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$1200 Per Night Private Mobile Safari?

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Dec 22nd, 2007, 01:03 PM
  #1
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$1200 Per Night Private Mobile Safari?

I'm planning a special safari for my wife in '09. Been trying to locate some top of the heap private and mobile safari companies but they have eluded me. It's the only thing she has ever asked for and probably our one and only safari, so I want to get it right. I've searched Fodor's - and the internet. Can anyone offer any names and contact information? East Africa is our first choice; Southern Africa would be interesting too.
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Dec 22nd, 2007, 01:41 PM
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Thomson is a well-regarded company offering these trips in Tanzania ... http://www.thomsonsafaris.com/
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Dec 22nd, 2007, 02:31 PM
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Also try

www.ccafrica.com which is a very reputable company

and

www.nomad-tanzania.com

I just got the rates quoted to me for nomad and they were waaayyy above my budget but might be perfect for what you're looking for.

Good luck!
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Dec 22nd, 2007, 02:32 PM
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Cobbles,

Some suggestions for a private, upscale, tented and mobile safari (with an excellent guide and well trained crew) in East Africa are:

Donald Young (Kenya) at http://www.donyoungsafaris.com

Justin Bell (Tanzania) at www.wildernessafrica.com

F. Pierre-Nina (TZ) is an elite and most wonderful guide/host, but you would only encounter him through word-of-mouth.

I could expand the list if you are interested.
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Dec 22nd, 2007, 03:05 PM
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With that "?" are you saying that's what you want to spend? Or is that too high?

At $1,200/nt/couple, that would be $600/nt/person... there are plenty of resources to provide such a safari. During peak-season that price may even be low! However, for that budget you can have small seasonal camps or permanent camps or unique lodges (still small). In fact, if you wanted to spend $1,500/person/nt... that too can be found. Most any safari planner or tour outfitter can arrange a private itinerary for you. These can be fly only or a combination fly/drive.

But, when you plan to travel can well determine the best destination, either Kenya or Tanzania only or combining both and for how long do you plan to be in-country?

Why not read the East Africa Trip Report Index (here on Fodor's) which can give you an idea of routings, accommodations, time of year, etc. These do range from budget, mid-range and luxury accommodations; the actual routing/places to visit though more important. You'll have an idea of where/when. But also realize, there are many places "off-the-beaten-track" that aren't prominent in this index.

You have time to plan, so take the time to read trip reports on this board, then put together a Wish List; come back here and we'll jump right in to assist.


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Dec 22nd, 2007, 03:33 PM
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Thank you all for your suggestions.

Khaki the Don Young safari looks like the sort of vintage, romantic environment I'm seeking. We met a couple on a plane that told us about their glorious safari. My wife was smitten; we never thought to ask them who they booked with. This will be the last trip I take with my wife (and may be the last gift I give her -don't ask, it's a high drama story that I would like not to discuss).

Sandi, good questions; sorry I was not more clear. We will plan three weeks total, and a budget of $1200-$1500 per person per night. We can travel any time/season. I only want luxurious camping and over the top experiences. We are in our mid 70's so extreme activities are out. I want to leave my wife with astonishing memories spent with me on safari in the most incredible place on earth.
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Dec 22nd, 2007, 03:39 PM
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Cobbles,
I normally don't reply to these type of inquires but your statement "so I want to get it right." encouraged me to give the name of the company I use to organize our safaris to East and South Africa. Try African Portfolio, website: www.onsafari.com. Ask to speak with Yvette and describe what it is you are looking for. They are a U.S. based travel firm (Conn.) specializing in African safaris and they have been around for enough years to have established a good track record and a loyal following.
Regards-safarichuck
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Dec 22nd, 2007, 04:30 PM
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Cobbles, the link for East Africa trip report index is
http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=34860283


Khakif, thanks for posting Don Young's site, I went in out of curiosity, and came out with a huge wish list for at least 10 of stuffed wild animals on the Hansa Toys sight that he helps design. They are really awesome, and Lynne, if you are reading this, they even have a coatimundi!

The cheetah cub definitely has to come and live in our Africa room, I just may have to take back some Christmas presents and buy that one!

Don Young's safaris look very interesting as well, I hadn't heard of him before. I couldn't quite determine though if they were private safaris, group safaris ar whichever you like?
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Dec 22nd, 2007, 05:03 PM
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We will plan three weeks total, and a budget of $1200-$1500 per person per night.

Cobbles, the Africans have a saying about people with your kind of budget:

"That man has enough money to burn a wet elephant"

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Dec 22nd, 2007, 06:51 PM
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I second the suggestion for Nomad Tanzania. I have been on 10 safaris now and, far and away, the best overall experience I have had was with Nomad during a mobile safari in the Serengeti. Not only was the wildlife amazing, but the guiding was fantastic and I enjoyed the intimacy of being in a camp with a maximum of only 8 guests (although everyone had their own vehicle and Nomad guide for further exclusivity).
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Dec 22nd, 2007, 08:03 PM
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Khakif,
I would be interested in any additional listings you care to share. I've copied the ones you did share for future reference.

Lynda,
A Coatimundi? Really?! Thanks.

Cobbles,
No problem with that budget. Since both East and Southern Africa are of interest, these sites show what parks in which countries have the best wildlife viewing throughout the year.
Your time of travel may dictate where you go.

http://www.africa-adventure.com/dsp_besttime.html
http://www.bornfreesafaris.com/best_travel.htm

If you decide on Tanzania, this site has safari suggestions for each month.

http://www.kiliwarriors.com/

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Dec 22nd, 2007, 09:36 PM
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Atravelyn:
For your pleasure:

Peter Jones of Tanganyika Film & Safari Outfitters; http://www.tanzania-safari.com

John Stevens at http://www.johnstevenssafaris.com

LyndaS: Don Young is a true scholar, an exployer and a gentleman. Also well known for his storytelling round the campfire.

I love the Hansa Toys too. Presented my Granddaughter with a collection when she was just born. She is now almost three and she said to me, "Grandma I know you love animals 'caue you gave me some animals for my room."
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Dec 23rd, 2007, 12:49 AM
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Try Tanzania Odyssey. They are actually in London but their phone number is easily available on the internet (toll free) I also spoke with Abercrombie and Kent also but liked the Tanzania Odyssey program better. It was also several thousand dollars less and more personalized.
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Dec 23rd, 2007, 03:22 AM
  #14
 
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Definitely 'The Original Ker & Downey" based in Nairobi. http://www.kerdowneysafaris.com
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Dec 23rd, 2007, 04:23 AM
  #15
 
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Cobbles -

In your 70s with "drama"... I can only imagine Well, good for you two, as you'll find quite a few likeminded mature adults are avid safari goers. Regardless age, many of us have some issues - motion/air sickness, bad backs, use of cane, difficulty with hills/stairs, etc. - do be sure that with whomever you decide to work, they be aware of any (if), along with allergies, food preferences and celebrations while in-country.

safarichuck -

Do you recall who Africa Portfolio uses for their ground outfitters in Kenya and Tanzania? Thnx.

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Dec 23rd, 2007, 05:31 AM
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Sandi,
African Portfolio uses Kibo guides in Tanzania and at least in 2006 they used Naked Wilderness in Kenya.
Regards-Safarichuck

Cobbles,
From the tone of your original post it sounds as though you might have gain some peace of mind by looking into Flying Doctors and MedJet Assist. Both are reliable, Medjet is active throughout Africa, Flying Doctors is more used for local evaculations. Do a search on this forum for the pros and cons of each. Cheap peace of mind in you have any concerns. Have a wonderful safari....
Regards-safarichuck
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Dec 23rd, 2007, 07:25 AM
  #17
 
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I have to put another vote in for African Portfolio and Yvette. She did our Southern and Eastern Africa trips. And we will work with her on our 2009 trip too!
Every wish and care and concern was addressed.
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Dec 23rd, 2007, 04:22 PM
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This question is not meant to be a backhanded slight or to be condescending. So set me straight with the facts. I thought Naked Wilderness was more of a budget option and not that high-end. Their website showed 20 years experienced, so they certainly are established.

I wonder if I have talked to or read about people booking directly and not getting as good of service as using an agent and thatís what I am basing my Naked Wilderness opinion on.

I have seen negative accounts of a company I used twice through an agent, and all was outstanding for me. But the agent picked which guides were used and had gone on safari with them as a test drive. Independent travelers did not have that extra level of protection. With the best guides going to clients booked by agents, less experienced guides might go to others.

I don't know that Naked Wilderness does this. But larger companies with lots of guides and established relationships with several agents may do this. Obviously Africa Portfolio must be getting good results with their Kenya ground agent or they would make a switch.

Here is another agent option:

When I have had some problems in Africa, beyond the agent's control, the Africa Adventure Company fixed everything so I was not inconvenienced. (You could email me for the details if you wish.) So I know they will ďget it right,Ē even if things go wrong. They also will handle the international air and offer trip cancellation insurance, in addition to evacuation insurance (flying doctors). I had to use the cancellation/trip delay insurance once for a delayed flight and was pleased with the results. This would not be your lowest cost choice.

http://www.africa-adventure.com

Good luck with your planning. There are many good agents that will make your dream trip a reality. Please post your trip planning progress.



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Dec 24th, 2007, 01:15 AM
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I don't know about Naked Wilderness, they met us at the airport and handeled our flights into an out of different camps in Kenya. I have know idea what their guides are like or even if they employ a regular stable of guides. As far as the medical evacuation programs I mentioned, you are comparing apples to oranges. I would not equate these programs to the coverage afforded by a trip a cancellation. MedJet and Flying Docs have been discussed many times on this forum and it might be worthwhile to review those threads.
Regards-safarichuck
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Dec 24th, 2007, 01:35 AM
  #20
 
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For something really special try Thad Pieterson in Arusha at Dorobo Safaris [email protected]

Also suggest you to read "Leopard in the Afternoon - An African Tenting Safari" by Christopher Ondaatje

http://www.amazon.com/Leopard-Aftern...8488502&sr=8-1

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