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Northen Tanzania itinerary, guidance needed

San Jose...
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Northen Tanzania itinerary, guidance needed

Hi folks

We are planning a safari to Tanzania Northern circuit coming June/July. Here is is what it looks like:

Day 1: Arrive at Kilimanjaro airport at 3.00am in the morning and transfer to a hotel in Arusha and rest whole day

Day2: Drive to Kilimanjaro National park-Marangu gate, day trek to Mandara hut and return back to the gate, return to Arusha for overnight

Day3: Drive to Tarangire National Park and overnight at Tarangire River camp

Day4: Drive to Lake Manyara National Park overnight at Manyara

Day5: Drive to Serengeti National Park, stay overnight

Day6: Game drive, stay overnight in Serengeti

Day7: Morning game drive in Serengeti and overnight at Ngorongoro

Day8: Game drive, stay overnight at Ngorongoro

Day 9: Drive back to airport from Ngorongoro to catch flight at 5.15pm

Please provide your feedback, we wanted to hike little bit on Kilimanjaro that's what Day2 is for, is it really worth it? can we swap it with something else for eg: Ndutu or meet & greet with villagers

Thanks a lot in advance

Edited: 13 April 2012, 04:49
melbourne
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1. Re: Northen Tanzania itinerary, guidance needed

On day 1 Could I suggest you stay at Kia lodge and rest the whole day

then Day 2 Go for an afternoon drive up to West Kilimanjaro. That would be a better way trying to see and experience Kili without the climbing and park fees.

Then head straight for Tarangire for the night arriving in the late evening.

Day 3 Tarangire - stay 2 nights in one of the lodges or camps outside the park and then combine this will village visits, night drive and other activities.

I wouldnt stay at Tarangire River camp but a camp on the other side of the park. I would then skip Manyara and head for the Serengeti and the itinerary as you outline.

So that would be Day 1 Kia lodge

Day 2 3 4 Tarangire Spend the first night inside the park and the next two outside.

Ottawa, Canada
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2. Re: Northen Tanzania itinerary, guidance needed

There are plenty of options, but hike day 2 after a flight from San Jose? If you are flying directly to JRO, then the jet lag will mean climbing may not be very enjoyable. If the purpose of the hike is to say you hiked part of Kili, then maybe do it last day - just move up everything a day and slot the climb into day 8 and you can do a village visit Day 9 before the airport.

If the reason is to hike, then stay at KIA first day, with potential for Kili views, do Arusha park hike of the park, or Mt Meru, with Kili views if Mother Nature complies.

Isle of Man, United...
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3. Re: Northen Tanzania itinerary, guidance needed

I agree. I would not waste a day going up to Mandara Hut. It is a wet slog through forest with not much to see for the effort. Save your time and money.

My other comment was that there are too many one night stops but killing Mandara eases that up.

Oddly the one place where a one night is justified you are doing two and that is Ngorongoro. (day 8.)

NoExp has commented on staying inside the NP at Tarangire. Again just go to someplace and stay put. Indeed there is a case for heading out of Arusha altogether on Day 1 and getting over any JetLag/Travel weariness by a Pool in Tarangire. Relax and watch animals if awake! You will be surprised how fresh you soon feel with Elephants around!

Then the whole trip becomes more relaxing.

San Jose...
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4. Re: Northen Tanzania itinerary, guidance needed

Noexp why do you suggest not to stay at Tarangire River camp. my TO has offered that to stay overnight?

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5. Re: Northen Tanzania itinerary, guidance needed

<<ndeed there is a case for heading out of Arusha altogether on Day 1>>

I am a fan of this strategy. You're going to be jetlagged anyways, esp coming from CA, so might as well get it over with and recover some place really beautiful. We never truly got over the jetlag until we got to Zanzibar, but that actually helped with the 5/6am wake-up. We never once felt tired on a game drive.

melbourne
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6. Re: Northen Tanzania itinerary, guidance needed

The owners also own a hunting company.

I also prefer Tarangire safari lodge for the river views.

I also suggest staying outsdie the park for 2 nights if you want to visit vilages do bush walks and night drives- this is a better area than River camp for cultural interaction. just muy opinion and prejeduce.

And I also think there is a good case for heading out of Arusha on Day 1 recover in a beautiful spot with wildlife around you when you awake. This is if Kili views are not that important to you.

San Jose...
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7. Re: Northen Tanzania itinerary, guidance needed

Is Ndutu worth visiting in Early July, I may need to extend my visit one day if you guys really recommend to do that. I have heard that's the only please where we can drive off-road and get up-close to the animals?

Ottawa, Canada
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8. Re: Northen Tanzania itinerary, guidance needed

Oh, the drive off-road debate. Be forewarned. The "legal" Ngoro Conservation Area website says - no off roading, but posts show that it has been done in that area. Check with your TO before assuming it is legal or that they will do it. And trust me, those lions of the Serengeti are just as happy to rest under your jeep and the roads without you having to tear up the fragile environment (oops - my environmental genes are showing). Animals are often up close where ever you are.

Isle of Man, United...
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9. Re: Northen Tanzania itinerary, guidance needed

Thanks QM. With multiple trips under my belt I really do fail to see the pre-occupation folks have with going off road. Does nobody care for the bigger picture of environmental damge they are causing? Small animals and ground nesting birds? Compacted soils to generate erosion?

Not to mention the distubance to the mammal being pursued into its own space. Most are relaxed around vehicles IF they wish to approach the car. No valid reason to go off track to get closer. Life is tough enough for them as it is!

Just my two pennorth. If I enter the next life as an Ellie or a Rhino I'll sort out the Off roaders!

San Jose...
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10. Re: Northen Tanzania itinerary, guidance needed

Guys thanks for reminding me about the environmental impact of doing off-road, actually I never had even though about that.

I was trying to be more adventures, anyways then I guess Ndutu has nothing different to offer in early July which I can't see in Serengeti.

Is there a place I can meet and greet with the villagers and get to see the cultural side of Tanzania, but I don't want to spend more than couple of hours on this?