Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Destinations > Africa > Africa
Reload this Page >

Help planning 25th Anniversary Trip - Tanzania

Help planning 25th Anniversary Trip - Tanzania

Old Apr 9, 18, 3:04 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: London, UK
Programs: Centurion, VS Gold, BA Gold
Posts: 544
Help planning 25th Anniversary Trip - Tanzania

Hi folks,

I'd love some help in planning a trip for 10 days at the end of May 2018. It's a surprise for my wife, and we haven't been to East Africa before. She loves Maldives type beaches (turquoise water, water warm and not deep), and I was hoping to combine that with some safari. We can get BA flights from LON-NBO, and there look to be easy flights to both Kilimanjaro area and Zanzibar from there.

I was thinking:
* Safari - say 3 nights around Kilimanjaro area (JRO), and get views of the mountain, see Ngorongoro crater, see a safari eg Serengeti. Then JRO-ZNZ direct flight
* Beach - say 4 nights. I've been looking at places like :
  1. Casadamare Zanzibar, or
  2. The Residence Zanzibar or
  3. Constance Pemba
* Stone Town - maybe 1 night at the Park Hyatt.

Some questions:
1. Will Mrs Razflyer get her Maldives-style beaches in ZNZ or Pemba?
2. Is JRO a good place to go if we want to see the mountain, see Ngorongoro and Serengeti?
3. Do you have any better suggestions, eg would you replace ZNZ/Pemba with somewhere like Ras Kutani?

thank you!

Last edited by razflyer; Apr 9, 18 at 3:13 pm
razflyer is offline  
Old Apr 28, 18, 11:22 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: DAR/ADD/CPH
Programs: TK Gold
Posts: 315
You still need help on this one?
Goaguy is offline  
Old Aug 11, 18, 7:31 am
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: London, UK
Programs: Centurion, VS Gold, BA Gold
Posts: 544
Originally Posted by Goaguy View Post
You still need help on this one?
Yes please!
razflyer is offline  
Old Aug 11, 18, 12:03 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Bath, UK
Programs: BAEC Silver
Posts: 750
Good evening!

Just a bit confused - you say end of May 2018, which has passed, do you mean 2019 perhaps?

Having been to both Maldives and Zanzibar, in my opinion you really cannot compare the two on the beach front. The Maldivian beach and sea are far superior (in my opinion!) for a beach holiday. Zanzibari beaches can be great, but they can be difficult with the extent of the tidal variations. What Zanzibar has obviously is the culture of Stone Town and the history of the island, as well as it's proximity to the safari circuits. If you are flying in and out of NBO next May there is a direct flight from Nairobi to the Seychelles on a Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday (so you could maybe fly BA to NBO and back from SEZ)

May is also the end of the main rainy season. Usually the worst month is April (although this year March was arguably worse than April), and by end May you should be heading into the dryer weather, and can be excellent, but there is still a risk of rain on on the safari side of things. I am a bit concerned if you only have 3 days to get from Nairobi to Kilimanjaro and see the Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti - especially as the BA flight to NBO arrives at 21h00.

Possibly if you are using the flights to NBO you could consider:

Nairobi - Masai Mara - Nairobi - Seychelles. The Masai Mara is one of the best game reserves in the world. Maybe something like:

Day 1 LHR-NBO - overnight NBO
Day 2 Morning flight to Masai Mara - lunch, afternoon safari and overnight at safari lodge
Day 3 AM hot air balloon over the Masai Mara - lunch at lodge afternoon safari and overnight at lodge
Day 4 AM safari and breakfast at the lodge. Afternoon flight to NBO overnight at hotel
Day 5 flight to Seychelles for 4 nights.

Unfortunately because the NBO-SEZ flight leaves at 11h10 you won't make it back from the Mara in time to connect (unless you charter), so it will require the extra night in NBO on the way out.

Just a thought.
razflyer likes this.
wijibintheair is offline  
Old Aug 16, 18, 3:47 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: DAR/ADD/CPH
Programs: TK Gold
Posts: 315
Originally Posted by wijibintheair View Post
Good evening!

Just a bit confused - you say end of May 2018, which has passed, do you mean 2019 perhaps?

Having been to both Maldives and Zanzibar, in my opinion you really cannot compare the two on the beach front. The Maldivian beach and sea are far superior (in my opinion!) for a beach holiday. Zanzibari beaches can be great, but they can be difficult with the extent of the tidal variations. What Zanzibar has obviously is the culture of Stone Town and the history of the island, as well as it's proximity to the safari circuits. If you are flying in and out of NBO next May there is a direct flight from Nairobi to the Seychelles on a Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday (so you could maybe fly BA to NBO and back from SEZ)

May is also the end of the main rainy season. Usually the worst month is April (although this year March was arguably worse than April), and by end May you should be heading into the dryer weather, and can be excellent, but there is still a risk of rain on on the safari side of things. I am a bit concerned if you only have 3 days to get from Nairobi to Kilimanjaro and see the Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti - especially as the BA flight to NBO arrives at 21h00.

Possibly if you are using the flights to NBO you could consider:

Nairobi - Masai Mara - Nairobi - Seychelles. The Masai Mara is one of the best game reserves in the world. Maybe something like:

Day 1 LHR-NBO - overnight NBO
Day 2 Morning flight to Masai Mara - lunch, afternoon safari and overnight at safari lodge
Day 3 AM hot air balloon over the Masai Mara - lunch at lodge afternoon safari and overnight at lodge
Day 4 AM safari and breakfast at the lodge. Afternoon flight to NBO overnight at hotel
Day 5 flight to Seychelles for 4 nights.

Unfortunately because the NBO-SEZ flight leaves at 11h10 you won't make it back from the Mara in time to connect (unless you charter), so it will require the extra night in NBO on the way out.

Just a thought.
You are probably right about the beaches. Most of them in Zanzibar are not good - with the exception of Kendwa Beach. Try Google pictures of it. Also, check out the Safari Blue boat safaris that takes you to some amazing beaches and sand banks. The massive tidal difference makes it possible to camp on a sand bank at low tide.
razflyer likes this.
Goaguy is offline  
Old Aug 16, 18, 3:49 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: DAR/ADD/CPH
Programs: TK Gold
Posts: 315
Originally Posted by razflyer View Post
Yes please!
Did you fix the dates? What time of the year are you coming/looking to come? I would probably have chosen Mafia or Zanzibar over Pemba, unless you are looking for something specific, scuba diving for instance. Both Pemba and Mafia islands are very far away from everything, only a few hotels on each island, which also drives up prices.
razflyer likes this.
Goaguy is offline  
Old Aug 21, 18, 1:25 pm
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: London, UK
Programs: Centurion, VS Gold, BA Gold
Posts: 544
Thanks folks for all the input. I was originally looking at going in May 2018, but will now likely go in May 2019.
razflyer is offline  
Old Aug 21, 18, 1:33 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: BRU-ZRH
Programs: LX HON, BA Gold, Marriott Ambassador
Posts: 705
I just came back from 9 days in The Residence (after doing a fantastic 4 day safari in Phinda, South Africa).
I expected more of it, and especially of Zanzibar. Then again after all it is still Africa. Everything in the Residence is OK but nothing is really outstanding. Not the food, not the staff.

If you are going to Zanzibar I suggest going top top tier stuff (I found residence a little bit sub-par despite the relatively hefty price) or try Seychelles (or go back to the Maldives).
The Wolf is offline  
Old Aug 24, 18, 2:09 am
  #9  
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: DAR/ADD/CPH
Programs: TK Gold
Posts: 315
Originally Posted by The Wolf View Post
I just came back from 9 days in The Residence (after doing a fantastic 4 day safari in Phinda, South Africa).
I expected more of it, and especially of Zanzibar. Then again after all it is still Africa. Everything in the Residence is OK but nothing is really outstanding. Not the food, not the staff.

If you are going to Zanzibar I suggest going top top tier stuff (I found residence a little bit sub-par despite the relatively hefty price) or try Seychelles (or go back to the Maldives).
Well. Tanzania is not a very touristed country. If you expect same service levels and resort-standards as you would find in more popular places like Asia, Caribbean or the Mediterranean you are in for a massive disappointment. Even at the best hotels you may experience mediocre service. If all you want is a 5-star luxury resort with a nice artificial beach, Tanzania is not the place you should visit. Even if you manage to find such a place, it will be many times more expensive than what you would pay other places in the world.

@razflyer::
You will be able to experience a different world though. Tanzanian people are some of the most friendly and welcoming people you will ever meet. They are not very customer service minded and time is a different concept around here, but definitely worth a visit. Few things can compare to Kilimanjaro, the Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti national park.
Things are more efficient (and probably also cheaper) in Kenya. They just work harder and are more used to tourists. I still would have picked Tanzania any day though, even if it was only to get to see the Ngorongoro crater.
One day/night in Stone town should be sufficient to see the city.
I have never been to The Residence, but I have many friends that have spoken very highly of it.
Goaguy is offline  
Old Aug 24, 18, 2:17 am
  #10  
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: DAR/ADD/CPH
Programs: TK Gold
Posts: 315
Also check out Hideaway Nungwi in Zanzibar, though probably a lot cheaper than the other places you've been looking at. It is right next to Kendwa Beach.
https://www.booking.com/hotel/tz/hideaway-of-nungwi-resort-amp-spa.en-gb.html?aid=356980;label=gog235jc-hotel-XX-tz-hideawayNofNnungwiNresortNampNspa-unspec-tz-com-L%3Aen-O%3AwindowsS10-B%3Aopera-N%3AXX-S%3Abo-U%3AXX-H%3As;sid=ea58e2a6bdd1a2bc609285262ba21c5f;dist=0& sb_price_type=total&type=total&

Note that there is a massive tidal difference between low and high tide in Tanzania - and many beaches look nice at high tide, but at low tide some places you literally cannot swim unless you take a 1km walk in knee-level water. I am not sure about the places you link to, but this is not the case around Kendwa beach.

Last edited by Goaguy; Aug 24, 18 at 2:23 am
Goaguy is offline  
Old Aug 24, 18, 4:38 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: BRU-ZRH
Programs: LX HON, BA Gold, Marriott Ambassador
Posts: 705
Originally Posted by Goaguy View Post
Well. Tanzania is not a very touristed country. If you expect same service levels and resort-standards as you would find in more popular places like Asia, Caribbean or the Mediterranean you are in for a massive disappointment. Even at the best hotels you may experience mediocre service. If all you want is a 5-star luxury resort with a nice artificial beach, Tanzania is not the place you should visit. Even if you manage to find such a place, it will be many times more expensive than what you would pay other places in the world.
We are talking about Zanzibar, not Tanzania mainland. I very much beg to differ: there are many direct seasonal flights even from Europe to ZNZ.
I was merely replying to OP that if his wife likes Maldives kind of turquoise beaches, ZNZ will do the trick (in the right places) but do not expect the same kind of luxury or service level (for the same amount of money).
Many people mistakenly go to Zanzibar to experience the 'exotic island experience', but Zanzibar is big and of course it is still Africa.
The Wolf is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread