Tanzania Itinerary

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Jan 4th, 2006, 08:27 AM
  #1
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Tanzania Itinerary

My husband, 2 teenagers and I are going to Tanzania in early to mid June 2006. I got quotes and intineraries from several tour operators (Good Earth, ATR, Roy Safaris, East Africa, Nature Discovery, Swala, Sunny, Rick Shaw) and considered several others based on reponses to a previous post.

THIS BOARD IS TERRIFIC. I discovered it about a month into my researching. I posted an earlier thread, but am starting a new one since my question has changed. Not sure if this is the right way to do this. This is all new to me.

We are interested in the smaller tented lodges and want to see the migration. Animals, comfortable lodging, and a close-to nature experience is what we are after.

I am leaning toward Good Earth Tours, as they have given me the best pricing by far, with some of the nicest accomodations. I also liked the way they quoted the tour. They gave me the total cost for a basic camping safari and then gave the add on price for various tented lodges in the different national parks so it was easier to asses my options and understand how they would affect the bottom line.

I would love some feedback from you guys.

Itinerary:

Day 1 Kirurumu
Day 2 Ikoma
Days 3 & 4 Kirawira
Day 5 Ngorongoro Serena;
Day 6 fly from Arusha tovisit friends in Dar

They do not recomend Tarangire Nationl Park in June. Also, since our safari is short, this gives us more time in the serengeti. What are your thoughts on missing this park?

Would it make more sense to stay somewhere else in the serengeti rather than Ikoma since we have 2 nights at Kirawira (assuming availability) . If we stay at both, would it matter if we switch the order and did Ikoma after Kirawira?

I don't like ending the safari with a stay at Serena, (we wanted to avoid the large chains and much prefer the tented lodges) but from my reading it seems to make the most sense to stay close to the crater for early morning access. Would it work to switch the schedule and go to Ngorongoro first and then stop at Lake Manyera last so we end the trip in a tented lodge?

Total cost for all of us (including airfare to/from Dar) is $6100.

Thanks for any help and advice.

Jane
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Jan 4th, 2006, 09:12 AM
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How important is budget? If you can squeeze more $ into this trip, try to fly back fr. Serengeti and do the Crater on your way west.

Also, I'd go for staying somewhere in or near the Seronera valley rather than Ikoma. You could ask about Ronjo if rustic is okay with you, or perhaps try for Mbuzi Mawe--in either case you'd be avoiding the big lodges in Serengeti.

Tarangire I LOVE, and we're including it in our itinerary for June. However, if you're short on time, I think Manyara is a nice little park--no shortage of elephants and flamingoes there.

Sounds like a fun trip. Maybe we'll pass each other on the road.
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Jan 4th, 2006, 09:20 AM
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Leely,

Thanks for responding so quickly.

Money is an object. Any idea of the cost to fly between Serengeti and the crater? What would our driver do? Drive on and meet us there? I will check with Good Earth.

Is your objection to Ikoma based on how close it is to the big lodges and all the people that stay there? That is definately something to consider that I had not realized.

Do you, or anyone else, know what the game viewing would be like at Ronjo or Mbuzi Mawe in mid June? I realize it is hard to predict the migration due to the unknown weather. It seems that Mbuzi Mawe would be a bit far north, but it is worth considering. It looks wonderful!

I have read about your trip on your post. Sounds like fun-- I hope you have a terrific time.

Our safari will be from June 8 or 9 to June 14 or 15. Then we will go back to dar and on to Zanzibar with our friends.

Thanks fro the ideas.

Jane
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Jan 4th, 2006, 09:35 AM
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sandi
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The closest airport to Ngorongoro Crater is at Lake Manyara. From here you'd have to drive back to the Crater which is about 2-1/2 hrs.

If Kirawira is your last stop in the Serengeti, they use the Grumeti Airstrip. If Ikoma, believe it's the Seronera airstrip. From either of these camps, it's just as easy to drive to Ngorongoro and not have to backtrack from Manyara.

What you might want to consider is to fly to the farthest point (Serengeti) where your driver will meet you, then work your way back to Ngorongoro, then Manyara and finally Arusha/Kili. Here you can connect to your return flight to DAR.
 
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Jan 4th, 2006, 09:44 AM
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Thanks Sandi, that sounds a great idea!

Jane
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Jan 4th, 2006, 09:52 AM
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Oops, what I meant--and I guess I was confusing you, janejean--was that you could fly back to Arusha from your furthest point west, either at Grumeti airstrip or Seronera. The reverse of Sandi's suggestion. Drive west and fly east, or fly east and drive west. Either way, it's a time saver, although not a money saver. I want to say the flight is under 200USD pp. (Where oh where is Patty?)

Day 2: The drive from Kirurumu to Ikoma seems like it could feel pretty long, but Sandi, Eben and others would know much better. I'm not sure how much shorter the drive would be to the Serena or Ronjo or wherever.

If you're at the top end of your budget already, I wouldn't worry about all this too much. Your itinerary is basically a good one, and I don't think you can go wrong in the Serengeti.

We arrive just two days after you head to Dar. So do your best to make sure there are lots and lots of animals about, and tell them all to stay put. Especially the much-vaunted wild dogs.
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Jan 4th, 2006, 10:11 AM
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Yes, I was confused. Now I get it.

We'll use a firm voice when asking the animals to stay put. You should be there at prime time.
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Jan 4th, 2006, 03:26 PM
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In the quotes I got from ATR and Roy, the flight from Seronera to Arusha was $152 (ATR) and $175 (Roy) per person.
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Jan 4th, 2006, 11:49 PM
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I'm in Hawaii but I do check in occasionally when I'm not at the beach or eating. I think the latter is our favorite pastime here.

janejean,
This will give you an idea of fares and schedule - http://www.regional.co.tz/

I think it would be well worth it (if within your budget )to do a one way drive. I wouldn't reverse Kirawira and Ikoma, just because I think it's nicer to have the more luxurious camp at the end.
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Jan 5th, 2006, 03:28 AM
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Yes fares we have been quoted :
Flight from Serengeti South to Arusha = 165 US$ per person
Flight from Grumeti to Arusha = 180 US$ fares
with Tropical trails
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Jan 5th, 2006, 07:56 AM
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Thanks everyone for the info and ideas. I'm impressed that you took time to respond from Hawaii, Patty. That's a good thought about Ikoma coming before Kirarira.

Good Earth gave us a quote of $150 a person for the flight plus $55 a person to send a guide out a day early to meet us, for a total of $205pp

Is the flight itself something special to experience? We could possibly consider either the flight in or out OR stay an extra day at Kirarumu or go to Mbuzi Mawe instead of Ikoma. Thoughts? Any advantages to any of these possibilities?

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Jan 5th, 2006, 07:57 AM
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I meant to say an extra day at Kirawira NOT Kirurumu.
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