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mooey

Family First-Time Trip Itinerary - Tanzania Early July 2017

10 posts in this topic

Hello again everybody,

 

Thanks to some wonderful assistance from you fantastic people, with some time & reflection and also some enquiries with operators and there we are starting to narrow down our trip planning.

 

So, if you don't mind, I'd like to post the following for a critique. Firstly to give you some info on us:

 

  • Family of 4, (kids age 9 and 11) from Australia - first time on safari
  • Adventurous, don't mind roughing it, originally was keen to get very much off the beaten track but since come around to thinking that as first-timers in this type of trip, maybe we shouldn't be so precious about this
  • Looking to vary it a little from just game drives - cultural experience is very important
  • Hopeful to see the migration at the Mara river (early July)

 

OK here goes:

 

Day 1 - Night in Arusha (Ilboru Safari Lodge)

Day 2: - Arusha to lake Natron (Moivaro Tented Camp). Activities: Waterfalls, swimming with local Maasai guide

(Night 2) - Climbing Oldoinyo for me!

Day 3: - Lake Natron to Karatu (Bougainvillea Safari Lodge). Activities: Soda Lake

Day 4: - Karatu to Serengeti (Kati Kati tented Camp). Activities: Game drive in Ngorongoro Crater, Massai village visit

Day 5: - Serengeti to Nthn Serengeti (Mbugani Tented Camp). Activities: Game drive en route

Day 6: - Nthn Serengeti (Mbugani Tented Camp). Activities: Game drive around Mara river

Day 7: - Morning flight to Arusha

Day 8: - Night in Arusha (Ilboru Safari Lodge)

 

Any feedback very welcome. We haven't booked flights or anything so can been quite flexible.

 

Thanks again

 

Dave

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How exciting you have a family trip coming up!

 

  • Adventurous, don't mind roughing it, originally was keen to get very much off the beaten track but since come around to thinking that as first-timers in this type of trip, maybe we shouldn't be so precious about this
  • Looking to vary it a little from just game drives - cultural experience is very important

Given these 2 points, I'll suggest something that would lengthen your trip and increase the cost cost, which may not be an option. Also I've never done this personally. Since you will be in Karatu, consider a night or two at Lake Eyasi to join the Hadzabe tribe in their hunting outings and/or honey gathering.

 

"Hopeful to see the migration at the Mara river (early July)"

The amount of time you have in N Serengeti is a little short for good odds of seeing a river crossing, but you'll likely see the big herds.

 

Keeping in mind your "off the beaten track" and variety wishes, it appears you'll have enough time in Arusha to get into Arusha National Park. You can walk with a ranger and see buffalo, giraffes, monkeys, antelope, waterfalls. And you can canoe in a lake with hardly any hippos with a guide. I've done both the walks and canoeing and really enjoyed them. Arusha National Park is also a good place to find the beautiful black and white Colobus Monkey.

 

Any company you work with could include my suggestions.

 

I'm sure you'll be back here again with more ideas and questions.

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Thank you - yes it sure is exciting! A very different type of trip, I'm starting to realise (in a good way).

 

Yes, I had considered the Hadzabe visit - I was just a little wary about how 'authentic' a cultural experience it may be... I don't really want us to be one group in a stream of tourists gawping at the tribespeople, if you know what I mean. Anybody done this and have any thoughts?

 

Arusha national park looks lovely too so will look to include that at one end or another (travelling independently I think)

 

Thanks again.

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Posted (edited)

http://safaritalk.net/topic/14422-northern-tanzania-safari-sept-oct-2013/page-4

 

http://safaritalk.net/topic/4667-should-people-visit-the-hadza/

 

Check out these posts if you would like to investigate further.

 

Arusha Nat Park is very worthwhile.

Edited by Atravelynn

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Hi @@mooey, I meant to reply to this earlier, and since @@Atravelynn linked to one of my old reports I will now. I thought the Hadzabe visit was worth doing if you want to do something cultural, I think in particular the 9 and 11 year olds would find it very interesting. After doing the trip, my wife and I agreed that if/when we had kids, we would definitely do such a trip with them. Regarding the authenticity of the visit, any group that regularly sees tourists is going to have some changes in the way they act, but I didn't think that was particularly obvious during our visit. Also, during our visit, we were the only tourists to visit the group that day - I can't say if that's always the case, but it was for us.

 

Two questions/comments about your itinerary, on night 3 you are staying in Karatu, and then the next day you say you are into the Crater. If you can, I'd try to stay somewhere closer to the Crater, to allow you to get down into the Crater as early as possible. Secondly, I agree with Lynn, Arusha NP is a nice little park. I'd consider doing it first, though, as you might be a little underwhelmed after having spent time in the Serengeti.

 

Enjoy your trip planning.

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Adding to the "early into the crater" advice, take a breakfast box with you so you can enter as close to the 6:00 am-ish entry time as possible. Also take a lunch box if stopping somewhere for lunch would decrease your time in the crater.

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Hi again all,

 

OK I've booked it - I actually did it just earlier not realising that there'd been some more replies to this thread. Happily, our final decision was right in line with the suggestions above :)

 

We did add Lake Eyasi and a Hadzabe visit to our itinerary. I'm not totally convinced about these 'tribe visits' for the same reasons that have been outlined on this forum (thanks Lynn for those links). However, I'm hoping it will be a little bit different with kids. They may well be able to break down any potential 'tourist gawking, natives putting on a show' type scenario. Plus, we are well-travelled and I'd like to think we try to blend in and not dominate circumstances when we can - certainly not the 'in-your-face' camera wielding tourists I've seen all to often.

 

Arusha NP we'll look at (walking tour and canoes probably) when we arrive and arrange that independently as well as a few other things in Arusha.

 

Thanks for the tip re getting to the crater early - will work on that.

 

Thanks all

 

Dave

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Good stuff @@mooey

 

Did you end up including the climb of Oldoinyo Lengai? That something I would like to do one day when I have a bit more time to loop around via Natron through to the Serengeti. Would love to hear about it all here in due course.

 

Sounds like a great trip. Lucky kids :rolleyes:

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Yep sure did, Andy!

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TD5_3705-1.jpg

 

I would say a definite yes on the Hadzabe experience. It is more authentic than a Maasai village visit in my mind (No high pressure sales tactics to buy stuff). Make sure you bring water with you if you will be joining them for a hunt. We spent about 2 1/2 hours hunting with them in early November and probably covered 6-7km in that time. All told we had about 4 hours with them and as a photographer, it was a great opportunity for photos. Everyone in our group agreed it was the experience of a lifetime.

 

Here is a blog post I did about our experience with them.

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