Tanzania Safari Tour Recommendations?


Feb 20th, 2012, 12:01 PM
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Tanzania Safari Tour Recommendations?

My wife and I along with two other couples are interested in going on an African Safari. After considerable on line research, I have settled on Tanzania for about 10 days (plus/minus) in January or February 2013. We are all healthy and active senior citizens. We would like to go on a quality tour and have had some interaction with HippoCreek who has proposed a Northern Tanzania tour that costs $8,700. With international flights and insurance, this brings the cost/couple to over $20,000. This is a little too expensive and we are looking for possible alternative Safari groups that offer reputable, reiliabe tours at less cost. I have searched the web and have a list of about 15 companies but am now totally confused about which ones are really reputable, offer good camps, reliable vehicles, etc. I am very interested in getting more expertise feedback about which companies might provide a high quality tour for us at a more reasonable price. Any suggestions? Please elaborate. Many thanks in advance
JessePenn is offline  
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Feb 20th, 2012, 12:24 PM
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Yikes, you are saying $8,700 per person for 10 days, safari only?? $870 per day, that is about TWICE what you should be paying. I was safari TZ Feb of 2011 in a private vehicle, two photographers, with three vehicles in our group, cost was $450 per person per day, all inclusive. Highly recommend Roy Safaris out of Arusha. The manager Sanjay runs this small company, knows safaris, and will tke good care of you. Contact/work with Roys directly, no need for a travel agent go between. Roy will set up everything for you. (For the others on my 2011 TZ safari this was their third safari with Roys).

If the great migration is you primary interest, the "problem" is timing. Migration and calving is very dependent on grass which is very dependent on rain which is not predictable from week to week Jan-March

FWIW, here is my Fodors trip report of my safari -

regards - tom
cary999 is offline  
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Feb 20th, 2012, 01:52 PM
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thanks for your quick reply. Yes, when seeing the cost of $8700, we almost had a heart attack. I'll check out your trip report with interest. Appreciate you letting me know about your good experience with Roy's. I have seen them recommended before. I hesitate not to have a US contact but will at least explore them more. Appreciate it.
JessePenn is offline  
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Feb 20th, 2012, 03:44 PM
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So we can actually comment, advise what Hippo Creek* is offering.
- where visiting (parks),
- how many days at each,
- accommodations at each,
- which segments driving,
- which flying.

*assuming you got the name from Conde Nast Traveler mag? From my own experience, those found on that list are rather expensive.

Bear in mind that Hippo Creek is very reputable, but does tend to be on the high-end when it comes to price, offering the most expensive accommodatioms.

If this is the case, then $870/ppnt which includes: room/tent, meals, game drives, guide/vehicle, flights as applicable, taxes/VAT is NOT that expensive in the scheme of things during peak season.

However, there are probably alternative accommodations to meet your needs.

Contacting Roy's Safaris is an excellent choice, but do let us know 'what is Hippo Creek offering' so we can comment.
sandi is offline  
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Feb 21st, 2012, 12:46 AM
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I'd suggest contacting Good Earth Tours www.goodearthtours.com/.

I've travelled with them twice to Northern Tanzania and found Narry to be very responsive to emails and willing to tailor the tour to whatever level of accommodation is required.


Treepol is offline  
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Feb 21st, 2012, 11:18 AM
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We used Maasai wanderings for our private safari in December 2011. Found them excellent in every way. Website is Maasaiwanderings.com. They will work within budgets and their guides were wonderful.
Elainee is offline  
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Feb 21st, 2012, 07:01 PM
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If you prefer to have a US contact we are using Africa Serendipity (based in NY). I believe they often contract with Roy's.
KTtravel is offline  
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Feb 22nd, 2012, 08:00 AM
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My parents and I used Twiga Tours http://twiga-tours.com/index.php in March of 2010. The cost for a private tour for 3 (inclusive of meals, private driver/guide, accomodations, park fees, flights, etc.) was half of what you have been quoted.

We really enjoyed the experience with them.
silleb is offline  
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Feb 22nd, 2012, 08:27 AM
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Jim - KTtravel is giving you good advice. Based on what you are looking for, you would get good help and pricing through Africa Serendipity. We have received excellent response from AS in the past, and also have had good experiences with three TZ safaris through Good Earth Tours. Jim.
Otis72 is offline  
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Feb 22nd, 2012, 12:41 PM
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There are many good Tour Companies that do African Safaries.

When a poster here tells you of a company he used and that he had a terrific time...chances are very high that you also will be happy using them.

In my City we have a tour company that specilaizes in Tours to Africa.
The owner lives in London and has a home in Kenya.

When I went to see him about my Safari, the price was $1,000.00 per person higher than another company I was dealing with out of Arusha Tanzania.

I had good recommendation about the Arusha Company from friends who had done a Safari with them within the past year.

So I booked a Private Safari ( two of us) with the Arusha Company and saved $1,000.00 per person in doing so.

In the end I got to see more places both because of our excellent Driver/Guide and because we had a Private tour.

I was like perhaps most people doing their first trip to East Africa...apprehensive and a bit intimidated.

How did my trip turn out .... 100 % perfect

I am sure you will be satisfied with any of the highly recommended tour companies that have been naned here.
Percy is online now  
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Feb 22nd, 2012, 03:58 PM
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There are numerous wonderful tour companies that provide excellent safaris and are based in East Africa.

Like you I was very skeptical about booking with a company that did not have a contact in the US. So I did a lot of research because the companies that we wanted to use were way over budget.

One of our main criterion was that the company take American Express. We also wanted a private tour with our own vehicle and guide.

We used Sun Trek Safaris. They planned our three week July 2010 trip at half the cost of other companies. It was a combination fly/drive. We traveled to Kenya and Tanzania.

Our trip was absolutely fabulous!!!! To travel to Africa is an investment that is worth every penny.

Whatever company you choose I recommend---research, research, research!!! Get quotes from several companies. Know where you want to go, what you want to see, where you want to stay and how you want to travel, ie.... in a group, a private tour, some flying, some driving, etc...

I first started with The Complete African Safari Planner by Fodors to read about the various parks in the countries that we wanted to visit. Next, I asked questions on this forum for assistance with itineraries, then I went to the companies for quotes.

Sun Trek Safaris provided us with a unbelievable trip.

Happy planning.
Live2Travel1000 is offline  
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Feb 22nd, 2012, 06:47 PM
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Well said Live2Travel1000

I also answered to your Lviv Odessa posting on the Europe Forum.
Percy is online now  
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Feb 26th, 2012, 02:26 PM
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JessePenn, $20k for 10 days is super expensive. We just came back from 8 days on safari and 5 days on Zanzibar, stayed at some pretty high end places with a private vehicle and guide, and paid much less than that. Your cost should also go down if the 6 of you are sharing a vehicle.

Best thing would be to get a strawman itinerary, and get quotes from several companies on that itinerary so you can get apples/apples comparison. We booked with ATR and I would recommend them. I just posted my trip report, so have a look at that, and feel free to ping me for any questions.
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