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Seeking Assistance with Setting up a Safari in Tanzania

Seeking Assistance with Setting up a Safari in Tanzania

Mar 31st, 2009, 06:22 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 237
Seeking Assistance with Setting up a Safari in Tanzania

We will be going to Tanzania this fall for three weeks to work near Iringa. Before we return to the states we would like to do a safari. We have a few questions:
How long would you suggest for the safari?
Where should we go - any do not miss places?
Can you give the name of a good outfitter/travel agency?
What type of gear/supplies would you recommend?
gpotvin is offline  
Mar 31st, 2009, 06:53 PM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440
How long depends on budget and additional time you have. I'd say as long as possible, but at least 4 days.

Where? Depends on when you are traveling. You'll probably want to visit the Ngorongoro Crater, even if it does receive a good deal of visitors.

You'll probably want one in Tanzania as opposed to your home country. Some that have been used with success are Roy's, Good Earth, Kiliwarriors, Sunny's.

Gear/supplies is provided by your safari company. Perhaps you mean a packing list. If you are planning on self driving and preparing all of your own food at campsites, then you'd need more extensive gear. The safari company can probably help you there too.
atravelynn is offline  
Apr 1st, 2009, 07:25 AM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 8,675
If at Iringa you might consider the southern parks for safari - Selous, Ruaha or Mikumi - assuming you're departing for home out of Dar-es-Salaam.

The Ngorongoro Crater is in the northern circuit and would have to get up that way (air or road) and if homebound flight out of DAR, then have to get back down that way.

Provide additional info - when/month (time determines prices), budget, type of accommodations (lodges/camps/camping), interests, how many in your party, and how many days. Of course, airport from where you'll be departing for home.

You can contact the outfitters shown above directly... all have websites. Provide them all necessary information.
sandi is offline  
Apr 1st, 2009, 11:31 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I agree with Sandi. Since you're already in southern Tanzania, it would make sense to visit those parks. I assume you'll also be flying in/out of Dar Es Salaam (and not Kilimanjaro in northern Tanzania)?

Iringa is within driving distance to Ruaha but I don't know if there are any tour operators actually based in Iringa. For the southern parks, you can contact tour operators based in Dar such as Authentic Tanzania or Foxes Safaris. Adventure Camps operates several camps in southern Tanzania and I believe they take direct bookings too.

Not sure when exactly you mean by fall but September is a prime month for the southern parks.
Patty is offline  
Apr 1st, 2009, 01:41 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 237
It now looks like we will be going around January 1 - safari during last week of January - and will use Dar as arrival and departure point. We have not purchased tickets, but we plan to stay about 6-8 days after our work assignment is completed. My wife (age 60) and I (age 63) will be the only members of our party. We are seasoned travelers and neither require nor seek luxury. We like some comfort, but realize the definition changes with each area. I would say we would prefer camps/camping and would prefer a mid-range budget at the top end. Ultimately we want a good experience and would pay more if there is a "too good to miss" area or if there is a highly recommended option for lodging. This is another of those once-in-a-lifetime trips, so the cost is somewhat secondary.

When I spoke of gear I meant those items that would be above and beyond what is provided by the outfitters.

gpotvin is offline  
Apr 1st, 2009, 05:28 PM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440
Thanks for clarifying that you are looking for a quality once in a lifetime experience rather than a bare bones budget getaway that would not require any additional transportation.

Here is a chart that shows the best wildlife viewing throughout the year in Africa. Check out Tanzania.

This site has "perfect" safaris, with an emphasis on Tanzania, throughout the year. You can look at Jan or Feb.

Though I have not been to Southern Tanzania parks such as Ruaha, Katavi Selous, and Mahale, here is what I've found out from looking into a trip there. Ruaha, Katavi, and Selous are not at their best time of year Jan-Feb because there is more water available from rains and wildlife does not have to concentrate near the permanent sources. That makes it harder to see. For some regions, wildlife viewing is always good, even if it is not at its peak, but I think in these vast, expansive parks, you want more concentration. I know I've decided to visit Southern Tanzania between late Aug and Sept, well into the dry season.

For Mahale, where chimp tracking is done, and it is one of the best places to do this on the continent, I would be more willing to go in late Jan or Feb. I have seen where some rain helps to keep chimps from straying too far, making them easier to find. I've also read rains that may occur in Jan-Feb clear out foggy conditions and make it easier to see the chimps.

If you could include some nights in Mahale, that would be great. The premier camp there is Greystoke, but Kungwe Beach is also a place and there may be more too. This would be worth it for a once in a lifetime trip if you are fit for tracking.

But, I'd do the majority of my time in the Northern Part of Tanzania, known as the Northern Circuit. In late Jan and Feb, one of the best places to be is in the Southern part of the Serengeti. (Northern circuit, but Southern part of Serengeti.) The wildebeest migration is usually in this area around this time. The migration attracts predators.

At this time of year, the other best parks are Lake Manyara and the Ngorongoro Crater. If you could only do one of those 2, I'd go to the World Heritage Site Crater.

If you had adequate time and money, here's what I'd do after your volunteering.

Mahale for 3 to 4 nights with 2 to 3 chimp treks--wherever you stay, your room, board, and guiding is taken care of.

Day of transport probably

Get to Arusha and meet your safari guide and drive to Manyara. There are a variety of places to stay from Kirurumu Tented Camp to the very fancy Tree Lodge (where I'd spend 2 days since it takes some time to get there) to a hotel.

2 nights crater--I like Sopa Lodge for its access road. Here there are not that many camping options. I do recall some, but don't know the names of them.

3-4 nights drive to Ndutu area of Serengeti--that's the Southern part. You can stay at a mobile camp, a public campsite or Ndutu Lodge.

My suggestion is more than a week. If you did not do Mahale, you could fit in the other stuff in a week.

Please let us know how your post-volunteer planning goes.
atravelynn is offline  
Apr 1st, 2009, 05:48 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 237
What great help. Thanks for taking the time.
gpotvin is offline  
Apr 1st, 2009, 07:53 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,971
If late Jan, then I'd be more inclined to go to northern Tanzania. In that case, I would contact the tour operators mentioned by atravelynn which are based in Arusha. Since you haven't purchased tickets yet, you could look into flying open jaw into Dar and out of Kilimanjaro.
Patty is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2009, 06:05 AM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 8,675
Jan-Feb is "summer" in East Africa and as I recall, Patty mentioned during her visit at Selous the environment was very "close" - air still and quite humid and hot (besides the fact that she wasn't feeling well one day). That's something to consider. The open plains in much of the North, probably a better option.

Mahale, from Iringa would be a circuitous routing just to get there and flight length are long in small plane. This park can be quite expensive even at the lower priced camp.

As Patty mentions, you can purchase an "open-jaw" ticket, arriving DAR, departing JRO - KLM does this route. Then once finished in Iringa find some transport to Arusha from where Northern circuit safaris commence.

From Arusha drive to Ngorongoro (1/nt), Ndutu/SESerengeti (3), Manyara (1), drive back to Arusha.
sandi is offline  
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