Tanzania safari accommodations!

May 9th, 2007, 02:14 PM
  #1  
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Tanzania safari accommodations!

Hi. My family and I are going to Tanzania in December and plan to be in the Serengeti in mid-December. We were planning on staying 2 nights at Ndutu Lodge and 2 nights in a tented camp..but which? We would love your suggestions based on your own experiences!

We are thinking about Olakira or Sayari South mobile camps, a new Serengeti tented camp in the Embulbul depression, or a camp in the northern area. Any suggestions? Are Olakira or Sayari too similar in area to Ndutu? Will the new Serengeti tented camp be too far outside of the Serengeti? Any idea on if this will be nice or significantly less in quality than the others I have mentioned? Will we want to stay in the northern area for a different perspective or "stay where the action is"? How realistic is it to drive from one part of the Serengeti to others while on game drives? Which is better - Olakira or Sayari South? Does 4 nights total in the Serengeti sound about right?

At Lake Manyara, is anyone familiar with Migunga Tented Camp or Kirurumu Tented Camp? Is there a big difference in quality?

Thank you in advance for any and all suggestions!!!
eco2 is offline  
May 10th, 2007, 04:55 AM
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In mid-December, wildebeest herds are usually in/around the Central area of the Serengeti.

That said, this past year, because of the rains which continued for months, when they should have ended by mid-Dec, herds moved farther and faster arriving at Ndutu earlier than usual.

Olakira and Sayari So should probably be in the Seronera/Central or Southern Serengeti between Dec-Mar. Though this past year, with the herds in Ndutu, most all seasonal camps relocated to the Ndutu area.

What will be this coming '07 Dec, is anyones guess. But splitting your time between Serengeti and Ndutu (whichis actually in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area) covers your basis. However, don't be surprised if your game drives take you long distances some days because game are where they want to be rather than where you'd like them.

You will find resident game including predators in the Central area, even if the wildies aren't.

As to the camps, Olakira and Sayari So (the newest) are both Asilia group camps. Sayari So price is much higher than Olakira if budget is a concern. Not familiar with the "new Serengeti Camp in the Embulbul depression."

Regarding camp in the northern area - I wouldn't, besides and game factor, it's quite a distance from Central and even farther from Ndutu.

Not familiar with Migunga Camp, but many stay at Kirurumu, though the former is smaller than the latter. An alternative here would be E-Unoto Rereat. If visiting for 1/nt only, any of these seem to be good choices.
sandi is offline  
May 10th, 2007, 05:18 AM
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I wish u good trip on the bush. what about beaches in Zanzibar ?
mullerkid is offline  
May 10th, 2007, 05:40 AM
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don't forget Suyan as an option (especialy if you're interested in wild dogs.. )
its also from Asilia, so a very good and nice camp
Nikao is offline  
May 10th, 2007, 06:41 AM
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Thank you!! So, it sounds like if I stay in Ndutu Lodge and Olakira, I will cover my bases. Does 2 nights at each sound good? Would I likely want to pay for 3 days in the Serengeti National Park or would there be enough to see in the NCA for 2 days?

I know the answer likely will be that it depends on the rains, but I thought I'd see if anyone has any suggestions.

Also, has anyone stayed at Ngorongoro Farm House the day before entering the Crater? We are having trouble getting accommodations on the rim and are hoping this isn't too far of a drive.

Thanks again!
eco2 is offline  
May 10th, 2007, 07:03 AM
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The Farmhouse is lovely and the closest to the crater, but still a bit of a drive. It's perfect if doing an afternoon crater visit, returning here for the evening. However, if on the next day, you have an early morning crater tour scheduled, wanting to be at the gate when it opens (6-6:30am)... it will be a very very early wake-up.

I don't believe anyone can advise whether 2/dys ea Ndutu and Serengeti are enough; whether you need 1/day additional at either - or where you will find more game. The routing of the wildies is based on what's happened over previous years, but one never knows for certain, especially 6/months out. But you are covering your bases.
sandi is offline  
May 10th, 2007, 08:30 AM
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In Feb is Suyan also a good place to be near the wildebeest herds or is it mainly to try to find the wild dogs? Also the striped hyena, I believe.
atravelynn is offline  
May 11th, 2007, 12:37 AM
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I saw 2 striped hyena's while staying at Olakira, so for them you don't need to go to Suyan
Nikao is offline  
May 11th, 2007, 05:20 AM
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Thanks again for all the suggestions. Would you advise staying in a mobile camp over the Serena Lodge in the Serengeti? Is it worth the extra money?

What do you think about the Serena Lodge on the Crater rim?

Thank you!
eco2 is offline  
May 11th, 2007, 07:52 AM
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Nikao,

Your report was the one I was thinking of. Thanks for the clarification.
atravelynn is offline  
May 11th, 2007, 12:09 PM
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eco2,
Since you'll have 2 nights at Ndutu, I'd stongly consider a camp for the other two.

Serena at the crater gets very good comments from those who have been. Ask for a room with a crater view. I like Sopa for the access road, but it's a notch below Serena.
atravelynn is offline  
May 11th, 2007, 01:25 PM
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Thanks for your suggestions. A tented camp experience does sound lovely. However, it is looking like we'll be doing 2 nights at Ndutu and 2 nights at Serena. It is just SO much more affordable that way. Is that a mistake? Am I missing any other affordable options?

Someone else emailed me that there are no animals in the central Serengeti in December. I find that hard to believe. Am I correct?

Thanks!
eco2 is offline  
May 11th, 2007, 06:09 PM
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Your plan will be fine. The mobiles are more expensive.
atravelynn is offline  
May 11th, 2007, 06:26 PM
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Thanks, atravelynn.

Do you know anything about Migunga or Kirurumu tented camps in Manyara? This will be our only tented camp! We want it to be nice but also this is a good area to save money.

I appreciate your advice!
eco2 is offline  
May 15th, 2007, 04:26 PM
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Haven't been there yet, so I can't say from personal experience... but Green Footprint Adventures advised us to go for Kirurumu rather than Migunga, because they said Migunga had gotten some bad feedback from their clients recently. I wasn't able to find out very much about Migunga on the web or this board, so I took their advice and booked Kirurumu.
MyDogKyle is offline  
May 16th, 2007, 04:35 AM
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Thank you, mydogKyle. That is very helpful. I have been unable to find much about Migunga either and few have even heard of it. Have you been on your trip? How was Kirurumu? Thanks.
eco2 is offline  
May 16th, 2007, 05:29 AM
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I have stayed at both places.

It is a bit unfair to compare them straight up.

Kirurumu http://www.go-safari.com/Manyara/Kirurumu.htm is considered a more upscale camp in a prime location. It is not luxurious but the view from the lounge area and a few of the tents is priceless. It offers an alternative to Serena and they are basically on par in terms of service and such. Being smaller, Kirurumu feels more intimate and the lounge area in particular is very inviting. I can certainly stay here for 2 nights or more.

Migunga http://www.go-safari.com/Manyara/Tentedcamp.htm is nice too in a wood area but absolutely no views and they market themselves to slightly lower budget clients (it is not cheap though). There is also a campground next door that attracts adventurous clients. Migunga is peaceful and the tents are more basic but comfortable. Service is friendly and keen but don't expect more!

With so many choices in the area, I just cannot convince myself that Migunga offers good value for money. For only a bit more $ per night per room, I think it is better to upgrade to a rim property (views) or places such as EUnoto (views and culture), Wild Africa Manyara (views).

Or if you want cheap, try Jambo Lodge (pool and nice rooms).
climbhighsleeplow is offline  
May 16th, 2007, 05:45 AM
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Hi climbhighsleeplow, that was very informative - thank you! It is nice to hear from someone who has stayed at both of these places. We are looking for a place to stay after Manyara but before proceeding on to the NCA. (We'll hit the Crater on the way out after the Serengeti) All of our other accommodations will be safari lodges so we thought a tented camp experience would be nice. I am not sure if this is necessary, just what we thought after reading others' advice on these boards. Do you still recommend E Unoto over Kirurumu? It sounds like you would definitely recommend Kirurumu over Migunga, is that right? Does Kirurumu really offer that great of an experience, even though it is simple, or should we just go with one of the lodges you recommended?

In another question, I was going to book Serena Serengeti and Serena Ngoro. (for the Crater views) but recently heard that they often overbook, and I could get there and not have the room I paid for. Is this true? Has anyone else had these types of experiences?

Thank you so much!
eco2 is offline  
May 16th, 2007, 05:53 AM
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Hi again,

I decided to add where we are staying the other nights - to welcome suggestions on Manyara.

Arusha - Klub Afriko in Kimandolu village
Lake Manyara - ?
Ng. Conservation Area - Ndutu Lodge (2 nights)
Serengeti - probably Serena (2 nights)
Crater - probably Serena (1 night)
Coffee plantation - Gibb's Farm (2 nights)

Thanks!
eco2 is offline  
May 16th, 2007, 01:17 PM
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Hi Eco2,

Just to answer your question, I haven't been on my trip yet. We're going in September/October, so I will definitely post a trip report when we get back. I owe it to the board, since everyone here has been so helpful for me in the planning stages!
MyDogKyle is offline  

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