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Tanzania North - Migration Feb 2011- in planning. All comments welcome

Tanzania North - Migration Feb 2011- in planning. All comments welcome

Mar 15th, 2010, 08:10 AM
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 61
We have reservations for a Tanzania safari scheduled to start from 17 Feb 2011. Our itinerary:
Arusha (2 nights)
Tarangire sopa (1 night)
Ndutu lodge (4 nights)
Ngorongoro sopa (1 night)

We made the reservations through Eastern and Southern Safari. We have used Good Earth on previous safaris to East Africa. Both outfitters have been great to work with.

waxwing is offline  
Mar 18th, 2010, 06:11 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 22
Thanks Waxwing , it's lovely to hear about others plans and itinaries. I'm sure some of us will bump into each other out there.

Here is my latest version of our private safari.

I've got a price for 3 of us and now a boyfriend might want to join making the 4, but so far won't commit, so I've booked two rooms everywhere so I've got it covered ...

Tue 25-Jan-11 Start location : Kilimanjaro International

Tue 25-Jan-11 Kilimanjaro Airport : Kia Lodge
Wed 26-Jan-11 Tarangire : Mawe Ninga Camp
Thu 27-Jan-11 Tarangire : Mawe Ninga Camp
Fri 28-Jan-11 Ngorongoro : Sopa Lodge
Sat 29-Jan-11 Ngorongoro : Sopa Lodge
Sun 30-Jan-11 Southwest Serengeti : Ndutu Lodge
Mon 31-Jan-11 Southwest Serengeti : Ndutu Lodge
Tue 01-Feb-11 Southwest Serengeti : Ndutu Lodge
Wed 02-Feb-11 Southwest Serengeti : Ndutu Lodge
Thu 03-Feb-11 Southwest Serengeti : Ndutu Lodge
Fri 04-Feb-11 Zanzibar Island : Shooting Star
Sat 05-Feb-11 Zanzibar Island : Shooting Star
Sun 06-Feb-11 Zanzibar Island : Shooting Star
Mon 07-Feb-11 Zanzibar Island : Shooting Star

Tue 08-Feb-11 End location : Dar es Salaam International

Total US$ 14,643 for 3 persons
GB£ 9,664 approx

Total US$ 17,505 for 4 persons
GB£ 11,553 approx
Radarjet is offline  
Jan 8th, 2011, 10:01 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 22
Just a couple of weeks till we go now.. How the months have flown

I'm just revisiting the forums to gather any latest tips and ask a few questions ?

In terms of cash. Are US dollars the way to go for tipping guides and lodge staff ? etc

Do kids we come across want pens/pencils or something else ? I've not made time for scholl/village trips but will we come across some anyway?

For Jess's photography we've bought bean bags that need to be filled with several Kgs of stuff ie dried beans. Are there shops/markets at Arusha to get this on our first day ?

Anyone used KLM for international flights ? Any comments on how fussy they are about weight of hand luggage/ photography equipment.

Anyone else going to be around on the same circuit as us that we may overlap with ?
Radarjet is offline  
Jan 8th, 2011, 12:31 PM
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 43
We're doing a similar trip with Good Earth and will be crossing paths with you at the Ndutu Lodge on January 31 and Feb 1. Look for a middle-aged couple with a twenty-something daughter!
Artsfan2 is offline  
Jan 8th, 2011, 12:43 PM
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 129
U.S dollars are fine for tipping guides and lodge staff. Just plan on taking LOTS of small bills. You will have a wad of cash. I have sometimes used small note cards from home and put the "basic" tips in for each place (guide and staff) as a ball park before I leave home, that way I don't have to keep messing around counting out money. If you have a great guide, you can always add more in his card.
I use bean bags as well and have never had a problem filling them. I always have gallon size ziplocs and if there are no beans, use some sand from around the camp. Works like a charm.
I also have a D90 and carry 2 bodies always, with extra batteries for both. Your daughter's Canon is fine for a second camera and she will get some good shots with it. My daughter used the same Canon camera on our trip and got some great photos. You are correcct aobut the D90 and depth of field, also in low lighting. I did not use the video much, but one evening just after the sun went down we had a lion drinking at a water hole and the Canon just could not pick it up.
Tigerphotog was absolutely correct about the big bull eles in the Crater. I have never seen tusks so long!! Makes for some great photo ops.
Have fun!
You will have a fabulous trip, we will be expecting your trip report on your return.
scruffypuma is offline  
Jan 8th, 2011, 12:49 PM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 2,619
US dollars are just fine for tipping. You might be able to work in a school visit in Karatu, between Tarangire and the Crater. Let your outfitter know and see if they could set up a quick visit at one of the primary schools. Pens and pencils are always appreciated. You'd give them to the headmaster, who would distribute them as needed to the students. Pens are also popular with adult Tanzanians. Yes, you should be able to stop at a market in Arusha for the beans. Again, let your outfitter know so that they are aware that you need to do that. In fact, they may already have beanbags that you could use and you wouldn't have to take anything.

I've flown KLM and they are particular as to the shape and weight of your carry-on bags. Check their website to see what's allowed. One of my fellow travelers had a small duffel bag that he'd flown with from the US taken at the jetway and checked. It was too square/high to meet their standards. When he got to Arusha, all his batteries had been stolen out of that bag in Amsterdam. He had to do some shopping in Arusha to replace them. Just in case this happens to you, take something along to lock up your bag (cable ties, locks, etc.)
ShayTay is offline  
Jan 8th, 2011, 04:26 PM
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 266
Jan 28,30,31st is when our paths could cross, Meg. I will be leading a group of 8 photographers. Look for an Indian guy trying to impress the locals with his amateurish Kiswahili.

Btw, if you have time, do learn a few basic words/phrases in their language, shows that you care. Apologies, if you already know this. I plan to be fluent in their language one day...some day. Lonely Planet's Swahili book/dictionary is good...

As for money, I usually go to Bank Of America (this time of the year is good since the Chinese New Year is approaching). There's a lot of new currency in the bank. The teller hands you wads of brand new cash (1s,5s,10s,20s,100)...no questions asked. If asked, just say that they are for "gifting", there will be no limit to the amount they let you withdraw in new bills, that way.

I fly KLM all the time, my camera gear is heavy, but my bag does not look that big, so I usually 'fly under the radar'. They don't hassle you a lot(like Singapore/Cathay/Korean usually do with repeat checks at the gate etc),just stick to the 45" specs and 26 lb weight requirement (Delta has a different/higher weight limit,iirc). I obey the lowest carry-on requirement (when flying with multiple carriers). Do remember to pack the extra stuff in a laptop bag (personal item). Divide and rule !

Kuwa na Safari Njema, Kuona wewe katika Tanzania !!
(Have a good trip, I will see you in Tanzania)

TigerPhotog is offline  
Jan 8th, 2011, 04:27 PM
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 1,085
May I suggest that your daughter the photographer take some photos of home to show the Tanzanian children. We always carry 5x7 photos of typical Canadian winter activities (shovelling the driveway, tobogganing, building a snowman, etc.) - children and adults alike are fascinated by the snow. We also take a small (8.5 x 11) world map, because the adults invariably ask us where we are from and how we got there (to East Africa). Robin
canadian_robin is offline  
Jan 8th, 2011, 04:35 PM
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 1,085
Regarding tsetse flies - best to go prepared with an antihistamine. The thread below covers what you need to know.


Have a wonderful trip! Go well! Robin
canadian_robin is offline  
Jan 9th, 2011, 08:40 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 22
Many thanks for all your responses - really helpful.

Artsfan2 - How lovely. We'll look forward to meeting up by the firepit

Robin - that thread on the dreaded flies was great - thanks. Will now go to our doctor armed with requests. Will take a map too and some pix too

Scuffypuma - I gave in and we upgraded, so now have a shiny new D7000 and a D90 with 3 batteries each. The D7000 battery goes on all day though- it's fab.

Shaytay- I'm not desperate to go to a school but have some pens/crayons left from my boxes for Operation Christmas Child so will bring these. I also work for a Pharma company so always hundreds of postits and pens knocking around. I'm sure the kids won't be fussy as to logos and strap lines !

I'll do some measuring of photo bags and ensure it meets KLM standards

Tiger - how fabulous. we'll have a great party round the pit fire. We're trying to learn the phrases but keep getting mixed up with Arabic !

Shall go and get armed with dollar bills ...

Do we need to bring our own mosquito nets for the camps ? particularly Mawe Ninga where I'm guessing we'll have the worst of the critters.
On utube they don't seem to have any at all which is a bit worrying.

Thanks again for all the very helpful comments - much appreciated. xxx
Radarjet is offline  
Jan 9th, 2011, 09:11 AM
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 129
How exciting about the new camera. Hopefully, you have had some time to work with it so that it is a bit familiar before you go....otherwise, getting to know your new camera is a good way to pass those many hours on the plane!
I have never taken a mosquito net on safari and have stayed in some remote and basic places and there always seems to be a net. Sometimes there are a few holes though, but not to worry, I always carry one of those tiny, neatly wrapped sewing kits that never go back together once you have opened them!!
Have a wonderful trip and I think it is exciting that you may meet up w/ other Fodorites along the way!!
scruffypuma is offline  
Jan 9th, 2011, 10:39 AM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 118
In regards tipping... we are as guilty as any at over-tipping and overpaying, its part of the learning process. But one thing to consider is using TZ Shilling for tips, especially for the endless procession of bag carriers and "we have to escort you to your tent/cabin for safety" guys, in costume or not. Many times a 500 or 1000TZS note is more appropriate than the constant flow of Washingtons. Jim.

ps You will endear yourself to your driver/guide if you can overcome the urge to smash tse-tse's flat on his windows, vs. either catching them (the drivers are quite skilled at that) and throwing them out the window or top, or popping the window and encouraging an exit without malice.
Otis72 is offline  
Jan 9th, 2011, 10:59 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 22
scruffy puma - thanks. Think I'll send an email asking for confirmation of this to my outfitters

Otis - I'm pseudo seriously considering taking a bug zapper !!


Wonder what they'd think to that
Radarjet is offline  
Dec 16th, 2011, 02:40 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 22

I did write a trip report soon after returning from Tanzania but these forums wouldn't upload it so on a quiet evening in the midst of planning a trip to India I thought blogging the trip report instead might work - so here it is

Radarjet is offline  

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