Slideshow - Ngorongoro & NCA Lodges

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Jul 1st, 2005, 06:01 PM
  #1
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Slideshow - Ngorongoro & NCA Lodges

Friends

Most footage is on film but I took a few pics of:

Oldupai Camp, Ngorongoro Farm House, Plantation Lodge, Wild Africa Manyara Camp (new), E Unoto and a few random shots of Ngorongoro Serena, Wildlife Lodge and Crater Lodge.

http://www.kodakgallery.com/Slidesho...Uy=y8wp2v&Ux=1

climbhighsleeplow is offline  
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Jul 1st, 2005, 09:41 PM
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That view looking into the crater from the Wildlife Lodge is amazing!

Where is Wild Africa Manyara Camp located in relation to other Manyara lodges/camps and how many tents do they have?

You're right about the rooms at the Farm House, they do look a bit on the bare, half finished side. Plantation Lodge looks very cozy.
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Jul 1st, 2005, 09:42 PM
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Thanks for sharing. I also take photos of everything (hotel/lodge, room, views, etc) and, especially for those of us still in the planning stages, photos like that are very helpful.
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Jul 2nd, 2005, 02:34 AM
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The new Wild Africa Manyara Camp is located on the left just before you reach the village of Mtu wa Mbu (coming from Arusha). I counted 10 tents - about 25 people max. It is about 20 minutes from the Lake Manyara park gate.
The current camp managers are great and working hard to upgrade the camp and to provide quality service.

E Unoto will be to the right about 40 minutes from the park gate.
It is a project supporting the Maasai and a good cultural experience. The rooms are nice with very comfortable beds - one of our best sleeps!

For Lake Manyara, I would personally rate the lodges as follows:
Tree Lodge - budget buster but tops
Serena - location, location
Kirurumu - luxury tented experience & views, views
E Unoto & WA Manyara Camp - don't have the views but 1st class nevertheless
Lake Manyara Hotel - so ugly & plain but the best views of Manyara.

The debate over Farm House vs. Plantation Lodge will continue!

Plantation Lodge IMO has a few advantages. It is classier - plain and simple. It has an established mgmt team who knows how to run an upscale establishment.

They have separate sections and can "block" off larger tour groups so couples and individuals in other sections are not overrun.

Farm House is expanding to become a conference center, etc. It is rather huge already and when groups of 20 or more show up they tend to take over the lounge/dining room area. The square rooms are sparsely decorated and too clinical for me. The rooms are a long way from the main building. Get your walking shoes ready!

It is now under new mgmt so we have to wait for more trip reports to learn about food, service, etc.

BTW, the half-day crater tours will NOT happen until January 2006. At that time, the near 2-hour drive from these lodges to the crater floor (about an hour on return) will become a bit painful as most will have to do it twice (afternoon on day 1 & morning on day 2 for example).

IMO the rim properties will then have a clear advantage as one can spend the down time enjoying the views from the top. And the crater floor is only 0.5 - 1 hour away! The other attractions - Oldupai Gorge & shifting sands - are also closer to the rim lodges.

Some of the best game viewing is early AM. Coming from the Farm House & such, means getting a really early start to beat the line at the park gate and then you will still be almost an hour behind the tourists from the rim lodges!

The lack of beds on the crater rim are a huge problem. There are other options though. Seasonal luxury tented camps are available near the Sopa but only a few operators can/will book you into these tents! These normally require a 2-night minimum stay. I will post more info about these options in the near future.
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Jul 2nd, 2005, 10:02 AM
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What do you mean by "the half-day crater tours will NOT happen until January 2006"? I thought from reading other posts here that they will allow 6 hour tours next year which would essentially give you a full day, rather than 2 shorter morning/afternoon game drives. Also do you have any information on the increase in park fees? Thanks.
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Jul 2nd, 2005, 12:20 PM
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Patty,

Ahem--aren't you going to Kenya??? : ) I thought that itinerary was pretty settled?

FYI, I had been looking at the E Unoto web site: their address is maasaivillage.com. One thing of interest: one of the photos shows a person in a wheelchair, so I'm guessing those with mobility issues might find this a good place to stay.
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Jul 2nd, 2005, 07:47 PM
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Leely,
Now that I have my itinerary pretty much finalized, I have to start planning the next one
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Jul 3rd, 2005, 06:52 AM
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Thank you for all these wonderful pictures. I can't tell you how helpful these are in choosing accommodations for my November safari trip. I just finalized my itinerary and asked the travel agent to check availability. Hopefully, there will be rooms available in late November/early December. Keeping my fingers crossed.
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Jul 3rd, 2005, 01:58 PM
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sandi
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Patty -

The Ngorongoro fees are increasing from $30/day to $50/day. And if I understand the other fees correctly, there is a $100 fee/person plus your vehicle fee of $30 for each 6-hrs. That's going to be a costly day of gameviewing at the Crater.

The Serengeti fee is also increasing from $30/day to $50/day person.
 
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Jul 3rd, 2005, 07:36 PM
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I was told by TANAPA: The only Ngorongoro increase in 2006 is the crater service fee from $25 to $100 - per vehicle, not per person!

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Jul 4th, 2005, 03:52 AM
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sandi
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climbhigh ---- and others

Goes to show they still don't know what they are doing... still getting conflicting info. I think as people book they get the current (at time of booking) from their tour operarator/outfitter. But be prepared for increases and limited 6-hour tours.

 
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