Tanzania: where to go for 6 days

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Jan 11th, 2006, 10:01 PM
  #1
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Tanzania: where to go for 6 days

After much effort, I have just finalized an 8-day trip to Northern Tanzania on pretty much the standard northern circuit. Thanks for all the advice on this board...I only wish I had found you sooner. There are some flaws in my trip, but I think it is pretty good.

Now, I have about 5-6 days left to fill. Originally I had considered Kenya, but my wife said "no way" to that. And others of you pointed out significant flaws in my travel plan. So, I need some advice on where else to go in Tanz. I will end my N. Tanz trip in Arusha, and could fly somewhere else....maybe the south? Selous? Ruaha?
I'm thinking Selous as it doesn't seem to be too far from Dar.

On the Northern Circuit we are pretty much rushing round, moving almost every day. So, I am thinking of taking it a lot slower on the last leg of the trip.

If Selous, do I get there from Arusha by flying thru Dar?

Any recommended operators for those areas? I have seen favorable comments on Foxtreks and Eastern and Southern Safaris. ESS has an appealing 5-day trip to Ruaha and Miumi Parks for US$1253 pp.
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Jan 12th, 2006, 12:46 AM
  #2
aby
 
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dear nhulberg
by the time i completed my last answer (fell asleep) u have abandoned the Kenya option...
Still, i must "declare" that IMHO Kenya has a very significant ADDED VALUE to Tz as stated in my last letter.
# Selous & Ruaha r good safari experiences - when do u intend to go ?
# forgive me for going back to the northern option again:
*I would like to repeat my recommendation for Hadzabe hunter-gatherers (L. Eyasi) the road is terrible but the experience unmatched
* I would like to recommend Arusha NP
which i love!! many cat seekers will skip it. i would not trade it for a dozen lions (sorry Sonali ;-))
The magnificent forest mainly around Ngurdoto caldera ("mini ngorongoro")
with the best observations of forest monkeys both Colobus & Blue + easy duiker spotting & foest birds (maybe more appealing to the more experienced, not first timer)
The view points with different colour lakes + flamingoes & Mt. Meru in the backgroung makes it a first class scenary. (must admit flamingoes r seasonal & unpredictable)
+ an opportunity go to up on Mt. Meru with your 4X4 easily reaching the higher vegetation belts
+ short nice walk to the falls, outside the gate, meeting some beatiful examples of Strangling Fig. etc'
maybe my views belong to a tiny minority here- wait 4 others' comments

Enjoy it

aby
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Jan 12th, 2006, 03:33 AM
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Given the opportunity I would spend those 5 or 6 days at Ruaha National Park (and maybe Mikumi) with Foxes of Africa. I believe Coastal Air runs flights to Ruaha on a regular basis. Of course going to southern area will depend on time of year. If you do a search on me you should be able to find report from our trips to Ruaha, Mikumi and Selous this past June. Ruaha is so large that even with 4 or 5 days there your drives will cover different areas of the park. If game drives by boat has appeal then perhaps you might want to include Selous and delete Mikumi. We are strongly considering combination of some northern parks and one or two southern ones should we be able to return to Tanzania in 2007. Wishing you a great safari. Dick
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Jan 12th, 2006, 09:36 AM
  #4
bat
 
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nhulberg:
Have you seen this thread in which there is a discussion of several lodges in Selous?

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=34733288
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Jan 12th, 2006, 09:50 AM
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Did you mention what time of year you'll be visiting?

I, for one, would looove to get down to the Southern parks. Another option, of course, is some time on Zanzibar. Or, if you have deep pockets, there are the Western parks.
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Jan 12th, 2006, 09:54 AM
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Another option, but again, I'm not sure how practical in terms of flights/costs, would be Saadani Game Reserve for a beach/safari-lite combo.

See http://www.saadani.com/index.php for more info on the park and one of its three(?) camps.

So, nhulberg, I think you're spoiled for choices.
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Jan 12th, 2006, 04:49 PM
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I think the perfect ending to your trip would be on Zanzibar. You can fly over via Zan Air, Air Excel or Precision Air from Arusha or Kilimanjaro airports. Spend a couple of days in Stonetown for the historical side of things, then move to a beach resort on the northern or eastern side. After bouncing around in a safari vehicle, a hammock under palm trees on a white sand beach is a wonderful way to end your trip!
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Jan 12th, 2006, 08:48 PM
  #8
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Thanks sooo much for the great advice, bat, rsnyder, aby, ShayTay, Leely. Ruaha and Selous sond good. I read bat's thread on Selous. Verrry helpful; I have to say that Selous Safari Camp sounds excellent. I just emailed them for rates and availability.

Has anyone staryed at Sable Mountian Lodge, Rufiji River Camp or Selous Impala Camp? They are mentioned in Lonely Planet, and might be okay for my family of four (wife and two teens). Are they a big step down from SSC?

I just checked air connections and Coastal Aviation has a daily flight direct to Selous. Three hours. Not bad. Also not cheap (US$310), but a good use of time.

We would be in So. Tanz in mid July.
Aby: we will be near all the places you discussed in Northern Tanz, so will see if I can visit some. Especially the Hadzabe hunter-gatherers at Lake Eyasi. Others on the board may want to shoot me (cameras, of course...no guns), but no matter how interesting animals are, people are even more interesting.

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Jan 13th, 2006, 09:25 AM
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There's a small tented camp called Kisima Ngeda at Lake Eyasi. You might want to look into it if you're interested in visiting the Hadzabe as from what I understand, most of the activities start in the early morning (I haven't visited so confirm this with your tour operator).

Dick stayed at Rufiji River camp and his trip report is here - http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=34649444

Also photo link (the original link doesn't work so you need to scroll toward the bottom to find the new link) - http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=34656478
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Jan 13th, 2006, 09:45 AM
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We stayed three nites at Rufiji River Camp in June 2005 visit to Selous. Report on that trip available on this board. Camp right on the river. Tents were roomy with very large bathrooms although tents were a bit close to one another (easily hear the folks in the next tent talking). Did not use pool but facility looked very nice. Food good. Lounge well stocked with reference books and ample outlets for charging batteries. Staff very friendly although manager a bit "standoffish". Boat game drive very enjoyable and an excellent way to get close to wildlife particularly birds and reptiles. Seemed long distance between wildlife sightings during land game drives but such may be function of plentiful water, very larger park, etc. Contrary to what we had in Ruaha with driver and guide at Rufiji we had only driver for drives. At times I felt he could not see game due to high vegetation with his tending to driving. Monkeys, birds, snakes were seen in immediate area of tents and lounge/dining area. Hippoes immediately adjacent to camp and we could easily hear at nite. Also, if you check reports on my name or the index being compiled there are picturs on Kodak.com including some from Selous.
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Jan 13th, 2006, 08:51 PM
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Thanks Dick (and Patty). I read the report on your (Dick's) summer '05 trip to S Tanz. I found especially interesting your thoughtful response to Jules' difficult question of whether you liked N. Tanz or south better. We are going to both, but as a "first timer" it is very hard to figure out the differences.

Based on your post, I think I am going to pass on the Rufiji River Camp. I am still mulling over where to go in the south. It is such a huge, unfamiliar area. Selous Safari Camp sounds intriguing...I am waiting for a quote back from them. I think it will be a bit more than I was hoping. I need to book two rooms (family of four). On the north circuit I am within an eyelash of booking my trip, quoted at about US$187/per person per night for mostly Sopa type lodges and a private trip. Seems very reasonable. I think SSC will be waaay more. But maybe worth the splurge for 5-6 days.

Other opinions encouraged. I am a lost "newbie".

Norm
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