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Tanzania July 2009

Cairo, Egypt
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Tanzania July 2009

Hi, my wife Carmel and I are planning a holiday in Tanzania in early July 2009 (admittedly still a way off yet!). I have already gained great insights into our intial plans from reading previous forums.

My initial plan was to fly from Dar to Mwanza and then proceed via Serengiti, Ngogorong Crater, Lushoto then maybe Zanzibar and ending back at Dar. My initial plan to fly from Dar to Mwanza was to avoid backtracking but forum readings since suggest this might be a bit optimistic over a three week time span?

Any suggestions on other routes that don't require back-tracking (i.e. circular) would be appreciated.

Maybe it would be easier/cheaper/quicker to travel by bus via Arusha?

Looking forward to ideas!

Cheers from Cairo

Simocairo

Findlay, Ohio
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for Tanzania, Ngorongoro Conservation Area
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1. Re: Tanzania July 2009

To go by bus from Arusha to Mwanza is a very long trip, and you will need to go through Nairobi then Westward and drop back down into Tanzania. I don't think there are any buses which travel through the Serengeti and that would be the only direct route. An alternative by bus might be to go to Dar to Dodoma, then take a bus from Dodoma to Mwanza, you can also do this same route by train.

What you might want to consider is arranging for a safari operator to meet you at the Serengeti, and then fly from Arusha/Dar to the Serengeti. Visit the Coastal Air web site and you'll find their schedules and fares for doing this. The URL for Coastal is www.coastal.cc

It is not too early to begin your planning for the upcoming July. This is a busy time in Tanzania (at least it is for most years) so you'll want to get your bookings in as soon as possible, otherwise before too long some accommodations will be fully booked.

New Jersey
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2. Re: Tanzania July 2009

Depending upon your choice of lodging, it might be too late to book some of the better camps/lodging.

But, then again, the economy might help you in booking this late.

Hagerman, Idaho
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3. Re: Tanzania July 2009

you do not want to take a bus from Dar to Mwanza! Karl is right-it heads up to Nairobi then Musoma and down but I dont even think that bus runs anymore. I took a bush from Mwanza tp Arusha and it was the worst trip ever-our bus was one of over 12 heading there and THE ONLY ONE TO MAKE IT TO ARUSHA THAT NITE! folk at the station were cheering and slapping the side of the bus and high fiving the driver. FYI-we made it by driving like 120, not slowing for speed bumps(with NO shocks) or for hairpin turns. The flight there is very nice:)

South Serengeti in July will be dusty and few critters) and a very long drive from Mwanza to NCA of dust dust and more dust. An idea is fly into Arusha take safari to NCA then fly to Mwanza/Grumeti/northern Serengeti (from NCA airport or drive back to Arusha and fly from there which would be cheaper) then fly from Mwanza to Zanzibar and on to Dar. Give yourself a week in Zanzibar-longer if you dive. 3 weeks should be enough provided you wernt planning on actually doing anything in Mwanza like visiting any of the islands or Saa Nane or fishing.

what were you going to Lushoto for?

Saint Paul...
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4. Re: Tanzania July 2009

Serval - You took that bus ride! Wow! I was long warned to never even try it.

Sunnyvale...
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5. Re: Tanzania July 2009

IMO, Zanzibar is quite nice and Dar is worth avoiding if possible. Dar is simply not quite as relaxing but more chaotic.

I flew from Arusha to Dar Es Salaam and stayed there for a few nights. Then I flew to Zanzibar for a day trip from Dar Es Salaam. Then I flew home from Dar.

If I had to do it all over again, I would have flown directly to Zanzibar from Arusha and skipped Dar Es Salaam altogether. To fly home, I would rather have done it from Zanzibar or gone back to Arusha to fly home. The international departure flight from Dar Es Salaam on KLM was not pleasant. If leaving from DAR, plan on getting onto a big crowded plane overheated and soaked in sweat in time for a long flight. We did see some new air conditioning units (what a concept) in seram wrap in the DAR departure terminal. Maybe they'll be in action in the near future? It would be a big improvement.

Hagerman, Idaho
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6. Re: Tanzania July 2009

Hey Brian-yeah me too:) I was really sick and somehow decided it would be easier to hop on the bus than to wait 24 hours for the next flight. Im gonna blame it on the fever:) Even my tanzanian friend who was with me was nervous! We had to watch for bumps and sit up off the seat to "ride" the bump out otherwise you ot slammed back on the seat-ouch! Its totally worth the money to fly instead!!!

Saint Paul...
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7. Re: Tanzania July 2009

Oh, I can just imagine!

In 1993-95, the road from Makuyuni all the way to Ngorongoro gate was really bad. Some parts were atrocious. Imagine those winding roads going up from Mto wa Mbu, above Lake Manyara - imagine them as really rough and then imagine a bus full of people trying to climb it. What a disaster. One time it was so bad that the last 5 rows of the bus were completely empty. The bus was bouncing so bad that it was crushing my spine - and everyone's spines. We all decided that it was better to stand in the middle of the bus for 14 hours rather than sit in the back and be bounced around like that!

Another time, I was on the same trip - actually it was my very first time on that trip - one particular seat was bouncing up and back, up and back. When it bounced back, it was slamming into the knees of the guy sitting behind the chair. Wow, it looked like it hurt. When we stopped at Karatu, he bought some rope and tied the chair to the luggage rack and that stopped it from bouncing on his knees. Clever idea and some very well-spent money, I'm sure.

Findlay, Ohio
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for Tanzania, Ngorongoro Conservation Area
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8. Re: Tanzania July 2009

Since we're telling rough road stories, the Dodoma Road South out of Arusha is one of the worst IMO. It fools you though as up to just past Tarangire it is paved, but after that it gets terrible and is very rutted. I have actually lost 2 engines on this road in my truck. On one loss, just about to Magugu going South, my truck was bouncing so badly that my oil filter was hitting on the steering column and eventually knocked a hole in the oil filter. Of course the oil spilled out and tied up the engine. I had been sleeping (I can actually sleep on these kind of roads) and when my driver stopped it woke me up and I saw oil all over the windshield and road. I knew we were cooked. They came out from Magugu and towed the truck into Magugu and began tearing the engine apart under a tree. They did a complete overhaul on the engine and had to grind the crankshaft because it had knocked it out of round. The only thing good about this was that it was there rather then here, it only cost me $700 to get my engine overhauled, and here it would have easily been over $7,000.

I travel that road quite often going to Kondoa and Dodoma; but I never go on that road if I have a guest with me. I'll take the long way around from Arusha to Chilenze, then on to Morogoro and Dodoma. Takes about 12 hours going that way, vrs. about 6 going the rough road; but it saves a lot of complaining and tender butts.

Findlay, Ohio
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for Tanzania, Ngorongoro Conservation Area
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9. Re: Tanzania July 2009

BTW, the roads are getting much better there and they have a planned program of putting in new roads which will really help out their transportation around the country. They need to do this to get produce from out of the interior to the ports and the cities, and they're working like beavers on this (in an African kind of way).

10. Re: Tanzania July 2009

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