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Upcoming Trip to Tanzania/Kenya 8/29-9/8 - Advice Appreciated!

Upcoming Trip to Tanzania/Kenya 8/29-9/8 - Advice Appreciated!

Jul 22nd, 2008, 10:24 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 7
Upcoming Trip to Tanzania/Kenya 8/29-9/8 - Advice Appreciated!

Hi everyone. I am hoping that the experts on this thread will be able to help a first-timer to Tanzania/Kenya. My husband and I are headed to Tanzania on August 29, returning from Nairobi on September 8 as an opportunity to add a memorable vacation to a work trip that came up suddenly.

We are unfortunately subject to limited availability at many of the places recommended in the great trip report above given our late booking, but are hoping to break down the time roughly as follows. We'd greatly appreciate any advice on the itinerary given the time of year, and alternate nice places to stay (in case we have to settle for an alternative). Food and cleanliness are top priorities for us.

8/29 - Fly into Dar Es-Salaam (arrive 7AM), stay the night

8/30 - Fly to Arusha (Kibo Palace Hotel), visit Kilimanjaro

8/31 & 9/1 - Tarangire (Treetops/Boundary Hill)

9/2-4 - Ngorongoro Crater/Kirawira Lodge (balloon ride)

9/5-7 - Masai Mara (do we need to budget a flight to Nairobi to get to Masai Mara, or is there a direct route via Serengeti?)

9/7 - Fly to Nairobi

9/8 - Flight home
Moumachi is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2008, 10:37 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,870
How is 9/2-9/4 split between Ngorongoro and Kirawira? Kirawira is in the western Serengeti and a long drive from the crater.

Flights from the Serengeti to the Mara will route via Arusha/Kilimanjaro and Nairobi. There are no direct scheduled flights that I know of.

From western Serengeti, you could also do a road transfer to the Mara via the Sirari/Isebania border but it's not a direct routing either as the border is outside both parks.

Either flying or driving will be almost an all day affair. You can check schedules on www.regionaltanzania.com to connect with www.airkenya.com or Air Excel http://www.go-safari.com/images/Excel2.jpg to connect with www.safarilink-kenya.com.
Patty is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2008, 10:44 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,870
Forgot to say welcome and congrats on having the opportunity to add a visit to East Africa on your work trip!
Patty is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2008, 11:00 AM
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Patty - thank you so much!

Admittedly, I haven't thought through the transfers between places, but I realize that this in itself will be time-consuming. I was thinking we would spend 9/2 all day and night at the Crater, then travel to Grumeti by car or flight on 9/3, then spend the remainder of 9/3 and 9/4 at Kirawira. I was hoping to spend a chunk of time at Lake Manyara along with Ngorongoro, but I just don't think we'll be able to fit it in.
Moumachi is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2008, 11:08 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Is visiting Kilimanjaro a must? If not, you could take a morning DAR-JRO flight and continue to Tarangire the same day. That would give you an extra night to work with.
Patty is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2008, 12:20 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
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As you're arriving 7am (from where) at DAR, I'd suggest you get a flight to Kilimanjaro (JRO) or Arusha airports. If you're the adventurous kind, you can immediately head to Tarangire or spend balance of day in/around Arusha to catch your breath and be ready to start early next morning.

Not to take away from what has been proposed and as this is last minute you might be limited in location and choice of lodgings.

At Tarangire, Treetops is lovely and lux with beautiful large treehouses; Boundary Hill is nice, but doesn't compare.

Ngorongoro/Kirawira? Granted you might want to see the Serengeti, but for end-August, if you can't get space in the very north, I'd skip Kirawira which is in the Western Serengeti and best visited in June/July. The wildebeest herds found here during that time will already be in the Masai Mara where you will be heading later.

I would suggest instead, after departing Tarangire, head to Ngorongoro for crater visit. It might be too late to get rooming on the crater rim, but you can stay outside in nearby Karatu - Farmhouse and Plantation Lodge are nice alternatives.

Then head back to Lake Manyara for afternoon game drive, overnight, early game drive next morning and transfer to Manyara airstrip for 11:50am flight via Arusha to Wilson (domestic) airport in Nairobi. Here you can connect to flight to Masai Mara.

Once in the Mara, do you have any idea where you'd like to stay, what's available, what recommendations have been made?

Itinerary would look like:
8/29 - Arv. DAR, connect to JRO or Arusha - o/n Kibo Palace or other
8/30 - Drive to Tarangire - o/n Treetops
8/31 - Tarangire - o/n Treetops
9/1 - Drive to Ngorongoro; afternoon crater tour - o/n on crater rim at Serena or Sopa Lodges or Lemala Camp
9/2 - Ngo - option: morning crater tour; afternoon drive to Karatu at leisure - o/n Farmhouse, Plantation or Gibbs Farm.
9/3 - Drive to Lake Manyara, game drive - o/n Kirurumu Camp
9/4 - Manyara; morning game drive; drive to Manyara airstrip for 11:50am flight via Arusha for flight to Wilson/Nairobi - afternoon sightseeing: Karen Blixen Museum, Giraffe Center, some shopping - o/n Nairobi at House of Waine, Macushla House, Ngong House
9/5 - Transfer to Wilson for 10am flight to Masai Mara - o/n ?
9/6 & 7 - Masai Mara - o/n ?
9/8 - Fly to Wilson, depending on flight departure, maybe a day-room required; transfer to JKIA for homebound.

Hope this helps.

sandi is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2008, 11:32 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 7
Sandi - this is wonderful. Between Patti and your advice, I think we're almost set with the itinerary. I've reached out to Good Earth for costing and finalization of itinerary. Am thinking of reaching out to a few others, including CC Africa, Kibo, Roy, Thomson. Are there others that are worth contacting?
Moumachi is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2008, 11:33 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 7
Oh - also, we have no idea where to stay in the Mara yet, still working on that.
Moumachi is offline  

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