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Are we taking on too much?

Sydney
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Are we taking on too much?

Hi all

We're about to book our safari-of-a-lifetime and now I'm getting cold feet that we've taken on too much - your thoughts would be much appreciated. We are a mum/dad/11 yr old daughter.

Our planned itinerary is:

* Fly from Aust to Jo'burg (we have frequent flyer points to use up otherwise we'd fly in via Middle East); overnight in Joburg

* Next day somehow get to Arusha to start safari.

* 3 days Tarangire (via road)

* 2 days Ngorongoro Crater (via road)

* 3 days Serengeti (via air)

* 4 days Zanzibar (via air)

Then it gets tricky ... we have to fly back to joburg for flight home so thinking we should add a Vic Falls 3-nighter before flying home? Too much traveling??

What do you think?

thanks

melbourne
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for Tanzania
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1. Re: Are we taking on too much?

Vic Falls is beautiful ..when are you travelling.

Will you go back to see it...if not do it now.

Check the flights from J'burg to Dar es Salaam and then to Arusha and see if they will fit in with your flight from Oz..

What part of the Serengeti....If the Seronera area then I would drive and keep the flights for Zanzibar if up North fine fly.

Not too much travelling for me....I think your 11 year old would love it.

Who are you booking the flights and safari with as a matter of interest.

Edited: 20 October 2013, 07:45
Sydney
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2. Re: Are we taking on too much?

Thanks Noexpert...we're travelling next June/July and no, we probably won't be back any time soon so Vic Falls here-we-come!

We're staying at in the Grumeti River Camp and I think the flight to Zanzibar is around 4.5hrs.

I'm booking with Maasai Wanderings (Donna has been great!) who are based in Tanzania.

Flights are still up in the air (pardon the pun) at this stage - we've booked Qantas to/from Joburg with points but I'm hoping Donna can help me out with Africa flights.

Isle of Man, United...
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3. Re: Are we taking on too much?

It looks well balanced to me. Like NoExp I would question the need to fly to Serengeti from Ngorongoro. Better to drive and see lots of animals rather than skip over the top. You would most likely have to back track to Lake Manyara strip to get the plane anyway so why not drive west instead of east? Then fly from Serengeti to ZNZ (if you must go there as there are better places for sea and sand near Sydney!)

Back in JNB you could then double back, again, to Victoria Falls.

As you say the routing is not ideal and is one of the problems with "Reward" flights when they don't go where you need to be.

Enjoy your trip. Come back soon.

london
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for Zambia, Selous Game Reserve, Ruaha National Park
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4. Re: Are we taking on too much?

There are direct flights from Zanzibar to Johannesburg, although these may not be every day. I know Mango (a low cost South African airline) flys this route and there may be others. If you add Vic Falls i think you will probably have to go via Nairobi, and overall this is likely to add quite a lot of cost and travel time. Kenya Airways fly NBO-VFA (but again not every day). Or you would have to go ZNZ-Jo'burg then back up to Vic Falls/Livingstone.

To be honest, if you have flights to Jo'burg I'm not sure why you wouldn't just do your safari somewhere in Southern Africa. Flights within Africa are not as cheap as most people expect and you may find the benefit of getting "free" flights to Africa gets cancelled out pretty quickly if you plan too much flying around within Africa. I would definitely work out those additional costs before getting too involved in planning an exact itinerary in Tanzania. You might want to consider Botswana. It's generally considered a more expensive destination than Tanzania, but if you are looking at places like Grumeti River camp, then Botswana will be in the same ball park price wise. And you will save a lot of money on all those flights, and can include Vic Falls very easily. I tend to agree with Mfuwe that I wouldn't bother too much with a beach destination- I'm sure you can do much better for beaches in Aus (I know, I lived in Sydney for 2 years myself!).

Washington DC...
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5. Re: Are we taking on too much?

There's no question you can do as you outlined with rewarding results. But I wonder, given that you cannot fly straight through to Tanzania, if the trip could be in danger of being recalled as "Airports of Africa With Safari" and if you will feel at a track meet rather than on holiday.

As SG mentioned, as long as you must go through Jo'burg why not make Southern Africa your safari destination? There are good reasons to do that, some that address the needs of your daughter.

I'd propose something like this:

Arrive JNB, overnight

Next day, short air hop to Nelspruit and rent car for 1.5-hr drive to Kruger, or 5.5-hr drive (on excellent roads) JNB to Kruger

2-3 nights in Kruger, self-drive

3-4 nights Sabi Sand

Back to JNB for overnight

Next day, fly short hop to Maun, Botswana

5-6 night Okavango Delta, Chobe

land transfer to Vic Falls, Zimbabwe for 2 nights

Fly Vic Falls to JNB to home

This itinerary provides a number of benefits:

-game viewing in two very distinct ecosystems, the bush of South Africa and the watery wilderness of the Delta

-it starts you off with a self-drive in Kruger. Finding your own sightings is so exciting and may especially appeal to your 11-yr old. On arrival in Kruger you can buy the Honeyguide Map of Kruger which includes pictures of birds and other animals you will see and which makes for a perfect check-off list for your daughter (and you!)

-you follow up your self-drive with a guided safari in Sabi Sand, a private reserve with camps spanning the price range and where leopards are often easily found.

-the different ecosystems will ensure that there will be different experiences open for you; in the Delta and up by Chobe you will be able to do mokoro (canoe) rides, river cruises and fishing. I think in order to keep an 11-yr old engaged it's helpful to keep the experience changing.

-easy access by road to Vic Falls

-no need for yellow fever jabs

Good luck with your planning.

Edited: 20 October 2013, 14:38
nyc
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6. Re: Are we taking on too much?

It's when visitors plan a trip to East Africa and then toss in Victoria Falls that throws things off. One is in the southern part of the Continent, and the others... not.

Concluding on ZNZ, you can fly to JNB and likely require an overnight before a 2/hr flight to VFA or LIV, another Visa and then fly back to JNB for homebound. Unless you plan other activities at the Falls as bungee jumping or white river rafting, you need only 1-2/hrs to view the Falls where the ZIM/VFA side is better. And to fill in the balance of that day can arrange for a cruise on the Zambezi.

As others suggest... maybe best to visit South Africa for safari and as detailed above head off to Botswana and then the Falls. Much easier overall.

Note: If having been in East Africa, you must have a Yellow Fever inoculation and proof of same to enter or reenter South Africa.

Sydney
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7. Re: Are we taking on too much?

Thanks everyone. Appreciate the suggestions of Sth Africa but we're doing East Africa because it's always been on my bucket list - and my husband is of South African origin so he has 'done Sth Africa to death' so we're committed to Tanzania. I understand there's loads of flights but like NoExpert said ... we won't be going back in a hurry.

Although I'm now re-thinking Zanzibar. Initially we chose this for some R&R after the safari (not so much for it's beach/sand - more for resort with pool and a few days of nothing). But now I'm thinking we may overnight somewhere nice in Arusha before flying back to Joberg for a couple of R&R nights; then do Vic Falls. Zanzibar is losing it's appeal due to the extra flying hours from Serengeti.

Isle of Man, United...
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8. Re: Are we taking on too much?

That makes better reading. Lots of Lodges with Pools to choose from.

melbourne
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for Tanzania
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9. Re: Are we taking on too much?

I would skip ZNB and find a lodge or hotel with a pool and relax there before the flight to JNB..makes sense.

Sydney
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10. Re: Are we taking on too much?

I now have nother question regarding the the dilemma of getting into Arusha from Joburg.

Our agent has suggested the 10am flight from Joburg to Nairobi; a 3 hour stopover in Nairobi; 6pm flight to Kili then the hour drive to Arusha (arriving approx. 8-9pm).

This means a 10 hour travel day just one day after a 14 hour travel day (and the day before our busy safari) - may be a little tough on the 11yr old given our body clocks will still be on Sydney time.

Should we stopover in Nairobi or just push through to Arusha in one day? We have plenty of time so it doesn't matter if we 'lose' a day in Nairobi.

Thoughts please???