Safari Accommodations in Tanzania

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May 6th, 2012, 11:50 PM
  #1
kdd
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Safari Accommodations in Tanzania

All,

My tour agency have provided an itinerary in which most of the original published accommodations in the safari have been replaced with alternate accommodations due to availability issues.

From my limited knowledge, it appears that with these alternate lodges the location.views etc are somewhat compromised and therefore would impact overall quality of the safari trip. Could you please provide your views on this.

In Arusha - Meru hotel instead of Meru Game Lodge
In Tarangire - Osupuko Lodge instead of Maramboi tented camps
In Serengeti - Sopa lodge, and Bilila for another night instead of Serengeti Serena
In Ngorongoro - Ngorongoro Farmhouse instead of Ngorongoro Serena

Thanks
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May 7th, 2012, 04:50 AM
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The Meru Hotel is in town, whereas the Meru Game Lodge is outside of town on a small wildlife sanctuary. Osupuko Lodge appears to be a new place in the same general vicinity as Tarangire River Lodge. That would put it closer to the main gate of Tarangire than Maramboi, but Maramboi is a tented camp looking west over Lake Manyara, whereas Osupuko has bungalows. I don't know if you have a preference of one over the other. The Farmhouse is a beautiful place to stay, but it's not on the Crater Rim as is the Serena, so you'll lose some of your game viewing time in the Crater getting up there. In the Serengeti, is it the Sopa or Bilila that you're staying in, rather than the Serena. The Sopa lodges are usually a step down from the Serena, while the Bilila is a new Kempenski property. When are you going? That would be important as far as locations go. Is the outfitter reducing your costs for these substitutions?
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May 7th, 2012, 08:48 AM
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Important - when traveling?

Shaytay provided good info. Osupuko - who can keep up? Certainly better situated vs Maramboi which is about a 20-30/min drive south of Tarangire. However, seems Maramboi was the only 'camp' of those shown.

As to the properties in the Serengeti, the Serena is in true Central; the Sopa is about 2/hrs south of the Serena; Bilila (no longer a Kempenski property) is about 1/hr north of Serena in Central and many steps above all of the others... even has air conditioning and more expensive than the Serena.

Is this a 'group' tour or 'private?' If private and you don't like the properties being offered, ask the TO for options. If a group departure, how many days total, how many days at each stop, etc. Oh, and price?
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May 7th, 2012, 10:50 PM
  #4
kdd
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That is good information. Thanks!

This is a private tour, so I have asked for other options as I am particularly not happy with Serengeti Sopa. Osupuko is outside the Tarangire park and ideally we should be inside the park. Travel dates are in mid July this year, so availability seems to be an issue.

What is a good choice in Tarangire, inside the park?

Our stays in Serengeti are split as follows:

1 night - Central Serengeti
2 nights - mobile camp (most probably western corridor due to time of the year?)
1 night - Central Serengeti

followed by drive the next day to Ngorongoro crater.

We would like to stay 2 nights in central serengeti and 2 nights in mobile camp so that we are not moving lodges every day but perhaps it is planned this way as it might be too long a drive from the mobile camp to Ngorongoro crater?
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May 8th, 2012, 05:14 AM
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Mid-July, I think you'd want to split your Serengeti time between the central and northern areas. Stay in the central area first for a couple of nights, then head north. Are you flying back to Arusha? You should be able to do that from the north (Tanganyika Flying Co.) Availability will certainly be an issue at this late date, but if there is only two of you, you might find an opening from cancellations. The 60-day mark is coming up and you might get lucky.

I wouldn't worry about staying outside Tarangire NP. That lodge is close to the entrance and, because it's outside the park, you'll be able to do things like go walking through the bush and do a night drive. You can't do that inside the park. My group is staying at Boundary Hill Lodge, which is just outside the park on the opposite (east) side of the park.
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May 8th, 2012, 09:29 AM
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Agree with ShayTay re mid-July considering splitting between Central and North. However, in the North there aren't many camps and those that are can be expensive. And, I would verify whether there are any 'camping' sites up this way??? There is the Lobo Lodge at a competitive price, but this is still about a 3/hr drive from true north.

Or just stay in Central, where if the herds are still in the West, it's only a 2/hr game drive; if the herds have moved North then arrange day trips this way (w/ picnic lunch).

Also, if as the routing you show where the Crater is at the end, it's a darn long drive from Northern Serengeti...very very long, indeed taking up all the daylight hours of 1/day. If you do decide on the North, I'd stop at Ngorongoro on the way west and then fly (many carriers - Coastal, Regional, etc. - that your tour operator will book that is best for your schedule) from the North to Arusha/JRO.

Regarding Osupuko Camp being located outside Tarangire, not an issue as many other camps are indeed located outside; besides it's a rather short drive and you have the benefit of being able to do bush walks, night drives, village visits. This looks like a lovely camp and with air conditioning (whoopie!... nice benefit, especially during the hot months Dec-Mar).
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May 9th, 2012, 03:35 AM
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I concur with the good advice offered by Sandi and ShayTay. I haven't stayed at Osupuko, but have seen it and it looks lovely. I've stayed at Maramboi which is great. I'm sure you'd be very pleased with either place. I'll reiterate the importance of getting booked soon.
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May 9th, 2012, 10:33 PM
  #8
kdd
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Hi,

Many changes have happened since I last wrote.

Anyone familiar with and can comments on Nasikia Camps both in Tarangire and Serengeti? Relatively new one I think. Also in consideration now is the Exploreans Ngorongoro, also appears to be a new one on the scene?
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May 10th, 2012, 03:53 AM
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It looks as though Naskikia Tarangire is near the Kuro Ranger post which is deep inside the park, probably an hour from the main gate. This might not be ideal depending on what the rest of your trip looks like. For example, you may not want that extra hour to get out of the park if you already have a long drive ahead to get to your next destination.

I don't know either Nasikia or Exploreans, but they both look good on their websites. We'd love to hear about them in your trip report if you end up staying there!

Keep us posted.
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May 10th, 2012, 09:12 AM
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Nasikia properties have been around about 2/yrs and nice options to 'the usual.' If at Kuro, it is indeed about a 1.5-2/hr drive from main Tarangire gate and if as you show above next stop is Serengeti... a longer drive than if located elsewhere in the park. Hey, both Oliver's and Swala Camps are located down here and they are in demand. However, if next stop is to Ngorongoro it's doable and would suggest this routing than all the way to the Serengeti on a straight run from Tarangire.

Exploreans is also new, but not located on the Crater Rim (rather appears to be in Karatu) a good 15-20/min drive to crater entry, then entry procedures before drive around the rim for descent road to crater floor. If you plan to do a morning crater tour, this has to be considered as you might not get down into the crater till 8:30am or later.

However, as this safari is for July and with many properties already fully booked, these are otherwise good options and we'd love to hear about them as no one has yet reported about them.
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May 10th, 2012, 03:21 PM
  #11
kdd
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Thanks. The Nasikia camp stay in Tarangire is followed by a stay in Exploreans at Ngorongoro, and from there we go to Nasikia in Serengeti so logistics wise it is per your recommendation.

Still waiting for final confirmation on availability.
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