From Lee Chalfant, email@example.com:
Q. Jambo Jim!
A Tanzanian friend here in Seattle, Zainab will be visiting relatives in ar es Salaam in June. She and her husband want to take their two children to the Serengeti for just 2-3 days. The children are in elementary school. I sent her info on Ndutu Lodge. Do you have any better suggestion as well as an airline suggestion from there. They will be in Dar in the last 2 wks of June. When she lived there she never went on safari. Does Ndutu have guides of their own that you could recommend?
A. I think your friend’s ideas aren’t very good. Dar is a long, long way from the Serengeti, and the besides, this is the worst time of the year for the Serengeti, and while Ndutu Lodge is very reasonably priced at any time of the year, your friends will end up spending a mint to get there.
If they were going to dedicate a week on safari, then I think coming up north and visiting places like Tarangire (which will be at its prime, then, and which has a very reasonably priced lodge in Sopa), would be ideal. But for the short time they want to allocate, the flights, the transport — it all just makes it way too expensive for what they would achieve.
I think there are two better options for her. And in fact this would apply regardless of budget, but governed by the amount of time they want to give themselves for safari.
Go to The Selous, or to Mikumi.
The Selous will have great game at this time of the year, and it’s only 80 miles from Dar. You have to fly into it, but it still ends up being way less expensive for them than the northern circuit. Slightly less expensive, and not quite as good game, would be a road safari to the nearby (Dar) game park of Mikumi.
Hope this helps!