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Trip Report -- !!! Wonderful 12 Days Safari experience !!!

Providence, Rhode...
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Trip Report -- !!! Wonderful 12 Days Safari experience !!!

Myself and my wife, we had wonderful 12 Days Safari with Duma Explorer.

Here is our detail review

--Tour Operator::: Stacy is the owner of Duma Explorer. Starting from planning phase and until the end of our trip Stacy was prompt. She offered all the help that she could. Due to personal reason we thought of cancelling our trip. Even then she was ready to help in cancellation. Fortunately we did not have to cancel our trip. Stacy even provided us Internet Dongle and recommended us on Internet and Phone SIM so that we can remain in contact with our parents, friends and relatives. In short our safari experience was very pleasant and we are glad we chose Duma Explorer.

--Tour Guide::: Kawaga Mohamed was our Safari guide. He is very polite and never tired of answering our questions. He is very good in spotting animals and birds from far distance.... looks like he has hawk like eyesight. He is a very good,skillful and safe driver.I always wonder how he can remain cheerful in spite of driving all day long and that too on a gravel and uneven roads. I would recommend him to everyone.

--Safari::: We saw everything, lots of animals… thousands of wildebeest, Zebras. Also, many Lions, Leopards and Cheetahs with cubs. And, many more birds. Amazing part of African Safari is that you are observing all these animals and birds in their natural habitat- in their own territory, and so the animals are so fearless and expressive.

Our Safari Itinerary in the beginning of June:

• Arrive in Arusha (Kilimanjaro JRO Airport),

• One day to Arusha National Park – thick jungle and many animals, walking Safari experience

• One day in Lake Manyara National Park- thick jungle and many animals and birds,

• Two days in Western Serengeti – Wildebeest Migration, Zebras and many more animals and birds

• Two days in Central Serengeti – Lions, Leopards, Cheetahs and many more animals and birds.

• One day in Ngorongoro Crater – Rhino , Lions and many more,

• Two days in Tarangire National Park – Birds and some animals. (June is not a good time to see animals in Tarangire.)

• Tips --- We recommend doing Tarangire in the beginning. Keep Serengeti and Ngorongoro for the last. Serengeti and Ngorongoro are the best for animal viewing. Other recommendation - Go early in the morning. Afternoon Lions and Leopard and most of the animals are sleeping. One day is enough for Tarangire. You may want to give two days to Ngorongoro. Since there are only 20+ Rhinos in Ngorongoro park, there is no guarantee that you will see it on day one.

--- Lodging::: All lodgings are well chosen by Stacy of Duma Explorer. We stayed: two nights in Ahadi Lodge in Arusha . One night in Kirurumu Tented Lodge near Lake Manyara National Park. Two nights in Mbalageti tented chalet in Western Serengeti. Two nights in Chaka Camp in Central Serengeti. One night in Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge and one night in Ngorongoro Farm House. Two nights in Tarangire Safari Lodge in Tarangire National Park. All lodges were wonderful; especially we liked Chaka Camp, Sopa lodge at Norogoro Carater and Norogoro Farm House.

I would like to write something about Chaka Camp.

Chaka Camp::: It was the best. We stayed two nights at Chaka Camp. Our experience was pleasant and joyful. It is in the Jungle surrounded by beautiful savanna. Large tents, large beds, Hot water. Food was delicious. One night we requested for African Food and we were served delicious African Pilau and Kachumbari Salad. All Staff was always attentive and their every action was giving us feel of being at home.

---Internet and Phone SIM Card::: Stacy recommended us to use Airtel for Internet. It worked everywhere except in Mbalageti, where nothing works. I had my laptop with me. We bought dongle for 30 thousand shilling and added 3GB data for additional 30 Thousand shilling. Another SIM card we bought for our phone for 2Thousand shilling and added re-charge (minutes) for 40Thousand shilling. Both internet and phone lasted for 12 days. We made international calls several times. Airtel Internet has two options GSM and WCDMA. GSM gives just 384KB bandwidth. WCDMA gives 7MB bandwidth. Make sure to configure it for WCDMA when there is better reception available. We were able to upload all our photos to Facebook while on Safari. To make international call from Tanzania dial “+” country code and phone number. You need passport or Driving License to get Internet or Phone SIM. You can get it activated in 30 minutes in Arusha Airtel head-office/shop in downtown.

---Money::: We converted US$200 to shillings that lasted us throughout. ( Conversion $1=@1632Tsh) We tipped everywhere in shillings during Safari. At the end we tipped our Tour Guide in dollars. We bought souvenir with mix of dollars and shillings. Please note we don’t take alcoholic drinks, so no money were spent on drinking.

--Once again, I would like thanks Duma Explorer, its owner Stacy and our Tour Guide Kawaga for making our Safari joyful and memorable.



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1. Re: Trip Report -- !!! Wonderful 12 Days Safari experience !!!

You are right about the rhinos in Ngorongoro- I never did see one. I do disagree about Tarangire in June. I saw many animals there including dozens of elephants with one even charging down the road toward the car. I felt it was the perfect start for my trip. Sorry you had a poor experience there.

Providence, Rhode...
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2. Re: Trip Report -- !!! Wonderful 12 Days Safari experience !!!

Hi sciguy25,

We too saw many Giraffe and Elephants in Tarangire but I would have preferred only one day to spend there instead of two and that too I would have preferred to keep Tarangire at the beginning of our Trip. We did Tarangire at the end. Surprisingly we too saw charged elephants trying to run over two Safari Vehicles. We saw Rhinos in Ngorongoro from far distance ...only possible to to view through binoculars.Over all we had amazing experience for 12 days.Hope you too had wonderful time.

Ottawa, Canada
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3. Re: Trip Report -- !!! Wonderful 12 Days Safari experience !!!

Glad you had a great time.

Thanks for the review and tips. I can understand why Tarangire and Manyara should be the first parks visited. Often, in order to break up the driving, one is put last, and I think it generally suffers. Personally, even the Crater I would put before Serengeti; but that was due to my experience only.

Isle of Man, United...
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4. Re: Trip Report -- !!! Wonderful 12 Days Safari experience !!!

Nice report. Thanks for remembering us when you returned. (It helps with our withdrawal symptoms.)

What park to leave at the end is very hard to say. Some prefer rising to a crescendo at the end in case the smaller parks do not deliver but then again who is to say which Park is going to deliver the best? It is all in the lap of the Gods what you will see so take it and roll with it is my advice. It is ALL a great experience so I don't compartmentalise it but look at the whole trip from plane steps back to plane steps.

I think you may find that there are more Rhino around Ngorongoro than 20 but I have yet to get really close to any in many visits. Others on their first visit have had really close encounters. It just means I have to keep trying.

Edited: 04 July 2013, 14:48
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5. Re: Trip Report -- !!! Wonderful 12 Days Safari experience !!!

Tarangire - June often a tricky month coming out of the rains of Apr/May the grasses can be rather tall. So if placed at the end of the safari, with the assumption more game arrived and grasses eaten or plodded down, just a better time to see the smaller game... ellees, giraffee, buffalo... rather easy, though a sleeping lion, not so.

Thanks for your report.


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6. Re: Trip Report -- !!! Wonderful 12 Days Safari experience !!!

Nice report also glad you had a great time. I don't know Chaka Camp it must be new or renamed.

regarding Tarangire people and TO's forget it is a seasonal park and in June most of the elephants and buffalo would still be in the adjacent Conservation area and the migration routes.

Coquitlam, Canada
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7. Re: Trip Report -- !!! Wonderful 12 Days Safari experience !!!

Thanks for the trip report! Good to hear positive things about the TO that we decided to use for our upcoming safari this fall.

@noexpert Chaka camp is owned by Duma Explorer and I think it just opened this past February. Heard this straight from Duma as I said above we picked them for our safari and we are booked into Chaka for three nights in November.

Providence, Rhode...
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8. Re: Trip Report -- !!! Wonderful 12 Days Safari experience !!!

@noexpert and @Salix44 , Yes - Chaka camp is owned by Duma Explorer.

Nassau, New...
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9. Re: Trip Report -- !!! Wonderful 12 Days Safari experience !!!

You sound like you had an amazing trip - I really liked the way you described the animals as fearless and expressive, so nice to imagine. I also like the way you organized your report - summarizing the itinerary, giving tips, and giving special attention to the parts you liked the best. Thank you for posting!

Los Angeles
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10. Re: Trip Report -- !!! Wonderful 12 Days Safari experience !!!

Lovely trip report.

Poor mfuwe. On our second trip we had two rhinos (mom and youngster) cross the road directly behind our vehicle. They were approaching, crossing and wandering off for about twenty minutes, affording a great sighting.

On our first trip, in June of 2008, we had fantastic luck in Tarangire and it remains one of my favorite places in the world. I still prefer it to the Crater, which I find a bit "zoo-like" because it is so contained. Tarangire in February, with the baobabs in leaf, is absolutely wonderful -- and animals plentiful on both trips. We do schedule it first, because we like to fly back, and I agree that the Serengeti -- especially on a first trip -- is best left till the end. But I find every park to have its own special ambience, its own magnetism.

Oh, hey! Before I forget!! Where are your photos!!????