Tanzania Self-drive July 2015


Feb 8th, 2015, 01:23 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2015
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Tanzania Self-drive July 2015

The original plan was to self-drive Botswana this year (2015), I have already reserved the campsites but after much consideration have decided Tanzania will give us more of what we are looking for, wild camping with no neighbors. I am sure due to my late planning I will not get all of the camps I am hoping for but am optimistic I can find something in the general vicinity of where we want to be. My plan is to use Shaw Safaris for the vehicle hire.

Here is the itinerary I am hoping to put together. This will take place in mid-July.

Day 1-arrive into JRO and overnight at Twiga Lodge; pick-up vehicle and go shopping
Day 2-finish shopping and head to Tarangire; Mbweha special campsite
Day 3-Tarangire; Mumbi special campsite
Day 4-Tarangire; Mbweha special campsite
Day 5-Lake Manyara; Bagayo A special campsite
Day 6-Olduvai Tented Camp
Day 7-Lobo; Lobo Hill special campsite
Day 8-Lobo; Lobo Hill special campsite
Day 9-Wogakuria; Wogakuria 6 special campsite (anything around Kogatende is already booked from what I have gathered)
Day 10-Wogakuria; Wogakuria 6 special campsite
Day 11-Wogakuria; Wogakuria 6 special campsite
Day 12-Bologonja Flycatcher Camp
Day 13-Kati Kati Tented Camp Central Serengeti
Day 14-Kati Kati Tented Camp Central Serengeti
Day 15-Karatu TBD
Day 16-Depart JRO 7:00 PM

The goal is not to chase the migration but to avoid the crowds the best we can. This will be our 2nd Northern Tanzania safari but our first self-drive. The vehicle will be outfitted with a roof-top tent.

Does anyone know if there is a reasonably stocked store in Karatu where we could buy some grocery items? Is it possible to book the special campsites directly with TANAPA? I did send an email to [email protected] but never heard anything back. Shaw has said they would handle this but I am such a planning perfectionist I don't want to put them through this unless it is the only way.

I am hoping Canadian Robin or one of the other self-drivers may read this. I have numerous other questions regarding logistics.

Kind regards-Paul
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Feb 10th, 2015, 11:57 AM
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 1,085
Hi Paul! Sounds as though you have a great trip planned.

We have never shopped in Karatu, so I am afraid I am not able to answer your shopping question. We have always done all of our shopping in Arusha. There is a new Nakumatt in Arusha (in the old Shoprite building on the main road) - you will want to shop there - an amazing chain/store.

On our most recent trip (2014), we were on Kware SC in Tarangire - a beautiful site in a stand of baobabs and not too far (30 minutes) from the river.

Lake Manyara - We have been on Bagayo and it is lovely, but I would ask for Lakeshore SC (our 2014 site). As the name implies, right on the lakeshore, and all sorts of animals wander along the shore - a wonderful campsite.

The last time we went to Lobo (2012), the road to Lobo Hills SC had disappeared, so you may have difficulty finding the campsite. We also found the GPS points for Lobo to be very inaccurate.

You could not pay me to stay at any public campsite at Seronera (that is where Kati Kati is, correct?) - very crowded, garbage everywhere and noisy. I would stay on a SC at Moru Kopjes. We stayed on Moru 4 this most recent trip and loved it. You will avoid the crowds at Seronera and there is great game viewing around Lake Magadi.

If your plan is to go into the carter, I would stay on the rim - not in Karatu. You want to get into the crater as soon as the gates open, and that will be much easier to do if you are camped on the rim.

If you are comfortable posting your email here, I will send you my 2014 trip report, which includes our itinerary, lots of photos and info about the campsites - I have not posted it yet because I am still working on it. Robin
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Feb 10th, 2015, 05:53 PM
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Hi Robin! Glad you stumbled across my posting. Do you still use Tripadvisor? I left you my email address there.

I am having such a hard time deciding between Botswana and Tanzania for this trip. I have tentative arrangements in place for both but I need to commit very, very soon.

I want so much to do Tanzania for it's private camps and abundant game but the logistics are causing some concern. The maximum numbers of nights we have once on the ground in country is 15 nights and I want to make the most of them.

There are several things keeping me from just doing Tanzania. Firstly, it is almost half the price of Botswana, while this isn't the most important thing it does still matter but we want the best experience possible. Also though the loo situation and lack of a shower when staying in the special campsites does not make my wife excited. I am also concerned that we can pack/keep food longer enough, it would need to last roughly 12 days. The fridge is 55L however. So I would be very interested as to how you handle these logistical details.

I am also curious as to how you compare your experiences in Botswana vs. Tanzania. Kati Kati happens to be a middle luxury lodge a little north of Seronera.

Thanks again Robin.

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Feb 11th, 2015, 09:58 AM
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I will head over to TA. Robin
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