13 nights on Safari

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Aug 27th, 2005, 06:17 PM
  #1
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13 nights on Safari

Hi My husband and I are planning a 13 night (17 day) safari to Kenya/Tanzania in either February 2006 or Late August 2006. I would like to come up with our own itinerary and then go get quotes from different toru operators.
1. Any suggestions on what parks /lodges to stay at
2. Any suggestions on a tour operator.
3. Any preference on the month

We will probably plan on spending 10K for the both of us.

I understand from reading the threads that staying longer in some spots is a better idea than going from park to park and not having time to enjoy. Thanks for the help

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Aug 28th, 2005, 04:23 AM
  #2
sandi
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purple -

You asked an earlier question on this subject and about using go2africa as your tour operator. I would suggest you keep all questions and replies under the same thread by clicking on your name - your thread will appear. Answers and questions can continue under the same heading rather then various threads on the same trip.

You can do a search on this board - the box on top of this board, type "kenya tour operators" then click "search" on the right. A list of threads including operator/outfitter names will appear in the left column.

When entering these operators sites you may find some sample itineraries, but you can probably custom design them to your liking. If after reading these itineraries, none appeal, you can write direct to these outfitters thru their "contact" page detailing exactly what you'd like - parks, accommodations - and ask for pricing.

You'll also have to decide whether you want a drive only or combination drive/fly safari. It's often recommended to drive the short distances and fly the long ones - to save time and avoid some lousy roads.

You indicate 13-day safari but 17-days - from where are you flying that you have 4-days "travel time?"

Anyway, if traveling in August, during The Migration it is recommended you spend at minimum 4-days here. For the other parks 2-days is usually sufficient as they are smaller. You should read a guidebook to familiarize yourself with the various parks/reserves to determine which are of interest to you, but a sample itinerary could look like:

Day 1 - Arrive Nairobi - o/n
Day 2 - Day in NBO, sightseeing - Daphne Sheldrik Elephant Orphanage (11am), lunch at The Carnivore; afternoon visit Karen Blixen Museum, Giraffe Center, Kazuri Beads - o/n
Day 3 - Drive to Amboseli NP - o/n
Day 4 - Amboseli - o/n
Day 5 - Fly to Nairobi, drive to Mt.Kenya - o/n Serena Mountain Lodge to view animals who arrive at the "salt-lick" during the night.
Day 6 - Drive to Samburu Reserve - o/n
Day 7 - Samburu - o/n
Day 8 - Drive to Lake Nakuru - o/n
Day 9 - Drive to Lake Naivasha - o/n
Day 10 - Fly (via NBO) to Masai Mara - o/n
Day 11 - Masai Mara - o/n
Day 12 - Masai Mara - o/n
Day 13 - Masai Mara - o/n
Day 14 - Fly to NBO - depart homebound.

Of course, you can modify to fit your exact schedule - above is only suggested. Bear in mind August will likely be more expensive then February.

Your accommodations can be in lodges - the Serena, Sopa, Sarova properties, but I'd also try to include a few tented camps as your budget allows.

Some in-country outfitters to provide an independent private safari to consider are:

Wild Trek Safaris
Southern Cross Safaris
Eastern & Southern Safaris

All located in Kenya, where you'll obtain better prices then if using a homebased tour operator. Hope this gets you started.

Now, keep your replies and hopefully responses together under this thread heading. You'll better be able to track and we'll be able to keep up with your progress.
 
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Aug 28th, 2005, 07:17 AM
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Purple (my favorite color),

The August itinerary Sandi suggested would be a fantastic trip. Late August is a great time for animal viewing since the water sources are limited. Four nights in the Mara would be a wonderful grand finale and perfect timing for that location.

That itinerary doesn't include Tanzania, but in late August the Mara has an edge over the Serengeti for the migrating herds, so staying in Kenya has its advantages. As you mentioned it is better to spend time in fewer places, enjoying what's there, than go flitting about racking up destinations.

But here's a recent Aug report on Tanzania that was full of wonderful sightings:

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=34666728

If you did go in February you'd be in the Serengeti at a good time for the wildebeest calving, an event I've never witnessed but hope to. Then maybe you'd want to focus on Tanzania.

If you are going in Feb. to Tanzania, you'd want to start moving on your plans pretty soon. August gives you more planning time.

Once you decide on which country(ies) or parks then we can get more specific with accommodations.

Here are some additional operators that have been recommended on Fodors:

Africa Adventure (US)
Fish Eagle (US)
Go2Africa (Africa)
Good Earth (US)
Roys (Africa, recently added US contact)

One last question FOR SANDI. You included both Nakuru and Naivasha for one night each. What is the advantage of going to both rather than two nights at one or the other?
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Aug 28th, 2005, 07:29 AM
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sandi
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atravelynn -

Because the drive from Samburu to Naivasha is too long. Nakuru is a good stop earlier and being a small park can be covered in a short time. However, from Nakuru there is no flight to the Mara - the drive would be 6+ hours on lousy roads. The drive from Nakuru to Naivasha is short and the area at Naivasha can be enjoyed in a shorter timeframe. From Naivasha there are flights via NBO to the Mara.

But my proposed itinerary is just that proposed. We all know how many changes can be made to any itinerary based on what the traveler finds of interest and hopes to get from their safari.
 
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Aug 28th, 2005, 02:26 PM
  #5
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Hi Sandi. thanks for the advice and the great info Here is the itenerary that 2Africa is using for 5100. Extra 500-600 for 2 nights in Amboseli. But then this was for February. Any thoughts? Thanks in advance
DAY 1 UNITED STATES LONDON
DAY 2 LONDON NAIROBI
DAY 3 NAIROBI LAKE MANYARA NATIONAL PARK LAKE MANYARA SERENA LODGE
DAY 4 LAKE MANYARA NATIONAL PARK SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK SERENGETI SERENA SAFARI LODGE
DAY 5 SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK SERENGETI SERENA SAFARI LODGE
DAY 6 SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK NGORONGORO CONSERVATION AREA NGORONGORO SERENA LODGE
DAY 7 NGORONGORO CONSERVATION AREA NGORONGORO SERENA LODGE
DAY 8 NGORONGORO CONSERVATION AREA NAIROBI NAIROBI INTERCONTINENTAL
DAY 9 NAIROBI SAMBURU NATIONAL PARK SAMBURU SERENA LODGE
DAY 10 SAMBURU NATIONAL PARK SAMBURU SERENA LODGE
DAY 11 SAMBURU NATIONAL PARK MOUNT KENYA FOREST SERENA MOUNTAIN LODGE
DAY 12 MOUNT KENYA FOREST LAKE NAKURU NATIONAL PARK LAKE NAKURU LODGE
DAY 13 LAKE NAKURU NATIONAL PARK MAASAI MARA NATIONAL PARK MARA SERENA SAFARI LODGE
DAY 14 MAASAI MARA NATIONAL PARK MARA SERENA SAFARI LODGE
DAY 15 MAASAI MARA NATIONAL PARK NAIROBI
NAIROBI LONDON IN-FLIGHT
DAY 16 LONDON UNITED STATES IN-FLIGHT
END OF SERVICES
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Aug 28th, 2005, 02:55 PM
  #6
bwanamitch
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A nice Serena tour.

One remark: Samburu Serena is located in Buffalo Springs National Reserve, NOT in Samburu National Reserve (for marketing purposes Serena Hotels are even lying on their website on this). Since Samburu NR is much more rewarding than Buffalo Springs NR you should check with your operator whether a visit of Samburu NR is included in the itenerary. If not, and if your travel group decide to make an unplanned visit to Samburu NR during your stay at Serena Samburu, please note that you have to pay additional park fees in Kenya Shillings.

Mitch
 
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Aug 28th, 2005, 04:29 PM
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Does your 10K budget include international flights, and if so from where?

Is the above itinerary from 2Afrika an all drive one? If so, you should be aware that some of those drives are fairly long. Day 3, 8, 9, 13 & 15 would all be drives of 6 hours or possibly more.

Is this a group or private itinerary? Does the $5100 (per person?) include international air?
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Aug 28th, 2005, 04:49 PM
  #8
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Even if these drives are sometimes long and exhausting, they allow you to see much more of the country and its people than an air charter transfer. I've made both, road and fly-in safaris, and in most cases I prefer road transfers which often are adventures in themselves. Going to Masai Mara without seeing Narok is a very one-sided kind of travel.

Mitch
 
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Aug 28th, 2005, 05:40 PM
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Mitch,
I also enjoy the road transfers and agree they're an adventure. For our upcoming Kenya trip, we're traveling by road throughout. However, even I wouldn't want to do the above itinerary. To me, those 5 long drives are just too much over the span of 12 nights, especially considering the relatively short 1-2 night stays at each location. If I travel for 6 hours or more in one direction, I need to stay 3 nights to relax, recover, and enjoy myself. But I know that's a personal preference and everyone is different. I just thought the drive times were worth mentioning as first time visitors may not be aware of what's involved with some of these standard itineraries supplied by tour operators to East Africa.
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Aug 28th, 2005, 06:03 PM
  #10
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Patty,

Often it's also a question of how much $$ you want to spend. The cost of one air transfer is the same as one night at a Serena with all activities.

Mitch
 
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Aug 28th, 2005, 06:18 PM
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Very true. I'd opt for road transfers with fewer (or closer) destinations.
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Aug 29th, 2005, 03:28 AM
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Hello,

I'd recommend combing air and road transfers to get the best of both worlds -- some time on the ground to absorb the flavour of the country, while enabling you to spend more time at each destination.

Personally, I dislike spending more than 3-4 hours on the road (especially if the condition of the road is poor) but I have an old back injury which plays a big part in that preference.

Cheers,
Julian
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Aug 29th, 2005, 03:58 AM
  #13
sandi
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purple -

As Patty mentions you have some very long drive days in that itinerary. I would check with 2Afrika which legs you will be flying.

And while the ride from Lake Nakuru to the Mara is another long drive and probably the worst road, a stop at Narok is an experience. And, of course the ride back to NBO is another 5-6/hrs. Get the internal air info from 2Afrika.

If the $5100/person includes some internal air and the International air then you did pretty okay.

2Afrika is providing you a safari schedule as a group tour, so if this is okay with you do determine how many others will be traveling with you - in Kenya only, in Kenya & Tanzania or in Tanzania only. For comfort in safari vehicles, ideally it should be no more then 4-people, though the company may max out at 6-people.
 
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Aug 31st, 2005, 03:39 AM
  #14
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Hi Africa Serndipity Tours Has anyone heard of them This is the sample itinerary they gave us (no prices just yet) Thanks

Below are two (2) sample itineraries we can price for you:

Travel - February 2006

Day 1 - Arrive Nairobi - overnight (o/n)
Day 2 - Drive to Mt. Kenya - see animals who come to drink at "salt-lick" - o/n
Day 3 - Drive to Samburu Natl Reserve - o/n
Day 4 - Samburu - o/n
Day 5 - Fly to Masai Mara - o/n
Day 6 - Masai Mara - o/n
Day 7 - Masai Mara - o/n
Day 8 - Fly to NBO, drive to Amboseli Natl Pk - o/n
Day 9 - Amboseli - o/n
Day 10 - Drive to border w/Tanzania, border procedures, transfer vehicles;
drive via Arusha for lunch, continue to Tarangire or Lake Manyara
NP - o/n
Day 11 - Drive to Ngorongoro Crater - Crater Tour in afternoon - o/n
Day 12 - Drive via Olduvai Gorge with visit here - to Southeast Serengeti - o/n
Day 13 - Southeast Serengeti - o/n
Day 14 - Southeast Serengeti - o/n
Day 15 - Drive to Central Serengeti - o/n
Day 16 - Central Serengeti - o/n
Day 17 - Fly to Arusha - afternoon cultural visit or leisure - hotel day-room
till evening transfer for homebound flight.

Travel - August/September 2006

Day 1 - Arrive Kilimanjaro - transfer to Arusha - o/n
Day 2 - Arusha Natl Park - morning canoe safari; afternoon cultural tour - o/n
Day 3 - Drive to Tarangire Natl Park - o/n
Day 4 - Tarangire - o/n
Day 5 - Drive to Ngorongoro Crater - afternoon Crater Rim Walk - o/n
Day 6 - Morning Crater Tour; afternoon Olmoti Crater Trek - o/n
Day 7 - Drive to Lake Manyara - o/n
Day 8 - Early depart via Arusha to border with Kenya, border procedures,
transfer vehicles; drive to Amboseli Natl Park - o/n
Day 9 - Amboseli - o/n
Day 10 - Fly to NBO, 11am visit to Daphne Sheldrik Elephant Orphanage;
lunch at The Carnivore Restaurant (or other); drive to Mt. Kenya - o/n
Day 11 - Drive to Samburu Natl Reserve - o/n
Day 12 - Samburu - o/n
Day 13 - Fly to Masai Mara - o/n
Day 14 - Masai Mara - o/n
Day 15 - Masai Mara - o/n
Day 16 - Masai Mara - o/n
Day 17 - Fly to NBO - day-room at hotel; afternoon tour to Karen Blixen
Museum, Giraffe Center, Kazuri Beads; evening transfer for homebound
flight.
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Aug 31st, 2005, 10:27 AM
  #15
 
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My only comment is that you may have difficulty finding accomodation space in the southeastern Serengeti for Feb at this point. Feb is prime 'calving' season for this part of the Serengeti. If you don't find anything available now, it may be possible to waitlist and see what opens up.

A recent thread on Africa Serendipity -

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=34670406
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