I've gotten my first proposal for a southern itinerary by road. I have some changes I want to make but aside from the price, which seems awfully high, it seems reasonable. I'd be interested in any comments.
This is their initial proposal (they sent more detail but for brevity's sake here's the outline):
Day 01 - Serena Hotel in Dar Es Salaam for overnight
Day 02 - Dar Es Salaam-Selous Game Reserve. Drive to Selous Game Reserve (5-7 hours). Arrival in the afternoon.
Overnight at Lake Manze Tented Camp. All meals included
Day 03/04 Selous Game Reserve
2 x Overnight at Lake Manze Tented Camp. All meals included.
Day 05/06 Northern Selous
2 x overnight at Sable Mountain Lodge.
Day 07/08 Mikumi National Park
2 x overnight in Vuma Hill Tented Camp or Stanleys Kopies. All meals included.
Day 09 Udzungwa Mountain National Park
Afternoon arrival at the park, half day of hiking and bird-watching in the pristine rain forest:
Overnight in the Udzungwa Forest Camp
Day 10 Udzungwa Mountain National Park
Today your guide will take you to the Hidden Waterfall Trail taking you to Njokamoni Waterfall, right back into Hondo Hondo. It's a long, steep walk NB- this is a moderately tough hiking tour which takes some 7-8 hours for some 15 km.
Day 11 Ruaha National Park
depart for Ruaha National Park (long drive of some 7 hours via Iringa). In the afternoon we reach the park. Your guide will take you to Kwihala Camp with game drives en route. Overnight at Kwihala Camp. All meals included.
Day 12/13/14/ 3 x overnight at Kwihala Camp. All meals included.
Day 15 Ruaha-Dar Es Salaam
Depart for Ruaha Airstrip for your flight back to Dar Es Salaam for your flight back home.
What I want to change:
Selous: instead of 3 nights Lake Manze + 2 Sable Mtn, I would change to 3 nights Selous Impala, 2 Nights Lake Manze, + 1 Sable Mtn (I believe Sable Mtn is necessary to break up the drive to Mikumi, but it doesn't seem necessary for 2 nights.)
Udzungwa Mountain: I would cut the 2nd day and just stay one night. Although the mountains hold a lot of endemic birds, we are definitely not cut out for a 7-8 hour strenuous hike.
The rest remains the same.
So that retains the same # of nights (14): 1 Dar; 6 Selous, 2 Mikumi, 1 Udzungwa, 4 Ruhaha
Thoughts? I'm still waiting to hear back from Adventure Camps and some others on a strictly fly-in trip, but as a road trip option, does this work?