Visiting Tanzania in Sept'05

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Mar 11th, 2005, 07:00 AM
  #1
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Visiting Tanzania in Sept'05

I'm planning to travel to Tanzania in Sept'05.

I'm using Africa Travel Resource (www.africatravelresource.com) to arrange for this. The itinerary includes a Kili climb, Tarangire and Ngorongoro game drives and Zanzibar.

I came across this company during a Googling session. Very nice website and very efficient service. Their prices seem to be at a premium but at the same time this gives me a perception of security regarding their professionalism. I am quite a risk averse person.

Comments/Suggestions?!
ninebings is offline  
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Mar 11th, 2005, 09:02 AM
  #2
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hello! some suggestions please!

am i being snobbed

first time i'm using such a forum- hopefully not the last!!
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Mar 11th, 2005, 09:15 AM
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ninebings,

I am not that 4-letter word, snob. Just an 8-letter one, employee. So no time or even email access right now.

Don't know Africa Travel Resource.

Will email you at hotmail this evening.

For Tanzania, Roy's is very popular with members on this site. Try typing it in the search box for all sorts of information on it.
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Mar 11th, 2005, 09:39 AM
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Africa Travel Resource (ATR) use African Walking Compony for the Kili climb and Tanganyiga (Mt.Kili Safari Club) for the private driver/guide.
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Mar 11th, 2005, 09:52 AM
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My comment is that you seem gullible. A nice website and premium prices do not necessarily equate with professionalism.
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Mar 11th, 2005, 10:06 AM
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ninebings

Using an overseas agent (ATR) rather than a local outfitter is a personal decision.

My observation is that many here enjoy the planning bit almost as much as the safari itself and the savings realized makes all the hard work and slight risk-taking very worthwhile!

If you feel comfortable with ATR's services and are willing to pay a bit more for piece of mind then go for it - but I will add that you have little to worry about if you use one of several outfitters often mentioned here.

You will use the same guides, vehicles and lodges resold by overseas agents. So high prices do not automatically translate to better experiences/security in Tanzania unless there are specific value-adds.

I took a quick look at the ATR website and, while still informational, the sections I saw are not current. You may want to post your itinerary here for more specific comments or suggestions.
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Mar 12th, 2005, 01:01 AM
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- climbing the Kili (Rongai route) - the easiest of the unpopular routes

- 4 days safari divided between Tarangire (Mawe Ninga) (should be good in Sept) mainly and Ngorongoro (Crater Lodge)

- 4 days in Zanzibar divided between Stown Town (Emerson & Green) and beaches/diving (Matemwe Beach)

The only price i am not sure of is the 4 day safari...any suggestions?

I am willingly paying a premium on the Kili climb and already checked out prices of hotels in Zanzibar which are in line with what they are charging me.
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Mar 12th, 2005, 04:01 AM
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ninebings

Kili: The saying is "splurge on the mountain and save money at the beach". Kilimanjaro is a dangerous mountain so your willingness to pay a premium for your climb is the right thing to do. Your outfitter has a good reputation although some on the Lonely Planet board were unhappy with their small A-frame tents.

The midnight ascent of the Rongai route is brutal. I think more and more climbers are sensing that a daytime ascent using the western routes provide a better mountain experience with a higher success rate. For more info, check out www.go-kilimanjaro.com.

Safari: Maweninga is a very attractive camp inside the park (NW area) with great views. We stayed there last August and they were still working out some kinks (only opened a few months earlier I think). It has great potential and your trip report will be very informational when you return. Maweninga is relatively unknown and IMO deserves to be mentioned whenever we talk about Kikoti and others.

The Crater Lodge is tops as far as lodges go in Ngorongoro.

Your itinerary looks fine to me. If you want piece of mind you can ask Roys or others for a quote to compare your safari costs.

I climbed Kilimanjaro 3 times and Rongai in Sep would not be my first choice if you want a better experience with a greater chance for success.
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Mar 12th, 2005, 06:58 AM
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I just want to reinforce what climbhigh stated about the Rongai Route. That route requires an early morning summit attempt. You will not sleep that night, you will get up in the dark when it is freezing (well below 0C) and need to climb with a head lamp. Then the route is mostly scree with one step up and slide two steps back. And the one day ascent is well over 1000 meters, at the most difficult part of the mountain.

If you could see the faces of those zombie climbers coming up from that side of the mountain, you would rethink that route. The western side with the pre-summit night at the crater is the way to go. Much better chance for success, and more enjoyable.

I also wanted to add that I did a 3 day portion of my last trip (Aug, 2004) through ATR. I was able to negotiate a lower price than advertised.
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Mar 14th, 2005, 06:30 AM
  #10
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Climbhigh & Queenie thanks for your replies and suggestions.

Re Rongai Route...what is wrong with beginning of September?

The below is taken from ATR's site regarding the Western Breach:
"Quite apart from the steep, icy and treacherous slopes up towards the Breach itself, the main issue here is the lack of a support team. When attempting the summit, the lead groups goes on up the slope, whilst the support team heads down and around the mountain to rendezvous on the other side. This means that there is no option to return ... you have to make it. Since altitude sickness can hit so randomly, to undertake this climb with anything but a highly experienced team is utter folly."

Rongai uses gilman point just like marangu does. However, the approach is from school hut rather than kibo huts...apparently this is better.

Let me know what you think.

Thanks.
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Mar 14th, 2005, 06:58 AM
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Rongai & Marangu are equally brutal on the final morning. Once you reach Gillmans you still have 2 hours to Uhuru Peak.20%-40% will turn back at that point.

Rongai is less crowded during the early stages so it is better than Marangu from that point of view.

The way ATR describes the Western Breach is typical misinformation They are describing a midnight ascent which is NOT what I am proposing.

I suggest you look into climbing the Breach during day time hours and camp near the crater rim before your final ascent (a 2-hour hike in the early morning sunshine). It is a beautiful route with a very high success rate.

Did you read the description of the routes on www.go-kilimanjaro.com?

If the Western Breach still does not appeal to you then stick with Rongai. It is better than Marangu and less crowded than Machame.
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Mar 15th, 2005, 02:34 AM
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We are also going to Tanzania in September (two weeks; 50% safari and 50% beach) for our honeymoon.

We got great prices from Tanzania Serengeti Adventures!!
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