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Advice on itinerary...

Newcastle, Australia
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Advice on itinerary...

Hello everyone

One of the TOs proposed itineraries starts with flying from Killi airport(where we fly into) to Mwanza to start our 10 night tour exploring Mwanza and Lake Victoria. After spending a day at Lake Victoria, we head to the Serengeti.

The rest of our tour will cover the Serengeti, Lake Natron, the Crater, Lake Manyara and Tarangire, We will finish our safari in Arusha.

I am not sold on flying to Mwanza and visiting lake Victoria. Is this area worth seeing and worth the extra cost of a plane ticket?

This will be our first safari in Tanzania and although we want to see as much wildlife as possible, we are not huge birders; It is the big mammals that interest us the most. Also, we are on a limited budget, between 200-300 USD per person per day..

Please share your thoughts with me, any input will be greatly appreciated :)

Thanks heaps!!!!

melbourne
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1. Re: Advice on itinerary...

hi

Does it still meet your budget?

When are you travelling?

I think it can be a great idea...there is resiednt wildife in that area and it is a good way to see the Western corridor.

Lake Victoria can be great do a canoe trip and visit fishing villages...Tanzania is "all" about wildlife but a bit of culture and lake activities can add a lot to a safari.

I think it is a good way to start a safari.

Boulder, Colorado
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2. Re: Advice on itinerary...

Sounds like an Eastco trip, yes NE?

melbourne
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3. Re: Advice on itinerary...

Wouldn't have a clue....

Ottawa, Canada
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4. Re: Advice on itinerary...

What you don't mention is time of year you are travelling. The Serengeti is big, and certain areas tend to be favoured for game viewing depending on the Great Migration. If animals will be North, flying one way has some advantages. The itinerary offered might also be to give you something different than a canned trip. Given that you want to do Lake Natron also, it would indicate you want something a little different. Lake Victoria is the second largest freshwater lake in the world so some might consider it worth seeing.

Flying one way also will cut down on long transit drives. If you don't want to fly to Mwanza ask them to rework it to fly to Seronera mid Serengeti.

As to birds, well, the birds of Africa play a part in the safari landscape. They are fabulous and many come away with a new appreciation of them. You don't need to make them a focus.

Isle of Man, United...
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5. Re: Advice on itinerary...

As QM. The main benefit of flying one way is that you can cover more ground in the time available by only facing a one way drive back or out. Whether you go to Mwanza or just somewhere in the Serengeti (or don't fly at all) is a matter for you. Whilst there is 'nothing much' touristy in Mwanza or the drive to the western gate of Serengeti, Lake Victoria is not without its attractions to some. There is a nice lodge in Speke Bay and a day with a community can be interesting.

Having said that you need to decide what you seek to get out of this trip. Is it purely and simply a Game watching experience or do you want to add some other items to the mix? If the former then there is little merit in going to Mwanza or Lake Victoria.

Keep closer to Central Serengeti and shorten the overall driving. For this same reason I find the addition of Lake Natron area to the trip puzzling for first timers. (You can reach this from North Serengeti but then you miss the Crater which does not make sense to me.)

Finally it would help everyone if we knew the time of year. Some areas of Serengeti and indeed other Parks can be seasonal in providing their best viewing opportunities.

If you think your current choice of T/O is proving restrictive then do not hesitate to shop around from the helpful list on the right Top questions Number 4.

nyc
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6. Re: Advice on itinerary...

As all others 'when are you traveling/month?'

What does the routing look like? How many days at each - Mwanza, Lake Victoria, where in Serengeti, Lake Natron, Crater, Manyara & Tarangire?

Seems different T/Os have their own ideas of routing and may simply not be listening to what you requested. While I have no issue driving one way and flying the other, if you aren't interested in the Mwanza area or even Lake Victoria... speak up. Besides you only have 10/days and even if accepting the routing from the West to East, that's an awful lot of driving, when it might not be necessary.

Isle of Man, United...
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7. Re: Advice on itinerary...

I missed the 10, days bit.

No way you should be going that far west for so short a time.

Two days minimum for Tarangire, One and a half for Crater and Manyara. Three for Central Serengeti. Barely even time to go to Natron let alone Mwanza!

This is far too much driving.

melbourne
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8. Re: Advice on itinerary...

The reason why I asked about travel time is .

.If time is limited I would only do it in May, June July when the migration is..could be in the Western corridor...otherwise with 10 days I would fly directly to Seronera.

There is resident wildlife in that area and Lake Victoria is interesting but time is a factor...trying to fit in a lot even Lake Natron will involve plenty of driving...in 10 days.

Newcastle, Australia
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9. Re: Advice on itinerary...

Thanks so much everyone for all your input!!!!!!

We are going in September, we are going to other countries first but eventually we will fly into Killi airport on the 19th and fly out of Dar on the 30th. so actually it will be a 10 night safari, as I am planning to be in Arusha on the 29th, so we can fly to Dar in the afternoon.

The suggested route looks like this: fly to Mwanza in morning of 19th, 1 n. in Mwanza; enter Serengeti western corridor, 1n. Serengeti western corridor; 2 n. Serengeti Seronera Valley; 1n. Serengeti Lobo area; explore Natron area then head to the crater, and stay for 2 n. at Rhino lodge; visit lake Manyara and head to Tarangire, 2n.Tarangire; then head toArusha...

of course everything is flexible....

I def want to spend a lot of time in tarangire, I was not sure about lake natron either, but I find it interesting that it is a salt lake, the landscape would be very different and it would be a great environment to take photos...

I appreciate all animals, and I am doing wildlife rescue in Australia, so, I often get feathered patients that need some care before they can go back into the wild. :)

But as a first timer to Africa I think of the big cats, the elephants and the giraffes etc...

Thanks again for all your input and your wealth of wisdom..

Cheers

nyc
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10. Re: Advice on itinerary...

Mwanza and Lk. Victoria are at the far west side of the Serengeti. Best area to be in Sept would be the Northern Serengeti or even the Lobo area. As shown, you'd have to travel clear across* the entire area to Lobo and though you can go as far as Seronera and do day trips to North or Lobo, I sure would eliminate the entire Western area for when you are traveling.

*the Serengeti is as large as Switzerland and there is NO off-road driving here, thus no cutting across landscape to get to where you hope to end up.

While I've been to Natron though from the Kenya side (after the wet season - early June) where it was a short drive from where we were staying, if considering Sept which is dry season is going to be that - very very dry with lots of dust. Can be quite unpleasant, where you'll be cleaning out dust and ash from luggage/clothing way after you arrive home.

Suggest you reconsider and take route from East to West - Arusha, Tarangire, Ngo, Central and/or Lobo area Serengeti - they fly back to Arusha.