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About rdcarl

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  1. You wonderful contributors to Safaritalk were an amazing resource for me when I planned my first safari three years ago so I'm returning for some more advice. The first trip was in February/March of 2013 and included Arusha, Ngorongoro Crater, central Serengeti, the Lamala Wedge, and ended in Zanzibar. I was going for "classic" safari and it was incredible! I worked with Bill Given at The Wild Source and have nothing but praise for him and his staff. The whole time there I found myself saying "I wish my kids could see this!" So, I'm going to take them this year! Between school and work schedules, we've settled on early June and I'm looking for suggestions on where to go at that time of year. Should I go back to the Serengeti for the migration? Should I combine the Serengeti and the Mara? Or should I go to a different area/county? We have two weeks for the trip, including travel time. I will anxiously await your suggestions! Thanks!
  2. Hi Matt - how do I find my way to the amazon shop? I've tried everything I can think of on amazon and not found it. Would love to check it out. Thanks!
  3. Hi all, It's been a long time since I posted here but I am now back to finalizing the remaining details of my trip. Three months away from home with very limited internet access was not good for research. This really put a damper on my safari enthusiasm but I'm revving back up in a hurry!! So glad to be back on ST. A friend and I are traveling to Tanzania in late February 2012 and have already finalized the safari portion of the trip with Bill Given at The Wild Source. He and his assistant, Shannon, have been awesome thusfar. We want to stay one night in Stone Town and then several more on the beach before heading back to the real world. In Stone Town, I am considering Zanzibar Palace Hotel, Emerson Spice Hotel, and 236 Hurumzi. For the beach portion, I am leaning toward Matemwe Lodge. I would greatly appreciate any thoughts/opinions you all have to offer. Thanks!
  4. Thanks, everyone, for your wonderful input! First, I'll definitely check into the reason for just one night at Dunia. Maybe see if we can add a night there as my schedule is a bit flexible. We will be flying from Dunia to Sayari so should be to Sayari before noon.. I don't want to spend unnecessary time driving, especially as it seems that's not a particulary interesting drive. Full crater drives are scheduled for both the afternoon of arrival and the following morning before departing for Olakira. As for the full day in Arusha, the NP is of real interest to me, of course (and I'll check out the possibility of a walking safari there, aussieinafrica!), but also because the daughter of a good friend lives there and I'd like to have time to meet up with her for dinner, lunch, drink, whatever. Finally, I am really excited about the area around Sayari. I'll admit that I had not studied that area as much before Bill Given suggested it but now that I have, I love the idea. Thanks to you all for the endorsement! And thanks to each of you for the input on the whole package!!
  5. After about three years of playing with the idea of a safari and researching here and there for all that time, I finally have a tentative itinerary for February of 2013. Yippee! I have decided to go with Bill Given and The Wild Source after much analysis and hand-wringing. My comparison between outfitters turned out to be much easier than I anticipated. Thanks to the input from posters here on Safaritalk, both in response to my own posts and to others, I was able to put together a suggested itinerary with very specific requirements (Northern Tanzania, tented camps tending toward luxury, private tour with unlimited mileage, etc.) and most quotes followed that closely. Two sent back responses immediately with itineraries that were nothing like my suggestion - have to believe those were their "normal" ones with no attempt to customize based on my suggestions. The others were very similar to each other with some overlap in accommodation picks and somewhat similar areas of focus. However, the quote from TWS was not only in the middle of the pack price-wise (and already one of my two favorite possibilites), it was much more detailed and informative. Bill and I have been emailing back and forth for a week now, sometimes several times a day, in order to make this "my" trip. That's certainly great service that I hope bodes well for the trip itself and is evidence of the opinions others have voiced. Below is my current itinerary and I'd love some opinions from those here on Safaritalk before I finalize this. Feb. 20 - Arrive Arusha, overnight at Shangazi House Feb. 21 - Arusha National Park and surrounding area (This day allows for any trip delays because of weather, as well as a bit of jetlag recovery) Feb. 22 - To NG Crater, overnight NG Sopa Lodge Feb. 23 - To Ndutu area, overnight at Olakira Camp Feb. 24 - Ndutu, Olakira Feb. 25 - Ndutu, Olakira Feb. 26 - To Moru Kopjes via Kusini Plains. Overnight at Dunia Camp Feb. 27 - To Northern Serengeti, overnight at Sayari Camp Feb. 28 - N. Serengeti, Sayari March 1 -N. Serengeti, Sayari March 2 -Return to Arusha for flight home. I am really excited about this plan. I like the idea of the Serengeti focus for my first safari. I always prefer doing fewer places on a trip rather than skipping around from place to place, never really doing any area well. Thoughts? And thanks!
  6. Thanks so much to everyone who has replied so far. I've been following them as received and now finally have time to respond. Paolo and africapurohit - thanks for the input on specific areas to investigate, as well as the thoughts on Tarangire and Selous at that time of year. Duly noted. pault - oh, you are so right! I probably put my foot in the dung ball big time with my comment about the "nasties!" I know there is overlap between the forums because I found out about Safaritalk on another one. I'll try to behave myself. Anita - thanks for sharing your experiences with the outfitters. I'll certainly make notes in my tally of up and down votes - invaluable information! Atravelynn - I appreciate the revision on Kiliwarriors. I had read good things about them but the website I found only showed Kili climbs. I'll check out Eben now. Great comments on the outfitters. Most of all, many thanks for the itinerary details. It's great to have expert advice!!
  7. Game Warden - I haven't got any quotes from anyone yet. Thought I would get some input on my list first, in hopes of narrowing it down a bit. Or is 6 an ok number of quotes to get, in your opinion? Also, when I send quote requests to the outfitters, I thought I would have a suggested itinerary of my own to start with so that I could compare apples to apples. Once I decide on an outfitter, I could then fine tune the itinerary. Thoughts?
  8. What a wonderful forum this is! I have spent about two years, off and on, (seriously!) researching the idea of a safari. Somehow I had missed Safaritalk until about two weeks ago and now feel like a kid on Christmas morning with the best gift ever! You guys are awesome and so far, I haven’t seen the nasties that I’ve found on other sites. This makes me feel a smidge less intimidated about posting! So here goes. I am a female in my late 50s and will probably be traveling with a friend but maybe not. Either way, I will be doing all the planning, which is great as the planning is half the fun. I want to go to Tanzania in February or early March of 2013. I think I would prefer a private vehicle and guide. This will be a first safari for both of us. For this first planning post, I am looking for opinions on my list of possible outfitters/TAs and ideas on itineraries. (1) Here is the list of operators/TAs that I have compiled after much research (in no particular order): Roy Safaris Good Earth Duma Explorer AndBeyond African Adventure Co. The Wild Source I would like opinions on these plus others that might be worth looking into. I researched at least 25 others and eliminated them for one reason or another. That certainly doesn’t mean there was a GOOD reason so feel free to opine. (2) Suggested itineraries for 8 – 10 days of safari, not including travel time. I would rather visit fewer places and do them well instead of quick stops at numerous areas. The migration, wildlife, babies would be priorities. Should my focus on this first safari be the Serengeti and the crater? Add Lake Manyara and/or Tarangire? Selous? I look forward to hearing from you and welcome opinions on anything and everything!

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