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? Group tours vs. private?

Houston
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? Group tours vs. private?

Hi all,

A friend and I (2 women, 40ish) are looking at going to Tanz. in late May early June. Although we dont want to go with a huge tour group, going on a private tour might be a little isolating - is there something inbetween?

I would like the trip to be 10 days or less (exc. travel time),including a couple of days in Zannzibar. Camping would be cool but i dont really want to rough it too much.

I've looked at a lot of the recommended sites but its hard to tell if it is private or size of group.

Also, my friend has been corresponding with Paul Oliver (Sanjan ltd). I havent seen anythng about him on the site. he has not provided a plethora of informantion. He as quoted us $7,000 pp for 10 days in tanz, some camps some lodges, though i dont have much info on level of comfort.

Thoughts anyone?

Appreciate your help

Cheers,

Debbie

Houston
3 posts
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1. Re: ? Group tours vs. private?

me again, more info -

the trip quoted includes Lake NATRON CAMP, SERO LODGE, NDUTU LODGE, NOMAD SHARED CAMP

are those mid range, high end?

thanks!

Arusha
6 posts
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2. Re: ? Group tours vs. private?

Hi darl14301,

Your idea of travelling in end of May-beggining of June is nice, however I will not advise you to do the camping at this time, this is already the raining season in Tanzania.

Lodges are quite cheap at this time but the parkfees will still be the same.

I am not sure what you have been quoted for but it seems to me a bit expensive.

Since you are travelling in low season what they call it you are not late in booking, the lodges and hotels are not much fully booked therefore have more time in searching from other companies.

Just an idea for you.

Lyne

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Findlay, Ohio
Destination Expert
for Tanzania, Ngorongoro Conservation Area
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3. Re: ? Group tours vs. private?

Debbie... $700 a day is definitely over the top on the price, especially when it includes camping (which is typically in the $160 - $175 range.)

Try contacting several safari companies (look on www.tatotz.org member page and you'll find many listed there.) Give them all the same criteria and ask for a quote. When you've found some that you're comfortable with then ask them for some references in the Texas area, and then telephone these references and talk with them about what you're looking for and find out if the companies might be able to comply. You'll soon find one that you like, Go for it then. You should be able to get a private safari for a lot less money then you've been looking at.

nyc
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4. Re: ? Group tours vs. private?

First, you won't be isolated.

Private safaris designed as you wish, where you want to stay and for how long, is ideal. You're tied only to your schedule and not others with whom you may have a safari mates.

$7,000 for end-May is very high price.

End-May is still low season, but as 1st June prices go into peak-season rates. Likewise, if you wish to spend some time on Zanzibar, you need at minimum 3/days, so what's left is for the safari.

By end-May, the ideal place to be would be in the Central or Western Serengeti where the migrating wildebeests/zebra herds are transiting on way to Kenya; plus a visit to the Ngorongoro Crater. The areas shown by Sanjan are somewhat out of the way.

Consider:

Day 1 - Arv. Kilimanjaro (JRO) - o/n in Arusha

Day 2 - Transfer to Arusha airport for flight to Seronera or Grumeti River airstrips - o/n Serena Lodge, Mbuzi Mawe or Olakira Camps (in Seronera) or Kirawira, Mbalageti Camps (in Western)

Note: Your tour operator can arrange for private vehicle/guide to meet you here to conduct your game drives and transport you to next stop.

Days 3 & 4 - Serengeti - o/n

Day 5 - Drive via Oldupai (stop) continue to Ngorongoro; afternoon crater tour - o/n Serena or Sopa Lodges

Day 6 - morning crater tour; drive to Lake Manyara; afternoon game drive - o/n Serena Lodge or Kirurumu Camp

Day 7 - Drive to Arusha; flight to Zanzibar; met for transfer to beach - o/n (various offerings)

Days 8 & 9 - ZNZ - at leisure - o/n

Day 10 - Drive to Stone Town, town tour; transfer to ZNZ airport for flight to Dar-es-Salaam (DAR - 15/min flight) or JRO (1/hr flight) for homebound connection

But know that many places, especially for June are already fully booked, so I wouldn't wait to make a decision. Hope this helps.

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Houston
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148 posts
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5. Re: ? Group tours vs. private?

the $7000 is not because of the lodges but because you are hiring Paul Oliver, a professional guide.

He has been guiding in this region for over 25+ years and has worked with Tanzanian Park Authorities in many conservation issues. You can find more information on him on his site - http://www.paul-oliver.com/

Isle of Man, United...
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6. Re: ? Group tours vs. private?

Debbie,

You seem to be getting a high end bespoke package here and paying heavily for it, especially with a high class guide.

Last time I was up at Lake Natron it was quite basic and to be honest not very inviting.

On the other hand N'dutu is one of our all time favourite places but in May it could be quiet if it has stopped raining. The animals go there for the sweet new grass the rain brings and when they have eaten it they move off. Having said that it will not be empty of wildlife but the lodge will not be expensive.

Ask for a full breakdown of costs. What you are paying is about twice the normal rate for that time of year for you 2 and the car/driver etc., More in the car and the price wil reduce accordingly.

Findlay, Ohio
Destination Expert
for Tanzania, Ngorongoro Conservation Area
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7. Re: ? Group tours vs. private?

Debbie... If you use one of the safari companies operating out of Arusha you will have a "professional guide" with you who will also be the driver of your vehicle. All the safari companies use guides which have been trained and most have been to the wildlife school in Moshi. You will be much better off with a Tanzanian guide who knows the culture of the people there and is an expert in spotting wildlife.

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8. Re: ? Group tours vs. private?

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