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Safari....where to stay????

Kent, Washington
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Safari....where to stay????

I have been gathering information for quite some time. My husband and I will be going to Tanzania next September and would love some advise.

Arusha.....Arusha Coffee House or Onsea?

Tarangire....Oliver's or Tarangire Treetops?

Ngorongnoro ....... Plantation or Manor?

Serengeti......Alex Walker's Serena or Serengeti Tent Camp (Elewana)?

Kilindi on Zanzibar or Ras Nugwni (sp?)

First time to Africa and for my birthday. Neither of us camp...and never have but we don't need (although we like) high end hotels. We want to see the animals, experience Africa and have a trip of a life time. We're not new to travel just new to safaris.

We will be flying mostly because I have a bad neck and can only tolerate a certain amount of bumpy roads.

Thanks for your help!!!

melbourne
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1. Re: Safari....where to stay????

Arusha Coffee House close to the airport and a bit more luxurious.

Tarangire Treetops is more lux..but not in a real willdlife area...great Treehouses very fairy tale.ish.

Depends what you want $ 1000pppn. I would probably spend my money elsewhere. The roads to there a bumpy so would reconsider here.

Ngorongoro....Wouldnt stay at either I would stay on the Rim...if you really want lux go to Conscorp on the Rim

or Sopa for the view a descent road.

Stay somewhere cheaper at Tarangire and splurge on the Rim

I wouldnt stay at Karatu if you paid me. Even though I have stayed there many times...How many nights do you have here.

It does have one advantage close to the Manyara airstrip for the Serengeti flight.

In sept. I dont know the exact location of these camps but I would go for the Elewana property.

Do you get a discount if you stay at Elewana properties?

Isle of Man, United...
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2. Re: Safari....where to stay????

I agree with NoExpert.

My choices would be

Arusha Coffee House. Location and short drive to Airport. If the tar road west is repaired then you could consider driving to Tarangire and stay at Safari Lodge. Awesome location in September. Watch the Ellies below in the river from your "tent". (This is permanent and not camping.)

Ngorongoro Sopa gets my vote every time., One of the few 'built' lodges I will use. I have never stayed in Karatu and most likely never will as it is nowhere at all!

Then fly to Serengeti to one of the Camps with its own strip and Safari vehicles.

Where ever you go do be prepared for some bumpy roads. They are unavoidable.

Kent, Washington
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3. Re: Safari....where to stay????

Elewana Serengeti is by the Grumeti stream whereas Alwx Walkers is on the Mara. I think the Mara would be best in late September.

Why not Karatu..even if you want to see Lake Manayara?

Isle of Man, United...
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4. Re: Safari....where to stay????

Why not Karatu?

Well it is a village that is not either at Lake Manyara or at Ngorongoro. So you do not benefit from being close to either NP. If visiting Ngorongoro you have quite an hour to the entrance and a possible queue at the gate. If visiting Manyara you are nearer but not as near as you could be.

melbourne
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5. Re: Safari....where to stay????

Karatu is not my favorite spot it is a town to service the local farming community and broken down safari vehicles.

Too far from the Crater for my liking no view of course and too far from Manyara also no view of the lake from the escarpment.

Why stay somewhere where it is impossible fro a early an crater visit and you have 2 or more hours of backtracking. You have to drive there and then drive back.....waste of time.

nyc
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6. Re: Safari....where to stay????

Apparently you have a sizeable budget, with mostly Elewana properties so sure hope they're offering discounts.

Hot many total days and how many days at each area? That would also help knowing.

Arusha Coffee Lodge is closest to Tarangire and a 5/min drive to airport, but a longer drive from arrival at JRO. ACL is at farthest south in Arusha.

At Tarangire, Treetops is lovely if outside the park, and yes... somewhat fairy-tale ish, as they are beautiful treehouses with all amenities. The Tarangire Safari Lodge mentioned by mfuwe, would disappoint.

At Karatu, where unlike others here who are constantly into 'game, game, game' some visitors enjoy some 'out of vehicle' time, where Karatu is great. The Manor is a better bet than Plantation for certain.

Doesn't indicate staying at the Crater, but if you wish luxe, and can afford close to $1500/ppnt then consider the Crater Lodge (an andBeyond property, not Conscorp... NE they changed their name years ago) for all the crystal and rose petal bubble baths... to me a bit over the top and I like luxe. Besides, as shown at Karatu and no actual property on Crater Rim, know it will be a drive to/from the Crater. Also know that the closest airport is Lake Manyara for the Crater which I gather is why agent put you here instead. Drive between The Manor to crater can be 2+/hrs each way.

Once in the Serengeti, believe the agent is referring to the Migration Camp which is an Elewana property. And the comment re Alex Walkers Serena is incorrect, rather just Alex Walkers Mara North Camp.

If all flying, it will be Arusha to Kuro (airstrip which is clear over the opposite side of park from Treetops), onto Lake Manyara, then to Lobo airstrip, before flight back to Arusha.

And as mfuwe reminds, your game drives will be done on park lands which are very bumpy - gravel, dirt, mud and whatever else.

melbourne
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7. Re: Safari....where to stay????

Thanks sandi..old habits die hard it is @beyond.

I also agree that The safari lodge would not compare with the other accommodation you are considering.. The only worry I would have about TT would be the road if you have a minor medical condition otherwise I would stay there.

Try and stay at mostly Elewana properties and see if you can get some discounts.

Chicago
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8. Re: Safari....where to stay????

Karatu is also a good base to drive to Lake Eyasi, and provides a cheaper alternative for the area, and not a far drive from Manyara, although I would not use as a base for Ngorongoro. It also has 2 large marketplaces in or nearby, so there are reasons for Karatu, even if some prefer not to use it. Country Lodge was very nice, with a good price.

Old Moshi...
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9. Re: Safari....where to stay????

Based on accommodation preferences alone, my votes would be..

Arusha.... Onsea?

Tarangire....Oliver's

Ngorongnoro .......Manor?

Serengeti......Serengeti Tent Camp (Elewana)?

Ras Nugwni (sp?

Sounds like fun. Enjoy!

nyc
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10. Re: Safari....where to stay????

Didn't reply as to ZNZ options, but I'd go for Kilindi over Ras Nungwi.

But also a good idea to consider Matemwe Retreat, Kasha Boutique, Esseque/Zalu Zanzibar, Anna of Zanzibar (only 3/villas)... lots of lovely luxe beach resorts.