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Northern safari w/out Ruaha?

Finland
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Northern safari w/out Ruaha?

We are finalizing a plan for safari to be organized in late January or early February. The safari will be with 2 adults and 2 small children (6.5 & 3.5 yrs), so please consider that in your helpful comments.

We have planned a 7-8 days safari in the northern circuit. In addition, we have thought to have before that a 3-day safari in Ruaha. Is there really a point to visit Ruaha if we make this northern safari? We would fly from Ruaha to Arusha one day before starting in the north.

With or without Ruaha, should I shorten the safari from 8 to 7 days anyway (taking 1 day off from Serengeti)? Any suggestions for changing the route or accommodation, even to cut down the price a bit? Thank you !

DAY 1 ARUSHA-TARANGIRE. Leaving early morning from Arusha – then game drive in Tarangire. Night in Tarangire Safari Lodge or Heaven Nature camp.

DAY2 TARANGIRE-MANYARA Morning game drive with bird-watching in Tarangire – afternoon game drive in Manyara. Night in Kirumuru Manyara Lodge or Heaven Nature camp.

DAY3 MANYARA- LAKE EYASI Morning game drive with bird-watching in Manyara and in the afternoon drive to the Lake Eyasi. Night – any suggestions for accommodation?

DAY4 LAKE EYASI – CRATER RIM Morning around Lake Eyasi to see Hadza tribe hunting session and encampment and then drive to the Crater rim. Night in Ngorongoro Wildlife or Sopa.

DAY5 CRATER – NDUTU From early morning until early afternoon game drive in the Crater then drive to Ndutu. Night in Ndutu area – perhaps Ndutu Safari Lodge (it might be sold out). Any other suggestions?

DAY6 SERENGETI Morning and afternoon game drives in the Serengeti area. Night in Serengeti Wilderness Camp or Ang’ata Camp Serengeti.

DAY7 SERENGETI Morning and afternoon game drives in the Serengeti area. Night in Serengeti Wilderness Camp or Ang’ata Camp Serengeti.

DAY8 CENTRAL SERENGETI. Morning and early afternoon game drives in the Serengeti area. In the late afternoon flight from Seronera to Arusha.

Isle of Man, United...
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1. Re: Northern safari w/out Ruaha?

Lovely though Ruaha is I don't think the hassle of getting there is worth it for so short a time if not combined with Selous etc., Do also check Age minima for young people.

I think this close in to your trip you are going to have to be flexible in accepting accommodations. I think you will have capacity problems at several places.

Is it really worth the side trip to Lake Eyasi?

I would suggest that you take this out and spend more time in less places.

Edited: 27 November 2013, 10:40
Chicago
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2. Re: Northern safari w/out Ruaha?

Tindiga Tented Camp at Lake Eyasi is very nice, but personally, I would not take very young children to visit the Hadzabe. They would definitely not be able to keep up with a hunt, and I'm not of them seeing a kill, or even the dead food hanging in a bush at camp. It is also a long bumpy road just to get there, and a crack of dawn waking to visit. I think that a school or orphanage or weekly marketplace visit might be more beneficial. If you would like to interact with local tribes, an out-of-the way Maasai village might be more interesting for them.

You also have many one-nighters. You might want to consider having a base of operations to visit both Tarangire and Manyara (not far between) to unpack less times. I stayed at Whistling Thorn Camp where they have bush walks, night drives, visits to Maasai villages, and they have a small local Maasai school I visited, with Maasai warriors coming to dance at the evening campfire.

Findlay, Ohio
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for Tanzania, Ngorongoro Conservation Area
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3. Re: Northern safari w/out Ruaha?

I would be with Sciguy on taking small children to the Hadzabe, long drive and not appropriate IMO. Add time for when you are at Ndutu as this is the prime time to be there. And I would probably scratch off Manyara, but that is me. With what you are doing you are a bit rushed in places so I would loosen them up by reducing some of what you are doing.

Ruaha is a very nice park and I've been there many times. But when I was there I would be in Iringa and hop out to Ruaha. It is not one which I would fly all that distance just to visit. You will see all the animals you can imagine in the Northern Circuit, stick with that. That 3.5 year old will probably get bored with all this (and perhaps the 6.5 year old also) so have things for them to do to keep them occupied, and make certain that you tell your safari operator that you have this age children with you, there are some accommodations which are not kid friendly and you will need to have a guide which is kid friendly.

Finland
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4. Re: Northern safari w/out Ruaha?

Thank you for your good advice. We'll skip Ruaha this time. The potential TOs know the age of children. We focus a bit more on Ndutu and perhaps to find one common place for Tarangire and Manyara or even add one day there - I'm interested in birds, anyway.

5. Re: Northern safari w/out Ruaha?

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