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How about this Kenya itinerary?

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Hello again my Africa experts. I have been all over the map (literary) getting a start on our next trip to Africa. Many of you have been kind enough to read and respond to previous posts about a proposed itinerary to Botswana/Zambia and another that included chimps in Mahale.

I think Botswana/Zambia is off the table for reasons of timing. And Mahale is vastly expensive in travel expense. So on to new destinations for consideration.

To recap; we did the Kenya/Tanz northern circuit on our first trip -- Tarangire, Ngorongoro, Serengeti, Samburu, Mt. Kenya, Masa Mara. We stayed at Olivers Camp, Kirawira, Larsens Camp, Serena Lodge Crater, Little Governors Camp, Mt. Kenya Lodge and the Norfolk in Nairobi.

Our last trip was several weeks in Southern Tanzania. In Ruaha at Jongomero and Mwagusi. In Selous at Selous Safari Camp and Sand Rivers - at times, we were completely alone and we loved it. Both trips were taken in January.

I admit I never gave much thought to returning to Kenya. Always considered it way too crowded for our taste now. But recently I've heard good things about some of the private conservancies in Kenya and we're thinking it might be a reasonable choice. Here's what I'm looking into:

4-5 night in each of the following camps:
-Meru, Elsa's Kopje
-Meru, Rhino River Camp
-Mara, Mara Plains
-Mara, Rekero or Ole Seki

-We want to spend at least 20 days in the bush.
-I like a luxury camp with great staff and delicious food at the end of my day. Jongomero and Selous Safari camps in S. Tanzania are my benchmark.
-We want to be able to off-road and do night game drives,
-We want to see a diversity of game (especially cats which we missed in S. TZ) I like the idea of reticulated giraffe, Grevy zebra and the rhino sanctuary in Meru.
-We like open sided vehicles with no more than 2 passengers in each row. No middle seating! (That is an absolute deal breaker)

Questions:
- Are these camps on private conservancies?
- How would you rate the diversity, quality and quantity of game in both areas?
- How is the green season in these locations? Game, no game? We have always traveled in January and really like Africa after the "short rains" as things are a bit greener and babies are being born. It also reduces pricing.
- What about either November or January for travel dates? Which would be better?
- Would it be possible to do game drive transfers between the two camps in Meru and between the two camps in Mara?
- Would transfer between the two areas (Meru/Mara) require flying back through Nairobi?
- If one is game driving in conservancies does one still pay the park fees? Or do you only pay the fees if you go inside the park proper?
- In Meru particularly, is the game easy to view once spotted - or is it stitterish? We found we could sit for hours among game in Ruaha, but in Selous it was completely different because of nearby allowed hunting. Game was very shy.

Thanks any and all comments.
TC

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