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question for climbhighsleeplow re: Ikoma vs. Mbuzi Mawe and Serengeti Serena

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Jun 13th, 2005, 03:07 PM
  #1
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question for climbhighsleeplow re: Ikoma vs. Mbuzi Mawe and Serengeti Serena

Climbhighsleeplow -- Our operator is saying that Mbuzi Mawe would be $65 per person per night more than Ikoma, and $30 per person per night more than Serengeti Serena. Does this sound about right?

Currently for November we are booked at Migration Camp for 3 nights, Ikoma for 2, and Serengeti Serena for 3. We are considering switching our 2 nights at Ikoma for 2 nights at Mbuzi Mawe instead, based on your recent feedback. However, since we already put down a deposit, our operator is saying he will need to check with Ikoma to make sure they would not charge us a cancellation fee, although I would have thought that unlikely given that we are still over 5 months out from our arrival.
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Jun 13th, 2005, 03:13 PM
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lisa,
I can't help you, but I saw on your other post that you were getting a quote of only $30 more for Mbuzi Mawe compared to the Serena. I was shocked, based on Climbhigh's description and the way it looks on the website. Seems like Mbuzi Mawe is much nicer.

Which tour operator did you end up going with? (I tried to find your initial itinerary but couldn't.)

Again, sorry I'm not climbhigh so I can't really answer your question.

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Jun 13th, 2005, 03:28 PM
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Leely,
I emailed Serena hotels directly to ask for their rates for Mbuzi Mawe camp. Based on the website pictures and feedback here, I was also shocked when they emailed me back with a rate of $330 per night double occupancy fullboard, as I'd expected much higher rates. I even re-confirmed with them that was the rate per tent and not per person. This was for November of this year. Of course, I'd expect rates to increase as occupancy levels rise and word spreads.

Too bad I can't add more days and fit it into our itinerary this trip. Tempting though, but then again so many choices are tempting and I need to stop adding stuff at some point
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Jun 13th, 2005, 03:34 PM
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lisa,
I also think that it's unlikely that there would be a cancellation fee at this point. My tour operator was very accomodating and even made changes for us 3 weeks before departure.
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Jun 13th, 2005, 04:12 PM
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Patty,
Thanks for the info. Even with high season rates (I'll be there in summer), it sounds like Mbuzi Mawe is a bit of a bargain. Great to know.

Lisa, couldn't you switch from the Serena to Mbuzi Mawe for the 2 nights you're already booked at the Serena? Aren't they both in/near Seronera?
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Jun 14th, 2005, 05:49 AM
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Leely -- We have booked with Good Earth. They quoted Serengeti Serena at $125 per person per night for November, and Mbuzi Mawe an additional $30 per person per night. And yes, we could substitute Mbuzi Mawe for Serena, but it is really our nights at Ikoma that we want to change because Climbhighsleeplow just came back and said Ikoma was not in good shape at all.
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Jun 14th, 2005, 06:50 AM
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Let me pipe in here. You shouldn't be hit with a cancellation fee at this time. You've still got months to go. My feeling is that either Good Earth or Ikoma is trying to hold onto any bookings especially with the Mbuzi Mawe opening.

Be aware though that Mbuzi Mawe is being run/managed by Serena, but as I was led to learn on our recent trip, Mbuzi Mawe is a Rangers property. So while a Serena is a Serena, this Serena isn't really a Serena. That said - things do change often in Africa.

lisa - insist on the change if you really want Mbuzi Mawe (there's sufficient lead time, besides November is the shoulder season) - be firm, but not rude; you'll get what you want.
 
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Jun 14th, 2005, 07:15 AM
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Thanks for the encouragement, Sandi!
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