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Big dilemma with finalizing our itinerary - help...

Ramat Gan, Israel
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Big dilemma with finalizing our itinerary - help...

Hello everyone,

First of all many thanks for your great help so far.

OK, so I know I've been asking a lot of questions about our September itinerary... But now that we're finalizing it I've come up with a big dilemma, and I really need your help.

After the safari, we're planning a few days in Zanzibar.

So far, we've thought that 3 nights in Zanzibar would be OK. But now we're starting to think that maybe it wouldn't be enough. We have a morning flight from Kogatende to Zanzibar which is due to land on 14:00-15:00, we'll be spending 3 nights there, and then on our last day our flight home is at 16:00. So basically, for Zanzibar, it comes down to half a day on the first day, 2 full days, and another half day on the last day. It's a bit short.

On the other hand, of course, the safari is very important for us.

So now we have a dilemma, and basically two optional itineraries:

Option 1 (original one):

Day 0: Arrive 13:00 to JRO, drive to Tarangire, o/n.

Day 1: Tarangire full day, o/n

Day 2: Tarangire morning until 15:00, drive to Ngo, o/n

Day 3: Ngo early morning crater tour, drive to Central Serengeti, o/n Central Serengeti

Day 4: Full day Central Serengeti, o/n Central Serengeti

Day 5: Full day Central Serengeti, o/n Central Setengeti

Day 6: Early morning drive to Northern Serengeti, o/n near Kogatende

Day 7: Full day Northern Serengeti, o/n near Kogatende

Day 8: 10:45 Flight to Zanzibar, Arrive at 15:00. o/n Zanzibar

Day 9 : Full day Zanzibar

Day 10: Full day Zanzibar

Day 11: Flight home from Zanzibar at 16:00

Option 2:

Day 0: Arrive 13:00 to JRO, drive to Tarangire, o/n.

Day 1: Tarangire full day, o/n

Day 2: Tarangire morning until 15:00, drive to Ngo, o/n

Day 3: Ngo early morning crater tour, drive to Central Serengeti, o/n Central Serengeti

Day 4: Full day Central Serengeti, o/n Central Serengeti

Day 5: Early morning drive to Northern Serengeti, o/n near Kogatende

Day 6: Full day Northern Serengeti, o/n near Kogatende

Day 7: 10:45 Flight to Zanzibar, Arrive at 15:00. o/n Zanzibar

Day 8 : Full day Zanzibar

Day 9: Full day Zanzibar

Day 10: Full day Zanzibar

Day 11: Flight home from Zanzibar at 16:00

As you may notice, in option 2 we added one day in Zanzibar at the expense of one day at the Serengeti.

We know that it's a matter of personal taste and opinion, but which option would you prefer?

We're specifically referring to the Serengeti portion of the itinerary, because this is the part that varies between the two options.

In option 2, are we rushing the Serengeti part? Are 3 days in the Serengeti, which also include the drive from Central Serengeti to Kogatende, would feel too rushed, like there isn't enough time?

Is the drive from Ngo to Central Serengeti considered a "game drive"? Is it considered "half-day" in the Serengeti as well? because then we might have another half day in the Serengeti that we haven't taken into account so far... and then maybe option 2 isn't so rushed after all....?

Your help is very much appreciated!!!

Nashville, Tennessee
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1. Re: Big dilemma with finalizing our itinerary - help...

Spend the extra day on safari. 3 nights in Zanzibar is plenty (or too much for me). Plenty of better beaches elsewhere. Serengeti, well there is only one.

Ottawa, Canada
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2. Re: Big dilemma with finalizing our itinerary - help...

Beaches can be replicated, Serengeti can't. i am with Stephen.

Isle of Man, United...
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3. Re: Big dilemma with finalizing our itinerary - help...

I never even got to read the Options.

I stopped readng here:- <But now we're starting to think that maybe it wouldn't be enough.> I thought it would be more than enough and prepared to say so despite cries from others. I see the other two posts are more or less in line with me. so that is three in a row saying Safari time is more important. Who needs to go to Africa for a Beach? (Go to Cyprus, It's closer and they need your money to replace what the EEC has stolen!)

Ramat Gan, Israel
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4. Re: Big dilemma with finalizing our itinerary - help...

Thanks for your advice.

Just one thing - maybe it wasn't completely clear from my description - although we have 3 nights in Zanzibar, we only have 2 full days there.

Would you still say it is enough time?

Isle of Man, United...
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5. Re: Big dilemma with finalizing our itinerary - help...

For me two full hours was enough!

Nashville, Tennessee
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6. Re: Big dilemma with finalizing our itinerary - help...

Yes, plenty

Ottawa, Canada
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7. Re: Big dilemma with finalizing our itinerary - help...

Two full days may not be enough for Zanzibar, but I would NOT rob from Serengeti to add more. If your travel days cannot be extended, then two days will have to do...as there are some half days in there.

Toronto
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8. Re: Big dilemma with finalizing our itinerary - help...

Definitely don't give up a safari day for Zanzibar as you have beautiful beaches in Israel. We spent 3 days in Zanzibar for pure R+R after our Kili climb but it did not take any days away from our safari. You can lay on a beach in many countries but Tanzania should be mostly for safari, Kili and a brief visit to Zanzibar for the beach (if so inclined) and a day in Stonetown for sure if Zanzibar is on the itinerary. I agree with all the comments above!

Chicago
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9. Re: Big dilemma with finalizing our itinerary - help...

Depends what you want to do in Zanzibar. I was there four full days and I thought it might have even been one too many. In one full (but long) day, we did both a spice tour and went all around Stone Town. I guess I would have liked to see Stone Town at night (and didn't). The rest of the time was for beach and relaxation. But after the safari, it was all a bit of a letdown, except for the spice tour and Stone Town. Looking back, I wish I had only two full days there . . . but it all depends upon what you want to do with your time.

nyc
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10. Re: Big dilemma with finalizing our itinerary - help...

Give it up. You live in Israel, just hop in the car for short ride to the coast or flght to Eilat. And though I haven't been, understand the beach across the border at Aqaba (Jordan) is a winner with lovely hotels and not near as 'crazy' on your side of the border... do a long weekend.

This is foolish and this from a beach person who has visited her fair share of beaches around the world... nothing special about Zanzibar - sand, palmtrees, beach boys (some places), and water which if staying on the east coast is tidal so often hours when there is no beach (of course depending on the moon).

You want more beach, do it once you return home. What you've got arranged for ZNZ is more than sufficient.

I sure wouldn't give up a day on safari for a day on the beach unless you were heading to the Seychelles (SEZ).... ooops maybe I shouldn't have said that. But if you want some lovely islands and beaches that should be your next holiday. Or out to the Maldives before they disappear completely.