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,