Tour operator for Tanzania???

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Apr 12th, 2013, 05:09 AM
  #1
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Tour operator for Tanzania???

Have just started planning a trip to Tanzania for early October of 2014 . Overwhelmed!! I have gotten some quotes from several different tour operators for a private safari visiting the northern circuit. From everything I have read. Choosing the right company will make the trip. I have talked with Roy's Safaris, Access 2 Tanzania , African Dream Safaris and & Beyond. I would appreciate hearing from anyone who has traveled with any of companies. This is quite an expensive trip and want to make the right choice!! 8 day Safari. Thanks for your help!!
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Apr 12th, 2013, 05:26 AM
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Karen, I went with A2T and would go again in a heartbeat. Rather than re-hash it all here, you can read my trip report by clicking my name. I also wrote a review of them on TripAdvisor. I was in your position a year ago, and did all the research and ultimately decided A2T was best for my small group. I don't have a single regret, other than not being able to go back right now with them again!
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Apr 12th, 2013, 05:32 AM
  #3
 
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It been quite a while since I was in Tanzania, but back then Roys safaris had a very good reputation. And they seem to be able to do safaris for most budgets.
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Apr 12th, 2013, 07:01 AM
  #4
 
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I used Africa Dream Safaris a few years back for an 11 day private safari for two. THe trip planning was very easy, with lots of information provided and revisions until the trip was just right. I thought they were fantastic on the ground and added lots of little extras that you don't think about that made the trip even better. The driver/guide was one of the best I've ever had anywhere. I recommend ADS highly.
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Apr 12th, 2013, 11:19 AM
  #5
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Thank you all fot you replys . All three look good to me .... Any favorite camps ? Looking at Oliver's or Swala for Tarangarie and Sayari for Serengeti. Undecided for where to stay at Ngoongoro crater. Love. The Crater Lodge , but so expensive . Have looked at Exploreans Lodge and Serena Lodge. Is it worth staying on creator rim at older lodge or staying in newer lodge in the village ?
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Apr 12th, 2013, 02:24 PM
  #6
 
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Those accomm you show are all excellent and in the luxe=category. If using Olivers/Sayari there should be a discount in there for extended stay this group of camps. I though prefer Swala Camp which is even more luxe at somewhat lower price. At the crater, Exploreans is the newest, priced similar to Serena... so would go with Exploreans besides it's located on the better side of the rim, facing west to view sunset and easier access into the crater itself.

The four companies mentioned should probably come in pretty close in price. Generally though andBeyond pushes 'their' properties first unless you are specific as to what camps you wish. African Dream in CA. tends to be expensive. A2T and Roys are similary priced.

Depending on number of total days you have, seems you'd be traveling from Tarangire to Ngo to No. Serengeti, so is this 'all flying' or combo 'drive/fly' And though all should have you flying back from No. Serengeti, some will fly you after Ngo to the North, where others will offer game drive thru Serengeti at Central and then a flight to North, or maybe a 1/nt stay in Central and continue game drive to North. With the latter, you have same guide/vehicle throughout for game drives. With 'fly' only, use the guides from camps often on a shared basis with other guests unless you pay for exclusive use.

None of these options are right or wrong, rather the number of days total, number of days each area, how much of a rush you're in (remember this is a vacation, not a marathon), and even budget... so something for everyone.

For sure you have time to plan considering 2014 prices haven't been published yet. Usually from June '13 forward. So, keep us posted on your progress.
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Apr 13th, 2013, 02:19 AM
  #7
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Sandi, Thank you so much for all the information!! Very excited about this trip. I think we will drive so we can have the same guide throughout the trip. Still trying to decide on the company to use....This is an anniversary trip and will have a total of 10 days including travel time from the US. Again thanks for all the good information!
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Apr 13th, 2013, 07:37 AM
  #8
 
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I used Jo Bertone with Naipenda safaris to arrange my entire trip (Tanzania, Kenya and Rwanda). They were exceptional to work with. I received a quote from & Beyond and several others but Naipenda was able to arrange a private safari at comparable (if not the same) properties for much less money. They are licensed in Tanzania and hired excellent tour operators in Kenya and Rwanda.
Let me know if you have any questions.
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Apr 14th, 2013, 09:40 AM
  #9
 
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We went with Africa Dream Safaris for my "bucket List" trip in Oct. of '08 and I would never consider going w/any other operator in TZ. The whole trip was absolutely fantastic-they took care of the tiniest of details and I would travel w/them again in a heartbeat-talk to Sharon Lyon!
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Apr 14th, 2013, 11:26 AM
  #10
 
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We enjoyed a flawless trip organized and conducted by Good Earth Tours - trip report at http://fodors.com/community/africa-t...-amsterdam.cfm

It was WONDERFUL!!
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Apr 18th, 2013, 08:02 AM
  #11
 
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If you like her info and help, Sandi has a company, Africa Serendipty.

I've used Eben Schoemann Signature Safaris twice since 2011 for Tanz. Hope to again before too long.

One thing to consider is daily mileage limits. No limits for Eben's co. Many others limit. Makes a big difference as to how long you stay out and, of course, where you go.

Af Dream = very expensive.
&Beyond = more expensive too.
The reputable companies mentioned in this thread will do a wonderful trip for you. And you'll encounter the guests from the other companies at your lodgings and at sightings. Everybody will be thrilled.

I like the idea of at least 1 nt Central Serengeti. Lots of activity around there due to Seronera River. Even in March (not prime time) I saw leopard cubs with mom and lions on kopjes and in trees.

1 nt Central breaks up the long travel AND offers more wildlife opportunities. Leopards and cheetahs in N. Serengeti are less likely than Central.

At the crater: Unless Crater Lodge pricing is a splurge you are accustomed to making, choose something else. I like Sopa Lodge for the private access road that is shared by only Sopa, Lemala, an A&K camp, and maybe one other place. The access road is a practicality that trumps all. And Sopa is really nice. It is what I've chosen the last 2 times and what I'd definitely choose again.
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Apr 18th, 2013, 09:50 AM
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The other lodge using the Sopa decent road is the new Explorean's Lodge, now open maybe 1/yr.

Smaller than Sopa. Priced about the same as would be the Serena on other side of rim, higher than Sopa and way way less than Lemala and/or A&K Camp.
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Apr 19th, 2013, 06:21 AM
  #13
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Is the Exploreans on the crater rim? I think I have decided to go with Access 2 Tanzania . Casey has been so patient and helpful in putting the trip together. I would love to hear from more who have used A2T. Roy's has great reviews but Casey has gone above expectations...
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Apr 20th, 2013, 11:49 AM
  #14
 
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karen -

Haven't been to Explorean's yet (too new) and been getting conflicting info re where exactly this lodge is located. Some info indicates as mentioned above, others elsewhere? As soon as I find out, will post again.
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Apr 20th, 2013, 04:28 PM
  #15
 
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On the Exploreans website, it shows the lodge just outside the NCA gate ("5 minutes" per their website.) It looks to be a little closer to the gate than Ngorongoro Farmhouse, but it isn't on the rim.
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Oct 20th, 2013, 02:23 PM
  #16
 
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We did our safari to Northern parks in Tansania with Safari Big 5. The good thing about this operator,we actually had a different plan but it was costing alot.They suggested us the best possible way with same parks visit.
We got excellent service and hospitality from the owner Esmail
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Oct 23rd, 2013, 04:41 AM
  #17
 
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Karen,

We have enjoyed three safaris with Roy Safaris in the past few years and would not hesitate to travel with them again. For reasons including peace of mind, extensive experience, and great communications we opted to work thru Africa Serendipity out of NYC. Another reason was coordinating travel in Kenya.

For the Tanzanian time we were blessed to have the same guide, Nicholas and enjoyed him each time. Choice of lodging is immense.
Dick
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