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Advice on whether this safari itinerary is good or not?

Douglas, Isle of Man
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Advice on whether this safari itinerary is good or not?

After much to-ing and fro-ing I have been given the below itinerary and price for a 7 day safari inthe northern parks of Tanzania.

Can anyone who knows this area well please let me know whether you think this is a good itinerary and price for February.

Many thanks,

Gary

02 Feb 14: KILIMANJARO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT >> ARUSHA CITY >> LAKE MANYARA NATIONAL PARK

On arrival at airport at 10:04 ex Qatar Air after customs and immigration formalities meet and greet by your professional driver guide who will transfer you to our office for short briefing of safari before driving to Lake Manyara National Park for game drive with your lunch box to be served within the park at suitable picnic site, drive to your camp before dusk for dinner and overnight at Manyara Wildlife Safari Camp

All meals included

Website: www.wildlifecamp.co.tz

03 Feb 14: LAKE MANYARA NATIONAL PARK >> SERENGETI SOUTH (NDUTU)

After early breakfast drive to park for game drive at Lake Manyara before driving to Ndutu area via Karatu village also Ngorongoro crater rim while on your way you will have an option to visit Olduvai Gorge which is the historical site whereby Dr. Louis and Mary Leakey found the skull of the first human being at extra cost thereafter drive to Ndutu area for game drive with your lunch box to be served within the park at a recommended picnic site, drive to your lodge before dusk for dinner and overnight at Lake Ndutu Luxury Tented Lodge

All meals included

04 Feb 14: NDUTU AREA

Full day game drive in this area with an option of driving back to your lodge for hot lunch or lunch boxes from the lodge to be provided within the park at a selected picnic site return to your lodge before dusk for leisure followed by dinner and overnight at Lake Ndutu Luxury Tented Lodge

All meals included

05 Feb 14: NGORONGORO CONSERVATION AREA (NDUTU AREA) >> SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK

Go for morning game drive to park return to your lodge for breakfast then drive to Serengeti National Park with game viewing en route, on arrival enjoy your game drive with your lunch boxes to be served at a suitable picnic site recommended by your driver guide, late afternoon drive to your camp with game viewing en route for leisure followed by dinner and overnight at Nasikia Central Camp

All meals included

Website: www.nasikiatanzania.com

06 Feb 14: SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK

Enjoy your full day to explore a beautiful land of Serengeti with a choice of returning back to your camp for hot lunch and leisure or lunch boxes from the camp which will be served within the park at a recommended picnic site drive back to your camp before dusk for dinner and overnight at Nasikia Central Camp

All meals included

07 Feb 14: SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK >> NGORONGORO CONSERVATION AREA

After breakfast enjoy your farewell game drive in Serengeti before driving to Ngorongoro Conservation Area, on arrival you will have an option to visit Masai village at extra cost if you are interested with your lunch boxes will be served at a recommended area then drive to your lodge for leisure. Dinner and overnight at Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge

All meals included

Website: www.sopalodges.com

08 Feb 14: NGORONGORO CONSERVATION AREA >> ARUSHA

Collect your breakfast boxes also lunch boxes from lodge for early descend into crater floor for a wonderful game viewing with your boxes to be served inside the crater floor, afternoon ascend from crater rim and drive to Arusha, on arrival you will have a choice to explore the city also to buy souvenirs if you wish so then you will be transferred to your lodge for evening at leisure followed by dinner and overnight at Planet Lodge

Website: www.planet-lodge.com

09 Feb 14: ARUSHA

After breakfast you will be under your own arrangement.

END OF OUR SERVICE

TOTAL COST FOR ABOVE SAFARI PACKAGE IS US $ 2,730 PER PERSON SHARING IN A TWIN / DOUBLE ROOM

COSTS INCLUDE:

· Pick up from Kilimanjaro International Airport and drop off at Arusha

· Private safari in 4WD land cruiser vehicle with a service of an experience English speaking driver guide

· 01 night accommodation in Arusha on half board basis

· Full board accommodation throughout safari.

· Park fee, camping fees and crater service fee.

· Game drive during safari as per the above itinerary.

· Complimentary of mineral water one bottle per day during game drives.

· All Government Tax

COST DOES NOT INCLUDE:

· International / Domestic Flight

· Travel Insurance (highly recommended)

· Drinks and beverages

· Other excursions that are not mentioned to the above itinerary.

· Tips and gratuities

· Entry visa is US $ 50 per person for each country Kenya and Tanzania.

· Flying Doctors Service (INTENSIVE CARE AMBULANCE)

· Personal toiletry requirements and all items of a personal nature.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

•Flying doctors service is US $ 20 per person for 8 weeks covered 2000km within East African Countries.

•Balloon safari is US $ 499 per person, conducted in Serengeti National Park.

•Cultural tour at Mto wa Mbu is US $ 30 per person

•Olduvai gorge visit is US $ 20 per person

•Masai boma visit is US $ 30 per person

Minneapolis...
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1. Re: Advice on whether this safari itinerary is good or not?

Looks like a good itinerary to me. Costs seem to be in the normal range.

I'd skip the boma visit... not sure why the gorge visit is $20 extra a person.

Ottawa, Canada
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2. Re: Advice on whether this safari itinerary is good or not?

IAB, there has always been a charge to go into the museum and complex at Oldupai.

Gary, are you sure that is the name of the tented camp in Ndutu? I know there is Lake MASEK Luxury Tented Camp which is in the area - and lovely by the way - but one would hope the TO would get the name correct. It adds confusion for us who check out the camps looking for best for you, and for ourselves in the future ;-)

Also, the first day is pretty unrealistic to think you will be eating lunch in Lake Manyara park. You will be leaving JRO closer to 11am, then an hour or more to the TO's, maybe 1pm departure from Arusha and arriving at Lake Manyara closer to 4. And you have to be at lodge by dark 6:30 ish. There is limited time to stop at Shoprite for any water, beer, snacks, etc. and make the Park and there is limited access to groceries or water along the route.

Personally, I would arrive the day before, get yourself to Arusha with a cab, deal with any jetlag and have 02 Feb start at 8am. You might be able to contact Planet-Lodge and get the same rate as the TO is charging for Day 7. Always worth a little negotiating.

Douglas, United...
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3. Re: Advice on whether this safari itinerary is good or not?

Re the Ndutu camp - apparently it is brand spanking new, not even a website yet, think it opened June 2013, but they did send me their fact sheet on the place. Not sure how you attach it to this thread though .....

Douglas, United...
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4. Re: Advice on whether this safari itinerary is good or not?

Tried to copy and paste the pdf file but hasn't really worked - got some info here though/ I like the Eco spin on it anyway.....

LAKE NDUTU LUXURY TENTED LODGE

Main building housing the dining area and lounge with large terrace and view deck

A rare communion with nature in the heart of African bush

Main building housing the dining area and lounge with large terrace and view deck

Introduction

LAKE NDUTU LUXURY TENTED LODGE

What initially started as a semi-permanent camp some 7 years ago has given birth to a new

concept of luxury and warmth in the wilderness across northern Tanzania. Kuhama Camps will now

provide permanent accommodation facilities in Ndutu, Central Serengeti and in Tarangire National

Park. These will be luxurious tented lodges, offering a completely new level of service, different

from the original Kuhama Camps concept. The lodges will offer a top-notch true African Safari

experience to the tourists that Tanzania has to offer and may be described as the state of art

camping facility which has a unique blend of nature with living for tourists.

• Ndutu forms an important part of the Serengeti ecosystem, especially the short grass plains

which provide calving grounds for migratory animals especially the wildebeest. Ndutu is also

famous for its resident game, including lions, cheetah, leopard, genets, striped hyena, elephants,

impala, hartebeest, giraffes, dikdik, and reedbucks which can be viewed throughout the year.

• The maiden facility of the Kuhama chain, Lake Ndutu Luxury Tented Lodge, is due for opening in

December 2013, as a premium facility in the southeastern Serengeti plains within the Ngorongoro

Conservation Area. The area around Ndutu is the only location in the Serengeti ecosystem

where migratory animals including wildebeest and zebras roam for more than 5 months, from

December to April. “This is their home pastureland, the only place of any protracted residence”

wrote David Martin in his Ngorongoro guide book. Big herds of migratory animals in their

hundreds of thousands can be seen here before they start fanning out into central Serengeti in

April / May, with predators including lions, cheetah, hyenas, and jackals closely following.

• Lake Ndutu Luxury Tented Lodge is located 5 kilometres (15 minutes drive) away from Ndutu

airstrip, with a clear view of Lake Ndutu from the site. All natural vegetation will be

preserved and kept clean, and the wildlife has a natural undisturbed stroll to the site. The lodge is

built to blend into the natural environment, and the elements used will be of temporary/

demountable nature which would allow flexibility on the site as per the local conservation

regulations.

Aerial view of the camp with main building in the middle and guest tents on either side

• There will be a total of 15 elevated guest tents with wooden floor and makuti roofing, standing

1metre from the natural ground, and built 11 metres apart for privacy and good view. This is a

state of the art facility with luxurious furnishings, and the traditional African culture as the central

theme. Fresh colours and natural carvings will be used for the interior decorations. The beds,

chairs and tables are done with a combination of Mninga and Camphor, and the wardrobe will be

done using Cyprus wood. All material selection is carefully done to ensure complete safety and to

achieve an environmental friendly facility.

• All the 15 guest tents feature a large bed room with oversize floor-to-ceiling glass panels at the

front, affording guests a view across the balcony and the natural scenery outside. The en-suite

bathroom features a flush toilet, a separate shower, hand wash basin, and an outdoor open-air

shower, all with hot and cold running water.

• Other amenities in the room include a mini fridge and coffee / tea making facilities.

Accommodation tent : dimensions and facilities

With the exception of the kitchen and store tent which will be erected on the ground keeping

all the safety and hygiene considerations, all the other facilities including the lounge, mess

tent, and guests’ accommodation will stand on raised platforms with wooden floors and makuti

roofing. Both the mess tent and the lounge feature a large outdoor terrace, and there is a

souvenir shop and a view deck with viewing equipment between the two public areas. The

reception area or boma is set separately in front of the main building. The walkways will be

done using mobile concrete slabs which will have the natural colour of earth. The edges will be

supported by demountable curb stones which will also have the natural earth colour.

• Use of Solar Power will be the main source of electricity, supported by two standby generators.

The pathway lighting will be done using natural wooden posts supporting the traditional light

fixture. All internal and external light fixtures will be of traditional African theme.

• Lake Ndutu Tented Lodge is an eco-friendly facility erected using natural demountable material

and powered by solar energy. For wastewater management a sustainable system of drainage will

be done to the tented camp without disturbing the natural environment. The aim is to achieve the

delicate balance between nature preservation and visitor comfort that can be sustainable.

Guest Tent featuring an outdoor shower at the rear

Public Area – with the rondavel souvenir shop

Lake Ndutu Luxury Tented Lodge - Fact sheet

• Located in Ndutu Area – 5 km away (15 min drive) from the airstrip, 300kms from Arusha (less

than 5 hours drive or 1 hr flight from Arusha town)

• 15 Luxury accommodation Tents on stilts with the following amenities

- En-suite bathrooms with two hand wash basins, shower, flushing toilets, and an

outdoor shower

- Mini fridge

- Writing desk with chair

- Beds with mosquito netting, bedside tables

- Sofa seats with coffee table

- Large balcony with safari armchairs and table

- Tea & coffee making facilities

- Wardrobe and dressing table

- Luggage rack

• A mess tent and lounge with large outdoor terrace

• Internet access, curio/gift shop and a view deck with magnifying equipment. This is an eco

lodge with solar power as the main source of electricity and two standby generators backup

• Laundry services, camp fire

• Activities organized include balloon safaris, nature walk and game drives

Ottawa, Canada
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5. Re: Advice on whether this safari itinerary is good or not?

Well, that is a lot of detail. Sounds good. I know there are more lodgings going into the Ndutu area. Sadly, some full size brand name hotels, included.

What do you think about the Day 1 comments? Do you even need to bother to pay for the Park, or will you be happy with 2-3 hours?

Bristol
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72 reviews
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6. Re: Advice on whether this safari itinerary is good or not?

QM I think they may get longer than 2-3 hours in Manyara. On our first safari we had similar timings and managed a short stop in Arusha to buy food for lunch and a stop in the TO offices and still got to Manyara for a late lunch. I think they should manage maybe 4 hours in the park (ie half a day which is what many do)......Unless the flight is delayed!! Just my thoughts.

Douglas, United...
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7. Re: Advice on whether this safari itinerary is good or not?

Quilting Mamma and Hilary, I had a think about your original comment and actually thought it was a good point, so I have got back in touch with the TO and asked that we start bright and breezy the next day instead, which will allow for any flight delays, give us a day to deal with any jetlag and make the most of the first day of the safari, after all you pay so much per day for a safari so why waste a half day. If we arrive on day 1 and we're not too tired then maybe we'll find a days activities to do with Kilimanjaro.

melbourne
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8. Re: Advice on whether this safari itinerary is good or not?

Hi

I like the idea of the new camp..sounds great and good location.

For me however day 5 and 6 will be a let down after staying in Ndutu.

I would probably spend the 4 days there rather then central.

or even go for 1 day.

All the action will be on the short grass plains and who knows where. From where your camp is you might still drive a few hours for the migration or they might be right outside your tent.

They could be over near Olduvai which is quite a hike..just an idea.

That itinerary only gives you 1 full day in the Ndutu area.

Edited: 5:22 pm, August 28, 2013
nyc
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9. Re: Advice on whether this safari itinerary is good or not?

Seems someone got an influx of investment money.

Just hope they keep those glass windows/doors clean... will be a full-time job.

nyc
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10. Re: Advice on whether this safari itinerary is good or not?

I wouldn't change that first day. With a 10:05am arrival, about 1/hr immigration/visa/baggage, then 1/hr drive to Arusha; 30/min for safari briefing; maybe 30-45/min to get thru Arusha town (traffic can be horrific); stop at Shoprite and then 2/hrs to Manyara. Might take a bit of time for park checkin, but will have sufficient time for game drives.