Safari Itinerary

Oct 23rd, 2007, 08:41 AM
  #1  
cwn
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 878
Safari Itinerary

Hi,

We have 2 safari quotes back for a private safari. Option 1 seems to fit our needs. We will travel in April 2009. We would like to drive in and fly out from Manyara to Nairobi. We want 2 early morning Crater drives, 2 nights at the Crater Lodge and the best chance to see the migration and cats. Given the rains, the tented camps don't seem to be the best option. Both options have estimated 2009 increases built in.

Option 1:
Day 1- April 5
Arrive Nairobi NBO (from Dubai) 2:15pm, NBO 5:30 -6:20pm to JRO.
Kilimanjaro Airport to hotel.
Arusha : Arusha Coffee Lodge

Day2- April 6
Arusha to Ngorongoro Crater:
Arusha to Lake Manyara, possible stop at Park, costumer pd Park fees
Lake Manyara to Gibbs Farm for late lunch.
Gibbs Farm to Crater Rim.
NCA fee: 24 hour
Ngorongoro Crater: Sopa Lodge

Day 3: April 7
Ngorongoro Crater to Ndutu:
Sopa Crater descent road at 6am.
Crater floor fee:
Crater Floor game drive across Crater.
Crater southern ascent road to Olduvia.
Olduvia to Ndutu Area.
NCA fee: 24 hour fee
PM Game Drive
Ndutu: Ndutu Lodge

Day 4: April 8
Ndutu to Serengeti:
AM Game drive in Ndutu area.
Serengeti Park fee: 24 hours.
Leisurely drive through Seronera Area.
Serengeti: Serena Lodge

Day 5: April 9
Serengeti to Serengeti:
Game drive/s for cats and/or migration.
Serengeti Park fee: 24 hours.
Serengeti: Serena Lodge

Day 6: April 10
Serengeti to Ngorongoro Crater:
Game drive through Seronera area if game plentiful, may need to pay for an extra 24hrs.
NCA fee: 24 hours.
Afternoon at leisure.
Ngorongoro Crater: Crater Lodge South Camp

Day 7 April 11
Ngorongeor Crater to Ngorongoro Crater:
Early Crater Floor Game drive.
Crater Floor fee.
NCA fee: 24 hours.
Afternoon at leisure.
Ngorongoro Crater: Crater Lodge South Camp

Day 8: April 12
Crater Lodge to Manyara Airfield to Nairobi:
Flight: Manyara to Arusha, Regional Air 11:50-1:10pm.
Flight: Arusha to Nairobi-Wilson, Air Kenya (partnership-guaranteed connection), 2-2:45pm.
Nairobi: House of Waine (customer's arrangements).

Day 9: April 13
Car and Driver am sightseeing, lunch stop, transfer to airport NBO by 3pm for 5:15 flight to Dubai(customer's arrangemants).

This is ~$3,700pp private safari including the flights to Nairobi, but not the last night and day in Nairobi.

Option 2- very little detail but:

Day 1. Transfer and night at Arusha Coffee Lodge.
Day 2. Drive to Manyara Tree Lodge.
Day 3 & 4 Drive to Serengeti Under Canvas, game drives.
Day 5 & 6 Drive to NCrater Lodge, one Crater game drive.
Day 8 Overland transfer Ngorongoro Crater to Nairobi and the House of Waine. Lunch at Arusha Coffee Lodge. Hand off at border to a Pollmans vehicle. Night at House of Waine on B&B plus dinner.
~4,500pp

I have reguested adding a day in the Serengeti and making all 3 days at Serena lodge plus more details.

Comments, suggestions?

Thanks.
cwn is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2007, 08:59 AM
  #2  
cwn
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 878
Sorry, option 2 last day should be 7 not 8.
cwn is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2007, 11:23 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 8,675
You're certainly not comparing apples-to-apples. The 2nd one is short, has you in more expensive lodging at Manyara (Tree Lodge), and in tents in the Serengeti (CCAs Tanz under canvas). Even in low season, these two are expensive and more than the Serena or Ndutu Lodges. And after the high cost, are returning you to Nairobi by land.

Seems whomever offered the 2nd quote certainly didn't listen to your request.

Can't say how much either of these have built in for 2009 prices, as these won't be available before May '08 earliest and not everyone publishes at the same time. Even for Option #1, the numbers may well go up.


sandi is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2007, 01:47 PM
  #4  
cwn
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 878
Thanks Sandi,

The first option gave '07-'08 pricing and added 10% which may or may not be enough, but we can live with that-have to start somewhere.

I asked to drive back to Arusha and fly tp Nairobi oringinally, and option 2 came back with the drive to Nairobi, which I have no interest in.

I do like the flying from Manyara though, seems to cut down on the transfer issuses.

It is just hard to figure out what is best.

Guess my real question is does the Option 1 look reasonable? I have no problem with the lodges in Option 1.

Our only request was for Crater Lodge and that the other places be well located for the time of year.

The Tree Lodge sounds wonderful, but is it a safe option, guess the same question could be asked about Ndutu Lodge.

Another board member suggested stating at the Ngorongoro Sopa because of the early start from there through the Crater on the Sopa road. We like that idea. It gives us our 2 chances for a Crater drive. My husband is really kean on that.
cwn is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2007, 03:28 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440
The Tree Lodge sounds wonderful, but is it a safe option, guess the same question could be asked about Ndutu Lodge.

Are you referring to safe to assume you'll be able to drive in the area due to rains or muddy roads? Is that the safety issue?

Splitting your time in the crater with one visit on the way in and one on the way out of the Serengeti seems to be a clever use of driving time. Granted it adds to the moving around. It is not something that is done often. Is that because I am missing something and it is really not so clever and has a big down side? If the Tanzania experts think this is reasonable, I like Option #1.

Did the agent for Option #2 address the rain and tented camps?

atravelynn is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2007, 03:42 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 794
Why fly back from Manyara rather than Serengeti? It's the road between Ngorongoro and the Serengeti that you want to avoid. I think I'd rather do the 3 nights at Ngorongoro in one shot and do a drive-in/fly-out from the Serengeti. Unless, of course, the rains preclude flights out of the Serengeti this time of the year?
lifelist is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2007, 05:16 PM
  #7  
cwn
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 878
atravelynn- yes, the "safe" question on the Tree Lodge and Ndutu referred to the rain chances and flooding.

I had asked for the frist safari night to be the Manyara Tree Lodge, but have been told there is the possiblity that the Park road floods and there are not many animals at that time. I do not want to be trapped in the park by flood waters!

As far as Ndutu is concerned, I would also hate to be stranded at the Lodge.

Our first plan that I sent out was all driving: 1 night at LMTree Lodge, then 3 nights in the Serengeti and the last two nights at NCrater Lodge.

Lifrlist- Option 1 agent did first came back with 1 night Gibbs, 2 nights NCrater and 3 nights in a Serengeti tent camp then flying out. But we want the Crater Lodge at the end. That is the deal with flying from Manyara, plus the flight schedule gets us to Nairobi earlier than driving back to Arusha.

Option 2 agent first had us flying the whole time going, first 2 night LMTree Camp then 2 nights Kliens Camp finally 2 nights NCrater Lodge.

This is the second try for both.

And yes, Agent #2 does not seem to be listening to us!

Our only real desire, other than seeing animals, the Crater and the Serengeti, is to end the Tanzania part with 2 nights at the Ngorongoro Crater Lodge and work in 2 early Crater drives, if possible.


cwn is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2007, 06:19 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440
Your first request seems possible

1 night at LM, but not at Tree Lodge if muddy roads is a problem, so Gibbs is good.

then 3 nights in the Serengeti

Fly Serengeti to Manyara if flights operate and drive to rim of crater
http://www.kilimanjaro.com/airlines/...a/schedule.htm

and the last two nights at N Crater Lodge.

I'd ask the operators why this is not possible. It seems to work.
atravelynn is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2007, 07:25 PM
  #9  
cwn
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 878
Thanks for the link.

Yes, we can fly from the Seronera to Manyara and then drive back up to the Crater.

My husband wants the option to game drive in the Seronera on the day in and out, especially since we have to pay for the car and guide to drive from the Seronera to the Crater Lodge with or with out us in the car.

We will also be paying for him to drive back to Arusha after he drops us at the airport that last day, but that is not to much given it gives us better connections to Nairobi.

The Option 1 agent has us seeing Lake Manyara if the road is OK, then a late lunch at Gibbs and then on to Ngorogoro Sopa Lodge for the night. This gives us our first chance at an early Crater Floor game drive with easy access on the way to the Serengeti. I can't see any down side to this approach. Since it takes the pressure off how we spend the later time at Crater Lodge.

I just don't know if it is worth the side trip to Ndutu for one night.

The option 1 agent said Ndutu was be where the game would be when he first put us in a Ndutu area Nomad tent camp. Now, that he knows we aren't wanting three days of tent camping, he is saying it is not worth going to the area, there won't be any animals!

All in all it is hard to know what is the best approach!
cwn is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2007, 08:06 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 1,715
cwn: well of course the animals in Ndutu area will only show themselves to those staying in the more expensive tents during April- and they hide from those staying at the lodge.

Based on that contradiction alone I would personally stop working with that agent and be sure to find one that knows the typical wildlife concentrations for the time of year and cares enough about your experience to put you in the best locations. I don't know enough about that area outside of January to early March to comment but there are experts out there that do. I work with Kiliwarriors because they have an encyclopedic knowledge of the wildlife concentrations, scenery, and camp/lodge locations. I'm sure there are other good choices as well so don't settle for an agent that is pushing you toward an area when you are spending more but then claims no wildlife in the same area later when you want the lodge -- scary!
PredatorBiologist is offline  
Oct 24th, 2007, 12:56 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 108
cwn - here are my thoughts on your itinerary:

Day 2 - I would definitely stop to visit Lake Manyara NP for a short time. The road you are travelling on goes right past the entrance, so any detour from your main route will be inside the Park itself.

Even if there are floods in the South of the Park I doubt if the Northern part you would visit would be affected. (I am open to correction here, as I have not visited when wet). I thought the entrance road into the Park through the trees was magical and the best bit - very different from anywhere else you are going. Worth it just for the blue monkeys! and kingfisher-type birds!

I think this would give your day a good focus. You would need to make sure that you didn't dwell too long over breakfast in Arusha though.

That night's accommodation at Crater - You need to weigh up the following:
Yes, the Sopa allows you the quickest access in the morning (We always stay there for that reason). But the gate on the West side opens at the same time, you just need to leave the Lodge slightly earlier to get there. (half an hour?)
To get to the Sopa the previous night you will have to make a long drive round the Crater rim - this is a bumpy road with not wonderful views. I think I read somewhere that the drive is 3 hours - I'm not sure that it's that long, but it is pretty tedious! (I'm a bit hazy about the details as the last time we made this trip I was prostrate in the back of the vehicle having stopped to vomit many times on the journey from Arusha!!)

I think that for 1 night I would stay at a Lodge on the West side that night (Serena?) - trading a slightly earlier get up for a much easier journey the night before.

Ndutu/Serengeti - Ndutu is my favourite Lodge, so I'm biased! I would do the extra night there.
Wingi is offline  
Oct 24th, 2007, 09:18 AM
  #12  
cwn
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 878
Thanks,

PredatorBiogolist, exactly my feelings! These two groups are ones we worked with for the trip that was aborted. I am not comfortable with what is going on with them this time, though.

I am glad to know you are happy with Kiliwarriors. Their web site is great. They are in the field right now, but I am hoping they will do a more Lodge type safari.

Wingi-thanks for your thoughts. That is exactly the way I feel about planning a stop at Lake Manyara. We are there after all! We do plan an early start from Arusha. Fortunately we will not be suffering jetlag when we arrive.

I am told it is about an hour around the rim to the Sopa and maybe 30 mins to the Serena. I see your point, but the Sopa seems to have the option of driving one way across the Crater floor and out by the road near the road on to the Serengeti.

Ndutu does sound nice in that it is a smaller more rustic lodge. That setting really appeals to me.

That brings up another question looking at Ebens maps.

Those who have been to Ndutu Lodge, I see two roads leaving the Crater Rim- one by way of Olduvai and on to the Naabi Gate. On that road, there is turn almost at the Serengeti that heads down to Ndutu. The other appears to go straight to Ndutu totally missing Olduvai. Which one is used if going to Ndutu Lodge from the Crater?
cwn is offline  
Oct 24th, 2007, 09:59 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 108
cwm - I've just had a look at the Google maps and I find them a bit puzzling! We have always travelled on the road that goes past Olduvai, but when travelling from Crater towards Serengeti, the turn off to Olduvai is on the right!

There are 2 main entrance roads to Ndutu that are commonly used - the one you mention that is a left turn just before you enter the Serengeti and one that links with the main Serengeti road further North, just before Naabi Gate.

The other road from the Crater seems to go part way then become a hiking trail the rest of the way to Ndutu on the map in Bradt.



Wingi is offline  
Oct 24th, 2007, 10:06 AM
  #14  
cwn
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 878
Thanks, I have been trying to match up the Quote itinerary with the Maps.
cwn is offline  
Oct 24th, 2007, 11:36 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 1,715
cwn: one other important issue if you stay in Ndutu area. You will have to pay the fee for NCA but if the herds are in the Serengeti N.P. you will need to pay another fee to access that area. I have read that some operators don't want to price in both fees and so their guides simply won't take you into the park because they don't want to go over budget. They won't always tell you that, they may just claim the herds are out of the park and yet you can't find them. Make sure you are clear on that issue with whoever you use. With the group I'm leading in February we have chosen to pay the fees for both areas for each day upfront and thus no issues going wherever the wildlife viewing takes us. If we don't use both areas in a day we will be refunded the unused fees that we prepaid.
PredatorBiologist is offline  
Oct 24th, 2007, 01:18 PM
  #16  
cwn
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 878
Good point!

I had built in an extra 24 hours in the Serengeti the last there so we would not have to rush to the Naabi Gate if there was a good show in the Serengeti that morning.

Nomad said that they cover the extra fee if the animals have moved over to the Serengeti. I will be sure that it is included for the Ndutu day also.

I was told that we are at Ndutu we will have to go back to the Naabi Gate to enter the Serengeti, if the animals have moved. True? One outfitter referred to the West Serengeti gate. Is that the same as Naabi Gate?
cwn is offline  
Oct 24th, 2007, 01:47 PM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 8,675
West Serengeti Gate? I hope not. Have whomever the TO explain where exactly.
sandi is offline  
Oct 24th, 2007, 01:51 PM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440
I'd call that Option #1 Outfitter on the contradictory comments so that s/he knows s/he was not successful in pulling a fast one on you. Also to clarify and make sure there was not a misunderstanding in either of the two statements.

I think I know who the operators are by reviewing some of your past posts and I don't think either are Roys or Kiliwarriors or Good Earth. I'd see what these 3 suggest when you pose your first choice with your requests.
atravelynn is offline  
Oct 24th, 2007, 04:08 PM
  #19  
cwn
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 878
Thanks guys,

I will wait for the third party quote, maybe even seek quotes from a couple of other groups now because:

1. The revision (Option 1) on what I first asked for seems reasonable.

2. Others are having the same reaction to the quotes and explainations or, lack there of, as I am having. Glad to know it isn't just me.

I did ask about the change of story on Ndudu. The question was just ignored.

I am sure most can figure out who we have received quotes from so far. We will wait on our other quote request to come in, in a week or so. My husband is really eagar to hear from that one as he likes what he has seen/heard. It is apparent that I am not getting the service from the first two operators I should.

Thanks again for all the imput.
cwn is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 01:25 AM.