Tanzania Safari - Good Earth Tours

Nov 17th, 2008, 11:39 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 6
Tanzania Safari - Good Earth Tours

Hi,

I am planning a honeymoon safari to Tanzania in October 2009. I think we've settled on a tour with Good Earth with a couple of customizations. This is our first time to Africa and would love any suggestions. Could you please take a look at the itinerary and let me know if you have any thoughts...either about the tour itself or Good Earth? Thanks so much for any help or insight you can provide!

http://www.goodearthtours.com/Tanzan..._Tanzania.html

We are planning on staying at Tarangire Treetops and the Ngorongoro Crater Lodge instead of the ones currently listed for Tarangire and Ngorongoro.
NattySilver is offline  
Nov 17th, 2008, 12:53 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 2,148
Hope you have seen this recent trip report. She also used Good Earth Tours.
http://www.fodors.com/forums/threadselect.jsp?fid=4

laurie_ann is offline  
Nov 17th, 2008, 01:05 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 2,881
We've used a different company on our trips to Tz, but GE has a good reputation for a moderately priced company.

In the past you could take one of their itineraries and pay extra (small amount, maybe $200?) and turn it from a group trip into a private trip. I would strongly urge you to do this, if they still offer it.
Bill_H is offline  
Nov 17th, 2008, 01:15 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: May 2003
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Sorry, the link wasn't right. Try this http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=35166476
laurie_ann is offline  
Nov 17th, 2008, 02:58 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
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Hi,

We also went with Good Earth Tours this year and highly recommend them. Our guide was Raphael and he was brilliant. We paid the extra $150USpp for a private tour - the only way to go!
mazj is offline  
Nov 18th, 2008, 05:45 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 247
The only thing I would change is to add a couple days in the Northern Serengeti (Lobo) - especially in October if you'd like to try and catch any of the Migration (this will just be luck as it's never the same any given year).

Even if you don't see the Migration, there is still plenty to see. Lobo was the best area for us to see the lions and other wildlife without any or many other vehicles around.

I highly recommend Good Earth and Saidi/Abdul (he goes by both names) as a guide.

Carrie
CarrieT is offline  
Nov 18th, 2008, 08:25 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,252
Good Earth are okay. No complaints at all. Thoughts? Add more days to some of the parks...at the expense of the others if necessary. If you have so few days, why not just do Ngorongoro and the Serengeti (go up to Lobo as Carrie suggested and fly back) or the other three parks without the Serengeti? Don't stay in Arusha if your flight times allow you to avoid it? Tarangire is only a couple of hours away.
kimburu is offline  
Nov 18th, 2008, 11:49 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
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On Day 7, if you go as far north at Lobo in N.Serengeti, or even at Migration Camp, there is no way it's a 3/hr drive to Ngorongoro.

For October, while Tarangire is ideal, I'd skip this especially if staying at Maraombi Camp (8/miles) south of the park; instead go to Manyara.

From Manyara you can drive to the Central Serengeti, but it's a much longer haul up to Lobo or Migration.

Unless budget is an issue, I'd work my way by road -
Day 1 - on arrival o/n Arusha
Day 2 - Manyara - o/n
Day 3 - Ngorongoro - o/n
Day 4 - To Central Serengeti - o/n
Day 5 - To N.Serengeti - Lobo or Migration
Day 6 & 7 - N.Serengeti - o/n
Day 8 - FLY to Arusha; day-room

As it's your honeymoon, while Lobo Lodge is in a lovely area, it will be a let-down from the other properties shown. And it would be nice, by "saving the best for last" enjoying the lux of Migration Camp.
sandi is offline  
Nov 18th, 2008, 06:10 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
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I agree with Sandi. If you do decide to do Northern Serengeti and if you are on your honeymoon, you don't want to stay at Lobo Lodge. It was our worst as far as accommodation (although hearing the lions roaring at night was incredible). I agree that you want your last memory to be your best, so go with the Migration Camp.

I realize our suggestions change the "canned" tour quite a bit, but I think it will be worth it for you to make some changes if you can. I did a completely custom tour with Good Earth and it didn't cost much more than their other itineraries. It might be fun for you to work up two or three different itineraries and then give them to a couple companies for pricing.

Also, I agree that adding a couple more days in some of the areas would be nice. It's such a long flight - it would be nice to not feel like you're rushing from place to place.

Carrie
CarrieT is offline  
Nov 20th, 2008, 07:43 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 54
I would really recommend migration camp -- wonderful experience there.
npederse is offline  
Dec 6th, 2008, 09:13 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 27
Hi NattySilver,
My husband and I just returned from Tanzania and Rwanda, booked through Good Earth Tours. You will have an AMAZING time. =) We also got a private tour, which is perfect if your husband wants to stare at a sleeping cheetah for an hour or so and you want to stop to see every flower and bird along the way. Our guide, like mazj, was also Raphael. He was absolutely wonderful! Very patient, pleasant, excellent knowledge of all the wildlife, plants, birds and insects. AND he has a great singing voice. =D You can ask Narry to request specific guides.

As for the places you’re staying, I see that one of the places you’re staying in is a tented lodge. Note that the short rainy season will have just begun. Meaning the insects will be coming out then, too. If you’re at all squeamish of creepy crawlies, you may want to rethink this particular accommodation. Even in the lodges they will make their way in to some extent. But fewer worries here as the geckos will follow as cleanup crew! Haha =P In a tent, one survival tactic is to not turn on your lights after dark and just use only your flashlights. But if you love the insects (e.g. rhino dung beetles!), you will love the tents. In fact, you may want to stay at one of the migration tents and then get to see/hear the night animals (e.g. porcupines) up close and personal.

Once I get over my jet lag, I will hopefully post a report for the Tanzania safari portion or our trip (we also do gorilla treks in Rwanda). =)

Congratulations and have a wonderful honeymoon!
demitademi is offline  
Dec 7th, 2008, 09:27 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 1,698
Used Good Earth Tours for a 2 week safari in October, the Migration safari. At the time that I booked in Feb. Migration camp was not the property listed but I made that change and it was fantastic. I also selected Tarangire Treetops which was also wonderful! First night in Nurgodoto Lodge didn't see much of the place as we arrived late at night but rooms very nice as are the grounds, staff, food etc. Next night at Tarangire Treetops again arriving late but reecption and adjoining dining area open aired, huge tree with bats flying in and out by reception desk. I love bats and am a member of Bats International and never expected this! After freshening up we made it back to dining area with Maasai escort in case we met up with any local wildlife on the way. This area overlooks a manmade watering hole and as we were relaxing with the rest of our dinner wine, the lights were dimmed and lo and behold, 3 lions were there!!!Our first sighting on our first safari on our first night!!!! Everything was absolutly fantastic, I have only good things to say about Good Earth Tours, Raphael our guide, all the accommodations and of course Africa. If you can manage it, try to add Rwanda to see the gorillas. We went with Rwanda Eco Tours for 2 gorilla treks but alas, couldn't manage the second day because of the rain making the trail so muddy I found hike to be more than I could do again. My own fault as I have never been in shape, don't exercise, eat too much junk food, getting too old, blah, blah, blah. Weather was great in October, no rain, not too hot. Any questions you may have I would be happy to answer.
KRNS is offline  
Dec 9th, 2008, 07:28 AM
  #13  
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Thank you so much for the wonderful advice. I really appreciate it. We are definitely going to book with them!

Best,
Natalie
NattySilver is offline  
Feb 24th, 2009, 07:03 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 1
Hi Natty! Your post sounds exactly like what i've been researching! I too am going on a honeymoon in october 2009 and am checking out roy's and good earth for pricing and also want to stay at the same places you mention! What dates will you be going? maybe we'll cross paths!! Let me know how your research is going! We can be honeymoon planning buddies haha

Take care! I"M SO EXCITED!
cinful is offline  

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