Roccco: took liberty with your itinerary

Nov 28th, 2003, 10:40 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 723
Roccco: took liberty with your itinerary

Roccco: First of all, please don't get mad that I did this, but I was extremely curious. I priced an itinerary for you, with the tour operator that I have repeatedly mentioned, so I won't name them again. Anyway, here is what they came up with:
Day 1 - Drive from Arusha to Tarangire. O/n Tarangire Treetops.
Day 2 - Tarangire. O/n Tarangire Treetops.
Day 3 - Tarangire. O/n Tarangire Treetops.
Day 4 - Drive to N-Crater. O/n Crater Lodge or Serena.
Day 5 - N-Crater. O/n Crater Lodge or Serena.
Day 6 - Drive to Serengeti. O/n Grumeti.
Day 7 - Serengeti. O/n Grumeti.
Day 8 - Serengeti. O/n Grumeti.
Day 9 - Fly in a.m. from Grumeti to Arusha. Afternoon flight Arusha to Dar. O/n Holiday Inn.
Day 10 - Fly to Selous. O/n Sand Rivers.
Day 11 - Selous. O/n Sand Rivers.
Day 12 - Selous. O/n Sand Rivers.
Day 13 - Selous. O/n Sand Rivers.
Day 14 - Fly from Selous to Dar. End of services.

Price if staying at Crater Lodge: $5,750 pp (for 2 passengers)
Price if staying at Serena: $5,250 pp (for 2 passengers)

Of course, when I inquired I did not include accommodations for first night in Arusha, or for a dayroom in Dar.

Heck, at this price, I might be able to afford such a trip.

Contrary to what people may think, I do not work for the tour operator, nor do I get any kind of "kickback" for referring customers to them. But when I see competitive prices and I know they have great customer service, I will say so.

Anyway, food for thought ...

SusanLynne is offline  
Nov 28th, 2003, 01:23 PM
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SusanLynne -

I know just how frustrated this is getting - but I'm actually posting a reply, said in a whisper - but wasn't that nice of you to get the quote for Roccco - and isn't that a nice price!

I wonder if STD would mind if the two of us decided to join them? Ha! Ha!

Though seriously, I am going to move the Selous closer the top of my list of "places in Africa - must sees" - and maybe combine it with northern Kenya - Lake Turkana area and surrounds (me and Mary Anne Fitzgerald)?

Well, can't think of that now! Let's see how Rocco feels about the quote.
Nov 28th, 2003, 05:32 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553

Thanks. That quote is very nice. For those prices, I wouldn't mind staying at the Crater Lodge or arriving to Tarangire Treetops very late the first day. A night in the bush still beats a full day in Arusha or Dar Es Salaam.

I did request a quote from the same operator, although it may not have been exactly the same. Once received, I will post it as a reply to this thread.

The big challenge, I believe, will be getting airfare from LAX-Amsterdam?-Arusha? or Kiliminjaro with my frequent flier miles for dates that work for me.

If necessary, I will go to Italy in early May and then return to solely Africa in late June to mid July. I really have no interest in Kenya, so I need to get into Tanzania, I believe, before the Migration is completely in the Masai Mara.
Roccco is offline  
Nov 28th, 2003, 06:56 PM
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Roccco -

>>I really have no interest in Kenya, so I need to get into Tanzania, I believe, before the Migration is completely in the Masai Mara<<

I wouldn't be so cavalier with that statement - it's mostly the Mara that one goes to for Migration - between July to September.

For myself - Kenya was my favorite. But I guess that's why it's a big world out there - someplace for everyone.

So let's see what price you get for your itinerary.
Nov 28th, 2003, 07:33 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 723
Sandi: I notice there was no response from Roccco about us joining him and STD on this trip! :-? As for witnessing the migration (especially a crossing of the Mara or Talek rivers!), IMO, it is something that should not be missed. It was something I had dreamed of seeing since I was a little girl, and the Mara did not disappoint my childhood dream.

Roccco: Again, I did not mean to push things, but I was genuinely curious as to what kind of different prices were out there for such a luxurious itinerary. Now that I know, I may have to tweek my 2004 trip a bit!
SusanLynne is offline  
Nov 29th, 2003, 05:42 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553
Okay, here is a quote from "that" operator, and it looks great:

RE: 2persons, Tanzania safari; June 2004
i) Travel in June:
This is a good time - you get good value at lodges(Green season rates) and int'l airfare is usually cheaper if you fly before 15th June...

ii) Int'l flight LAX-rome(italy) & Venice(italy)-JRO-LAX
I was getting a rate of approx $1900pp which I think is too high, but I do expect to get a better rate by monday... Will e-mail you then...

ii) A quotation based on the itinerary you have provided is as follows;-
RE: 2persons, ex-Kilimanjaro airport; June 2004
Day 1 - Arrive Kilimanjaro airport, Arusha. Transfer from airport to Arusha Coffee Lodge(BB). 1 night.
Day 2 - Transfer from Arusha to Tarangire. Tarangire Treetop Lodge(FB). 2 nights.
Day 3 - Tarangire Treetop Lodge(FB).
Day 4 - Transfer to Ngorongoro Crater. Ngorongoro Serena Lodge(FB).. 2 nights.
Day 5 - Ngorongoro Serena(FB).
Day 6 - Transfer to Serengeti. 3 nights at Migration Camp(FB)..
Day 7 - Migration Camp(FB). Day 8 - Migration Camp(FB).
Day 9 - Trsf to Airstrip & fly to Arusha. Lunch. 15h25 Precision Air flight Ars-Dar trsf & o/n Holiday Inn(BB)
Day 10 - Transfer to Selous. River Sands Lodge. 4 nights.(FB)
Day 11 - River Sands Lodge.
Day 12 - River Sands Lodge.
Day 13 - River Sands Lodge.
Day 14 - AM Fly Selous-Dar + PM fly Precision Air Dar-Arusha & trsf to Kilimanjaro airport.

cost, private safari based on 2 persons: US$4630per person

iii) Comments to your itinerary.
a) Serengeti in June
In June, Usually the migratory animals are in the western corridor of the serengeti( Kirawira lux tented camp or Grumeti river camp) and not in the north(Migration camp). I would therefore suggest a change there.

Just for your informaiton, Instead of 3nights migration camp if you staybr /> 3nts at Kirawira lux tented lodge; cost will be: US$4660pp <---- my personal favourite camp!!!
3nts at Grumeti river camp: cost will be: US$5245pp

b) Tarangire in June:
This is a period after our long rains of Apirl & May. Grass becomes too long and gameviewing at Tarangire is not as easy.
Yes, you will still see lots of elephants, but generally in June, Tarangire is not at its best - wildlife wise.
There is usually a mini-migration of many animals from Tarangire-manyara during the rainy season(as Tarangire has black cotton soil - too mucky for the animals comfort & safety so many move on to Manyara)
Maybe you want to consider L.Manyara instead? let me know. Otherwise taking you to Tarangire in June is no problem for us at all as long as you are well aware of the facts.

c) Departure point fo rinternational flight (return leg).
If you fly KLM/Northwest: I'd think it is unnecessary to fly back to Arusha from Dar as the airline flies into Dar es salaam as well so you can flybr /> inbound legAX-Rome(italy) + Venice(Italy)-Amsterdam-Kilimanjaro & return leg: Dar es salaam-Amsterdam-LAX...
This way you would save on the flight for thought!
Roccco is offline  
Nov 29th, 2003, 06:05 AM
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As the tour operator has pointed out, Tarangire may not be near its best in June. Unless I visit in July or August, I think I may be better off skipping this park, adding a night in the Serengeti and therefore having the following itinerary:

Day 1 - Arrive Arusha. Air transfer to Kirawira Lodge in Serengeti. 4 nights.
Day 2 - Kirawira.
Day 3 - Kirawira.
Day 4 - Kirawira.
Day 5 - Transfer Ngorongoro Crater Lodge.
Day 6 - Ngorongoro Crater Lodge.
Day 7 - Transfer to Dar Es Salaam. 2 nights at Holiday Inn.
Day 8 - Holiday Inn, Dar Es Salaam.
Day 9 - Transfer to Selous. 4 nights at River Sands Lodge.
Day 10 - River Sands Lodge.
Day 11 - River Sands Lodge.
Day 12 - River Sands Lodge.
Day 13 - Transfer Selous - Arusha. Either continue home or overnight in Arusha before continuing the next day.

Dar Es Salaam looks interesting enough to sustain two days, although lodging at one of the beaches may (or may not) be better.

Okay, please answer this question. If I only have two nights at Ngorongoro Crater Lodge, will I have time to see the Olduvai? Gorge?

Roccco is offline  
Nov 29th, 2003, 06:05 AM
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Roccco: Are you going to change Tarangire to Lake Manyara? Also, just looked up Kirawira ... dreamy .... Oh, I can imagine myself there, right now. If they are pointing out some changes as far as parks and time of year, I would consider their recommendations as they are based there. Just pulled out my handy-dandy Nolting "Africa's Top Wildlife Countries" and looked at the chart on the inside jacket. Manyara, N-Crater, Serengeti, Tarangire and Selous get "good" ranking for June game viewing. Look forward to hearing what you decide to do.
SusanLynne is offline  
Nov 30th, 2003, 06:30 AM
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Roccco -

As to seeing Olduvai Gorge, this is located about 4-miles from NC, so there should be no problem stopping there returning from the Serengeti - at most you need 45-min to 1-hr. There is a short presentation and an interesting small museum.

Also on the return from the Serengeti you can stop at Seronera (center of the Serengeti) for a pit-stop and they have a small display about the animals and migratory paths, and bird info. We greatly appreciated this stop. Again, it's brief. Anywhere along this long leg where you can stretch your legs, you take - and you still are on safari, seeing many animals along the return trip.

We stayed at Kirawira and absolutely loved it. The Managers were wonderful, the food was delicious, the wines were too and inclusive, the tents were spacious (if I can find a photo, will scan it to you). Some comments are that they didn't use original furniture pieces and some were varnished (shame, shame), but the weather out there can destroy anything, so for me varnish was fine - it's not like I was buying for ones own home where the environment can be controlled. Kirawira is a very nice choice and you can even do a day-trip to Lake Victoria, if you wish.

Roy Safari came thru with some pretty good prices, I like! And by the way - SusanLynne and I are still waiting on a response as to whether "we can come along?" LOL!
Nov 30th, 2003, 06:49 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553
Sandi and SusanLynne,

I am really excited about the low season deal offered by Kirawira ($305 per person per night) and the overall pricing being offered by Roy Safaris.

I have located a flight that leaves Amsterdam at about 8:30PM, arriving in Kiliminjaro (JRO) at about 8AM. That means I would be able to begin my itinerary immediately.

While Lake Manyara looks very nice, I think one less destination will make for a much more comfortable itinerary. As a result, I would likely begin immediately with two nights at the Ngorongoro Crater Lodge, followed by four nights at Kirawira in Western Serengeti, followed by two nights at possibly the Holiday Inn, Royal Palm or even one of the Fodor's book recommended beach hotels such as the Bahari Beach Hotel located 19 miles north of Dar Es Salaam or the Protea Amani Beach Hotel, located 19 miles south of Dar Es Salaam, and finish off the trip with four nights in Selous and, if necessary, one last night in Kiliminjaro/Arusha.

Cleaned up, it looks like this:

Day 1 - Ngorongoro Crater Lodge
Day 2 - Ngorongoro Crater Lodge
Day 3 - Kirawira (Western Serengeti)
Day 4 - Kirawira
Day 5 - Kirawira
Day 6 - Kirawira
Day 7 - Dar Es Salaam (Hotel undecided)
Day 8 - Dar Es Salaam
Day 9 - River Sands
Day 10 - River Sands
Day 11 - River Sands
Day 12 - River Sands
Day 13 - Dar Es Salaam or Kiliminjaro/Arusha
Day 14 - Departing flight home
Roccco is offline  
Nov 30th, 2003, 07:03 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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Sandi and SusanLynne,

Thanks again for all the feedback. Before I read the last couple postings, I was starting to have my doubts about Tanzania, mostly a result of what I have read on, a tour operator that specializes into travel to mostly Southen Africa, and whom should think of renaming his website, since so much effort is spent on trying to convince people to go to Zimbabwe (probably gets the best markups on Zim travel?).

However, I am not going to do any further second-guessing and I am committed to the Tanzania itinerary.

It was getting frustrating prior to seeing the price quote from Roy Safaris. Remember, my first quotation from another company was about 50% more, and the only difference was a couple nights in Zanzibar.

Now the concentration is going to be on finding FREE BUSINESS CLASS AIR from either Amsterdam to Kiliminjaro (KLM Airlines) or Zurich to Dar Es Salaam (Swiss Airlines). If there are any other routes that I should know about, other than British Airway routes (they charge 50% more miles than the others), please let me know.

Roccco is offline  
Nov 30th, 2003, 12:02 PM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 42
I am replying on this thread as so much time has passed since I last posted and answered. As you might remember, I am going to Tanzania in Feb. 2004. and wanted you to see a photo of a fly camp. The address is Hopefully, I have it right. The fly camp is only one example of their types of accomodation that one can opt for one night or more. Looks to be rather an exciting experience in my book with all those criiters around. The other two are a semi permanent tent and lastly, a totally mobile one that is moved as close to the action as possible. We will be staying in all three during our 12 day stay.
The only other place ( after all my research ) that was comparable was Kirawira looks to be semi permanent. It came highly recommended from our travel agent as did River Sands and Grumeti River when I was doing my research.
I realize that your trip is coming together shortly - however, I just wanted to show you a different way to experience a safari. Having stayed last year in all the semi permanent camps in Botswana ( all luxury ) this time we wanted to have a more unique time of it without giving up creature comforts. Let me know what you think?
lflower is offline  
Dec 1st, 2003, 04:40 PM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 42
Somehow the above was not posted - am trying again.
lflower is offline  

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