I've been a little bit more overwhelmed planning this than I usually am so I figured I would turn to the experts for advice.
A friend and I are planning on doing a Tanzania safari at the end of next year - probably beginning the last couple of days of December 2012 and going into the second week of January. I have read all about February being the best month at Ndutu, but we need to plan the trip around days on which our companies in the US are closed or slow so we're stuck on the stated time. We also plan on mixing in a side trip (6 or so days), but we're not sure yet where we will go - I know Zanzibar is easy, but we're considering Cape Town too since we'll have several days.
My first question concerns the safari route - Does it still make sense to do a route along the lines of Arusha Nat'l Park, Tarangire, Lake Manyara, Ngorongoro and Serengeti or is this small difference in timing (January versus February) critical? Assuming we are in the Serengeti the first week of January, will be seeing less of what we might see later in the month? I ask because we could always start our vacation with the side trip, then begin the safari some time during the first week of January . . . not sure if that makes any difference, but that could mean that we arrive in the Serengeti during the second week of January.
The next question concerns our side trip and where to go. In addition to Zanzibar, we are considering Cape Town. I realize Cape Town is far, but I'm not sure when or if I'll return and I'll certainly be a lot closer when in Tanzania than I am now in the US.
Thanks in advance for your help and please let me know if your answers depend upon me providing additional information.