Tanzania: ideas for post safari?

Aug 8th, 2011, 02:00 PM
  #1  
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Tanzania: ideas for post safari?

There seems to be a lot of Tanzania knowledge here, so I'm hoping you'll have some ideas for me.
I'm going on an organized (group) safari to Tanzania in Dec. (Going with OAT, http://www.oattravel.com/Trips/2011/...fari-2011.aspx) My first time, both in Tanzania and on safari.

The safari ends Dec 23 in Arusha. The organizer will let me depart later than scheduled (for an extra fee) but I must depart from Kilimanjaro airport.
Time-wise I could stay another week. But is there more to see (I'm sure there must be), and how much will it cost?

I'm 56 and will be traveling alone if I stay on. I'm not a beach person and don't swim, and I'm not up to trekking.
Will I face problems as a single female? How difficult/easy is it to arrange travel within Tanzania?

I'm thinking of Zanzibar. Worth it? Spice tour, Stonetown, monkeys, crafts; sure sounds interesting.
Or are there other places you would suggest? Stay in the north and do something there?

Hoping you can help me decide whether staying on makes sense and if so, help with some focus. Thanks for any advice!
Cindy_S is offline  
Aug 8th, 2011, 02:13 PM
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I loved Zanzibar. My daughter and I were there a few years ago (3) and had a great time. As a single female you will need to use common sense but there is so much to do and see that it is well worth it. My daughter (at the time 25yrs old) also revisited on her own about 6 months after we were there together. She also visited the island while in college by herself after living in Dar es Salaam. She was probably just 22yrs old at the time. Needless to say she fell in love with the island and met some great people during her stay. Her last visit was just prior to climbing Kilimanjaro.
The spice tour was terrific and staying in Stonetown (if you really don't like the beach) is great. Walking to all the restaurants and shops. We also did a bit of snorkeling (this from a non swimmer) and the ocean and undersea sights were breathtaking. Only rivaled by the PhiPhi's off Thailand.
Enjoy - you will surely meet up with fellow travelers along the way. I would go back in a heartbeat and I'm 62yrs old.
jk1348 is offline  
Aug 8th, 2011, 02:17 PM
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Itinerary shows stops at Tarangire, Karatu, Serengeti, Ngorongoro and Karatu.

What kind of budget will you have for the extra week? Will help determine where else in/near the Arusha area before going farther afield.

You realize this is smack in the middle of the Christmas holiday season, so lots maybe booked and at most expensive prices.

It will be "summer" in East Africa so daytime temps will be hot (though dry on the mainland). If on Zanzibar, it will also be humid. Stonetown even oppressive. Lodging here can also be an issue and having a/c costing even more.

Airfare between Arusha or Kilimanjaro to/from Zanzibar is $200 each way.

Curious, what is OAT charging to depart later? For a transfer from Arusha to JRO airport?
sandi is offline  
Aug 8th, 2011, 02:31 PM
  #4  
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jk1348, you make me think Zanzibar is a must! But then I read sandi and remember that I really am not fond of heat and esp. not of humidity. So I remain undecided...

sandi, I could maybe manage $1000 for the extra time (and it doesn't have to be a full week). I'd prefer less, of course, but who knows if I'll ever get to Tanzania again?

OAT charges $75 if I choose to depart later. Have no idea what the transfer cost is; it's included in the safari cost if I stay with the group; otherwise, I'll have to arrange it and pay on my own.

How long is the travel time from JRO to Zanzibar? Is A/C hard to come by on Zanzibar?
How much is Xmas likely to jack up prices? I was hoping that a Muslim area (which I think Zanzibar is) would not be overly affected by Xmas...
Cindy_S is offline  
Aug 8th, 2011, 05:02 PM
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Zanzibar is the logical answer and is usually where I go after a safari in Tanzania (been there 4 times.) A week would probably be too long, though. It's warm there any time of year, but if you have an air conditioned room at night, it works. Fly into Zanzibar (about an hour and 10 mins) and head for the beach on the east side of the island. Shooting Star has A/C and isn't too expensive. Although you said you're not a beach person, it's nice to just "chillax" after bouncing around on safari. Then, head inland for a Spice Farm tour and lunch at Mtoni Marine. Stay in Stone Town overnight, then do a Stone Town tour early in the day when it's not so hot. I stay at Tembo House, which has A/C and is by the water. From there, you could also go to the Jozani Forest. There is also snorkeling across from Stone Town at Prison Island. My favorite guide is Masoud Salim. He and his brother now have their own tour company, Indoma Tours.
http://www.indomatours.com/indomatours/index.html

An alternative would be going to the West Kili area. That's where OAT offers a pre-trip extension. For a day around Arusha, there is Arusha NP with the black and white colobus monkeys. Then, there is Kenya next door, with all kinds of areas you could visit.
ShayTay is offline  
Aug 8th, 2011, 06:07 PM
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Cindy, I'm 58 yrs old, hate the heat & humidity & don't even own a bathing suit. Last June spent 4 days (originally 3 then loved it so much stayed another day!) at a beach resort on the east island then 3 days in Stone Town & absolutely loved it!!!

That may be longer than you'd like but if looking for a place to relax that's exotic & different from your time on safari then Zanzibar can deliver.

A/C is a must but when you're by the beach the breeze off the water helps keep you cool. Plus you'll get used to it after a day or so.

I stayed at Beyt al Chai across from the Serena in Stone Town (see my trip report)and they're pretty reasonable (ask for a discount), Beyt al Chai has A/C but not an outdoor sitting area.

Didn't stay at the Tembo Hotel but would definitely consider it next time. Spent a few afternoons sitting at tables on their beach enjoying an ice cream and people watching.

Had a guide take me to Nungwi on the north island & walked around the village, watched the dhow builders & fishermen which was quite enjoyable.
KathBC is offline  
Aug 9th, 2011, 06:58 AM
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$75 is more than reasonable. It's generally the cost of a transfer.

If you don't like the heat/humidity, then just stay on the mainland. Between air to/from ZNZ along with hotel, meals and sightseeing.... bye, bye $1K.

On mainland... A day at Arusha NP, then maybe with guide/vehicle head out to Mkomazi with stay at Babu's Camp... not as much game as elsewhere, but interesting. Or as mentioned above, head out to West Kili with stay at Sinya Camp. Any of these can easily eat up the $1K.
sandi is offline  
Aug 10th, 2011, 01:15 PM
  #8  
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Thanks for all the comments and ideas!

ShayTay: I'm taking the pre-trip extension to the "foothills of Kilimanjaro"--is that what you mean by the West Kili area?
But those monkeys in Arusha NP sound interesting, assuming I won't have seen them already...

sandi: What can be seen at Babu's Camp? Is this likely to be different than what I'll have seen on the safari?

KathBC: You do make me feel that Zanzibar is the correct choice! Did you make your arrangements yourself? In advance, or were you able to arrange lodging, tours, transport once you were there?
I'm looking at ShayTay's suggestion of Indomo Tours, but am wondering how much I can do myself. Suspect having a guide arrange a lodging would make it more expensive--but maybe not?
KathBC, if you don't mind my asking, how much did your 7 days in Zanzibar run you? What would you consider a reasonable budget?

Any recommendations for travel roundtrip Arusha (JRO)-Zanzibar? Air is best? Any particular carrier?
Cindy_S is offline  
Aug 10th, 2011, 02:48 PM
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Yes, Cindy_S, that's it. The accommodations in Zanzibar shouldn't be more expensive if an agent books it. They usually get a rate less than the "rack rate", which you would pay. Some agents will then charge you the rack rate, but others will discount it slightly.

There are several companies that fly to Zanzibar, some out of the local Arusha airport (ARK) and others, out of Kilimanjaro Airport (JRO.) You're driving into Arusha that last day from Karatu and are scheduled to be there by lunch. In that case, a flight out of ARK is best because you go by the airport to get to Olasiti Lodge. To get to JRO, you'd have to drive across Arusha and 40kms further down the road (or fly from ARK to JRO.)Since you have to fly out of JRO, you then have to fly back to JRO from Zanzibar (ZNZ). You could probably get a day room at the KIA Lodge next to JRO until your evening flight. It's too bad that OAT doesn't let you fly out of Dar es Salaam (DAR.) It's only a 20-minute hop from ZNZ and the plane you get on in JRO continues on to DAR... lots of backtracking for you.

Because you need all these arrangements, it's best to have a tour operator set up all your flights, transfers, accommodations and tours. The operator in Zanzibar may not be able to do the transfers in Arusha, but if you decide to do this, I can give you the e-mail address to the gentleman that works for the outfitter that OAT uses. I'm sure he could arrange something for you.
ShayTay is offline  
Aug 10th, 2011, 07:27 PM
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Shaytay is right, have an operator arrange everything for you. They may have other hotel suggestions, research them all plus the ones here and decide from there what works best for you.

I was in ZNZ in June which was shoulder season so rates all around were less than they'll be in Dec.

Maybe shorten number of days to stay within budget. It seemed cheaper accommodations were more available in Stone Town than on the beach, especially if you add in the a/c.

Beyt al Chai was around $110 B&B. See if you can find somewhere that if you stay 4 nights the 5th one is free.
KathBC is offline  
Aug 11th, 2011, 03:52 AM
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While I do hear the snorkeling is good for those who commented the best area, Chumbe Island has now been closed to snorkelers and divers except those staying at the ec0-lodge on the islabnd. This is quite a same since it nixed myR&R trip after the safari because was the best snorkeling was in Chumbe Marine Reserve Park. The did this obviously to protect the coral from human damage.
StanKase is offline  
Aug 17th, 2011, 02:30 PM
  #12  
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Hi again,

Thanks to all for the information!

I have emailed IndomoTours, and they're suggesting that I stay at Tembo and skip beach hotels. As I'm now thinking of staying only 4 nights (with 5 being the maximum, if costs work out), that sounds ok. What do you think? Indomo's price for Tembo is $100/night, which is the same as is listed on Tembo's site.

To get to ZNZ, 540 seems to have the most convenient schedule. Has anyone used this airline? Are they reliable?

I'm concerned that the luggage limits may be small. Is there anyplace at JRO where I could store my unneeded luggage? Storage lockers or the like?

I'm thinking of staying overnight in Arusha the last day of the safari (Dec 22) rather than worrying about the schedule and whether I can make a flight to ZNZ, etc.
For the return, from ZNZ to JRO, do you think I'm ok with flying from ZNZ to JRO and from JRO to home on the same day? It seems that KLM doesn't leave until 9 or 10 pm, which should be plenty of time to get back from ZNZ. Or would it be wiser to depart for home the day after I return to JRO?

Finally (for now, anyway) a clothing question: Are jeans and T-shirts ok for ZNZ? (Yes, I know jeans are hot, but they're comfortable and they do a great job of absorbing sweat!)

Cindy (who is starting to think that ZNZ is going to happen)
Cindy_S is offline  
Aug 17th, 2011, 05:37 PM
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Just to throw out another suggestion - how are you getting home? Are you going through Europe? If so, how about spending that week in Europe instead? It breaks up the long flight home rather nicely. The Christmas markets in a number of towns should be great that time of year, and accommodations shouldn't be too expensive.
lifelist is offline  
Aug 17th, 2011, 08:48 PM
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You can use Tembo Hotel as your base from which to do day trips like the Spice Tour or up to the north of the island and $100 sounds pretty good. No elevators in ZNZ so be prepared to climb some stairs which are usually steep or request a lower floor.

I'd be quite happy sitting at one of their tables for an afternoon watching the world go by and the sunset. There's also Serena for people watching & sunsets, Africa House is good too. Both are just a short walk from Tembo Hotel.

I used Fly 540 for ZNZ to Nairobi and had no problems.

You'll want to rip those jeans off in ZNZ no matter how much sweat they absorb! Try for a cooler fabric. Skirts even if you wear them. My tops were that light Indian cotton,loose & covered my shoulders. Some wore tank tops and a thin scarf over their shoulders. Capris were the thinnest cotton I could find.

No matter what you're going to love it!
KathBC is offline  
Aug 18th, 2011, 10:38 AM
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Yes, Tembo House is a good place for a base of operations in Stone Town and that price is reasonable. They don't serve alcohol there, but if you want a "sundowner", walk to the Serena a couple of blocks away and watch the sunset from their terrace. I agree with KathBC, go with Capris or a knee-length pair of Bermuda shorts, with short-sleeved tops. It's a Muslim area, so it's polite to keep your knees and shoulders covered. It's also hot unless you get a sea breeze, so be comfortable. You can also wear these on the safari. No need to pack a lot of stuff; laundry is done everywhere on the safari, as well as Tembo House. You should be able to make any flight weight limits with no problems if you do that. I don't think there is any luggage storage at JRO.

Walking in Stone Town: There will be guys on the streets of Stone Town trying to sell you things, but if you politely say "No thank you," they won't bother you. If you feel the need for an escort while walking around your first night or two, Indoma could arrange that for you. The evening scene at Forodhani Gardens is always fun! There are also a lot of shops within a block or two of Tembo House. If you set up a tour of Stone Town your first morning, it will orient you to everything.

Check out Fly540's schedule for the specific days you'll be traveling. It appears that the flight times vary from day to day. Indoma should be able to find a flight that works for you. They (or you) will have to set up the airport transfer to JRO, as it won't be part of your OAT trip. Coming back, you'll most likely get there hours before the KLM flight, so you might consider going over to the KIA Lodge and hang out there, or even book a dayroom there. There's really nothing to do at JRO. Again, work with Indoma on everything.

You shouldn't have to spend any extra days in Arusha before or after Zanzibar, unless you just wanted to. For instance, you could stay in Arusha at Olasiti Lodge overnight after arriving there from the safari. Have Kibo or Indoma set up a city tour in that afternoon. The next morning, tour Arusha NP, then leave from there for JRO and your Zanzibar flight.
ShayTay is offline  
Aug 18th, 2011, 01:33 PM
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Have you asked Kibo who handles the ground safari for OAT for pricing. If they can compete with Indoma, I'd keep everything under one umbrella, rather than another company. That's just me.

As to jeans... love them, but the last place I'd ever wear these even if washed down to the last thread (paper thin ), would be on ZNZ. It's ungodly hot/humid, more so in December which is summer. As Kathee, go with loose fitting tops/slacks/skirts and definitely comfy shoes as the ground is dirty and uneven.

Depending on what time you arrive back in Arusha from OAT/safari, you can overnight here, or fly to ZNZ. Check to see which hotel (in Arusha or ZNZ) is less expensive. If you overnight in Arusha, fly out next morning to ZNZ.

On return from ZNZ, since KLM flight departs 9pm, with check-in 2/hrs prior, schedule your flight from ZNZ/JRO accordingly; if early... as above, pop over to KIA lodge for a drink, though there is a restaurant on the upper level at JRO (service a bit slow though).

I've never used Fly540, but they seem reliable with competitive pricing.
sandi is offline  
Aug 18th, 2011, 02:27 PM
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I've used Kibo for a lot of Tanzania safaris, but they have never done my Zanzibar extensions. Maybe that's changed, but I doubt it. Still, they really helped us out one year. While we were on safari, our ZNZ flight was changed from ARK (Arusha) to JRO (Kilimanjaro). Our flight from the Serengeti was arriving at ARK too late for us to make a road transfer to JRO. Kibo paid for 5 of us to fly from ARK to JRO to make our flight (and we barely did!) They had been monitoring the flights for us, saw the problem, and fixed it for us at no charge, even though they hadn't planned or booked the Zanzibar extension or flight.

I suggested Olasiti as an overnight stop because I think that's where they will be having lunch when they get back to Arusha. Kibo could probably handle the Arusha arrangements for Cindy, if she decided to stay over. She might also consider riding out with the rest of the OAT group to JRO, but have them drop her off at the KIA Lodge for an overnight stay. Then, she could catch a flight out to ZNZ the next morning. That shouldn't cost any extra.
ShayTay is offline  
Aug 18th, 2011, 02:41 PM
  #18  
BKP
 
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StanKase -- How did you hear about Chumbe closing the island to day trippers? Their website hasn't noted any change. We've been planning on spending a day there and would be heartbroken if we couldn't!
BKP is offline  
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