Weekend safari in Tanzania?

Feb 13th, 2007, 04:51 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78
Weekend safari in Tanzania?

Hello, I'm going to be in Arusha for about 10 days in mid-March for work. I have three free days at the end of my stay in Tanzania -- Friday morning through Monday afternoon -- before I leave for Rwanda, where I will be working for a few days and also doing a gorilla trek.

What would be the best way for me to spend these three days in TZ? Ngorongoro Crater? The Serengeti? Somewhere else? Or a combination of several places? There are so many options and I'm a bit overwhelmed. I'd rather not spend more than $500 total on the weekend.

Thanks in advance for your advice! I've never been to Africa and I'm clueless.
grommet19 is offline  
Feb 13th, 2007, 05:22 PM
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Serengeti is a bit of a drive from Arusha, probably too much driving for 3 free days ... you can reach Lake Manyara in about 2 hours from Arusha and you'll likely see buffalo and many elephants, plus a good chance at lions. We had a wonderful leopard sighting there recently, but that's not common. And many, many birds (hundreds of thousands of flamingos when we were there 2 weeks ago). There are inexpensive places to stay here as well.

The entrance to Tarangire is also about 2+ hours from Arusha (near Manyara) but in mid-March it will likely be too wet and the game dispersed.

Ngorongoro is about 4 hours drive and you could certainly do a day at Manyara and two at Ngorongoro (or vice versa), but the entry fee is high ($100 per jeep to descend plus $30/person/day just to be in the NCA, compared to $35 per jeep for Manyara and Tarangire). Also the roads inside Ngorongoro are terrible right now (and probably will remain like that thru March if the rains don't let up). But you'll see big ellies, many lions and hyenas, probably rhinos and thousands of zebras and wildebeests.

So maybe split the time between Manyara and Ngorongoro as your budget permits? Manyara will be cheaper for both lodging and entry fees. That's what I'd do ... there's also Arusha NP but I haven't been there so can't comment from experience.

Bill_H is offline  
Feb 13th, 2007, 11:48 PM
Join Date: Mar 2006
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I'd go with Bills suggestion.

I was in Tarangire a few weeks ago and there was very little game present (although many nice birds). It was a good and nice experience fit into a whole safari, but I wouldn't recommend going there solely.

I'd focus on Manyara and the crater.
Arusha NP is nice, but 1 day would be enough over there, and it is more an introduction to wildlife viewing and a whole safari. So if you only have 3 days, I'd definately go for manyara and the crater.

If you like it you can also do cool stuff around manyara like a bush diner in the park and a night drive. (we did it last year, and liked it very mucht!) You can also do a mountain bike trip down the mountain and have a local lunch in the village.

Again considering the 3 days you have, I'd go for the bush diner and night drive (possible via www.greenfootprint.co.tz), and then another day of game drive in the park or go the the crater.
Nikao is offline  
Feb 14th, 2007, 05:53 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78
Thanks for the suggestions! This is very helpful. i will definitely focus my energies on the crater and Lake Manyara.
grommet19 is offline  
Feb 14th, 2007, 06:55 AM
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From Arusha to the Crater is about a 5/hr drive. You can get in an afternoon crater tour; next morning another crater tour. You can than drive to Manyara for an afternoon game drive. Next morning game drive in Manyara, then head back to Arusha. Pressume you're flying to Rwanda out of Arusha/Kili?

Good luck.
Feb 14th, 2007, 07:11 AM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,354
You received some good advice here except for one small issue!

$500 is not enough for a lodge safari for an extended weekend unless you team up with a shared safari. This means you have to ask around in Arusha and hope that you can find a group that's also going for 3/4 days!

A car+guide alone will cost $150 upwards per day unless you get an old vehicle and a driver (not guide) who may not know the parks.

Entering the crater = $100 per car + park fees!
climbhighsleeplow is offline  

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