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safari itinerary, rest day Arusha

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safari itinerary, rest day Arusha


Thanks to all who have responded to my other questions. I find the responses in general helpful, as I am a Tanzania newbie, planning an expensive trip from far away.

Here is my question:

We are 2 people who plan on doing a 2 or 3 day safari, followed by a 4 day trek up Meru, followed by a rest day in Arusha and then a 6 day trek up Kili (Marangu route).

I can't decide on a couple of things and so would appreciate opinions from those who have been there.

After we arrive from a long flight, I wanted to use the safari to "acclimatize" to Africa and from jet lag. Therefore I prefer not to have major driving distances. I definitely want to go to Ngorongoro Crater and either Tarangire and/or Lake Manyara. However, since we'll start hiking the day after the safari, I prefer not to have major driving the last day of the safari to get back to Arusha either.

We're planning on standard lodge type safari but the Ngorongoro Wildlife Lodge gets poor reviews on TA, although the Kirurumu Tented Lodge looks good, as does the Tangarire Safari Lodge. Gibb's Lodge and Kirafu Lodge also look good, but I'm not sure if my safari company (I'll probably use Good Earth Tours) has contracts with those.

So after all that, my question would be: Does anyone have suggestions as to a 2 or 3 day safari itinerary that would minimize driving times and maximize decent, yet not expensive lodges?

A second question would be: What to do in Arusha on a rest day? We'll take a rest day between the 2 treks, as well, after the Kili trek we'll have 1 night in Arusha, and then our flight won't leave the following day until almost 9 p.m.

It has been suggested that we incorporate our rest day between the treks in a safari, but I don't want to step off a plane after 20 hours in transit, and start walking up Mt. Meru the next day.

I appreciate all replies, thanks,


Easy Travel & Tours Ltd
Safaris, Nature & Wildlife Tours, Cultural Tours
Gosheni Safaris Africa
Safaris, Nature & Wildlife Tours
Safari Infinity - Day Tours
Nature & Wildlife Tours, Safaris
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1. Re: safari itinerary, rest day Arusha

I stayed at the Nogorongo Wildlife Lodge last month. They are undergoing renovations and the place is not as bad as it is made out to be on trip Advisor. You will have clean and comfortable accommodations with a spectacular view. Food is also decent. The renovations, however, so far, have not included a change of carpet so that is a bit dated. Also the rooms are sparse and small so it is definitely not luxurious by any standard.

I think the biggest concern is quality relative to the price. The rack rate I believe is $200 per PERSON which sets people up for expectations that they will never attain.

If you are going through a tour operator you may be better off at the Sopa Lodge which is also on the crater. It is only incrementally more expensive but you will get a lot more value for the extra money.

On my part, I really did not care that much about the accommodation at the crater. What I was looking for was a clean and comfortable place with the best location on the crater.

For heaven's sake, you will probably be staying there for just one night. Would you really prefer on outlandish bed over a once in a lifetime view? I guess everyone's priorities differ.

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2. Re: safari itinerary, rest day Arusha

You can always take the day after arrival to relax and be ready for Meru on the next morning. Likewise, you can take a day after safari and back in Arusha, really Moshi, for the Kili climb.

As to safari, estimated drive times (can vary depending on traffic - vehicle, carts, cattle herds, people walking or on bicycles):

Tarangire is 2-2.5/hr drive from Arusha

Manyara is a 2-2.5/hr drive from Arusha

Manyara is a 1.5-2/hr drive from Tarangire, depending on where your lodge/camp located at Tarangire.

Ngorongoro (to gate) is 4/hr drive from Arusha; then about 30/min drive over terrible road to your lodging (Wildlife or Sopa); min. 30/min the descent road into the crater

Ngorongoro is a 2.5/hr drive from Manyara.

Gibb's Farm, for 2009, will have "cottage" rooms only and very expensive; no more "standard" rooms. Most prefer Sopa at Ngorongoro as they're closest to the descent road into crater.

With 2/days you can make it to the crater and on the way back stop at Manyara.

Day 1 - Arv evening - o/n Arusha

Day 2 - Arusha - at leisure - o/n

Days 3 - 6 - Meru climb

Day 7 - Drive to Ngorongoro; afternoon crater tour - o/n

Day 8 - Ngo - option: morning crater tour; pm - drive to Manyara, game drive - o/n

Day 9 - Manyara; morning game drive; drive to Arusha/Moshi - o/n

Day 10 - Kili climb

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3. Re: safari itinerary, rest day Arusha

Thanks 4sandi, you've given me something to think about, as well as lots of good info.


Arusha Tanzania
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4. Re: safari itinerary, rest day Arusha


With two descents into the crater it mean paying two time the crater service fee of $200 which is quite a lot, i would do it Safari Meru Kilimanjaro, if your luggage is lost or delayed you can do a safari with a few tee shirts etc and your luggagae has a cahnce to catch up typically it takes 1-2 days.

5. Re: safari itinerary, rest day Arusha

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6. Re: safari itinerary, rest day Arusha

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