Trip Report - Tanz 10/24 - 11/2

Reply

Nov 7th, 2005, 05:39 PM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 21
Trip Report - Tanz 10/24 - 11/2

Just wanted to retrun the favour as I got a wealth of information from this site for my first ever safari. I chose a private safari, just two of us using Good Earth.
While we had a good guide, the Land Cruiser was older and not in tip top shape but no breakdowns or flat tires...probably would not use GE again for a few other side issues but no major complaints.

Overnighted at the Kia Lodge...did not like, slightly run down but may be best option in the city.

Went to Migration camp next and the Northern Serengeti...I cannot say enough nice things about M Camp, the service, the managers Peter and Anita, extraordinary experience.

Mbuzi Mawi...new but not great service but lovely tent.

Crater Lodge...opulent and lovely but Migration Camp still my favorite...

Treetops, lovely experience.

Thanks all...what an amazing experience.
Glad I travelled light, the things I brought and never used, bandaids, painkillers...tks again
micjor is offline  
Reply With Quote
Nov 7th, 2005, 06:39 PM
  #2
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553
micjor,

Thanks for sharing. I will be visiting Crater Lodge and Mbuzi Mawe (amongst many other places) in early March.

If you have a chance, would you please tell me the following information.

1. How many other guests were at Ngorongoro Crater Lodge, approximately, during your stay?

Did you have a chance to interact with the other guests or did you find it awkward since it seems that many people are either on private safaris or part of a larger group?

If you did meet quite a few other guests, would you say they were down to Earth type people or did you find some of them stuffy?

Was the gameviewing in the Crater to die for and how many drives inside the Crater did you do?

2. You mention not great service but lovely tent at Mbuzi Mawe. What did you think about the food & cleanliness of the camp? What about the surrounding area...was the gameviewing as strong as in some of the other areas you visited? What were the main issues you had with their service that they could address to improve?

Thanks!
Roccco is offline  
Reply With Quote
Nov 7th, 2005, 07:38 PM
  #3
bat
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 1,790
micjor
Thanks for giving feedback.
bat is offline  
Reply With Quote
Nov 8th, 2005, 12:11 AM
  #4
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 21
Roccco
Answrs to all your questions posted below:

1. How many other guests were at Ngorongoro Crater Lodge, approximately, during your stay?

The Crater Lodge has three sections, North, South and Tree and they each have a separate dining room and lounge. I was in the North and spent two night/three days. There are twelve room in the North and I think we saw about 10 couples including us so that was almost at capacity in the north and you have the ability to take meals in your room.

Did you have a chance to interact with the other guests or did you find it awkward since it seems that many people are either on private safaris or part of a larger group?

Oh, in the places in which people were mostly on private safari which were Crater/Migration and Treetops...interaction was wonderful in the evenings or afternoons after game drives. For Crater Lodge specifically as you requested, dinner is at 7:30 and most people go to the lounge for a drink (especially since they are included) and everyone loved chatting about what they saw and share similar experiences. Keep in mind that you run into these people during the day also when you are all huddled around a leopard in a tree. At Migration camp it was taken even one step further as the South African couple who manages it, would have three couples share dinner with them each night and on our last night we were chosen and we had aready been quite friendly with the other two couples. No problem with that whatsoever at the Crater Lodge. We were sharing pictures in a viewfinder over drinks.

If you did meet quite a few other guests, would you say they were down to Earth type people or did you find some of them stuffy?

Oh, extremely down to earth, from the couple form California, to the couple from Australia and then Switzerland and the Netherlands...everyone was very amicable...at first as is typical you arrive at the lounge before dinner and most people are quiet and shy but once the ice is broken, wow...we even were offered a card game at the Crater lodge with the couple from Australia...now these people are very classy but no stuffiness there.


Was the gameviewing in the Crater to die for and how many drives inside the Crater did you do?

Okay to be honest now, the first viewing of the Crater floor were stunning...the drive and and down was horrid, beyond bumpy, really bad. While on the floor, no probelems...I would not the gameviewing "to die for"...unique and stunning due to the smaller more open space and more concentrated animals but nothing beats the Serengeti...so to summarize, if I had went back a second time, I would skip it but it's a must see for all. We arrived at the Crater from the Serengeti one afternoon around 1pm and went to our first 4 hour game drive then checked into the lodge. The next day we spent the full day. Opted not to return for half a day on our last day.



2. You mention not great service but lovely tent at Mbuzi Mawe. What did you think about the food & cleanliness of the camp? What about the surrounding area...was the gameviewing as strong as in some of the other areas you visited? What were the main issues you had with their service that they could address to improve?

Oh, Mbuzi Mawe, where do I start. Okay, food was good and it was clean. The central serengeti is beautiful and great for gameviewing particularly for Leopeards but if I had to do it over again I would have stayed at Migration and travelled to central daily. What soured me on Mbuzi Mawe were two things, when we arrived for dinner the first night and were in the lounge, a woman came running in frantically, she was a guest and ten minutes ago when she was about to leave her tent for dinner, she saw a lion outside her tent. Okay, we probably expect that but their reaction was a paltry...oh we will see if we can find the ranger...they almost did not beleive her and did not give us a sense of comfort with their reaction, furthermore all other camps insisted that you be escorted to and from your tent from about 6pm onwards, the moment there is a trace of darkness...they say you can be on your own until 9pm (please be careful there)...then there is a long walk from where your driver can drop you off to reception and it is literred with tsetse lies which you are swatting all the way up the hill and lastly, they had a large 17 tent group there and they would sing folk songs loudly all night well past midnight which we could hear 10 tents away from the lounge...with most people getting up at 5ish to begin their day, I think a tighter control was necessary.



micjor is offline  
Reply With Quote
Nov 8th, 2005, 12:31 AM
  #5
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553
micjor,

Thank you so much for taking the time to answer each of my questions.

Crater Lodge seems like it will be a lovely experience. I have no idea which camp I am in, but one probably cannot go wrong at Crater Lodge.

I do look forward to my Crater drives but I am just already telling myself that I will have 25 other vehicles in sight at all times to prepare myself for the shock.

Given your comments about the Serengeti, I am glad that I have chosen to spend six nights at three different camps in the Serengeti.

About Mbuzi Mawe, I guess I am going to have to kick the manager in the *** when I first arrive to make sure everything goes well, and, moreover, so my wife and I are not eaten by lions! I do hate Tetse Flies, so that will be a challenge. Two months after Zambia, I am still itching from my Tetse Fly bites!

Thanks again.
Roccco is offline  
Reply With Quote
Nov 8th, 2005, 01:32 AM
  #6
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,297
Micjor -- Where was the migration when you were there?

Am disappointed to hear you wouldn't go with GE again as we are going with them in less than 2 weeks. Who was your guide?

Also disappointed to hear you had a less than stellar experience at Mbuzi Mawe as we are staying there as well. But hopefully Migration Camp will make up for it! We recently changed our one night at Kia Lodge to the New Arusha Hotel -- sounds like that was a good decision.
lisa is offline  
Reply With Quote
Nov 8th, 2005, 06:42 AM
  #7
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 21
Lisa
No migration at the time.
My guide's name was Abdul and he was A+...don't get me wrong...we had a mix up with GE that I am now addressing with Narry...when we got off the plane in Lobo an dmet our guide, he went over our itinerary and had us one night at Mbuzi Mawe and one night at Serengeti Serena...I told him the latter was not on our itinerary and he sais, well Mbuzi was old out for one night...I was furious as I was not notified...also just the condiiton of the vehicle like it did not have that shaded pop up cover like many of the other have...those are the only things...go off and have a fabulous time and don't worry about my minor concerns...say hello to Anita and Peter at MC for me...say Denise said hello.
micjor is offline  
Reply With Quote
Nov 8th, 2005, 09:23 AM
  #8
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,297
Thanks! I am going to reconfirm our itinerary and vehicle arrangements with them now.
lisa is offline  
Reply With Quote
 



Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 05:03 AM.