Would I be out of my mind if I did the following?

Reply

Jan 2nd, 2006, 05:44 PM
  #21
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,727
Dennis,
Normally lodges will have driver accomodation available for a nominal cost. I don't know specifically about the Crater Lodge. In Kenya, driver accomodations usually range between 300-800 shillings per night. Where there isn't any driver accomodation, they would need to find a place to stay nearby. Two places we stayed on our recent trip didn't have driver accomodation, so our guide had to drive to the nearest town.
Patty is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 2nd, 2006, 06:19 PM
  #22
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 7,372
Thanks Patty! I don't think Alexsandra would like a guide curled up on the floor...or anyone for that matter! At least they don't have to sleep in the car.
matnikstym is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 2nd, 2006, 08:18 PM
  #23
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553
Dennis,

Sanctuary Lodges website nicely details the guide's lodging. For example, if I am successful at adding two nights at Swala, then I will also be charged for two nights of guide lodging at $150 per night. I am sure this would also include food.

http://www.sanctuarylodges.com/rates.aspx#swala

You want to hear something funny? Singita's lesser known lodge, Sweni, used to be guide/pilot accomodations, but then Singita did a little upgrade to it and now it commands about $1200 per person per night!

http://www.singita.com/site/lodges/sweni.asp
Roccco is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 3rd, 2006, 06:27 AM
  #24
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553
Good news...ATR has gotten back to me, and providing there is availability, I will only be charged a paltry $1,176 extra for the switch from two nights at Moivaro to two nights at Swala. ATR keeps the $272 paid for Moivaro, but big deal, this was still far better than I was ever expecting.

Keeping my fingers crossed, but it now looks like I will finish up with the below itinerary:

Moivaro Coffee Lodge (1) (late arrival of about 9PM)
Swala, Tarangire (2)
Lake Manyara Tree Lodge (2)
Ngorongoro Crater Lodge (2)
Olduvai Camp (1)
Nomad Masek (2)
Nomad Piaya (2)
Mbuzi Mawe (2)
Palms Zanzibar (3)
Serena Inn, Stone Town, Zanzibar (2)
Canal House, Amsterdam (2)

Roccco is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 3rd, 2006, 01:44 PM
  #25
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 2,501
Sounds great Rocco! I must admit that I'm a bit surprised to see 5 days in Zanzibar on your itinerary -- you don't strike me as someone who enjoys laying around on the beach for even one day, much less five...or are those days more for Alexsandra?

Cheers,
Julian
jasher is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 3rd, 2006, 01:50 PM
  #26
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 4,222
I'm confused. I thought all those nights at Moivaro had something to do with the marathon--prepping and/or recuperating.

Anyway, sounds good. I'm interested to hear what Tarangire is like in Feb. I think alwaysafrica visited in Jan (?) last year, and she said they still enjoyed it very much.
Leely is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 3rd, 2006, 02:03 PM
  #27
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 2,501
I think Rocco bailed out on the marathon, so there's nothing to recuperate from...

Cheers,
Julian
jasher is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 3rd, 2006, 02:06 PM
  #28
bat
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 1,790
rocco:
I hope you get what you want--but if not, a half marathon at Kili is different than a half marathon in LA--sounds alot more exotic if nothing else!

I, too, will be interested in your report on Tarangire. I did not include it in my itinerary because I thought it was the wrong time of year but as Leely said, alwaysafrica liked it and sandi has said that it is a favorite of hers as well.
bat is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 3rd, 2006, 02:22 PM
  #29
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553
Correct...as I said when I first posted about my booking with ATR, I planned three nights at Moivaro because I thought that the Kiliminjaro Marathon would be an excellent marathon to plan on running and eventually flake out on.

I am bailing on the marathon. I agree that a half marathon in Tanzania would be more interesting than a half marathon in Los Angeles, but I think two nights in Tarangire is more important than a HALF Marathon.

Hopefully, just so I don't feel like a total failure, I will run a half marathon the weekend or two before I leave.

Anyway, I already have a new marathon to flake out on, but hopefully I will follow through.

For my September 2006 trip, I will be visiting Kwando, Mana Pools and possibly Hwange. I intend to fly Los Angeles - Sydney - Johannesburg. This is only about 4 hours more than going through Europe or from the Atlanta / New York routing. The Sydney Marathon is on September 17th, and I would love an itinerary, as follows:

Sydney (3)
Joburg (1) (It will be an early evening same day arrival)
Kwando (7)
Victoria Falls (1 or 2)
Somalisa Camp, Hwange (3)
Vundu Camp, Mana Pools (4)

Here is the website for Somalisa and Vundu:

http://www.africanbushcamps.com/camps/amalinda.htm

If Zimbabwe proves fruitful, I do intend to heavily promote it.
Roccco is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 3rd, 2006, 03:12 PM
  #30
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553
Julian,

Unfortunately, it was the photographs of the food on the Palms Zanzibar website that did me in!

www.palms-zanzibar.com

(Go to their link marked "The Cuisine" and you will see what I mean)

Plus, the 1,500 sq. ft. private villa with private plunge pool did not hurt matters either. Ultimately, I wanted this to be a super-luxury holiday and besides the opening night at Moivaro, the one night at Olduvai Camp and the four nights at Nomad's camps, I think it accomplishes this goal. Neither Olduvai or Nomad are bad, just not quite as luxurious as the other places I will be visiting. Nomad is actually very exclusive in the sense that no more than six other guests will be present but the tents are not over the top by any means.

http://www.nomad-tanzania.com/our-camps-1.php#

(Go to the Serengeti Safari Camps link)

I probably should have considered Dubai as an alternative to Zanzibar but I found it easier to fly through Amsterdam. The Burj-Al-Arab and the Palms Zanzibar are similarly priced and there would have been a lot more happening than in Zanzibar. However, I do intend to go snorkeling, as well as enjoying some of the other beach activities in Zanzibar.

Had Ruaha been in season, I would have definitely included a visit. I will just have to break the bank in 2008 for a trip to Nomad's destinations in Mahale, Selous, Katavi and Ruaha.
Roccco is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 3rd, 2006, 03:17 PM
  #31
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 2,501
Hi Rocco,

Tanzania is definitely on my radar as a possibility for 2007 -- Selous, Ruaha, and then up to the Northern Circuit. Maybe we could arrange to overlap for a few days in the south?

Cheers,
Julian
jasher is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 3rd, 2006, 03:33 PM
  #32
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553
Julian,

Yes...if I go through with my plan to visit Botswana and Mana Pools next September, then the Southern parks of Tanzania would be much more likely than returning to Botswana for two straight years. What I need to do is find people that want to combine a visit of Selous/Ruaha/Katavi/Mahale in order to save on the air transfers. Just dreaming along here:

JUNE 2007
Durban (3) Comrades Marathon (this is 89 kms. and more than two full marathons in length...this coming from someone who just flaked on a single marathon
Phinda (4)
Dar Es Salaam (1)
Sand Rivers (4)
Ruaha (4)
Katavi (3)
Greystoke Mahale (4)

Wow...what a fantastic experience the above would be! Expensive, though...better make some friends/contacts at Nomad while I am there this year!
Roccco is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 3rd, 2006, 03:51 PM
  #33
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 2,501
Hi Rocco,

The tentative itinerary I've drawn up looks like this:

4 nights Selous (Sand Rivers)
4-5 nights Ruaha (Mwagusi)
7 nights Serengeti (either Nomad camps or Grumeti/Kleins)
1-2 nights Olduvai or Gibbs Farm
2 nights Ngorongoro (Crater Lodge)

So we could certainly overlap during the southern Tanzania part.

Cheers,
Julian
jasher is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 3rd, 2006, 04:02 PM
  #34
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,834
Roccco-
I am looking forward to your Feb trip report, but I'm especially looking forward to your (possible)report on Vundu this Sept. I would love to combine S.Luangwa, then Lower Zambezi and then conclude with a canoe safari from Vundu.

Cruisinred
cruisinred is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 3rd, 2006, 05:28 PM
  #35
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 524
Hi roccco, happy to know that u will have more wildlife viewing, cheers and have a great trip!!!!!Sonali
sonali74 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 3rd, 2006, 07:38 PM
  #36
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553
cruisinred,

My curiosity is getting the best of me. For the last two years I have visited the Lower Zambezi, knowing that all kinds of wonders awaited me just across the river in Mana Pools.

Plus, I do want to lend my support to the Zimbabwean people and wildlife and do not believe that my visit will in any way contribute to the Mugabe regime.

I have been told that African Bushcamps will be opening Somalisa next month (delayed from the Nov 2005 opening stated on their website). Although I would love to visit Wilderness Safaris camps in the same areas, I don't know if time will permit. I am a bit of a supporter of the underdog, so I would like to see what African Bushcamps is all about.


Sonali,

Thanks for the good wishes. I saw your post in where you are searching for a March trip of your own. If there is anyway you can still find space, I do think the Serengeti will likely be your best bet for predators at this time of year. However, I originally chose Tanzania because I thought it would be less expensive than Botswana, but there are really little or no savings between high season Tanzania and high season Botswana for staying at the best lodges, excluding Wilderness Safaris 6 paw camps (Mombo, Kings Pool, Jao and Vumbura Plains).


Julian,

That looks like a great itinerary. I am a bit perplexed, however...I had always thought that Mwagusi was a Nomad camp, but it is not. I probably just got confused as I am accustomed to seeing ATR usually list Nomad Tanzania's camps as the very best.

I guess Mwagusi is an independent camp, from the looks of its website:



The only thing that concerns me is that ATR lists Mawe Ninga as the best in Tarangire (above Swala and Olivers Camp) but I have seen very marginal reports on Mawe Ninga.

Jongomero Camp also looks promising in Ruaha. It is used by CCAfrica on some of their Tanzanian safari itineraries.
Roccco is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 4th, 2006, 02:45 AM
  #37
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 2,501
Hi Rocco,

Personally, I'd take ATR's reports with a grain of salt, as they seem to 'push' particular camps for reasons which don't always seem to have much to do with quality (and may have more to do with their business relationships with those camps).

Mwagusi is run by Chris Fox, whose family also runs the Rufiji camps. Jongomero also sounds like a very nice camp. In the Selous, I think Sand Rivers definitely has the edge over the other camps.

Cheers,
Julian
jasher is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 4th, 2006, 05:55 AM
  #38
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553
Bad news...Swala is completely booked for my two nights. Surprise, surprise...Mawe Ninga has been offered as an alternative. Even at a $300 discount, I have balked at Mawe Ninga and I am now requesting Olivers Camp which may very likely be $300 MORE than Swala. Only if Olivers Camp is sold out will I then consider Mawe Ninga, although I may first request other camps, as well.
Roccco is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 4th, 2006, 07:02 AM
  #39
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 2,501
Hi Rocco,

Just a thought -- you could see if you can add some safari time at one of your other camps instead of going to Tarangire, unless you're set on doing Taragire. I can't recall whether I've ever seen any reviews of Olivers Camp on Fodors, though I do recall the ones you mention about Mawe Ninga.

Cheers,
Julian
jasher is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 4th, 2006, 03:02 PM
  #40
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 524
Roccco, I am trying to plan okovango with only serengeti. Having been to east africa before, thinking of skipping other areas where I have been before.So hopefully it does not get tooo expensive. Which is the best season to go to okovango or botswana???
I want to see alot of cats. Have u any idea which season is best to see cats in botswana?? donnot want to go in the wrong season and be dissapointed
sonali74 is offline  
Reply With Quote
 


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 04:57 AM.