Tanzania July 2014: Itinterary Help

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Aug 25th, 2013, 08:20 AM
  #1
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Tanzania July 2014: Itinterary Help

Hello, everyone. I've been doing a ton of research and reading through a lot of past posts. I think I'm at the point where I could really use (and would really appreciate) some specific feedback before I start contacting tour companies.

WHERE: Northern Tanzania.
WHEN: Late July 2014.
WHAT: Private driving safari, starting in Arusha.
HOW LONG: Nine nights (the first night is a late-night arrival to JRO).
BUDGET: $375 per person per day for two people, give or take.
GOALS: (1) See lots of wildlife! (2) Avoid crowds as much as possible. (3) Minimize long driving distances and avoid moving around from camp to camp as much as possible.
ROUGH ITINERARY:
Nights 1-2: Arusha
Nights 3-4: Tarangire
Night 5: Lake Manyara
Nights 6-7: Ngorongoro
Nights 8-9: Central Serengeti
Fly from Central Serengeti via Arush to Zanibar.

All comments welcome, but I also have a couple of specific questions:
(1) Do we need to be in the Northern Serengeti at this time of the year, or will Central Serengeti suffice?
(2) Pros and cons of including Lake Manyara?

Thanks very much in advance. This forum has been invaluable.

Lou
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Aug 25th, 2013, 11:23 PM
  #2
 
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Well, the selection is nice and as u said u want to avoid crowds as much as u can, in Northern Tanzania u wont avoid that. If u wanna avoid it, u might try southern Tanzania too. but selection and time of the year its fabulous.
Tchao
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Aug 26th, 2013, 04:55 AM
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Take a look at this chart for what is going on when. The migration will be in Northern Tanzania around that time of year. Not sure if that's something you'd want to see or not. Manyara is listed as "fair" for July.

http://www.africa-adventure.com/best_time_to_go

Personally, I found Manyara the most anticlimactic part of our time in TZ. It was interesting to see different terrain, but otherwise not much more than a whole bunch of monkeys. I know others have had better luck there though, so it's a crap shoot.
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Aug 26th, 2013, 07:02 AM
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Wow, selection looks like a you cannot fail going there. It will be amazing however it turns out. Anyway, when visiting far away countries like these, it is good to do your homework. For instance, it is always useful to know the contact of the nearest U.S. embassy.

This app comes in handy for such purposes:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/us-embassy/id600867238

It is free to download and it contains offline content about all the U.S. embassies and consulates around the world.
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Aug 26th, 2013, 08:23 AM
  #5
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Thanks very much, everyone. I think we've decided to skip Zanzibar and add a couple of nights in the Northern Serengeti, which is where we'll seem to have the best chance of catching the Great Migration.
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Aug 26th, 2013, 12:49 PM
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You mention "private driving safari". You're not going to try and drive this yourself, are you? Are you using a safari planner or Tanzanian outfitter?
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Aug 26th, 2013, 05:14 PM
  #7
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Oh, no, definitely not trying to drive ourselves. I've done some research and come up with five tour operators that we'll contact for price quotes once we've firmed up the itinerary.
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Aug 27th, 2013, 03:10 AM
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And Access2tanzania...I was thrilled with our trip in Feb
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Aug 27th, 2013, 01:55 PM
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Slight changes from above, taking into consideration drive times, suggest instead:

Day 1: Arv. JRO - o/n Arusha
Day 2: 2.5/hrs to Tarangire
Day 3: Tarangire (show full 2/days as there is a mini-migration here between Jul-Oct and likely some of your best game viewing)
Day 4: 2-2.5.hrs to Manyara; game drive; late afternoon to Ngo (you'll have time to stop at Mto-wa-mbu) - o/n Ngo
Day 5: Ngorongoro crater tour (these limited to 6/hrs); continue 4/hrs to Central Serengeti - o/n
Day 6: Serengeti - w/ West only 2/hrs away, can also do game drive to here if guide knows herds around the area; otherwise stay in Central.
Day 7: 4+/hrs game drive w/picnic lunch to Northern Serengeti*
Day 8: North Serengeti
Day 9: North Serengeti
Day 10: Fly from North (Kogatende) Serengeti via Arusha to Zanzibar

*reason I omit the West for overnight, as by late-July most of the herds are on their way north, though if you wish can do a game drive to this area.

Besides, when in the Serengeti you have to keep to the roads, NO off-roading and if in the West for o/n, takes all that much longer to get to North. Easier to head north from central.

At the north, there are few camps and most rather expensive, though a few more reasonably priced, so no harm to firm up something even at this time in '13... of course, depending on whether your budget can do the more costly properties.
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Aug 27th, 2013, 01:59 PM
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As to budget, and July being 'peak' season at highest prices, know that you have to include in your daily costs: room/tent, meals, park fees, game drives, guide/vehicle, flights from longest distances, flight taxes, other taxes, all meet/greet and transfers. The $375, might do it for lodge/camp, but not everything.

Send for preliminary quotes and see what comes in.
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Aug 27th, 2013, 03:31 PM
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Check with The Wild Source (Bill Given.) He is a safari planner and wildlife biologist located in Colorado. He now has an outfitting company in Tanzania, as well, so it's a seamless operation. His partner and guide, Deo, is one of the best and his son is also guiding, a great team.
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Aug 27th, 2013, 03:42 PM
  #12
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Thanks for all the great information.
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Aug 28th, 2013, 01:02 AM
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Johnny, hope our input is not so late but it is also worth knowing that during July, the Migration is actually halfway into Kenya's Masai Mara Reserve. This being a smaller reserve, you have higher chances of seeing the crossing with less driving time as opposed to criss-crossing Serengeti. But this is best done if you land in Nairobi, do Lake Nakuru/Naivasha, then 2 nights Masai Mara, cross via Isebania border to Serengeti and do 2 nights serengeti before proceeding to Ngongorongoro, Manyara etc, departing from Arusha. This is workable too and maximizes on the main migration cycle!
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Aug 29th, 2013, 12:45 PM
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I was in the northern Serengeti last year in early August and was surrounded by Migration herds. We saw several crossings on the Mara River, only without the Mara crowds. I enjoy Kenya (going back next year), but don't worry about seeing the Migration at that time of year in Tanzania. Most of the herds will most likely still be in the Serengeti.
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Aug 30th, 2013, 06:40 AM
  #15
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Thanks! Good to know about the northern Serengeti. It seems like we'd want the far north -- as sand said, there aren't a lot of camps up there and they tend to be more expensive than other spots. Hopefully we've got enough lead time.
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