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Help with itinerary - October 2008

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London, UK
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Help with itinerary - October 2008

Hi all,

I have read a lot of the topics in the forum, which have been helpful, but none exactly on point. We are planning a holiday for last week of October or first week of November. Arriving 7am Sunday into Dar Es Salaam. We can either fly back the following Sunday on the day flight from DeS, which leaves 08:55.

We are the luxury type intrepid traveller - luxury camping is best for us (if you have been to Wolwedans in Namibia, you will know what I mean). We recently spent 10 days in Namibia self driving the south and central areas and had a fantastic time. Our particular interests in Tanzania are the crater, migration and spending time in the Serengeti. from past experience, I generally prefer to stay two nights in a place rather than a stopover, unless strictly necessary. We generally like doing a morning activity/game drive, then relaxing back at the tent/lodge before dinner, preferably with a view. (It is a holiday after all!)My specific questions are:

1. If we land into DeS are we best off going to Arusha on the 11am flight as that seems to be where most of the guides are based, or is it OK to fly direct to Manyara/Ngorongoro? If better to go to Arusha, can we leave straight away for somewhere else? (I don't really have any interest in Arusha).

2. How long do we need at the crater? Most of the forum responses seem to indicate one or two nights are "enough".

3. The migration at that time of year is all based right up north - would it be best to fly up to Kogatende/Kleins Camp directly? I am not sure what we would be driving through to get so far north - can we stop off? Sayuri camp, Migration Camp, Under Canvas and Lemala look nice.

4. What would Lake Manyara and Tarangire be like at that time of year?

5. We will need to be in DeS the night before the flight out as it is early morning - is it best to fly back directly to DeS rather than connect and perhaps lose time by going back to Arusha?

6. What tour guides are recommended to organise this for us? I presume the way it is done is you contact a tour company, and they organise all the accommodation and the guides for you? Given I have quite firm views on where we will stay (based on tripadvisor of course!), I don't want to be constrained by wanting to stay somewhere the agent is not affiliated with.

My initial itinerary thoughts were:

Sunday: arrive DeS, fly straight to Manyara (accommodation at Kirurumu?)

Monday: Manyara activities, leave for crater (Lemala?)

Tuesday: crater activities

Wednesday: leave crater for Serengeti

Wednesday: Serengeti somewhere, heading for the north

Thursday: Serengeti somewhere

Friday: Serengeti somewhere

Saturday: fly back to DeS from north Serengeti

Sunday: fly home

Thoughts?

Findlay, Ohio
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1. Re: Help with itinerary - October 2008

You're pushing it a bit on the front end, although you may be able to do this (get to Manyara quickly after arriving there, but this will be done using a local air carrier). I would advise you to contact some safari operators there (find them on the member page of www.tatotz.com) and have them arrange all this for you. All safari operators can get you into any accommodations there, some have their own preferences; but will get you what you wish for. Send your information to several (3 o 4) operators there making certain that you give them all the same information and they will get back to you on this. The only problem will be if somewhere is booked up fully, then only those safari operators who have advanced bookings at the specific place will be able to get you in. The safari operator will also be able to get you local air transportation and will meet you at the airport and guide you through all this.

Isle of Man, United...
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2. Re: Help with itinerary - October 2008

I agree with Karl but I assume that your desire for luxury type up market gives you a budget to fly with?

I guess that you are flying BA LHR-DAR but have you also looked at KLM via AMS-JRO as this is a good route to Arusha? You would arrive JRO on Sat at night and could depart the next Sat night and thus cut out DAR (except you would land there on the way home.)

Back to your chosen route and Q.s.

1. You can fly straight out to Arusha or even as I suggest below on to Manyara or even Lobo.

2. Crater visits are now 'rationed' to one half day or at the most two.. This of course will fit in with your lifestyle of lounging around in the afternoon. So two nights at the rim will be fine.

3. the Migration. It could be around Lobo/Kleins by then but there is always a risk of late arrival.

4. Manyara and Tarangire will be good in October just prior to the 'little rains' of November.

5. See below for this. If you must go to DAr on Sat then fly.

6. Karl has covered Tour guides/operators. Very few are "tied" to particular Lodges etc., and most will book you where you want to be.

Now to your proposed Itinerary repeated thus.

Sunday: arrive DeS, fly straight to Manyara (accommodation at Kirurumu?)

Monday: Manyara activities, leave for crater (Lemala?)

Tuesday: crater activities

Wednesday: leave crater for Serengeti

Wednesday: Serengeti somewhere, heading for the north

Thursday: Serengeti somewhere

Friday: Serengeti somewhere

Saturday: fly back to DeS from north Serengeti

Sunday: fly home

Day 1. You could reverse this by flying straight out to Lobo area and then driving back by stages. This would work either from DAR as most Arusha bound planes go straight on/connect at Arusha with Manyara and Serengeti.

Days 2-3 Two nights up market Lodge in Serengeti. (you seem to have two Wednesdays in your week. I think I know what you mean.)

Day 4 Game drive on way down to Ngorongoro. 2 nights up market lodge.

Day 5. Crater in Morning.

Day 6. 2 nights in Tarangire. Visit Lake Manyara NP whilst passing by and then arrive Tarangire pm.

Day 7. Morning drive Tarangire before catching afternoon plane to DAR via Arusha for BA.

Day 8. fly home.

If KLM day 7 ends in JRO for the 21.00 flight home.

How does this look? I am not in the Up market Lodge sector so cannot recommend anywhere specific. I blow my ££ on sitting in the front of the plane on long haul. (LHR-DAR is 10 hours)so have to rough it in less salubrious lodges. I still get to see the same animals though! Not being a 'Pool person' I am out in the bush all day or maybe this is because the places I stay are so basic I cannot bear to go back too early!

nyc
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3. Re: Help with itinerary - October 2008

The suggestion from mfuwe to fly KLM via AMS is a good one, thus arriving Saturday night (about 9pm) for o/n Arusha then commence safari next morning.

Either way, you'll probably have to stop in Arusha where most ground operators are located for a pre-safari briefing.

You can then

day 1 - Drive (2-2.5/hrs) to Manyara; game drive - o/n Kirurumu

day 2 - Manyara, morning game drive; drive (2.5/hrs) to Ngorongoro; afternoon crater tour - o/n Lemala Camp (or lodge... it is kind of cold on the rim at 7,000')

day 3 - Ngo - morning crater tour; drive via Oldupai (w/stop) continue to central Serengeti - o/n Mbuzi Mawe Camp (or other)

day 4 - Drive farther north; game drive along the way - o/n Klein's, Sayari Mara or Lemala Camps

days 5 & 6 - N.Serengeti; game drives - o/n Klein's*, Sayari Mara or Lemala Camps

day 7 - fly to Arusha;

- A) day-room Arusha Coffee Lodge; transfer to JRO for homebound OR

- B) connect to flight to DAR for o/n

day 8 - fly homeward

* if using Klein's this is on GP (game package) basis, so your guide would depart; you use guides/vehicles of this camp and game drives/activities on the Klein's schedule.

Lemala Camp in the north may also be available only on a GP basis (verify)

UK
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4. Re: Help with itinerary - October 2008

Just one small point mentioned by "mfuwe" about half day restrictions in the Crater.

We returned from a trip to Tanzania at the end of June and we didn't find this to be the case. We took the usual lunch boxes to enable a full day in the Crater.

Our driver told us that the half day rule had proved too difficult to control and so full days were currently being allowed. No doubt this could change at any time, I'm just commenting on our recent experience.

Findlay, Ohio
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5. Re: Help with itinerary - October 2008

The half day rule has been in effect for several years now, and is not enforced all that much. Probably won't be unless they get very busy in the crater; so don't count on it as you won't know if they are busy or not. It is being used to control the number of people in the crater at one time.

Isle of Man, United...
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6. Re: Help with itinerary - October 2008

Interesting about the enforcement of the Half day rule. I must admit I had understood it to be rationed by price when we went down last October.

But if they can enforce the price charged they can enforce compliance. It is more a lack of will or money changing hands perhaps?

Not sure if the Credit Card payment of Fees has yet reached the Crater but when it does expect compliance. After all, you are counted in at the top and out again later. If you overstay you get a fine! Easy I would have thought.

Back on topic!

Carmel, California
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7. Re: Help with itinerary - October 2008

You can check the flight schedules for DAR-Manyara (or further along the northern circuit) on www.coastal.cc. Flights will connect in Arusha.

London, UK
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8. Re: Help with itinerary - October 2008

Thanks everyone - this is all very helpful. I do agree re the front of the plane vs luxury accommodation options, always a dilemma...

9. Re: Help with itinerary - October 2008

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