Tarangire or Manyara?

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Jan 10th, 2006, 03:00 PM
  #1
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Tarangire or Manyara?

I just received word that we will be going to Tarangire NP instead of Lake Manyara on our June safari, as there was an overbooking problem in Lake Manyara.
In all my reading of those reviews Tarangire seemed like a wonderful place and there was more than a few times I wished we were going.
But, I just have to check with the experts, should I be disapointed in not seeing Lake Manyara?
What is the general concensus out there? We will be at the Tarangire Sopa, we were originally at the Lake Manyara Serena. The date involved is June 1, if that makes any difference to the animals!
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Jan 10th, 2006, 03:17 PM
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I was in Tarangire on June 3 2005. This was just after the rains and the animals were dispersed with long grasses - tough for game viewing.

Not the best time to be in Tarangire, but with the current drought who knows.

On the other hand you only need 2-3 hours to see the best of Lake Manyara which means you can stay anywhere nearby or further away and still enjoy the park!
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Jan 10th, 2006, 03:35 PM
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Lynda,
You're going on a group trip, right? Which means you may not have much say which park you visit if there are lodging problems. As Eben says, Tarangire is not at its best usually until July-ish. But this year, who knows? And it's a beautiful park, much larger than Manyara. I think you'll enjoy Tarangire regardless. I wouldn't worry about it.

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Jan 10th, 2006, 06:13 PM
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Thanks Leely and Eben. You are right Leely, I am in a group safari (Micato), and they have said no there will not be time to stop in Lake Manyara on the way to the Serengeti. It was mainly the tree-climbing lions and the flamingoes that I worried over missing. I have read that the tree-climbing lions are only there - but will I see flamingoes in Ngorongoro for sure? In reading the reviews and looking at the pictures I see some have mentioned them and taken pictures of them, but is this an 'everyday' event in the crater? If so, then I won't feel so bad about missing Lake Manyara. Or, here's another way to look at it - I guess we'll have to go back again and see it on a second trip!
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Jan 10th, 2006, 06:26 PM
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I wonder if you could not cancel and book the exact itinerary you want at the same Micato lodges, including Lake Manyara, and still not come out ahead? And this would be for your own PRIVATE safari w/ private guide & vehicle.

Perhaps there is not space for a big Micato group, but I would bet there is space for a couple.
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Jan 10th, 2006, 06:28 PM
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Well Lynda, I saw 1 adult lioness and 2-3 cubs on trees at various places in western serengeti, maybe u will see them on trees in serengeti, are u going to kirawira???
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Jan 10th, 2006, 06:44 PM
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Be happy. Game viewing is much better in Tarangire then Lake Manyara. Manyara is worth IMHO no more then 1/2 at most. I don't see why you can't request a drive thru Manyara for a couple hours before or after your trip to the Crater.
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Jan 10th, 2006, 07:06 PM
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Hi Rocco-
Yes, we probably could do that, and I am sure that we could get a private safari for about the same price, but for some reason I really want to try Micato! There is just something that draws me to it, and I have lived, dreamed and breathed this safari for so long I just couldn't give it up!
But, I sure can consider doing another one in a few years (and this time making it a private one) and visiting some of the incredible spots that I have read about in the trip reports from all of the Fodorites! (and Lake Manyara which I will miss this time)
Sonali -
I did recall in someone's trip report that they had seen tree climbing lions somewhere else, but wasn't sure exactly where. That is fabulous news, yes, we are going to the Serengeti, so hopefully we will see them there. We won't be at Kirawira, but we will be kind of close (well, maybe distance for real is more than it looks on the map) at the Serengeti Sopa Lodge.

And thanks for the positve side luangwablondes, your opinion makes me feel it is a good trade off!
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Jan 11th, 2006, 07:58 AM
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Lynda:
A number of people have commented on Tarangire positively in terms of the trees alone. It sounds lovely.
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Jan 11th, 2006, 08:49 AM
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Lynda we saw tree climbing lions in Tarangire. It was in Feb so who knows but they were there!
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Jan 11th, 2006, 08:51 AM
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And what's more, I didn't see any tree-climbing lions anywhere...

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Jan 11th, 2006, 09:56 AM
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I havenít been to Tanzania, but I saw tree-climbing lions in Samburu in June Ė a tree full of lionesses and cubs. At some places thereís more of a tree-climbing culture, but I suppose that anywhere where thereís a suitable tree, any lion thatís so inclined will just climb it. Itís not like there is a tree-climbing subspecies. Though Iíve never seen any pictures of adult males in trees.
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Jan 11th, 2006, 10:11 AM
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I was in both parks less than a month ago. I thought there was no comparison in the game viewing, with Tarangire far exceeding Lake Manyara. Manyara was interesting because of the different vegetation zones and very beautiful, but we really saw very little wildlife and we were there over two full days.
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Jan 11th, 2006, 10:28 AM
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Please remember that early June is NOT a good time to visit Tarangire. Game drives can be long and boring with hard viewing through the tall grasses.

At other times it is one of my favorite parks but frankly I would skip it and spend some time in the central Serengeti instead. This is prime time for the Serengeti!

Lynda, are you going to the Serengeti?

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Jan 11th, 2006, 10:44 AM
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Hi Linda
So...Brochures tell ya the specialty of L Manyara r tree-climbing lions. Anybody here have seen them ?
I have seen tree-climbing lions in ...
Tarangire (2002) & also in Mara (near "Kissinger's") but it took me many years see them & it ain't worth spending 1 of the 3 wishes the fairy granted u...
If i scan my slides i'll send 'em so u see how they decend (5fps).
Manyara is extremely interesting for the keen botanists but when it comes to wildlife TRG can b really rewarding.
IMO this is the best place to see PYTHON - on one particular trip even saw three within 2 days.
(in some years i considered Crescent Island in Naivasha to b the best, since the local guide knew where it stays) Check the trees along Silale swamp.
Statistics claim that elephants start their return at the end of June, but we know Africa has different rules of probability theory...
U Shall enjoy undoubtfully
aby
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Jan 11th, 2006, 10:48 AM
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Eben,
Lynda is taking a Micato trip, so she hasn't a choice in the itinerary. Don't know which tour she's taking, but I would bet it includes the Serengeti.

And, yes, Lynda, you will have to start planning your next trip on your flight home--one that will include a few hours in Manyara. Or who knows, maybe you'll decide you want to go track gorillas in Uganda...

Best wishes,

Leely
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Jan 11th, 2006, 12:49 PM
  #17
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Looks like Micato was locked out of the Serena at Manyara. Guess it happens to the best of us! And they're using the Sopa. How interesting.

Absolutely, the grasses are likely to be high at the beginning of June at Tarangire...that is if it ever rains in Africa) but elsewhere also at this time. Tarangire would be better by mid- to late-June. However, even with high grasses, doubt you'll miss the Elephants and Giraffes!

 
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Jan 11th, 2006, 03:53 PM
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I've been to both parks in February and in mid-June. On both trips, we were at Tarangire for 2 days and Lake Manyara for a few hours, which tells you something. Tarangire is my favorite, by far. We saw hundreds on elephants on both trips in Tarangire. I kept reading that February was a bad time for Tarangire...wrong!

Our guide said that the tree-climbing lions are almost never seen any more at Lake Manyara. The chances of you seeing them would be slim to none. The flamingoes are so far out on the lake, that they are just a pink haze on the horizon. We saw flamingoes much closer up in the Crater.

ShayTay
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Jan 11th, 2006, 04:28 PM
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You guys are all the best! I feel much better now!
I do remember a few people in their reviews saying Tarangire was nicer than Lake Manyara, and I also seem to remember reading that more than a few people saw, and took pictures of that python (or pythons maybe?) that aby spoke of. If the grasses are too tall to see the animals I shall go on a python hunt.
I was surprised too, Sandi, that that could happen to Micato, I would think that for an outfitter who has people in their lodges pretty well every day of the year that that alone would have afforded them some pull. But I guess as you say, it can happen to anyone. And it's not as if I didn't book this almost two years ago either.....
Eben, yes we are going to the Serengeti (2 days), as well as the Mara, so I am counting on lots of wildlife there. Is this drought worse than other years? Will it effect the long rains - ie maybe that will happen late?
And, yes Leely, I have already started to think about gorilla trekking already - just from reading Wayne and Divewop's journal alone! But I do fear we may not be fit enough to do that climb; Divewop, who seems to be in pretty good shsape said it was a hard climb. I'm going to have to research that more....
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Jan 11th, 2006, 05:01 PM
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Do Sopa Lodges even appear in the Micato brochure?

I also find that incredible. No wonder why Tanzania was much more expensive than I was expecting...there is just an overwhelming demand right now. I found some quotes for a 2004 trip that never materialized and I cannot believe how much lower priced it was in 2004. Then again, that could be said of most places.

Well, I am glad that I booked as early as I did (mid July, I believe, 7.5 months before the safari). I don't think I have ever booked so early but I have not taken any chances and just confirmed my NOVEMBER 2006 program with Kwando and African Bushcamps, making it a full 10 months before my visit.

Okay, this sounds bad, but I do think I will get a sick pleasure if I come across a Micato vehicle with 5 people in Lake Manyara, knowing that they are likely headed back to Sopa, while I am in a private vehicle that is similar in every way with the exception that it is taking me back to Lake Manyara Tree Lodge!

Private custom safaris are the only way to go.
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