Tanzania Safari Deposit

Jun 27th, 2011, 02:28 PM
  #1  
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Posts: 396
Tanzania Safari Deposit

Hi all - I wanted to get your collective wisdom/advice on an issue I've encountered.

Over the past 3 years, we've been wanting to go on safari to Tanzania. I first contacted a well-reviewed operator in 2007 to plan a trip for 2008. However, due to the recession/poor economy, both of us had quite a bit of instability in our jobs, and we've postponed the desire a couple of times. Note that neither time did we ever move towards finalizing itinerary (ie, checking availability, making deposits, booking flights, etc).

Now we've finally decided to go in 2012. I even have my international flights booked! I immediately contacted the same operator. I've felt bad about taking up his time, and wanted to make sure he gets our business.

The operator replied with a itinerary of the different parks/areas, a very specific $$ figure, but no specifics about any camps. He also wants a $1,500 non-refundable deposit before we settle on specific camps, checking on availability, or working out the details.

What do you guys think? He does have a good reputation and I'm sure will do a good job, but such a huge non-refundable deposit makes me feel very uncomfortable. I don't have a problem with a 20% deposit to hold reservations, but what happens if we can't get the camps we want?

Has anyone encountered such practice?
linjudy is offline  
Jun 27th, 2011, 03:13 PM
  #2  
 
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Is this a Tanzania operator? If so, who is it? I've never had one insist on a deposit before booking.
ShayTay is offline  
Jun 27th, 2011, 05:02 PM
  #3  
 
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You pay a reasonable deposit based on a quotation from the operator that includes a specific itinerary with locations (parks/reserves and camps or lodges) on such-and-such a date. Along with other details of the services to be provided. The only real exception would be if you desired a certain camp/lodge that wasn't currently available and were willing to be wait-listed (with some idea of when you would know a place would be available). This sounds like an operator that doesn't think you are serious about the trip or is not willing to do the work to earn your business for some other reason.

You should look at other "reputable" operators and see what their deposit requirements are, compared to what you are being told by this one.

Jim.
Otis72 is offline  
Jun 27th, 2011, 07:55 PM
  #4  
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Yes, this is a Tanzania operator. I don't really want to say the name as I don't want to detract from someone's reputation. Suffice to say he is well respected on this forum.

I think perhaps he doesn't think I'm serious because of the fits/starts over the past couple of years, or as you say, doesn't want to do the work as he likely has repeat clients. But we're all set to go this time. I even offered to pay a $200 non-refundable fee for him to plan the trip, but he is insisting on the $1500.

Unfortunately, I was so set to work with him, I've not done much research on other reputable operators. Madly scrambling now to find some alternatives. Suggestions?
linjudy is offline  
Jun 28th, 2011, 02:13 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
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With current economy terrible in many areas

what lots of operators do is wait book your trip

as best they can with the half u send them

then pocket/profit on the other half

it is not uncommon for smaller shoestring operators

to do this but very risky to wire money many scammers

who will simply disappear.

Personally would stick with quality operators porini.com

travelzoo.com friendlyplanet.com or similar

that offer cost effective packages and take credit cards

I can always dispute the charge/get my money back

insuremytrip.com for theft fraud etc always wise for me

Best I have seen from US 5 star hotels daily game drives

lodges in Kenya including air from US $1695 on travelzoo.com

A heck of a deal... so personally might shop around a bit.

Happy Hunting,
qwovadis is offline  
Jun 28th, 2011, 08:53 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 8,675
So this operator is basically asking for $1,500 Planning Fee!
That is quite high as non-refundable.

While some companies who will charge $200-300/person Planning Fee, to then be deducted once booked from total cost of trip, $1,500 is a bit much.

My guess is that the outfitter has a bad taste from your previous contacts and doesn't want to find himself in the same situation again... it's understandable and thus the request for "money up front."

However, if you are serious to go, this or any other outfitter should be able to verify availability at the areas/properties you wish, pending receipt of your deposit. Deposits can range from 20-50% of total cost of trip. If some properties are not available, and has to be waitlisted, they should be able to provide a "cover booking" to assure you have a place to lay your head and then if/when waitlist clears... you're set.

So, since it's obvious you don't want to lay out this amount of deposit for the "unknown" (neither would I), suggest you consider another outfitter.
sandi is offline  
Jun 28th, 2011, 02:53 PM
  #7  
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In terms of other outfitters, any opinions about Nomad, Planet Africa (formerly Green Footprint), Roy's Safari? I think all 3 have lots of positive trip reports in this forum, and are TZ based companies.
linjudy is offline  
Jun 28th, 2011, 05:17 PM
  #8  
 
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I was able to get dollar quotes feom 5 vendors and they knew I was shopping around. I am a very detailed email hound so there were 8-12 emails between most but all were pleasant and none asked for a dime. When I decided to move my date from late Feb. to June one firm said let's reconvene in October so I dropped them but the others were fine. I personally would contact other well known providers like Wild Spirit, Roys, Duma,and there are so many other good ones. I would tell this organization "thanks but no thanks".
StanKase is offline  
Jun 28th, 2011, 06:39 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
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Personally, I would never pay a "planning fee" and any company that demanded that would be bypassed by me for sure. I don't know who you're working with, but I must say that it does sound odd to me. I would certainly go with another company, but not knowing which one this is, I cannot recommend one.... I went with Good Earth Tours and had a wonderful Tanzania safari - no complaints (well, except they forgot to pick me up at the airport!). I would be surprised if it was them, but if so there are many others to choose from with good reputations (do a search on the forum here) that would not charge you a planning fee. Most really want your business and don't mind putting in some time on a quote. If I were you, I'd do some research and get an itinerary together (with lodging) and submit it to 3 or 4 companies for quotes and see what you get.
cjryan is offline  
Jun 28th, 2011, 09:43 PM
  #10  
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Thanks, I'm narrowing down on the itinerary options are getting some quotes. One difference in Tanzania seems to be that you hire a guide and vehicle for the duration of the trip (in Botswana everyone used the camp's guide/vehicle). So it seems important to get a good guide.

Any experiences with Roys, Nomad, Warrior Trails or Planet Africa's vehicle/guides? Note that I keep mentioning these outfitter because I'd like to work with them, which means they are not the one who asked for the crazy upfront fee
linjudy is offline  
Jun 30th, 2011, 12:25 PM
  #11  
 
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I should have mentioned we are using Naipenda a firm out of Texas that has it's own base operation in Arusha.W vare going on a 10 day Tanzanian safari with 9 nights in the bush including 4 in lodges and 5 in tented camps the first week of June 2012. I put down at my own initiative $500 Fully Refundable-no planning fee because they did so much work and I made so many changes. My 25% is due January 18,2012 and it is refundable until March 18, 2012 or postponed up to 1 year.
StanKase is offline  
Jun 30th, 2011, 04:22 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
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I work for a well known Worldwide operator. We ask for $250 or 10% deposit, whichever is greater. Full payment if you are traveling soon. Most other operators I know ask for similar. This seems high to me.

Maz at Explore!
mazatExplore is offline  
Jun 30th, 2011, 04:32 PM
  #13  
 
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stan would you share your itinerary and cost?
geosand is offline  
Jun 30th, 2011, 08:19 PM
  #14  
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@stanKase, I actually offered to pay a non-refundable deposit of $200 per person as a planning fee, but he wanted the $1500. I have no issue with putting down a non-refundable deposit once itinerary and availability is confirmed.
linjudy is offline  
Jun 30th, 2011, 08:32 PM
  #15  
 
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Just back from Kenya & Tanzania last week. Warrior Trails handled the Tanzania portion where I hired a private vehicle & requested Jackson as my guide. Highly recommend them!
KathBC is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2011, 08:34 AM
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geosand; Yes,I can give you the details if you would at least consider using the firm I am going with in June. I can tell you our cost for 10 nights (1 at the African Tulip B&B with A/C in Arusha and 9 nights in the bush) in what is considered 4 star-luxury (Bilila Kiminski Camp, Dunia Camps) except for Sopa Lodge vs.Serena-3+ Star at the Crater, our choice, because of the superior views from the room and lodge and ease of getting down into the Crater (location saves 30+ minutes of driving) with a private guide in early June is $6900/person inclusive with all meals soft drinks etc. This includes meeting us in Kilamonjaro and driving us to Arusha and the next day offering us some drive around time in Arusha if we desire prior to starting the safari the following day.
StanKase is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2011, 09:59 AM
  #17  
 
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StanKase - appreciate the information, I will add them to my list
geosand is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2011, 12:12 PM
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geosand; I will tell Jo you will be contacting her. Here is the complete itinerary.It is going to the West for the last 3 days because beginning in early June that is generally where the migration will be heaviest.
I hope this helps.

Arrival at Mr. Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) this evening at approximately 7:45 off KLM/Delta
Flight arriving from Amsterdam. After clearing customs and immigration procedures you will be met in
arrivals. Please look for a Naipenda Safaris signboard with your name. After introductions, you will be
transferred to your lodge and assisted with check-in approx. 9:15PM.
Overnight The African Tulip – dinner, bed & breakfast
The African Tulip – Arusha City Center
The African Tulip is an elegant and charming Luxury Boutique Hotel located along Serengeti Road right in
the heart of Arusha. A warm and friendly welcome awaits guests who want to experience the best of
Tanzanian hospitality. The hotel has been designed with safari travelers, business persons, families,
honeymooners, elite and leisure travelers in mind. It has amenities of convenience whilst offering a high
standard of luxury.
The hotel has 29 guest rooms, 7 of which are suites with A/C. The rooms are individually and stylishly
decorated using warm African tones. A lot of African material and local art has been used reflecting the
common thread that runs throughout the hotel which is one of consistence and quality.
`The Zanzibar' Lounge is beautifully decorated with Zanzibari art and offers comfortable seating
where guests can relax and peruse the various coffee table books, whilst enjoying pure African Coffee. A
fully stocked lounge bar offers warm Swahili service.
`The Baobab' Restaurant is uniquely designed and offers a comfortable and enjoyable dining
experience. Our Chefs creatively prepare exotic and delicious meals with fresh and natural ingredients
giving guests a flavor of both Tanzanian and International cuisine.
Additional amenities include: a business centre, a 30 seater conference room, two fully stocked
bars, swimming pool and gift shops.
Day 2 –
Today is your day to rest and relax, recovering from jetlag. If you become bored, there are plenty of
activities at the lodge or you can call our office and we will provide a car and driver to take you where you
might like to go.
Overnight again at The African Tulip – full board
Note: Game drives generally occur early morning and mid afternoon, when animal activity is at its peak,
returning to your lodge or camp for lunch and a rest between. Game drives will last 3 to 4 hours
depending on what sightings may occur. If you would like to be out the entire day, please inform your
guide (preferably the night before) so he can make arrangements for lunch boxes to carry with you. On
days when moving from one location to another, a picnic lunch will automatically be provided. It is
mandatory that you return to your lodge or camp before dark.
Your guide carries all of the paperwork necessary for your safari. He will assist with check-ins at the
lodges; have the necessary park and conservation fees on smart cards for park entry purposes. He will
carry all necessary vouchers for additional activities or book and pay for them on the spot. There is
nothing you will be responsible for during your stay excepting any additional services you require that
are not included in your safari price.
Day 3 –
At the designated time your private driver/guide will call for you at the lodge and from here it is about a 2-
hour drive to the gate at Lake Manyara. You will pass through some lovely countryside that your guide will
describe to you and there is always the possibility of seeing a few animals along the way – generally giraffe
and zebra. Upon arrival at the gate, the top of the vehicle will be raised and the real game viewing begins.
Manyara is famous for its tree-climbing lion and the five eco-systems that make up this wonderful area.
After lunch in the park and your game viewing time ends, you will travel up the Rift Valley Escarpment
Wall and travel to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and Crater to overnight.
Overnights Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge – full board
LAKE MANYARA NATIONAL PARK:
Lake Manyara National Park Biosphere Reserve (80,300 acres) sanctuary extends from the northern and
western parts of Lake Manyara to the top of the western rift valley wall, and is 75 miles southwest of
Arusha. Verreauz’s eagles, vultures, storks, swifts and swallows wing by lodging atop the spectacular cliffs
overlooking the lake. Springs in the park’s northern end support a dense groundwater forest of giant figs
and mahogany, which shelters blue monkeys, baboon, bush buck, common water buck, elephant, and
silvery-cheeked horn bill. South of the forest, buffalo, wildebeest, impala, giraffe, zebra, lion and gray
backed fiscal-shrike frequent the acacia woodland and open grassland. Streams attract python, Nile
monitor lizard and mountain wagtail. Lake Manyara at 3,150 feet varies in salinity levels with wetter and
drier climate cycles. At times it is replete with flamingo, pelican, stork and cormorant. The hippo pool,
where visitors may get out of their vehicles, is located on a freshwater stream that enters the lake at its
northern tip.
Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge – Ngorongoro Crater
Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge is situated on the crater rim, with excellent views. The lodge feels small with
clever positioning of its 92 suites. The views from the lodge and the pool, together with its excellent
position for visiting the crater make this lodge an excellent place to stay. It is also unique in its positioning
on the eastern side of the crater, offering spectacular views of the sun setting over its western rim.
Opened in 1992, and recently completely refurbished, the lodge can accommodate 190 guests in
92 suites, each enjoying wall-to-wall carpeting, central heating, a private lounge with a mini bar, a
bedroom with two queen size beds and ample room for a third, an en-suite bathroom with shaver sockets
and a hair dryer, and a private solarium which offers stunning views either down into the crater floor
below or of the setting sun over the western horizon.
Our guest shops stock a wide selection of curios, gift items, clothing, film, sweets, postcards,
personal requisites and toiletries. A swimming pool is situated on the very edge of the crater itself and the
water is bracing, even invigorating to say the least, at any time of year. However, for those who would
prefer the warmth of a shower or bath in their suite, the pool is a perfect area to unwind and relax while
enjoying the views of the crater floor below or of the sunsets in the evenings.
Day 4 –
It is off on an early start today, as you will want to be down onto the Ngorongoro Crater floor in the prime
time for viewing. You may see Maasai guiding their herds down to the floor for grass and water, their cow
bells tinkling as they walk. The drive down the Crater wall is in itself an adventure. This World Heritage
Site sunken caldera contains the largest concentration of wildlife to be found on the African Continent –
over 20,000 at all times. Indigenous to this area is the handsome black mane lion. The endangered black
rhino may also be witnessed in the Crater, one of the few remaining areas in Tanzania where they may be
viewing in their natural habitat. Your game drive will last approximately six to 8 hours and lunch will be
served down on the Crater floor at mid-day. When you are tired and want to depart, just let your
driver/guide know and he will take you back to the lodge.
Overnight again at Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge – full board
NGORONGORO CONSERVATION AREA/CRATER:
Ngorongoro Conservation Area/World Heritage Site (2,045,200 acres) protects wildlife habitat as well as
the rights of local Maasai who graze their livestock on about 75 percent of the area. Ngorongoro Crater,
12 miles wide, is the world's largest intact caldera. Before the cataclysmic collapse of its cone 2 million
years ago, this volcanic mountain may have been taller than Kilimanjaro. Its rim, which averages 7,600
feet elevation, is cloaked in moist montane forest and grassland, hosting elephants, golden-winged and
eastern double-collared sunbirds, stonechats and Jackson's widowbird. From lodges and campsites on the
rim, visitors are driven down to the crater floor for a 6-hour survey. At 5,600 feet elevation, the crater floor
is primarily grassland, with patches of spring-fed marshes, freshwater ponds, a salt lake, and small forests.
Harboring 20,000 large animals, it is a virtual Noah's Ark (without giraffes). Great effort has gone into
saving the black rhino here, and several dozen are resident and counted from the air every night. Buffaloes,
wildebeests, zebras, gazelles, and hartebeests graze the grassland, while elephants roam the wooded areas,
and hippos gather in marshes and ponds. Lions, spotted hyenas, and golden and black-backed jackals are
easy to find, but servals and cheetahs are sighted rarely. Resident ostriches, crowned cranes, and kori
bustards are joined seasonally by migrant flocks of white and Abdim’s storks. The conservation area also
includes two other voluminous craters, six peaks that top 10,000 feet and the southeastern corner of the
vast Serengeti Plains. Ol’duvai Gorge, just north of the road to the Serengeti, has yielded hominid fossils
key to the study of human evolution. Here sits a museum and shaded picnic sites. Red-and-yellow barbets
join less colorful birds here for crumbs, while cheetahs sometimes roam nearby.
Days 5, 6 and 7 –
This morning you drive around the Crater rim and continue northward to the Ndutu and Southern Serengeti
area. In addition to the migration, there are the ever-present predators hoping for an easy meal. There are
resident lion prides and families of cheetah, often with their young in this area as well. Your camp for these
three nights will be in the Moru kopjes, just south of the Seronera Valley.
Overnights Dunia Camp – full board inclusive
Dunia Camp – South Central Serengeti National Park
Dunia is a small, permanent camp tucked away in a private location amongst the Moru Kopjes.
Strategically placed, it allows access to some of the best game viewing areas available in the Serengeti.
Each of the 7 spacious tents features an en- suite bathroom and private veranda overlooking the kopjes.
One of Asilia’s newer properties, Dunia Camp officially opened in mid December 2009 in answer
to the need for a permanent camp in the south central Serengeti. Although the structure of Dunia is that of
a mobile camp, the attention to detail, spaciousness and luxurious quality imparts a feeling of permanence.
Dunia Camp is capable of offering excellent game viewing on a year round basis through access to some of
the best wildlife locations the south central Serengeti has to offer.
SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK:
The world famous Serengeti National Park (the largest in Tanzania) occupies about 9150 sq .miles. The
name Serengeti means endless plains and is derived from the Maasai word ”siringiti”. The park lies in a
high plateau between the Ngorongoro highlands and the Kenya/Tanzanian border, extending almost to
Lake Victoria. It encompasses the main part of the Serengeti ecosystem.
The most famous features of the Serengeti are the spectacular concentration of animals found
nowhere else in the world, as well as the annual wildebeest migration. This spectacle sees more than one
million wildebeest, 200,000 zebras and 300,000 Thomson's gazelles trek to new grazing grounds. The brief
population explosion of wildebeest produces over 8,000 calves a day before the migration begins.
As in all ecosystems the vegetation and types of animals are closely correlated. The principal
features of the park are the short and long grass open plains in the southeast, the acacia savannah in the
central area, the hilly, more densely wooded northern section, and the extensive woodland and black clay
plains, dominated by the central ranges of mountains in the western corridor.
Day 8, 9 and 10 –
The goal for the next three days is to explore the Central Serengeti including the famous Seronera Valley.
Due to the abundant wildlife viewing opportunities and the enormous size of the Central Serengeti, your
exploration of this area will be split into two days. Today you will focus your time exploring the western
areas of the Central Serengeti including the western half of Seronera and Makoma Hill while tomorrow’s
game drives will focus on the eastern areas of the Central Serengeti including the Maasai and Sametu
Kopjes. Depart the lodge and head east down the Western Corridor of the Serengeti for your first glimpse
of Seronera Valley (1.5-hour drive). Your guide will pack lunch boxes to be enjoyed in ‘the bush’ when
you build up an appetite.
The main attraction in the Central Serengeti is undoubtedly the beautiful Seronera River Valley.
Several perennial rivers run through this valley enabling an abundance of resident animals to thrive. The
combination of location and resident prey attracts the largest and most diverse population of predators in
Africa. The secret is out – there is simply no better place in Africa to observe these large carnivores in
action! Since many of these predators are resident to Seronera, excellent encounters are available year
round and it is not unusual to encounter all four large predators (lion, hyena, leopard and cheetah) during
the course of a day along with a multitude of smaller predators (mongoose, jackal, serval and bat-eared
fox). Seronera is actually derived from the Maasai word 'siron' meaning the place of the bat-eared fox.
The Seronera River Valley is home to an incredible diversity of wildlife due to its unique
ecological niche as a transitional zone. A transitional zone, or ecotone, is where two distinctly different
habitats merge and where various species of flora and fauna from both habitats can coexist. Seronera is the
border zone between the Serengeti plains and the Serengeti woodlands. At Seronera the great Serengeti
Plains stretch out to the south and east while the Serengeti Woodlands predominate to the north and west.
Due to this unique ecological feature, Seronera supports a much greater diversity of wildlife then anywhere
else in the Serengeti including elephant, giraffe, impala, waterbuck, hippo, topi, reedbuck, buffalo, baboon
and vervet monkey. Focus your game drives on the Seronera River game loops for quality encounters with
all three species of big cats including lions, cheetahs and leopards.
Overnights Bilila Kempinski horizon room – full board
Bilila Kempinski – Central Serengeti National Park
Nestled in the heart of the Serengeti National Park, bilila Lodge Kempinski offers you a taste of Africa's
wild combined with luxury, comfort and style. Welcome to one of the worlds most renowned romantic
holiday destinations and indulge in untamed beauty within Tazania's UNESCO World Heritage sites. Every
facet of the lodge allows you to experience the park and its endless plains.
There is comfort in the wild. Accommodation perfectly combines the intimacy
of a lodge and the indulgence expected of a luxury hotel. All our 60 rooms, 12 suites and 5 private villas
have direct views overlooking the endless plains of the Serengeti. Take pleasure in the continuous
enjoyment of the view of the African wilderness.
A fusion of Pan-African flavors. Designed to enhance your culinary and visual experience of the
bush, the restaurant, bar and wine cellar offer a variety of world-class cuisine with African tapas flair. From
fine dining and a a la care to outside boma and live cooking buffet, we offer cuisine that will satisfy your
curiosity to experience truly African flavors from across the continent.
Anantara Spa. Embark on a journey to outer wellbeing and inner fulfillment with a sense of
pampering and soothing therapies incorporating locally produced oils, plants and herbs that will intoxicate
your senses and leave your body soft, smooth and relaxed.
Day 11, 12 and 13 –
These next three days and nights will be spent in the Western Corridor of Serengeti National Park, the
anticipated location for the Great Migration at this time of year. While no one can predict the exact location
your three different location in Serengeti will give you ample opportunity to witness this amazing event.
Your luxury camp is located near the Grumeti River where the animals cross in their northward march to
fresher grasses.
The Western Serengeti is referred to as the Western Corridor as this area takes the shape of giant
valley (running east to west) that is flanked to the north and south by hills. This relatively narrow corridor
is about 50 miles long and is characterized by dense stands of acacia trees interspersed with open plains
including the Musabi, Dutwa and Ruwana Plains. The dominant feature of the Corridor is the Grumeti
River, which runs down entire length of the corridor before draining into Lake Victoria. This area is
covered in verdant acacia woodlands, which support a myriad of herbivores. Giraffe in particular seem to
dominate the Lower Grumeti Woodlands as they feed exclusively on the tender leaves of acacia trees,
which happen to flourish here. The species occurring in the Serengeti is the Maasai giraffe. A mature male
giraffe weighs about 2,200 pounds and stands approximately 11 feet at the shoulders. Twiga, as the giraffe
is known in Swahili, is the national emblem of Tanzania. It is interesting to note the various self defense
mechanisms exemplified throughout the Grumeti Woodlands. Acacia trees have evolved long prickly
thorns to help defend themselves against browsers while other species have developed poisonous sap. The
whistling thorn tree has evolved a particularly ingenious defense (make sure to have your guide discuss and
demonstrate this unique defense strategy).
The Grumeti River is renowned for its population of gigantic Nile crocodiles. In particular, the 8-mile
stretch of river upstream from Grumeti River Camp is home to some of the biggest crocodiles left
anywhere in Africa. Due to rigorous anti-poaching efforts, these huge reptiles survived the great slaughter
of the 1950s and 1960s when thousands of crocodiles were hunted all over Africa for their skins. Some of
these pre-historic monsters measure up to 17-feet long and are 70-years old. Crocodiles live mainly on fish
but also take plenty of large animals ranging in size from Thomson’s gazelle and impala to wildebeest and
zebra.
Overnights Kirawira Luxury Camp – full board
Kirawira Luxury Tented Camp – Western Corridor Serengeti
This luxury-tented camp is a stylish evocation of the Victorian colonial period. Guests have all the comforts
that colonial travelers would have taken on safari, supplemented by more modern luxuries. Located on one
of the Kirawira range of hills in the western corridor of the Serengeti, the camp overlooks, in the near
distance, the famous Grumeti River with its giant crocodiles and, some distance beyond, Speke's Bay, a
part of Lake Victoria. The camp is all canvas and is almost invisible from afar. It is designed and sited to
harmonize with the natural surroundings whilst offering the highest standards of comfort and service.
Twenty-five double tents on platforms have either twin or king-sized beds, mosquito netted and covered in
bright patchwork covers. The en-suite bathroom contains a generous selection of Floris goodies including
blissful aromatherapy oils, a robe and large, soft white towels. The wardrobe is leather cornered and
studded just like a colonial traveling trunk. A dish of delicious treats awaits the weary traveler - fresh fruit,
chocolate, sweetmeats and nuts tempt the palate. A large tented veranda allows you to gaze at the lovely
views as you sip your drink and think about the Empire! A covered terrace flanks the main lounge and
frames vistas across the plains to the misty-blue Bunda Hills rising in the distance. A thoughtfully placed
telescope allows you to pick out minute detail. Here you may take afternoon tea, served from a silver
teapot. This is also a favorite spot in which to take a sundowner. Dinner is served in the dining tent, where
white napery, crystal and porcelain recall colonial dinner parties. Waiters wearing the khanzu - a long
white tunic - will serve the high quality cuisine in which East African flavors predominate yet are never
overpowering.
Day 14 –
Sadly your wildlife viewing is coming to an end as your private driver/guide transfers you to the Grumeti
airstrip for your flight out. The flight departs at 10:35am and arrives into Zanzibar at 2:00pm.
~~ End of Services ~~
Safari cost: $ 6,945 per person
Add scheduled flight Serengeti/Zanzibar: $ 490 per person
Safari rate is guaranteed for 2012 travel and is based on cash payment. 3.5% added to base cost for
credit card fees. Local flights and government fees are subject to increase at any time and are beyond
our control.
Cost includes:
Meet and greet at airport on arrival
Airport transfer on arrival
Half board accommodation on arrival day
Full board accommodation on all additional safari days
Private 4x4 Safari vehicle with expert driver/guide (air conditioned)
National Park entry fees
Crater service and conservation fees
Activities as described
Visit to Maasai village if desired on the way to Serengeti
Refreshments and well provisioned snacks during game viewing
Scheduled flight SER/ZNZ – priced separately and subject to increase-GEOSAND-We are going on to Zanzibar. If not there would be a short flight in the morning after breakfast back to Arusha likely costing $50-$60/person.
Airstrip transfer for departure to Zanzibar
Flying Doctor’s emergency evacuation insurance coverage
Cost excludes:
Personal items
Extra services offered by lodges
Telephone calls, fax and/or e-mail charges
Drinks or bar drinks except as inclusive at Dunia Camp
Gratuities-GEOSAND: I have read that for 2 people for good service $15-$18 USD per day in the bush to the driver is appropriate so in my case ~$140-$150.
Any additional services not mentioned above
StanKase is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2011, 01:00 PM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 689
Having just returned from 3 nights in Kirawira, it is a gorgeous tented camp & I would highly recommend requesting the Elephant tent as you're far enough away from the dining tents & lounge but don't have a long walk to them.

I personally found 2 full days of game viewing in the Western Corridor lacking in diversity. Yes the migration was absolutely everywhere which was great to see especially when they went for their morning drink at the river. Otherwise the herds were simply grazing.

We didn't witness any crossings as the grass was plentiful so the wildees were content to stay right where they were. So the corridor was full of wildebeest & zebra and hardly any other wild life. We searched for cats, found a kill which hadn't been touched, drove by the next day and it was still fully intact but no cats in sight.

In hind sight a trip to Lake Victoria should have been planned for one of the days leaving one day watching the wildebeest graze and drink.
KathBC is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2011, 09:08 AM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 2,771
KathBC; Was your stay in the West in early June or mid-June?
From all I have read each year the migration, and the vegetation growth and therefore the animal activityi.e. crossings can be different by a few weeks based on rainfall,temperatures,etc.
I will ask for the Elephant Tent.Thanks.
StanKase is offline  

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