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From Uganda to Kenya for a safari, suggestions?

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Greetings All!
I am taking the summer between my first and second year of medical school to build a medical clinic in southern Uganda. I am dragging my parents along, as well as a general contractor and someone who just wants to help out. We will be there the entire summer, working with a bunch of locals, but want to treat ourselves to a safari for a couple days before we leave in early August.
I have tried to read many postings and it seems there is a good vibe going on Amboseli Safari in Kenya, staying at either Ol Tukai or Tortelli.
I loved the idea suggested of finding a reliable local and hiring him to drive us to the game reserve and also drive with us during the day through the park.
It seemed many recommended driving on our own vs. the tour guides, as there is more freedom . I did this once in Kruger and thought it amazing. We have several good Ugandan local friends, so I think finding this person should not be a problem.
Does anybody have any suggestions?
Do you think it is possible to drive from Uganda to Amboseli in a day? It seems the viewing along the way, even if a long drive, could be much more exciting than an airplane.
How does one make a reservation at Ol Tukai or Tortelli without a 'package deal'?
I could not find a direct link to either accomodation.
Which accomodation is better? (We'd be there August 5ish-8ish)
Does anybody want to help build? We'll be there the entire summer starting next week!
Thanks so much for any input you might have to offer!
Steph

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