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What order should I do: Tanzania beach, safari + Rwanda.

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Jul 13th, 2018, 03:09 PM
  #1
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What order should I do: Tanzania beach, safari + Rwanda.

Going to Tanzania/Rwanda in December, first time. Only have a bit over 2 weeks total. First time. Some questions!

Question 1:
So I can book my flight, I'm trying to decide what order to visit my 3 stops: Zanzibar/Pemba/Mafia + Tanzania Safari + Rwanda gorillas
Should I start east to west? Or west to east? Or do the beach stay in the middle to break up the wildlife viewing portions?
I know many people end up their trip at the beach, but I've also heard that ending your trip with the Mountain Gorillas can make it the emotional highlight of the trip (for me, mountain gorillas is a bucket list dream).

Question 2:
If I did want a couple of beach days, should I go to Zanzibar, Pemba or Mafia? Or maybe should I just stay to the mainland coast (Pangani)?
I prefer quieter, less crowded places but with a beach to hang out for a day or two.

Question 3:
As I am travelling solo, would they still do a private safari or would it better to join a group?

Question 4:
For gorilla permits, I don't really want to book a multi-day Rwanda trip with hotels and meals all done for me. However, should I still go through a tour operator to get the permit and the transport to the park, or can I do everything independently?
globalhouse is offline  
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Jul 14th, 2018, 02:11 PM
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I can’t help you with the beach option as I haven’t gone to Africa for the beach, but I did do a combined Rwanda gorilla trekking with Maasai Mara safari last year. We did the gorillas first, mainly because I expected them to be taxing physically and I knew I’d be just sitting in vehicles and otherwise relaxing and being catered to on safari after that. So we had a day in Kigali, a day drive out to Virunga, 3 days of gorillas and golden monkey trekking (driving back to Kigali after the 3rd hike) and flew to Nairobi to the Mara on the 5th day, where we spent 6 days relaxing on safari. Yes, the gorillas are mind blowing and awesome but so is a lot of what you may see on safari. As it happens I saw my first kill then as well as an amazing night drive following a pride of lions, which was just as memorable for me.

I went on this particular trip with a friend but have done other safaris alone, and I think you could do the gorilla trek alone as you’re assigned to a group with 10-12 other people to trek anyway. I would not risk booking this myself, even having been to Eastern Africa 5 times. There are just too many logistics and I wouldn’t have wanted to figure out how to get from Kigali to the lodges, then from the lodges to the trekking point every day (some days it was a 30-40 minute drive to where the treks begin, others it was right where the ranger station is, you don’t know until you’re assigned a gorilla family). To my knowledge, the lodges don’t offer any transportation for treks. In Rwanda for the treks you really have no option but to have accomodations and food together, because if you stay overnight to do more than one trek, there’s no place else to eat but the lodges where everyone stays near the trekking point. And given the location you really do have to stay out there at least one night, it’s not reachable from Kigali in time to get there for a 7 a.m. trek. I used Treks2Rwanda for the Rwanda portion of the trip and was very pleased with how smoothly it all went.
amyb is offline  
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Aug 19th, 2018, 11:09 PM
  #3
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
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Hello

I am living in Rwanda since 2014 so I can help. For Gorillas, you can totally do it by yourself through the RDB (tourism department). I will suggest you to book the night before in Musanze or Kinigi (la locanda guesthouse is cheap and top notch) because the departure for the gorilla trek is very early, so better to stay near the park!

If you need more info, let me know.
jolitropisme is offline  
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Aug 20th, 2018, 06:05 AM
  #4
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
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Hello
I would recommend to start with Rwanda for gorillas, then you can have enough time for Tanzania Safari which normally depends on which parks you want to visit Northern Tanzania or Southern Tanzania, personally I would recommend you do Northern Tanzania, but if you need more privacy you can go for Southern Tanzania Parks.and also there a lot of beautiful beach in Zanzibar which are quiet and less crowded , I can not recommend Pangani or any other beaches as Zanzibar can be perfect place for your.

As a solo traveler Joining a group is perfect if you need to save some money, but private safari is also available for solo travelers.
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