Tanzania in February???

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Jul 10th, 2005, 07:45 PM
  #1
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Tanzania in February???

Please tell me if this itinerary looks right for February. I don't see how I could go wrong with copying the itinerary that a photosafari workshop is condcuting:

http://www.nscspro.com/Itinerary1.htm

Arusha (1)
Ngorongoro Crater (3)
Serengeti (6) (Southeastern Serengeti)
Karatu (1) (Arusha area)

I would probably add 3 nights in Zanzibar on at the end. 3 nights at Ngorongoro Crater looks excessive but there are probably not too many better places for gameviewing and photography, I imagine. I don't think February allows a trip to Tarangire or Lake Manyara.

I wouldn't actually go on this tour, but would rather go with a ground operator like Roy's Safaris or Tanzania Serengeti Adventures or even consider a reputable American company if I could pay with my American Express.

I really want to have a part of Africa that I can visit during the start of the year while reserving Southern Africa for September.

Any and all feedback on Tanzania in February will be most appreciated.
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Jul 10th, 2005, 08:17 PM
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I'm no expert, but your instincts are right: you don't need 3 nights at Ngorongoro. It's overkill.

Check out Liz F's trip report...I think there are others too, from this past Feb./March. It's a great time for wildebeest calving, as I'm sure you're aware. climhighsleeplow has said the West Kili area is interesting, too, but he's not sure what the game is like that time of year.
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Jul 10th, 2005, 08:47 PM
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Actually, now that I think about it, if I were trying to add something on to a safari in E. Africa in Feb., it'd be a no-brainer. Gorillas in Rwanda or Uganda!

Whoops, but I guess that's just my dream. : )

Good luck with whatever you decide.
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Jul 11th, 2005, 07:34 AM
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Roccco -

You're right 3-nts Ngorongoro is overkill considering each day/6-hrs period will cost you $100 just to go into the Crater and the Conservation fees here and in the Serengeti are almost double daily as of 1/1/06.

As to the Southeastern Serengeti for the "calving" season - reminder: these are animals and some years they've never made it down to the SE, staying in the Central/Seronera. Also from previous posts, some days the herds are in the SE and then move to the woodlands up to the Central. So mobile camping here would be best.

While Tarangire isn't at its peak in February - it is a park that should be visited, if for only the elephants and baobab trees.

The particular link you show, is a group trip (photoworkshop, or not) and expensive - is this something you really want? Me thinks not. You can do better then that.
 
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Jul 11th, 2005, 04:35 PM
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hi there, i wonder if it is ok to jump in here. i am a bit interested in this also. but prefer camping. so if anyone has a min. check out this link. i will be grateful on input about the locations of these camp sites. my kenyan driver and i were throwing this around a couple of weeks ago. i will plan on spending a full 7 days in the seren. during feb.
also, if anyone doesn't mind.e-mail me at: [email protected] i don't look in here all the time. thanks, david
ps, i hope the link works.
http://www.africatravelresource.com/...hort/03/02.htm
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Jul 11th, 2005, 06:06 PM
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Sandi,

I have no desire to do the trip I posted...I just thought that the professional photographers would have a pretty good idea on where the wildlife should be and was considering planning a trip in the same general areas at the same time, that's all.


Leely,

I think Gorilla Trekking would be awesome. I will definitely consider it.


3 nights, I agree, is too much for the Ngorongoro Crater. I was just confused for a moment when I saw that was what the photo workshop was doing.

What other camps in Tanzania or Kenya will be worthwhile in February? I may just call it a day with 2 nights in NC and about 5 nights in the Serengeti and then fly to Uganda for a Gorilla Trek. How would the weather be in February in Uganda? Excuse my ignorance...I am so poorly versed on Gorilla Treks that I cannot even name the area and instead can only refer to it in a very general term such as Uganda.

Thanks.
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Jul 11th, 2005, 06:18 PM
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In February, things are always tricky for several reasons:

1. The migration is scattered over a wide area, and moving in all directions.

2. There is limited accommodation in the South & Eastern Serengeti. Ndutu and Kusini, and some seasonal camps. Most sell out many months ahead.

3. The occasional downpour can make the roads tough to negotiate and can really slow you down when looking for the herds.

If you book 4 or more nights near Ndutu or Kusini, you may find yourself a long way from the herds should they decide to stay central or move east.

The Moru and Seronera areas are always interesting thanks to the resident wildlife. There is more accommodation options (lodges, special and public camps) and it is easy to drive in any direction to find the herds.

The special camp sites at Naabi Hill are not known to many but really well-positioned. Not only do they provide fantastic vistas from the elevated locations over the Serengeti plains, but it is easy to drive in all directions from there!

The camp sites in the NCA east of Gol can work but one is really at the edge of the migration routes with some driving to do unless the herds happen to be nearby.

I think from Jan-April it is best to split time between the south and central areas of the Serengeti.

Just a few notes about camping.

Public camp sites have toilet/shower facilities. When you get camping quotes from outfitters it mostly means camping at public sites. Some of these camp sites are guarded by Maasai to prevent unfortunate animal events! Some also have fenced cooking areas to prevent animals from coming after the food!

Special camp sites cost more and must be prebooked. These have no facilities and have no guards. The best ones are booked long ahead by larger camping outfitters. One must be well-equipped to camp here - where do you store food for example? How do you shower?

And then there are private (or special permission) camp sites such as Ronjo and others. These belong to a single outfitter.
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Jul 11th, 2005, 06:25 PM
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I forgot to mention that kopjes around Seronera and the Moru areas are wonderful for photography. Another reason to visit these areas in Feb.

Ndutu is rather flat - a bit like an oasis in the middle of the plains.

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Jul 11th, 2005, 06:38 PM
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Rocco, the Rwanda gorilla trekking area (ie, Parc Nacional Volcans, or PNV) is much easier to reach than the principal Ugandan area (ie, Bwindi). From Kigali, the capital of Rwanda, its less than a 2-hour drive to PNV, and its a very nice drive through cloud-covered mountains. So, depending on what standard of lodging you're interested in, you could stay at the recently opened Intercontinental in Kigali.

Bwindi would require a couple of flights, first into Kampala and the second to Bwindi -- we overlanded from Kampalo to Bwindi but we stopped at Queen Elizabeth NP on the say.

In my view, it would be worth sacrificing a day in Serengeti and the Crater if that would give you sufficient time to visit either PNV or Bwindi -- its much different from any other type of safari. It would even be worth it if you could open spend two nights in Rwanda and spent one day trekking.

I did a trip report back in August 2003 but if you're interested, I'm sure you could find it.

You'll be blown away by the Serengeti -- its unimaginable and much, much, much better game viewing than South Africa, Zambia or Botswana. You'll become an East Africa convert yet.

Michael
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Jul 11th, 2005, 06:41 PM
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climbhighsleeplow/sandi/any other experienced East Africa Fodorite...

What would be a perfect 2 week East Africa safari in your opinion for February? I would probably like a couple nights in Zanzibar, if it will not be cruelly hot in February.

I am leaning towards mobile camping so I do not get bogged down at any camp while the Migration may likely be elsewhere. But, I would like it to still be as comfortable as possible.
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Jul 11th, 2005, 07:09 PM
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The other option is for me to just wait until April for Wild Dog Season in Zambia.

http://www.bushcampcompany.com/zambias-secret-gem.htm

South Luangwa (8) = $4,000 USD (I can pick between lodges such as Luangwa River Lodge, Nkwali, Kapani, Kafunta, etc.) including air transfers from Lusaka.

Stanley Safari Lodge, Victoria Falls (2) = $1,500 USD including air transfers from South Luangwa

Makalolo Plains, Hwange (4) = $3,000 USD including air transfers from Victoria Falls.

Taj Pamodzi, Lusaka (1) $500 including air transfers back up from Victoria Falls I think I would like to try doing this without going all the way down to Joburg.

However, if there is something outstanding that I can do in East Africa for the same price or less, I would still want East Africa. God willing I will be back in Southern Africa in August/September next year.

Please keep the East Africa feedback coming despite my idle threats to visit Zambia instead.
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Jul 11th, 2005, 11:16 PM
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Will someone please comment on this itinerary:

Feb 11 - Depart LAX - AMS (morning flight out of LAX arriving in AMS on next morning for 3.5 hour overlay)

Feb 12 Depart AMS - JRO. Same day (9PM) arrival in Kiliminjaro. 1 night in Arusha. Arusha Coffee Lodge?

Feb 13 7 night private (luxury?) mobile camping safari. Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti will be the two only destinations

Feb 20 Light air transfer to Arusha to Zanzibar? Will this be hard to do in the same day and still arrive in Stone Town at a reasonable hour? 2 nights at Emerson & Green Hotel.

Feb 22 Transfer to Palms Zanzibar for 2 nights. The rooms are fantastic at about 1,500 sq. ft. I am not much of a beach person, but I would like to end with a bit of luxury, but not quite pay Mnemba Island prices. Tariff for Palms Zanzibar is about $375 pppns, all inclusive.

http://www.palms-zanzibar.com/

Feb 24 Return flight to Kiliminjaro? Return flight to Amsterdam (overnight)

Feb 25 Return flight to LAX. Same day arrival.

SUMMARY

Arusha (1)
Ngorongoro Crater & Serengeti Private Mobile Camping Safari (7)
E & G, Stone Town, Zanzibar (2)
Palms Zanzibar (2)

This does seem like a nice way to get away from the harsh Los Angeles winter.

Would I be completely off if I estimated the cost of the mobile camping safari to be about $300 pppns. If that were about right, I would only be looking at $4,200 for these 7 nights, an extra $200 for the Arusha Coffee Lodge, an extra $300 for the Emerson & Green and an extra $1,500 for the Palms Zanzibar. Light air transfers would be about $1,000, right?

Grand Total = $7,200 ($300 pppns)

Am I totally off? Seems like a very fair price for 1 night in Arusha, 7 nights of a private mobile safari, 2 nights in Stone Town and a 2 night luxury sendoff at the Palms Zanzibar.
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Jul 12th, 2005, 03:12 PM
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thx climbhighsleeplow for the camping info. i love camping , the whole bit. i will copy that section and send to my kenyan driver. see what he makes of this info.
thx again.
david
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Jul 12th, 2005, 04:12 PM
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Rocco,

I would be interested to hear if you can find semi-lux (i.e. just comfortable) private mobile camping at that price. My sense is that it's wildly expensive, but I think I may be unaware of some options. I've been searching old threads, and I can't get a real sense of how much it is.

I would love to include camping for our next safari. However, one of my travel companions has stipulated "No camping! I'm too old to sleep on the ground." So I'm interested in something with beds.

If you need to save $$ (and I use the term loosely given your choice on Zanzibar--wow!), Ngorongoro is one place I might just stay at a regular old lodge if I were you. It's COLD up there on the rim and a nice real room wouldn't be such a bad thing.

Again, good luck.
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Jul 12th, 2005, 07:24 PM
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I'd also be very interested if you find an outfitter that can provide 'luxury' private mobile camping for around $300pppn (I didn't think that was possible). Please post details as you get further along in your research. Thanks!
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Jul 12th, 2005, 08:48 PM
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Indeed, it can be affordable!

For example, there is a new luxury mobile camp called "Exclusive Mobile Camp Serengeti" or EMC.

It is seasonal. Jun-Sep: Moru, Oct-Nov: Lobo, Dec-May: Ndutu.

Full board is just over $300 pppn, including meals, water, soft drinks, beer, wine, spirits, champagne.

It is a splendid camp - 8 tents max.
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Jul 13th, 2005, 03:06 AM
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bwanamitch
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Hi climbhighsleeplow,

do you know the operator of this camp?

Mitch
 
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Jul 13th, 2005, 03:26 AM
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Mitch

I understand that EMC is a new company by Willy Chambulo who owns Kibo Safaris and Tanganyika Wilderness Camps.

There is no website yet, I think.

Try [email protected]
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Jul 13th, 2005, 03:28 AM
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bwanamitch
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climbhighsleeplow, thank you.
I will keep an eye on this.

Mitch
 
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Jul 13th, 2005, 04:03 AM
  #20
bwanamitch
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climbhighsleeplow,

the website of EMC is
http://www.emcmobilesafaris.com/

Mitch
 
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