2AFRIKA

Dec 19th, 2006, 10:57 AM
  #1  
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2AFRIKA

My husband and I just returned on Nov 27th from our 20 day honeymoon in Kenya and Tanzania. We booked our trip through 2Afrika after much research and are happy to say that we had an unbelievable experience! They exceeded every expectation that we had! The land operators that they used (Naked Wilderness and Leopard Tours)were exceptional and we can honestly say we wouldn't change a thing about the trip. If anyone is considering a safari we would highly recommend 2Afrika. Their prices were extremely competitive and their attention to detail was terrific! I wanted to post a note because when we were originally planning our trip it was a very tough decision which tour operator to use. If anyone has any questions about our experience we would be happy to answer them.
GinaTZ is offline  
Dec 19th, 2006, 02:30 PM
  #2  
 
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Hi, Gina,

Thanks for the info. we are a family of 4 [older kids] thinking about a safari next year. What made your experience so great?

I would really like to read your trip report!

REgards, Ann
annhig is offline  
Dec 19th, 2006, 03:30 PM
  #3  
 
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You must have just found this board, Gina TZ, and made your first post upon returning home. I didn't find any previous posts where you inquired about the different tour operators you were considering.

Forgive my suspicions that this is a veiled advertisement. I hope you really did just get married and really did have a wonderful 20 day honeymoon and that you are really you. And I hope you can relive your fabulous trip with a trip report that provide useful specifics to us all. And then I hope you go back for your first anniversary and have another successful trip with 2Afrika.

atravelynn is offline  
Dec 19th, 2006, 05:02 PM
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Gina, I too am interested in reading your report. I have many fond memories of our trips to northern tanzania with same firm and am looking forward to your report particularly depending on who your guide was.
rsnyder is offline  
Dec 19th, 2006, 05:17 PM
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You're right - I have not been on this site... under my name. I just registered as a user today. My husband was doing most of the research in the summer/fall under his own user name. We left from Chicago on Nov 6th and had a layover in London. From there we flew to Nairobi. We spent 1 night at Giraffe Manor, 2 nights at Tortilis Camp in Amboseli, 2 nights at Serena in Samburu, 1 night at Sarova Lion Hill in Lake Nakuru, 2 nights at Olonana in Masai Mara, 2 nights at Mbelgetti Camp in Serengetti, 2 nights at Serena in Ngorongoro, 2 nights at Treetops in Tarangire and then flew to Zanzibar for 3 nights (Serena and Breezes Beach Club). We were fortunate that we were able to stay at so many luxury camps. Many of them were less than half full because of the season. I guess the reason that we are so happy with the 2Afrika and the land operators is their attention to details. 2Afrika made sure to tell all of the lodges/camps that it was our honeymoon and we received many nice surprises - chocolates, champagne, etc. We had done some research prior to the trip and when we contacted 2Afrika we told them which places we wanted to visit and they put together an itinerary based on our requests. We didn't realize how bad some of the roads are in Africa so what seemed like a short distance on the map was actually pretty far. There were many days when 2Afrika/land operators made alternate arrangements with the lodges/camps to either pack a lunch for us to eat at a rest stop along the way or even eat at one of their sister lodges at no extra cost because it was most convenient. This allowed us to maximize our time on safari.

Since we were getting married on Nov 4th we were locked into specific dates so our entire tour ended up being private. Just the two of us and our guide. The guides (separate one in Kenya and Tanzania)were completely open to anything we wanted. We were supposed to have two game drives each day but if we were seeing a lot of animals and wanted to stay out all day they were more than happy to do so. Another example is when I found a pair of ebony rhino bookends at a small shop in Kenya. I didn't buy them because we couldn't agree on price. A few days later I was still talking about the bookends and how sorry I was I didn't buy them. Our driver called the shop and explained the situation. They remembered which bookends I was looking at and he asked that they drop them off at the Naked Wilderness (land operator) office in Nairobi. At the end of our trip we flew from Zanzibar to Nairobi and were met by our guide Norman who was delivering the bookends to me. Again, just an example of going over and above what we expected. There were no hidden costs in our trip. We were given all of the information upfront and that is what we paid for. As a matter of fact, 2Afrika even upgraded us from half board to full board at Giraffe Manor and also upgraded us to the honeymoon suite at the Serena in Zanzibar at no extra cost. One other example is that we flew from Amboseli to Nairobi and immediately switched planes to fly to Samburu. Our Naked Wilderness rep, Thomas, was at the small airport in Nairobi to greet us and make sure we had no problem with our transfer to our next flight. We didn't expect this but were happy to see him. Our flight from Amboseli had been late and he helped to expedite the process of getting us onto the next flight. I could write on and on but I've probably taken up too much space already. If anyone has any further questions or would like to see some pictures I would be happy to send them if you provide your e-mail address. I will try to check this board over the next week or so but it will be periodically.

I hope this was helpful. Gina
GinaTZ is offline  
Dec 19th, 2006, 05:30 PM
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I also neglected to mention that our guides were very helpful with spotting the animals and also very knowledgeable about them. Every time we saw a new animal they would explain everything about them including what they ate, how often, life span, etc. Basically they quoted directly from our field book (from memory)! On the few occasions where we saw something we were unsure of (birds mostly) they would immediately look them up and share what they found. We spotted lions where other safari vehicles had driven right past them... The same for a leopard sighting with a kill in a tree on the Masai Mara. In Ngorongoro our guide spotted 2 Cheetahs when they were far off in the distance. We then followed them "hunting" for about half hour and were thrilled with seeing a kill first-hand. My husband got terrific photos and I captured the whole sequence on video -amazing! Again, I could go on and on...
GinaTZ is offline  
Dec 19th, 2006, 05:31 PM
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Gina, you are you!
What a great itinerary. The examples you've given do illustrate some excellent service. It is the guide that makes the trip for sure. (And in the case of a honeymoon, the husband too.)

Would you care to share any wildlife sightings that you enjoyed?
atravelynn is offline  
Dec 19th, 2006, 06:39 PM
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Sorry, the name of our guide in TZ was Charmey. The guides in Kenya were Joshua and Norman.
GinaTZ is offline  
Dec 19th, 2006, 10:34 PM
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Gina, thanks for your report on this company. It is nice to read a good report on this company, as I have just finished another report from two people who went weren't so happy. 2Afrika had used Predators Safaris on that one, so it looks as though they may have changed ground operators.

Once I catch up, I will add this to the index so that people can see they have changed since that lat report - and CONGRATULATIONS on your wedding! Isn't the Serena an incredible inn, I just loved it! I would have loved to have seen the honeymoon suite! I loved the windows with the coloured glass, the view, the balcony and the incredible decor - and ours was just a regular room, I can imagine what the honeymoon suite would have been like.
LyndaS is offline  
Dec 20th, 2006, 06:45 AM
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Your experience with 2Afrika was completely different from mine. They never returned my phone calls or emails when I inquired about booking a safari with them. Other people have also reported very mixed reviews of them in the past.
RBCal is offline  
Dec 20th, 2006, 09:33 AM
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I'm glad your trip when so well. I also had a good 2Afrika experience when I went to Tanzania in 2002.
Welcome back...looking forward to your photos...
one2travel is offline  
Dec 20th, 2006, 10:43 AM
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We had a great trip with 2AFRIKA although I was not 100% sold on thier ground op in Tanzania which the seem to have changed so looks like they take up feedback. Certainly never had any issues with 2Afrika themselves.
So glad yo had a great trip & CONGRATS!
J
jules39 is offline  
Dec 20th, 2006, 04:04 PM
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RBCal, We were originally having some problems with the woman at 2Afrika. She wasn't very responsive so we started looking elsewhere. About a month later I sent a note directly to Kenneth Heiber and explained the problem and the reason why we were unsure about their company. He apologized and said that the woman we had been dealing with was no longer with the company and he assigned our trip to Michael Kerneklian and he did a wonderful job. I'm very glad we decided to give them a second try! One other thing I wanted to mention is that we thought the balloon safari was a bit high through 2Afrika. I think they wanted $495 pp. We ended up booking it through a company called African Mecca (www.africanmeccasafaris.com) and worked with someone named Raza. He was very professional and booked the hot air balloon ride for us at a price of $380 pp. He gave us very specific instructions on checking in at our camp the night before, etc. It worked out terrific!
GinaTZ is offline  
Dec 20th, 2006, 04:24 PM
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$380 for the balloon is about right while $495 is too high. That's good you recognized the surcharge. Now back to wildlife sightings. Any from the balloon?
Always interested in whatever you saw and where you saw it. Thanks.
atravelynn is offline  
Dec 21st, 2006, 06:19 AM
  #15  
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$495 for the balloon. WOW. About a 30% mark-up. Glad you found the $380. The range for '06 has been between $380-$410.

But prices for the balloon safaris will be higher in '07 (not $495, for sure).
 
Dec 21st, 2006, 11:45 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2004
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We booked with 2Afrika with Mike Frederick, and he couldn't be more helpful. We are leaving in July and have had several questions. he is always quick to respond to our inquiries. I am hopeful that we will equally good service when we are in Africa with their ground operators. We are anticipating a bad case of "shopping withdrawal", since the safaris are remote. We are staying the the Serena lodges in Lake Manyara, Serengeti, and Ngorgongoro.
Gina, were there any "sidetrips" available that were interesting???
duchesswilliams is offline  
Dec 24th, 2006, 11:13 AM
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These types of articles are generally simplistic and do not ever explore the true resource economics of land use alternatives. Firstly the 50-70% is just plain wrong. Realistically the STO (standard tour operator) rates are retail less 20% which on average is split 10% to the high street travel agent and 10% for the wholesale tour operator. However the better performing tour operators can negotiate up to 30% based on turnover. So the 50-70% can be disregarded outright.

It is well established that not all land is suitable for intensive agriculture and at the end of the day agriculture is a business not a religious calling and countries that promote agriculture at the expense of alternates are destroying wealth. Wealth and not income in the end lifts people out of poverty. Secure sustainable hard currency based incomes in soft currency enviornments like Kenya (Africa in general too) create more wealth on average over extensive tracts of mixed potential land. While it is true that intensive agriculture can out perform tourism on selected blocks of land it will not do this over the whole area of any park.

In Southern Africa where land ownership and land use planning have been relatively free of any great central planning for some time now have seen more than 3 million ha of farm land converted back to tourism usage. As they say - the answer is the answer. The Kenyan government should do a proper investigation into the alternate uses and take a logic decision in the end - corruption excepted.
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