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Feedback on proposed Tanzania Itinerary


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Dear community,




I'm working on determining, alongside a safari operator, a nice 8-12 day Safari Itinerary for Tanzania in June or July.




We are looking for a luxury safari trip doing the highlights of Tanzania and suited to first-time safari-goers. We are active, adventurous and willing to splurge for the best luxury options if it is a worthwhile investment. We enjoy walking, are in good shape, and are particularly looking for unique and authentic experiences that focus on wildlife, nature, and culture. We dislike tourist traps and are also health-concious foodies that enjoy good food and drink with a focus on healthy, fresh, local and authentic cuisine.




This description we also gave to the operator, who has responded with the following itinerary and the option to change things as we please.




If you would be so kind: what do you think? Is this a good itinerary? Things you would change or do differently considering our profile?






Tanzania Safari combining Ngorongoro Crater (with a safari in Lake Manyara National Park en route), the Serengeti National Park, and Rubondo Island National Park in the far north-west of Tanzania. First night at Arusha Coffee Lodge,




⇒ then 3 nights at The Highlands with one full day safari within the Ngorongoro Crater itself, then a day of treks in the Olomoti and Empakaai Craters. Alternatively, we'd only do the Ngorongoro Crater with a two night stay at Sanctuary Ngorongoro Crater Camp




⇒ After, to Serengeti National Park, 5 nights between the Grumeti Reserve and the Lamai region. In Grumeti, three nights at the Singita Sasakwa and after a two nights stay in the mobile tented camp of Santuary Kichakani.


Alternatively, an upgrade option to stay at &Beyond Serengeti under Canvas instead of Sanctuary Kichakani, and a downgrade option to stay Sanctuary Kusini as an alternate option to Singita Sasakwa




⇒ Finally, three nights on Rubondo Island before returning to Arusha to connect to our onwards international flight.




⇒ Alternatively or in addition to any of the options above is a Lake Eyasi option, with a two night stay for more cultural activities. Accomodation here is a bit more rustic, is mentioned by the operator.


A different proposed itinerary is:

First Kenya with Masai Mara, Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater. ⇒ Flight to Nairobi Airport, go to Masai Mara with 3 nights at andBeyond Bateleur Camp. A balloon safari is included here.

⇒ After flight to Kogantenende with 3 nights at andBeyond Serengeti Under Canvas. Game drive road transfer to a Lodge

⇒ 2 nights at andBeyond Lake Manyara Tree Lodge. Exploration of Lake Manyara. Transfer to Lodge

⇒ 2 nights at andBeyond Ngorongoro Crater Lodge.

Back through transfer from lodge to Manyara to Nairobi International

Edited by Kalenden
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There are not many places to trek in Tanzania, but we have done the Olmoti and Empakaai treks and would certainly recommend them.  The drive from the Ngorogoro Crater to the treks is one of my favorite in our trips to Tanzania.  You travel through traditional Masai grazing country with Masai villages and shepherd boys tending their herds and flocks.

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June might be too early for Lamai.  July might be better in Northern Serengeti.


Serengeti Grumeti - It's going to be a lot of food and wine !!! The migration should/ could pass through July onwards?  


Have you looked at other Asiila lodges in the Serengeti in combination to the Highlands?  Namiri / Sayari etc etc., are very high specification camps too and right now, I'm pretty sure their guiding standards are possibly the best in Tanzania!!! 




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@madaboutcheetah  Good recommendation.  I stayed at Sayari in the Northern Serengeti a few years ago during July.  I though it was an excellent camp and the migration was all around us.  

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Vote here for Namiri Plains for sure... Heard wonderful things about Sayari, too. 

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I like the comments of @Amylovescritters, @soleson, @madaboutcheetah for camps and locations.  I see one of the options is for AndBeyond's Crater Lodge, which can easily cost $1800 pp/pn.  You visit the same Ngorongoro Crater whether you stay at this lodge or elsewhere.  Not knocking AndBeyond because I have stayed at their properties elsewhere and they are an excellent company, with an emphasis on outstanding cuisine (including visits with the chef and guest participation in cooking), but this particular property may wreck the budget. But if a personal butler and rose petals in the bath would enhance your trip, then go for it!


For culture, you may want to add Lake Eyasi.  I would not replace other parts of your itinerary with it.  Have not been to Lake Eyasi personally.  Also for culture you might consider participating in Pack-for-a-Purpose where you bring a suitcase full of school supplies for a local school and make a visit.  I did that once and it was delightful.  Lunch was included and it was definitely "local and authentic."




Since you mention foodie, I'll mention that 2x I have been to Gibb's Farm, near the Ngorongoro crater and have enjoyed  their meals,  fresh from the garden.  Really outstanding; the vegetables popped with flavor.  Something about the soil.  One time I was joined at Gibb's by 3 ladies who had traveled the world and eaten in some of the finest establishments. They all said the lunch we had at Gibb's was the best meal they ever had.  I'd agree.  The legendary chef, who had worked there about 50 years, is no longer there, but I am certain the recipes and tradition continues.


Have a wonderful trip.

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On 10/29/2019 at 7:03 PM, Amylovescritters said:

Vote here for Namiri Plains for sure... Heard wonderful things about Sayari, too. 


Regarding the Serengeti , I agree with Namiri Plains - it is an amazing location.

@Kalenden as you want luxury, then as well as being an outstanding location for lions and cheetahs, the camp accommodation has had a major upgrade, and it is one of Asilia’s camps - a company with an excellent reputation for its quality camps and locations.

The Highlands camp near the Ngorongoro Crater is unique, but it’s a long rough drive from the crater to the camp, but it is another Asilia camp  and gets my vote.

Also Lake Manyara Tree Lodge is well with spending at least two nights there. The park has a lot to offer- but just having one quick game drive in the park on the way to Ngorongoro  is  not going to give you any appreciation of a very underrated park.


July is probably a better choice than June, but not too late in the month  as it will get extremely busy in northern Tanzania by then.





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