Where to next in Africa

Old May 27th, 2008, 09:57 PM
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Where to next in Africa

Last year my DH and I had a fabulous trip to Victoria Falls, Botswana and Mozambique. We are looking at going back to Africa in July 2009 and though we absolutely loved Botswana we thought we might try something new. We will have about 2 weeks on the ground and about $15,000 Australian dollars to spend. We can't afford another holiday like last year. I would love to hear your thoughts and answers to the following questions:

Would we be wise to do both Tanzania/Kenya having only two weeks?

If we do both countries would it have to be a fly in and out affair?

I like the idea of our own private safari but is that achievable across both countires or do we have to change guides? I also like the idea of deluxe mobile tented safaris. I would like our own toilet(dont care if it is a drop toilet). Most of what I have read so far seems to be private safaris staying at lodges. I am not sure I could cope with a 100 room lodge when we were spoilt in Botswana with some very small camps. Is a Tanzania/Kenya deluxe (not basic or luxury) private safari possible with the one outfitter and guide?

Looking forward to your replies.
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Old May 28th, 2008, 04:03 AM
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You can certainly visit both countries in 2/weeks, though you will have separate ground operators in each country and thus at least two different guides.

For July, it's ideal to visit the Western Serengeti (Tanzania), where you can catch the wildebeest migration. Also, the Ngorongoro Crater and maybe Lake Manyara or Tarangire. This can be done as a driving itinerary one-way, with flight the other.

Then you can visit in Kenya, at minimum the Masai Mara; though the migration won't be here yet, the Mara proper and the adjacent group ranch lands are always wonderful.

Example:
Tarangire (2/nts)
Ngorongoro (1 or 2/nts)
Lake Eyasi (1/nt)
W.Serengeti (3 or 4/nts)
Nairobi (1/nt - for sightseeing)
Masai Mara (3/nts)

You can switch out Tarangire known for elephants and the baobab tree landscape for Amboseli or Samburu in Kenya. Amboseli also for ellees and views of Kilimanjaro or Samburu for ellees and species not found elsewhere - reticulated girffe, Grevy's zebra, Beisa oryx, Somali ostrich. There are many choices and combinations, depending on your particular interests.

Depending on which airport you arrive/depart - Nairobi in Kenya or Kilimanjaro or Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania - can determine your actual routing, and of course the dates.

Then, you decide type of lodging, whether lodges, permanent or seasonal/mobile tent camps.

2009 prices are just starting to be issued, so it's best to send your request to a few tour operators, safari planners or in-country outfitters to see what can be arranged and how this works with your budget.

There are lots of threads here on Fodors with names of providers that have been well received by posters. Or read thru LyndaS East African Trip Report Index where she's been good enough to indicate names of providers who were used.

Then come back here under this thread with questions and our opinions.


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Old May 28th, 2008, 05:57 AM
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How wonderful you will return.

The first answer seems to be blantant advertising. I got a kick out of this quote, "mention Kimana Camp in Mara which has all the facilities but is just as cheat as any other basic camp"

But I agree with the glowing comments on the migration.

For about $1000 a day or $500 per person per day (Australian dollars) you will have a good deal of flexibility.

I agree that 2 weeks on the ground is enough for both countries if you wish. But if you stayed in one or the other, you'd have a great trip as well.


Fly in and fly out?
You can fly between the two countries or there is van service between. I've done both and either works fine.

You can mix driving and flying within each country. It is common to fly either in or out of the Serengeti to save time.

In Sandi's example itinerary. You'd probably fly to and from the Mara at the end.

Private safari?
You'd change guides between countries.

Deluxe mobiles?
That seems to be more common in Botswana than East Africa. The mobile camps in East Africa are usually situated around the migration, especially in the Serengeti. In that case, the camp is mobile and you visit it during a several day period. During your stay the camp remains in one place.

Toilets? I recall a couple of shared toilets on my mobile in Botswana, but I think you could find a trip with your own. The Serengeti mobiles generally have ensuite toilets for just one tent.

You can avoid the lodges in Kenya and TZ, especially Kenya.

TZ/Kenya with one outfitter? Yes, but the ground operator will likely change between TZ and Kenya. Many companies have long standing arrangements with their partners in the other country, whether those companies are based in Kenya, Tanzania, Australia, UK, US, etc.

Here is a chart of the best months in various parks for wildlife—also usually the most costly times.
http://www.africa-adventure.com/best_time_to_go


Since you mentioned East Africa, this site has perfect trips by month
http://www.kiliwarriors.com/

Here is the index of trips that was mentioned.
http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=34860283


Here are some sites of smaller camps
http://www.classicsafaricamps.com/contactus.html
http://www.laikipia.org/laikipia-safari.htm


Have fun planning your return. Please keep us informed as your plans take shape.
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Old May 28th, 2008, 04:41 PM
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Thnks for the great advice. I am currently looking at Kiliwarriors and Green Footprint. Any other recomendations? I will post the itineraries from the various operators when I get them and ask for all your expert opinions.

I am also reading all the East Africa reports which are very imformative.

We will be travelling late July and as the migration may not have reached Kenya by then do you think we should stay in Tanzania? Does the Masai Mara have plenty of resident animals including predators at that time of year?

We both work hard and whislt a safari is probaly the best hoilday we have ever had we do get tired by the end of it. If we flew back to Australia and went straight back to work I would feel like I needed another holiday. As we are also divers and would like to end our trip with 6 days or so of R&R on an island or by the beach, sleep in and dive. We went to Quilalea last year after Botswana. Any recomendations for a beach extension?
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Old May 29th, 2008, 03:35 AM
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There is resident game in the Masai Mara year-round. So, if time allows or if arriving at Nairobi, try to spend a few days here, then head into Tanzania for remaining safari days - Ngorongoro & Serengeti.

You can conclude for R&R on the coast with a visit to Zanzibar, Pemba* or Mafia** Islands for diving.

*sister island of Zanzibar; you fly to ZNZ with connecting flight to PEM.
**Mafia is accessed by short flight from Dar-es-Salaam (DAR), so if homebound flight departs from DAR, this is a good choice.
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Old May 30th, 2008, 07:41 PM
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I agree with Lynn, that the first response to your question was blatant advertising. More importantly, I do not agree with that poster on the likely location of the migration during July.

Sandi is right, the western Serengeti is where you want to be. That said, I love the Mara for its scenic beauty and resident game. A combination of the Mara, the Western Serengeti, and the Crater would be a great trip. I might also add the northern Serengeti, if time permits, depending on where in the Mara you choose to go, and perhaps another area in Kenya such as Samburu or Lewa.

I took a trip during July several years ago. I combined Lewa Wildlife Conservancy and the Mara in Kenya with the Crater, the Northern Serengeti and the Western Serengeti in Tanzania. The combination was a good one, with each location offering something different from the other areas.
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Old May 30th, 2008, 08:13 PM
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The last week I have been living and dreaming about our next holiday in Africa. I would love some advice on the following itinerary before I send it off to a few tour operators.
Not exactly sure of dates but will be leaving mid July 2009.

We are thinking about thr following:

Day 1&2 Overnight Nairobi

Day 3-6 Massai Mara

Day 6 -16 Tanzania

Day 16 -22 Zanzibar – relaxing, game fishing and diving

I have a few questions that I would really appreciate some help with if possible.

Which airline and route is the best to get from Sydney to Nairobi? I have started to look but am getting very confused.

Thought we would just fly out to a camp in the massai mara which included full board and gamedrives etc. We will stay there 3 nights. Any reccomendations on small initmate tented camp?

From there we would have 10 days in Tanzania. We would go a private safari throughout Tanzania and have

2 nights tarangire
2 nights Ngorongoro crater
4 nights western serengeti (hopefully where the migrayion is)
We still have two nights. Where would you suggest I spend these. Sandi you mentioned Lake Eyasi. Is this a more of cultural stop? If so that might fit in nicley. Still one night spare.

Then we thought we would fly from Arusha to Zanzibar. We would like 7 nights there. We are looking at staying in Pongwe Beach Hotel. Looks like just what we would love. Do you think we need to spend a few nights in Stonetown or can we just visit from Pongwe?

We thought we might be able to fly home from Dar es Sallam. What route and airline would you suggest from Tanzania to Sydney.

Thanks so much for your help.

Cheers Georgie
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Old May 30th, 2008, 08:58 PM
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I can't answer your quesion about arlines, but try Kayak. It runs a search of most airlines.

www.kayak.com

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Old May 30th, 2008, 10:09 PM
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Which airline and route is the best to get from Sydney to Nairobi?

I would think the simplest would be Qantas to Johannesburg, then SAA to Nairobi; or Emirates to Dubai then Nairobi. But I have no idea of comparative costs. It's possible that Malaysian flies to Nairobi via KL, and Singapore Airlines via Singapore. I think the only direct flights between Australia and Africa are Sydney-Johannesburg (Qantas) and Perth-Johannesburg (SAA).
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Old May 30th, 2008, 10:18 PM
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afrigalah
Thanks for that. I have been doing some more investigating.
The most direct route is Qantas to Johannesburg and Kenyan airlines to Nairobi. Singapore airlines is a little bit cheaper and quicker even though you go Singapore, Doha and then Nairobi. Emirates seem to be a lot more expensive going through Dubai. I will get the itinerary sorted and then go for the flights.
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Old May 30th, 2008, 10:55 PM
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Georgie,

I have no idea, haven't been - but, check with your travel agents about Ruaha and Selous parks in Southern Tanzania. That could be another option for you guys. Meant to be very good - and if you enjoyed Selinda etc etc., that may be to your liking as well. I would imagine that it is easily accessible from Dar.

Cheers
Hari
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Old May 30th, 2008, 11:39 PM
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Georgie,

Yes, Kenya Airlines would be another option from Johannesburg. I mentioned SAA because they are partners with Qantas between Australia and JNB and that might give a financial advantage on the leg to Nairobi.
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Old May 31st, 2008, 07:19 AM
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Neither Malaysian nor Singapore serves Nairobi. If you're looking at an itinerary via Doha, the Doha-Nairobi portion is probably operated by Qatar. In addition to Johannesburg and Dubai, your other one connection options would be via Kenya Airways gateways (such as Hong Kong, Bangkok, etc) to Nairobi. These flights however don't operate daily and I have no idea how an Asian routing would compare in price.
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Old May 31st, 2008, 08:19 AM
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Hi Georgie,
In Feb. 08 we flew from Serengeti to Arusha to Zanzibar. We stayed 4 nights at Pongwe and 1 night at the end in Stonetown. Pongwe was absolutely heaven on earth and we wished we had day triped to Stonetown instead of staying there. Don't get me wrong, I loved the flavor of Stonetown but the beach is to die for. Next year we have booked 7 nights at Pongwe and will day trip from there if we can drag ourselves away.
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Old May 31st, 2008, 03:54 PM
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Hi wildlifepainter
That is what I wanted to hear. I would much prefer to spend the day in the hustle and bustle and then go back to tranquility. I think I read it was about 35 kilometres from Pongwe to Stonetown. That doesnt really mean much as it could be on an autobahn (only joking) or shocking roads. Can you remember how long the drive between the two was?
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Old May 31st, 2008, 05:23 PM
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We sent a very rough itineray yesterday to 5 different tour operators. We have heard back from one operator already which is service for you. Nothing is set in stone but he suggested the following for July 2009. Any thoughts?

In 2007, by July 20 the first big herds entered the Masai Mara from the Serengeti just north of the Lobo area. It will be interesting to see what happens this year. It looks like the herds are ahead of schedule into the western Serengeti (and it is not even July yet). This means I suggest the following:

2 nights Nairobi (Ngong House, Hse of Waine, etc)
3 nights Mara (Serian or Sala's or similar depending on wildebeests)
2 nights Tarangire (Olivers or Swala, including walking. Instead of Manyara due to lack of time)
1 night Lake Eyasi (bushmen walk)
2 nights Ngorongoro (Lemala Camp or Sopa or Crater Lodge)
2 nights Central Serengeti (Olakira Camp, game drive to West Serengeti if needed)
3 nights North East Serengeti (Kleins Camp, Lemala, Suyan, etc)
Fly to Zanzibar. 6 nights at a beach resort. Activities including diving, full day Stone Town visit, etc
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Old Jun 1st, 2008, 08:32 AM
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Georgie, I think the drive from Pongwe was 45 minutes or so but it is quite scenic and entertaining. Email Heidi at www.pongwe.com/contact/ and she can help you out with any questions. They also have water shoes, bikes and kayaks to borrow plus a lending library and games. We walked down the beach and watched them harvest seaweed and up the beach to see what the fishermen were catching. Totally relaxing but always something to do if you are inclinded. The foopd is great!
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Old Jun 1st, 2008, 02:30 PM
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I have been thinking about our trip to Kenya, Tanzania and Zanzibar next year. We thought we would like to be away for my birthday late July but would be happy to move dates by a month either way to increase the chances of seeing migration. Would June or August be any better for the migration?

Also we thought we might book the two day stop over ourselves in Nairobi and see if Kennedy is free to guide us around. Also we thought we could book the Zanzibar portion as we are just going to stay in one resort for a week. My thought is this may save us some money? Any thoughts on this? Will we get better prices or do you think the tour operator will get better prices?

We are happy to splurge on the actual safari in Kenya and Tanzania but need to hold back in lodgings for Nairobi and Zanzibar.

Thanks wildlifepainter. I will email Heidi from Pongwe.

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Old Jun 1st, 2008, 03:58 PM
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July or Aug.

The rains and weather are never entirely predictable but in general, this is what I'd say.

***3 nights Mara (Serian or Sala's or similar

Better in Aug than July

***2 nights Central Serengeti (Olakira Camp, game drive to West Serengeti if needed)

Better in July than Aug


***3 nights North East Serengeti (Kleins Camp, Lemala, Suyan, etc)

Do you want to be NorthEAST around Aug? I'd be interested in the comments on that.

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Old Jun 1st, 2008, 05:39 PM
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"would be happy to move dates by a month either way to increase the chances of seeing migration. Would June or August be any better for the migration?"

I would think middle-August and later into early September in the Masai Mara is a perfect time and place to watch the migration. I did this around this time frame in 2001, 2002 and had some good viewing. I think, the 2001 trip may have been a month earlier (July ish) or so! If you do it this way, you certainly may need more time in the Mara than just the 3 days.
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