Serengeti in June

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Dec 1st, 2005, 08:12 AM
  #1
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Serengeti in June

Hi,

My fiancee and I are planning our honeymoon to Tanzania & Zanzibar in early June 2006 and are having a hard time decided where to stay in the Serengeti. The Kirawira is completely booked, so we are considering Mbalageti Camp, Exclusive Mobile Camp or Sayari Camp. Please help!

Thanks!
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Dec 1st, 2005, 11:26 AM
  #2
bat
 
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Hi chloe:
Congrats on your upcoming wedding and honeymoon in Africa.

While you wait for comments about the camps, go to Eben's website--www.go-safari.com. (Tanzania, serengeti) There you will find pictures of these camps. Eben discussed the Sayari camps in some detail in a recent thread. Here is the link:

http://www.fodors.com/forums/pgMessa...different+kind
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Dec 1st, 2005, 11:36 AM
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BTW you will find Mbalageti under lodges and EMC and Sayari under seasonal camps.
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Dec 1st, 2005, 11:44 AM
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Also, Chloe if you care to share the rest of your itinerary, it might help us with making suggestions. Probably my first choice would be Sayari for late June (help me out, here Sandi and Eben--is that right?) and then EMC. But that wouldn't necessarily make sense if for your honeymoon you want the most luxurious accommodations. Mbalageti would fit the bill in that case.

Also, I just really like hearing about other people's trips. Living vicariously.

Congrats on the upcoming wedding. You've picked a marvelous honeymoon destination.
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Dec 1st, 2005, 02:16 PM
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Leely -

Why the brain teasers? The animals keep moving so you want me to pick a camp? Ha! Ha!

Some feel EMC is too far South for June, I believe a bit closer to where the Sopa is located. But it's really a toss up if mobile camping is what you wish, Chloe.

Chloe - personally, for your honeymoon, I believe Mbalageti is a whole lot more romantic (even the presidential suite with flat screen TV - sorry, that's an inside joke here). Besides the fact that the chalets (part is permanent, part is canvas) are quite luxurious; nice property; you have great views from public space and pool deck of the Serengeti plains.

At the beginning of June the herds can be anywhere from southeastern plains (the zebra) or central (the wildebeests) as they were this past early June. The zebra and wildebeest don't seem to join up and move into the heart of the Western Serengeti till mid-month. But all of this can go out of the window depending on the rains, the grasses and "they're animals." And remember, when they all start moving it's the zebra who lead eating the higher grasses leaving the shorter for the wildies and Tommies.

As you will be on a private safari, believe you should be able to drive wherever (verify with your outfitter there are no mileage limits) on a daily basis, so all three are good choices. At this time, I'd take any of them, because if you wait another day or two they may all be gone.

Best wishes on your upcoming wedding.
 
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Dec 1st, 2005, 03:36 PM
  #6
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Thanks for all your replies, this is so much fun.

Here is our current itinerary:
Arusha (one night) - cannot decide between the Serena Mountain Village or the Rivertrees Inn.
Lake Manyara (two nights) - Serena
Crater (two nights) - Crater Lodge
Serengeti (three nights) - would love to find a great mobile camp or open to suggestions.
Selous (two nights) - Sand Rivers, is it worth the trip South in mid-June?
Zanzibar (four nights)- Matemwe Bungalows
Stone Town (one night)- Emerson's and Green

It's not all booked yet, so any additional feedback would be great.

Thanks!
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Dec 1st, 2005, 03:41 PM
  #7
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Also, any feedback on Nomad's Serengeti Safari mobile camp?
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Dec 1st, 2005, 03:45 PM
  #8
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Chloe:
Take a look at the thread I gave you--Eben compares the seasonal camps--including Nomad.
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Dec 1st, 2005, 03:51 PM
  #9
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BTW:
Someone else will comment re Sand River mid-June; I think that it is cusp. Everything I have read about Sand River is that it is great. Did you see the recent article in a travel mag (forget which one, T & L maybe). My sig. other read it and chastised me heavily for not including it in our Feb trip!

So if it were me, I would definitely go --BUT I would steal a day from Manyara to add to Sand River [even though it means 2 one nighters in a row. You only have a relatively short hop to the crater the next day and you have 2 days there at the super luxury crater lodge.)
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Dec 1st, 2005, 03:55 PM
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WOW--what an itinerary. I think, but am not certain, getting to Selous can sometimes be a little bit of a logistical nightmare from the Northern Circuit, so make sure you get the days right for flights, etc. Unless you're going to pull a Sandi and charter charter charter.

For a honeymoon, depending on your tastes and your budget, you may not want a seasonal camp like Nomad or EMC. That said, I'll be spending 3 nights at Nomad Serengeti next June and I am so excited.

As Sandi mentioned, there is the option of a flatscreen tv at Mbalageti. As if that's something anyone would want on safari. And on a honeymoon!

Also, you may have to tweak your itinerary depending on what's available when. Shouldn't be a big deal yet, though. You will have a fantastic honeymoon.
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Dec 1st, 2005, 03:58 PM
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Another thought: I have been waiting for someone to report about River Trees. I really like the way it looks--intimate and pretty and low-key. So maybe, Chloe, you'll be the test case?
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Dec 2nd, 2005, 03:57 AM
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Chloe -

Great itinerary overall. Have to agree with OP that you only need 1-nt at Lake Manyara. The trip from Arusha is only about 2-hrs, so you'll have almost a full day of game viewing at this relatively small park. From here to the Crater is about another 2-2-1/2 hrs. but whether you can get Crater Lodge for one, let alone two-nites may be tricky.

Three days in the Serengeti is great, but four would be better - taking away from Manyara would give you this.

As Leely mentions, getting from the Serengeti to Selous will be dependent on flight schedules and may require an overnight in Arusha. And, no, you do not have to "charter" to get there, but is an expensive option if you want to save the o/n in Arusha.

Your time on Zanzibar will be great, but a reminder - it's hot and humid here and I strongly recommend air conditioning; Matemwe doesn't have. Emerson & Green does except for the rooms on the very top floor. If a/c is important you may want to consider a property such as Ras Nungwi (about 40 rooms) or Blue Bay (about 75 rooms). Sure Matemwe is smaller, intimate and gets great reviews except for the fact that if your ceiling fans don't grab whatever breeze is out there, sleeping can be uncomfortable; your room may feel more like a sauna.

Any of your lodge/camp options in the Serengeti are good, but as with all accommodations, time is running away from you and you're going to depend on what is available at this, already, late date... yeh, six months out and there is limited space.

I'd have your tour operator/outfitter check what for is available and where, have them hold the space and go with it.

Bye the way, which tour operator/outfitter are you using?
 
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Dec 2nd, 2005, 09:14 AM
  #13
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We are working with Roy Safaris - thanks to all the great reviews in the forums. I think we may try to spend one night at Mbalageti and then two at Sayari Camp, so we can experience both. What do you think?

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