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About to fork over $15,500 for Safari, is this reasonable?

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Sep 27th, 2005, 09:45 AM
  #1
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About to fork over $15,500 for Safari, is this reasonable?

The $15,500 is for land only. Air is costing another $2400 (for 2 people), plus travel insurance, tips, alcohol, laundry, and most meals in Zanzibar. Here is the itinerary through Africa Adventure Company:

Day 1 - Arrive Nairobi early evening, met at airport & overnight at Norfolk hotel, deluxe room.
Day 2 - AM Charter to Kilimanjaro. Met by guide and driven to Tarangire Park. Overnight at Tarangire Treetops Camp.
Day 3 - Morning game activity & drive to Lake Manyara Park. Overnight at Lake Manyara Tree Lodge.
Day 4 - Morning game drive and proceed to Ngorongoro Conservation area. Cultural walk to Mto wa Mbu. Gibbs Farm for lunch. Tour of farm and Iraqw Cultural Center. Overnight at Ngorongoro Crater Lodge.
Day 5 - Crater & overnightat Ngorongoro Crater Lodge (2 nights here)
Day 6 - Oldupai Gorge, Leakey Museum and on to Serengeti. Overnight at Olakira Mobile Camp. (4 nights)
Day 7 - Serengeti, Olakira
Day 8 - Serengeti, Olakira
Day 9 - Serengeti, Olakira
Day 10 - AM charter to Arusha, lunch at local restaurant, afternoon charter flight to Zanzibar. Met and transfered to hotel.
Overnight at Bluebay. (3 nights)
Day 11 - Zanzibar, Bluebay.
Day 12 - Zanzibar, Bluebay
Day 13 - Charter flight to Nairobi
Day 14 - Arrive back at JFK
Any and all comments appreciated.
bugswife1 is offline  
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Sep 27th, 2005, 09:52 AM
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No
Nyamera is offline  
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Sep 27th, 2005, 09:52 AM
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Is this a high season trip?
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Sep 27th, 2005, 10:07 AM
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Abercrombie & Kent is less expensive than that, and their tours are top shelf all the way. It sounds ungodly high to me. Especially since it doesn't even include your air. You can also check out OAT at www.oattravel.com and here is their page for Africa tours:
http://www.oattravel.com/gcc/general...aspx?oid=47696
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Sep 27th, 2005, 10:17 AM
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Land only? That seems high to me, but as climbhigh has asked, what season? Who runs Olakira--is this luxury private camping (i.e. just you and your travelling companion and a big fat staff?) or...?

This is higher than African Dream Safaris, higher, I would think than Roy, and others mentioned on this board.

On the other hand, if you can swing it and you like the itinerary and feel comfortable with the service you're getting; I don't know, the choice is yours.

Good luck, bugswife1.
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Sep 27th, 2005, 10:18 AM
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Is Africa Adventure Company the one owned by Mark Nolting out of Florida?

If so, while he has written a great book, in my experience, their prices are outrageous. You can do much better.

You may want to have this priced by an operator based on Tanzania, like Roy's Safaris, who get good reviews. I'm sure it will lower, likely substantially lower.

That's way too high.
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Sep 27th, 2005, 10:22 AM
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I've gotten the following quote for land only. It is for a private safari in our own land rover. It's for high season travel over Christmas and New Years;

Day 1- Arrive JRO, meet and transfer, overnight Impala Hotel (B&B basis)
Day 2 - Depart Arusha for Tarangire, afternoon game drive, overnight semi-luxury mobile tent camping special campsite
Day 3 - Morning game drive in Tarangire before proceeding to Manyara, afternoon game drive, overnight Wildlife Lodge
Day 4 - Depart Manyara for Serengeti, afternoon game drive, overnight semi- luxury mobile tent camping special campsite
Day 5 - Full day Serengeti, morning and afternoon game drives, overnight semi-luxury mobile tent camping special campsite
Day 6 - Full day Serengeti, morning and afternoon game drives, overnight semi-luxury mobile tent camping special campsite
Day 7 - Brief game drive in Serengeti before departing for Ngorongoro Crater, afternoon on Crater floor, overnight Ngorongoro Farmhouse
Day 8 - Morning game drive on Crater floor, afternoon Circle Hike, overnight Ngorongoro Farmhouse
Day 9 - Depart Crater for Mto Wa Mbu Village Walk, afternoon return to Arusha.

Total for 2 people is $5030. You have some higher priced lodges in your itinerary and we don't have Zanzibar included but it still seems like quite a bit more than our quote.

Anyone have any feedback on my itinerary and cost?
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Sep 27th, 2005, 10:23 AM
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We went with Maupintour, a top-drawer safari outfit -- did much more, saw much more, paid less.
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Sep 27th, 2005, 10:25 AM
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Seems high to me, and I thought my budget was getting up there. When are you travelling? Do you need a deluxe room at the Norfolk if you are just sleeping there one night? Do you need to fly to Tarangire - do you have time to drive? Do you need to spend one night at Tarangire and one night at Manyara - it would seem better to spend two nights at one or the other. Do you need to charter a flight from Zanzibar to Nairobi? Can you get a regularly scheduled flight?

We are doing about 19 days in Tanzania and Zanzibar for about $12,000 (ouch-I am a bit embarrassed about that). I gave up Ngorongoro Crater Lodge for the Serena though so maybe that is where the big difference is.
csuss
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Sep 27th, 2005, 10:36 AM
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csuss,
When you're ready, just wanted to let you know that the envious would love to see your new itinerary. Sounds pretty grand!


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Sep 27th, 2005, 10:44 AM
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csuss-don't be embarassed, we're paying more than that for 10 nights Zambia, 1 night Johannisburg! (but it will be worth every penny!)
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Sep 27th, 2005, 10:50 AM
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For this amount you should be in Botswana. It seems you have eight nights on Safari, in Botswana that would cost around $14.4 assuming a mix of camp styles including super luxury. The reason to visit East Africa is usually to get a safari experience for less. This is pretty stiff pricing. Unless of course you are buying Zanzibar.
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Sep 27th, 2005, 10:57 AM
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Hi Bugswife1,
I donít really know how much is reasonable to pay for a superluxury safari. Your question just shocked me. Reading other peopleís replies Iím sure you can get the safari you want for less money Ė and that it will be fantastic.

Napamatt,
There are other reasons for visiting East Africa Ö
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Sep 27th, 2005, 11:50 AM
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At $15,500, that's almost $1300 per night. I believe even Rocco's former monster of a Tanzania itinerary wasn't quite that high! And he had planned to travel approx the same time period.

Even considering that you've chosen some very high end lodges and camps, I still believe you could do better pricewise. However I'm not familiar with one camp on your itinerary and that's Olakira. I searched Olakira camp and didn't come up with anything. Is this a private mobile camp that's set up for the two of you? If it is, then perhaps that's what's driving the price up.

Also are you actually on charter flights for all of those segments or are they putting you on scheduled flights? There are scheduled flights available for all of your destinations. Maybe you can ask them to re-price with scheduled flights if they aren't doing that already.
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Sep 27th, 2005, 11:54 AM
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Thanks for the responses. Yes, it is Mark Noltings company and we are going March 16th. I am surprised that everyone thinks this is high, I was told to figure about 20K for this type of trip so I thought they were in the ballpark. Now I am really messed up. Will have to call Roys or something. Yikes.
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Sep 27th, 2005, 11:54 AM
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Thanks for the responses. Yes, it is Mark Noltings company and we are going March 16th. I am surprised that everyone thinks this is high, I was told to figure about 20K for this type of trip so I thought they were in the ballpark. Now I am really messed up. Will have to call Roys or something. Yikes. Air to and from Zanzibar is included by the way.
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Sep 27th, 2005, 12:26 PM
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Just got off the phone with Abercrombie & Kent. They said that their price for my custom itinerary would be higher than the quote I got. With A & T, I would be looking at between 8K & 9K per person. Apparently, Tanzania has become quite the popular destination and occupancy is at an all time high. The prices are significantly higher this year. That said, I am still going to check around some more.
The charter flights are the same cost as the commercial.
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Sep 27th, 2005, 12:27 PM
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It's much more than we've ever paid for a safari, and I've always thought ours were expensive...though always worth it in Botswana.
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Sep 27th, 2005, 12:33 PM
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Hello,

As the OP of the 'pop goes the budget' thread I thought I had some idea of how expensive things can get -- but this is way out there. When you said March I was pretty surprised -- with those prices I was expecting June or July at the height of the migration.

I'd suggest trying one of these companies, who provided excellent service and very competitive quotes for my high-season week on the Mara in August 2006 (which had to be cancelled due to being inconveniently asked to be the best man in a friend's wedding).

Africa Serendipity
www.africaserendipity.com

Eco-Resorts
www.eco-resorts.com

Southern Cross Safaris www.southerncrosssafaris.com

Cheers,
Julian

P.S. Csuss, don't be embarrassed -- I'm paying about $12,600 land-only for 14 days in Botswana. Admittedly, it is mostly a solo trip, and includes 5 nights at Mombo (solo) and a private vehicle at Savuti Camp for 3 days.
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Sep 27th, 2005, 12:33 PM
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bugswife,

Please see the thread "Tanzania safari questions"; at the end of it Lifelist has given her most recent quotes. While she is not choosing quite the same level of luxury as you and the itinerary is shorter, there is still a HUGE disparity between the quotes you're getting and what she (and I and others) are getting. And I'm talking--at least for myself--June 2006: high season.

I really think you can get your itinerary down to 12k easy. But maybe I'm misinformed.
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