'm not sure if the ordering looks right, but I am flexible regarding this. Would it be easier to end in Zanzibar?

My main goals are to see the mountain Gorillas in Rwanda, the migration, and take a balloon ride and possibly a Masai village visit. I understand that the migration can never be completely predicted, and I have read that it might be in ether the Serengeti or Mara during this time period. If I skip the Serengeti, what do you think my chances are of seeing the Migration at Kichwa Tembo? Also, I added in Zanzibar because the pictures just looked so amazing. Is it worth flying this far just to go to the beach?

Cost is somewhat of an issue... I canít afford to do everything top of the line, but I would rather pay more for a great game drive. I don't care as much where I sleep, as I do experiencing Africa and seeing the animals. For instance, CCAfrica originally had me booked at Ngorongoro Crater Lodge. As great at this sounded, I would rather spend the money by extended my vacation and seeing more of this part of the world.

I went to South Africa, Botswana, and Zimbabwe about 4 years ago, and absolutely feel in love with Africa. I can't wait to get back!
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Nov 6th, 2005, 01:41 PM
  #2
sandi
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travelersusan -

Will leave the Rwanda portion for others.

But, from Kigali, do you have a flight direct to Arusha (doubt it) or via Nairobi? If via NBO, you can fly to Mombasa (coastal Kenya) or ZNZ instead of Arusha and then ZNZ - all flight schedule dependent. Then from ZNZ back to Arusha to continue the TNZ portion of your safari.

You certainly don't need 3-nts at the Ngorongoro Crater, 2-nts is sufficient, even if arriving mid-to-late afternoon on the first day here.

Then from Ngorongoro in Tanzania, how are you getting to Kichwa Tembo in the Mara in Kenya? The drive from the Crater is easily 5-hrs, from where you can catch the 1:45pm flight to Wilson airport in Nairobi; here to connect to flight to the Mara and your stay at Kichwa Tembo. At minumum 3-nts is good, 4-nts is better, so this is fine.

Zanzibar - Only you can decide whether you want to have some R&R between Rwanda and safari in Tanzania and Kenya. We recently did ZNZ between safari in Tanzania and Kenya, so it's doable - again, check for the best flight routing to accomplish this.

For late July/early August, you're doing right by omitting the Central Serengeti for the Mara.

Hope this helps.

 
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Nov 6th, 2005, 02:22 PM
  #3
 
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Looking at your goals...

"...to see the mountain Gorillas in Rwanda"

You've got that covered. Trekking in the morning and returning to Kigali later in the day is good use of time. If you have time on Day 2 you might want to consider visiting the very moving Never Again Memorial in Kigali. The drive from Kigali to Gorilla's Nest is 3 hours at most. If you use Primate Safaris, I really enjoyed Theogene as a guide.

"...the migration and take a balloon ride and possibly a Masai village visit."

You'll want to be in the Mara in late July early August for the migration. Four nights at Kichwa Tembo would be good and allow for time to do the balloon and village visit. Village visits are easy to do so that should be no problem. I'd book the balloon early.

You did not mention wanting beach/ocean time so Zanzibar does not seem to meet your goals. I'd trade those days for more time in the Mara, since the migration was a priority and you are there at such a good time. You could either extend your time at Kichwa Tembo or add another
camp/lodge. I've spent 10 days in the Mara at one camp and another time split a week between two camps at exactly the time you will be there. It was not Mara overkill in my opinion.

As for your chances of seeing the migration at Kichwa Tembo, you can drive to wherever the action is. You may want to request some days with a box lunch so you can stay out all day. At that time of year, you will see huge herds in the Mara, even if bulk of the migration eludes you. You could also add a couple nights (from Zanzibar) to the Serena Lodge in a different part of the Mara to give you more geographic coverage. But I am letting my bias against beach and in favor of extra time on safari slip in.

2 nights at the crater is indeed sufficient. Even if you end up not doing Zanzibar or the Serengeti, I'd still consider keeping the crater unless you think you'll return and spend time just in Tanzania in the future. Also in keeping with your migration goals, the crater does have its own migration so you'll likely see lots of wildebeest and zebras. I was able to get much closer to the crater wildebeest herds than those in the Mara.

Looks like a great trip and a great time of year for it.
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Nov 6th, 2005, 04:43 PM
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I don't think there are nonstop flights between Kigali and Kilimanjaro (requires connection in Nairobi) so on Day 5, it would probably be easier to fly Kigali-Nairobi-Zanzibar or if you wanted to put Zanzibar at the end, perhaps you could head to the Masai Mara from Nairobi that day.
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Nov 7th, 2005, 05:36 AM
  #5
 
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The website for Primate Safaris (which I think is Origins safaris?) appears to be under construction - can someone who has used them in the past provide an email address for them? I wanted to contact them about possible january tours and prices. Thanks!
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Nov 12th, 2005, 07:04 AM
  #6
 
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Joseph Birori
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BP 4158
Kigali, Rwanda



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Nov 15th, 2005, 03:32 PM
  #7
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Thank you all so much for your help. I'm in the process of finalizing everything now, and will post a final itinerary when it is ready. The main problem I have now is waiting 8 months!
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Nov 15th, 2005, 04:09 PM
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Has anyone looked at flights from Kigali to Mwanza, then on to the Serengeti?
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