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Maasai Wanderings

NH
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113 posts
175 reviews
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Maasai Wanderings

We just returned from a 10 day safari with this company and we HIGHLY recommend it. We did a private safari for 4 people and toured Arusha National Park, Lake Manayara, Serengeti, Crater Highlands, and Ngorongoro Crater. We alternated game drives with visting local tribes and a hot air balloon ride. Donna Duggan helped us plan it. (My daughter had specific places she wanted to go.) I don't think the woman ever sleeps--despite the 8 hour time difference, when we sent her a question, we had an answer within hours. All the accomodations were great--even in a tent camp, we had flush toilets and hot water shower. I'm sure all her guides are great, but our guide, David Jackson, was superb. He made sure we saw the "big 5" plus scores of other animals. He amazed us how he could drive and still spot animals way out in the bush. This company is relatively new (2005, I think) but check them out. Donna bends over backwards to tailor a safari just for you!

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Arusha National Park
Arusha National Park
216 Reviews
Arusha National Park, Tanzania
Ngorongoro Crater
Ngorongoro Crater
3,520 Reviews
Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania
United States
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136 posts
66 reviews
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1. Re: Maasai Wanderings

Great to hear- Im going w/ them in June!! Did you camp w/ sleeping bags? did you bring your own? any advice that you wished you knew before you went? Thanks!

NH
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113 posts
175 reviews
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2. Re: Maasai Wanderings

We stayed in permanent tent camps and lodges--beds, flush toilet, shower. We stayed in Karama Lodge in Arusha first night, then Kirurmumu Tented Lodge,Tindiga Tented Lodge, Tloma Mountain Lodge, Nasikia Luxury Camp, Seronera Wildlife Lodge, and Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge. My advice is not to change too much money into shillings--they love the US dollar over there. Even in a remote camp near Lake Eyasi, they quoted USD. I exchanged $400 into shillings and could have done with less. All our meals were prepaid--that was just for tips, drinks, souvenirs.

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Philadelphia...
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51 posts
19 reviews
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3. Re: Maasai Wanderings

Since I didn't go into much detail on Maasai Wanderings in my trip report, thought I'd comment on Mom's. I totally concur on Donna being AMAZING when planning this trip. I seriously sent out a 2 page word document when requesting price quotes. Donna's was by far the most detailed response. The itinerary document was very professional and she included a 2 page attachment answering all my questions in paragraph form. I also constantly switched everything from where we were going, how many people, how many days, etc right up until the time we left. We were on version 12 of the itinerary by the time we were done. Their price quote was right in the middle of all the others, but I went with them based on the comfort level I got from Donna. I also want to reiterate how much they help the local community. They went above and beyond with helping out the local maasai village we visited. As to David...I'm sure there are many very skilled guides out there, but I was seriously referring to him as superman by the middle of the trip. One of our favorite past times was spotting birds way far away and seeing if he could name them at that insane distance! He got them all...I think...we wouldn't know the difference if he was wrong I spose :)

As to the shillings, I had a different experience than mom. I had to go back and exchange more! Guess I'm not quite as frugal a shopper as she is ;) Also..they didn't seem to clear on calculating the exchange rate at the airport so I actually got better deals when paying in shillings.

AZ
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27 posts
6 reviews
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4. Re: Maasai Wanderings

stacyc006,

Just curious as to what some of your questions and requirements for your trip were. We are planning a trip this September and I also have specific interests but now I feel like I am missing something after reading you sent out 2 pages of info!! We are interested in the northern circuit, especially Olduvai Gorge (and of course Serengeti, Ngorongoro). Is there anything really interesting that you did and would recommend while on safari? Any advice is greatly appreciated!

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Olduvai Gorge
Olduvai Gorge
674 Reviews
Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Ngorongoro Conservation...
Arusha Region, Tanzania
Philadelphia...
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51 posts
19 reviews
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5. Re: Maasai Wanderings

LOL. Don't get scared. I'm just a VERY detail oriented person. Got that from Mumsy:) I just did like 3 months of research before sending out requests. Most of them in regard to specific places to stay...because I wanted places that were part of the experience...not just to rest your head. But a little of insight: Don't get too excited about Olduvai. I was excited about this as well. I was pretty interested in evolution in college but its not what you are envisioning. You don't get to go down into the pits or anything. If you are looking for this...you'd best voluteer for a dig through a college. (Rutgers in NJ in highly involved in this) Other than that..its a couple hours...check out the museum and listen to a somewhat informed lecture. Thats about as good as it gets. My personal recommendation...if you are looking for culture..seriously Lake Eyasi was amazing. Also I know its not on the general circuit but we REALLY are glad we visited the Iraqw tribe while in NCA. Its not on the circuit and something set up by our guide David. If you wanted that...probably have to contact Maasai Wanderings I would think. But I know people have mentioned that some of the village visits are a bit of show. It clearly wasn't the case here...and we are so glad our guide contacted Poli.

AZ
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27 posts
6 reviews
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6. Re: Maasai Wanderings

Thanks for the advice! I was debating Lake Eyasu as I am one of those with the opinion that the village tours tend to be a bit showy and I have read some good things about visiting the Hadzabe tribe. Too bad about Olduvai Gorge - now I won't have such high expectations.

Where was your favorite place to stay while on safari? Were you able to stay anywhere and hear wildlife at night? Thanks again for the responses! We are super excited for our trip even though it is not until September!

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Olduvai Gorge
Olduvai Gorge
674 Reviews
Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
Isle of Man, United...
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39,351 posts
421 reviews
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7. Re: Maasai Wanderings

Hear wildlife at night? You sometimes can't sleep for it!

As to Oldupai. I too was disappointed. I had been before but my two companions had not so I suggested it. When I went you actually got down into the gorge and saw moving dunes etc.,

This time. A Hut, a talk, some interesting exhibits (I DID like the cast of the Footprints) and that was it. It was good to stretch the legs though.

Calgary
2 posts
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8. Re: Maasai Wanderings

Did you have to pay for the safari with Massai Wanderings by bank transfer? I'm not very comfortable with this. If so how much would you pay in advance?

United States
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136 posts
66 reviews
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9. Re: Maasai Wanderings

Check w/ them- I believe they accept paypal now.

Isle of Man, United...
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39,351 posts
421 reviews
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10. Re: Maasai Wanderings

Check with them that they don't surcharge for Pay Pal.