Serengeti or Manyara

Old Mar 15th, 2007, 07:13 AM
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Serengeti or Manyara

Hello all,
I am planning a safari to Tanzania in August, and will be somewhat limited on time. I would like to see Ngorogoro Crater and Tarangire. If we only have time for one more location, should we go to Lake Manyara or the Serengeti? I am getting conflicting reports from travel agents regarding these 2 places.

The advantage of going to Lake Manyara is the Forest hike and bicycling safari (I don't want to be cooped up in a 4x4 everyday). However, the Serengeti is the Serengeti!

In August, which place do you recommend? Where would I have the best chance of seeing wildlife? Which place is best for seeing the big cats?

Thank you for your help!
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Old Mar 15th, 2007, 07:25 AM
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I forgot to add that I will be traveling to the Mara in Kenya after this Tanzania portion. Is the Serengeti similar enough to the Mara to justify skipping it?
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Old Mar 15th, 2007, 11:20 AM
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If you are limited on time, could you just stay in Tanzania and add the Serengeti? So Serengeti instead of Mara? Both are good in Aug as this chart, below, shows.

http://www.africa-adventure.com/dsp_besttime.html

The later in Aug, the more I'd go for Maasai Mara.

Both have lions, leopard, cheetah. I think leopards are more common in the Serengeti than the Mara. I've seen only one in each with far more time in the Mara.

Otherwise, if the Mara is already set, then you could opt out of the Serengeti, since they are very similar.

Lake Manyara is not at its wildlife peak in August but it appears you are looking at Manyara as stop for activity, which will be great in Aug.

The conflicting reports on Mara vs. Serengeti are understandable because both are good in Aug. The different agents may have ties to one place over the other.

If you post your whole itinerary, others can offer more specific advice.
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Old Mar 15th, 2007, 04:19 PM
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Thanks for your help. Yes, Manyara was mainly for the other activities, but if gameviewing is not great that time of year, I have no problems skipping it... after all, that is my main priority!

I don't have a definite itinerary yet, as we are combining some organized safaris with independent travel. This is what we have so far:

July 27 - fly from US to Kigali
July 28 - overnight Kigali
July 29 - drive to Mountain Gorilla Nest
July 30 - gorilla trek
July 31 - gorilla trek
Aug 1 - Aug 2 - either Gisenyi or Kibuye
Aug 3 - fly to Entebbe
Aug 4 - 5 Jinja
Aug 6 - 16 ??? This is where I was going to do the Tanzania and Kenya safaris.
Aug 16 - fly from Nairobi back to US

The Rwanda portion is already set. I am flexible on the rest (except for international flights), so those dates might change. We had planned to travel throughout Rwanda (after the gorilla trek) and Uganda independently, and then pick up with another operator in Tanzania.

There are just so many options! I had originally wanted to stay at Kichwa Tembo tented camp in the Mara, but lately I have read about so many other great places. I am mainly interested in tented lodges, but would like to keep costs as reasonable as possible, without skimping on quality of drives/guides. We might combine some nicer luxury places with less expensive options through the trip.
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Old Mar 16th, 2007, 08:59 AM
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The activities offered in Manyara have me intrigued as well.

What will you do in Jinja?
What will you do in Gisenyi or Kibuye for Aug 1 and Aug 2?
I'm interested for possible future travel.

Could you do one of these?

6 To Arusha
7 Tarangire
8 Tarangire
9 Crater
10 Serengeti
11 Serengeti
12 Serengeti during day and leave in time for eve flight to Nairobi
13 Mara
14 Mara
15 Mara
16 depart Nairobi

6 To Arusha
7 Manyara
8 Manyara
9 Tarangire
10 Tarangire
11 Crater
12 Serengeti
13 Serengeti
14 Serengeti
15 Serengeti during day and back to Arusha for o/nt
16 Morning flight to Nairobi
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Old Mar 16th, 2007, 09:29 AM
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lynn -

On that 2nd itinerary (above), doing Manyara and backtracking to Taragire - not a good idea, as you'll have a longer drive to Ngorongoro.

Believe you might have meant it the other way with Tarangire first, then Manyara. From Manyara it would then be aout 2-2.5/hr drive vs about 4/hrs form Tarangire.

And, if visiting Serengeti only (no Masai Mara), suggest the time be divided between central (1/day) with remainder as far north in the Serengeti at the budget will allow. Then fly from here to Arusha/Kili.
 
Old Mar 17th, 2007, 03:40 AM
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In Jinja we plan to go white water rafting. We also just found a place that will let us rent ATVs and explore the area (with a guide of course!)

I have no idea what we are going to do in Gisenyi or Kibuye. Relax after the gorilla trek? Explore the area? Throughout our travels, so of the most magnificent days have been spent doing nothing at all, just exploring the countryside, talking to locals, etc. In fact, when we travel we rarely have definite plans... we just play it by ear... which I know I can't do for safari, and that is making my travel planning more difficult! I just read that Gisenyi and Kibuye are nice places to visit after trekking.

Thanks for the advice on itineraries. I just received a few itineraries from travel agents, and I will post those soon to get your opinions. To get an idea of distances, can you give me a vague idea how long it takes to drive from one park to another. If we are facing a long drive, that might help me rearrange the itinerary. how long from Tarangire to Serengeti? how long from Serengeti to
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Old Mar 17th, 2007, 03:43 AM
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sorry... hit reply by accident.

how long from Serengeti to Ngorongoro?

I realize it really depends on where in the park we are going, but if I can get a general idea that would be great.

Thanks!
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