Tanzania only or Kenya andTanzania August 2009

Jul 17th, 2008, 04:40 AM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 8,675
Georgie -

Entim and Serian are great choices in the Mara.

The only issue I have with the routing you show - Tanzania mainland, then Mara in Kenya, concluding Zanzibar - ziz-zagging between countries. Higher air from Kenya/Zanzibar than if from Tanzania/Zanzibar.

Of course, no one can know exactly when the herds will arrive in the Mara; this year they appear to be early, but it would just be smoother if you visited one country, then the other. Not backtracking. My personal quirk!

Entim and Serian are in two widely different areas of the Mara, where the herds are likely to arrive at Entim first (closer to the Serengeti border) and with a crossing point right at the front lawn of the camp. I'd chance visiting the Mara first, then go onto Tanzania (Tarangire & Ngorongoro) ending at Zanzibar island.
sandi is offline  
Jul 17th, 2008, 06:33 AM
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Looks good. The zig zagging is something you have considered and approve of. Book it!
atravelynn is offline  
Jul 17th, 2008, 11:51 AM
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I believe all of the scheduled flights from either Manyara or Serengeti will route via Arusha/Kilimanjaro and Nairobi, but coming from Manyara will mean less flying time. I've seen some itineraries that route via western Tanzania/Kenya but I believe these were private charters and stops still have to be made along the way for immigration formalities to exit Tanzania and enter Kenya.

I like the new itinerary!
Patty is online now  
Jul 17th, 2008, 01:11 PM
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That latest itinerary looks good to me, too. We also opted to focus on the Mara and not go to the Serengeti on our trip, because of the time of year (for us it was late September), and the Mara was amazing. One question to ask about Oliver's is how much driving time you'll need to reach the camp -- it is located in a different part of the park than some of the lodges, so you might have a lengthy drive just to get there (although some of that would be through the park itself, so in effect a game drive). I think with 2 nights you'd still be able to do a walking safari. Also, I'll put my two cents in for staying at Plantation Lodge. It's a beautiful place, very friendly, great food, and we didn't think the drive to the Crater was bad at all. The only thing is that we missed out on having that legendary crater view from our room... but then, it was fogged in, anyway! Personally, I think this would be a great choice if it saves you money to use elsewhere in your trip, and you will still have a wonderful visit at the Crater (just have to get up a bit earlier).
MyDogKyle is offline  
Jul 17th, 2008, 03:09 PM
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Thanks everyone for your replies. I will get both ways costed and see what the price difference is. If the 2009 migrstion is going to be like 2008 then going to the Mara first would be fine as I have read the migration is already arriving in the Mara. Wish we could tell in advance but then again that is half of the excitement, we just dont know what we will see.

These are the following travelling times I have been told. If anyone knows any different I would like to hear.

Arusha to Olivers Camp. 1.5 hours to Taragire park and then a further 3 hour game drive to camp. I bet it will be longer as we tend to stop at sightings big or small.

Olivers Camp to Kisima Ngeda. 1.5hours to Karatu region and then a taxing 3 hour bumpy ride to Kisima Ngeda.

Kisima Ngeda to Plantation lodge 3 hours back on the bumpy road. I am pretty sure that Plantation Lodge is in the Karatu area.

Does anyone know about how far plantation lodge is from the Manyara airstrip?

Thanks again.
Georgie2007 is offline  
Jul 30th, 2008, 12:41 AM
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Well here is an update on our trip planning for August 2009. We emailed some companies and had settled on using either Kiliwarriors or Green Footprint for our trip. Eben from Kiliwarriors and Noortje from Green Footprint have both been exceptional in answering all my questions no matter how trivial or complex.

Kiliwarriors would organise a trip to both Kenya (Masai Mara) and Tanzania whilst Green Footprint would only organise a trip in Tanzania. Peter and I were torn and it took us awhile to decide that we wanted to do both Kenya and Tanzania (almost flipped a coin) so emailed Eben for the final quote before booking August 2009. Lucky for Eben but devestating for us he wrote back saying he was now fully booked and could not help us. That put us in a flat spin. I don't want to start with a new company all over again and I have a great feeling about Green footprint so we are now inclined to just go to Tanzania.

This is the itinerary we are now looking at.

Arusha 2 nights at Onsea House - a trip to Arusha National Park

Tarangire NP 3 nights - Olivers camp

Lake Eyasi 2 nights - Kisima Ngeda

Ngorongoro Crater 2nights-Lemala camp

Central Serengeti 2 nights- Olakira Camp. We would be driving from Lemala to Olakira arriving late afternoon, have a day in CS and then leave early the next morning. Is that too long in CS for August? I just thought we might like to look around.

Northern Serengeti 4 nights - Sayari Camp

Then off to Zanzibar.

Does this itinerary sound Ok commencing 4/8/09? Should we be earlier for the Northern Serengeti? We could commence our trip two weeks earlier which would put us in Northern Serengeti about 1st August, if it was going to make a huge difference.

The only other thing we could do is have 1 night at Olakira and then have 5 nights in Northern Serengeti. If that was the case would you split the nights between Sayari and Suyan or just stay the 5 nights at Sayari?

I would appreciate any further advice on this itinerary.

Thanks and cheers


Georgie2007 is offline  
Jul 30th, 2008, 08:48 AM
Join Date: Jun 2006
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I don't know enough about that time of year (or the Serengeti) to comment much on your itinerary, but it looks good to me. I just want to add that Green Footprint did a great job for us last year, and I think they're a terrific company. Our guide was Jackson for most of the trip, and Arthur at Oliver's Camp. We loved both of them. My very long trip report (with lots of details about GF and Oliver's Camp too) is in the East Africa trip report index, if you want to check it out.
MyDogKyle is offline  
Jul 31st, 2008, 05:51 PM
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Thanks for your reply. I have read your trip report which was fabulous. Green Footprint has been absolutley fabulous, listening to my needs and wants etc.

I know you had a problem with one of the vehicles which was resolved relativley quickly from memory. I just wanted to ask what you thought of the other vehicle from Green Footprint that you had. Did you have a land cruiser Pop Top? Were you able to stand on the seats and get a view out of the vehicle?

I have been told that Green Footprint lease some of their cars which is a little concerning but all guides are employed by Green Foot Prints. Any comments on leased cars, especially at peak time in August.

If we choose to spend the whole time in Tanzania we will be with the driver/guide and vehicle for two weeks so I will be requesting a newish car.

Also I would still appreciate any comments from anyone on my thoughts of staying in Tanzania and not going to the Masai Mara in early August.
Georgie2007 is offline  
Aug 1st, 2008, 04:02 PM
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Hi Georgie,

I don't know anything about GF leasing cars. You should definitely ask them which vehicle you will have. Our experience was that we had two different vehicles, but I think that was only because we stayed at Oliver's in the middle of the trip and flew down there (we were on the all-inclusive package, which included a guide from Oliver's). Our first vehicle with GF was really nice. Yes, it was a pop-top and yes, we were allowed to stand on the seats and stick out the top whenever we weren't moving (important for me, because I'm really short!).

The second car was a bigger, older Land Rover -- that was the car that gave us some problems in the Lake Manyara area. They were able to fix it in Mto Wa Mbu while we were touring the town, and it only threw our schedule off by a few hours. But on the whole it was wearing out (scratched windows, a door that stuck shut, and some other little things... it had a lot of "street cred" and had clearly seen many a safari!). After our trip, we told GF that it was the only thing about our safari we weren't thrilled with, and Mary at GF told us that they were planning to sell that vehicle, because it had been having problems lately and she thought it was nearing the end of its useful life. Considering that they were honest and above-board in all our dealings with them, I have no reason not to believe her. Hopefully by now that old Land Rover has moved on. But I should mention that after it was repaired in Mto Wa Mbu, it then took us safely out to the Rift Valley Children's Village (which is a heck of a road!), back to Karatu, into and out of the Ngorongoro Crater, and back to Arusha with no more mechanical problems.
MyDogKyle is offline  
Oct 9th, 2008, 08:06 PM
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We have finally booked and are leaving for Tanzania on 30th July 2009. By the way only 293 sleeps to go. After getting some quotes with a few different tour operators we have finally booked with Green Footprint and know we will have a fabulous time whether we see the migration or not. We are going to plan a seperate trip to Kenya another time, maybe 2010 so all is not lost.

Last year our trip to Botswana was a fly from camp to camp safari so this time we wanted to experience something different and decided to take a private safari and drive most of the way. We want to experience the land and its vastness and we felt we couldnt do that by flying everywhere and time was not an issue.

We booked the safari and then found out we could get business class FF seats if we left a day earlier so instead of trying to bring everything forward by a day we have just added a day in Arusha.

We deliberated greatly over where to stay near or at Ngorongoro Crater. We didnt want to stay in large chain lodges so we had the choice of Lemala Camp or Plantation Lodge. Plantation Lodge won out mainly due to price.

So here is our itinerary:

30th July - Fly Sydney to Joahnnesburg. Overnight at Metcourt Laurel.
31st July - Fly Johannesburg to Kilimanjaro departing at 13.50pm. Arrive late evening. Overnight Onsea House
1st August - Spare day in Arusha. Overnight Onsea House.
2nd August - Arusha National Park with canoeing on Momella Lake. Overnight Arusha.
3rd August - Drive to Tarangire. Overnight Oliver's camp.
4th August - Walking safari. Overnight Oliver's camp.
5th August - Overnight at Oliver's camp.
6th August - Drive to Kisima Ngeda. Overnight Kisima Ngeda Tented Camp.
7th August - Day with Hadzabe and Datoga tribes. Overnight Kisima Ngeda Tented Camp.
8th August - Drive to rift valley, bike down the great rift valley escarpment in the morning. Game drive in Manyara in the afternoon and then onto Plantation Lodge. Overnight Plantation Lodge.
9th August - Nogorongoro Crater. Overnight Plantation Lodge.
10th August - Visit Olduvai Gorge if we want and drive to Olakira camp in Central Serengeti. Overnight Olakira Camp.
11th August - Overnight Olakira camp
12th August - Drive to Sayari Camp. Overnight Sayari Camp.
13th August - Overnight Sayari Camp.
14th August - Overnight Sayari Camp.
15th August - Overnight Sayari Camp.
16th August - Fly from Kogatende to Zanzibar. Overnight 236 Hurumzi in Stonetown.
17th August to 23rd August - 6 nights at Pongwe Beach Hotel relaxing and fishing.
23rd August - late flight to DAR. Overnight Southern Sun.
24th August - 10 am flight to Johannesburg arrive at 1.10pm and fly Johannesburg to Sydney departing at 6.10pm.

Now the itinerary is set in stone I have a few questions that I would like to ask all you knowledgeable fodorites if I may.

What should we do with our spare day in Arusha? We are visiting ANP on one of our days but we are not sure what to do with the other day.

Does anyone know the driving time from Plantation Lodge to Olakira Camp? I was just wondering if we wanted to do a second crater drive could we do that early morning and still get to Olakira by dinner or is that pushing it.

I have heard Tanzania Airlines quite often have delays. Can anyone confirm this? I dont mind getting delayed from Johannesburg to JRO but am a little concerned about DAR to Johannesburg. If it lands on time we have 5 hours until our flight home, which will hopefully be plenty of time.

What about checking our bags through from DAR to Sydney. Can this be done? I know many airlines would do this but not sure about Tanzania Airlines checking it through and it making the Qantas flight.

Thanks again everyone for all your advice. It is greatly appreciated.


Georgie2007 is offline  
Oct 10th, 2008, 09:19 AM
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Hi Georgie, looks like a great trip you have put together. Just curious what happened to Lemala at Ngorongoro?
LyndaS is offline  
Oct 10th, 2008, 03:32 PM
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Hi LyndaS,

We had to bring the cost down somewhere as it was escalating past our budget. Lemala Camp was at least double that of Plantation Lodge. We spent ages deliberating between these two places and Plantation Lodge won in the end. This was mainly due to the lower cost and great reviews of Plantation Lodge. If Lemala was going to be our only tented camp the outcome would have been different.

I understand all the logics of being on the crater rim expecially at Lemala where it is a quick drive to the descent road but we just didnt want to add an extra $1,000 USD to the cost of the trip. We don't mind getting up early and having to travel a little futher to save money. That extra money will now pay the tips and incidentals we need whilst away.

I still think of what might have been but am very happy with our decision to stay at Plantation Lodge.

Georgie2007 is offline  
Oct 10th, 2008, 05:51 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
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Hi Georgie,

I can understand that! I have Lemala at the crater on my wish list for someday, I was just wondering what made you change your mind, but I can understand - $1000.00 difference goes a long way!
LyndaS is offline  

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