The magic of the Mahale Mountains

Old Dec 26th, 2008, 07:46 AM
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Predatorbiologist,

Where did you hear that Kungwe Beach Lodge is closed from January to June? We are booked to stay there in late January. I'd be interested in reading the information you saw. Thanks!
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Old Dec 26th, 2008, 02:54 PM
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Hopester: I enquired directly with the company that runs it, Mbali Mbali for a February quote for a group of travelers and they told me they were closed down January to June. Perhaps by that they meant to say from the end of January. If you are holding a booking I'm sure its fine but just ask your agent to double check for peace of mind.

You are in for an amazing experience, time with the chimps there is definitely amongst my top wildlife highlights ever.
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Old Dec 27th, 2008, 01:24 PM
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Kungwe Beach Lodge is open until the end of February (they may close a few days earlier if they have no bookings).

They open again in May 2009.
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Old Dec 27th, 2008, 03:59 PM
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In the past that has been their schedule and that is why I tried to make a February booking. Below is exactly what I was told in writing and I was not able to make a booking for February.

"Unfortunately our lodges at Mahale, Gombe & Katavi National parks will be closed from January to June 2009"

As I said above perhaps that should be interpreted as end of January until start of June as opposed to the entire months, since my need was February I didn't pursue it further but they did not accommodate my booking request on account of being closed during February so this years schedule appears to be different.
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Old Dec 28th, 2008, 07:00 AM
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Wow, very informative and evocative set of postings, thank you so much Ella.
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Old Dec 28th, 2008, 05:37 PM
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Bill, I have no idea why they told you that!
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Old Dec 29th, 2008, 04:53 AM
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It seems there are still some doubt so I will confirm my earlier post - Kungwe Beach Lodge is open for business until late Feb 2009 and they open again in May 2009.

Kind regards
Eben
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Old Dec 29th, 2008, 05:55 AM
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I received emails from Zantas Air and Mbali Mbali overnight. They said that Kungwe is closed from February 15 through April 15, 2009. Predatorbiologist, you may want to check with [email protected] if you are still interested in booking a stay at Kungwe. Whew, I was a little worried that perhaps something had gone wrong at Kungwe that was forcing them to close early and that we had not yet been notified.
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Old Dec 29th, 2008, 06:17 AM
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As those of you have been chatting about Kungwe Beach Lodge are clearly more knowledgable about Tanzania than I am, I wonder if you could help me with an issue.

Before we visit the Mahali Mountains, my husband will be climbing Kilimanjaro. When he comes down from the Mountain, he will have gear that we will not want to take on the flight to Mahale (e.g., sleeping bag, heavy jacket and boots). I booked directly with Mbali Mbali and other operators and hotel owners to put our trip together so we don't have an on-the-ground tour company for the whole trip. Our itinerary is below, in case it sparks any ideas. I figure others must have this problem too. Any help you can provide would be much appreciated. Thanks!

Jan 21: Husband comes off Kili and we meet in Arusha. Stay at Impala Hotel.

Jan 22. Leave for safari with Tontu Safaris.

Jan. 25. Safari ends. Stay overnight in Arusha at Impala Hotel.

Jan. 26 Leave for Mahale Mountains.

Jan. 29 Leave Mahale Mountains for Arusha. Stay at Mt. Meru Lodge until departing for U.S.
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Old Dec 29th, 2008, 10:29 AM
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Mbali Mbali has a contact in Arusha, according to their website: zina@... You might contact them and see if they have an office there where they could store the climbing gear. Are they transporting you to and from the airport in Arusha? They should be willing to help you out. You could have Tontu Safaris drive you to their offices before you leave on your safari so that you can drop off your gear. Where are you going on your 3-day safari, by the way?
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Old Dec 29th, 2008, 10:32 PM
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Hi Everyone!
Firstly thanks for the wonderful feedeback on our lodge in Mahale - it's great to know that you share our excitement about this destination.
Just to confirm that we are closing our lodges 15 February to 15 April 2009. This is for general repairs and maintenance and so that the hard working staff can have some time off!
To Hopester: We have our Zantas Air offices at the Arusha airport and you will be welcome to leave your climbing gear with them for the time that you are travelling around Tanzania. Perhaps you could drop me an email ([email protected]) which I can forward to them to set it up.
For some really good advice and tips on climbing Kili, may I suggest you get the latest copy of the AFRICAN FOOTSTEPS travel magazine (specialises in Tanzania) and read up their report on the climb. It details the type of training that helps and a special walking step that will ensure a successful climb. Their website is www.african-footsteps.com or they may be able to send you a copy [email protected].
Many thanks and have a geat day!
Lynn
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Old Dec 31st, 2008, 09:02 AM
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Eben, Hopester, and Lynn: thanks for verifying the correct dates, I'm glad to hear for the sake of others that the information given to me by the reservations department was incorrect.
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