2 wk safari/islands Kenya - single traveller

Aug 1st, 2008, 03:21 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Aug 2008
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2 wk safari/islands Kenya - single traveller

I am attempting to plan a very very last minute trip to Kenya which incorporates game watching safari with beaches or island travel. I'm on a really tight budget which is making this a real challenge as there is so much I want to do whilst I am there.

I can get more for my money if I take the overland/budget camp type tour (4-6 days). The benefit of this is that I would get to see quite a selection of reserves. But I am apprehensive about being on the road for such a large proportion of my trip.

The alternative is that I take an air safari trip to Masai mara, and stay there for a slightly shorter time (3/4 days). these packages normally come with what looks to me like lovely lodge/permananet camp accomodation.

I am naturally inclined to just do mara especially as the migration will be there. However I am concerned that I will be missing out on so many other areas of Kenya. Can anyone advise which would be better?

To help me decide, can anyone advise how uncomfortable the 5 hr overland drives are? - or is the journey so good that you don't notice your bruised bottom!?
and which vehicles are the best to do it in (i.e. minibus, car, 4x4 etc)?

Thats the safari part.

I then want some time by the coast but have no idea where to head for? Any suggestions? Am I likely to meet other single travellers or is it predominanly families/couples on beach resort style holidays?

Where would be best for me to head to thats safe, quietly sociable and beautiful?

I saw a wonderful week-long dow island hopping tour but they have no availability. does anyone know of other similar multiday tours to the islands/marine nature areas?

Is there anywhere to swim with wild dolphins?

And finally....the safety issues. As a single female traveller this is always a concern to me. I have seen very little written online about safety in Kenya so am naively assuming that there isn't much of an issue. How are western women normally received/treated by men in Kenya? I have been to Egypt, is it similar (stares/beeps but its all kept at a distance)? what do I need to be aware of? i.e. would it be unsafe for me to walk on the beach or in the town at night alone?

Can I wear bikini on all the beaches or is this frowned upon (I read a report from someone that in Lama and Zanzibar no-one was on the beach in swimsuits) - what a shame that would be to have to swim in the indian ocean in a track suit!! : )

sorry for all the questions!! I hope I'm not duplicating what is elsewhere on the forum.

Thanks, spacecandi
spacecandi is offline  
Aug 1st, 2008, 07:32 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 312
Hello spacecandi:

Your questions are so through youíve nearly answered them yourself! Adding to that your traveling experience in Egypt and overall awareness I think you will benefit greatly by reading the NEW EAST AFRICA Trip Report Index
(http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=34860283) where most of your questions have been addressed.

I'm on a really tight budget which is making this a real challenge as there is so much I want to do whilst I am there.
What does tight budget mean to you? You will see many budget samples in the index and perhaps one that is similar to yours with a little tweaking you could make it to your liking.

I can get more for my money if I take the overland/budget camp type tour (4-6 days).

To help me decide, can anyone advise how uncomfortable the 5 hr overland drives are? - or is the journey so good that you don't notice your bruised bottom!? and which vehicles are the best to do it in (i.e. minibus, car, 4x4 etc)?

Reading the Index you will discover many vehicle, distance and comfort samples. I do not believe one can find in the Index any information on the Huge Bus OVERLAND vehicles where your bum would be very comfy! Someone will correct me if they are aware but it does not sound like that is what you meant by OVERLAND.

Your non-safari Qís:

sorry for all the questions!! I hope I'm not duplicating what is elsewhere on the forum.

Is there anywhere to swim with wild dolphins?

This is the only question that does not seem like a duplication to me and I would be curious to know this as well as I do not recall ever reading this before here. What have you heard in regards to this so far? Have you done this before Ė where?

Enjoy the EA Trip Report Index, there are many great reads.
Den
Denbasking is offline  
Aug 1st, 2008, 12:28 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,870
Most of the budget camping tours try to cover a lot of ground relative to the number of days so you're right to question the amount of time spent on the road. If you want to post an itinerary, we can give you an estimate of drive times. I've seen some that try to squeeze in Samburu, Nakuru, and Mara in 6 days and that's just too much driving to me.

In my experience, the roads to/from the Mara are actually some of the worst. Many of the others aren't so bad.
Patty is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2008, 09:09 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 875
I'm with Patty on this one. Unless we have an idea of destinations we don't know how much time you will be on the road. If the road transfers are long, you could easily have fewer game drives on the longer itinerary than on the shorter one.
Dana_M is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2008, 12:50 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,309
Hello spacecandi,
I donít find long drives, like 6 hours to the Mara, uncomfortable at all, but theyíll take a lot of time from your trip.

If you have 6 days or less for safari, Iíd say itíd be a good idea to just go to the Mara, by road or air.

Youíll have to go back to Kenya to see other areas.

Iím not a coast expert, but I can recommend Lamu. Lamu Town might be better than a beach resort for a single traveller.

You can arrange multiday dhow trips when youíre in Lamu. Half the population are dhow captains.

Iím almost sure Iíve read about people swimming with dolphins when on boat trips from Lamu.

I feel very safe in Kenya as a single female traveller, but there is a lot of information on the Internet telling me that Iím not safe at all.

To Kenyan men youíll look like you have a lot of $$$ and this will make some of them declare their love for you even if they told you about their wonderful wife and 4 children 2 minutes earlier. I havenít been to Egypt, but from what Iíve read Iíd say their street behaviour is worse than that of Kenyan men.

I feel safe walking the streets of Nairobi city centre after dark, but most people would say itís not something you should do. The beaches arenít recommended at night either.

People do wear bikinis on the beaches.

Safari njema!



Nyamera is offline  

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