Urgent!!! Travel operator made a mistake!!

Feb 25th, 2006, 10:09 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 21
Thank you Malpa, bat, Lisa and Leely!
Lisa, great website and thank you, very helpful
Leely,thanks! I will look for something nice but a little bit less luxury

checked the websites suggested and in some places in Zanzibar are closed in early June, how come?? is not a good option to go to Zanzibar in June??

Faccina is offline  
Feb 26th, 2006, 04:04 AM
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Faccina -

Yes, some places on ZNZ are still closed the early part of June. They close right after Easter (usually in April for about two-months) till about 2nd wk. June. April/May/begin-June is still considered the "wet" season.

However, we were on ZNZ this past June (beginning) and except for a 15-minute very light shower (more like a drizzle) at 10am... no other rain during our 3-day stay. There were some honeymooners here who had arrived before us and stayed after we left - they didn't have rain.

June is perfectly fine to visit ZNZ, but weather is just that - mainland or coastal islands/resorts - no guarantee. But it is definitely hot and humid.

And it is quite romantic to walk along the beach if it does rain.
Mar 3rd, 2006, 03:31 PM
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Posts: 21
I have different quotes from different operators, pls give me your opinion of which one is the best or if I should change or combine anything

Option 1
(Quote does not mention type of safari-group or private)
Arusha Hotel (1 night)
Lake Manyara tree lodge (1 night)
Ngorongoro crater lodge (1)
Serena Serengeti (3 nights)
Breeze beach club (3 nights)

Option 2 (quote provided is little confusing for me)
Arusha Moivaro lodge (1 night)
Gibbs Farm (1 night)
Olduvai tented camp (1 night)
Ronjo flycamp (2 nights)
Olduvai tented camp (1 night)
Matewna beach (3 nights)
Dhow palace (1night)

Option 3
(in the quote is mentioned a private safari for 2)
Arusha Mountain Village (1 night)
Manyara Serena Lodge (1 night)
Serengeti Serena (3 nights)
Ngorongoro Serena lodge (1 night)
Breeze beach club (3)

How are these logdes / camps? the itinerary looks good to you? any suggestions? option 1 and 3 are similar in price.

Thank you! Can't wait to hear from you
Faccina is offline  
Mar 4th, 2006, 05:22 AM
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Faccina -- the only hotel we were not thrilled with on our trip was the Arusha hotel -- it was fine -- actually the restaurant was very nice -- but there was no A/C and we had to sleep with the window open which made it very noisy and hard to sleep -- so if you can choose another hotel in Arusha on itinerary 1 then I would. We liked KIA Lodge much better but I am sure there are other good ones in Arusha too -- I have heard good things about Coffee Lodge and some others. Otherwise Itinerary 1 looks very good to me, particularly with Tree Lodge and Crater Lodge which are very expensive. But you need to find out if this is a private itinerary or a group one.

On #2 it just depends on what you want. At Olduvai & Ronjo you're talking a little more rustic (bucket/bladder showers and chemical/long drop toilets).

Itinerary #3 looks good to me. Should be less expensive than itinerary #1 though.
lisa is offline  
Mar 4th, 2006, 06:35 AM
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It would be a shame not to stay on the rim at Ngorongoro - so #2 is out.

#1 is the most luxurious, but #3 will work just as well if the price is right.

Just a correction about the Arusha Hotel - about half the rooms have air-conditioning and it works well! Just make sure your outfitter ask for a room with air-con!
climbhighsleeplow is offline  
Mar 4th, 2006, 06:56 AM
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Glad things are working out for you. I like #3 for nice accommodations and the fact it is a private safari.

I am guessing #1 is not a private safari, since it is more expensive properties and the same price as the others. If #1 is indeed a private safari, then the added luxury might be a treat, especially if this is your honeymoon. Sorry if I'm mistaken on the honeymoon part.

In sum #1 if it is private.
#3 if #1 is not private.
atravelynn is offline  
Mar 4th, 2006, 03:20 PM
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Lisa, atravelynn and climbhighsleeplow thank you for your comments!! I will ask the operators about the a/c in Arusha and I didn't think asking about private tour or not and it's a Good question!!

Faccina is offline  
Mar 4th, 2006, 04:44 PM
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Whoops, I forgot to vote. #1 if private (and this is a honeymoon after all, right?). If #1 is not private then #3.

I do like the option of a night in Stone Town in #2, but you could probably fix that easily with the other itineraries.
Leely is offline  
Mar 5th, 2006, 12:20 PM
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yeap! it's for our honeymoon
Faccina is offline  
Mar 7th, 2006, 06:56 AM
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I stayed recently at Crater lodge, Crater Serena, Olduvai and Ronjo--so if you want to read about them you can click on my name and find the report (they should all be in the second segment). I agree with climbhigh that you should stay on the rim of the crater--the views are beautiful.
bat is offline  
Mar 7th, 2006, 01:42 PM
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Option 1: the itinerary will be only for the 2 of us but in serena serengeti the game viewing is not private we might need to share the 4WD with other 5-6 people.

what's your view on this?


Bat thanks! great info
Faccina is offline  
Mar 7th, 2006, 02:03 PM
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Faccina -

Are you flying into the Serengeti or stopping elsewhere in Tanzania until you arrive at Serengeti.

If arriving in your own vehicle, and you're not on a group tour, you shouldn't have to share your vehicle with other - you're on a private safari.

However, if flying you have to share game drives (morning and late-afternoon) with other guests, unless you wish to pay for a private vehicle. Though you'd have to check whether the Serena has private vehicles and what daily fee the Serena charges for this. Maybe be at least $200/day or more.

Mar 7th, 2006, 03:02 PM
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Sandi, I'm confused as the operators wrote the following:

"A CC Africa representative will transfer you from the Hotel to the Arusha Airport for the morning scheduled Regional Air Services flight to Manyara, departing at 08:00. Upon arrival at 08:25, you will be met by a Lake Manyara Tree Lodge representative for the 2 - 3 hour game drive to the camp."

" A Lake Manyara Tree Lodge representative will transfer you to the Manyara airstrip where you will be met by a Ngorongoro Crater Lodge representative for the 2 hour road transfer to the camp"

"A Serengeti Serena Safari Lodge representative will transfer you from the camp to the Seronera airstrip for the morning scheduled Coastal Aviation Services flight to Zanzibar, departing at 10:45. Upon arrival at 13:50,etc.."

When I spoke with the Agency I was told that " The Serengeti Serena Safari Lodge offers morning and afternoon game drives " and this will be shared with other guests.

Is this a group tour?
Faccina is offline  
Mar 7th, 2006, 04:53 PM
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I think that it is a hybrid--it is not a group tour in that you are not traveling with a group from Day 1 through to the end. But it is not a private safari in that at each location you will be on group game drives. The two CCAfrica lodges (Manyara and Crater) have group game drives also (Unless as part of a private safari you are being driven in or met by a private guide.) Ask what is happening at Manyara and the Crater re game trips to confirm.
bat is offline  
Mar 7th, 2006, 04:56 PM
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just to clarify--so it is "private" because only you and new hubby will be on that particular schedule--but it is shared game drives throughout (that's my guess).
bat is offline  
Mar 13th, 2006, 01:30 AM
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Hi !!

Goshhh it's so frustrating not having it all

After emails back and forth the best operator was the one who offered option 1, very fast response.

We flight to JRO with KLM and leave from Dar.

Proposed Itinerary:

Arush (1 night)
Serengeti Safari Logde (3 nights)
Ngorongoro Crater Lodge (2 nights) it was supposed to be 1 night but we are waitlisted for Lake manyara tree logde .
Ras nungwi beach (4 nights)

quote $4,365 USD per person

It's our honeymoon and we want something special but as well the idea of not having a private safari..mm mm do not know. I want to visit, meet Massais and operator informed that at the crater there are tours that we can take, obviously we need to pay extra.

If you were me, what would you do??
Pls give me your opinion


Faccina is offline  
Mar 13th, 2006, 02:41 AM
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hi Faccina, just my humble opinion.. but it seems a pity to pay so much for your trip, and then not have a private safari. Eventhough Tanzania is quite expensive, one of the best things is the relative low cost of having your safari private. This means by choosing a good safari operator you not only have a good guide throughout your trip, but also who will know your personal 'needs' and who will tend to help you throughout the whole trip as well. What you might consider doing is asking another quote to one of the 'cheaper' outfitters (see my above comment/atravelyn comment)for a private safari and tell them honest you need your answer by next week (state a clear itinary, with exactly the hotels you wish-so you know where you are willing to go for a cheaper lodge-eg the wildlife lodges-not luxury, but great location or sopa lodges-and if they cannot get availability to propose an alternative). I think for 6 nights safari (Arusha a lot of good and still cheap accomodation-Zanzibar also excluded because easily to organise independently) you should be able to get a much better price, though not so luxury, but atleast for a private safari. Then the remaining budget can be spend on real luxury accomodation in Zanzibar or maybe you should take a look at Saadani (national park at the beach)..
janischa28 is offline  
Mar 13th, 2006, 04:59 PM
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Thank you janischa28
Faccina is offline  
Mar 14th, 2006, 04:23 AM
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I am currently in Zanzibar and have just completed my own Tanzanian safari staying at a couple lodges you have mentioned.

Personally, I think it is too far to travel all the way to Lake Manyara Tree Lodge and only stay one night. The lodge enjoys a very exclusive location, but it is two hours from the entrance of the park to the lodge. If you want a stay here, I would recommend that you splurge and stay a second night, as well.

Also, although it may blow your budget, for the Crater Lodge, I would again recommend a second night. This is just the most amazing lodge and one night would be such a tease, while a second night may allow you to actually enjoy it.

I do find it odd to pair such luxurious lodges in Lake Manyara and Ngorongoro Crater with more basic lodges in the Serengeti. Instead, I would suggest that you do an itinerary such as the following:


This would allow two nights at each Lake Manyara Tree Lodge and Ngorongoro Crater Lodge, as well as four nights of luxury mobile camping with CCAfrica's Tanzania Under Canvas.

Upon returning to Arusha, you could then go to Zanzibar for about 3 nights at a more reasonably priced beach lodge.

My experience with East Africa vs. my four prior visits to Southern Africa is that accomodations are not as much a priority in East Africa, so, especially for a honeymoon, it would make sense to splurge on the safari accomodations.

Also, I do like that the CCAfrica Tanzania Under Canvas itinerary is a fly-in safari rather than completely overland. After doing only previously fly-in safaris in Southern Africa, I did find the overland portion of the safari a bit draining and it would be completely draining if I only had one night at some of the destinations.

Each the food, service, accomodations and vehicles at CCAfrica proved to be top-notch. At least during your time in Lake Manyara, you may count on having an opensided vehicle, as opposed to a closed vehicle with open sunroof. This makes a big difference. Also, I did photograph one of the Tanzania Under Canvas vehicles and the sides are canvas that seems to snap off easily to make them into basically opensided vehicles.

If you need a night in Arusha, the best place seems to be Arusha Coffee Lodge, operated by the same owners as Tarangire Tree Tops and Migration Camp (Elewana is the company).

One final thing to know when considering any of your itineraries is the ground handling company and the type of vehicle being used. I found the Land Rover 110 to be an unacceptable vehicle, while the Toyota Land Cruiser was much more comfortable.

Also, ask what your vehicle will be equipped with...my first vehicle, a Land Rover 110, had busted windows that did not open, a rattling door that would not close properly, no cold drinks (and only bottled water) and no beanbags for photography.

My second vehicle, however, after I was handed over to a different company once in the Serengeti, was a Toyota Land Cruiser in perfect condition with a fully stocked ice chest (beer, soft drinks, water, fruit, sweets), bean bags for balancing my camera, much more comfortable on the inside and the vehicle was maintained beautifully, being cleaned twice a day by my guide (while the first vehicle was probably not cleaned more than once during the week I was in it).

Congratulations on your upcoming marriage and honeymoon.
Roccco is offline  
Mar 14th, 2006, 04:31 AM
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Also, here is one more slightly less expensive option where you would stay at one of CCAfrica's luxury lodges in the Serengeti, although for one night shorter. However, the cost savings may be enough to pay for 3 nights in Zanzibar:

Roccco is offline  

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