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Itinerary feedback

Princeton, New...
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Itinerary feedback

I am in the process of planning my honeymoon for June this year (I realize I have left it late!) and would love to get any feedback / advice on my itinerary. At the moment, the working plan is as follows:

Mon 09-Jun-14 Arrive late evening - Kigali : Hotel des Mille Collines

Tue 10-Jun-14 Travel to national park - Gorilla Mountain View Lodge

Wed 11-Jun-14 Gorilla Trekking and afternoon relaxing - Gorilla Mountain View Lodge

Thu 12-Jun-14 Gorilla Trekking and travel to Kigali : Hotel des Mille Collines

Fri 13-Jun-14 Early morning flight, PM game drive - West Serengeti : Lemala Explorer Kigelia

Sat 14-Jun-14 West Serengeti : Lemala Explorer Kigelia

Sun 15-Jun-14 West Serengeti : Lemala Explorer Kigelia

Mon 16-Jun-14 Travel – staying either a) Olduvai Tented Camp, b) Ngorongoro Wildlife Lodge, or c) Ngorongoro Sopa. I am inclined towards the wildlife lodge for the view and early morning access to the crater, although I also like the idea of walks with the Maasai at Olduvai.

Tue 17-Jun-14 AM Crater – likely stay in Karutu, perhaps Gibbs Farm

Wed 18-Jun-14 Flight to Zanzibar Island : Fumba Beach Lodge

Thu 19-Jun-14 Fumba Beach Lodge

Fri 20-Jun-14 Fumba Beach Lodge

Sat 21-Jun-14 Fumba Beach Lodge

Sun 22-Jun-14 Depart :(

One part I am trying to figure out is if we should drive from the western Serengeti to Ngorongoro or fly. Im told flying will allow us to do an extra drive in the crater on the afternoon of 16th (and also avoid being stuck in a car for 6 hours!) but I worry that we might miss out on developing a true sense of the landscape which driving would give us. Anyone have any thoughts on this? We are planning on having a private guide in the Serengeti, so flying would also make things a little tricky logistically (either two different guides, or our guide leaving Serengeti early morning to meet us at the crater – the latter option has been suggested but makes me nervous given the long day for the guide).

Any other comments would of course be very much appreciated.

Ottawa, Canada
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1. Re: Itinerary feedback

I would do the drive to the Crater from Western, but then I love the Serengeti more than the Crater. There is something about sticking with the same guide, getting to know him to get some incite in the people of Tanzania.

For the 18th, where are you flying from to Zanzibar?

I think you could take one day out of Zanzibar (though I realize it is your honeymoon) and see Tarangire NP which will be experiencing a mini migration and dozens of elephants. The baobob trees are not seen elsewhere on your itinerary.

nyc
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2. Re: Itinerary feedback

I too would drive thru the Serengeti to the Crater with stay at Sopa Lodge. This lodge is best on the rim for early access into the Crater next morning.

Wouldn't stay at Olduvai Camp as it's a bit of distance outside the Crater and Wilderness not quite as nice as Sopa.

If you had chosen to fly from Grumeti (Western) to Crater, the flight actually lands at Lake Manyara (no airstrip at Crater) and you'd absolutely have another guide; besides if staying at Sopa they don't do the transfer from airstrip to crater nor do game drives in the crater.

Appreciate your concern for the guide/driver, but this is what they do, their job... so not at all unusual for him to drive thru Serengeti.

On the 18th after nt at Gibb's you can 1) drive (2.5/hrs) to Arusha airport for flight to ZNZ, or 2) drive about 30/min to Lake Manyara airstrip for 11:50am flight via Arusha to connect to flight to ZNZ. Personally, you have the time to drive to Arusha and save cost of 1/flight.

Princeton, New...
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3. Re: Itinerary feedback

Thanks for the feedback! I was already leaning towards driving, but the confirmatory views make me feel much better about the decision.

As much as I would like to fit in more days on safari, we really want to maintain the time on Zanzibar for some proper honeymoon time! Would you take a day less in the Serengeti to fit in Tarangire?

I hadnt realized there were two options for the flights to ZNZ, but upon checking we are scheduled to fly from Arusha to ZNZ, so I will stick with that. Thanks for pointing this out.

Toronto, Canada
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4. Re: Itinerary feedback

Actually I would take a day from the Gorilla Trekking rather than the Serengeti. I wouldn't cut short the Serengeti. I would think one Gorilla Trek would be more than enough. Is there a specific reason you decided to make 2 visits?

Princeton, New...
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5. Re: Itinerary feedback

As a kid I was always fascinated by Gorillas, so seeing them in the wild is the realization of a boyhood dream! I just want to maximize the experience. I know the Gorilla Trekking and desire for some R&R on Zanzibar really constrains what we can do on safari, hence my focus on making sure we are spending the little time we have in the right places.

Ottawa, Canada
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6. Re: Itinerary feedback

Stick with your plan then and come back for a focused safari some other time.....many do find their 'one and only' isn't.

Princeton, New...
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7. Re: Itinerary feedback

Thanks for the advice. One final cause of concern I'd love to get feedback on - for a mid-June trip, does staying in the western Serengeti make sense? I have read the migration might be in the area then, but if its not the resident game might be lacking. Should we consider staying in the central Serengeti instead? Or perhaps spitting between Western and Central?

Chicago
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8. Re: Itinerary feedback

If you stay Central, you can always travel to the Western area during the day if they are there. That is what I did.

9. Re: Itinerary feedback

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