Staying in lodges in Tanzania?

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Jun 30th, 2005, 01:53 PM
  #21
 
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beachmama,

Here's the link for ATR:

http://www.africatravelresource.com/

FYI: I would use them for sure if they could give me what I want when I want it . That's the trick, right?
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Jun 30th, 2005, 01:56 PM
  #22
 
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Also, I think Kenya would be lovely, and I intend to spend time there on a future trip. And Uganda/Rwanda and southern Tanzania and and and...

But I think you can do TZ in your price range too.
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Jun 30th, 2005, 02:12 PM
  #23
sandi
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beachmama (Marilyn)

I don't believe I've seen you post who your travel agent is... but there's a problem there. Unless, this is a private individual who is using a tour operator to book your land arrangements, I think we'd like to know who is giving out such erroneous information at such extreme prices.

As to using only Tanzania or Kenya (in-country) outfitters - it works for some and not for others. There are too many variables that one has to consider, but often you get better pricing if going direct to "the horse."

I love Kenya and I like Tanzania. If I had choices, Kenya would be my first. That said, February is Tanzania time, especially the Southeastern/Central Serengeti for the wildebeest "calving" season. But if thinking for 2006, I say "get moving" as there are few accommodations in this area and they book up/or are booked already.

As to the recommendations for Kenya, Samburu is lovely and should be on everyone's list when visiting for safari. Larsen's which was one of the oldest and best known camps here, has in the past few years lost it's luster. However, recently it has been totally refurbished and prices have increased accordingly. One can just as easily stay at Samburu Intrepids (the least expensive) or Elephant Watch or Bedouin Camps here. In the Mara, Kicheche is a good choice and a good price... but the total price that your TA is asking is way too much.

Talking price - everyone should be prepared for higher prices in 2006. A friend just got prices, for mid-range properties in both countries - higher then when she checked for 2005. For those who put off safari last year, be prepared for between 15-20% and don't forget the increased park fees in Tanzania - Serengeti, Ngorongoro and Kili. Also the individual fee for Ngorongoro Crater and 6-hr limited tours.


 
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Jun 30th, 2005, 02:54 PM
  #24
 
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beachmama,
By 'externally based operators', I believe Sarvowinner meant agents located outside of Kenya/Tanzania. These agents contract your safari to an in country ground operator. ATR is a UK based agent (I believe) and they have several Tanzania operators that they work with.

While it's true that many here (myself included) prefer to book directly with an in country operator (the one who will actually be providing the 'on the ground' services), there are others who prefer to deal with out of country agents. It depends on who you feel most comfortable with and who is most responsive to your needs. Just understand that booking with a out of country agent involves a markup - it may be very little or it may be very big - they have to make money outside of what the tour operator makes.

You say that you're still getting responses for camping safaris. Who else is telling you that you must camp (aside from Lets Go Travel)? Have you gotten any replies back from some of the other recommended operators here? It may take a day or two for them to respond.

I was in Kenya in Jan/Feb and it's an excellent time of year. The only thing you're missing is the wildebeest migration. How important is that to you? Personally that hasn't been a primary consideration for me, although sometimes I think I must be the only one who thinks this way

My point is, migration season aside, you can have a wonderful time in Kenya alone. It's going to be difficult to find accomodations in the southern Serengeti for Feb 06 at this point anyway. If you decide on Kenya, contact Serah at [email protected] just to see how prices compare. Let her know that you want to stay at Larsens and Kicheche.
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Jun 30th, 2005, 03:16 PM
  #25
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Dear Sandi and Patty--
The agent who booked our trip to Botswana and who has given me these prices is Safari Consultants UK. I don't believe he would give us erroneous info. Someone we met on our safari in Botswana who lives in the UK has now gone on many, many more safaris. She switched from her previous agent to ours since his prices have been much more reasonable.
If anything, I think he tends to put people in higher-end accomodations, which is great if they are not that expensive.
I'm still a bit skeptical of the prices quoted by sarvowinner. I actually sent an e-mail to our agent with her itinerary to get his reactions. I'm sure that if he can match those prices to retain our business he'll do it. I want to know how it is she got those prices since I've looked at many websites for Tanzania and can't see anything even close--particularly with rising costs.
To be honest, it is not my greatest wish on earth to see migrating wildebeests! We saw large groups of them in Botswana, and I didn't find them particularly interesting.
Given a choice between a safari in Kenya that is more personal and with better accomodations vs one in Tanzania that is more expensive and less personal, I'll take Kenya!
I really appreciate the feedback from both of you since you've traveled extensively in these areas. Also, your enthusiasm is definitely catching! Even though we're not traveling for almost 8 more months, it feels like forever. But, as you've pointed out, it's possible that the places in Tz are already booked, in which case the decision is made for me!
Beachmama
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Jun 30th, 2005, 04:16 PM
  #26
 
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Hi beach mama

My apologies because one thing I didn't think when I posted before is there are three of us including my 14 yr old daughter. There is of course a benefit in triple sharing accommodation but it is a private safari and there won't be much of a benefit on the food. She is paying full fare on the flights. I'm not sure if the park fees are less for a minor.

I know it is very difficult to reconcile all the info & compare apples with apples. One thing I found is that agents have definite areas of expertise or relationships when it comes to on the ground operators and accommodation.

What I suggest is to put together a basic itinerary that appeals to you and send off requests to Roys, Good Earth and ATR and see what they come back with. After that, they will work with you to come up with the customised itinerary that best suits you.

Hope this helps

Sarvo
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Jun 30th, 2005, 05:59 PM
  #27
 
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beachmama,
Oops, my apologies: I gave you a website you obviously already have. Spacing out. Just wanted to let you know that I was just talking to the friend I'm going to TZ with and we were getting so confused/overwhelmed with all the choices--and we've already been there!

Our thoughts: maybe we should go to southern TZ, maybe we should go to Kenya, should we try to go to Lake Victoria???

I'm sure you'll end up having a great trip, wherever you go. Hang in there.
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Jul 1st, 2005, 07:49 AM
  #28
 
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Hi again Beachmama. If it were me, travelling in February, I would definitely choose Tanzania over Kenya because of where the migration will be. If Ndutu is full then consider Oldupai & Kusini.
I agree that Sarvowinner's price is excellent but certainly not "too good to be true." Check out some of the sample itineraries & prices on various operators' websites, e.g.:
http://www.goodearthtours.com/tanzania_itineraries.html
and
http://www.2afrika.com/safaris/portf...anzania_05.asp

These are just to give you an idea of what is out there, pricewise. Both of these operators will customize private itineraries for you which will cost little more than their small-group pre-set packages.

Another Tanzanian operator with good prices, which was recommended, is Tanzania Serengeti Adventures, http://www.habari.co.tz/tsa/

And, as previously mentioned, www.roysafaris.com.
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