Tanzania in February???

Reply

Jul 15th, 2005, 08:46 AM
  #41
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,821
I received an email reply from Leopard Tours about their standard mobile camping option - http://www.leopard-tours.com/standard_camping.htm

I asked for an approx pppn cost but they sent me an itinerary proposal instead. For anyone interested -

2 nights private campsite in Tarangire
1 night Kirurumu Tented Lodge
3 nights private campsite in Serengeti
2 nights Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge

8 nights total, cost is $2577pp based on 2 pax, $2126pp based on 3 pax, and $1901pp based on 4 pax. Additional nights at Serengeti camp would run $261pp(2), $232pp(3), or $218pp(4).

I'm assuming these rates are for 2005 and will increase in 2006 with the proposed increases in park fees.

I also inquired with African Heart Expeditions. Their set up looks a bit simpler - http://www.africanheart.com/E/luxury...s_tanzania.htm

They quoted me $285pppn based on 2 pax for their mobile camping option. They mentioned that special campsites are available in all parks but must be booked well in advance.

Anyone familiar with either of these outfitters? I'd love to include something like this on a future trip. Maybe not the entire time but a few nights mixed in with stays at smaller lodges/permanent tented camps sounds nice.
Patty is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 15th, 2005, 10:21 AM
  #42
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553
bat,

Will you please help me out with a website or email address on who I may contact for Piaya and Masek camps?

My dream itinerary would be the following:

Arusha Coffee Lodge (1) (don't want to stay in a modern hotel like Impala Hotel if I don't have to)

Swala (2) (I would settle for Tree Tops or even Tarangire River Camp, but Swala would be awesome)

Ngorongoro Crater Lodge (2) (I would settle for Sopa or even mobile camping)

Olduvai (2)

Piaya (2)

Masek (2)

Kusini (2)

Zanzibar Serena or even Palms Zanzibar for twice the price (3)

While others look at Crater Lodge and see a $1,000 per night pricetag, I look and see a beautiful lodge that is less than half the price as Singita or Mombo. I am so used to pricing out Botswana recently that East Africa, even the "expensive" places, look attractive.

I will take whatever I can get to get me in the right areas, but for my wife to really enjoy it, and for me to enjoy it more, I would like some of the upscale properties like Swala, Crater Lodge, Kusini and even the Palms. Yes, I could stay at Emerson & Green for 20% of the price, but the rooms at the Palms are just so beautiful as is its location. The beautiful looking food and spa doesn't hurt either...I have to WANT my wife to allow me to keep booking trips to Africa each year, or even every 6 months.

A few nights of mobile camping will not be too bad, but I definitely need a few nights of the over the top lodging to balance it out.
Roccco is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 15th, 2005, 05:42 PM
  #43
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 81
Sorry, I can't help with answers but I have a question--I was under the impression that Tarangire wasn't the best spot for February, am I wrong? Kinda hope so, it sounds like such a nifty park.
dreamseeker is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 15th, 2005, 07:09 PM
  #44
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,354
Rocco

Arusha Coffee Lodge is a good option as it is on the way to the parks.

Despite some postings here about great sightings in Tarangire during that time of year, I feel differently. Baobab trees are great but you can also see them next to the road near Manyara! Wildlife will be scattered as they don't need to rely on the Tarangire River. It's hit or miss.

Swala is way down in the park and a 2-night stay is probably smart if just for that reason. But when the animals don't need the little waterhole in font of the camp, then there is little to choose between Swala & Tarangire River Camp in my opinion.

Ngorongoro - it gets cold and foggy at night there and this not the best option for camping. The Crater Lodge is a safe option and the ladies love it! I like the rooms of the North/South camps better than the Tree camp, but the views are better from the Tree Camp lounge.

2 nights at Oldupai camp. Can you explain your reasoning here? It is located in a bit of no-mans land surrounded by Maasai villages and kids tending to goats, etc. It is probably not as "wild" as ATR makes it out to be.

Piaya - I am not familiar with this Is your spelling correct? Piyaya is a concession than a specific camp. It is between the plains of the Serengeti and the woodlands of Loliondo. Go is to the East. Several seasonal camps (different outfitters) set up here between January and April. It is a good choice as the views from the kopjes are fantastic. And it's phenominal when the migration stalls in the region while giving birth.

Masek - plenty of choices here. Many outfitters have seasonal camps in the Ndutu area. Masek is just a few miles to the east. Another good choice especially if the migration moves south.

Kusini - one of my favorite camps. You can hardly go wrong with a stay there as it is easy to drive north or east looking for game.

I do suggest you consider a night or two near Seronera. Drive up from Swala, past the Moru Kopjes and stay somewhere central from where you can catch the plan to Zanzibar. With your current itinerary you are betting that the migration will be east and/or south during your visit. If you go central you will cover all bases! And Moru kopjes is a stunning area.
climbhighsleeplow is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 15th, 2005, 07:12 PM
  #45
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,354
So many spelling errors above. Let me retype...

Piyaya is a concession rather than a specific camp. It is between the plains of the Serengeti and the woodlands of Loliondo. Gol Kopjes are to the East.
climbhighsleeplow is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 15th, 2005, 10:47 PM
  #46
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553
Climbhighsleeplow,

Here is a link to Piaya Camp:

http://www.africatravelresource.com/...TPIA/TPIAa.htm

The thing I like most about Piaya and Masek camps are that they only feature four tents each...now the trick will be finding them for available nights consecutively.

I will probably listen to your advice on Olduvai and then look for a camp up towards Seronera to close out the safari portion of my trip. What do you think about this place, Ronjo Flycamp, for this area:

http://www.africatravelresource.com/...TRON/TRONs.htm

The only other option I see would be Serengeti Serena, and that would just kill my high to stay in a place like that after some of my earlier accomodations, both fancy and rustic up until that point. Any other suggestions in the Seronera area will be appreciated.

As far as the Tarangire goes, if I am staying at a beautiful camp like Swala, I will not be too disappointed in a lack of wildlife. Just give me some Baobab Trees (which are my favorite trees) and then hopefully some flora that is different than that I am accustomed to in Southern Africa, and I will be a happy (6 paw) camper! (6 paw is a reference to the best Wilderness Safaris camps in Botswana, which Swala appears as if it would be had it been in the WS family)

How about this:

Arusha Coffee Lodge (1)
Swala (2)
Crater Lodge (2)
Piaya (3)
Kusini (3)
Ronjo Flycamp (2)
Palms Zanzibar (3)

Masek, which is not too far away from Kusini would be dropped in order to add a night each to Piaya and Kusini.

After getting a beautiful package in the mail today from one possible tour operator, I am completely sold on the Palms Zanzibar, and Alexsandra went bonkers for it, too.

How does my latest itinerary look?

Thanks.
Roccco is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 16th, 2005, 10:14 AM
  #47
bat
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 1,790
Rocco:

Sorry for the delay in responding to your request- for info--I was off-line yesterday and did not see it.

climbhighsleeplow--"Piaya Camp" is the name that ATR calls Nomad's seasonal camp in that area. ATR calls Nomad’s camp near Lake Masek–“Masek Camp.” To confuse things more, looking at Nomad's website they seem to call the “Piaya” camp "Loliondo camp."

Rocco: I wrote to Nomad directly and asked for the names of U.S. based operators who book them (because their website indicates that they do not take direct bookings but that they will put you in touch with an operator in your area). Unfortunately, from where I am writing, I cannot access the email answer I received from them to give you the names. I remember that Africa Adventure was on the list and my communications with them confirmed it. As you already know, ATR books Nomad (and interestingly as I discovered between communications with Africa-Adventure and ATR, when I needed a 2nd tent, Nomad must have more than one of these 4 tent camps--Africa Adventure was going to put me into one of them, ATR into a different one. Here is the email address I used for [email protected]
Here is their web address--http://www.nomad-tanzania.com/

It looks to me from the description on Siyabona's website that they also book Nomad--they refer to a "Loliondo Camp" that seems to be a Nomad camp (they do not say explicitly).--see http://tanzanialodgesafari.com/Luxur...fari-camp.html

You may also want to check into whether Sayari camp is available–you may remember that this is the brand new, luxury, seasonal camp about which climbhighsleeplow reported favorably. [Had I known about it I certainly would have been very tempted by it.] The Siyabona site indicates that it will relocate (a la Nomad) to the Piaya area (climbhigh, that is how they spell it, I realize your Piyaya spelling is the correct spelling of the concession–but it is like Olduvai/Oldupai–they use the anglicized(?) spelling. Rocco, you can go to Asilia’s web site and contact them directly and/or contact Siyabona (a detailed description of Sayari is on Siyabona’s website.) Perhaps because it is so new, it may not be booked yet.

Rocco–your last proposed itinerary looks great to me [of course, keep in mind that I have not been yet]. I chose not to go to Tarangire but there is obviously a split of opinion on that. I would like to have worked Kusini into mine.

Climbhighsleeplow, your comments about 2 nights at Olduvai camp have me concerned since that is what I have booked. Here is my rationale: Olduvai is one of the few places you can go on walks plus I do not like 1 nighters ( and I will be coming from 2 one-nighters in a row); 2 nights at a place is really only 1 full day; we can arrive late afternoon for the short sunset walk, the next day go on a longer walk to the gorge, walk in the gorge, check out the museum, then be picked up for the drive back to camp. Next morning leave early for the drive to Ronjo camp. I know that I have to be the best judge of what will satisfy/please me–but what do you think about my reasoning?

I have another follow-up question for you re the rooms at Crater Lodge and Rocco may be interested in the answer. I requested Tree Camp because I had read that the views were better–I understand that the famous travel catalog photo is taken from its dining balcony–I see that you think that the views are better. I had also read/heard that the rooms at the other camps were better–again as you have indicated. Can you give me more detail about how they are better? What will I be giving up by staying at Tree Camp? Thanks.
bat is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 16th, 2005, 11:47 AM
  #48
bat
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 1,790
Rocco:

I did think of one potential problem for your proposed itinerary and it has to do with the sequence. I am not sure of the answer, but you might want to be aware of it. Remember that Ronjo Camp is a limited access camp--only certain oeprators can use it. Also, it is my understanding that Nomad camps come with Nomad guides only. So I am not sure how you visit a Nomad camp in the middle of the itinerary. We are starting with one operator and then transferring to Nomad mid-safari for the balance of the safari. If it is a problem, you might be able to switch the zequence to: Tarangire, Crater, Kusini, Ronjo, Piaya, Palms. You would say goodbye to your first driver/guide and transfer to Nomad at some pre-arranged location between Ronjo and Piaya. After Piaya, your Nomad driver/guide would put you on the plane to Zbar. I think that would work from a geographic sense, but I am not sure. Others, particularly climbhighsleeplow will be better able to answer that.
bat is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 16th, 2005, 02:09 PM
  #49
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,297
You asked about other options in the Seronera area besides Serengeti Serena. Mbuzi Mawe is a small, luxury tented camp in that area. I have just booked 2 nights there myself based on Eben's review & photos. You can google it for more info.
lisa is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 16th, 2005, 05:01 PM
  #50
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553
bat,

Thanks for all of the feedback. I have been communicating with ATR and they really seem to be on top of their game. However, it will come down to a choice of Nomad camps or other camps such as Kusini and Mbuze Mawe.

I am considering dropping Tarangire in order to keep pricing under control, now that I am pretty set on Crater Lodge and Palms Zanzibar. I just think my wife (and I) will really enjoy each of these places.

Therefore, it would shape up to something like this:

Arusha Coffee Lodge or similar (1)

Ngorongoro Crater Lodge (2)

Serengeti (6 - 7 nights) Kusini, Mbuze Mawe, Piaya, Masek and Olduvai are all considerations, but I am leaning towards Kusini and Mbuze Mawe. It would fit the theme of the rest of the itinerary better than would Piaya, Masek or Olduvai.

Palms Zanzibar (3)

I will just save Tarangire for another time. Hopefully I have many East African (and Southern African) safaris left ahead of me...are two safaris a year asking for too much???

I will say that Eastern Africa is turning out to be more expensive than I expected, but I am pleased about the private vehicle and guide aspect of it all. Also, I don't mind that it is about five hours less in each direction and there is no need for flying other than to get to Zanzibar.

Hopefully I will be able to lock something up in the next few days!
Roccco is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 16th, 2005, 05:11 PM
  #51
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553
Lisa,

Thanks for pointing me to Mbuzi Mawe. Mbuzi Mawe will complement the rest of my itinerary perfectly. It looks beautiful and is just the right size camp for my wife to enjoy herself. I fear she would get a nice combination of claustrophobia, agoraphobia and agrizoophobia at Piaya or Masek!

http://www.ojohaven.com/fun/phobias.html

Roccco is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 18th, 2005, 12:29 PM
  #52
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,297
You're welcome, now I just hope it's nice! Eben's photos of it were encouraging.

To the extent you're finding this expensive, I'm sure a lot of your expense is in Ngorongoro Crater Lodge.

Saving Swala for another time of year is probably smart -- I believe Tarangire is not at its best for game viewing in February.

Arusha Coffee Lodge is supposed to be excellent, but a long drive from JRO airport if you're arriving at night (around an hour I think).


lisa is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 18th, 2005, 01:43 PM
  #53
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553
lisa,

Unfortunately, the Ngorongoro Crater Lodge may end up on the cutting room floor. Ngorongoro Serena may just have to suffice.

I really, really, really want to go to Tanzania in February, so if I have to be flexible to get there I will be a bit flexible. As long as I can finish off at the Palms Zanzibar for three nights, then a couple nights at Ngorongoro Serena is not going to kill me.

There is another flight that may get me there in the morning, allowing me to skip my night in Arusha. It would change my itinerary to the following:

Ngorongoro Serena (2)
Olduvai (2)
Kusini (3)
Mbuze Mawe (2)
Emerson & Green (1) I would rather chill out here for one inexpensive night and then arrive BEFORE my check in time at the Palms Zanzibar, so I can milk it for all it's worth!
Palms Zanzibar (3)

It would be refreshing to be to Africa and back home in 16 days flat while also enjoying 4 nights of Zanzibar.

I did just get some pricing and I am more encouraged than I was this morning when I was feeling defeated!
Roccco is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 19th, 2005, 04:22 AM
  #54
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,354
I finally have a few minutes to respond!

I am sure that Piyaya and Piaya are indeed the same, so I will stick with Piyaya.

There are 2 areas in the Loliondo controlled area that are commonly used by seasonal and mobile outfitters - North and South.

When the camps are in the north they are normally refered to as Loliondo camps as the Loliondo town is nearby. Normally June - Nov

When the camps are in the south they are normally refered to as Piyaya camps as the Piyaya town is nearby. Normally Dec - May

Many outfitters use these areas. The outfitter under discussion, Nomad, has their Loliondo Safari Camp (4 double tents) moving between the North (Loliondo) and South (Piyaya) areas of Loliondo. This is a shared, seasonal (not mobile) camp requiring bigger equipment and manpower to move. These can be used by clients with 3rd party guides/escorts at additional costs.

Nomad also has mobile camps (called Nomad Mobile Safaris) that move with the clients (about every two days or so) and these can also be seen at Piyaya and camps sites all over the Serengeti and NCA. This is a more expensive option than the seasonal Safari Camp. These can be used by clients with 3rd party guides/escorts at additional costs.

So any quote must clearly distinguish between the 2 camp options!

About Oldupai Camp - if you are interested in walking with the Maasai to the Oldupai gorge visitors center and some other areas, then it will work. While you may see some, these are not really game walks. It is more cultural.

The Oldupai gorge visit can be disappointing if you expect to follow in the footsteps of the Leakeys. Mostly it is just a short lecture followed by a stroll through the little museum. You don't get to go to the place where the digs occurred, although this can be pre-arranged at extra cost and some patience.

If wildlife is the focus then I would rather go for the Piyaya camps than spending 2 nights at Oldupai as you can visit the museum on the way to the Serengeti or Ndutu!

As i said earlier, in addition to Nomad other options are available at Piyaya.

For example, Sayari is there from Jan-Apr and may be easier to book.

climbhighsleeplow is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 19th, 2005, 05:03 AM
  #55
bwanamitch
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
climbhighsleeplow,

regarding the concessions in Loliondo GCA, I have them listed on my website as follows:

Oloipiri Concession (Loliondo Concession):
western Loliondo GCA, south of Olosokwan Concession (Klein's), east of Serengeti's Lobo area

Olosokwan Concession:
north-western Loliondo GCA, near Kenyan border, Klein's Camp area

Piaya Concession:
south-western Loliondo GCA, borders north on Ngorongoro Conservation Area

Soit Sambu Concession:
northern Loliondo GCA, north-east Olosokwan Concession (Klein's), borders on Kenya's Masai Mara

Any corrections and input on this topic is appreciated.

Mitch
 
Reply With Quote
Jul 19th, 2005, 10:32 AM
  #56
bwanamitch
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Somewhere in this thread there was the question what the price for a luxury private mobile camp safari would be.

I've just found a Spain-based operator who has several luxury Tanzanian outfitters on his webpage along with fixed itineraries and rates. Looks quite interesting. You can find it at

http://www.safarisandexpeditions.com...Mobile%20Camps

Mitch
 
Reply With Quote
Jul 19th, 2005, 05:31 PM
  #57
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553
How does this look for late February / early March (hopefully avoiding some of the crowds)?

Moivaro Coffee Lodge, Arusha (1)
(fly Arusha to Seronera)
Piaya Camp (Nomad), South Central Serengeti (2)
Masek Camp (Nomad), South Serengeti (3)
Olduvai Camp, South East Serengeti (1)
Ngorongoro Crater Lodge (2)
Swala, Tarangire (2)
Lake Manyara Tree Camp (2)
Palms Zanzibar (3)

I realize that this is an $8,000 pp itinerary, but I think it would be so awesome. I realize how small Tarangire and Lake Manyara are, but I also know that I would love these areas for their flora alone...the fact that they will likely have more elephants and baobab trees than anywhere I have yet visited almost makes them mandatory stops.

I think 6 nights split between Masek/Piaya/Olduvai is about the maximum amount of time I should spend in the Serengeti. Agreed?

The angel on my left shoulder is telling me to book Ngorongoro Serena, spend one night at Gibbs Farm and skip Tarangire.

The devil on my right shoulder, however, is telling me to book Ngorongoro Crater Lodge, followed by two nights at Swala and then as a grand finale spend two nights at the ultraluxurious Lake Manyara Tree Camp.

As Oscar Wilde said..."The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it. Resist it, and your soul grows sick with longing for the things it has forbidden to itself."

Roccco is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 19th, 2005, 05:49 PM
  #58
bwanamitch
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Why 3 nights at Masek and only 1 at Olduvai?
 
Reply With Quote
Jul 19th, 2005, 06:11 PM
  #59
bwanamitch
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
You want to avoid crowds and plan your longest stay in Serengeti near of a larger lodge (Ndutu). Doesn't make sense to me.

Mitch
 
Reply With Quote
Jul 19th, 2005, 06:12 PM
  #60
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553
Mitch,

If I did Masek & Piaya it would be with Africa Travel Resources. I would have the same guide for those days.

However, once I am in Olduvai, I would be with another guide. It is my understanding, or lack thereof, that Olduvai is mostly for walking. I could be totally wrong?

ATR is the only company out there that accepts AMEX and it just makes it easier for me this way. A little less pain...allows me to go into denial about how much it is really costing me!

I would love to visit Kusini, but of course, ATR is protective of their own camps or Nomad's camps. Are they one and the same, Nomad and ATR?

Hehe...I am just waiting to write that one itinerary where everyone agrees that it is just perfect, and not "why 3 nights at Masek and only 1 at Olduvai?"

Roccco is offline  
Reply With Quote
 


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 04:29 AM.