Wildlife in Tanzania

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Nov 7th, 2005, 01:35 PM
  #1
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Wildlife in Tanzania

Hi,
As suggested by Shaytay - i've moved this post (thanks).
I'm wondering if any of you in the know, can tell me what you think of my my itinerary for wildlife viewing.

Feb.10,06 - Boston/Amsterdam/Kilimanjaro
Feb.11 - New Arusha Hotel
Feb.12 - 14 Tanangire Kikoti Camp - day/night drives - nature walk with Masai guide
Feb.15 - 17 Lake Eyasi - Kisima Ngeda Camp - drive floor of Great Rift Valley to Mto wa Mbu to Karatu/soda lake - hike/drives
Feb. 17 - 19 Ngorongoro Wildlife Lodge - - Empakaai crater
Feb.19 -21 Serengeti - mobile camping - Oldupai Gorge - Ndutu and Salei Plains - drives
Feb. 22 - fly Serengeti - KJO/ NBO Karen Blixen Cottages
Feb. 23 Mahe Seychelles
Any idea of the temperatures in Tanzania at that time at those elevations? The Seychelles will be very hot and humid at that time - I'm still trying to get hotels in Mahe before and after catamaran trip.
I received my Fz30 (it's amazing) and have already taken a few practice pics. of my dog 'Tony' on the beach and will be heading up to the Roger Williams Zoo this weekend to shoot some animals - any tips? What's the best mode to stop action? i.e. a deliriously fast, zig zagging, running dog on the beach/daytime.
Thanks ahead;
Sherry



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Nov 7th, 2005, 02:29 PM
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Hi Sherry,
Unfortunately I've never been to TZ in Feb, but have you seen the widebeest migration page of Africa Dream Safaris?
http://www.africadreamsafaris.com/na...migration.html

Of course, where the herds are at any given time depends on so many factors--hardly an exact science, but perhaps this can help you make lodging decisions.

Also, are you talking nights or days here? Because I might be inclined to take a night from Tarangire (if you have 3 nights) and add it to the Serengeti, which is truly magnificent. Tarangire is a great park, but best in the dry season. I don't think you need 3 nights there in Feb.

And let's hope someone better informed than I can answer your other questions.

Who cooked this itinerary up, if you don't mind my asking?

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Nov 7th, 2005, 03:12 PM
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Thanks Leely.
Great site - kind of hard to tell though where my camping will be though in relation to the migration. Are the Ndutu Plains close to the Ndutu lake shown on the map? - if that's the case it looks like I'll be in the thick of it when in the Serengeti. It's my understanding that we will try to get as close as possible with the mobile camping. I've actually been wondering myself about the Tarangire part of this trip. I think that it may have been set up this way because to give us opportunities to do some cultural activities with the tribesman and to get some hiking in - plus I think we we were trying to get in some mobile camping without spending too much $$. We arrive later in the day from Arusha Feb 12 and depart Tarangire Feb. 15 early am. It does sound long doesn't it? Am I sensing that you diplomatically are saying that this isn't such a great plan?
It was put together by African Adventure.
Thanks for your thoughts;
Sherry
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Nov 7th, 2005, 03:48 PM
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Oh, I wasn't trying to be diplomatic. Not me!

It seems you have hikes covered with the Lake Eyasi portion. If you can at all swing it, I would subtract a night from Tarangire and add a night to the Serengeti. If the camping gets too pricey--and, ouch, yes, it does get up there--you might consider breaking up your stay in Serengeti: lodge/camping.

But let's see what Sandi, atravelynn, climbhigh, et al, say when they chime in. They certainly know a lot more about this.

Also, I've stayed there and had no problem with it, but you do realize that the Wildlife Lodge at the Crater is not ultra-luxe, right?
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Nov 7th, 2005, 04:21 PM
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Thanks one more time. Yes, I guess I know the lodge isn't too posh. Is it a pit and do you think it's in somewhat of a decent location? Clean, safe and good food and not too far from where we need to get to is top priority. Good views and a helpful staff is always a plus as well. Hopefully we didn't compromise too much to get in as much camping as possible. Because of my catamaran trip and finding dates to work to get to the Seychelles I found that a lot of options were not available. The few trips that did seem to work with my schedule were as always, way out of my league price wise.
Best;
Sherry
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Nov 7th, 2005, 04:39 PM
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Sherry,

As a child of the 70s, I sort of like the kitchsy Africana decor of the Wildlife. But don't worry; food is fine, staff very nice, location great. The views are absolutely breathtaking.

I think your trip sounds quite interesting. And I have a hard time imagining someone having a bad time in Tanzania. Enjoy!
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Nov 8th, 2005, 03:11 AM
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Hmmm, Kitchy Africana (new decorative style term for me)- would that be carnivoristic scenes painted on black velvet, pics. of hyenas and jackals smoking cigars and playing cards, African wait staff singing Broadway tunes, perhaps?
Thanks for you input Leely. I as well, am/was a child of the 70's - bad era in taste but quite fun.
Sherry
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Nov 8th, 2005, 04:22 AM
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sherry -

Have to agree with Leely, that 3-ns at Tarangire is a bit much. While I love Tarangire just about year-'round, it is a small park - so consider 2-nts here only and put this day towards the Serengeti. If doing mobile camping here, it shouldn't be difficult to add the day.

Wildlife Lodge at Ngorongoro is acceptable, but they're again under new management and wonder when they may close up for refurbishing. Hopefully, not during this peak season. Being peak season, and booking late, Wilderness may be the only lodge with space at this time.

February is summer in East Africa, so you should find the days warm to hot, though evenings and mornings will be cooler. Your SPF for the Seychelles will serve you well at both destinations. And remember, since flying from East Africa to the Seychelles, you'll need that Yellow Fever inoculaton.
 
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Nov 8th, 2005, 05:10 AM
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Thanks, I'll see if AA will make the suggested change. As in the past, any requests for changes with AA seem to cause somewhat unprofessional behavior from them and huge additional costs - too late probably to dump and rebook elsewhere - I'd guess. If I only knew then....
Sherry
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Nov 8th, 2005, 08:28 AM
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Sherry,
I think you mentioned elsewhere that this was a small group itinerary, right? If that's the case, I can see how they wouldn't be able to make itinerary changes for you. If I'm mistaken and this is a private itinerary, then I don't see why it can't be done unless it's a lodge/camp availability issue.
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Nov 8th, 2005, 09:56 AM
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Hi Patty,
Yes, it is a small group itinerary that hasn't filled yet - only 2 so far (my husband and I)in my vehicle - I can only hope that no one else decides to fill in - probably unlikely - if that happens, I would guess that changes would be easier. Possibly, if all in my impending group rally, we can ask as a group for a change - again unlikely but it doesn't hurt to ask. I have previously inquired about changes and have been told that they're possible but at at extra cost as would be expected. I've already been told that we could have a private vehicle for part of our trip. This may be the way to go if we can eliminate part of Tarangire for the Serengeti.
Thanks;
Sherry
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Nov 8th, 2005, 10:05 AM
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For travel in Feb '06, it's likely an availability issue. It's rare that many providers have scheduled/group mobile camp itineraries as Sherry outlines. It's kind of late to be booking for the first quarter of '06.
 
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Nov 8th, 2005, 10:37 AM
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Sandi,
Who bought the Wildlife lodges, do you know? And why were they sold again so soon in the first place?

Sorry for venturing off-topic, Sherry.

And to reiterate: if there is any way you can take a night from Tarangire and add to the Serengeti you won't be sorry. But if it's a huge problem, console yourself with the thought that there really is no such thing as a perfect itinerary (unless you're Rocco).
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Nov 13th, 2005, 04:28 PM
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Leely,

Thanks for the link to that Migration page on Africa Dream Safaris. While it may not be a perfect predictor, it is very useful to anyone trying to see the Great Migration. I promise you would not see something like this feature on A&K, Micato or any other big company that will send its clients to inopportune areas that may entirely miss the Great Migration.

Regarding Africa Dream Safaris, I did contact them and really was hoping that I would be able to use them since they are in Los Angeles (as am I), but the prices were just not competitive with either Africa Travel Resource or Serendipity Africa. I would estimate that the prices of AD were about 10% higher than each ATR and SA.

As far as itinerary planning goes, I don't think there is a single more important aspect to a successful holiday than a well thought out itinerary. Otherwise, one may end up on a tour that is not only overpriced but that puts them entirely in the wrong area. While ATR, Serendipity Africa and other smaller companies are sending their clients on a PRIVATE safari to all the right places and at a 35% savings, I have no doubt that Micato, A&K and some of the others will book some of their latecomer clients into totally the wrong areas, for example, possibly sending them to Kirawira or even the Masai Mara in February/March, and this on a shared safari where there are possibly five or six guests to each vehicle.
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Nov 14th, 2005, 03:25 AM
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Leely -

Can't recall who are the new owners of the Wildlife lodges. May find the name in my files and will let you know. However, do hope that whomever they may be we'll see some refurbishing of these properties.

Roccco -

As they say "spell the name correctly." It's Africa Serendipity (not Serendipity Africa). Dyslexia? I have some at time, so understand.
 
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