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September in Kenya or Tanzania or BOTH?

Old May 26th, 2011, 07:21 AM
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September in Kenya or Tanzania or BOTH?

Hello!
I'm planning a trip to east Africa on or around Sept 22nd. I have about 2 weeks; days are flexible, budget less so. I would love to see parts of both countries, ie: Ngorongoro crater and Masai Mara, Tarangire or Amboseli, etc. Logistics of travel between countries being what they are, along with budget constraints ($4000-$4500pp), perhaps I should stick with one country and see more of it. Which one?
Since I don't know if I'll ever be back to the area, I hate to pass up an opportunity to see something amazing, like the migration or the crater or Olduvai Gorge.Should I focus on one country and add a 2-3 night trip to one place in the other? Besides Ngorongoro, what are the significant differences in the two countries, in terms of geography and wildlife viewing? Any advise is welcome.
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Old May 26th, 2011, 08:18 AM
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You will find the "elephant" experience in both countries: At Kenya if visiting Amboseli or Samburu; At Kenya if visiting Tarangire. No reason to visit more than one of these.

There's a "lakes" area in both countries.

The Serengeti and Mara are the same eco-system and with the migration in the latter in September, this is the place to be.

Only the Ngorongoro Crater is unique to Tanzania.

So you can do entire itinerary in Kenya with outstanding game, culture experiences... then if you wish, with 3/days you can transit via road to Tanzania and the Ngorongoro Crater*, then back to Kenya for homebound. It's up to you.

* you can from here also visit Oldupai

Discuss with your tour operator/outfitter for details.
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Old May 26th, 2011, 08:28 AM
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Is your two weeks on the ground in Africa or total with international air?

Based on what you stated as your goals and budget, I'd do "entire itinerary in Kenya with outstanding game, culture experiences... then if you wish, with 3/days you can transit via road to Tanzania and the Ngorongoro Crater (you can from here also visit Oldupai), then back to Kenya for homebound."

You may be able to do a group trip in Kenya for savings, then do the crater portion as an independent add-on.

Great time of year to go!
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Old May 26th, 2011, 12:51 PM
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"At Kenya if visiting Amboseli or Samburu; At Kenya if visiting Tarangire."

... that should read: At Tanzania if visiting Tarangire!
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Old May 26th, 2011, 10:45 PM
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Hi, that will be the best time to come to East Africa. If you are really interested in watching the migration, that is the best time to watch them at the Masai Mara. Kenya and Tanzania are unique countries both countries have unique features and culture to experience. Two weeks can be enough to do both countries but with your budget you will need atleast a group of 6 so that you can share cost.
I will try to suggest an itinerary for you as follows;
1 night in Nairobi
2 nights in Samburu national reserve
1 night in Lake Nakuru national park
3 nights in Masai Mara
1 night in Nairobi
2 nights in Ngorongoro
2 nihgts in Serengeti
1 night in Nairobi
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Old May 28th, 2011, 06:35 AM
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Thanks for the advice. I'm leaning toward Tanzania for the bulk of the trip with a short 3 nt/4 day hop to Masai Mara from Nairobi, maybe to Mara Porini. I like the vehicles used in Tanzania better. Also,the distances between parks doesn't seem as great, except N Serengeti. But since we will go to Masai Mara, we could probably skip that.
Here's what I thinking:
Arrive Arusha; stay 1 nt
To Tarangire; stay 2 nts
To Lake Manyara; stay 1 nt (?)
Drive to Olduvai Gorge, Leakey Museum; on to Ngorongoro
Ngorongoro; stay 2 nts; spend 1 full day in crater
Return to Arusha; take shuttle or fly to Nairobi; stay 1 nt
To Masai Mara; spend 3 nts
Return to Nairobi; spend nt or fly home.

Comments? Improvements? Thanks to all!
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Old May 28th, 2011, 07:34 AM
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If bulk in Tanzania, above is good but would suggest you skip Manyara and add this nt to the Masai Mara. Never enough nts in Mara during this timeframe.

From Tarangire it's a 3.5/hr drive to Ngo, another 45/min if stopping at Oldupai first before returning to Ngo. You won't have time for afternoon crater tour that day, so o/n and next morning (max 6/hrs) go into the crater. After concluding this, have afternoon at leisure or maybe crater rim walk or trek to Olmoti Crater. If not, drive back (maybe stop at Manyara - game drive and o/n - or if not), to Arusha/JRO for later flight to NBO and o/n. Next morning head to the Mara by road or air.

Go for it!
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Old May 28th, 2011, 07:52 AM
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We went to both last September. My trip report is here:

http://www.fodors.com/community/afri...never-will.cfm

It includes some links to photo albums from the trip.

Ours was a bit longer, but we went to some of the same places you mentioned. Based on your plan above, I'd just do a brief stop at Lake Manyara in September as there is not much to see in terms of what it can be like at other times of the year (we just did a drive through en route from Tarangire to the crater and were really satisfied with that), adding a third night on to Tarangire. Olduvai Gorge is a brief stop en route, only an hour or 2, but unless it's on your way it may not be worth it.

I loved Tarangire. Try to go to Masai Mara too. It's amazing. We saw more cat action there. If you can talk to your agent about trying to get you into accommodation owned by one company, you may be able to get a better price for staying 4 nights with one company.
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