Question about flying between safari destinations.

Nov 2nd, 2002, 11:40 AM
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Question about flying between safari destinations.

Dear Safari-ists,

I am terribly confused about flying between camps. I told the agent I am using that I did not want any long drives. I hope to go from Dar es Salaam or Nairobi to Ngorogoro Crater, then to Kirawira in the western Serengeti, then to Little Governors Camp in Kenya in the Masai Mara. She has emailed me back with an itinerary that includes much more driving than I had hoped for.

If you have been on flying safaris, did you spend an inordinate amount of time making connections? Are the flights infrequent? Did you end up having to go back to Arusha or Nairobi to make connections? I understand that in flying from TZ to Kenya, we will have to go through customs---does that mean we have to be routed through Nairobi?

I also understand that they limit weight allowances on the small planes, and that the landing strips are primitive, but I am willing to fly and incur the extra costs so that we will have more time game viewing and relaxing.

Thanks for your input, Pat

Nov 2nd, 2002, 12:03 PM
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Pat, why won't you read Ginas report. It looks like she flown between camps
Nov 3rd, 2002, 07:20 AM
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Hi Pat! We went to Kenya and Tanzania last month and did a combo flying/driving safari. We landed in Nairobi, flew from Wilson Airport to the Mara and back Nairboi. We then drove from Nairobi to Amboseli, which was about 4 1/2 hours. Yes, the roads are rocky, bumpy and dusty, but I was glad that we were able to see some things that we would have otherwise missed by flying from camp to camp. We drove across the border into Tanzania. In Tanzania, we drove to the N-crater, then south to Tarangire. Again, we didn't mind the drive. From Tarangire we went back to Arusha, where we got our flight to Dar and then flew on to Selous. We flew home to the US out of Dar. The drive from Arusha to the Crater was about 3 hours. From the Crater to Tarangire (exlcuding the time it took to fix a flat tire) was about 4 1/2 hours. While driving we were able to stop at any place that piqued our interest and we had some wonderful interaction with some of the locals. Food for thought.
Nov 3rd, 2002, 11:04 PM
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Pat, For our upcoming Safari we are flying from Nariboi Wilson to Manyara (Tanzania, I believe this is the airstrip used for Ngorongoro) where our driver is meeting us to begin our tour. Our Air Kenya flight departs at 12:15, then we change to Regional Air at Kiliminjaro Airport for connection to Manyara via Arusha, arriving at 2:50pm. You can check some bush flight schedules at this website.
Nov 4th, 2002, 11:53 AM
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I've not been in the ears you'll visit, but I think I understand your concerns. In your place, I'd ask what I'd be seeing during the drives - game, or would I simply be going from one camp to the next. Flying of coursee saves you time. But after the lfith, would you be going immediately on game drives? Are you involved in pitching trhe camp? Whta is your schedule going to the camps, and when you arrive? It would seem you need answers to these types of questions, answers from someone. Good luck.
Nov 4th, 2002, 01:29 PM
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When I visited Kenya and Tanzania YEARS ago the one thing I hated was the long long long drives between camps.

Although there was some opportunity to view game during the journey and the landscape itself was mostly beautiful, the journeys were so long on rutted road that even my teenage bones felt worn and achey.

It just felt too much.

In contrast on our more recent safari in Namibia and Botswana we flew between camps in teeny tiny charter planes, mostly Cessna 206s and 210s. The views from the planes were truly spectacular and it was a different pleasure seeing the scenery and animals too from above. The trips were reasonably quick - from half an hour to 3-4 hours - and very very enjoyable.

A real part of the experience.

Just my two pence worth...
Nov 4th, 2002, 01:46 PM
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My most recent fly-in safari was in Botswana (Okavango Delta and Chobe National Park), and you should know that you'll be flying on chartered, not commercial, flights that are specifically scheduled to maximize your time on safari. By that I mean, they generally leave during the mid-afternoon after the morning game drive and before the late drive.
Nov 5th, 2002, 05:40 AM
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If your first stop is to be the Ngorongoro Crater, I would suggest flying into Arusha (Kilimangaro Int.) It is the closest to the crater. It may still be worth it to then take a plane from there to the crater, we went from Arusha to Tarangire so the trip was only a couple hours, I'm not sure how long it takes to get from Arusha to the crater (previous post indicates 3 hours). The trip from the Crater to Kirawira is fairly time consuming, but it is all within the Ngorongoro Conservation Area/and the Serengeti National Park, which means continual animal viewing. We left the crater, stopped at Oldupai Gorge, from there to Serengeti is filled with animals, and Maasai. Within the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Maasai are allowed to have their herds of cattle or goats. From there we stayed for several days in the southern Serengeti, to view the wildebeest migration (depends on the time on year). The trip from there to Kirawira was all within animal viewing area, we had a morning game run and then drove to the Nabbi Hill entrance to the Serengeti, had lunch at the Seronera Serena and a couple more hours to Kirawira.
I believe that if you are then going to the Masai Mara you will have to go back to Arusha to get into Kenya. We left Kirawira, had a morning game run to Seronera airstrip, flew to Arusha with stops at Klein's Camp, Lake Manyara, Arusha and then Kilimangaro. From there we flew to Nairobi, where we spent a day then flew to Lamu. But maybe you can get a plane from Wilson airport (the smaller airport in Nairobi) to Masai Mara the same day. The planes between camps are fairly small and I beleive make only one trip per day. But they are set up so you have a morning game run first, or drive to it and are at your next stop in the afternoon, usually time for another game run, or relaxing. We had no trouble with weight from Kirawira to Nairobi (they just thru in all our bags), but from Wilson to Lamu they did weight our bags. We had left some of our souvenirs and travel clothes in Nairobi with our agent since we had to fly back there for our flight back to the states anyway. Hope this helps. Have a great trip.
Nov 16th, 2002, 09:23 PM
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Pat; Most flights to Ngorogoro Crater will put you down at Manyara. The crater is a long, boring, bumpy drive from there. There is a landing strip right at the crater and small charter planes can use it. Ask your travel agent which is the case for your itinerary. We flew from camp to camp and I highly recommend it. While there are things to see on a drive, it is usually such a long trek that the drivers don't want to take any extra time to stop for game viewing or side trips. Best just to get on to the camp. Especially to Kirawira. Magnificent! Our landing into Kirawira was again a long drive away, but our departure was quite close by the camp at Grumeti. You need detailed departure information to know what is what. The landing strip into Little Governors is quite close to the camp. Loved this place too. The hippos are amazing. If you want more info on any of these camps, drop me an email. I've posted a trip report here, but it seems to have dropped out of sight.

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