Tanzania trip: Advice needed!

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Sep 16th, 2012, 09:42 AM
  #1
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Tanzania trip: Advice needed!

Hey all.

I will eventually be taking a trip to Africa. I am not exactly sure when at this point, but I have been considering it for a while. There are so many options it makes my head spin. I am fairly set on Tanzania though.

Firstly. When I do things I like to do them properly, but sometimes this is to a fault as I go overboard. I really want to experience everything the country has to offer in one trip, but don't know if this is possible without going broke... I am not one for, nor can I afford luxury lodges at this point. I am thinking that a mobile tented safari would be most cost effective... Thoughts?

I want to experience the North for the migration with 1 day at Ngorongoro, as well as the southern parks which I hear are hidden gems. Selous, Ruaha, Katavi. Is going to all 3 worth it/possible? Thoughts? Best ones?

Thirdly, a couple days at Mhale for chimps would be amazing and then after all of that, if any money is left, Uganda or Rwanda for Gorillas, just to finish it off.

If this is an absolutely ridiculous amount, bring me back down to earth. How many days should I be looking at here to actually experience each place, and what do you think it would cost excluding international flights?

Thank you very much.
lazedout is offline  
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Sep 16th, 2012, 09:43 AM
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Forgot to add. If you have any recommendations regarding good companies to work with that would be great as well. Thanks!
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Sep 16th, 2012, 09:58 AM
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Iazedout - You will LOVE Tanzania. That is where I went on my first Africa trip. I do think your proposed itinerary is one that would take about 3 weeks at least, and if you go to Mahale and Rwanda or Uganda as well it will be expensive, even if you are staying in tented camps for much of it. You might check out Flycatcher's as an operator because that is the least expensive option in Mahale and they also do some other Tanzania locations - I think you must travel with them to more than one destination. I have not traveled with them but I know Atravelynn has so maybe she will respond. I did stay in tented camps in Serengeti and Ngorongoro - that is my preferred form of accommodation as you feel closer to the night sounds and animals that come around.

Happy planning - that's part of the fun!
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Sep 16th, 2012, 04:40 PM
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Yes adding Rwands, etc would be pricey. Current day trek permits are $750/day -- and you would be best served doing two days.
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Sep 18th, 2012, 06:26 PM
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We (two of us ages 63 & 60 at the time) did a safari from Arusha including the Serengeti, Ngorngoro Crater & Reserve and Lake Manyara in January 2010. We did a custom safari with Roy Safaris that was organized by Susan Wood at Away to Africa.(http://awaytoafricasafaris.com/index.html). Susan is located in New Hampshire, which made contact easier. The safari was catered to our interests - it is nice to be the only ones in the vehicle! The price was reasonable - we stayed at mid level hotels (Sopa Lodges at Ngorongoro and Serengeti/Serena Lodge at Manyara)

The great migration is taking place in Northern Tanzania in January and February. It is absolutely amazing! I am not sure, but you may be better off in the south if you go during our summer.

Here is a chart that shows the best wildlife viewing throughout the year in Africa. Check out Tanzania. http://www.africa-adventure.com/dsp_besttime.html

Take a look at this post: http://www.fodors.com/community/afri...n-tanzania.cfm

We looked at the Ruanda?uganda option and at that time figured an added cost of $2500 - $3000. The park permit at that time was $500 per day and the time with the gorillas was limited to one hour assuming you were able to find your assigned gorilla group.
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Sep 19th, 2012, 10:40 AM
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How many days/weeks are you planning to be 'in-country?'

Know prices are seasonal and the best game viewing can change by season also. Are you going to be a solo traveler? If so, expect the single supplement surcharge.

Tented camps and lodges can be priced similarly, depending on which are selected.

If wishing to do the Northern parks - Tarangire, Manyara, Ngorongoro & Serengeti (various areas depending on time of year) - easy enough with about 9/days... not too rushed as most is 'driving.' The Southern & Western parks - Selous and Ruaha (the south) - have to be split based on flight schedules ... if both, probably 7/days, then if Katavi and Mahale (the west), another 7/days minimum. Flying time between Northern parks to those in South and/or West, can take up much of a day either direction, and then depending on where you depart for homebound - Kilimanjaro/JRO or Dar-es-Salaam/DAR, if not out of Kigale/KGL, Rwanda or Entebbe/EBB, Uganda (as info below)

Thus if wanting to include the gorillas, select either Rwanda or Uganda, figuring minimum 4/days, often 5 when considering travel to/from Tanzania.

If you haven't done so yet, pick up a copy of Fodor's "Complete Safari Planning Guide" which covers all the safari countries on the Continent. Has lots of useful information for planning. Or for Tanzania only, the Brandt Guide is excellent.

Good luck!
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