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