Southern Tanzania Circuit

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May 11th, 2005, 04:18 PM
  #1
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Southern Tanzania Circuit

In looking around at different Southern Tanzanian websites, it seems as though there are more scheduled charters now. It was my impresseion that not long ago you were basically dependent chartering your own plane, with very few scheduled charters.

With a flexible itinerary would visitng Mahale, Katavi, Selous, and Ruaha be possible for a solo traveler taking scheduled charters?

I'll be interested in your comments, especially those who have done this on scheduled charters. Thank you.
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May 12th, 2005, 03:48 AM
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sandi
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There have been regularly scheduled flights to all of these parks for a number of years. It's just that the flights to any given park might not be daily. And based on schedule, were you might want to spend 2-days somewhere, due to distances flown and flight schedules you have to spend 3- or 4-days.

You will find more lodging choices in Selous and Ruaha at different budgets; at Mikumi, less choice. And Katavi and Mahale have even less, and those that are here tend to be more costly.

Like any solo traveler, if you find an itinerary/flights that work, accommodations that fit your style and budget, willing to pay the single supplement that is applied - there should be no reason not to "go for it."
 
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May 12th, 2005, 09:37 AM
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I'd be interested to know what information you found on scheduled charters to Mahale & Katavi. I was looking into flying from DAR and found scheduled flights to Selous (daily) and Ruaha (3x weekly) but couldn't find anything directly to Mahale. I was quoted $1200 for a one way charter to Mahale or I could have the option of taking a scheduled flight to Kigoma at $300pp, then a boat transfer to Mahale but would have to overnight in Kigoma both directions. It seemed like it would be very easy to combine Selous & Ruaha, but less so the other two parks. Please share what you've found. Thanks!
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May 12th, 2005, 12:14 PM
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Patty -

There are packages combining Katavi (2-or 3-days) and Mahale (4-days) including air from Dar (even Arusha, approx.4-hrs flying to Mahale) and you don't pay $1,200 for the air alone.

Contact the Tanzania outfitters and they can put together what you need. Trying to "unbundle" a trip to this area would dissuade anyone from ever visiting here.
 
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May 12th, 2005, 12:44 PM
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<Trying to "unbundle" a trip to this area would dissuade anyone from ever visiting here.>

Sorry, I don't understand what you mean by this statement. Could you clarify? Thanks, sandi.
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May 12th, 2005, 01:41 PM
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The Foxes (http://www.tanzaniasafaris.info/) have their own plane and pilot and have camps in Mikumi, Ruaha and Katavi, so you could try approaching them to see what they can put together.
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May 12th, 2005, 01:58 PM
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Patty -

By "unbundle" = ascertaining separate prices for all components - airfare, accommodations, transfers, other - if trying to put something together on your own. Your earlier post mentioned that you got a quote from someone in the amount of $1,200 airfare only.

A package from one of the Tanzanian outfitters would save quite a bit of money. Not too long ago I saw a package and if you subtracted the approximate rates for accommodations in Katavi staying at Chada and in Mahale staying at Greystoke, the air was in the range of maybe $800 r/t(to/from Arusha) - a great savings.
 
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May 12th, 2005, 03:38 PM
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sandi,
I see what you mean. When I was checking into various options for southern Tanzania, I was more or less only going to visit one destination due to limited time. I did get a quote from a Tanzanian outfitter for a Mahale package including RT air, transfers, and accomodations but it involved transitting through and overnighting in Kigoma. Along with the package quote, they noted how much a one way charter flight directly to Mahale would be, that's where I got the $1200.

The package that you saw, do you recall which company it was from? Could you provide a link? That sounds much more reasonable.
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May 13th, 2005, 04:06 AM
  #9
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Patty -

I wish I did remember who the outfitter was. It was one of those days when I was just "browsing" around and there it was. Since I wasn't seriously interested, I didn't bookmark the link.

However, my mind, even with all it's minutea inside, vaguely recalls a package costing about $2100 for 3-days at Greystoke in Mahale. Considering that the daily rate at Greystoke is in the $500+ range - you can easily figure out what the air r/t (Arusha) amounts to. I believe there was also a longer stay package of 5- or 6-days that increased proportionately for each night - air remained the same.

Also, I believe there was a package that was routed via Kigoma, which I completely ignored.

I'm sure if Mahale/Katavi, or only one of these Parks is something of interest for a subsequent trip, you should be able to get a competitive package deal. If I happen across that initial link or another, I'll make a note to let you know.
 
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May 14th, 2005, 01:17 PM
  #10
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I found a nice Mahale/Katavi 8-day package with go2africa.com. It is called the Wild Instincts safari and runs from about $3600 to $3900 with a $1000 single supplement. Go2africa told me at least 2 people are required for it to go and it leaves from Arusha on Thursdays.

If I were to visit two parks in the southern region, I'd like to add Selous and Ruaha. When I seriously investigate going, I'll post the info.
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May 14th, 2005, 01:42 PM
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hi lyn how are you? i leave in 21days for my trip. any way, i had been in contact with jane fox. that is my op for so. tanz.
i won't use anyone else.
ok here is what i asked of her.
1nt dar es
3nts selous
2nts ruaha
4nts katavi
3nts ruaha
a flight to arusha.
this has 4 or 5 internal flights. with these flights it is about almost 5000.00
for 2 people sharing. so for 14days it is about: 360 a day. pretty good for down that area.
see ya, david
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May 15th, 2005, 02:16 AM
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hi again lyn, i heard of mahale mts. about the chimps there and hard to get to. did more reading on it. pretty cool along with katavi.
ok, i mailed the foxes again about mahale mts. asking if it is possible to throw it in there with that itin. i have here.
i am looking at sept 2006.
i know, i haven't even started the 2005 safari yet,lol.
but i kinda want an idea of the costs so i can plan.
will let you know what the foxes come back with.
thanks, david
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Jul 12th, 2005, 09:56 AM
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I came across this website today http://www.flycat.com/e/index.html which offers the possiblity of a 7 night trip combining Mahale and Katavi using scheduled charters. They use their own camps set up for the season. They also operate a camp on Rubondo Island and a semi-permanent camp (Flycatcher) in the Serengeti with possibilities to link the Mahale/Katavi trip to those camps and also to Ruaha. Sounds like an interesting, 'budget' alternative to Greystoke/Chada. Anyone familiar with this company or their Serengeti camp?
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Jul 12th, 2005, 10:19 AM
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Patty,
I've seen that website before too. I'd always assumed they're pricey, but maybe not? I'd be interested to hear if anyone knows anything about them--esp. rough ideas re: pricing. Our guide from last year told us Mahale was his favorite place to take visitors.
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Jul 12th, 2005, 10:56 AM
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Leely,
Still pricey, but less than some of the other alternatives. I'm using the term 'budget' very loosely here

Their pricing can be found here http://www.flycat.com/e/tanganyika_info.html (there's a PDF at the bottom of the page which has more details).
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Jul 12th, 2005, 11:24 AM
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Oh. I see. Well, not exorbitant, but I'm definitely going to have to file under "for the future."

Thanks, Patty.
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Jul 12th, 2005, 11:44 AM
  #17
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Hi Patty,

I've been with Flycatchers in Mahale, Katavi and on Rubondo Island in 2001.

Rubondo Island Camp is nice for warm-up, great for birders, and with luck you can see sitatunga; it's not luxury but comfortable. Walking trails are available, and day tours on the island. Unfortunately you can't visit the local chimpanzee group.

In Katavi they're using large comfortable Meru tents, with chemical loo and bucket shower; guests can decide whether they want to do two normal game drives, or a whole day trip; meals are more simple; daily laundry service is available.

In Mahale they're using small dome tents (at least in 2001) with chemical loo and bucket shower behind the tent; meals are very good; laundry service; basic dive equipment is available. They seem to work much closer with TANAPA than Greystoke and are using only local experienced guides (at Greystoke activities are more centered around the "white" guide); sometimes they invite the park warden for dinner which allows interesting discussions; they also offer cultural visits to a nearby local village (not available at Greystoke at that time).

It was an extraordinary trip for a superb price. One drawback: Flycatchers are Swiss-based, so expect a lot of German-speaking guests - communications may be difficult but it gives you an advantage with the English-speaking guides.

Mitch
 
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Jul 12th, 2005, 12:08 PM
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Mitch,
Thanks very much for your feedback. BTW your website is superb! How do you manage to keep up with all of these places?
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Jul 12th, 2005, 12:19 PM
  #19
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Thanks for the nice comment, Patty.
It takes a lot of spare time for getting all this information, and I have no support from the big operators (maybe because I don't sell anything) - so corrections and feedback from the community are always highly appreciated.

Mitch
 
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Jul 12th, 2005, 01:09 PM
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Atravelynn: I am going solo to Selous (Sand Rivers), Ruaha (Mwagusi), Katavi (Chada Camp), Mahale (Zoes Camp) and then back to the coast for some diving. I have had no trouble coordinating this trip with internal flights. I am working with ATR (African Travel Resource) and they are great. Check out their website and look at the in-depth information on all the accomodations, parks etc... They are working with me on every detail and I am really looking forward to it.
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