Tanzania safari recommendations


Nov 8th, 2005, 12:00 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2005
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Tanzania safari recommendations

Looking for some suggestions….

I'll be in Tanzania for the first time with two friends in February, we're hoping to summit Kilimanjaro. We've made arrangements for the hike and booked the flight so that we'll have a few extra days in Tanzania. That's where I need the help. Our initial thought was to spend two nights at Ngorongoro and two night at either Lake Manyara or Tarangire. Since we're planning to spend 8 days on the mountain we were thinking it would be nice to relax the next few days. In other words stay somewhere we can enjoy beds, hot showers and flush toilets. We're looking forward to game drives and would enjoy a nature walk or something similar but we'd also like to spend time in camp/lodge relaxing and enjoying the surroundings.

Currently booked:

10 Feb - Depart
11 Feb - Arrive JRO
12 Feb - Moshi
13 thru 20 on the mountain (pole pole)
21 thru 25 Feb undecided
25 Feb Depart JRO (9:45 pm flight)
26 Feb Arrive home

Potential Itinerary:

21 Feb: Depart Moshi for Ngorongoro (half day game drive?) - Overnight at Crater
22 Feb: Game drive in Crater - Overnight at Crater
23 Feb: Depart Ngorongoro for Lake Manyara (or Tarangire) - Overnight at Lake Manyara (or Tarangire)
24 Feb: Game drive at Lake Manyara (or Tarangire) - Overnight at Lake Manyara (or Tarangire)
25 Feb: Bush/nature hike, Mountain bike, Canoe or Horseback - Return to JRO

For simplicity we'd prefer to pick just two locations. We also need be close enough to the airport on the 25th to get to our flight on time.

So here are the questions:

1) If you stayed 2 night at NCA would you prefer to stay the next two nights at Manyara or Tarangire?
2) Can you recommend non-rustic (bed and clean bathrooms) places to stay? I've heard good reviews on many of the lodges but have little information on the Camps.
3) Suggestions for Tour Operators? I've read lots about Good Earth, Zara, ATR, Roys, Hoopoe, Kibo and others, but it would be great to have hear firsthand recommendations from people that have used them.
4) Is it reasonable to contact lodges (e.g. Sopa or Serena) directly to request lodging and transportation from Moshi. It appears that the lodges/camps can arrange for the game drives and hikes without using a tour company. Wouldn't this be more economical?

Your help is greatly appreciated.

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Nov 8th, 2005, 01:14 PM
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But you have to get to the Crater, and walking (nor bus service) isn't an option. The tour operator will pick you up at your hotel in Kili or Arusha and drive you to the Crater... figure a good 5-6 hrs. Likewise to get back to Lake Manyara or Tarangire, need some transport - that's where the outfitter comes in; they'll see that you're back at Kili for your homebound flight.

Any one of the outfitters you mention are good to pursue, but know that February is high season and there isn't much room at the inns. Especially, if you want comfy beds, hot and cold running water.

Depending on your budget, you might just have to take whatever lodges are available for when you'll be visiting. The option would be camping, but then you're back to "rustic" - though permanent tent camps are quite comfy!

You can head to the Crater first for 2-nts then back via Lake Manyara for 1-nt and 1-nt Tarangire. It's a bit of moving about, but not unusual for visitors to do 1-nt each at this parks - both are small and easily done in 1-day. From the Crater, it's about 2-hrs back to Manyara; from Manyara about 2-hrs to Tarangire; from Tarangire to Arusha another 2-hrs; then 40-min to Kili (JRO) airport.

If you have to do it in reverse - with Tarangire first, then Manyara, then the Crater - you'll have more than sufficient time, even with a 6-hr drive in order to be back for your evening homebound flight.

So contact the outfitters you list and see who has what available for your dates. Do let us know.
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Nov 9th, 2005, 06:21 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 10
Thanks for the response. What type of accommodations are provided at the permanent camps? Can you recommend some?
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Nov 9th, 2005, 11:01 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Take a look at the following sites for descriptions and pics of camps in Tarangire and Lake Manyara -




There have been recent reports from those who used Roys, ATR, and Good Earth. Look for any threads with the words Tanzania trip report or something like that in the title. You should fine plenty.

You can book accomodations and game drives directly with lodges but I don't think they'll provide you with transportation from Moshi and between parks. If you book with a tour operator, they can provide all of your ground transportation as well as your game drives. It may not be more expensive as you would only be paying fullboard accomodation rates at the lodges and taking your game drives in your tour operator's vehicle.

You may find that the lodges at the crater rim are all booked for Feb already in which case you may have to consider alternate accomodations around Karatu. Availability could influence how many nights you stay here.

Actually if you base yourself in Karatu, you can visit Lake Manyara from here too. I also believe there's public bus service to Karatu, but I don't know how you'd get from here to Tarangire. If you're willing to skip Tarangire, then public transport may be a viable option.

If you're interested in horseback riding on the 25th, check out Makoa Farm www.makoa-farm.com located between Arusha and Moshi.
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