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Roys, Good earth or ATR? Please help with Itinerary :o)

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Apr 29th, 2005, 08:37 AM
  #1
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Roys, Good earth or ATR? Please help with Itinerary :o)

Hi all
I'm new to the site and have found it brilliant over the last few weeks while I've been trying to organise our honeymoon in Tanzania in OCt 2005.

My brain feels completely fried as I'm getting so many different quotes and itinerarys from the diff tour companies.

If i post three of the itinerarys I got could all you knowledgable travellers comment on them? I've never been to Tanzania before so am stumped!!!

Thanks so much!!!!!

Heres ATR:
04OCT2005 Arrival into Dar es Salaam or Kilimanjaro International?
04OCT2005 Fly : Dar es Salaam to Arusha : 1.5hrs
04OCT2005 Arusha : Moivaro Coffee Lodge
05OCT2005 Safari : Tarangire Mawe Ninga Lodge
06OCT2005 Safari : Tarangire Mawe Ninga Lodge
07OCT2005 Safari : Karatu Gibbs Farm
08OCT2005 Safari : Serengeti Olduvai Camp
09OCT2005 Safari : Serengeti Ronjo Fly-camp
10OCT2005 Safari : Serengeti Ronjo Fly-camp
11OCT2005 Fly : Serengeti to Zanzibar
11OCT2005 Zanzibar : Pongwe Beach
12OCT2005 Zanzibar : Pongwe Beach
13OCT2005 Zanzibar : Pongwe Beach
14OCT2005 Zanzibar : Pongwe Beach
15OCT2005 Zanzibar : Matemwe Beach
16OCT2005 Zanzibar : Matemwe Beach
17OCT2005 Zanzibar : Matemwe Beach
18OCT2005 Zanzibar : Matemwe Beach
19OCT2005 Stone Town : Emerson & Green
20OCT2005 Stone Town : Emerson & Green
21OCT2005 Fly : Zanzibar to Dar es Salaam : 20mins
21OCT2005 Depart from Zanzibar or Dar es Salaam International?
TOTAL : $ 3039 USD per person (excluding international flights)

Then theres Roys
Day Program
1 Arrive Arusha. Overnight Impala hotel(BB)
2 To Tarangire. Overnight Tarangire River Camp
3 Tarangire. Overnight Tarangire River camp
4 To Manyara. Overnight Plantation Lodge/Gibbs Farm
5 To Serengeti. Overnight Lobo Wildlife Lodge
6 Serengeti . Overnight Lobo Wildlife Lodge
7 Serengeti. Overnight Lobo Wildlife Lodge
8 To Ngorongoro. Overnight Ngorongoro Serena lodge
9 Ngorongoro. Overnight Ngorongoro Serena Lodge
10 To Arusha.Then fly to Zanzibar. Overnight Matemwe Village-Shamba Suites(HB)
11 Overnight Matemwe Village-Shamba Suites(HB)
12 Overnight Matemwe Village-Shamba Suites(HB)
13 Overnight Matemwe Village-Shamba Suites(HB)
14 Overnight Matemwe Village-Shamba Suites(HB)
15 Overnight Matemwe Village-Shamba Suites(HB)
16 To Chumbe Island(FB)
17 Chumbe Island(FB)
18 To Zanzibar stone town. Overnight Emerson & Green(BB)
19 Emerson & Green(BB)
20 Transfer to Zanzibar airport

Cost:
US$3285 per person

And then finally Good earth:
Here is the sample itinerary that we would recommend for traveling in October.
We would also recommend a private safari for 2, and that will give you more flexibility, and the cost will be $50/person more.
Day 1: Arusha / Tarangire
After breakfast at your hotel in Arusha, we leave Arusha for Tarangire park; the park boasts huge number of game in dry season of July ~ October, game drive in Tarangire, Camping / Lodge, B,L,D.
Day 2: Tarangire
Another game drive in Tarangire, Camping / Lodge, B,L,D.
Day 3: Tarangire / Lake Manyara
Leave Tarangire for Lake Manyara, game drive in Lake Manyara. The park is famous for its tree-climbing lions. Camping /Lodge, B, L, D.
Day 4: Lake Manyara/ Serengeti:
After breakfast, we drive to Serengeti. Afternoon game drive in Serengeti, in search of large predators and the gentle herbivores on which they feed. Camping /Lodge, B, L, D.
Day 5: Serengeti:
Another game drive in Serengeti, Camping /Lodge, B, L, D.
Day 6: Serengeti / Ngorongoro
After breakfast, we drive to Ngorongoro, with optional ($50/group) visit of Masai Village, and optional ($3/person) visit to Olduvai Gorge. Arrive in Ngorongoro for afternoon game drive in the crater, Camping /Lodge, B, L, D.
Day 7: Ngorongoro / Arusha
Descend into Ngorongoro crater for another game drive in the crater exploring the short-grass plains of the crater floor. This extinct volcano embraces 100sq miles alive with lion, leopard, rhino, elephant, buffalo, and many more games, then drive to Arusha, B,L.

PRICE (2 people): $945/person.
The price includes:
-All park fees and taxes
-Services of English speaking driver-guide and skilled cook
-Game drives in Land Cruiser/Rover with pop up roof and guarantee window seat
-Sleeping tent and mattresses
-Bottled water while on safari
-All meals on the safari (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
-Max of 5 passengers
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Apr 29th, 2005, 01:25 PM
  #2
sandi
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amfs -

Welcome to our world! Have faith, we were all confused at one time... so many choices and decisions. You'll get thru and have it together by the time you're ready to depart for Africa.

Good Earth - My first thought - we're not comparing apples-to-apples, shorter period and mostly a camping safari and not even with cots; naturally less expensive and is more roughing it.

ATR - Oh, amfs wants a "beach holiday" - 9 days! The 2 days Stone Town is fine, 1-day Dar (can't help if you've got to consider flights at beginning and end). But only 7-days safari and insufficient time in the area of the Serengeti which is ideal for travel in October - from what I can tell. Olduvai camp is in the Southeastern Serengeti, where there really isn't much action in October. I'm not certain about Pongi Camp - where is it located? I can't find info on this camp - can you let us know.

Roy Safaris - Again lots of beach 10 days, but you've got 2 days Chumbe Island which is a good choice, different and totally eco-friendly, but shows in Roy's price as Chumbe is justifiabily more expensive then Matambwe and Pongwe... overall avg. $13/nt/person. But at least you have 9 days safari, divided nicely with 3 days up at Lobo in the path of the Migration; also time at the Ngorongoro Crater. A more comprehensive itinerary.

It's apparent you want as much beach/resort time as you do safari. But from your details, Roy's is a better itinerary and price.

Let's see what other comments you get.
 
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Apr 29th, 2005, 02:04 PM
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Hi Sandi

Ronjo Fly camp (unsure about the spelling) is a private camp (just a few tents) by the owners of Oldupai Camp. It is just north of Seronera (about 22km or so) in a very good spot - at night you can hear the wildlife year-round.

I've only heard good reports about this camp.
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Apr 29th, 2005, 02:25 PM
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climbhigh....

Thanks - nice to learn about a new spot in that wide open place.
 
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Apr 29th, 2005, 03:18 PM
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I have been having trouble getting Good Earths webpage (www.goodearthtours.com) Am I the only one? Can you give me the email address to ask for info?

Thanks
Csuss
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Apr 30th, 2005, 04:51 AM
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Amfs -

We are using Good Earth for a safari/beach trip for 2 weeks in early October for our 10th anniversary. We had decided first at which lodges we preferred to stay, and then sent that info along to them and other operators (including Roys and ATR) for pricing. We found Good Earth to be most responsive, and offered us the best price. Here is our itinerary

1 nt Nairobi Intercontinental
3 nts Mara Serena (fly to Arusha afterwards)
1 nt Arusha Coffee Lodge
2 nts Swala Camp
2 nts Ngorongoro Serena
Fly to Pemba Island
3 nts Fundu Lagoon (beach suite)
1 nt Dar es Salaam

The cost per person for private safari is just over $4000 and includes full board for the whole trip except dinner the first and last nights. Hope this helps.
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Apr 30th, 2005, 06:31 AM
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csuss

www.goodearthtours.com gives me a blank grey screen with some red writing that that says "We will be live soon" and that is all.
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May 1st, 2005, 06:17 AM
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I tried their web site also--said they sould be up and running on May 2 , sorry for any inconvenience!!
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May 2nd, 2005, 10:05 AM
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Hi amfs,

My husband and I were in Tanzania in December/January of this year, and while we went with East African Safari and Touring Company (and were extremely happy!) and therefore can't comment on your choice of tour companies, I can tell you that we stayed at Pongwe Beach Resort on Zanzibar and loved it! Pongwe Beach Resort was an absolute perfect mix for us between semi-luxury and non-commercialism... The place is run by an Australian woman along with several locals, and they are doing a wonderful job. First of all, the beach is stunning - the nicest of any of the beaches we saw while on Zanzibar, and still relatively unknown, so there aren't many tourists around at all.

The resort is on a beautiful stretch of that beach, and has probably 12-16 hut-style rooms - very basic with just a big king bed and some shelves for putting your clothes, with a washroom including a shower. The minute you step out of your room, you're on the sandy beach, about 100m from the Indian Ocean (gorgeous!) and can lay on your porch on lovely beach-beds.

Only things to know: The place has power between 5 pm and 12 midnight only - so it gets a little warm at night because the fan turns off... There are no glass windows to the huts - only screens - which means that you fall asleep to the sound of the waves... it was lovely.

The food was always good, service was great, and the common dining/lounging open-air area was lovely.

We met up with some friends there and spent a lovely 4 days. We stayed in the hut farthest from the common area, and while the rooms were a little more rustic than what we saw of the other ones, we were on a more private section of beach, and aside from mealtimes when it was obviously that all of the huts were full, we felt like we had the tropical paradise all to ourselves.

Enjoy your first trip to Tanzania in October and congrats on your marriage Hope we can be of more help as time goes on - I know that this board helped me tremendously. If you want to take a look at my trip report, it's "26 Glorious Days in Tanzania" - although I'll guiltily admit that I haven't finished posting the Zanzibar portion yet...
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May 4th, 2005, 01:09 AM
  #10
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thanks everyone for your help

so far we've found ATR the most responsive and have been very helpful.
They have broken down the itinerary for us very well.

Roys also have been very helpful and in all honesty seem to be about the same price as ATR, maybe a TINY bit cheaper.

Good earth have been very slow to reply to our mails, although they are cheaper than ATR (about 5 to 10% cheaper on prices for rooms, but they use the word "about" before the room rates - so this could be a bad sign!!)

Anyone know if we can barter with a tour operator if another operator is offering the same room cheaper?

Will let you know who we go with in the end!!! by the way, anyone looking for flights to tanzania with KLM - USIT have by far the cheapest flights.

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May 4th, 2005, 03:40 AM
  #11
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amfs -

Are you comparing apple-to-apples? From the itineraries you list, you are not. Question: are you going for price or for itinerary?

As mentioned in my earlier response, the ATR itinerary has only 7-safari (incl.Arusha) days and doesn't include Ngorongoro Crater which the Roy's safari does. And while ATR gives you 9-beach days at two different resorts on the same stretch of beach, the Roy's safari includes 2-days at Chumbe Island and the rack rate for Chumbe can be almost 3-times that of Matambwe and/or Pongwe - that's why I mentioned the difference between ATR/Roys (who's probably got a better then rack rate for Chombe) is minimal.

You really should decide on the itinerary you want. Then get prices from each - ATR, Roys and Good Earth to compare equally.

For travel into JRO, KLM is your best best, and you can catch KLM out of DAR at the conclusion of your trip.
 
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May 4th, 2005, 04:06 AM
  #12
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Sandy -

They were the first itineraries I posted. In the meantime we've whittled it down and have made up our own itinerary, last week i sent it on to all 3.
I have figures back from ATR and Roy's which are pretty similar but am awaiting feedback from GE.
The good earth itinerary was verrrry long and also featured the lodge prices, which were slightly cheaper than ATR so i do feel i am comparing apples to apples.

Thx!
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May 4th, 2005, 05:44 AM
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amsf,
Do you mind posting your revised itinerary that you sent to each tour operator? Thanks!
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May 4th, 2005, 07:18 AM
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amfs - Yes, do post the revised itinerary that has been submitted to these three outfitters.
 
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May 4th, 2005, 07:59 AM
  #15
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hi patty

here's the esssence of the itinerary.

At the moment we are really stuck between Roys and ATR as ATR have been very helpful but Roys is slightly cheaper....
a part of me would like to go with ATR as they have explained our trip down to a tee, while Roys I have to keep asking questions
Good earth still havent replied to us.

1 Arrive Arusha. Overnight Impala hotel (Roys) or Moivaro Coffee lodge (ATR)
2 To Tarangire. Overnight Tarangire River Camp (Roys) or Mawe Ninga (ATR)
3 Tarangire. Overnight Tarangire River camp(Roys) or Mawe Ninga (ATR)
4 To Manyara. Overnight Plantation Lodge/Gibbs Farm (both Roys & ATR)
5 To Serengeti. Overnight Lobo Wildlife Lodge (Roys) or Olduvai Camp (ATR)
6 Serengeti . Overnight Lobo Wildlife Lodge (Roys) or Serengeti Serena (ATR)
7 Serengeti. Overnight Lobo Wildlife Lodge (Roys) or Serengeti Serena (ATR)
8 To Ngorongoro. Overnight Ngorongoro Serena lodge (Roys) - safari only 7 days with ATR
9 Ngorongoro. Overnight Ngorongoro Serena Lodge (Roys) - safari only 7 days with ATR
10 To Arusha.Then fly to Zanzibar. Overnight Pongwe village (both Roys & ATR)
11 Overnight Pongwe village (both Roys & ATR)
12 Overnight Pongwe village (both Roys & ATR)
13 Overnight Matemwe Village-Shamba Suites(HB) (both Roys & ATR)
14 Overnight Matemwe Village-Shamba Suites(HB) (both Roys & ATR)
15 Overnight Matemwe Village-Shamba Suites(HB) (both Roys & ATR)
16 To Chumbe Island(FB) (both Roys & ATR)
17 Chumbe Island(FB) (both Roys & ATR)
18 To Zanzibar stone town. Overnight Emerson & Green(BB) (both Roys & ATR)
19 Emerson & Green(BB) (both Roys & ATR)

The ATR budget is around $6980 for both of us (all meals included apart from E&G)
Roys budget is around $6570 for both of us (all meals included except E&G and Matemwe and Pongwe)
So Roys is 3 days longer and is cheaper, but not FB for some of the accom on Zanz.

Both include:
private safari
internal flight to zanzibar and transfer
all transfers when on zanzibar.

Is this too much? Should we go with roys? or go with ATR as they are more responsive?
Decisions decisions!! we just cant decide! help!!!
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May 4th, 2005, 08:02 AM
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oh sorry Sandi - didnt see your comment til i had posted the itinerary. your feedback would be great as you seeem to know the country really well.

forgot to say...
Also included in the ATR quote is the internal flight from Seronera (much easier to fly from here then arusha) while Roys quote includes internal flight from arusha (so we'd have to drive the 5 hours back to arusha to get on the plane)
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May 4th, 2005, 08:37 AM
  #17
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good earth just got back with the following quote for safari which seems really reasonable. Any feedback would be great, thx!!

Oct 4: Arrival Kilimanjaro

Arrival at Kilimanjaro airport, met and transfer to Moivaro Coffee Lodge for dinner and overnight, Moivaro Coffee Lodge, D.

Oct 5: Arusha / Tarangire

After breakfast at your hotel in Arusha, we leave Arusha for Tarangire park; the park boasts huge number of game in dry season of July ~ October, game drive in Tarangire, Treetops, B,L,D.

Oct 6: Tarangire / Lake Manyara

Leave Tarangire for Lake Manyara, game drive in Lake Manyara. The park is famous for its tree-climbing lions. Gibbs Farm, B, L, D.

Oct 7: Lake Manyara/ Ngorongoro

Drive to Ngorongoro crater, game drive in the crater, Ngorongoro Serena Lodge, B,L,D.

Oct 8: Ngorongoro

Morning game drive in the crater, then afternoon we spend with a walking with armed ranger from the lodge for hiking around the rim of the crater, Ngorongoro Serena Lodge, B,L,,D.

Oct 9: Ngorongoro / Serengeti

After breakfast, we drive to Serengeti with optional ($50/group) visit of Masai Village, and optional ($3/person) visit to Olduvai Gorge. Arrive in Serengeti for afternoon game,Serengeti Serena Lodge, B,L,D.

Oct 10: Serengeti

Today we drive up north Serengeti where other part of migration will be, game drive in Serengeti, Lobo Wildlife Lodge, B,L,D.

Oct 11: Serengeti

More game drive in Serengeti, Lobo Wildlife Lodge, B,L,D.

Oct 12: Serengeti / Arusha / Z'bar

Board a morning flight from Lobo airstrip in Serengeti to Z'bar with a stop in Arusha,



PRICE (2 people): $2,230 (safari)

The price includes:

-Arrival Kilimanjaro airport transfer

-private safari for 2

-All park fees and taxes

-Services of English speaking driver-guide

-Game drives in Land Cruiser/Rover with pop up roof and guarantee window seat

-Sleeping tent and mattresses

-Bottled water while on safari

-All meals on the safari (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner) as indicated above

-Accommodation as indicated above

-one way flight from Serengeti to Z'bar including taxes



Price excludes:

-International airfare

-Tips

-Items of a personal nature such as passports and visa

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May 4th, 2005, 10:07 AM
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Others will be able to better advise where best to go for your time of year, but I just wanted to say that
it's a bit difficult to compare prices when you have 3 different itineraries with different inclusions. I think you should decide which parks to visit (also what area within the park, particularly the Serengeti), which camps/lodges you want to stay in, and then have each operator re-price the itinerary based on the exact inclusions that you want. Only then can you make a fair price comparison (if that's what you're trying to do).
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May 4th, 2005, 02:19 PM
  #19
sandi
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amfs -

On a long thread it's understandable to miss a post or two... no matter.

The ATR itinerary comes in at $218/nt/pp for 16 nites, whereas, Roys comes in at $172/nt/pp - a $46/nt/pp difference.

Regarding the fact that you are flying from the Serengeti to ZNZ via Arusha with ATR makes sense... it would be a very long drive. Whereas, since you'll be at the Crater with Roys, the closest airport is at Manyara which you have to drive to and then it would only be a puddle hop to Arusha, so the drive makes sense. The actual difference in price is this flight from the Serengeti.

As to the FB (ATR) vs HB (Roys) - question? if you're on the beach or on a day-tour, do you want to get back to the resort for "lunch" and is lunch worth $46? You'll find at many beach resorts worldwide, lunch is often optional as people are either not on the property, or don't want to interrupt their activities to sit down for a meal, besides it's often hot and many people prefer to skip lunch. Of course, some people want to be sure they take all meals; with others if they have situations as mentioned above, it's not important - it's pay-as-you-eat... and take my word, lunch isn't all that expensive.

So you have to answer - do you or do you not want to visit the Crater? Most all visitors do. Is lunch that important on 2-days? And, think of where else you can spend the $410 (covers your Visas, malaria meds, tips, souvenirs, etc.)

Good Earth is out of consideration from what you've posted.

It's back in your hands. Decisions, decisions.
 
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May 5th, 2005, 12:50 AM
  #20
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hi patty

the diff in the itineraries is because only ATR can put us in Mawe Ninga and Olduvai camp unfortunately. so this throws out the days a bit (means we can go north with roys and GE though - something we have been told might be a good idea to do seeing as we'll be there from 4th to mid Oct.)
Have either of you heard anything about ngorongoro farmhouse? was thinking of staying here instead of the Serena lodge with Good earth and Roys. It sounds amazing but cant find a rough price for it anywhere.

Thanks!!
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