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10 day Safari Itinerary end of Feb

Lausanne...
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10 day Safari Itinerary end of Feb

Thanks all for the amazingly information in this forum. I am able to come up with following high level itinerary. We are a couple planning a safari end of february. We are on a budget, our aim is to enjoy photographing the animals and the scenery. Not exactly to rush and visit all the parks in northern tanzania.

Kindly, give me feedback or suggession to cut cost. I have not decided a specific operator, I got mail from Simon from EastCo, but after reading the reviews here i am not in the favor of picking the company.

Day 0

Arrive Dar el Salam Airport 3:30am

Depart to Kilimanjaro Depart 7:10

Get Picnic lunch and Travel towards Ngorongoro

Stay in Ngorongoro

Day 1

Game Viewing Ngorongoro crater (stay in Ngorongoro)

Day 2

Depart to Serengeti game viewing along the way (stay in Serengeti)

Day 3

game drive in serengeti (stay in Serengeti)

Day 4

depart game viewing enroute to manyara overnight in manyara

Day 5

visit Masai community, walking tour Manaryara / game viewing Manyara

Day 6

Drive to Arusha, Catch flight to Zanzibar

Day 7

Explore Zanzibar

Day 8

Explore Zanzibar

Day 9

Explore Zanzibar / flight to Dar el Salam

Day 10

Departure flight back from Dar el Salam at 4:30am

Chicago
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1. Re: 10 day Safari Itinerary end of Feb

Send your desired itinerary to a number of different companies. I contacted a dozen companies, and got quotes of $3300-$5500 for very similar trips, so look at each and compare to decide what works best for you. Look at group and private safaris to see what you would like.

melbourne
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2. Re: 10 day Safari Itinerary end of Feb

Just a couple of comments. You have 2 days at Manyara and none in Tarangire. I wouldn't miss Tarangire. Even though you say you don't wont to rush I would probably miss Manyara and stay those 2 nigths in Tarangire. The cultural activities there are better and more realistic that Manyara.

Where are you staying in the Serengeti. In Feb you need to be in the Ndutu area. Camping is nice and can be fun. Nothing like the Serengeti under Canvas surrounded by all those wildebeest.

Eastco did have more than 80 excellent reviews here on TA until they disappeared. I would email about 5 companies if you haven't already done that and then choose the one that seems to best fit what you want.

Edited: 8:46 pm, December 26, 2012
Lausanne...
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3. Re: 10 day Safari Itinerary end of Feb

Thanks I have mail the companies and waiting for responses.

I was told Tarangire was not great for end of feb and that it had only elephants with more diversity around the Lake. Would like to know what you guys think about this.

which cultural activities are there in Tarangire can you give me a pointer?

melbourne
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4. Re: 10 day Safari Itinerary end of Feb

Farhan T

I have copied a post I made for another poster about Tarangire and the rainy season of which Feb. is part. Most operators say Tarangire is no good because they are not familiar with the area outside the parks and not familiar with the area during the wet season. But that is pretty much rubbish. Tarangire is excellent all year round not just for elephants but other wildlife as well. Manyara at this time would have more diversity in water birds only.

"There are three main migration routes the elephants, buffalo and wildebeest take after the short rains which start in October/ November.

The first is the Naitolia flood plains and the "Elephant Dispersal Area" a swamp bush and scrub area set aside for elephants and conservation by Makuyuni and Naitolia village.

The second is in front of Boundary Hill and in the swamps and water holes in that area heading towards Lolkisale there is a large swampy area full or water for more than 6 months of the year and here you will always find elephant until the water dries up and then they go to drink at the Tarangire River.

The third is through the South of the park towards the Simanjaro plains-this area is less frequeted by tourists.

The elephants can be dispersed over a large area along the three routes.

This is not to say there are no elephants in the park-there are but the majority of them move out and will stay out until the water resouces dry up.

The reason why operators say Tarangire is no good in the rainy season is because they have never been to these areas outside the park nor stayed at the lodges and camps in the area-Naitolia, Treetops, Boundary Hill, and Kikoti.

There has been a traditional way of thinking- Tarangire is only good in the dry season.

No the park is excellent in the dry season along the Tarangire River but as soon as it rains then these others areas are the places to be."

I hope you didnt mind the long discussion. but I would not miss Tarangire over Manyara any time of the year.

Now for your other question-

Cultural activities. Outside the park you can actually visit real Maasai villages and Bomas and schools which are not set up for tourists. You will go to the villages of the staff of the camps that employ Maasai. You can meet their familes and see how the traditional Maasai still live. These are off the normal tourist circuit so the experience is pretty realistic.

There is plenty of misinformation about Tarangire out there and many operators who I am guessing have never been to Tarangire in the rainy season or have only stayed at Tarangire Safari lodge in September are spreading such misinformation.

Edited: 11:56 pm, December 26, 2012
Australia
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5. Re: 10 day Safari Itinerary end of Feb

Hello,

I'm surprised about your comment about EASTCO.

I went to Tanzania a couple of years ago and had a fantastic safari with them. They were very accommodating to our needs and as I'm interested in bird photography they were patient while I kept stopping to take photos.

I'm wrote a report about my trip on TA but now I can't find it! There use to be lots of reviews about EASTCO.

I'm planning to return to Tanzania next year to visit some places I didn't get to last time. I'll be contacting EASTCO again for a quote and to see if they can accommodate my requests.

Hasselt, Belgium
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6. Re: 10 day Safari Itinerary end of Feb

We went to Tanzania for a 8 day safari (Nov 27th tot Dec 4th 2012) with Eastco and really had a fantastic time, everything was well organised. We picked Eastco because of good reviews, don't understand what you mean by bad comments about them? So here is our experience with them:

We had booked a 8 day safari, a domestic flight to Zanzibar and first night stay on Zanzibar with Eastco. The first contact to have the trip adjusted to our wishes really went smooth and quick. After some suggestions we booked our trip. Besides some minor changes for our domestic flight everything was very much ok and no problems at all during our safari.

Upon arrival we were welcomed by our driver, stayed in the Ilboro lodge in Arusha, a very nice place to stay for our first night as we really could use a good night sleep after a long trip to get to Tanzania. The day after we started our safari very early in the morning to fly to Serenora in the middle of the Serengeti, perfect to start the safari! The first 3 nights we stayed in a fully equiped tented camp. To sleep in the Serengeti so close to the wildlife really was an amazing experience! Going to bed with hyena sounds at the background. :-)

Our staff made sure that we had all the confort for a great stay: warm water in the shower bag, in the washing bag in the morning, tea and coffee at any moment in between to relax at the veranda of our tent. These things really made the difference. The afternoon breaks (to hot to drive between 1 and 3 pm) really were pleasant in these settings. The breakfast, lunch and diner in the dining tent was delicious (at any time of our safari I had delicious vegetarian meals as I requested).

We saw so many game during our first day, we were wondering what else we could see more the next days. But every day there were new situations and viewings that made our day perfect (a leopard in a tree, a lion family of 7 cubs playing around,..)! Next stop was the Ngorongoro krater. It did not feel as much 'into the wild' as the Serengeti but the views from our lodge were gorgeous. Lake Manyara was very interesting: different vegetation, different animals, temperatures were also higher... After a drive in the hot sun, we were glad to arrive at the tented camp of Old Tukai. The Manyara lake was dry, no water, no flamingoes, but the surroundings were overwhelming, so peaceful! The next day we truely had a great walk with 2 very nice Masai guides. Amazing to see and learn about tracks, fruits, seeds, wildlife,.. We had breakfast and dinner in the nice dining lodge, and food also was very good. Our trip continued to Tarangire NP. Elephants, elephants, everywhere we looked we saw elephants! To see them in such great numbers is something completely different than the small families we already had seen. The Boundary Hill Lodge was superb, what a view! And so lucky to be here when feeling sick for a day, with such a view, easy to forget :-) The bath tub on the balcony was also a very relaxing experience. We enjoyed the night game and the visit to a little Masai boma and ended our safari with a very good feeling, this was a great safari! We saw the big five and so many more... We did almost see no other tourists but so many wildlife, great landscapes, local people and villages, a truely unforgetable experience! We took so many pictures (if anyone know where I can post some of them, please let me know as I haven't been able to find where to post a review about our safari with Eastco),

Everything was well organised, we felt safe with our driver who never took stupid risks, knew a lot about the game and vegetation and was also very friendly and helpfull. O yes, we really would recommend Eastco for a safari!

Edited: 5:21 am, December 27, 2012
Sydney, Australia
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7. Re: 10 day Safari Itinerary end of Feb

Not sure how this thread has turned into an EastCo review thread (not that I mind) but for those of you who travelled with EastCo, who was your guide?

Hasselt, Belgium
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8. Re: 10 day Safari Itinerary end of Feb

I was looking on tripadvisor where I could post my review and pictures and my search for 'eastco' brought me to this forum, where I just saw your question about a 10 day safari :-)

I am not sure how to spell the name of our driver/guide, I will check and let you know!

Hasselt, Belgium
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9. Re: 10 day Safari Itinerary end of Feb

The name of our driver/guide for the 8 day safari was Ezekial.

The 6 days afterwards in Zanzibar we did on our own (no guide) but flight and transfers to/from airports were arranged by Eastco which was convenient.

Lausanne...
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10. Re: 10 day Safari Itinerary end of Feb

Guys first of all, thanks all for the detailed great replies. Especially Tzims and noexpert. I really appreciate it. Due to your helpful feedback I am changing the days we want to spend in each location.

Sorry if someone got the impression that I am bashing Eastco, all I was pointing towards was the top 20 posts in arusha region forum where there are 4-5 complaints.. but that was not the point of this thread.

Day 1: Arrival Flight kilimanjaro morning: start travel towards Ngorongoro in afternoon (maybe an evening game drive)

Day 2: Ngorongoro game drives

Day 3: Ngorongoro game drives, travel to Serengeti (night in Serengeti)

Day 4: Serengeti game drives (Ndutu plains)

Day 5: Serengeti game drives

Day 6: Serengeti game drives, travel to Tarangire (stay in Tarangire)

Day 7: Tarangire game drive (afternoon cultural visit) and night travel to Arusha (stay in arusha)

Day 8: Afternoon flight to Zanzibar

Day 9: Zanzibar

Day 10: Zanzibar depart to Dar-el-Salam

Yes i'm skipping lake manyara altogether,

Do you guys think we get to see giraffes in this itinerary?

Should I readjust the days spent in Ngo crater or Serengeti?

I'm surprized how expensive the internal flights are , any other option other than precision air?