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Kenya - Tanzania Safari in December 2013

Boston...
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Kenya - Tanzania Safari in December 2013

Hi, I am planning a 13 day safari trip and plan to cover Kenya and Tanzania.

Nairobi - Nakuru(1 night) - Mara (3 nights) - Serengeti (3 nights) - Ngorongoro (1 night) - Manyara (2 nights) - Amboselli (2 nights) - Nairobi.

Questions:

1. Am I spending too many days?

2. I have very limited time to plan this trip, I would greatly appreciate any tour operator names you could give me.

3. What would be the cost of this trip for 2 people, decent accommodation?

4. Thinking of a private tour so that we could follow animals and I am also really into birding, but wondering if group is more fun. Don't want to be too isolated during this long trip. Please advise.Thanks!

Easy Travel & Tours Ltd
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Gosheni Safaris Africa
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Arusha, Tanzania
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1. Re: Kenya - Tanzania Safari in December 2013

Ardent,

considering that you want to cover both Kenya & Tanzania the number of days I think is ok, cost wise the price will be depending on your accommodation standards, but you may contact different TOs for pricing. For private tour is good and for group its good also but price wise it would be an advantage but on the other hand you interests may differ from others, so its a matter of choice.

Isle of Man, United...
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2. Re: Kenya - Tanzania Safari in December 2013

I think you should consider staying in one country only. Border crossings will eat your time.

If you are going to Nakuru for the Flamingos forget it they are no longer there.

Crossing from Maasai mara to Serengeti will take a day even if flying via Isebania.

From Manyara back to Amboseli is another day used up travelling.

For me I would run it like this assuming long haul arrival into NBO:-

Take in Amboseli first as it is in the right direction.2 nights

then visit Tarangire NP (not currently in your plan) 3 nights.

Ngorongoro 2 nights.

Serengeti 3 nights (or Ndutu in NCA at that time of year)

Back to Manyara 2 nights.

Rtn to NBO.

Of course ideally you should fly into Kilimanjaro and start from there with a TZ based Operator. It will be cheaper and less trouble.

Ottawa, Canada
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3. Re: Kenya - Tanzania Safari in December 2013

What you might not realize is that Kenya and Tanz don't have working agreements for a TO in Kenya to drive and work in Tanz and vice versa. This means that one company will organize the Tanz part, and then sub out the Kenya part to a Kenya TO. Some do pay to have their drivers allowed to work in both countries, but most don't. This means that quality is an unknown unless you hand pick both TOs. Then you have to trade off drivers and vehicles at the borders. And as mentioned, border crossings between Mara and Serengeti are not available in the park and are some ways out of the way. Some do this two country trip, but it means a lot of driving without game drives. If travelling alone, you would get a tour company like G Adventure or Intrepid doing the 'standard' two country, two week trip.....but they aren't ideal.

Chicago
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4. Re: Kenya - Tanzania Safari in December 2013

I did a private, solo safari, and loved it because I had the flexibility to stop and go as I wished, but it does get a bit lonely at accommodations unless you are an ultra social individual, so it is a choice to be considered. I would do it alone again if I had a choice. You will need to contact a number of the companies at the right to see their prices and accommodation suggestions. Be sure to ask for some tented camps for a true feel for the country. I suggest to add Tarangire, as it is a very nice park. You might keep Amboseli, but remember that the Mara and Serengeti are extensions of the same ecosystem, so probably don't need to do both. For Tanzania, try some of the recommended operators like Swala, Safari Infinity, Access to Tanzania, Basecamp, Eastco, and I used Shidolya, and was very happy. Also, read some of the trip reports at the top of this list to get some ideas. You are short on time, so you will need to make some decisions soon, and communication with TZ can be slow.

Edited: 8:05 am, October 22, 2013
Isle of Man, United...
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5. Re: Kenya - Tanzania Safari in December 2013

I forgot to cover the birding angle. You will see lots more than you can dream of. I have found that 'birding groups' can be a bit intensive and competitive for my tastes. I am sure you will recognise the types. Some holier than thou 'experts', some doing their hardest to merely boost a list (Spot it, tick it and move on!) I am not the greatest social body on the planet but find I can get by on my own for a couple of weeks rather than hunt in a pack. I may not see more but what I do see , I enjoy. As sciguy says, you are able to stop and go at your pace and finish when you wish.

Final point is that December is just around the corner. You need to be booking soon,

nyc
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6. Re: Kenya - Tanzania Safari in December 2013

See my reply to this query on the Kenya forum, lots of driving with estimated times indicated.

Boston...
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7. Re: Kenya - Tanzania Safari in December 2013

Thanks to all of you! Truly appreciate the response. It is a long trip from Boston to kenya/Tanzania and I wanted to cover as much as possible. From all the responses looks like combining Kenya and Tanzania might result in loss of precious time in travelling.

Would you recommend combining Tanzania and Rwanda? I can fly out of Kili into Rwanda and spend 3-4 nights there and fly into Boston from Rwanda. Thoughts?

Ottawa, Canada
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8. Re: Kenya - Tanzania Safari in December 2013

I'd go for the Rwanda/Tanz combo.

Isle of Man, United...
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9. Re: Kenya - Tanzania Safari in December 2013

I would stay in TZ for the whole trip but I cold see a side trip to either Rwanda or Uganda working if you want Gorillas. Uganda has the birds to die for. Worth a trip on its own.

BUT TZ has plenty for you to cut your African teeth on.

V S
New York City, New...
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10. Re: Kenya - Tanzania Safari in December 2013

Hey Ardent, I just sent you a message. Please check your inbox. Thanks.