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Tanzania migration safari February 2013 - advice, and company?

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Sep 22nd, 2012, 10:44 AM
  #1
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Tanzania migration safari February 2013 - advice, and company?

Glad you don't bite

Flexibility, lower cost (notice how I didn't say low cost as I don't think that is possible lol), maximum viewing chance...can I (still) have it all?

I will be a solo traveller by circumstance not choice
Below you will find some assumptions that I have made which may very well be incorrect.

1) I am planning a big trip around this migration time because I have come to believe the hype about this migration so that may be the first place to set me straight. How much better is it than someplace else or some other time for viewing Africa's big mammals and cats?(Sorry but I am not really interested in most birds)

2) I want to keep my cost as low as possible so that means camping i think which is something I enjoy anyway

3) But I want to maximize my visual and photo experience so that means some sunrise/sunset and some offroad opportunities and therefore a private safari

So if these are true, what would you recommend for a safari for me in February ?

Here is my first crack at it without knowing anything about permits, hours of operation, gates, camp availability, etc. I have been in contact with a few operators but still don't know what I don't know so probably haven't asked all the right questions. Hopefully I am getting close!

Reserve a private safari with guide and cook
Day 1 Go from Ashura to Ngorongoro ( go via Lake Manyara ? does it cost more than the $35/day per non-resident?) , get a good view of the crater and set up camp on the rim at Simba campsite while the driver gets the crater permit for the next morning (sometimes the cashiers don't show until 7 or 8 am ?)
Day 2 Start driving in the dark to get to the crater gate for 6 am when it opens. Have bfast in the crater and lunch and then head to a public (Seronera?) campsite in Serengeti to st up before dark
Day 3 -4 Spend two days out of here in case the herd is dispersed and there are lots of wildebeest in this area like this past year.
End of second day go to a special camp close to Ndutu area if there is something that still has availability and enjoy a bit of luxury after the earlier camping days.(No public campsites in this area?)
Day 5 Spend 1 full day here, with another early start in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, where offroading is possible? and where wildebeest and cats 'normally' are.
Day 6 Early morning game drive and then return to Ashura.

Next day (or later if I have to recover lol ) rent a 4x4 on my own and go to Tarangire and return that night.

So...what do you think???
Hopefully you can make it soooo good that it will attract some safari companion(s) to join me and help me reduce the cost and enhance the experience by sharing it !
Thanks!!!
BTW, I am on the Lonely Planet forum too and have posted there looking for safari companions.
dnto is offline  
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Sep 22nd, 2012, 11:39 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
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The migration is very dependent on rain, where and how much rain. Professional/serious photographers spend 6 weeks (Feb-Mar) in the Ndutu area to be sure of seeing the migration.

I don't know how available camping is in the Ndutu area. May be very little and especially so Feb-Mar. Suggest you contact Roy Safaris in Arusha - http://www.roysafaris.com/

regards - tom
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Sep 22nd, 2012, 12:21 PM
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Rather late for Feb, but as a solo traveler and camping might be able to pull it off.

From the back first... why bother with Tarangire at the end and renting vehicle, driving on own and back to Arusha. Just as easy at start with guide/vehicle/cook and head to Tarangire. You almost have to pass this way on way to Manyara and Crater. It's only about a 45/min drive south of the turn-off towards Manyara/Ngo.

Spend the day here and next via Manyara (yes, just the $35/park fee), onto the Crater for overnight. Crater tour next morning and onto Seronera for o/n; then south to Ndutu and camping.

At Ndutu you might have to consider 'special' campsite (not that much more expensive, if available), where it's private, with guide/cook setting up private loo/shower and dining area. Then drive back to Arusha and home.

Your tour outfitter - Roy's is excellent - can provide guide/driver, cook and vehicle; also handle all park fees/permits, though it does take a few minutes for check-in any of the areas - Tarangire, Manyara, Ngo and Serengeti/Ndutu.

Day 1 - Drive to Tarangire - o/n campsite
Day 2 - Tarangire morning; then via Manyara w/game drive; late afternoon to arrive before 6pm when gates close, continue to Ngorongoro - o/n campsite
Day 3 - Ngo - morning crater tour; afternoon (about 3-3.5/hrs) game drive to Seronera - o/n campsite
Day 4 - Seronera - o/n campsite
Day 5 - Seronera till end Day 5, for game drive south to Ndutu - o/n special campsite (if available)
Day 6 - Ndutu - special campsite (if available)
Day 7 - Ndutu morning; drive 7/hrs to Arusha/JRO - home

There is, of course, no guarantee whether the herds will be at Ndutu or Southern Serengeti or split between the two... if you have to pass from one to the other on any given day, you'd have to pay direct the park entry fees.

Good luck!
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Sep 22nd, 2012, 07:23 PM
  #4
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Thank you both! Very good suggestions and points. My idea of going to Tarangire later on my own was to save the cost of the guide and the cook but perhaps there isn't much difference?
I'm very excited about making this happen now!!
dnto is offline  
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Dec 10th, 2012, 10:50 AM
  #5
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Well sandi, your suggested itinerary was good enough to help attract one other adventurer, a 30 year old woman from half-way around the globe!
Dates are Feb 11-17. Someone could do 6 days too starting Feb 12.
So now we're looking for 1 or 2 more adventurers on that 7 day safari above. (Only difference is that we will be in a more luxurious mobile camp with real beds in Ndutu for the last 2 nights instead of the 'special' campsite.)
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Dec 10th, 2012, 02:21 PM
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Glad to read that you've got it worked out and lucky to have found others to share with you. Which camp at Ndutu?
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Dec 11th, 2012, 07:28 AM
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Hi sandi,
thanks again!
It's Serengeti Savannah.
Now to find 1 or 2 more adventurers...
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