Tanzania Itinerary for Winter Break


Aug 17th, 2005, 09:55 AM
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Tanzania Itinerary for Winter Break

I found this site for the first time yesterday and am amazed with the passion and knowledge. Wow! We could use ideas for planning a safari trip to Tanzania for Winter Break 2005 for our family including 3 sons (17, 18, 21). My husband safaried Kenya 30 years ago and wants to share the incredible awe he experienced.
How does the following itinerary look for a late December once in a lifetime trip?
1 Arusha (Mt. V. Lodge
2,3 Lake Manyara (Serena)
4,5 Ngorongoro (Serena)
6,7 Serengeti (Serena)
8 Arusha with possible stop at Zanzibar or balloon ride earlier.
I'm noticing that we miss Tarangere on this itinerary and that we don't have any camps. Do these locations match where the game are in late December? Also, my husband remembers fondly the screens where they could view wildlife from their lodges at night in Kenya, but I don't see that opportunity in Tanzania.
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Aug 17th, 2005, 03:41 PM
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For over Christmas/New Year '05 - whatever may be available. Most is booked.

How many days do you have all together? What is your budget? What you list looks like a pre-packaged scheduled tour from a glossy brochure.

But, if traveling in late December you should be in the Central to Northern Serengeti. The Serena here is central and this is where they do the balloon rides, but for accommodation I'd recommend being further north. The camps are expensive at this time, easily in the $500/nt person rate. What your husband might remember from 30-years ago - no more.

Don't get me wrong the Serena properties are lovely, more like mini-big city hotels (but at max 75 rooms)but you should stay at some camps. And while Tarangire isn't included, nor is January ideal for here, I find Tarangire's landscape, baobab trees and ellees always worth a visit... neither is 2-nts at Manyara. And 2-days in the Serengeti isn't sufficient. You're going to be spending more time driving, less time game viewing.

Again, being Christmas - what is your budget? How many days in total?
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Aug 17th, 2005, 06:51 PM
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Beginning with our budget, we want to keep it within $5k per person including airfare from home. Hopefully it'll help that our 3 sons can room together where ever allowed. We can leave the US on Dec. 17th and need to be back Jan 1st, giving us 15 days to work with.
We're most interested in the wildlife aspect and have chosen Tanzania because we hear that over the holidays, trips in our budget are too crowded in Kenya. "Nice" camping is alright but we want to feel safe.
It's important to us to choose an itinerary that is taking the time of year into account for maximizing the viewing in proportion to the travel.
A few days in Zanzibar at the end of the trip might be neat.
And speaking of comfort, we have received a response back from one of the Tanzanian tour groups that is highly talked of here, but I'd be more comfortable booking with our travel agent in the US. I know something has to give here: with being short on time, money, and bravery too.
Thanks ahead of time for any suggestions.
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Aug 18th, 2005, 12:40 AM
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Dear Family5
My name is Richard Gomes And i do work for Serena Hotels in Tanzania. I have been visiting this site often and this is the first posting i am replying to. Just to let you know the last author Sandi (whoever it may be) always does write nasty things about Serena Hotels.It is obvious he/she is trying to promote private camps. My email address is [email protected]
if you do wish to contact us about a Safari for you and your family.
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Aug 18th, 2005, 03:40 AM
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Hi Family
THere are lots of maps tracing the migration - google migration map
Also alwaysafrica posted this trip report for a similar time. Copy & past this thread.


Hope it helps.
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Aug 18th, 2005, 04:28 AM
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RichardTZA-Gomes (who works for the Serena hotels; should not be soliciting on Fodor's if you had read the Rules & Regs; who has never posted on Fodors before this)

FYI - I've stayed at the Serena properties and like them; have never implied that I do not like the Serena properties - anywhere. Others may have mentioned that many of the Serena (Sopa or Wilderness) lodges were just smaller versions of major hotels - that was never me. So read properly.

Personally, I just feel that a well-rounded itinerary, if it can be afforded (there are affordable camps in Tanzania), should include at least one tented camp for a true African experience. Even Serena has two well received tented camps at Kirawira and Mbuze Mawe. Both, however, at certain times of the years are very expensive.

Besides Serena and others provide very attractive contract rates to outfitters - locally and out-of-country - which are marked up greatly for the consumer. Another reason to recommend a combinatin of lodges and camps for an itinerary.

So, RichardTZA, know what you're talking about, as apparently you haven't read all that I've posted over the years. And no promoting yourself or services, or Fodor's will delete your threads/posts.
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Apr 1st, 2006, 10:51 PM
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The trip was unbelievably wonderful. Our pictures are finally organized and ready for viewing at http://jtravels.shutterfly.com.
The prior arrangments were impeccable, our guide was the world's best, the quality and amount of game we saw was awe inspiring, and the camp crew strived for and met our every desire. Our family had the best two weeks of our lives together. -Thoroughly unforgettable!
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Apr 2nd, 2006, 01:20 AM
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Wow great album, thanks alot: you had some great sightings. Can you give us a trip report in a new thread? Be interested to hear your views on each camp in which you stayed.

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Apr 2nd, 2006, 07:28 AM
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Looks like your family had a great trip, we want to know more! From your pictures, you seem to have ended up with a good itinerary and good variety of lodgings. Please post a trip report with info re operator and camps.
And 1,000,000 zebras in the Crater!
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Apr 3rd, 2006, 10:17 PM
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I'll post the itinerary soon.
And it's 1000000 wildebeests in the Serengeti - not zebras in the crater. Sorry.
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Apr 4th, 2006, 06:24 AM
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Thanks for posting your photos. They are great.

You appear to be blessed with a fine gaggle of sons. What a great trip.

Please post a trip report. I am sure the antics of your sons alone will be worth sharing.

Kevin from California
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Apr 4th, 2006, 06:27 AM
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I really enjoyed your photos--it does indeed look like a great family trip. Also looks like you had a nice mix of accommodations, from lodges to private camping. Looking forward to your report. Since you were so happy with the trip, would you mention the travel company and local operator?
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Apr 4th, 2006, 08:38 AM
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Thanks for sharing your wonderful pics! I'd also be interested in more details about your trip.
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Apr 4th, 2006, 09:30 AM
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Wow--it does look like an unforgettable trip for you and your family. Thanks for checking back in!
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Apr 4th, 2006, 11:18 AM
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Thanks for your pictures. It looks like the perfect family safari, but maybe you should remove one of the pictures before anyone of the numerous arachnophobiac Fodorites sees it. Of course there are no spiders in Tanzania! I always appreciate seeing some topis, the pictures of lions and rocks were very interesting, Iím so envious of your serval sighting and the running zebra looks really fast. Asante sana and more details, please.
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