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newbie to Tanzania

Dubai, United Arab...
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newbie to Tanzania

My husband just informed that his dream is to go to Tanzania. his Birthday in the 1st week of April so I am trying to make his dream come true and surprise him with a trip. We will be flying out from Dubai i have 5 to 6 days of holiday time. Do i take him to a game reserve and then Zanzibar (i am a beach person) or spend it in 2 game reserves? i do not want to sound spoiled but Is there such a thing as lodge with air conditioned bedrooms?

The lodges i have looked at are four seasons serengeti, beho beho, ngorongoro crater lodge, faru faru lodge, lake manayara tree lodge. I know these lodges are in different locations but how do i know what i want when i have not been there? I know i want luxury, privacy and scenery. can i see mount kilimanjaroo from lodge? Will i be able to see the wilderbest migration depending in the lodge i choose?

Isle of Man, United...
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1. Re: newbie to Tanzania

Well good luck with the surprise. Location and decision will be based on what he wants. Is it Safari or beach? 6 days is too short to do both. I would suggest Safari and a chance to see the migration of Wildebeeste. For this you need to be in SE Serengeti or Ndutu plains of NCA. To the west of Ngorongoro Crater.

Indeed how do you know what Lodge you want. Try a few "Reviews" on Trip Adviseor. Once you see , say Ngorongoro Cater Lodge there will be other suggestions pop up.

This is the only Lodge I know of. They are all very up market and outside my tastes so I will leave suggestions to others who may have been..

Findlay, Ohio
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for Tanzania, Ngorongoro Conservation Area
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2. Re: newbie to Tanzania

You need to go to the Tanzania forum, then look on the right side of the web page. You will see Top Questions about Tanzania. Look through these links and see if some of your questions get answered.

In six days you will have just enough time to do a safari, there are a lot of beaches in the world, and they're all almost all the same (sand and water), but there is only one Tanzania safari. Spend your time on this.

Minneapolis...
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3. Re: newbie to Tanzania

I'll concur with the advice to skip Zanzibar and plan a nice six day safari... just enough to get a taste.

But I'd suggest not starting with lodgings. As Karl is suggesting, this is a different kind of trip. You will be better served by reading some of those Top Questions and then picking a few good Tour Operators to start with. You give them the basics of what you hope to achieve and what kind of lodgings you'd like (level of comfort, etc.) and your time schedule and they'll suggest itineraries and lodgings. You bring that back here and you'll get all sorts of good advice!.

If you are asking about air-conditioned lodges, you may be implying you aren't the most adventurous traveler... maybe not into long dusty drives... so maybe stick to just a couple of places rather than a whirlwind tour of all the parks on the northern circuit.

Mfuwe says you should be in SE Serenget/Ndutu in April, so here's a basic idea of how this could work.

Day one Fly into JRO International... spend night in Arusha

Day two Fly to Seronera area of the Serengeti. Lodging somewhere in central Serengeti.

Day three game drives and same lodging

Day four game drives and move to Ndutu area/SE Serengeti

Day five game drives , same lodging

Day six game drives, drive to lodging on the Ngorongoro Rim

Day seven early trip into the crater for six hour game drive. Drive back to Arusha and fly out if a late night flight or spend night and fly out the next day.

nyc
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4. Re: newbie to Tanzania

Air conditioning... not much, though Bilila Lodge (Four Seasons) in the Central Serengeti has, which is more resort than 'traditional safari' accomodation - and I believe so too does Faru Faru on the Grumeti Reserve. That's it.

But know that daytime temps are mild, if not a bit damp for April travel which is one of the 'long' rain months though that doesn't mean it will, certainly not daily, all day or even if. Night are always cool, where a/c really isn't needed when you consider most camps put hot-water bottles under your bed linens.

I'd also forego Zanzibar especially if living in Dubai which has plenty of beaches... and from DXB, choice of carriers would be Emirates into DAR (southern Tanzania) which from here you'd require a short-haul flight to the Northern circuit parks you mention. This Emirates flight arrives DAR early enough to make a connection to the Northern Parks (JRO or Arusha/ARK airport)... Or a flight out of Doha (via Qatar) that does fly into JRO (Kilimanjaro) in the North, where you'd arrive 10am, too late for a scheduled flight to anywhere unless you wish to pay for a 'charter' (more expensive) flight to Lake Manyara airstrip for road transfer (2+/hrs) to Ngorongoro Crater, then after visit here, road transfer back to Lk. Manyara for onward flight to Central Serengeti (Bilila Lodge) or the Ndutu area, where there's also a road transfer (about 1.5/hrs).

You'll have to decide which areas specifically to visit and then figure the 'how to get' and where you lay your head. More research needed on your part.

Washington DC...
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5. Re: newbie to Tanzania

I'm with the others and would pooh pooh the beach when all that wildlife is waiting to be seen by you. You mention Ngorongoro Crater Lodge. If you're looking for luxury, arguably over-the-top- luxury, NCL wouldn't disappoint.

Here's something I wrote a while back on NCL:

"In my opinion, the crater is certainly worth stopping for. It is a pretty amazing sight, whether you're seeing it from the crater floor or from above if you fly in to Manyara. I stayed for 2 nights, and most people I've run into stayed 2 nights. [You should know that many are happy with just one night.]

"The lodge itself has probably the best accommodations/service I've experienced. There's something to be said for having a hot bath with rose petals waiting for you on returning from a dusty game drive, and a fire going in the fireplace and electric warmers heating your mattress when you return from dinner. The lodge almost feels a bit too much like an elegant hotel (I've read that some refer to the place as "where Versailles meets the Masai") than an African camp. But with all the luxury, it's hard to dwell on that being a negative."

As others have advised, you need to do some research and decide on the location(s) you'd like to visit and how you'd like to move around.

Regarding the migration, take a look at the link below. Click on the pulsing box and watch the migration move and where it will likely be in April. SE Serengeti and Ndutu have been mentioned and the link supports that.

…go2africa.com/africa-features/wildebeest-mi…

Minneapolis...
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6. Re: newbie to Tanzania

I forgot to add - there is NO BETTER air conditioning than a tent on the Seregeti plain. The best fresh air... perhaps with a hint of lion spoor...

truly, our tented camps put most of our hotel stays in the US to shame. Big open rooms with king size beds and attached changing areas and bathrooms. The only concession is that some of them have a "bush shower" - which means when you want to shower they heat 5 gallons of water and hoist it up to a resevoir and you can open and close the shower head to shower. Idiot She only requires about 3 gallons.

Here is one of our journal entries, with photos, about "roughing it..."

perennialnursery.com/forums/viewtopic.php…

Isle of Man, United...
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7. Re: newbie to Tanzania

IAB. Loved that link. I would offer you a job but the pay is rubbish.

That should get wider prominence. It says it all.

Nomadmom. Take it on board. Real Airconditioning at the turn of a tent flap.

Los Angeles
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8. Re: newbie to Tanzania

May I also point out that surprising your husband will provide difficult, since he'll need anti-malaria meds and perhaps some innoculations (Yellow Fever, potentially) for the trip.

The surprise will have to be earlier than at the airport, I'm surmising.

And yes -- do try to work in at least one tented camp somewhere. There's nothing like lying in your bed in a camp in the Serengeti and hearing the sounds of the African night all around you. I've never been too hot in a safari tent at night, and I'm a real wuss when it comes to heat -- especially at night. It's just never all that hot at night in Tanzania, I've found. So I wouldn't base my accommodations decisions on air-conditioning.

Also, given the late date, you'll need to be somewhat flexible. Many places will already be fully booked.

nyc
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9. Re: newbie to Tanzania

April travel is 'low' season and even at this date, doubtful availability would be at issue. More so the very high-end properties as OP is seeking.

Los Angeles
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10. Re: newbie to Tanzania

Yeah, Sandi -- that's what I was thinking about. They tend to be smaller and fill up quickly -- except, of course, for the hotel-like lodges, which most of us don't much like. They will probably be the OPer's best bet at this point, however.