Tanzania in February???

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Jul 13th, 2005, 04:30 AM
  #21
 
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Hi Mitch

Fantastic! Google could not find it, but you did!

Appreciate it!

I think EMC is a great new option @ only $262 per person sharing!
Eben
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Jul 13th, 2005, 07:39 AM
  #22
bat
 
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climbhighsleeplow:

Wouldn't the $262 rate be without a driver/guide? The rate sheet shows $330 pp for game package which would mean--I believe--using their shared camp vehicles. So if you were choosing the lower "full board" rate of $262 wouldn't you need a driver/guide?

I am not saying that they are not good value compared to other luxury semi-permanent camps, I am just not sure that the $262 pp covers everything.
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Jul 13th, 2005, 08:46 AM
  #23
 
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bat,
The $262pp rate is for drive in guests who arrive with their own driver/guide and vehicle, so you would need to figure that into the cost equation. The $330pp rate is for fly in guests using shared camp vehicles for game drives.

In any case, it's a nice new option to know about. Thanks, Eben. However, I don't think that was what Rocco had in mind. Maybe I'm mistaken, but to me 'private mobile camping' means a camp that's set up exclusively for your party at a private campsite, not a shared camp (whether mobile, semi-permanent, etc). Like Leely, I haven't been able to get a good idea of how much this costs but my impression is that it's more than $300pppn. I was also under the impression that these private campsites need to be reserved far in advance.
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Jul 13th, 2005, 09:21 AM
  #24
 
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To set up a private camp with the kind of tents and wooden beds used by outfitters such as EMC will be very expensive. For starters, it requires a big truck and a team of staff!

I can only guess, but costs have to be more than $1000 pppn for a group of 2. And I am sure the outfitter will require a minimum stay. Unless you have a big family or circle of friends and are planning to stay at least 4 days, it is overkill IMO!

But if you can afford it, it is available from outfitters such as Sokwe and Nomad.

The seasonal camps EMC, Sanctuary, Wildlife Explorer, etc will also work with such requests I am sure.

I am also currently researching the happy medium - a private setup using special camp sites with smaller walk-in tents. Cots, private showers, toilets, dining room tent with decent drinks! This must all fit in a jeep (maybe with a trailer) and must require no more than 2 staff to set up. This will make for a great safari.

Now that Mitch has joined the discussion I am sure we will come up with a few good options!
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Jul 13th, 2005, 09:37 AM
  #25
 
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climbhigh,
What you describe as a "happy medium" is what I'm searching for--if not for my next trip, then the next.

I also like the idea of EMC, but I'm not sure which operators/outfitters will book at such places. Seems like the only options I get are the lodges or the permanent tented camps or budget public camping. It would be great (for all of us) is if we could come up with operators who are willing/amenable to booking clients in such camps.

Of course, I have to do my part and ask, ask, ask. And I will.

thanks to climbhigh and bwanamitch for mentioning these other accommodation options.
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Jul 13th, 2005, 10:55 AM
  #26
 
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How about something like this - http://www.leopard-tours.com/standard_camping.htm - maybe we should call it 'happy medium camping'

I think I'll email them to get an idea of costs.
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Jul 13th, 2005, 11:37 AM
  #27
bwanamitch
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climbhighsleeplow,

I'm afraid I can't help much in this discussion. I've never done a private mobile safari - and I certainly will never do so. One thing I like most with public camps is to meet travellers from all over the world who share the same fascination with Africa and its wildlife. I really would miss this in a private camp - and since I'm always travelling solo I assume it would be little boring, too.

Mitch
 
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Jul 13th, 2005, 12:00 PM
  #28
bat
 
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Eben, Patty and others: When we find a rate for drive-in-with-your-own-guide, such as the $262 for EMC, do you have a sense of what to budget for a driver guide?

Rocco, re pricing private mobile camping, Africa Dream Safari offers both "luxury" and "medium." You can read the description of each on their website. The luxury ran about $700pp I think (I cannot find my notes)--including park fees.

Re other pricing, Nomad, through ATR is costing $485pp, double ($775 single) in a seasonal, shared 4 tent camp--includes private Nomad guide.

Re Leely's comment about how to find operators who can book certain camps-- because I was interested in Nomad and they do not book directly, I emailed them and asked for the names of operators who can book them.
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Jul 13th, 2005, 01:04 PM
  #29
 
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bat,
I'm unsure about Tanzania as I've only priced driving safaris in Kenya, but I think it's around $150 per day, give or take, for the driver/guide and vehicle. I'm sure it varies by operator and type of vehicle you choose too. Someone please correct me if I'm way off.
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Jul 13th, 2005, 01:15 PM
  #30
 
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bat,
Did you inquire as to how much the 'medium' camping option runs with ADS?
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Jul 13th, 2005, 01:23 PM
  #31
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Patty, no I did not (from the description and pictures they were below my comfort level--for my first trip I wanted my own toilet--just could not imagine leaving my tent in the middle of the night!) [Thanks for the thoughts on driver/guide pricing.]
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Jul 13th, 2005, 01:33 PM
  #32
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Perhaps I should clarify so as not to mislead. Here is what I understand--with their medium camping you would have your "own" toilet but I understand it is in a separate tent from your dome sleeping tent --as opposed to the so-called "en-suite" tent bathrooms that are attached to the back of the large walk-in sleeping tents that are part of the luxury camping.
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Jul 13th, 2005, 05:32 PM
  #33
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I am probably very light on my $300 pppns estimate for a private mobile camping safari. This price may be right if I had the right contacts, but as a first time visitor to East Africa, I am starting from scratch.

I would probably be willing to go a bit higher for a highly regarded guide and support staff.

I am still playing around with the idea of India, but Argentina is a real longshot...just too tame for my taste. East Africa is the leading candidate, but if I cannot come up with anything that takes my breath away, then I will not hesitate to do an 8 night Wild Dog Season safari to South Luangwa in April, followed by possibly a 4 night visit to Londolozi to make sure I see my big cats.

Botswana is still a consideration but interferes with my August or September plan to visit Southern Africa. I could always save Botswana until August/September...doesn't necessarily have to be Zambia, but if I do go to Zambia, I would love to do Kafunta River Lodge's South Luangwa/North Luangwa package.

It is 3 nights at Luangwa River Lodge to start, followed by 1 night at Wilderness Camp in Luambe National Park, followed by 3 nights at Buffalo Camp, and then instead of returning to Kafunta, I would finish with 3 nights of luxury at Luangwa River Lodge.

It would be a dream to then fly down to Victoria Falls and spend 1 night at the Victoria Falls Hotel, and from there end with 3 nights at Makalolo Plains followed by 3 nights at Chikwenya.

Kafunta River Lodge, So. Luangwa NP (3)
Wilderness Camp, Luambe NP (1)
Buffalo Camp, NLNP (3)
Luangwa River Lodge, SLNP (3)
Victoria Falls Hotel (1)
Makalolo Plains, Hwange (3)
Chikwenya, Mana Pools (3)

That 17 night itinerary would cost about the same OR LESS as 3 nights at Mombo and 3 nights at Kings Pool!

But, for now still struggling with what to do with February/March/April. The most frustrating part is waiting for feedback from the tour operators, and it is the same all around no matter if it is for Argentina, India or East Africa.
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Jul 14th, 2005, 09:35 AM
  #34
 
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bat,
I've caught glimpses of your itinerary and it looks very interesting. Would you mind sharing your itinerary if it's finalized?
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Jul 14th, 2005, 10:53 AM
  #35
 
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We're also going to Northern Tanzania in late Feb. Can anyone tell me if it cools down enuf at night for comfortable sleeping?
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Jul 14th, 2005, 11:31 AM
  #36
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Patty: sure. Some background: I became interested in the Feb calving season--I usually cannot travel then but can next year so I wanted a trip that would be "special" to that time of year. I came on this idea rather late (april) to get accommodations in Feb (Ndutu lodge was booked, for example. One tour operator told me that all of the crater rim hotels were booked.) The second factor that shaped the itinerary is that after some research I became very interested in staying at Nomad camps to the point of working the trip around their availability. I booked through ATR and went with them in part because of the sales rep but more importantly because he was willing to check availability dates as we were working through an itinerary and checking on ff miles. As previously noted in other postings ATR uses Mt Kilimanjaro Safari company which owns Olduvai and Ronjo--both of those camps appealed to me so the fact that ATR won't book particular places did not become a deciding factor. At the end, getting a reservation became more important to me than shopping for the lowest price. Thanks to your earlier advice to me, we were able to use ff miles which affected the start and finish dates a bit.

So here is the itinerary:
Feb. 2, 3, 4 Ngare Sero lodge (I picked this and booked independently from ATR--ATR would have put me in Moivaro which seems perfectly nice but I liked the yoga retreat aspect of Ngare Sero. The two days will be spent doing some or all of: taking a yoga class, getting massages, a little horseback riding on the grounds, a cultural visit or two (thanks again Eben) and a visit to Arusha national park.
[considered starting the safari on Feb 4th and stopping at Gibbs, but it would have meant 3-one nighters in a row, as you will see.]

Feb. 5th start safari with MKS, safari drive through Manyara, arrive at the Serena crater for the night [preferred the Sopa for the location but it was booked.]
Feb. 6th switch to Crater Lodge for that night [can't afford 2 nights; really cannot afford one night but after debating back and forth decided to do it anyway so that I would not obsess about whether we should have stayed there. As my partner would say, it is like the Mastercard commercials: trip to Africa- $10,000; night at Crater Lodge-$1000.00; not listening to Barb complain that we did not stay there--priceless.
Feb. 7, 8, Olduvai
Feb, 9, 10 Ronjo [can take a balloon ride from here]
Feb. 11 transfer to Nomad, 11, 12 at Masek camp
Feb. 13, 14, 15 at Piaya camp
Feb. 16 fly to Zbar, Emerson & Green
Feb. 17, 18, 19, 20 Matemwe bungalows
Feb. 22 (just after midnight, hence the apparent "missing" day) fly out of Dar.

Rocco, sorry for spending so much time on my itinerary but if you are still planning on a Feb trip, it may give you some ideas (and a sense that you probably need to start talking with an operator sooner than later).

I, too, am interested in the answer to Chiquita's question. I am a climate control gal and I have booked us into 9 straight nights of un-AC tent camps. There are moments when I wonder "what was I thinking"--but I know what I was thinking about--it was the good advice I was reading on this forum about the tent experience.
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Jul 14th, 2005, 11:58 AM
  #37
 
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Thanks for sharing all of this info, bat, as I'm sure it will be very helpful to others as well. Your trip sounds just wonderful. Hope you'll be posting a report after you return with lots and lots of pictures! Really hard to get first hand info on some of these smaller camps.

I loved your reasoning for staying at the Crater Lodge

I don't think you'll have a problem sleeping at night. I haven't been to the Serengeti but was in Tsavo in Feb which is a very low elevation park and known for being quite hot. I was initially worried too but it turned out to be fine. As a matter of fact I think sometimes you get better ventilation in a tent than in a lodge room. I don't think any of the lodges have A/C either, do they?
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Jul 14th, 2005, 12:01 PM
  #38
 
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We were in these regions in Tanz at a very similar time in Feb of this year and had no problems with the heat at night. But I am usually ok as long as I can get a breeze and that was the case most of the time.

J
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Jul 14th, 2005, 12:36 PM
  #39
bat
 
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Patty and Jules, thanks for the climate advice. Patty I promise a report, particularly on the places that have not received much feedback here--not as sure about the pictures, that is my partner's department.
Rocco, check your night drives thread where I posted some additional advice--perhaps I should have put it here but that thread had veered away from the original question.
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Jul 14th, 2005, 03:46 PM
  #40
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bat,

Thanks for the feedback. I will check it out.
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