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Found 8 results

  1. Greetings! So: I have been reading and stalking and think I have a general outline for what I'd like to do; however, I would appreciate any/all feedback/suggestions. I can't book flights yet (insert eyeroll) so this is the proposal and I hope I'll be able to book the content once the flights open. Anyway, onward! Who: Parents (70s), self and husband, son (will be 3.5). All fairly experienced travelers, all have been to Africa before, none have been to this region. Mom happy to be on the trip, most wants Giraffe Manor and to see whatever there is; Dad is participating because he's a good sport, would prefer not to move too much and too often at a time; husband wants to see gorillas and go in a hot air balloon to see the great migration; I want to see everything and it's probably reflected below. This will be my parents' last trip to Africa and they want to go big. We care most about good food. I don't want to break the bank, but I want it clean and high end. My husband doesn't do "outdoors"--he's a former submariner so "camping" is not a thing for him. Ha! When: September 2018 Proposed plan: Not sure how I will route us from the US, so we'll start counting days from when we land Concerns: - Too much movement? Not enough (i.e. am I missing anything you'd recommend? There is no shame in our tourist game). This is a once-in-a-lifetime thing--my mom won't be able to get my dad to go back to Africa, so she wants to leave no stone unturned . . . - I've found five places we would like to stay (Wildwaters Lodge, Giraffe Manor, Hyatt in Zanzibar, Masa Fairmont, Clouds), looking for feedback on those and suggestions for the rest. Will mention chances of changing my mind on Giraffe Manor is zero since it's my mom's wish ;-) My husband prefers a chain so he has a venue to complain if stuff goes wrong (*sigh*) c'est la vie. -21 days on the ground is probably the max I will be able to get out of my dad so I technically have a few extra, but if we don't use them, that's okay, too, since my husband's leave will be at almost zero . . . Day 1: land in Entebbe, rent car (I'm the driver--have driven in a lot of places so feel comfortable on both sides of road with all types of terrain) to stay at Wildwaters Lodge, sunset cruise on Nile; overnight -- this is one of our only 1 night stops, is that okay or would you recommend 2? Day 2: Drive to Nkuringo; overnight at Clouds Day 3: Husband and I gorilla hike (a must for husband); overnight at Clouds Day 4: Second full day at Clouds--suggestions for what to do? Parents don't want to hike, I think it might be nice to stay 3 nights in one place to ease on movement; however, I don't want to spend a day just to spend a day . . . ; overnight at Clouds Day 5 (Assuming we stay a third night): drive to airport drop off car, end independent travel. Fly to Nairobi and transfer to Fairmont Mara Safari Club Day 6: Masa hot air balloon (a must for husband); overnight Fairmont Mara Safari Club Day 7: Safari; overnight Fairmont Mara Safari Club Day 8: Transfer to Serengeti; overnight at recommend lodge--any suggestions? Day 9: Safari (should we plan a second hot air balloon in the event it's not possible in Masa?); overnight at recommend lodge--any suggestions? Day 10: Safari; overnight at recommend lodge--any suggestions? Day 11: Transfer to Ngorongoro Crater; overnight at recommend lodge--any suggestions? Day 12: Explore Ngorongoro Crater; overnight at recommend lodge--any suggestions? Day 13: Transfer to Amboseli; overnight at recommend lodge--any suggestions? Day 14: Safari; overnight at recommend lodge--any suggestions? Day 15: Transfer to Nairobi airport, flight to Zanzibar; overnight at Hyatt Day 16: All day Zanzibar; overnight at Hyatt Day 17: All day Zanzibar; overnight at Hyatt Day 18: flight to Nairobi, transfer to Giraffe Manor; overnight Giraffe Manor Day 19: All day Giraffe Manor; overnight Giraffe Manor Day 20: Transfer to airport; flight home Very sincerely thank anyone who reads and/or is able to provide suggestions and advice. Also: I finally got around to uploading the earlier video: Michelle
  2. ZANCOS is the organization that deals with Flight, Safari and Tours in Zanzibar, Mainland and East Africa. We are Located at Stone Town - Kelele Square Zanzibar. Our Services Includes: Last Minute Safaris Zanzibar Tours & Excursions Safari & Mountain Climbing Flight Booking For more information please visit our website at Zancos.co.tz
  3. Panamwe Tours and Safari is a very well experienced safari and tours operator located in the Island of Zanzibar, in beautiful Tanzania. We offer variety of touring opportunities for tourist and take care of them throughout their experience in Zanzibar. Our staffs are well informed and are well spoken in English, Italian, Swahili and French. Our transport busses from either the airport or ferry port are well equipped with air condition and WiFi for you to relax and connect with friends and family. tour excursion price.pdf
  4. My wife and I are just back from 2 wonderful weeks in Zanzibar and Tanzania. The trip was as follows 20-25 December The Z hotel, Nungwi, Zanzibar 25 - 27 December Tarangire Safari Lodge 27 - 29 December Wilderness Ndutu Tented Camp (not to be confused with Wilderness Safaris in Southern Africa) 29 - 31 December Wilderness Serengeti Tented Camp 31 - 1 January Sopa Ngorongoro 1 January Day room at Ilboru Safari Lodge, Arusha 2 January Back to Denmark We booked Zanzibar ourselves. The safari part was booked with Base Camp Tanzania in Arusha. After having shopped around I ended up using the services of Achmed Philips at BaseCamp. He was very responsive and came up with some very good suggestions as well as very reasonable prices. We deceided to go against the flow starting in Zanzibar and finishing with the safari as one Means of avoiding the crowds. It seemed to Work but I had forgotten how much Work it is to be on safari so we were very tired by the time we returned to Denmark. We had a great time in Zanzibar. I can hihly recommend the Z hotel. Great rooms, great service and a superb restaurant where we ended up eating most nights. In Nungwi there are two Turtle sanctuaries. We visited one and had some very nice interaction with the rescued Green Turtles that later will be reintroduced in the wild. No trip to Zanzibar is complete without a trip to Jozani National Forest to look for the endemic Red Colobus Monkeys. We arrived in the afternoon and entered the forest with a very professional Ranger. It did not take long before we encountered the Red Colobus monkeys.
  5. I and my wife came back from a trip to Tanzania three days ago and I am rushing to get started with the trip report. Most of the photos are not edited yet, so there will be a new installment whenever I am ready with the photos and I have free time to write. This was our third safari trip to Africa after Kenya in 2013 (Lake Nakuru, Lake Bogoria, Lake Naivasha, Selenkay Conservancy, Amboseli NP, Ol Kinyei and Naibosho conservancies and Masai Mara NR), South Africa (Cape Peninsula, TImbavati and Sabi Sand) and Botswana (Chobe NP, Jao and Khwai concessions, Moremi GR) in May / June 2014. Where does Ruaha NP stand compared to the parks and reserves mentioned above in my personal opinion? The previous two trips involved multiple parks / reserves / concessions, but if I had to choose only one place to visit in Africa, that would be Ruaha National Park. True wilderness (based on my safari experience so far), absolutely stunning and varied scenery, relatively few visitors, lots of wildlife. My obsession with Ruaha started from this forum when I read the report of @ about his first trip to Ruaha during the green season. Then I read the report of @stockeygirl and her posts and statements that Ruaha is her close second favorite park after SLNP and when the report of Paco (@africawild) with his excellent photographs came out, I already had Ruaha on my list. Since there are quite a few places on this list, the priority was the main issue. After having certain parts of Eastern and Southern Africa covered I thought that it would be nice to see the area where these to regions are overlapping which is exactly Ruaha NP. There was a very serious hesitation between Ruaha and South Luangwa NP, at certain point I was thinking to do both parks on the same trip using the new low cost airline FastJet, which offers budget friendly flights between Dar es Salaam and Lusaka. Then it turned out that my wife has only 12 days off work left for this year and she really wanted to see Zanzibar, so we had to do either SLNP + Zanzibar or Ruaha and possibly Selous + Zanzibar. The question about the budget of the trip was also very important. Airfare to Dar es Salaam was slightly cheaper than to Lusaka, but not to the extend to make this factor a decision maker. Both Ruaha and SLNP required domestic flights respectively from Lusaka and Dar, which were similarly priced, so the decision maker in terms of budget had to be to cost of the safari itself and we all know that this always represents the bulk of the budget. We always take safari trips on the budget side, but this time I had to be even more careful after the South Africa / Zambia / Botswana trip just four months ago. If we had chosen SLNP it had to be either Marula Lodge or Croc Valley Lodge, located just outside the gate and we had to share vehicle with other guests. For Ruaha there was an interesting budget option on the table. After reading a lot about the park and possible budget accommodation, I stumbled upon an article about the TANAPA government owned bandas, located in Msembe area, not far from the park HQ. They would cost only 60 dollars per night for two of us, but the problem was that they didn't have en-suite toilet and we (especially my wife) would feel uncomfortable using the ablution block in the middle of the night, should that becomes necessary. Then I discovered that TANAPA have also en-suite cottages up the hill, about one and a half kilometers from the bandas. Would having a toilet inside be an important issue? When we arrived in Ruaha it turned out that it would, not that we ever used the toilet at night, but our guide told us that just two weeks ago there has been a fatal lion attack on one of the Mwagusi Camp guides, the second within a month's time, the first one being on a road maintenance machine operator. Both attacks occurred during the early morning hours - the guide has been checking around camp before the guests wake up and the other guy left his tent to check his machinery. They say that it has been a single sick lion that could not hunt anything else. The lion has been found and shot by the rangers, but our guide and some others thought that different lions have been involved in the incidents. After hearing about this it was a great comfort to know that we had an en-suite toilet. I will show detailed photos about the cottages later on during the report. On the very last game drive, we went to see also the bandas and I took some photos there, as well. After finding the accommodation the next step was to find a vehicle and a guide. I had written to Warthog Adventures in Iringa last year and they gave me very good prices, but we decided to do S. Africa and Botswana instead of Ruaha. Now I wrote them again and they confirmed the prices + they reserved the TANAPA cottage for us. I asked about duration of game drives and unlimited mileage and the guy replied that this is to be negotiated with the driver, which didn't feel quite reassuring. They didn't require any deposit either, so all we had before we left was just an email from a guy in Iringa stating the price and the dates for the safari. I found very few websites on the Internet where the company was mentioned plus one album on flickr.com with photos of their vehicle, but they were good. I had talked to @@PauloT from the forum who is a guide based in Iringa and took his phone number, in case something goes wrong with Warthog Adventures. My biggest concern was the quality of the guide and the condition of the vehicle. Both turned out to be excellent, our guide Alphonce was one of the best we ever had, for six days he actually tracked leopard twice for us, the second time all Kwihala vehicles (including Lorenzo Rossi) plus Mwagusi, Old Mdonya camps and Ruaha River Lodge vehicles gathered the leopard, which Alphonce tracked (we stayed at the side alone for at least half an hour before the other vehicles started arriving). To make the long story short - an excellent safari for me (I would not think that it will fit the discerning safarista's taste, though): 1. No thrills accommodation without the adventurous feeling of a safari camp or the luxury of a lodge, but with all comforts that we needed - a bedroom and a seating room with panoramic windows, large comfortable bed with mosquito net, en-suite toilet and shower, solar electrical system, good enough for recharging multiple camera batteries, a few hours of generator power, good enough to recharge the laptop and a million dollar view from the top of the hill towards the Great Ruaha River, the plains with the acacia trees and the mountains beyond. 2. No stops for coffee, tea, sundowners and other activities of this kind which in my humble opinion just take time from game viewing. The vehicle had a fridge and we were able to bring drinks and snacks with us, which we would consume while driving. Drinks were strictly water only, so we will be always fresh for the early morning game drives. We arranged with Alphonce to leave at 06:30 in the morning, skipping breakfast every day, coming back for lunch about 13:30-14:00. Leaving again for the afternoon drive at 16:00 h and coming back just before dark about 18:30-19:00. 3. Private vehicle, a pop-up roof Land Rover in great technical condition - we had all the comforts we needed for undisturbed 360 degrees viewing and more than enough space for equipment. I made the back seat my office, shoes off, so we can step on the seats at any time. Ability to stop for every single little thing of interest and stay at each sighting for as long as we wished. 4. For food we had a choice of 3-4 dishes (beef with rice, chicken with rice, beef with ugali, beef with spaghetti, chicken with spaghetti and combination of those). Nothing fancy, but good enough for us and for the cost of 7,000 shillings (about 5 dollras) per meal. We ate at a dining hall with the same amazing view located just about 40 meters from our cottage. For lunch the cook would call the guide while we are on a game drive to ask what we would like to have, for dinner, we would tell the cook about our choice during lunch. They also sell water, beer, other drinks and some souvenirs. After dinner we were accompanied to the cottage by a ranger armed with AK-47 (not sure if this is a good weapon against lions, but it will help with automatic bursts and still better than nothing). All these for about 200 dollars per person per night total, including park fees (excluding tips), oh boy, this was heaven on earth. Would do it again withing the snap of a finger! And last, but not least, I would like to thank @@PauloT and @@pault for their replies regarding my questions about the park, as well as to thank @russel, @@madaboutcheetah, @@xelas and especially @@Peter Connan for their input regarding continuous auto focus settings of my camera. The input helped very much, I stayed on tracking AF constantly, just tapping the back button for single AF mode and I hope that I got decent results (you will be the one to judge the photos). Ruaha sunrise with a giraffe, as seen from our cottage: Sunset with a baobab tree: Just couldn't resist posting two teasers. :)
  6. From The New York Times: ZANZIBAR JOURNAL: Amid Coral Reefs and Ruins, Ripples of Fear Over a Recent Attack After two Western women were harmed in an acid attack, residents are worried that the island, known as a vacation paradise, will be branded hostile territory. http://nyti.ms/17GeYRR
  7. We are starting our Tanzania trip with a northern circuit safari and ending with beach time in Zanzibar. We only have a few days and we were wondering what people's thought are about the best dives. We are new divers, certified and trying to decide on dive shops and dive locations. How are the corals, fish, and shipwrecks in Stone Town? Are they worth a visit? It seems like Misali Island off Pemba has one of the best places to dive followed up by Mnemba.
  8. 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!

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