Too Much Camping in June?

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Mar 7th, 2006, 04:55 AM
  #1
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Too Much Camping in June?

'Just got the final itinerary from our outfitter for our late May-mid June safari. We had signed up for 2 nights luxury camping and 1 night at Serengeti Serena, but the outfitter changed us to Serengeti Sopa since the Serena is filled. Friends have told us that Sopa Lodges aren't as nice as Serenas (true?) so now we're considering a 3rd night of camping instead. We've been told that the migration will be in the central Serengeti in early June and that our camp at Moru Kopjes is in the middle of the action, so we're tempted to go with the 3rd night of camping. Is that too much camping? Are we better off taking a break and going to the Sopa? Thanks for your help.
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Mar 7th, 2006, 08:46 AM
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I vote for 3 nights of camping, but what does the rest of your itinerary look like? Personally, I'd never tire of luxury camping and would prefer it over Serena or Sopa.
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Mar 7th, 2006, 08:52 AM
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Well, if it were budget camping I'd say go for the lodge to give yourself a break. How is your tour op defining luxe camping? If it's truly luxe, then I wouldn't think twice about doing three nights.

How'd the rest of your itinerary shape up? Just curious.
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Mar 7th, 2006, 09:51 AM
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Even if you had not been changed from Serena to Sopa, I'd vote for 3 nights camping. In fact, I think two nights would be too little. That's a lucky break.

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Mar 7th, 2006, 02:16 PM
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Thanks so much for your advice! We have booked the following itinerary:

Overnight Nairobi
Mbalageti Tented Lodge 2 nites
Private Luxury Camping 3 nites (thanks to your advice)
Kusini Tented Lodge 2 nites
Ngorongoro Serena Lodge 1 nite
" Crater Lodge 1 nite
Tarangire Treetops 2 nites
Depart for Nairobi

Our trip operator has been wonderful about upgrades and little perks and seems to be very conscious about details. We thougt that we might need a break after camping for two days, but you've conviced us otherwise. Thanks again!
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Mar 7th, 2006, 06:46 PM
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Looks very nice. Don't know that I've seen 2 nights at the Crater at 2 different places. I'd be interested in your reasons for doing splitting your stay. Maybe you'll start a trend.
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Mar 7th, 2006, 07:27 PM
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santharamhari
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I love your itinerary, however, i would do just one night in the crater......and add the additional night in the serengeti.

Particularly, if the crater is at the end of the trip......you'd hate the one million plus jeeps inside the crater....it can be pretty much covered in a one night stay.
 
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Mar 8th, 2006, 10:25 AM
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I'm jealous of your itinerary. Looks great!
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Mar 8th, 2006, 10:43 AM
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bat
 
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I did what mairseydotes did-1 night at the Crater Serena (late afternoon arrival followed by early morning crater drive) then 1 night at Crater Lodge (arrive late afternoon from the drive, hang out at Crater Lodge the next day, late afternoon departure to the next location). I really enjoyed it and felt that I was maximizing my use of it given its large expense.
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Mar 8th, 2006, 10:53 AM
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Bat,
That makes sense for the crater.
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Mar 8th, 2006, 11:32 AM
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bat
 
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ps: mairseydotes, itinerary looks great.
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Mar 10th, 2006, 10:12 AM
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Thanks for the assurances! We're sooo excited as this is our first trip to Africa. The reason for the split nights at the Crater was that our trip operator at Africa Dream Safaris gave us a complimentary upgrade to the Crater Lodge for one night (which we had nixed because of the price) so that we could see what all the fuss was about. 'Pretty nice, huh?
Bat- I like your plan about really getting the most out of the Crater Lodge, we'll definitely build that into the plan.
Thanks again for all your good advice and encouragement!!!
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Mar 10th, 2006, 10:56 AM
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Hi Mairsey,
I concur with the others who stated that 2 nights is what's needed in the crater, unless of course, you like to take a quick look and zip on - it's a pretty expansive place with lots to see.

We arrived for an early lunch the first day and took an afternoon drive and then a very early am drive into the afternoon the second day.

We then departed quite early the next morning and game drove to the Serengeti and mobile tented for 3 nights (loved it) and did a early am drive to the airport.

This seemed to be a good amount of time for us.

Enjoy!
Sherry
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Mar 10th, 2006, 06:24 PM
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Sherry
I agree. 2 nites seems right and it'll be nice to be mosquito-free for a couple of nights at the higher elevations. Besides, I'm anxious to really enjoy the spoiling at the Crater Lodge! Do you recommend early morning game drives to avoid the crowds or is late afternoon better? Thanks.
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Mar 11th, 2006, 04:23 AM
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Mairsey,
Both are good, but my preferance would be early am, as the animals are still active and there are very few vehicles.

Plus the cool crisp air is nice before the late morning/early afternoon sun. - better for photos as well.

We were at the gate at 6:30am and had the park to ourselves for at least the first 2-3 hours.

Late afternoon is also good because most people have left and the cats are out sunning themselves and seem, due to their contentment, to allow you to get pretty close.
Also, that's when we had our upclose encounter with the rhino - maybe because there were fewer vehicles.
Sherry
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Mar 11th, 2006, 04:34 AM
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sounds like a fabulous itinerary, good choice to go for the three nights camping. Make sure you pack a good lightweight waterproof jacket and a goods fleece though. The crater will be cold at night as will Moru Kopjes. Then make sure you get to enjoy one of those great baths in the Crater lodge just the thing when you come in from a long day out. Take a late lunch and miss the crowds at the picnic sites too.
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Mar 13th, 2006, 09:38 AM
  #17
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Thanks for the advice, Sherry. We'll plan on doing what you did: late afternoon on the first day (serena lodge that night) and early morning the second day, arriving Crater Lodge that afternoon. I've heard so much about the rose petals in the bathtub--whooooo!
Mzeetembo- thanks for the fleece/parka tip. I had hoped to bring only a carry-on bag and a backpack so I have to be really careful about too much bulk. How about long silk underwear as a lightweight alternative to fleece? Will that be warm enough or will I still need my bulky fleece?
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