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Rhino Lodge/Sopa Lodge

Great Yarmouth...
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Rhino Lodge/Sopa Lodge

My TO has booked us into Rhino Lodge the night before we visit the crater and the Sopa lodge afterwards despite me wanting to be in the Sopa to visit the crater. He thought it would be better to finish our safari on a high at the Sopa! We will be coming from Ndutu area as o/n at Ndutu Safari Lodge prior to Rhino Lodge.

Should I ask them to change the nights around or keep the same? Was wanting to get into crater fairly early.

Opinions appreciated, thanks.

Great Yarmouth...
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198 posts
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11. Re: Rhino Lodge/Sopa Lodge

Thanks for all the responses, however, it seems if I change the itinerary now I'll get charged cancellation fees, etc so I shall have to leave as is. Despite doing my research, In hindsight I perhaps should have organised things differently but have been led to a degree by my TO but if I do it all again would do it differently.

Therefore, if I come out of the crater after my six hours, what are my options to do then, if any?

Minneapolis...
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12. Re: Rhino Lodge/Sopa Lodge

You will have a great time! Don't let our suggestions put a negative feeling on your itinerary. We were tinkering around the edges, assuming you could still rearrange things without a problem. There was some reason in the booking process that resulted in this combination - hakuna matata!

Do the crater tour early - just because you can have a better experience beating some of the crowds and the animals are more active before it gets hot in midday. Enjoy your time there and it will be something like 3 PM by the time you check in at the Sopa. This will be a great time to grab a shower, then enjoy the changing light in the crater with a cold one (or three)... contemplate how amazing your trip has been... have a nice dinner...

Next morning make the most of the day. Watch the light rising on the crater. Have a leisurely breakfast. Ask your guide all the questions you'd forgotten to ask before. Take advantage of the birding along the road down to the gate. Toss a banana through the open roof of somebody's parked safari vehicle and take pictures of the baboon climbing into the vehicle. Make a stop in Karatu or Mosquito River and maybe find that little something that will be your memory keepsake... we have a little ebony bowl by the door that holds cell phones and keys and such... so Tanzania is a happy memory every day when you get home.

Great Yarmouth...
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198 posts
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13. Re: Rhino Lodge/Sopa Lodge

Thank you so much for that. I am really looking forward to the trip and tried to arrange it the best I could in the time I had. Our flight out is not until early evening so we have all day, with a late lunch in Arusha and some time to look around there before heading to the airport.

Isle of Man, United...
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14. Re: Rhino Lodge/Sopa Lodge

When exactly are your travelling. My reason for asking is that if it is well ahead yet then <<despite me wanting to be in the Sopa to visit the crater.>> should apply and your TO should do as you ask and I doubt there are any cancellation charges. If there are, then they pay em.

Rhino Lodge is not so far from the entry gate, 40 minutes so it is not too serious but a TO should do as the client asks unless there is a capacity problem when they should check with the client.

If you then exit to Sopa then as IAB says, relax, take a snooze etc., if not possible to head off the rim for cheaper beds.

Chicago
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15. Re: Rhino Lodge/Sopa Lodge

IAB- the banana in the vehicle with the baboon sounds like an actual experience, but the question to be investigated is... Were you the bananaer or the bananaee???

Minneapolis...
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16. Re: Rhino Lodge/Sopa Lodge

let's call it an extrapolation. In fact, Mussa was watching our vehicle while we used the restrooms. But then we saw a bird, so as soon as Idiot She approached the vehicle, we said "watch the truck" a chased off binoculars and camera - only to hear shouting a moment later as the baboon slipped in through the raised roof and grabbed a brown bag full of sugar as She shouted at it.

It rapidly exited the vehicle as we approached and went up into the tree... but only a few meters from the truck. Mussa did a kind of aggressive gorilla thing toward it to back it off - and Mussa and IdiI rapidly backpedaled as the baboon rushed towards us with barred teeth... quite scary. I would have felt like a wuss if I hadn't seen the surprised/scared expression on Mussa's face!

For more on baboon behavior...

mirror.co.uk/news/weird-news/rock-ages-baboo…

Isle of Man, United...
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17. Re: Rhino Lodge/Sopa Lodge

So the Baboon was dyslexic. Grape/Grope. Easy mistake for a human!

Old Moshi...
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18. Re: Rhino Lodge/Sopa Lodge

Coming from a TO perspective, this is typical for itineraries. There is about a three hundred dollar difference on double rooms between those two lodges. When I make an itinerary, my boss always makes me put the best and more expensive accommodation at the end so that the comfort level goes up. It makes sense. Psychologically its not nice to come from luxury one day, spend the whole day on a dusty bumpy road and arrive at your next accommodation that is not as nice as last night. Of course, your preference should take priority, but TOs have seen people coming back from safari time and time again and have their reasons for planning the accommodations this way. If you have been on safari before and are sure of your choice, of course, tell them that's what you want, end of story. Personally I like the idea of Sopa on the night before returning to Arusha because you can stay and have a leisurely morning there, instead of being rushed out for an early morning game drive in the crater.

Great Yarmouth...
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19. Re: Rhino Lodge/Sopa Lodge

MM, thanks and I agree I think it will be nice to end at the Sopa and take some time to relax in a bit of luxury and not get up at the crack of dawn if I don't want to for another game drive and if I return and didn't like the route I would know to change things around.

I'm going in very early January and will post a trip report upon my return. Counting down!

Thanks for everyone's input and advice. I'm sure I shall a few questions before I go.

20. Re: Rhino Lodge/Sopa Lodge

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