Tanzania safe? 2 Afrika/other tours

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Apr 4th, 2004, 03:30 PM
  #1
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Tanzania safe? 2 Afrika/other tours

Is Tanzania safe right now? I don't know why, but I'm nervous about traveling to Africa right now even though I've been before (but not East Africa). Also, heard anything good about 2Afrika? I don't want to spend as much as A&K costs, but I have to admit, I do want to stay in a lodge rather than a tent, and I worry that 2Afrika is too "budget" for my tastes. Any otehr good reasonably priced companies out there with good accomodations?
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Apr 4th, 2004, 03:53 PM
  #2
 
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Sanantoniogirl,

There are many local tour operators in Tanzania that will provide you the exact same lodging as A&K, Micato and other top end tour companies for A LOT LESS money. The very best prices I found in an aborted trip to Tanzania for this year were with Tanzania Serengeti Adventures. Ultimately, I couldn't get frequent flier seats to Tanzania but only to South Africa and Zambia, so I am going to Zambia instead and entirely skipping over South Africa since it is grossly overpriced right now.

Besides Tanzania Serengeti Adventure, you may want to consider Roy Safaris, Predator Safaris and Peacock Safaris. All of these companies will probably be nearly half the price of A&K or Micato for the exact same lodging.

I have dug up an old quote from Predator Safaris and I am attaching it for your review. On this particular itinerary, Predator Safaris was the cheapest, but on most others Tanzania Serengeti Adventures was the lowest:

Dear xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx,

Thank you for your email. Please find below
information requested.

June 11th - morning arrival (9AM) to Kiliminjaro
(JRO). Transfer to Tarangire. 2 nights at Kikoti
with day and night game drives.

June 12th - Kikoti. Day and night game drives.

June 13th - Transfer to Ngorongoro Crater with Olduvai
Gorge excursion en route. 2 nights at Ngorongoro
Serena.

June 14th - Ngorongoro Crater. Full day game drive
with picnic lunch inside crater.

June 15th - Transfer to Western Serengeti with lunch
en route at Serengeti Serena Lodge. 4 nights at
Kirawira Luxury Camp.

June 16th - Kirawira. Daily game drive.

June 17th - Kirawira. Daily game drive.

June 18th - Kirawira. Daily game drive.

June 19th - Air transfer to Kiliminjaro for evening
flight.

NETT COST FOR THE ABOVE PACKAGE: US$2295per person.

I hope that the above information is found to your
satisfaction.

Should you require any further details or changes,
please do not hesitate to contact us.

Best regards,

Nabeela.
PREDATORS SAFARI CLUB.
2nd Floor Golden Rose Hotel
Middleton Street
P.O.Box 2302,
Arusha, Tanzania.
Tel / Fax : 255-27-2506471/255-741-511701
Email: [email protected]
Web Site: www.predators-safaris.com.


Here are the email addresses for the companies that I suggest you contact for the best priced Tanzanian safaris:

Roy Safaris
www.roysafaris.com

Tanzania Serengeti Adventures
http://www.habari.co.tz/tsa/

Predator Safaris
www.predators-safaris.com

Peacock Tours & Safaris
http://www.peacocksafaris.com/

Many of the bigger operators will subcontract to some of the above operators, so you will ultimately be getting the same service without paying a big markup. Best of luck and if you have any other questions do not hesitate to ask.
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Apr 4th, 2004, 04:07 PM
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sanantoniogirl,

Also, perhaps safer and less expensive, is Zambia. There are some really great deals available in Zambia and it is possible to do a really nice circuit of South Luangwa, Lower Zambezi National Park, and if you have never visited before (or wish to visit again), Victoria Falls (Zambian side).

Take a look at Star Of Africa, the only company that I am aware of that has a whole circuit of camps available, and see whether or not you like it:

www.star-of-africa.com

Although the rates look pricey, they are flexible on the prices if you book directly with them.

Actually, I have found that most of the lodges in Zambia are somewhat flexible on the prices, whether it is Robin Pope Safaris, Kaingo, Kasaka (Lower Zambezi NP) or even the very elegant Tongabezi in Victoria Falls. Just contact the lodges directly to see if they can offer you discounted rates, and in most cases you will be pleasantly surprised.

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Apr 4th, 2004, 04:17 PM
  #4
LizFrazier
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Sanantoniogirl-
I would stick with 2Afrika. We've had lots of returnees who have used this company post here upon return and I don't believe there is any way you can get a better rate. They also have repeat customers who are thrilled with them. Some people like to contact camps direct, but in my opinion you are better off putting your trust with 2Afrika. I have never used them, but I wouldn't hesitate to if I were just starting in with a country. I've travelled 5 or 6 times to Kenya/Tanzania, and I know the camps I want to see and am comfortable booking with the camps. However, if I am visiting more than one there are transfers, etc and your peace of mind is worth more than the $100 you might save.
Some of the folks have used Roy Safaris too, but I think that is more tenting type things. Its not for everyone. Just stick with your plans and I think you will rest easier.
I went to Kenya last year and I too was concerned with terrorist threats, etc. I felt so safe and when we left to come back home, I can say that I have never seen the level of security we had to go through to get on the airplane. We went through so many security checks, that I dozed off waiting to board. No problems. Enjoy your trip. Liz
 
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Apr 4th, 2004, 04:22 PM
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A point of clarification, if I may. Roy Safaris is not just for camping. They do lodge/luxury tented camps, etc. Whatever the client wants, Roy Safaris will do their best to make happen. Sanantoniogirl, you are safe traveling to Tanzania. Go and have a wonderful time!
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Apr 4th, 2004, 04:41 PM
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Liz,

I had worked out a long-winded post as to why I thought the other companies would be better than 2Afrika, but I actually decided (this time) to educate myself about 2Afrika, and I was pretty amazed by their pricing and some of their packages.

My dear Kwando is featured on one package and the following package, including air from Atlanta is only $2,440 total per person sharing for departures as late as June 27th:

Day 1 - Depart Atlanta
Day 2 - Arrive Johannesburg. Transfer to Livingstone. 1 night at (Kwando) Songwe Village.
Day 3 - Transfer to Chobe. Chobe Safari Lodge for two nights.
Day 4 - Chobe Safari Lodge
Day 5 - Transfer to Kwando Lebala. Kwando Lebala for two nights.
Day 6 - Kwando Lebala
Day 7 - Transfer to Kwando Kwara. Kwando Kwara for two nights.
Day 8 - Kwando Kwara
Day 9 - Transfer to Johannesburg for flight home to Atlanta. END

In all honesty, I think the air alone on this trip is worth nearly $2,000 per person by the time you transfer to Livingstone and between all the lodges, so it is as if the ground package is costing no more than about $500 per person and that just floors me.

I would not mind at all in paying extra for another night at Kwando Kwara, an extra night at Songwe Village and perhaps either a couple nights at Kwando Lagoon (not currently included in itinerary) or substituting Kwando Lagoon entirely for Kwando Lebala and extending it to three nights.

Liz, I think you have just returned the favor for my Luxury Link recommendation. Although 2Afrika has been mentioned on this board countless times, I must have been confusing it with a similar sounding company or never really thought much of the lodges they used, but Kwando is a different story.

Thanks for opening my eyes to 2Afrika and now I have to roll up my sleeves and get to work on Botswana 2005!
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Apr 4th, 2004, 05:08 PM
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LizFrazier
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Rocco-
Thank you for the post. It must have been very hard for you to do and I am very appreciative that you did that. I had e-talked to Ken before to check out his site before I ever recommended it. If he had trips to places I wanted to go, I would without a doubt use him and for new people, I rest assured he will take care of them.
You have called my attention to a different trip than I have seen there. He must have revised his camps. Before, if you went to Botswana with 2Afrika, you just spent the entire time at one camp in Chobe. B-o-r-i-n-g, for 5 days. Now it sounds dynamic! I didn't know he had added Zambia too.
You should email him. He will give you anything you want and take off a certain percentage of the rate and I know I couldn't beat it and take care of all of the details too.
Thanks again, we all just try to help each other. Liz
 
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Apr 4th, 2004, 05:15 PM
  #8
LizFrazier
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Susan- I'm sorry, I know you use Roy Safaris and I too had contacted them another time and was most happy with what they offer.
Because sanantoniogirl had never been to East Africa, I thought the first trip would be easier for her with 2Afrika. After that she is more comfortable making decisions on camps, etc, but the first time it is very overwhelming. Didn't you also use 2Afrika the first time? Don't know where I got that idea, I thought I remembered you saying it.
But yes, I do think Roy Safaris is an excellent choice if you want an independent safari as you and I both want at this point. I'll be more careful in the future how I word things like this. Liz
 
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Apr 4th, 2004, 06:04 PM
  #9
nkh
 
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Hi Sanantoniogirl

Airfare is why we chose to go through 2afrika, along with recommendations from many happy people posting on this board who had travelled with them.

We looked around and while booking direct through an in-country operator was cheaper for some trip sections, when we threw in the 2afrika airfare price we couldnt beat it.

We had a great trip with 2afrika and "budget" was fine for us. I would recommend them to anyone. Our accomodation experience: not 5 star dining, but certainly good food, nice accommodations (very spacious in Tanzania, smaller in Kenya but that seemed to be building style there, private bathrooms, clean, quiet, and in some pretty amazing places).

The reason for "budget" is that there are more people staying (say 70-80 spaces available) instead of smaller and more exclusive camps. Also no plunge pools, sterling silver, bone china etc. If this is fine with you, then this is a great company to use. We found that the photos of the lodges on the 2afrika site were pretty representative of what we found when we got there.

If you want to see some pictures of our experience try www3.sympatico.ca/thaynes (this is photos of the Tanzania half of our trip).

Re: safety. We travelled in June of 2003, during the travel warning to Kenya, and we felt extremely safe (we also went to Kenya and fely extremely safe). Our guide took excellent care of us, we had no problems anywhere, and the Tanzanians were very welcoming and friendly. We were travelling with 2 Americans and they were especially welcomed.

If you want more specific info about our trip feel free to e-mail me at [email protected].

Whichever company you choose to go with, have a great trip!
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Apr 5th, 2004, 02:34 AM
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Liz, no need to worry about how you word things ... with as many tour operators that are mentioned in this forum, it is a wonder we can keep many of them straight! Based on the recommendation of a friend, I used Roy Safaris for our first trip to Africa. I opted to do a custom trip that time because I thought it was going to be my first and last trip ... what a joke! I am heading back in October of this year and am looking forward planning a trip in 2006.
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Apr 5th, 2004, 03:55 AM
  #11
LizFrazier
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Susan-
Gotta ask----------is that 2006 trip to Botswana?
 
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Apr 5th, 2004, 04:03 AM
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Actually, I can't make up my mind between Zambia or Botswana for 2006!
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Apr 5th, 2004, 05:07 AM
  #13
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Roccco - You might have been confusing 2Afrika (in New Jersey) with go2Africa (in SA) - it's easy enough to do.

As far as 2Afrika's Kwando Safari, this seems to be a Green Season offering that I've seen on other sites, but 2Afrika's prices are a tiny bit cheaper - maybe less overhead. But overall this is one of their better offerings.

For a first-time traveler, 2Afrika is a good budget operator as long as you can keep to their schedules - such as set departure days (Sunday & Thursday, only). And as Liz mentioned, until one has a taste and an idea of what accommodations are offered, can one decide to go with another tour operator who will be more flexible and able to offer/provide "any" lodge/camp and not a set itinerary, but one created by the client. 2Afrika is not known to do this, but can, though I'm sure the pricing won't be the same as their fixed itineraries.

2Afrika does, however, have those excellent airfares, which you can always book separately and not necessarily book a land package with them.

There is something out there for everyone at every budget range, and, of course, the lucky ones who come in with the right bid for LuxuryLinks trip (Liz, that's you).

sanantoniogirl - you'll do well with 2Afrika for your first venture to Africa.
 
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Apr 5th, 2004, 06:32 AM
  #14
 
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Liz and SusanLynn,

Please do not confuse me here with talk of 2006!

While I already have my next three trips planned to a "t" (Italy & Zambia followed by India followed by Botswana), I have no idea what I want to do in 2006. Perhaps Thailand or Australia & New Zealand? The longer I can hold off on my 2006 planning, the longer I can continue to enjoy four hours of sleep per night!
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Apr 5th, 2004, 07:02 AM
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Hi sanantoniogirl,

I was on the Tanzanian portion of the trip nkh told you about (hi nkh!). It was my fourth safari and I used 2Afika because 1) I wanted desperately to go to Tanzania - I had missed out on visiting T during my Kenyan trip in 2001; 2) I was going alone; and 3) the price was right.

I found the itinerary and costs to be very fair. Our group stayed at respectable lodges; e.g., in the Serengenti & Ngorongoro Crater, we stayed at the Sopa lodges. As I was staying by myself (yes, I had to pay a supplement but I expected to), I was very impressed with the size of the rooms - they were huge! As nkh stated, the food was not haute cuisine but it was good.

Good luck!
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Apr 5th, 2004, 07:32 AM
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LizFrazier
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Susan-
THANK YOU!!! Now I can sleep nights knowing you will be venturing on. Zambia or Botswana, both great destinations and camps. Botswana of course has the Delta, but I also want to go to Zambia. We'll hit both next time. I can hardly wait!! Heck, I haven't even taken this trip coming up yet. Good grief! I agree that 2006 is too far off for me.
 
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Apr 5th, 2004, 07:36 AM
  #17
LizFrazier
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Sandi-
You put it just perfect. That's why I recommend 2Afrika. They do put together private trips too, and Ken says he will beat any written bid if given the chance.
Before he posted to Botswana trips, I contacted him and he told me that he would give another 10% off from what the camps offered HIM. We ended up not going then but I agree the first timers can't go wrong. At least until they "know the routine" in travelling in Africa anyways.
That was a great post for covering the bases for them. Liz
 
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Apr 5th, 2004, 09:32 AM
  #18
nkh
 
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Oops - I should have said in my post that in Tanzania we travelled with 5 Americans and 2 in Kenya Because of the guaranteed window seat, this meant our group divided into 2 minibuses each with a guide for the Tanzania portion of the trip.

Hi one2travel, nice to "see" you again . Did you get your Christmas card or have you moved? In it I asked whether you still wanted some of the lion photos (or anything else?) - let me know and I will send them along.
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Apr 7th, 2004, 10:48 AM
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Hi nkh,

My fault for not writing back (yes, I got the Christmas card) and I actually took one of your digitals off your website of the lions so don't worry about sending to me.

one2travel
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Apr 7th, 2004, 10:59 AM
  #20
nkh
 
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Hi one2travel

Glad the card arrived!

Also glad you could get a photo you wanted off the website. The photos on the website arent great resolution - did you want a better quality one e-mailed to you? (We have a scanner that does 6400x3200 dpi, so you can have a film-quality file if you want). Also, we did have a snapshot of the lions walking over - just didnt post it due to space restrictions. Let me know (no rush, of course )

nkh

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